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Captain Anonymous

Chapter Text

"Just the tip."

Callisto rolled her eyes as her blind date ogled the server and laughed like a donkey with emphysema as the poor woman stalked off, her posture rigid.

The stench of years of stale cigarettes and beer that rolled off him was finally getting to her as well.

Yep. That's it. I'm done.

She tried. She really had.

She was going to kill Nazli for suggesting this.

Christ, being set on fire is better than this.

Tossing her napkin down, and pulling out enough to cover the remains of her own meal, she took a deep breath, tossed the bills on the table and stood up, turning to leave.

"What, you're not gonna put out now?" ‘Mr. Sensitive’ complained loudly.

She stood up, glared back at him and grated, "You don't deserve my fucking speech. Lose my contact info."

She turned to go and he stood quickly, knocking his fork to the floor. It clattered as he yelled, "Slut!"

She shot a finger in the air meaningfully and crowed out, "Not for you, assbutt." refusing to look back at him as she headed to the exit.

Irritated beyond all measure, she picked up the pace, gripping the door handle and giving a surprised yelp, stumbling as she was yanked out of the bar by a guy pulling the door from the other side.

Unable to stop her momentum, she crashed into him and he groaned and folded when her hand accidentally clocked him in the balls.

Wincing, she reached out and touched his shoulder, but he jerked away, glaring up at her.

"Seriously? That's a total cause/effect on your part, man." she ground out, now irritated at anything with a penis at this point.

The man’s eyes narrowed and he grunted, "Just watch where you swing those hammer hands next time. I'd like to have kids someday. Fucksake."

"Look," she started, opening the door to go back inside, "I can get an ice pack - would that help?"

The ghost of a grin played across his lips and he slowly stood up, taking a few short, sharp breaths.

"That depends. Are you going to crack me in the sack with it as well?"

"Ok, drama queen. Get your own ice."

Callisto turned to go, stopping at the feel of a gentle hand on her arm.

"Look... Let me make it up to you - can I buy you a drink while I ice my balls?"

She got a good look at him and frowned. He looked really familiar, but she couldn't place him. He looked like almost every other beautiful jock asshole that had ever made her feel like shit about herself in high school. And college. In her experience, the ‘beautiful people’ were almost always horrible people.

And of course, the blind date from hell chose that moment to stumble through the front door, rearing back when he spotted her.

"What, you're gonna fuck this guy now and not me?" he whined.

Grinding her teeth, she pasted a tight grin on her face and faced him.

"Why not? He doesn't seem like too much of an asshole, and he’s already proven he can take a hit."

She glanced over at Jock Guy, relieved when he grinned and held a hand out to her.

The mouthbreather reddened, his lips twitching, and as he opened his mouth to respond, she leaned forward, pressing a finger against his lips.

"It is not required of you to speak," she hissed in warning.

Seeming to think better of it, the idiot gave them both a sour look, then angrily strode off.

"Fucking freak bitches, think they're better than everybody else." she heard him mutter under his breath.

Jock Guy's eyes narrowed and she gave his hand a squeeze.

"Not worth it. TRUST me."

Jock Guy nodded, then opened the door.

"So. I'm sure there's an interesting story behind that exchange."

She appreciated the gesture as she stepped inside.

"My failed blind date."

He laughed and asked, "Who's the fool who set you up with that guy?"

They sat down at an unoccupied table and Callisto looked over at him, playfully asking, "What, you think he's not my type?"

Jock Guy seemed to take a moment to take her appearance in, now that they were in better lighting. Interest, not regret. Intriguing.

"Still need that ice?" She asked, surprised to find herself enjoying his company.

He laughed and shook his head. 

"My balls seem to be on the rebound."

The server did a double take as she walked up to their table, doing a quick look between her and her new dining companion.

"Congrats on your upgrade."

Callisto laughed and saluted the server as the woman gave Jock Guy a long, slow look before asking, "What'cha drinking?"

They both replied at the same time.

"Hot chocolate" "Chivas. Two fingers."

The server made a strange face, then shrugged and headed back to the bar.

"Seriously? Hot chocolate?" Jock Guy seemed mystified.

"Seriously? Chivas?" she retorted, crooking up an eyebrow.

"Not a whiskey gal?"

"Not really much of a drinker in general. I come here for the food," she explained smoothly, leaning back in her chair. 

"What brings you here, anyway? Not to pigeon-hole, but this doesn't really seem to be your kind of neighborhood."

Truth to tell, it wasn’t her neighborhood either - although she did really like this place. Nazlie had set her up with another asshole years ago, and had practically begged her to go out with this guy, so she set the date for the dumpiest dive with good food she knew. This way, she knew she’d at least get a good meal, and she’d be surrounded by people that just might step in if things got hairy.

Why she chose to go, she couldn’t really say. Maybe it had been boredom.

Jock guy reached out and started pushing a fork forward with his finger in what looked like an anxious gesture.

"Sometimes it's nice to be... anonymous."

He glanced back up at her, seeming to be searching for something in her expression.

She let out a laugh and replied, "You do realize that you kinda stick out like a sore thumb here, right?"

He took a quick look around and mused, "Yeah, but not in the way I usually do."

She frowned at his response, further intrigued. She leaned forward and was about to ask him something when their server came back with their drinks.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2 - “Are you trying to turn this into a date?”

 

Holy fuck. It really hadn't hit him until just then how unusually attractive she was. Between the colorful designs on her skin, the shaved sides of her head and that shock of colorful hair, he wasn't quite sure where to look. She wore a fairly revealing top as well, but he wasn't going there. She looked like she'd clock him in the mouth if he even glanced at her.

He shook his head to clear it as she looked away for a moment.

Did she really not know who he was, or was she fucking with him? It was hard to tell.

He held up his whiskey, "A toast."

She held up her hot chocolate and clinked his glass gently with hers.

"To anal sex!" she barked out, taking a sip of the hot chocolate.

Thank god he hadn't already taken a drink. He didn't think she would react well to being sprayed with whiskey as several people at the bar joined in and echoed her sentiment.

"Hoooly shit." he drawled, laughing and taking a generous swig of his drink before sputtering, "I definitely came to the right place."

She grinned and took another sip and he found himself briefly fixated on her lips as she placed the cup back on the table.

"Old family tradition," she replied mildly, shrugging it off.

"Hell of a family."

"You have no idea."

He laughed again, making her smile. He really had a great, authentic laugh.

“You should try the fish n chips here. Yeah, it’s a dive, but I wasn’t kidding about the food,” she suggested.

Jock Guy shifted in his seat, leaning back. “Only if they have malt vinegar.”

“Only way to eat it.” She grinned back at him.

“And only if you share it with me.”

He knocked back the rest of his drink.

She cocked her head and eyed him. “Are you trying to turn this into a date?”

“What, that wasn’t you flirting at the door when you ‘accidentally’ ran into me and almost ensured that I never have kids?” he laughed again.

“Oh sure. It’s my smoothest move,” she held up a hand, signaling the server. “It almost never works, though.”

With a wry smile, he replied, “Can’t imagine why.”

“Truth to tell, I’ve been called a ball breaker more than once during the course of my life.”

The server showed up again, took their orders and headed back to the bar.

“Hell on wheels, eh?” he asked.

She shrugged, giving him a rueful smile as she explained, “Honestly? Most guys are terrified of me. I get better responses from women than I do from straight men. I tend to make straight men really uncomfortable - and I don’t have the patience for it.”

“Yikes.” he leaned forward, shifting in his seat again. “Do they usually act like the asshole from earlier?”

She looked up at the ceiling, then back at him. “Oh, that was fairly mild.”

“Jesus.”

The server came back with their next round of drinks and Jock Guy paused for a moment, thoughtful as he moved to collect his glass, looking briefly at the amber liquid before meeting her eyes.

“I kinda want to apologize, on behalf of my gender.” he murmured. “I’m really sorry you have to deal with that.”

Callisto looked him over, sizing him up. He seemed sincere. Was he?

She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and replied, “Thanks. I’d like to say I’m used to it, but it’s irritating and disheartening every time it happens.”

He looked a little chagrined and cupped the back of his neck briefly. “I can only imagine.”

She watched as he brought his hands down to his lap, holding them there for a moment before looking back up at her.

She met his gaze, deadpan.

“Hey, on the upside, I got to crack this really cute, nice guy in the sack, so it’s almost like I had vengeance by proxy…”

He let out a loud laugh, shaking his head.

“You almost had me feeling sorry for you,” he groaned, still laughing.

The server arrived with his meal, and she watched as he coated both the fish and fries liberally with malt vinegar.

“You, ah… want some actual food with that vinegar?”

“Shush,” he eyed her, placing the malt vinegar back on the table. “You’re just jealous.”

She leaned in and placed her elbows on the table, looking back at him.

“You’re entirely too much fun to tease,” she murmured, picking up a fry and tasting it. Just the way she liked it - drenched. Was this guy for real?

He grinned, then took a bite of the fish. “Oh my god,” he groaned, leaning back in his chair and slowly chewing.

“Right??” she reached over and poached another fry. “Told you.”

“Holy fuck that’s delicious. I should never have doubted you.”

“You had doubts? It’s official. Worst. Date. Ever. You’re fired.”

He looked back at her, a forkful of fish halfway to his mouth. “Can’t fire somebody you never hired. Especially if it’s an impromptu date.”

He took his bite and let out a sound of pure pleasure.

She shivered as her body reacted to the sounds he made. God, this guy was going to kill her. Good banter, sense of humor, gorgeous AND genuinely nice? He was a fucking unicorn.

Or a rapist. Or a serial killer who danced around his living room wearing women’s faces.

She needed to get the hell out of here, and fast.

So why wasn’t she?

When was the last time she had actually found herself in the presence of a guy like this? She really wanted to see how long he could keep it up - if it was an act or if this was the way he actually was.

He’d already scored major points in her book when he didn’t immediately ask, ‘So you like women too, huh?’

She supposed she could be a total asshole and start grilling him, but it would be a serious dick move. She felt almost as if she were witnessing a rare animal in its natural habitat, and didn’t want to do anything to startle it off.

He was STUPID pretty. The total package, appearance-wise. It was a little insane.

“You’re being awfully quiet over there.”

Why not? In for a penny, in for a pound.

“You’re a little dazzling. It’s a bit disorienting.”

He gave her a strange look, placing his fork down.

“Sorry. Sometimes I just blurt out shit like that. I have bad social filters,” she explained.

He blushed. He actually fucking blushed. Her stomach dropped and she shivered again.

He looked back down at his plate, then back up at her. “Ah - thanks? And also, sorry?”

She let out a bark of laughter, shaking her head. He was adorable. He was going to be the death of her.

“Yeah. You should really cut that the fuck out,” she grinned, taking another fry.

He laughed, then began eating again. “You sure you don’t want some of the fish?” he offered.

“Nah. I’m good with carbs soaked in vinegar. It’s my jam.”

They ate in silence for a few minutes and she could feel a curious tension growing between them. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling.

"Ok, Captain Anonymous, I have a question for you."

He stilled for a moment, then looked back at her. What was that hesitancy about? , she wondered. He’d looked briefly uncomfortable, then relaxed.

"Shoot."

“Did you have any other plans for tonight?” she asked, hesitantly.

He smiled then, his voice soft as he replied, “Going out for drinks was as far as I’d gotten. Figured I’d see how the night played out after that.”

“If you’re up for something off the beaten path, there’s a… burlesque show in about twenty minutes, right around the corner. I’m really enjoying your company and figured I might drag you with me, if you were so inclined…”

His smile grew as he nodded and said, “I’d like that.”

Chapter Text

As they made their way through the streets to the venue, he stopped and looked over at her. “It occurs to me that I still don’t know your name.”

“It’s Callisto. I was named after a Greek nymph,” she explained, “Long story short - she was raped by Zeus, then turned into a bear.”

“That’s…” he began.

“Ridiculous?” She asked, continuing, “My parents were a little nuts for Greek mythology. And, honestly, Zeus raped everybody he could get his hands on. What a dick that guy is.”

Jock Guy blinked, then cleared his throat and extended a hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Callisto. I’m Chris.”

She grinned and took his hand, gently shaking it, holding it a little longer than was customary. “Well, Chris - you’re in for a hell of a ride tonight.”

He laughed and gently squeezed her hand, then released it.

“So far, you’ve been a great tour guide. I’m in good hands.”

She grinned and they started walking again. “How long are you in town for? I have pretty good rates and my schedule is open for the next few days.”

“I’m only here until tomorrow morning,” he replied, sounding a little disappointed.

She reached out and took his hand, pulling him along with her.

“We’ll have to make tonight count, then. C’mon.”

They turned a corner and there was a small line of people waiting to get in. Chris seemed to get a little uncomfortable as they got closer to the guy checking ID’s, but relaxed when the big man looked at it, then at him, then just quietly smiled and nodded, giving him a thumbs up.

As they headed into the club, she asked, “You usually make friends this easy? Fred takes a while to warm up to people.”

“Fred?”

“Yeah, the guy checking ID’s.”

Chris just shrugged. “Sometimes.”

The strains of Satan's Seventh Bride by Helicopter Girl echoed through the hallway and Callisto smiled. She hadn’t been sure she wanted to go tonight, but it helped having a companion. She hated going to events alone.

She found Chris’s hand again in the darkness, gently pulling him along with her towards a room with low, red lighting.

As they reached the end of the hallway, there was a couple onstage circling each other slowly and seductively, reaching out and snatching pieces of cloth away from each others bodies. They timed all their movements to the music.

It was still a little early and there were a few seats available at the bar.

She looked over at Chris to find his eyes riveted to the scene before them. She smiled and stood beside him until the performance was over. The pair were very well matched, and she could tell that they’d been performing together for a long time. It had been wonderfully well done.

The lights came up a little as the performers grinned, bowed and then headed off the stage to well earned applause.

Chris looked over at her and blinked. “Wow.”

Callisto chuckled and squeezed his hand before releasing it. “Right?”

“That was completely spectacular.”

She grinned and asked, “Want a drink? There are a few stools over at the bar we can sit on. It’s best to get them now before this place fills up.”

“Absolutely,” he replied, reaching to take her hand, surprising her. Granted, she’d been pulling him along for the last few minutes, but she hadn’t really thought much of it. She would have done the same for any other friend she was introducing to new experiences.

He looked down at their hands, then up at her, asking, “Is this ok?”

He looked almost as though he was surprised that he’d taken her hand as well.

She grinned back at him and gave his hand a gentle squeeze.

“Absolutely.”

 

--

 

They stayed until the place closed down.

Chris looked a little buzzed, but not drunk, as they began making their way back outside.

It really had been like a date. He’d stayed close to her throughout the night, and they ended up holding hands more often than not. It was honestly one of the best dates she’d ever been on, she had to admit. Even if it had been impromptu.

“Where to next?” he asked, grinning.

She laughed and gently bumped his shoulder. “That depends. When do you turn into a pumpkin?”

“My flight is around 10 tomorrow - well, this morning. But I can sleep through it, as well as the ride to the airport.”

As Callisto thought about the options, her stomach growled.

“We should probably address that.” Chris threaded his fingers through hers, holding her hand again. “What’s open this time of night for food?”
“It’s all greasy spoons at this point. I don’t know if my stomach can handle that at this time of night.”

He cleared his throat and said, “Without sounding cliche, we could go back to my hotel and get room service.” He looked up at her without a trace of guile.

Fuck it. She turned her body to face him and said, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep things platonic if I end up in a room with a bed with you.”

He took a deep breath, then squeezed her hand.

“Would that be a bad thing?” he asked softly.

She gave him a slow smile in response. “I can’t think of a single bad thing about it.”

Chapter Text

In the end, they had both simply passed out beside each other on the bed, shortly after eating.

And now, Callisto had the worst possible taste in the world in her mouth. She was fairly positive that her tongue had grown fur at some point during the night.

She shifted in the bed, freezing when she felt a body beside her.

Oh shit. She’d forgotten.

She shifted to look over, her heart doing a weird little flip at the sight of Chris sleeping soundly, his hair mussed and his clothing rumpled.

It took her a moment to realize that she’d also slept in her clothes as well.

Fuck. Not fair. He was still gorgeous.

She took a breath as he shifted beside her, opening his eyes and smiling up at her.

“Morning,” he breathed.

She grinned back at him, supremely grateful that things weren’t awkward.

“I think I ate a dead mouse at some point in my sleep,” she groaned, before laying back and resting her head on the pillow beside him.

“I’m pretty sure I ate its twin,” Chris turned to press his forehead into his pillow, his voice a little muffled.

Callisto laughed and ruffled the hair at the nape of his neck briefly.

“Can I just say that this is the best date I’ve ever been on?”

He turned toward her and looked over at her, blinking.

“Really?”

She nodded, smoothing the wrinkles out of her shirt and looking down to pluck at the bottom of it. “Truly. Thank you for that.”

She looked back over at him and something resonated in her. This felt like the beginning of something meaningful.

They were both jolted by the sound of the phone on the stand beside the bed ringing.

“Oh shit. Shit .”

Chris quickly moved to pick up the receiver, pinching the bridge of his nose as he listened and nodded at the voice on the other end of the line. The conversation was short and clipped.

With a heavy sigh, he placed the receiver back into its cradle, then sat up.

“And now I have to be a complete asshole,” he groaned.

“Oh shit - did I make you late?” she cried, sitting up and looking around for her boots.

Chris shook his head quickly. “No - I made myself late. Not your fault at all.”

“Is there anything I can do to help you get ready? Are you going to make your flight?”

She really hoped she hadn’t caused him to miss it.

“No, I’ll be ok. I just…” He let out a frustrated breath, running his fingers through his hair.

Callisto quickly pulled her boots on and smoothed the rest of her outfit down, checking her hair in the mirror. “I’ll get out of your hair so you can…”

Chris looked over at her, frowning. “You’re not in the way, Callisto. I’m not rushing you out. I’m just frustrated that there’s not more time.”

She relaxed a little, meeting his eyes in the mirror. “Yeah. Me too.”

“Look, I have to hop in the shower. You’re welcome to stay until I have to head downstairs.”

Callisto watched him pull the shirt he was wearing over his head, her jaw dropping as she watched very well defined muscles shift beneath his skin as he made his way to the bathroom.

He closed the door behind him and the sound of the water hitting the shower floor had her kicking herself for falling asleep last night. What the hell had she been thinking?

Another opportunity for joy missed. Damn.

Still - she’d had a wonderful time just hanging out with him. Flirting with him.

He was a genuinely nice guy, and she found herself desperately wishing he could stay a little longer - to see where things might have ended up between them.

She learned years ago to take the joy in life where she could find it, and short of getting physical with him last night, she had no regrets. This would give her fantastic memories for a good, long time.

Maybe they could even stay in touch - and maybe he’d be back in town at some point.

 

--

 

Callisto had done her best to give him privacy while he dressed, although her heart stuttered at the sight of him exiting the bathroom in a towel.

She grinned over at him, then quickly darted into the bathroom herself to take care of her own morning issues.

When she came back out, he was mostly dressed - sitting on the bed as he pulled a pair of socks on.

He took a deep breath then looked over at her.

“Would it be ok if we stayed in touch?” he asked, moving to stand.

Callisto smiled, nodding back at him. “I’d really like that.”

They quickly exchanged contact info, then Chris murmured, “Last night was one of the best dates I’ve been on in a long time.”

Callisto smiled, looking down at her feet, suddenly feeling shy and not entirely comfortable with it.

Chris reached out and gently took her hand, pulling her close.

“Is this ok?” he asked, softly. It was almost unbelievable how considerate he was. She wasn’t at all used to it.

She looked up at him, then moved in to brush her lips against his.

The kiss quickly went from soft to intense and he pulled her into him, holding her firmly as she sent her fingers sliding up through his hair.

After a few moments, Callisto pulled away, putting a hand on his chest.

“Holy fuck, you better call me,” she grated, trying to catch her breath.

Chris rested her forehead against hers, breathing a little heavy. “And you better fucking pick up the phone.”

They both laughed and hugged each other tightly before separating.

“Get yer ass downstairs,” she chided. “I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

He laughed and took a step back, shifting to adjust his jeans.

“Yeah, I think it’s a little too late for that.”

Chapter Text

As Callisto walked up the stairs to her house, her phone dinged. Her heart leapt when she saw Chris’ number.

 

C: You’re going to be the death of me.

Cal: Should I clock you in the nuts again? Will that help?

C: No - I think once is quite enough.

Cal: I kinda want to send you a care package full of dry ice now.

C: That’s unnecessarily cruel.

Cal: Oh, it’s completely necessary, I assure you.

C: I want to kiss you again.

Cal: Not as bad as I want you to, I bet.

C: I’ll take that bet.

Cal: I assume you made your flight?

C: Only barely. Worth it.

Cal: Glad to hear it. I certainly thought so. :)

C: Shit. The plane is about to take off.

Cal: Enjoy being hurtled through the sky in defiance of God’s will in a lightly metallic covered cigar container with wings.

C: Tell me one thing before I go - what’s your favorite song?

Cal: Our Secret Garden by Peter Murphy

C: Never heard of it.

Cal: Seriously? His music is everything.

C: I’ll check him out. But only because you say so. :)
Cal: Ah, my devious plan is working, then. :) What’s your favorite song?

C: Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

Cal: ….

Cal: Are you fucking kidding?

C: Oh, to see the look on your face right now. My seatmate is glaring over at me because I’m laughing so hard.

Cal: Oh, you are going to get SUCH a PINCH the next time I see you.

C: Oh, what’s that? I’m sorry.. .the connection… breaking up… can’t… zzz

Cal: Jerk.

 

Callisto’s face hurt from grinning at this point.

Yeah. She might just be gone on him.

With a happy sigh, she moved to check on the large Rue plant at the front door. “Hey buddy, you look like you might need a little water. Let me go inside and get some for you.”

She gently brushed her fingers against its teardrop shaped leaves, aggravated that there hadn’t been any rain for a few weeks. Her entire garden had been wilting, even though she was watering it every night.

At least the heat hadn’t been too bad lately.

She opened the front door and was greeted by two Bengal cats who greeted her as though she’d been gone for a year and they had never expected her to come home.

She closed the door and crouched, scritching them on the scruffs of their necks, before giving in and sitting on the floor, letting them romp and nuzzle her.

“Ok, Nagaina - give me a chance to pet Nag too, you greedy thing.”

Nag darted in to curl up in her lap and Nagaina made her irritation known.

“I know, I know. Mommy was out all night. Mommy is Cat Hitler, I know.”

After a few minutes, the cats let her get up so she could feed them.

She quickly prepared tins of food, then placed them on their special spot on the counter - she spoiled them terribly.

The pair made little adorable growly sounds while they ate, little breathy huffing sounds around each bite. It never failed to completely peg her cute meter.

Callisto then made her way to the bathroom and scrubbed at her teeth for approximately nine years before padding back out into the kitchen. The cats spared her a brief look in between bites.

“Ok, now the plants.” she murmured to herself, removing her boots and pushing her feet into a pair of lime green Crocs that she’d drawn little skulls and crossbones all over. Once outside, she took a quick inventory of the plants that looked like they were flagging. The herbs were all wilting - especially her wormwood, and something had been eating holes in her henbane, belladonna and clary sage again. Dammit.

The statue of Hekate that sat in her baneful herb garden stood serenely amidst all the green and Callisto snapped at it.

“I’m growing these for you. Can’t you at least scare the bugs off?”

Irritated more at the beetles and slugs that were dining on her herbs than at the Greek Titaness amongst them who was surely more concerned with higher issues than ensuring that her herb garden stayed pest free, Callisto collected a basket from the deck and plucked a handful of cherry tomatoes, gently placing them into it. The grape vine seemed nice and strong, but she still wasn’t getting any actual grapes. Maybe next year , she thought.

It’s also time to coat these fuckers again so they don’t keep getting eaten.

Once her garden chores were taken care of, she started on the farm chores - feeding and tending to her various critters. Eight Marsh Daisy hens strutted purposefully around the open backyard, eating bugs and various other things they could find throughout, followed by a very saucy, jaunty little rooster who seemed to swagger behind them.

She had briefly considered getting Guinea Hens to get rid of all the ticks in the yard, but after actually experiencing them in person, found that the sounds that they’d made were appalling and would very likely have her neighbors angry with her.

She liked being left alone too much to bother.

Surrounded by a collection of lovely, tall trees, her house had a bit of the ‘farm in the middle of the forest’ feel to it. Granted, it was about an hour outside of the city, but being that she didn’t really like people all that much, it was perfect for her. There were enough patches of sun that she could grow what she liked, and plenty of room for her animals to wander.

When her parents had died, the amount of life insurance they had left behind was literally staggering. She’d stopped breathing briefly when the lawyer informed her of how much she was going to inherit.

It didn’t make up for the loss, but with that, her parents had effectively ensured that she wouldn’t have to work for anybody else again in her lifetime.

She hadn’t made any flashy purchases, except for this largely wooded five acre gated property with the high iron fence surrounding it. Being that she engaged in ‘alternative spiritual practices’ it was best if people didn’t see the various ‘artistic installations’ she’d created on the land for the various spirits, Gods and Goddesses she worked with.

Several Myotonic goats wandered around the back pasture, keeping the tall grasses within under control.

After ensuring that everybody had water and food, she made her way back inside.

Chapter Text

A few hours later, Callisto jerked awake to the feel of the vibration of her phone. Nag and Nagaina, who had been curled up with her, both got up, then switched positions beside her.

Her heart skipped a beat as she read the text message.

 

C: Just landed. What are you up to?

Cal: I’m in a kitty pile on my couch. I fell asleep. :)

C: Were they angry at you for not coming home last night?

Cal: Furious. They cuddled MOST aggressively when I got back home.

C: How many kitties do you have?

Cal: Two - a boy and a girl. I call them Nag and Nagaina.

C: Like the evil cobras in Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?

Cal: Bah. I prefer to see them as being written by the point of view of an outsider, an oppressive force, IE - the British Colonizers that were castrating the power of the Indian rulers of their own country. I like to think of them as fighting for their native land, against invasive colonizing oppressors. It’s pretty punk rock, when you think about it.

C: ...I’d honestly never thought of it that way. I think I like your version better.

Cal: That’s because I’m awesome.

C: And humble.

Cal: Fuck false humility. :)

C: You are easily one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.

Cal: *eyelash flutter* Go on….

C: Ha! Ok, ok. You’re awesome.

Cal: Glad you’re on-board with the reality of the situation. ;)

C: So I downloaded a bunch of Peter Murphy and listened to your song on the flight. Got anything else to recommend? I really liked it.

Cal: Ok, here’s a list: Bigod 20 - The Bog, Dam - Emta Njawzak Yamma, David Sylvan - Before the Bullfight, Feist - Undiscovered First, Louis-Jean Cormier and Beyries - J’aurai cent ans, The Hu - Wolf Totem, Front Line Assembly – Eye On You, Skáld - Gleipnir and anything by Heilung. That’ll be a good start.

C: Wait - was that all just off the top of your head?

Cal: pretty much. I’m a big fan of music that hits me in a really strong way.

C: You’ve given me homework, you realize. :)

Cal: The oral exam is a killer. Just so you’re aware.

C: …

C: I almost just stumbled into the person in front of me. Thanks for that.

Cal: I am a harsh mistress. It’s best you know ahead of time. Are you on your way to baggage claim now? Wait - I forgot to ask. Where did you fly to?

C: I’m at LAX, and I didn’t really need to check bags, for which I’m eternally grateful.

Cal: Ugh. I loathed LA traffic the last time I was out there. You have my sympathies.

C: It’s a little easier to navigate on a motorcycle.

Cal: Ok, your hotness level just cranked up a bit more.

C: LOL - when were you last in LA?

Cal: I think it was about 7 years ago. I was driving around the country in a conversion van. Kinda like a ‘US Tour’ thing. I wanted to see the country and didn’t want to wait until I was in my eighties.

C: Wow. That’s pretty ideal. Did you do it alone?

Cal: Oh yeah. Lived out of the van when I wasn’t staying with friends. Oh, the stories I could tell you.

C: How is it that you just keep getting more interesting? Is that even statistically possible?

Cal: Oh, honey. You have No Idea.

C: Shit. I’m getting a call - brb.

Cal: k

 

Callisto grinned and reached down to scritch Nagaina’s head and ears. The cat pushed against her hand, purring loudly, and before long, both of them were demanding scritches and attention.

“You guys wanna listen to some music?” she asked them, laughing softly when they just kept rubbing against her thighs and hands.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

She turned on Billie Holiday and moved to get up, feeling the need to putter around with a craft project she’d been working on.

The cats both meowed in protest, then hopped down, wandering over to a large, fluffy Lovesac in the corner, jumping up and curling up against one another in it.

The bone sculpture was coming along nicely, she thought as she reached down to pull another box of mixed deer and elk bones out, fishing through them to find another large rib.

She’d been crafting a staff out of various parts for the last month. With a few more pieces added, she would soon be ready to paint and hang bells and strips of brown, bright green and dark green cloth from the upper ‘branches’ she’d created at the top.

She had stopped exhibiting her work years ago, but had never stopped making it. The gallery openings always made her stomach too jumpy. There was too much pressure to sell and ‘make a good impression’.

Now, she made pieces that she placed at various points throughout the forest on the property, turning them into little sylvan points of presence that the Fair Folk would visit from time to time. She frequently left out berries and cream for them, more out of respect than an actual wish to contact and work with them. The fae could be really touchy and a little too devious for her liking. Better to simply let them live on the land and help her be the caretakers it needed, rather than asking for anything directly.

This piece would go into one of the darker groves, for the Spirits of the Dead she worked with - something for them to find appealing.

Callisto didn’t own a television and never really engaged in watching anything other than Li Ziqi YouTube videos, or other Self Help vids. Her main source of entertainment was books. She was a voracious reader.

The phone vibrated in her pocket and she quickly pulled it out, grinning at the message.

 

C: Can I call you tonight? Today’s gotten really crazy already. I’m not really going to be able to text with you much.

Cal: Please do :) I’m just puttering around the house at this point.

C: Have fun puttering. I’ll be here grinding through a social abattoir.

Cal: Wear a cup.

C: Ha! Talk to you tonight. :)

Chapter Text

Callisto had started a painting of him, for her own benefit. She’d just finished the basic outline of his features and started filling in the portion of his face around his eyes with color. She wanted to do justice to the soft expressiveness in them, having finally mixed colors that matched the blue in them, when her phone rang.

She saw his name and was grinning as she answered, “Hey, I see you broke away successfully. Still have all your parts and pieces in place?”

Her body reacted to his laugh on the other end of the line, giving a little shiver. “So far, so good. What are you up to?”

She cocked her head to the side, re-assessing the work she’d done on the piece up to this point.

“Hot Tub cookout. Bears are cooking burgers and franks and the deer are just being drunk assholes, eating all my hostas.”

He laughed again. “Fucking deer. They’re a menace.”

It was her turn to laugh. “You’ve got that right. I’m going to have to start peeing on my hostas to keep them away.”

The line went quiet for a brief moment. “Did you just say what I think you said?”

She smiled and nodded. “Human urine, when kept for a few days, repels them. Gardening facts.”

“I’d imagine that it’d repel just about anything. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”

She laughed and crowed, “Don’t get all soft on me now. You’re just at the edges of the rabbit hole here, Chris.”

“What on earth have I gotten myself into?” he asked, laughing.

“Only time will tell. I should admit that I have a fairly… unconventional life.”

“I want to hear all about it,” he replied, “but first, I need to compliment you on your eclectic taste in music.”

“Ah! My fiendish plan has worked! Spectacular.”

She moved over to the sofa, lounging back on it as she shared some of the more colorful experiences she’d had with the local wildlife, laughing when she told him about the antics of the goats and chickens, as well as the trouble that the cats got up to on varying nights.

“It sounds like you have quite the menagerie there. I can’t help feeling inadequate as I only have one animal companion - my dog, Dodger. He’s a rescue.”

That warmed her heart. Nag and Nagaina had been rescues as well. How anybody could give up a Bengal cat was completely beyond her.

“Ok - you’re a hero in my books, just for that. Rescue animals for the win!” she shifted on the couch and saw a spot of paint on the cushions.

“Fuck.” she muttered, wanting to scrub at it, but knowing that would only make it worse.

“What happened?”

“I had paint on my leg when I sat down, and now I have a spotted couch.”

“You paint?” he asked, intrigued.

“I do a fair amount of arty shit. I just started working on a new piece earlier, and now a tiny portion of that process is now a permanent part of my couch. Ah, well.”

She sighed and leaned back.

“Ah, the hazards of art. What were you painting?”

She shifted and sighed, “A portrait. Haven’t done one of those in awhile.”

“Can I see?” he asked, a hint of eagerness in his voice.

“Not until it’s finished.” She smiled.

There was a moment of hesitation before he asked, “Can I see you ?”

“What - you want me to take a picture? I’m a wreck. I think I have paint in my hair.”

She pressed a button, activating FaceTime. After a minute, his image came to life on her phone.

“There you are,” he grinned back at her. “Overalls are a good look for you.”

She laughed and gave him the finger.

He laughed and shifted the phone in his hands so she could see the adorable brown and white dog sitting beside him. Dodger looked anxiously between Chris and the phone, making him chuckle.

“He looks like he doesn’t know what to make of me. But then, that’s kind of a default when people first meet me,” she laughed, cooing at the pupper.

She saw Dodger’s tail wag and she couldn’t help making those ridiculously cutesy sounds she hated when other people made them. Nag and Nagaina rushed over to see what was happening and Dodger started whining when he saw them.

“Oh my god, they’re beautiful. Bengals, right?” he asked.

“Yeah. They’re my babies. Best companions I’ve ever had.” She grinned proudly, first scritching the ears of one, then the other.

He sighed, then said, “It’s really good to see you. You’re not a mess at all.”

She critically assessed her image on the screen, plucking at her hair. Yep. Definitely a little paint in it.

“Oh, you silver tongued devil,” she crooned, then laughed. “It’s good to see you too.”

He smiled, blushing a little.

“Good lord, you’re adorable,” she chuckled, shaking her head.

“I think I really like you, Callisto,” he murmured softly.

“Wow, you’re easy. All I had to do was rack you,” she laughed, then added, “Yeah. I think I like you too, Chris.”

He let out a happy sigh and Dodger quickly moved to lick his face.

“So tell me about your day. I know you’re dying to,” she prompted.

He closed his eyes and tensed up a little. “Lots of interviews. I don’t really like them.”

“What are you interviewing for?” she asked, curious.

“It’s all the same questions over and over about the project I’m working on. I don’t really like talking about myself all that much.” He looked uncomfortable.

“We can talk about something else - I don’t want to talk about things that’ll bring you into a bad headspace…” she suggested.

“No, it’s ok. This conversation was going to happen sooner or later.”

“That doesn’t sound ominous at all,” she frowned.

He took a breath and just started talking - she had the strong feeling that he was just pushing to get it all out. He explained that he was an actor and that he was being interviewed by reporters and magazines. He said that he had a few more days of this before he could get a break from it.

“That sounds really frustrating. I’m sorry you’re going through that,” she took a breath before adding, “having to deal with the public is what made me withdraw from doing gallery appearances. I couldn’t handle the stress.”

He took a long, slow breath. “Yeah. It gets to me too, sometimes. I just… I really love acting. It’s just that some of the things that come along with it that aren’t so… appealing.”

Callisto shifted her position on the couch and the cats grumped a little before resettling around her.

“I get that. Trust me. I’m not really a ‘people person’ to begin with. Now I just do art for me and the people in my life. I’m much happier that way. But I get how acting is a different beast entirely.”

“Oh, don’t get me wrong - I love people, I just don’t really like feeling…”

“Exposed?” she offered.

He nodded and breathed out. “Yeah.”

“I kinda want to hug you right now,” she murmured.

He sighed and smiled. “Fuck, I wish you weren’t on the other side of the country.”

“At the moment, me too. But then my cats would miss me. What would my farm animals do?” she chuckled.

On an impulse she said, “You should come visit when you can break away. There’s lots of room for Dodger to run around, as long as he doesn’t harass the chickens or my cats too much.”

“Where do you live? I’m guessing not in the city at this point,” he laughed.

“I’m about an hour outside D.C., in what my best friend terms the middle of butthole nowhere. He hates that I’m out in the sticks - mostly because he wants me to live down the street from him, but I love it out here.”

“I might just take you up on that. It sounds like heaven.”

Dodger squirmed beside him, then jumped down. She could hear the sound of scrabbling claws on what sounded like tile in the background.

“And now we’ve come to the portion of the evening where Dodger needs to go out and visit all his favorite watering holes.” 

Chris laughed and stood up. From what she could see of his place in the shaky background, it looked pretty spacious.

“I should probably let you go while I do this. I don’t want him getting a complex - and I have another early morning tomorrow,” he explained, looking a little sheepish.

“Totally understandable. We can talk more later.” She smiled back at him.

“Good night, Callisto.”

“Good night, Savior of Rescue Dogs.”

He laughed, then hung up.

Callisto placed the phone on the arm of the couch and moved to pet the kitties.

“Yeah, he might just be a keeper,” she murmured back to them before sighing and getting to her feet.

She walked back over to the painting and began working on it again while Scorpions’ Still Loving You echoed out of the speakers. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

By the time she’d finally gotten to sleep, Callisto had filled in most of the color and shading on the piece. Over the next day or so, she’d add the finishing touches.

As she waited for the electric kettle to boil, she shuffled around the kitchen in big green fluffy slippers with fuzzy claws extending from the toes.

Bleary eyed, she tossed two teabags into a Cthulhu shaped coffee mug, dumping sugar in behind them.

Nag and Nagaina rubbed against her legs, paws batting at the low hanging belt tail of her colorful satin robe.

Callisto rubbed at an eye as she moved to fix them their morning meal.

A chorus of urgent meows echoed up from the floor, as they always did when she made them breakfast.

She placed the food bowls down and the cats jumped up, eagerly devouring the contents.

The kettle clicked off and she turned to pour hot water into the cup, yawning before walking off to let it steep for a few minutes.

She moved over to the painting, going over it with a critical eye.

Chris smiled back at her from the canvas, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. It was one of the first true to life paintings she’d done in many years.

After the death of her parents, she’d found herself in a black spiral of depression. The pieces she’d created to move through the grief back then were nightmarish and visceral - and although she still kept them around, it was only in the last year or so that she’d been able to truly appreciate them.

This piece was so clean, so… bright and happy that it shook her a little.

She found herself strongly wanting to turn the image into a blighted zombie version of him, but she gently let the feeling move through her until it dissipated. Sure, she could zombify him in a digital print, but this… she wanted this to stay the way it was.

Callisto sighed and walked back into the kitchen.

“You’ve only known him a day,” she muttered to herself. “He could turn out to be a total shitbucket.”

But she doubted it.

She stirred the tea, dropping the bags into the compost bin, then poured half and half into the cup.

Callisto grinned at the memory of her British friend shuddering when she’d done this during her visit to England a few years ago. “ Barbarian !” her friend had jokingly mocked, stiffly informing her that only milk was acceptable in Proper British Tea.

Callisto brought the mug to her lips and sipped, curling her lips into a satisfied smile before crowing, “ Milk ? NEVAH!” to nobody in particular.

 

--

 

As the afternoon drew to a close, Callisto was surprised that she’d finished the painting this quickly. She took a deep breath, then took her phone out of her pocket and captured the image before sending it to him, hoping it would cheer him up a little. Hopefully today wasn’t being too rough on him.

Callisto smiled to herself and went out back to move the tethered stakes the goats were tied to in the main portion of the yard. It was the only way she could ensure that they’d only eat the grass. She didn’t want them getting into any of the baneful herbs. In a few hours, she’d be able to place them back into their paddock for the evening.

She watered the plants briefly, looking up at the sky and praying for rain, disappointed as she made her way to the shrine for Thor she’d crafted in the backyard. A reasonably sized, ornately carved wooden statue sat before a thicket of large ferns, a large stone hammer sat before it and two large goats stood on either side of the statue. The items were weathered from being out in the elements.

Callisto didn’t like petitioning the gods for things unless there was an emergency, so instead of earnest prayers, she simply said, “Buddy - can we please get a little rain? We really need it.”

She sighed and headed back inside, preparing to make a quick snack.

Nazi Punks Fuck Off echoed out of her phone and she quickly answered it.

“What? WHAT?” she growled, grinning.

“Hi stupid. Are you out back murdering the goats again?”

“Always. They keep coming back to life, though.”

“You and your zombie fainting goats,” Jason, her best friend, groaned through the phone. “Are we still on for dinner tonight?”

Callisto nodded, watching as the rooster flapped his wings and crowed loudly. “Yeah. Indian food this time?”

“I guess. Hey, there’s a tiki party this weekend out at Jen and Gemma’s. We should totally go.”

“Yeah, why not. Oh! I met a guy the other night.”

“Wait, that blind date Nazli set you up with actually worked out?” Jason sounded incredulous.

“...in a way, yeah.” Callisto headed over to a hammock and sat back in it, rocking gently. “That guy was utterly appalling - a real Chad. But this other guy showed up. I accidentally cracked him in the nuts with a fist.”

“So, what I’m hearing is it was love at first sight.”

She grinned and shook her head. “Nah. But he did stick around after that. We’ve talked a bunch of times at this point. I think I might actually like him.”

“Just remember, don’t get too emotionally invested too quickly. All those hetero guys are douchebros,” he warned.

“Hey, he could be heteroflexible...” she trailed off, hopefully. He was already enough of a unicorn without adding a gold horn to it. Still, she could dream.

“I don’t trust it. Is he hot?”

“I haven’t seen the size of his dick yet, if that’s what you mean - and it’s always what you mean, but yeah - he’s no slouch on the eyes.”

“You’re slipping. You didn’t fuck him yet? I’m disappointed in you.”

“You’re always disappointed in me,” she grumbled, halfheartedly. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. I think we were both irritated that there wasn’t enough time.”

“Wait, he’s not local? Ok, you’re an idiot.”

“Yeah, yeah. He had an early flight out this morning. I dragged him out to that burlesque show at the Black Cat, just to test the waters,” she explained. “He handled it admirably. There could be hope for him yet.”

“Oh you dick. You couldn’t tell me you were in town, but SURE, go ahead and drag complete strangers around. It’s not as if I’m not YOUR BEST FRIEND or anything. No, it’s fine. It’s not like I wanted to go or anything.”

“Like you’d reach out to ME if you’d hooked up with a guy and dragged him around town?”

Jason made a dismissive noise, “That’s not the same. You’re cat Hitler! Shut up!”

Callisto laughed and kicked her legs up into the hammock, getting comfortable. In the shade, it was actually comfortable outside.

“So, 6pm tomorrow, right?” she asked.

“TONIGHT. God, I have to do everything now? I gotta go, I have a client calling in. God, I hate people,” he grumbled, then the phone went silent.

With a happy sigh, she settled back into the hammock for a little nap.

Chapter Text

She jolted awake at the sound of her phone ringing. She looked down to see Chris’ number - she really needed to set a special ringer for him.

“Hey there, Dog Savior. How’d your day go?” she smiled, resting her head back into the hammock.

“Oh my god - this is the painting you were working on?” he asked, sounding out of breath. “It’s amazing.”

“What - were you trying to escape zombies just now?”

Chris laughed. “I just finished working out. I don’t have to keep to the insane schedule they had me on when I was doing the last set of movies, but I like to stay in shape and it helps burn off frustration.”

Callisto laughed. “So glad I don’t have that issue.” The idea of dieting and working out made her skin crawl. She had gone through an obsessive body image frenzy decades ago and was comfortable with her curvy body at this point.

“Oh shit.” she looked back at the phone to see she had just enough time to get the goats penned in, grab keys and head out to meet Jason for dinner.

“Can I call you back later tonight? I have a weekly dinner date with my best friend, and I’m about to be late.”

“Sure! Talk to you later.”

“I’ll call you when I’m on my way home.”

 

--

 

“So. This guy,” Jason began as the waiter set their drinks before them.

Callisto reached for her mango lassi, taking a long drink before replying, “this guy…”

Jason looked back at her, nonplussed. “So, tell me about him?”

She shifted in her seat, placing the drink back on the table.

“He’s STUPID pretty, for one. It’s ridiculous,” she chuckled. “And he looks totally normal.”

“BORING,” Jason declared in a drone. “So what’s he look like?”

Callisto reached for her phone, bringing up the picture she’d taken of the piece she’d worked on all night, handing the phone to him.

“Holy fuck - are you shitting me?” Jason looked over at her, suspicious.

“What?” she asked, taking another sip of her drink.

“No fucking way. Is this actually the guy you met? You painted him? Already?”

She nodded, wondering what the big deal was. “Yeah. So?”

“You met Captain fuckin’ America the other night and DIDN’T fuck him when you had the chance? Are you sure you’re feeling alright?” Jason stared down at the picture, shaking his head. “Jesus. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

She frowned, then her stomach lurched. “Oh shit.” she muttered, “I didn’t recognize him until you said something.”

“How is that even possible!” he cried, “oh, that’s right - little miss ‘I don’t have a TV and I don’t watch movies’, I forgot.”

There was no way she could have avoided all the advertising posters over the last few years, though. If she’d been paying better attention, she would have figured it out sooner. Now she felt like an idiot.

Jason took another look at the picture, then handed her the phone in mock disgust.

“You should be ashamed. ASHAMED. I thought I taught you better.” He shook his head, then reached for his own drink.

Callisto laughed and slid the phone into a pocket. “Clearly not. Still - he’s actually a really nice guy. I invited him to come visit sometime.”

Jason eyed her as the server walked towards their table with the main course of their meal. “He could be an axe wielding maniac. Hot, but still... AXE.” He made a chopping motion with his hand. “Just sayin’”

“He may not even take me up on the offer. It’s nothing serious,” Callisto shrugged it off, shifting a little as the server placed her dinner before her.

“Well… just be careful,” he replied mildly, then shook his head again. “I can’t believe you pulled Chris fucking Evans.”

“He’s not a fish, jackass,” she muttered, taking a bite of butter chicken.

 

--

 

The two of them walked back to the parking garage as Jason asked, “How are the kitties? Charlie’s been digging in my fucking plants again. I think he’s finally murdered my christmas cactus.”

“They’re fine. I need to get them to sit for a picture. I think I want to paint them into a scene where they’re fighting Godzilla or something.”

“You should totally do that. The one you did of Charlie destroying Tokyo is hanging over the fireplace at home. What are you wearing to the party this weekend?”

“Meh - I dunno. I’ll figure it out,” she replied, a little nervous about calling Chris back now.

“Stop being distracted by dick.”

“Like that ever works for you,” she mocked.

“Hey, at least I get work done as well as chasing dick. Are you sure your hoo ha doesn’t have cobwebs in it at this point? Do you even remember what goes where?”

Callisto winced and glared at him. “Mind your own business. Jerk.”

He laughed as they got to the foot of the stairs at the parking structure.

They hugged and he said, “And text me when you get home,” as he headed off in the direction of his SUV.

“Oh alright,” she groaned, grinning.

Callisto tapped a button on her key fob and the lights blinked on a blue Tesla Model X. While she didn’t usually like ostentatious things, this was one of the things she really wanted to indulge herself in.

As she settled herself into the driver’s seat and started the car, she looked down at her phone with a bit of trepidation.

Why should it matter, now that she recognized him? He was still the same great guy. Just another human being walking around on the planet, figuring shit out daily the way the rest of them did - his life was just… a little more out of the ordinary than most.

Truth to tell, so was hers.

Did it make a difference?

She drove in silence until she got on the highway, then rang his number.

“Hey! How did dinner go?”

His voice was smooth and warm coming through her car speakers.

“Delicious. Ah, I love Indian food,” she murmured happily.

“Oh man, I love coconut curries.”

“I make a mean Thai yellow coconut curry chicken and my Thom Ka Gai game is pretty strong.”

“A woman after my own heart,” he replied, chuckling.

“I’ve heard ‘the best way to a man’s heart is through his ribcage’, but it’s really through his stomach.”

Chris laughed and Callisto took a breath and simply came out with it.

“So, earlier tonight, I figured out who you are. I… uh… I feel stupid that I didn’t recognize you before.”

The line went quiet for a few moments, then Chris said, “You’re not stupid. I’m actually pleased that you didn’t. It gave me a chance to get to know you as a normal guy and not a celebrity.”

“It isn’t awkward now, is it?” she asked, shifting lanes to get around a slow moving car.

“It doesn’t need to be,” he replied quietly.

“Good. Then I’ll just go back to giving you a hard time like usual,” she laughed, relaxing a little.

“Does it bother you?” he asked. He sounded honestly curious.

“No, it doesn’t bother me. We’re both human beings in these little weird flesh vehicles that we run around in as we experience everything that this place has to offer. I guess I just didn’t expect to run into somebody like you this late in life.”

Another pause, and then he said, “C’mon - ‘late in life’? You don’t look much older than I do.”

She chuckled and grinned as she replied, “Honey, I hate to burst your bubble, but I’m fifty two.”

“Get the fuck outta here,” he blurted.

“It’s true. I can even show you my driver’s license.”

“Wow. That’s kinda wreckin’ my head. You look like you’re in your early thirties.”

Callisto pulled into the HOV lanes and cranked up the speed.

“I’ve stayed out of the sun for most of my life. That helps. Tattoos and hairstyle also probably help too,” she explained.

“Damn,” he muttered.

“Everything ok over there?” she asked, wondering how badly she’d thrown him for a loop.

“Is that offer to come visit you still open?” he asked, tentatively.

She smiled and nodded, speaking with a somewhat Russian accent, “Always. You, I like. You, I let into my house, I think.”

He laughed, then said, “Can I call you back in a few minutes? Video?”

“For video, it’ll have to wait. I have about another forty minutes on the highway.”

“Tell you what - call me when you get home, ok?”

“Can do.” she replied

Chapter Text

Callisto tossed the keys on the counter and greeted the cats as she dialed Chris.

When his image flared to life on her phone, she smiled down at him.

“So I was thinking,” he started, looking a little hesitant, “I have a break in my schedule coming up…”

“I have a big guest room with a double bed. I’m sure you and Dodger would fit fine on it. I have this feeling that you guys cuddle up at night. I could cook, we can romp with the goats and chickens…” she laughed.

“I have about a week between project meetings at the end of the month. Would it be weird if I stayed for that long?” he asked, unsure.

That was about two weeks from now. It was doable. And she was surprised at how strongly she really wanted to see him again.

“Mi casa es tu casa. I haven’t had guests in awhile, and it’s fairly low key here. I can show you some great local state parks to take Dodger to.”

He relaxed and smiled, nodding. “That’d be great! You’re a lifesaver. Truly.”

“All good - it’ll be nice to have somebody around the house for a little bit. However, I do keep odd hours, just a heads up.”

He sighed, then looked thoughtful. “I don’t usually do this. For some reason, things are different with you.”

Callisto nodded, taking a deep breath. “Yeah. Me either. Jason - the Best Friend - thinks you might be a really hot axe murderer.”

Chris laughed, his head rocking back. Dodger jumped up beside him, licking his chin quickly.

“I’ll leave the axe at home,” he chuckled.

“I feel safer already,” she laughed, grinning back at him.

They fell into easy conversation after that, getting into a really involved philosophical discussion about the nature of existence that had her almost wanting to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. It was so rare to have such in-depth, intimate conversations like this with almost anybody, and the fact that she was finding herself intellectually, as well as physically, aroused by this man she hadn’t known for more than two days, who was quickly becoming a really good friend, was an added bonus.

As the conversation went on, she found herself telling him about her various alternative spiritual paths. Fascinated, he’d asked thoughtful, respectful questions, then shared facets of his own spiritual pursuits and beliefs.

When Callisto looked over at the clock, she was shocked to see that it was two in the morning.

“Holy balls - I’ve kept you up way past your bedtime!”

Chris simply grinned, looking a little sleepy. “Worth it,” he murmured softly.

“Yeah.” she smiled back, unable to keep herself from yawning.

“Hey Callisto?” he asked.

“Yes, Chris.”

“Is it ok if I dream about you tonight?”

Her heart did a slow roll in her chest. Nobody had ever spoken to her like this.

She gave him an indulgent smile, and replied in a stolid, British accent, “I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours.”

Chris’ eyes narrowed.

“Did you just quote Mr. Darcy to me?”

Callisto cackled. “Did you just actually recognize an obscure quote from the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth?”

He laughed then, blushing. “Guilty as charged.”
“Well shit. Now I have to dream about you tonight too,” she grumbled, halfheartedly.

“Hey Callisto?” he asked again.

“Yes, Chris.” she replied, rolling her eyes.

“Will you make me coconut curry?” He batted those insanely long eyelashes at her and she cracked up.

“Yes. Now go to bed.”

Dodger wiggled beside him excitedly.

“Yes, mom,” he whined, then grinned and hung up.

 

--

 

Life went on in much the same way for the rest of the week, with the conversations between them getting more intimate and suggestive, but staying lighthearted. There were a few times where they delved into some of the darker things they’d dealt with, but this felt more like tentative steps, rather than a rapid descent into late night, scotch soaked confessionals where people just threw caution to the wind and opened up, letting all the pain just pour out. She honestly couldn’t remember the last time she’d just flat out enjoyed the hell out of talking with anybody for hours. He just… got her, and she spent a lot of time in gratitude for the time she’d been given with this wonderful person. 

“Oh my god, again with the idiotic grin. Can’t you keep it in your pants for five seconds?” Jason complained halfheartedly, as was his way. They had an odd relationship. Callisto had met him back when she was sixteen, a little fledgeling punk rock girl, and now they behaved more like an old married couple when they were together. People often thought they were arguing or being generally awful to each other, but there was a great deal of trust, respect and love there. She honestly didn’t know what she’d do without him.

She looked over to see the house come into view and snapped, “Hey, it could be worse. I have a vibrator in my purse. This could get unbearable for you very quickly.”

“GROSS,” he winced, groaning as they pulled into a spot several houses down.

“Shut it, you,” she grated out, chuckling as she opened the door and stepped out onto the grass.

They made their way to the back of his SUV, pulling out booze and cookies, before making their way along the sidewalk to the house.

“Don’t you want your parasol?” he asked.

She adjusted her sunglasses and grimaced. “I left it back at the house, like an asshole.”

“You sure you’re gonna be ok?”

“Yeah - there’s plenty of shade in the back. I’ll be fine.”

“But you have your fan, right?”

She pulled it out and opened it with a loud THWAP, the silver glittered word TRASH shining in the sunlight on the side of it. “Always.”

“Good. We don’t need a repeat of what happened at Pride.”

“Yes, dear. Now fuck off,” she snapped, closing the fan and slipping it back into the sheath at her leg she’d sewn into her pants.

As Callisto and Jason walked to the back of a house with loudly thumping music, her mouth watered at the delicious grilled smells coming their way. She opened the back gate for him and they were greeted with an almost overwhelming array of colorful decorations. Jen and Gemma always went a little overboard with their yearly backyard party. In the end, Callisto had just dressed the same way she usually did - black boots, black cargo pants and a black tanktop with Smash the Patriarchy on the front, the large lettering circling an upraised fist, whereas Jason was wearing a nicely fitting shirt with a colorful, sad pug with a ukelele on the back. It had a lei around its neck, and there were various pseudo-polynesian themed designs around the pug.

Her friends were a collection of people that she and Jason had known since they were teenagers, as well as other people she’d met throughout the punk and goth scene throughout the years. It was nice to get together with them yearly, although there were one or two holdout assholes from ‘the good old days’ that she wished would fuck off entirely.

One guy liked playing painful practical jokes - which she’d been a victim of last year, and his politics had gone off the deep end years ago. She found his personality to be extremely abrasive and unpleasant. She had no idea why anybody was still friends with him. Most people just endured his bullshit - however the ‘he’s an asshole, but he’s our asshole’ argument wasn’t holding water with her anymore.

At least he wasn’t here this time, with his prick father. Maybe they’d disinvited them?

She could only hope.

Jason wandered off to put the hard cider he’d brought into one of the coolers by the back door and Callisto snapped a couple of pictures, sending them to Chris before heading over to a group of friends sitting around a table under an awning. It wasn’t uncomfortably hot out, but the sun was out, and she always darted into shade whenever she found it - otherwise she burned easily.

Her phone vibrated and she looked to see an image of Chris standing back against a giant Sequoia with his arms crossed, grinning back at her.

 

Cal: Holy shit, are you out at the at the Trail of 100 Giants?

C: None other. I love it out here.

 

Another image came through, a selfie with Chris and another guy she didn’t recognize. They were both camping it up for the camera. She laughed and sat down.

 

Cal: You are an immense dork. I love it. Who’s your friend?

C: My brother, Scott. I dragged him out here. Dodger’s going a little nuts. It’s been awhile since I last brought him here.

 

She let out a brief laugh, then looked up to see her friends grinning back at her.

“What?” she frowned, unable to keep from going back to smiling.

“Callisto Tierney, are you actually getting laid?” her friend Declan leaned towards her from the other side of the table, staring at her with wide eyes.

She blushed - actually fucking blushed - then gave him the finger.

“Feck off,” she muttered.

“Well as I live and breathe,” he murmured in that strong Irish accent of his, looking back at her in wonder, placing a hand to his chest. “I do believe our girl is finally growing up.”

He wiped away a mock tear before his boyfriend, Glenn, swatted him.

“Ignore him. I do.”

Glenn leaned forward and asked, “But since it was mentioned…?”

Callisto rolled her eyes and looked back at him. “I MIGHT… have met somebody.”

 

Cal: Oh shit. I’m in the hot seat now.

C: What’s going on?

Cal: I’m getting grilled. I’m apparently a little too giddy, and now people are asking me what’s going on.

C: Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

 

Before she could respond to his text, Declan sidled up beside her, trying to look over her shoulder.

“Is he cute?” he asked, fluttering his eyelashes as she glared over at him, trying not to laugh.

“No. He’s hideous - a shambling monster, really,” she explained, airily - turning away from him.

Another image of Chris, this one with him laughing as he was being assaulted with licks by Dodger, showed up on her phone. 

Declan stilled beside her and harshly whispered, “Get the fuck out of here. Is that who I think it is?”

“I don’t know. Who do you think it is?” she asked, mildly.

“Oh honey,” Declan murmured, his voice thick with envy. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I met him a few nights ago. I ran into him, actually. Nailed him in the balls accidentally,” she explained, feeling a little uncomfortable. She still felt a little bad about it.

Declan erupted in gales of laughter.

“Only you could crack Chris fucking Evans in the nuts and end up text buddies with him.”

Conversation at the table stopped and everybody looked over at her.

“She did what?” Glenn whispered, horrified.

“Our girl is apparently now text besties with Captain America,” Declan laughed in disbelief.

“What’s the big deal?” she asked, frowning. “He’s a genuinely nice guy.”

“Did she tell you that she didn’t know who the fuck he was when she first met him?” Jason stood behind her, handing her a bottle of mountain dew.

Callisto placed her head in her hand, letting out a groan.

“You’re joking, right?” 

Callisto looked up in time to see her friend Sandy, a girl with an upswept rockabilly hairdo, looking back over at her as if stricken.

Jason laughed and sat down at the table across from her. “See, if you’d come out to the movies with me, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Callisto leaned back, stomping the ground with a booted foot.

“You know me. I can’t sit still for more than ten minutes unless I’m reading a book.”

The last time she’d gone to a theater with him, her constant shifting in the seat made him crazy, and she hated being cooped up in dark rooms surrounded by strangers.

It was a whole thing. For the most part, that was. The only thing should could deal with watching were period romances and dramas - and Jason hated them.

“Oh my god, that’s hilarious. Calli, I love you, darlin’. Good on ya!”

Declan leaned in and gave her a tight hug and she just looked up into the sky and groaned.

Because her friends were awesome, they quickly stopped giving her a hard time about it and everybody fell into easy conversation, catching up.

Several times throughout the party, though, somebody would pull her to the side and she ended up giving them a brief rundown of the night she’d met him.

Nazli arrived as it was getting dark out and Callisto walked purposefully over to her, “YOU. ME. TALK. NOW.” she growled.

Nazli held her hands up and yelled, “Not the face! Look, I didn’t know he’d be such a choad. He was one of Mike’s friends. When I met him, he seemed nice enough.”

Callisto ground her teeth and let out a frustrated sigh. “Oh, he was a total douchebro. Maybe Mike should fuck him if he likes him so damned much.”

Nazli laughed as she reached over and grabbed a cookie.

“I’ll tell him you said so,” Nazlie sobered a little, then said, “I’m really sorry he was a dick.”

Callisto sighed and muttered, “It’s ok. But never again, ok?”

Nazlie held her hand up in a scout’s salute. “I do so solemnly swear.”

Eventually, she told Nazlie what had happened after her blind date ended and her friend cried out in a loud screech with an expression of disbelief.

“YOU are a dirty, filthy whore!” she yelled, laughing.

Callisto grinned and held a red solo cup of water up in a toasting gesture, “Well, you have the filthy part right.”

“How the fuck does that even happen? What was he in town for?” Nazlie asked, her expression eager.

“Shit, I don’t know. I never asked. It didn’t matter to me at the time,” Callisto explained. “He’s more than a little distracting.”

Nazlie shook her head and let out a cackle of laughter. “Are you going to see him again? Tell me you’re going to see him again.”

Callisto smiled and nodded. “We’ve… stayed in touch. Turns out he’s a really great guy. He’s a fucking unicorn , Naz. It’s stupid.”

Her friend sat back in her chair, letting out a long, slow breath.

“Hell of a way to break out of a four year dry spell, Calli. Holy fuck.” Nazlie fanned her face and chuckled.

“Right?” Callisto sighed, taking another sip of water.

The end of the month couldn’t come soon enough.

Chapter Text

That night Chris told her all about his day trip with his brother in the Sequoia National Forest, reminding her of her own visit there while she was driving around the country. She had never seen trees so large and grand in real life. Sure, she’d seen pictures, but standing directly before those aged arboreal wonders was just so… well, it had taken her breath away. Chris spoke about the trees with an almost dreamy, faraway expression. She found it terribly endearing.

“The Sequoias have a different sound and feel to them than the Redwoods up north,” she mused. “They’re all so majestic and almost overwhelming.”

“I know,” he breathed, gazing back at her with something that looked like wonder. “You know, I’ve known you for a little under a week and already I can’t remember what it was like not to be able to talk to you every night. Is that weird?”

Callisto smiled back at his image on the phone. “A pair of star-cross'd lovers…” she murmured softly.

Chris groaned. “Ugh. Anything but Romeo and Juliet.”

She laughed. “But yeah, I know what you mean. It’s not weird. I feel it too.”

He sighed, closing his eyes for a moment, then perked up. “Tell me about the party.”

“It was terrible. You would’ve hated it.”

“Liar.” he chuckled.

“Everybody was entirely too focused on the fact that I finally met a guy that I like. I mean, sure, it’s been a long time - but damn. Settle down, for fucksakes,” she groaned.

Chris frowned, then asked, “How long has it been for you?”

Callisto took a deep breath, then muttered, “About four years.”

Chris quickly shifted, looking intently back at her. “Wait. Since you’ve…?”

“That kiss we shared? That’s the first time anybody’s touched me like that in four years,” she explained, matter of factly. It wasn’t something she was ashamed of. There just hadn’t been anybody around that she had been interested in.

Chris was silent for a few beats, then opened his mouth, then closed it again, then asked, “Four years ?”

She chuckled then, grinning, “Yep. I haven’t dated anybody in almost ten.”

Chris seemed to be struggling with what to say in response. “How…?”

Callisto shrugged. “I’m not attracted to approximately ninety nine percent of the people I encounter. I mean, yeah, it gets lonely, but I’ve gone the ‘lonely desperation’ route before. It didn’t pan out well, so I just stopped bothering entirely.”

He blew out a sharp breath. “Well, shit - if most of the guys you run into act like that asshole from the night we met, I guess I can understand why.”

Callisto took a sip of water and explained, “It’s a regular social hazard. It’s one of the reasons I don’t wander away from the house much. Nazlie - my friend who set me up with the douchebro that night, had pleaded with me to go out and meet somebody. Her companion Mike recommended him. He’s a shit judge of character, apparently.”

“Fuck,” he ground out. “I’m really sorry you’ve had such bad experiences.”

His empathy warmed her heart.

“Meh. Apparently all I needed to do was clock this gorgeous movie star in the balls to meet an actual decent guy.”

Chris winced, but in good humor. “At some point, could we maybe stop bringing that up?” 

Callisto laughed and replied, “Oh god no. That shit’s going on my tombstone. ‘Here lies literal Ballbreaker Callisto Tierney - most break hearts, she cracked nuts’.”

He laughed loudly then, holding the phone so the camera panned up to the ceiling fan above him.

When she saw his face again she sighed. “I want you to be here, dammit.”

He held his hand against his chest, looking frustrated. “I do too. You have no idea. I’ll be there soon.”

She smiled, letting out a happy sigh. “You’re pretty awesome, you know that?”

He blushed and it made her a little giddy - that she could affect him like this.

“I love it when I make you blush,” she sighed.

“I have yet to see you blush,” he pointed out, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s rare, but it happens.”

“You’re gonna put me through my paces for it, aren’t you?” he asked, playfully.

“I hear you work out. I’m thinkin’ maybe you can handle it,” she gave him a sharp-toothed grin.

“It goes well enough in the dreams I’ve had about you...”

“Oh, the things I’ve done with you… and to you, in my head? They’d turn your hair white,” she purred.

There was a sharp intake of breath on his end and his eyes slid closed. “Are you trying to kill me?” he groaned.

“Now why would I want to do that?” she purred. “I need you whole - and your heart still beating for what I’m planning.”

His eyes flashed open and there was a familiar heat in them as he looked back at her.

“You are in so much trouble when I get out there,” he growled.

She trembled, feeling a rush zip up her spine at the sound of desire in his voice.

They’d played so close to the edge of this the last couple of nights, without actually sliding into anything overt or tawdry, conversationally speaking - dancing around their attraction without actually going past a certain line. It was all innuendo, but strongly intense. The subtlety of it completely turned her on.

“Trust me when I say you’d better bring your A game. I have a lot of missed sexual skirmishes to make up for,” she murmured, starting to growl a little herself.

He chuckled at that. “I’ll be sure to provide you with a target rich environment.”

She laughed. “I hear you kids have all the stamina and endurance nowadays, but it’s gonna get all Ninja Warrior up in here. You sure you’re up for it?”

“You realize I do a lot of my own stunts, right?” he chuckled. “Pretty sure I can keep up.”

Callisto frowned and shifted against her mattress, turning to the side and holding the phone facing her on the pillow beside her.

“Are you saying you want me to watch one of your movies? Is that what you’re saying?”

Chris rolled over as well, resting his head on his hand. “Do you want to watch one of my movies?”

They hadn’t really talked about this before. She hadn’t wanted to make him uncomfortable.

“I mean... could we watch one together maybe, while we’re on the phone together? Or would that be too weird?”

“It might be fun just to see your reactions.” he smiled back at her.

They had shared facetime previously while doing different things - talking with him while working on her sculptures and various other projects, giving him a brief video tour of the house and grounds and he’d returned the favor. She had previously remarked at how stark his decor was compared to hers, and Chris had responded with, “Well that’s because you have the house of a witch who lives in the woods.”

“Well, my bra is already off and I’m in bed, so tonight’s out of the question. Besides, I don’t have a TV. I’d have to watch it on my desktop.”

“Tomorrow, then. We can make a night of it.”

“Now what were we talking about before…?” she grinned wickedly.

He sighed and murmured, “I’m trying to figure out if this would be worse if we’d actually had more time that night. The waiting is killing me, but would the longing be any worse?”

Callisto laughed and said, “Hey, I may talk a good game, but I’m just as keyed up as you are. Besides, who knows? It could be awful. You could hate it.”

“Unpossible.” he replied, making her laugh again.

She remembered their previous kiss and shivered. “Yeah. I’m clearly just lying to myself on that point.”

“If it’s anything like what’s been happening in my head the last couple of nights…,” he murmured. “ Fahk .” he groaned and closed his eyes.

“You don’t think we’re just building this up in our heads into this sky high expectation that will be impossible to meet, do you?” she asked, already knowing the answer.

“When I kissed you that morning? It took everything I had in me to shut down my body’s reaction to you. I took an ice cold shower that morning. I get rock hard every time I talk to you, Calli. Every. Fucking. Time.”

He said it with such vehemence that it actually shook her. He hadn’t told her this before.

She was actually speechless.

He seemed to collect himself, then said, “Sorry…”

Callisto snapped at him, “Don’t you dare apologize for that. It’s the hottest thing anybody’s ever said to me.”

He relaxed, then took a deep breath. “Whatever this ends up being between us - wherever it goes, I’m open to it. I just wanted you to know that.”

She fell a little further for him, then.

“I absolutely feel the same,” she replied, her voice almost reverent.

He breathed what sounded like a sigh of relief.

“Ok. I’m definitely going to need to take another cold shower now,” he grumbled.

She chuckled and said, “I can talk you through it, if that’ll help.”

Good lord, the idea of hearing him climax? She was pretty sure it would melt her brain. She wanted it.

He stilled, then explained, “I’m pretty sure I want the first time we connect like that to be in person, rather than over the phone.”

“You really are the last romantic in the world, aren’t you?” she asked softly.

He blushed, then hid his face briefly in the pillow. “I’m not about the endpoint - I’m about the entire journey.”

Well wasn’t that just the sexiest fucking thing anybody had ever said to her?

Her dreams that night were so sensual and vivid it was almost overwhelming. When she’d gotten up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night she found herself stumbling a bit.

“I swear, that boy is gonna be the death of me,” she muttered as she stumbled back to bed.

Chapter Text

“So - wait, he’s actually coming to stay with you?” Jason sounded incredulous.

Callisto popped some salmon sashimi into her mouth and nodded, making a yummy sound. The chef was definitely on his game tonight.

“When?” He asked. He actually looked shocked.

“He’s coming out with his pupper at the end of the month. We’re going to hang out for a week before he has to get back into the swing of his professional commitments,” she explained, reaching for another piece of sashimi.

“I’m going to have to kill him, aren’t I?” Jason frowned, but she could tell he didn’t mean it.

“Yes, I’m afraid so. We’ll have to stack the body in the back shed with all the others.” she replied blandly, continuing to eat.

“So… you’re actually gonna fuck him this time, right ?” Jason asked casually, taking a sip of iced tea.

“That’s the plan.”

“Wow. This is actually happening,” he muttered in disbelief.

“Yep. Oh, hey - how’s mom doing?” she asked, taking a swig of her shirley temple.

“She’s fine. She’s actually feeling better now.”

“Oh good. I was worried there for a little bit. I”m really glad she’s doing better.”

“Stop changing the subject,” Jason snapped.

“I watched one of his movies,” she admitted, wincing as she waited for the yelling.

“WHAT? And you didn’t call me?” he cried out, indignant. “You don’t love me. I knew it. You’re a terrible person.”

“We watched it together. It was a whole thing,” she explained, popping a bit of sushi roll into her mouth.

“And? Which one did you watch?” he asked, frowning down at his phone. Somebody was calling him, but he shifted it to voicemail.

She finished chewing and explained, “Well, he mentioned something about doing his own stunts, which was prompted by me taunting him in a conversation about stamina, so we watched… Winter Soldier? The one where he’s running around kicking everybody’s ass? Boy’s got some moves, I’ll give him that.” She grinned.

“I hate you,” he grumbled. “So much hate.”

She laughed and said, “Yes. Feed me your delicious hate. The only thing more tasty is your tears.”

Jason mock cried, saying, “You’re a MONSTER.”

Callisto laughed at him and crowed, “Have you met me? Of course I’m a monster. It’s why you love me.”

“Am I going to get to meet him?”

“At some point. You know as The Best Friend you have to vet him. Want me to drag him to Date Night dinner while he’s here?”

“I guess…” he trailed off, starting to eat his ramen.

After a few bites, he looked up with narrowed eyes. “Is he going to freak out if I ogle his ass?”

Callisto chuckled. “I don’t think that would faze him - just don’t be a dick about it.”

“Ok. He can come to dinner then.”

Chapter Text

Callisto’s stomach had been jumpy all day, and her anxiety was off the charts as she stood in the baggage claim area. The meds helped - good god, she didn’t want to imagine how bad this would be if she wasn’t on medication. It was her one saving grace - the thing that had finally allowed her to live a full, joyous life. She found herself thinking back to the dark emotional storms she used to go through years ago and still remained supremely grateful that they didn’t come anywhere nearly as often or hit her as strongly as they used to.

The waiting was killing her.

Fuck, I didn’t think it would be this bad , she thought to herself, frustrated that she couldn’t ease down.

Her phone rang and her hands actually shook as she answered.

“Just landed.”

She let out an almost explosive breath. “Shit. This is really happening.”

Chris laughed, his tone gentle. “I’ll be down once they let us off the plane. Somebody said it was baggage claim 2.”

“Ok, I’m making my way there now.” Her voice actually cracked. “It’s stupid how nervous I am about this now.”

“I’m right there with you, sweetheart. Trust me. Deep breaths.” he murmured softly. “I’ll stay on as I make my way down - will that help?”

“Yeah.” she frowned as she made her way over to the baggage claim area marked 2. “Shit, I’m really sorry Dodger couldn’t visit too.”

The closer it had gotten to the travel date, the more Chris had stressed about his pupper freaking out on the plane, which she could completely understand. Flying was hugely stressful for larger dogs. She was really disappointed that she wasn’t going to meet his furry companion this time, though.

“I just couldn’t do that to him. If I bring him out, it’ll have to be a road trip. Maybe I’ll get an RV and we can take our time getting out here.”

“Oh, that sounds ideal. I haven’t been on a road trip in far too long. I should really look into going on one again at some point.”

“You should!” he replied, adding, “Maybe we can all hit the road at some point.”

Callisto laughed, “I don’t think all the goats will fit.”

He chuckled, “Smart ass.”

She took a few deep breaths and Chris softly said, “That’s it. I’m almost there.”

Callisto, nodded, seeing the first trickle of people coming her way.

“There you are.” he murmured, his tone warm.

She saw a hand go up briefly. The owner of the hand was wearing a blue ball cap with a big red B on it and he looked a little scruffy in weathered blue jeans and a blue zip up hoodie. Chris had also let his beard grow in a bit. When he met her eyes, her heart did a slow roll in her chest and she almost dropped the phone.

With a start, she quickly brought it back up to her ear. 

“‘Sup scruffy?” trying to sound nonchalant. Inside, she was an anxious mess.

He laughed and she couldn’t help ogling him as he walked towards her. Good lord, he was a beautiful man.

“How’s the view?” he asked, grinning.

She pulled out and held up a 3x5 index card with the letter 10 on it that she’d prepared beforehand, watching as he laughed and almost stumbled.

“Ho there, grace personified. That’s points off,” she replied through the phone.

She took out a sharpie and crossed out the 10 and marked it down to a 6, then held it up.

She heard him suck his breath in through his teeth. 

“Ooh, harsh. Can I make it up in the freestyle competition?”

She laughed as she disconnected the line and slid the phone into her pocket.

He bit his lip as he walked up to her, reaching out and pulling her into a tight hug.

Callisto wrapped her arms around him, holding on. It seemed impossible that he was actually here, in her arms. She breathed into his embrace, murmuring, “Can we just do this for five or ten minutes?”

Chris chuckled and she felt it resonate through his chest.

“We can do this as long as you want to.”

She snuggled into him a little tighter and she felt him rest his cheek against her head. He smelled amazing. A lot of her attraction was based in the scent of the people she encountered, and Chris’ scent was bringing up a stronger response in her than she thought it would. She’d forgotten how good he smelled. She took in a deep breath of him, relaxing. They stood together for a few minutes, just feeling each other breathe back and forth, until Callisto slowly pulled back.

She looked up at him, but before she could say anything, he bent down to kiss her, holding her chin up with a finger, his thumb gently brushing along her jawline.

Desire came up in a hot rush as his lips met hers, washing through her. She struggled to tamp it back down - otherwise she’d simply toss him on the baggage conveyor belt and have her way with him there, obscenity laws be damned.

She could feel him wrestling with it as well as their lips parted and they both struggled to catch their breath.

Chris pressed his forehead to hers and gritted out, “ Fahk . That might not have been the best idea on my part.”

Callisto laughed and said, “Need me to walk in front of you for awhile?”

Chris let out a soft growl, gently spinning her away to face the baggage claim luggage belt, pulling and holding her back against him.

“Shush, you,” he breathed into her ear as he wrapped strong arms around her, making her giggle. And shiver.

Callisto stood silently with him, reaching up to place a hand on his forearm, letting out a happy sigh. He moved to rub his the scruff of his beard against the stubble on the sides of her head and she shivered. He made a quiet sound of interest at this and held her a little tighter.

When his bag arrived, he gave her a gentle squeeze, then moved to retrieve it, quickly heading back to her. He then took her hand and they started walking out to the arrivals parking lot. Once they were inside the SUV, Callisto quickly started it, turning the air conditioning on. She jerked in startlement as AC/DC’s Thunderstruck echoed loudly out of the speakers and she moved to turn it down. 

Chris’ hand intercepted hers and he grinned back at her and said, “Leave it. Actually, turn it up. It’s perfect.”

Callisto laughed and cranked it and they started singing along as she pulled out of the parking spot.

 

--

 

Callisto turned the car off and sat staring straight ahead, feeling lost, now that they’d actually arrived at the house.

“Hey…” Chris reached out and gently brushed her cheek. She looked over at him, feeling as though she were drowning in emotion that she had no words for.

Now that they were in a position to actually do something about their immense attraction to each other, she was freezing up.

“C’mere,” he breathed, gently turning her head to face him.

She leaned over, pressing her forehead against his cheek and he moved to brush a thumb lightly against the stubble on the side of her head as she rested against him.

“You ok?” he asked, concerned.

Callisto nodded, taking a shaky, deep breath. “I just… fuck. I don’t have words…”

“Sweetheart, look at me,” he murmured softly.

She shifted to meet his gaze and was overwhelmed with another wash of feelings that were so strong, she had a difficult time managing them.

She managed to croak, “Please just kiss me. I don’t think I…”

Chris moved to brush his lips gently against her skin as he kissed her temple, then her cheek, before he moved to capture her mouth with his.

She’d never been kissed like this before - slow and sensuous, almost as though he was expressing how he wanted to touch her through the kiss. After a few minutes of this, she shifted over to straddle him, lowering the seat and moving to kiss him again as he gripped her ass, squeezing her and groaning as the kiss deepened.

Callisto shivered as his hips pressed up into her, feeling him thick and rigid beneath the fly of his jeans.

She then cried out as a sharp cramp developed in her thigh, grating out, “Charlie horse. Fuck. OW .” and pressing herself against the passenger side door, thrusting the leg out onto the driver’s side seat.

Chris moved to place a hand on her leg. “Where is it?”

Callisto took his hand and guided it to the cramp and he started to massage it. It took a minute before the muscle unlocked and she cried out, “Oh thank fuck.”

She sagged against the door, letting out a sigh of relief. “That sucked.”

Chris laughed and ran his hand up to rest on her hip. “Maybe we should try this inside?”

Callisto let out a short, sharp bark of laughter, grinning back at him. “That would make sense, wouldn’t it?”

She shifted off him and pulled her shirt down, blushing furiously.

“Ha!” Chris crowed, his eyes twinkling. “There it is! Sweet victory.”

Callisto shot him the finger and he laughed. 

“I really thought you’d make me work harder for it.”

She opened the driver’s side door, stepped out and smoothly replied, “Shut it, you.”

Chris laughed, opening his door and stepping out, moving to intercept her as she made her way to the front door. He grabbed her from behind, nuzzling just behind her ear and growling as he playfully nipped it.

Her legs almost went out from under her and she shivered against him, letting out an audible groan.

Chris let out a low chuckle and breathed in her ear, “Ooh, an erogenous zone. My favorite.”

Pleasure flooded through her as he nipped her again and she almost stumbled.

“We’re never going to make it inside if you keep that shit up,” she complained, albeit halfheartedly.

Callisto felt his hand slowly slide up her stomach and Chris let out a heavy sigh. “What? No sense of adventure?”

She let out a shaky laugh. “Why Mister Evans, I didn’t realize you had an exhibistionist streak.”

Chris released her, letting his hand slide down to her lower back before he leaned in and whispered, “Only for you, lover.”

He moved to take her hand in his and looked back at her, the very picture of innocence. He actually fucking fluttered his eyelashes.
“I am in SO much trouble,” she muttered, shaking her head.

Chris laughed as she opened the front door, stepping inside. He seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

“Wow.” he stopped in the foyer, looking around. “It really is a witch house in the woods.”

Callisto smiled and closed the door behind them. They had forgotten his luggage in the car, but to be fair, they had been pretty distracted. Now she watched as Chris knelt down to pet Nag and Nagaina, who had rushed up to him.

“Guys, this is my friend Chris. Be nice to him. We want him to stay around.”

Watching him with the cats, she felt a lump in her throat. It was a little hard to breathe for a moment, before she was able to relax. He was so very gentle with them and laughed softly as they batted at his fingers, then rolled onto their backs so they could play with him.

“They’re so soft.” he mused, looking up at her and grinning. “And the markings on their fur are gorgeous.”

“Well, you’ve passed that test, clearly.” she murmured as she crouched to join him, smiling back at him as the cats went back and forth between them.

She finally moved to sit and he joined her, letting the cats romp on them, and Callisto just watched it all with a silly grin.

“I don’t really bring people home all that much. They really like you.”

He looked over at her and blushed, then leaned in to kiss her. As their lips met, the cats meowed and he laughed, moving a hand to scritch Nagaina behind the ears.

“I take it they’re really protective?” he asked.

“Nah,” she replied, “just really needy. Little furry bastards,” she grumbled fondly as she stood up and moved into the kitchen.

“Let me get them fed, and then you can give me scritches and rubs.”

He chuckled and moved to stand beside her. “Is there anything I can help with?”

“Their bowls are in the cabinet to the right of the sink. I’ll get the cans.”

They moved around the kitchen in companionable silence, reaching out and briefly touching each other often. Whether it was out of reassurance or need, Callisto didn’t care. She had always been a very tactile person, and she was pleased that he seemed to be eager to touch her as she found it difficult to keep her hands off him in return.

When the cats started eating, Chris leaned into her, gently wrapping his arms around her.

“Oh my god, the sounds they make. It’s literally killing me.”

“Cute as fuck, right?”

He leaned down to murmur in her ear, “I’d ask for the grand tour, but if we’re not naked and trying to destroy each other in the next few minutes, I might actually die.”

Callisto let out a groan as he gently kissed, then nipped where her shoulder met her neck.

“Bedroom,” she grated out.

She pulled away from him, grabbing his hand and pulling him along. They stumbled into the bedroom and he pushed the door closed, pressing her back against it as he grabbed her hips.

Breathing heavily, Callisto pulled him down to kiss her and her synapses caught fire as they damn near devoured each other. They made quick work of their clothes, not caring where the scraps ended up after being tossed away, and Chris was suddenly on his knees before her, breathing heavily as he touched her hip and looked up at her, as if asking permission. His pupils were wide, and she could only see the barest hint of blue around them. It was the hottest thing she’d ever seen.

“God yes,” she purred.

Chris groaned, then dug his fingers into the skin at her hips before hitching one of her legs over a shoulder and dipping down to taste her.

Callisto shuddered against the door for the first few moments, then her hips bucked and she slammed a fist back against the door, crying out at the feel of him, the sight of him causing her breath to hitch. He stopped for a brief moment, looking back up at her with a concerned expression.
“Oh for fucksakes, don’t stop!” she yelled.

He laughed then and bent his head back to his task. Callisto, unable to help herself, cried out again. Fuck, had she always been this vocal? She couldn’t remember. She hoped she didn’t scare the cats.

He did something with his tongue then that literally scrambled her brains for a few brief moments, groaning between her legs as her cries gradually became louder.

She felt him lift her, holding her up and placing a hand on her stomach as she careened headlong into what felt like the most intense orgasm she’d ever had in her life.

Then everything went black for a brief moment as it crashed over her, carrying her far away.

Chapter Text

When she opened her eyes, she was lying on the bed. Chris was on his knees on the floor beside her, gently stroking her head and looking back at her with a great deal of concern.

“Fuck - are you ok?” he asked, his words rushed as he brushed a thumb against her cheek.

“Mah.” she croaked, trying to move when another jolt of pleasure shot through her, although not anywhere near as intense, thank god. She shivered and slurred, “Muh. Wurds. Mah.”

He laughed in relief, resting his head on the mattress beside her.

“Jesus, give a guy a little warning about that, ok?” he murmured, sliding his hand down to her stomach.

Callisto took a deep, shaky breath as another wave of pleasure rolled through her. It was slowly dying down, though.

“Oh my god,” she groaned. “Multiple orgasms are actually a thing ? Who knew?”

Chris’ expression was full of wonder as he softly asked, “Is that the first time you’ve…?”

Callisto tried to reach out to him, but her arms only flopped back down.

“You fucking broke me. You asshole .”

Chris howled with laughter then, giving her a quick kiss.

“It’s ok. I’ll help put you back together again,” he whispered.

“You better,” she grumped, then sighed.

“Do you need water? Anything?” he asked, stroking her cheek with his thumb.

“God yes. Just know I’m going to ogle the shit out of you as you go get it.”

He chuckled and turned as he stood up.

“There’s a glass on the counter.”

His ass was literally mesmerizing as he crossed the room. A goddamned national treasure. She let out a long, satisfied sigh, then shifted to a sitting position as he came back into the room with a full glass of water.

Jesus. The sight of him from the front just completely did her in. She might just die. It could happen.

“Hell of a way to go,” she muttered to herself as he reached over, handing the water to her as he moved to sit beside her.

“What’s that?” he asked, as he placed a hand on her thigh.

“I was trying to figure out which one of us has bigger tiddies.”

Chris laughed as she gulped down the water. 

“Pretty sure that’s you,” he replied, watching her closely. “You sure you’re ok?”

Callisto placed the glass on the bedside table, nodding, then taking a deep breath. “Yeah. That just completely caught me off guard.”

“I admit I panicked for a second there,” he admitted, sheepishly.

“Sorry if I scared you,” she breathed, reaching out to him.

He took her hand, kissing her knuckles briefly before resting it back against his chest.

“I’m guessing that doesn’t usually happen?”

“I’m clearly in uncharted waters here. Hell, I don’t even know what to expect at this point,” she explained. “That’s never happened before.”

Chris smiled down at her, then kissed her softly. “I’ll be gentle next time.”

“The fuck you will,” she growled. “I’m hardly a china cup.”

“There’s my girl,” he rumbled, pushing her back and settling his hips between her legs, his kisses rougher now. They nipped playfully at each other’s lips and Callisto bucked her hips up to urge him on. Chris shifted, sliding down to cup her breast, taking one of her nipples into his mouth. 

“I will cut you if you do not fuck me right now,” she grated.

“Not happening without a condom,” he chuckled and bit her nipple, causing her to cry out. “Besides, I think I want to go two for two with this whole multiple orgasm thing.”

“Side table. Top drawer.” she snapped.

“So bossy,” he gave her nipple a quick kiss, then leaned over to open the drawer. Inside were an array of very intriguing looking sex toys. He pulled out one that looked like a soft, pink raygun of some sort, holding it up for her inspection.

“Should we experiment with this instead?” he asked, grinning back at her.

Callisto narrowed her eyes at him and growled.

He deposited it on the table, then pulled out out a condom, shifting to quickly roll it on, then looked up to see her drumming her fingers on her stomach, her eyebrow crooked up. “Is the situation entirely to your satisfaction now, Mister Darcy?”

Without a word, Chris shifted position and slid into her in a single thrust, taking her breath away.

He stilled, looking down at her, his eyes wide and impossibly blue.

“Holy fuck,” he groaned as his eyes slid shut, his forehead dipping down to touch her shoulder. He shuddered as she shifted to bring her legs up around his waist.

Fahk , gimme a minute,” he muttered, trying to catch his breath.

Callisto placed a feather light kiss on his temple, purring, “Take as much time as you need, Cap’n.”

He let out a short bark of laughter, then muttered, “You’re such an asshole.”

She grinned and purred in his ear, “I’ve been wanting to hear what you sound like when you cum since I met you. Please , let me hear you Chris…”

With that, he lost all control. He rocked into her hard and fast then, not holding anything back. It didn’t take long before he was yelling out, his hips hitching against her, his fingers gripping the sheets at her head tightly. It was everything she’d hoped it would be; his cries were music to her ears and they sent shivers through her. Callisto wrapped her legs and arms tighter around him, as this beautiful man spilled his passion and power into her, his body shuddering with release.

After a few moments, he collapsed onto her, breathing heavily.

He trembled a few times and she gently stroked his hair as he struggled to get his breathing under control.

When he started breathing a little easier, he pushed himself up, looking down at her with wide eyed wonder.

“I… ah… didn’t crush you, did I?”

She smiled up at him and gently touched his cheek. “No. You didn’t crush me.”

He grinned back, then winced as he pulled out.

“I’ll be right back.”

He headed into the bathroom and she frowned as she heard the water running.

“What are you doing?”

Chris walked back to the bed, a wet washcloth in his hands. Callisto watched as he sat beside her, then gently pressed it between her legs. She groaned in response as the cold took out some of the sting the friction between them had caused.

“You said it’d been about four years. I figured you’d be a little chafed afterwards, so…”

He moved to kiss her and she pulled him down to her, trying to show him everything she felt that she couldn’t verbally express.

When their lips parted, she breathed, “My heart is too full for words.”

She felt a tear trickle out of her left eye and Chris gently swept it away with a thumb before he climbed over her and settled beside her, spooning her.

He trailed soft, feather light kisses along her shoulder and she felt him shiver a little.

Callisto moved to touch her hand to his arm, asking, “Still with me?”

“Yeah,” he whispered, “I’m not going anywhere. You’re where I want to be.”

Fully exhausted at this point, and thoroughly sated, Callisto closed her eyes and found herself drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

She woke to the sound of light snoring. She cracked an eye open to see Chris sprawled out beside her.

Thank god it’s a king-size bed , she thought to herself. He was a tall guy and took up a fair amount of room.

She shifted to get a better look at him and smiled. He had actually made it. He was here, in her house - in her bed, and things between them were as strong and intense as she thought they’d be. He’d been a sweet and considerate lover, with just the right mix of rough and growly. He really was a unicorn.

Her gaze wandered over his arms, shoulders and back, pleased to see that he was inked in places as well. That had surprised her. 

Chris lay on his stomach, his face turned towards her, his lower lip pooching out a little. When his eyes were closed his lashes looked so much longer. Asleep, he looked a great deal younger than he had earlier. 

She reached out and touched his shoulder, trailing her fingers softly across his skin, smiling when his eyes opened and he shifted in the bed beside her. He yawned, then turned towards her, reaching out for her.

Callisto scooted over to him and leaned her head against his chest as he wrapped an arm around her, pulling her in.

“It’s hard to believe I’m actually here with you,” he murmured softly, snuggling against her.

“Took you long enough,” she complained, then chuckled.

His body shook with quiet laughter, then he reached down and gave her ass a firm smack.

“Settle down, you.” he growled with a grin.

Callisto shivered against him, then pinched one of his nipples in half hearted retaliation. 

Chris pulled back to look over at her, wide awake now, a calculating expression on his face.

“Oh it’s like that, is it?”

She laughed, then let out a little yelp of surprise as he turned her over and swatted her again, gently rubbing and squeezing the spot he’d slapped.

Her eyes slid closed and she groaned as he leaned in and murmured, “Do you like it rough, Calli?”

Jesus fucking wept. The things that came out of this boy’s mouth. It was enough to give her a heart attack.

She felt him grow hard against her hip as he pressed his lips to that place behind her ears that made her legs go weak.

“Oh fuck .” she breathed, her voice shaky as Chris set his mouth and fingers to play along her skin, alternately tracing designs and pressing his palm into her as he tracked her reactions. He moved to gently nip her shoulder and she stiffened with another groan. 

“You’re so fucking responsive,” he breathed, “I love it.”

When he would find a place that brought out a pleasurable sigh in her, he would lightly kiss her there, then keep searching.

He slid his hand down to her lower back, then she felt a quick, sharp sting as he slapped her ass again. He gave her a moment to react to it, then continued touching her softly, letting his fingers play just at the edge of the insides of her thighs before moving down to graze a finger against her pubic hair, just barely.

She jerked and was rewarded with another sharp slap. He whispered against her ear, “I think you might like to be teased too.”

Callisto whimpered and pressed her hips into the bed.

“I’m gonna take that as a yes,” he murmured before gently rolling her over and meeting her eyes.

“I’m going to go down on you again, Calli. I need to taste you. I need to feel you shake apart on my tongue.”

Callisto blinked back at him, shocked that he was so good at this. Speechless, she simply nodded and he smiled.

“Lay back, sweetheart. Let me love you.”

Chris slowly kissed his way down her body with a thoroughness that drove her almost mad. When he finally reached his intended goal, he pressed his mouth to her, looking up and meeting her eyes before he slid two fingers inside her.

Callisto rocked her head back and groaned loudly as her hips pressed up to meet him. Who knew he was a fucking sex god?

With a speed that startled her, he brought her racing again to that bright shining point of overwhelming pleasure as it rose higher… higher ... and then wiped her out of existence for a few brief moments.

She opened her eyes to find him above her, smiling down at her, thoroughly pleased. Chris leaned in to kiss her and she reached for him, full of hunger. The taste and smell of herself on him was ridiculously arousing. When she felt him press against her, she almost cried out to tell him to get on with it.

He took his time, keeping a slow, languorous pace as he whispered such beautiful things to her it made her heart ache. 

She felt a familiar rush return as he quickened the pace, wanting to keep stride with her.

He shifted, rocking into her at a different angle now and Callisto shook as she felt her body getting ready to ride that edge again. The sounds of his labored breathing, his groans as he got closer cranked up her arousal and before long she was screaming out with another shaking release. He cried out above her, following her over. They both collapsed, covered in sweat.

It took a few minutes for them to catch their breath. When he could manage it, Chris rolled them over so he was beneath her and he grated out, “Oh my fahking gawd.”

Callisto, unable to do much of anything at that moment, simply groaned, keeping her head resting against his chest.

He laughed and wrapped strong arms around her for a few minutes. When his breathing became more steady, he gave her temple a quick kiss before gently rolling her to her back and going off to deal with the condom. He’d apparently had just enough time to slip it on while she had remained in the throes of her full body tremors.

Callisto flopped over onto her stomach and groaned again.

“Am I dead?” she asked, watching as he walked back over to the bed with a glass of water. “I feel dead.”

He laughed as he put the glass on the table beside the bed and helped her sit up, then handed her the glass. She took it gratefully and gulped it down.

She handed it back to him and he placed it back on the table, then picked up the pink vibrator from earlier and looked back at her as if to ask, “Wanna try it out?”

Callisto pressed a hand protectively between her legs and shook her head, her other hand out to fend him off.

“Fuck off. Are you trying to kill me?”

He chuckled and shrugged, placing it back on the table.

“Figured it was worth a try.”

Callisto stared back at him. “Maybe later.”

Chris gave her sad, puppy dog eyes and she snapped, “Ok, definitely later.”

He grinned and moved to lay beside her, hands behind his head, his expression one of pure satisfaction as he looked up at her.

“What?” she asked, shifting to lay across from him.

“I’m just… really happy,” he explained, reaching a hand out to her.

She took his hand and squeezed it, her heart stuttering in her chest.

“Me too.” she murmured, letting him pull her into his side so she could rest her head on his shoulder.

Callisto shifted uncomfortably beside him for a moment and he looked down as she pulled back and looked over at him.

“I’m not… used to this.”

He frowned. “Howso?”

Callisto let her fingers play with the hair on his chest, clearing her throat before explaining, “The intimacy. The cuddling and closeness afterwards. It’s... nice. I never really had anybody that…” she trailed off and shifted to look up at the ceiling and took a deep breath.

“So, most of my encounters with men have been very… singular. I would hook up with them, we’d fuck, and afterward they would immediately start moving around the room - whether it was looking for clothes, or finding something to eat. They felt like they wanted to escape. There was nothing like this. I mean sure, the women were cuddly, but the men? They literally came and went.”

She moved to turn away from him, feeling like shit for bringing it up right after having what could definitely be considered the best sex of her entire life. And right after he’d said how happy he was? She felt like an asshole.

“Shit - I didn’t mean to bring you down with this…”

Chris caught her shoulder and gently brought her back to face him.

“Hey, don’t do that. Don’t shut me out. Please.”

The sincerity in his eyes brought tears to her own. He moved to wipe one away as it trailed down her nose. “I’m not here just because I want to have sex with you. Ok?” he kissed her forehead. “I’m here for everything. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing with me.”

The tears continued to come and he pulled her into him, holding her tightly as she wept against his chest. She was mortified at first, but when he didn’t pull away - when he gripped her tighter, she let go and let the pain take her where it would.

Chapter Text

Her head was throbbing so much it hurt. She cracked an eye open and groaned. She had fallen asleep. The body at her back tensed, then she felt a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently.

“Welcome back, sweetheart. There’s some aspirin on the table and a glass of water. Do you want it now or later?”

She felt lips brush her shoulder and she croaked, “Now would be good.”

The bed dipped and she rolled over onto her back, looking up at the man who had let her wail like a banshee all over him.

Chris smiled back at her, then moved to help her sit up.

He handed her the water and aspirin, then went into the bathroom. Callisto tossed the pills into her mouth then knocked them back with the water as she heard the water running in the sink.

When he returned, he shifted so that she could lean back against him and he placed a cool, damp cloth gently to her eyes and forehead.

“Holy fuck,” she groaned. “I always get the worst headaches when I cry.”

Chris moved to wrap another arm around her waist, holding her gently. “Me too. Aspirin helps.”

Callisto sighed as the coolness of the cloth helped abate some of the pain.

“Thank you for this,” she murmured, her voice sounding small to her.

She felt Chris nuzzle the side of her head with his cheek.

“Thank you for trusting me with your pain,” he replied softly.

Callisto let out a heavy sigh, relaxing into him.

“Purgative tears are the worst,” she complained. “They just tear your guts open. You just slide through the razors and hope you arrive on the other side intact.”

Chris squeezed his arms gently around her, wrapping a little tighter around her.

“Yeah,” he muttered, “It’s always a gauntlet.”

Callisto took a shaky breath in, feeling a little more in control as she asked, “What time is it?”

Chris brushed soft lips against her shoulder. “I don’t see a clock, but I think our phones are on the floor somewhere. Want me to go find one of them?”

Callisto chuckled and said, “We really did make a bit of a mess, didn’t we?”

Chris chuckled and the feel of it thrummed through her.

She moved to hold the cloth against her forehead and eyes and leaned forward. “Might as well. How long have we been in here?”

Chris shifted out from behind her and she moved to lay back down, hearing him move around the room.

“Ah! It’s...7.”

He was back beside her a moment later, throwing a leg over her and placing his hand at her waist.

Callisto groaned. “Shit. I need to feed the murder beasts.”

Chris laughed and kissed her shoulder.

“I can do it. Where’s their food again?”

“Pantry, middle shelf. It’s where all the pet treats are.”

“I’ll be right back, give the aspirin time to take a chunk out of the headache, ok?” he whispered softly, lifting one of the corners of the cloth. She opened an eye to see him smiling down at her.

Callisto raised a hand to brush against his furry cheek. “You’re fucking amazing, you know that, right?”

He blushed and ducked his head for a moment, then looked back up at her.

“Pretty sure that’s my line, sweetheart.”

He gently placed the cloth back down as she closed her eyes and grinned, then shifted off the bed. She heard what sounded like him pulling on a pair of pants, then the door opened.

Nag and Nagaina were immediately up on the bed, meowing and rubbing against her hands and sides.

“Hey guys.” she groaned, “Yes, I missed you too. No, he didn’t murder me.”

They continued to meow and she heard Chris chuckle.

“Yes, mommy made lots of scary noises. I’m fine, really.”

Chris laughed as she heard him walk out of the room. The cats stayed with her, checking to make sure she was okay until they heard the familiar sounds of stirring in the kitchen, then they both leapt off the bed and rushed out of the room.

Fickle beasts.

She giggled as she heard Chris reassuring the cats that he was going to feed them, their eager meows making her smile.

This was all entirely new for her. She wasn’t at all sure how to handle it.

After a few minutes, she felt him crawl back onto the bed and lay beside her.

“They were very upset. I barely escaped with my life.”

She laughed as he kissed her shoulder and she removed the cloth from her forehead to look over at him. He was so beautiful it almost took her breath away, the way he looked back at her with such fondness in his eyes.

“I can see that,” she mocked, “Want me to kiss your boo-boos?” she asked, still smiling.

He blushed and darted in to give her a quick peck on the lips, before moving to rest his head on his hand as he slowly began tracing soft patterns on her stomach, over her hips, then her breasts.

“You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, watching his fingers as they dipped and swirled along the surface of her skin. “I can’t seem to keep my hands off you.”

It was her turn to blush now and she jerked a little as he hit a ticklish spot. He sighed and ran his fingers over it again and Callisto took his hand and held it away from the spot.

“I’m really ticklish, and I hate it,” she explained, bringing his fingers to her mouth and kissing them before continuing, “When I was little, I had an uncle who would tickle me in front of my parents way past the point where I couldn’t catch my breath. They never stopped him. This happened every time we visited.”

Chris frowned over at her, placing a soft kiss on her shoulder. “That sounds awful.”

Callisto nodded, adding, “When my dad started doing it, I found that a swift kick in the nuts made him stop. He didn’t do it again.”

Chris smiled at that, murmuring, “So, you come by it honestly then.”

Callisto sighed and moved to place his hand back on her stomach, before softly explaining, “It doesn’t always work. One guy almost broke my jaw after I cracked him. It was self defense, but he was one of those dicks who couldn’t take no for an answer.”

She felt Chris’ hand still as it reached her hip and he stiffened beside her.

“Jason and a couple other guys at the bar we were at took him out and beat the shit out of him. I’m okay,” she reassured him.

She touched his cheek and met his gaze.

“I’m okay,” she said again. “Nothing like that has happened for a long time.”

Chris relaxed a little, letting out an explosive breath.

“The idea of anybody putting their hands on you in anger…” he grated.

She let him ease down before saying, “I feel really safe with you. I can’t say that about many people.”

He looked back at her, his eyes awash with emotion.

“You have no idea what that means to me,” he replied softly. “It’s everything.”

The quaver in his voice had her reaching out to wrap an arm around him. He came to her, pulling her close and taking in shaky breaths.

They remained like that for a few minutes, just listening to each other breathe - the rhythm of their hearts beating, as she gently stroked his hair.

“I’m falling for you pretty hard, Chris,” she whispered into his hair.

He gripped her tighter, his breathing a little ragged as he released her then looked back at her.

“I knew I was gone on you when I kissed you at the airport,” he replied, his voice a little tight. “That was all it took.”

Callisto teared up, blinking them away and brushing one from the corner of her eye. It was too much to process, all this feeling. She certainly couldn’t effectively put it into words, so she settled for capturing his lips with hers, pouring everything she felt for him into it. He responded eagerly, but kept the pacing of the contact slow and sweet.

He showed her with his mouth, his hands, his body, how he felt, and it shook through her, feeding something in her that had been too hungry for so long. She could feel that place filling, the sharp edges of hunger and loneliness slowly being worn down.

Something in her eased - relaxed, and she trembled as she felt a tension that she didn’t even know she’d been carrying release within her.

Chris seemed to sense it as well and gently held her face in his hands as he gazed back at her, moisture gathering in his own eyes.

Callisto smiled and reached out to brush her thumb along his bearded cheek.

“I think you’re trying to remove the first few layers of skin on my face with this thing,” she grumped, still grinning.

He chuckled, bringing his hand up to press against hers.

“I was thinking of shaving it while I’m here. I think I’m giving you rug burns in other places.”

She laughed and kissed him again. 

“I think my headache is gone,” she murmured, pressing a hand to his chest as his expression became heated, “but before you get up to any ideas, I need to do evening farm chores.”

Chris sighed and rolled to lay on his back.

“Cockblocked by goats,” he muttered, chuckling.

“Only temporarily…” she replied, sitting up and wincing.

“Ooh, I’d forgotten about that,” she muttered, sucking in a sharp breath. She was sore in places that hadn’t seen action in a good long time.

Chris rolled towards her, frowning as she looked back at him. Callisto shakily made her way to her feet and explained, “Occupational hazard.” as she made a gesture in the general direction of her lower body.

“Ah!” he looked chagrined. “Sorry about that.”

She pointed a finger at him and said, “That is the last time you apologize about the after effects of literally fucking me until I can’t walk. Understood?”

Chris crisply saluted her and replied, “Aye, aye, ma’am.”

Callisto stumbled to the bathroom and handled her more pressing bodily needs before cleaning up and getting dressed. She was going to have to do some stretching before they started up again, or she would lock up and really be in pain.

Chris walked into the room with a small leather travel bag, heading towards the bathroom with it while scrubbing his scruffy beard.

“Give me a few minutes to take care of this and I’ll help you outside.”

Chapter Text

Callisto turned the stereo on as she walked into the living room, setting a William Orbit playlist and starting it. Keeping the volume low so it played in the background as Water From a Vine Leaf echoed out of the speakers.

The cats were sacked out on the Lovesac, curled up against each other, and she smiled as she heard the sound of an electric razor being started in the bathroom.

After a few minutes, Chris walked out of the bedroom, having donned a t-shirt and socks. Clean shaven, he looked much younger than he had before.

“Oh shit,” Callisto muttered as he walked up to her.

“What?”

He looked down, touching his stomach as if looking for a stain or something wrong with his clothing.

“I’m a fucking cradle robber,” she breathed, then laughed.

He shot her the finger. “I’m thirty eight. And you’re not that old,” he grunted, a smile playing at the edges of his lips.

He pulled her in for a kiss and she enjoyed the feel of his smooth skin against hers. The beard had been chafing her lips a little.

“Better?” he pulled back, keeping his hands at her hips.

“Marginally,” she joked, letting out a sharp cry as he swatted her ass.

“You like doing that entirely too much,” she groaned, her eyes narrowed.

He shrugged and scrubbed affectionately at the stubble on the side of her head with his fingers. 

“I wouldn’t do it if you didn’t make such delicious fucking noises.”

She shivered and he let out a low chuckle, giving her a knowing look.

“You think you have me all figured out, don’t you?” she challenged him.

He gave her a mild look, then slowly smiled. “I’m very diligent when it comes to digesting and processing new information. And I’m just getting started.”

Her eyes fluttered and he let out a little groan.

“C’mon troublemaker. Let’s bust these chores out before I decide to throw you over my shoulder and haul you back to bed.”

 

--

 

Watching Chris with the goats was delightful. They had all swarmed him and he’d just laughed as he moved to give each one of them scritches. Callisto had given him a tour of the grounds after, pleased at all the eager, respectful questions he’d had about the various altars and items for the various spirits and gods that she propitiated.

None of it seemed to faze him, which was reassuring. He was genuinely interested in all of it;  fascinated, even. As twilight came, they moved to lay beside each other on an outdoor couch/bed, holding hands and looking up at the sky.

“So - would you be up for dinner with me and Jason on tuesday night? Since he’s The Best Friend, he gets vetting privileges.”

Callisto looked over to see Chris shrug before he turned to her and replied, “Sure. From all the stories you’ve told me about him, I’m looking forward to meeting him.”

From out of the corner of her eye, she saw a tiny bright dot shoot across the sky and turned just in time to see another one.

“Oh shit, I forgot. It’s the Perseid meteor shower tonight!” 

Her stomach rumbled, and she suddenly remembered that she hadn’t really eaten anything since breakfast this morning. She squeezed his hand. “Hungry?”

“I could eat,” he grinned.

“How handy are you in the kitchen?” she asked, moving to sit up.

“Ah…” he began, and she chuckled.

“Can you cut stuff up?”

“That’s within my skillset, yes.”

“Good. You prep and I’ll cook.”

“What’s for dinner?” he asked, looking over at her, curious.

“Thai coconut curry chicken and Thom Ka Gai.”

“Coconut curry! You remembered,” he grinned over at her as they headed inside.

 

--

 

After dinner they lay back on the couch/bed, alternately watching the lightshow in the sky and engaging in various sexual skirmishes beneath the stars for the remainder of the night.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Callisto groaned as the strains of Nazi Punks Fuck Off echoed out through her phone speaker.

She quickly slapped her hand on the phone on the bedside table, answering the call.

“WHAT? Why are you calling me so fucking early? Jesus.” she complained.

Wait - when had they moved back inside? She was a little disoriented to find them both back in her bed.

“So, has your vagina fallen out yet?”

Chris shifted in the bed beside her and Callisto snapped, “No. My vagina hasn’t fallen out yet.”

Chris began coughing beside her. It sounded as if he was trying to hide laughter.

“No more cobwebs though, eh?”

Callisto took a long slow breath, then muttered, “Yes. The vaginal cobwebs have been effectively destroyed.”

“THANK GOD.” Jason grumbled. “Ok. I just called to make sure he didn’t murder you in your sleep. Oh, and to MAKE SURE YOU ACTUALLY FUCKED HIM this time.”

Chris was now facing away from her, holding his hands to his stomach and laughing.

“Go chase your own dick,” Callisto grated.

“Speaking of...,” Jason prompted, “So… is it huge?”

“Is what huge?” Callisto replied, shaking her head and holding her hand to her forehead. She was going to kill him.

“HIS DICK, stupid.”

“It’s like the goddamned Goodyear blimp, it’s so big. You wouldn’t believe it. I honestly don’t know how he gets pants on in the morning.”

Chris was howling with laughter now.

“Is that him now?” Jason asked.

“Yes. Apparently we’re hilarious.”

“Just make sure he’s in one piece for dinner so I can check out his ass. He IS coming for dinner, right?”

Callisto looked over to see him looking back at her, tears of laughter in his eyes.

“I think we might have broken him - but yes, we should be there for dinner.”

“OK. Bye smelly. Have fun fucking the blimp.”

Jason disconnected and when Callisto moved to put the phone down, Chris choked out, “Are you guys usually like that?”

She looked over at him with a sour expression. “Oh, that? Yeah - that’s training wheels. It’s so much worse in person.”

Chris continued to laugh and scooted over to her as she lay back down beside him.

“Well, you did say it was going to be a hell of a ride. You don’t disappoint.”

Chapter Text

Over the next few days, in between bouts of various vigorous bedtime activities, they actually managed to keep her menagerie of animals fed - as well as themselves, to Callisto’s surprise. The wanting didn’t really seem to be tapering off, but some of the desperate edge on her part was relaxing, thank fuck. She and Chris had eased into being around each other without it always immediately becoming sexual, which was reassuring. Granted, she had already known that they could get on together, without sex being involved - but now that it was, it was healthy that they were now interspersing it with other activities. Chris would either catch up on his own work, watch as she worked on her art, or he would curl up in the Lovesac with the cats while giving her time to get her much needed art time in.

Chris had also come clean with this love for all things Disney, and she had found his earnest, pure delight endearing. 

Callisto curled up against him on the couch as the credits rolled on her laptop screen. He’d gotten her to actually sit with him to watch Lady and the Tramp, which - she had to admit, she had really liked.

She shifted gently against him and placed a hand on his thigh.

“I’ve been meaning to ask… what’s a nice, normal looking guy like you doing with an arty punk flame dame like me?”

He chuckled and wrapped his arms around her.

“Honestly? I’ve always kinda had a thing for colorful, weird arty girls… they just never really looked at me as a serious possibility.”

She snuggled back against him.

“Was it the Jock thing?”

“Actually, I was kind of a theater nerd.”

Callisto grinned. “No shit?”

“No shit.”

He sighed and continued, “It doesn’t help that, in this industry, your ‘image’ tends to be paramount. A lot of fans get really caught up in who they think you are, and a lot of that tends to be tailored for the press. It gets a little hairy when what could be considered a regular social fuckup for an ordinary person gets blown entirely out of proportion and control by the press. The real world consequences for that shit get ugly real quick.”

Yikes , Callisto thought to herself.

“That sounds completely awful.”

Chris nodded and added, “It’s the almost entire loss of privacy that is the real frustration, though. There are very few places I can go out in public safely, without being recognized.”

Callisto considered this. “Oh shit. Are you sure you want to go out to dinner with me to meet Jason tomorrow night?”

Chris shifted so that she could face him.

“This is something we should talk about anyway, now that I think about it.”

Callisto nodded, frowning a little.

Chris smoothed out her brow, smiling. “You’re adorable when you furrow your brow.”

She gently smacked his arm, letting out a sigh and smiling herself now.

“Being with me comes with some… social compromises. It’s not anything I have any control over…” he began, looking a little uncomfortable. “Will you be comfortable if pictures of us together end up in magazines, along with fairly pointed and possibly unfortunate and unflattering speculation? It’s bound to happen at some point.”

Callisto shrugged and replied, “Honestly? I don’t give a shit about what anybody has to say about us, as long as the lines of communication between us stay open. As long as we stay talking and we know where we stand with each other.”

Chris captured her hand with his and kissed her knuckles lightly. “Deal.”

 

--

 

“I thought you’d be taller.”

Callisto sighed and hung her head as they walked up to the table where Jason sat at the back of the restaurant.

“Really? That’s your opener? Everybody is shorter than you are,” Callisto grumbled.

Chris chuckled beside her, sliding into the booth. “So you’re The Best Friend. I clearly have my work cut out for me.”

Callisto slid in beside him and drilled holes in Jason with her eyes.

“Play nice,” she growled.

“What?” he cried, throwing his hands apart dramatically. “I’m just sitting here, waiting for you . You’re late.”

“Fuck off.” she grated, smiling sweetly back at him.

Chris just looked over at the pair of them, grinning.

Jason looked over at Callisto and asked, “So. The hooha still intact? Didn’t fall out? I mean, you’ve had some time since we last talked. I figured…”

“I could always drop trou and you could see for yourself,” Callisto snapped back.

“GROSS.” Jason lamented, eyes rolling towards the ceiling.

“Here - under the table - gimme your hand. It’s so blown out it’s like a windsock at a used car lot. You can work it like a puppet and everything.”

At this, Chris coughed to try to cover his laughter.

“Ha. Ha.” Jason commented, looking over at Chris. “I don’t think he’s going to last through the meal.”

“I tried to ramp him up - give him the social training wheels he’d need for this. I think I failed.”

Callisto grinned over at Chris, who was doing his best to get himself under control.

“You still with us?” she asked.

Chris nodded, still smiling as the server came to the table. He took their drink order, then Jason explained, “I already put in an order for edamame and dumplings.”

Callisto nodded, then started filling out the paper sushi menu.

“So.” Jason eyed Chris, looking him over before looking back over at Callisto. “I guess he’ll do.”

“Good,” she replied, not looking up from the menu. “‘Cause he’s knockin’ the bottom out in fine fashion. I don’t think I could give him up at this point.”

Chris laughed and Jason muttered, “I hate you.”

“I hate you too, Rear Admiral Poopypants,” Callisto cooed as she finished marking her selections in pencil.

“You sure he’s not too pretty?” Jason asked.

Callisto looked over at Chris with a playful, critical eye. “Yeah. But the serious deep dicking makes up for the fact that he’s gorgeous and looks normal.”

“Jesus,” Chris muttered, shaking his head and blushing.

Callisto decided to give him a break and leaned into him. “Want me dial it back a little?”

Chris just chuckled. “I’m just not used to this. I mean, I have brothers and sisters, but holy fuck.”

She took his hand, threading her fingers through his.

“You’re both disgusting. I’m so disappointed,” Jason groaned, halfheartedly.

 

--

 

Dinner went smoothly after that, although there were a few hitches - like where they had said something that actually made Chris do a minor spit-take. Callisto and Jason had both roared with laughter, giving each other high fives over the table before looking over to Chris to see if he was ok. He’d started coughing, but it was mostly due to laughter.

Afterwards, once they stopped at the parking garage, Jason pulled Callisto into a hug.

“Shit. He’s a keeper.”

Callisto grinned, squeezing him tightly. “I know, right?”

Jason then extended a hand to Chris, shaking it firmly. “Treat her right or I’ll…”

JASON .” Callisto growled.

He dropped Chris’ hand, then sighed. “It was cool meeting you, I guess.”

Chris smiled and pulled Callisto to his side, wrapping an arm around her waist.

“I’m really glad she has you as a friend, Jason. You’re a solid guy.”

Jason actually smiled back. “Yeah, you’re not so bad yourself. Not many straight guys would let me openly ogle their ass like that.”

Chris began to turn away from him, “Need another look? I mean, for posterity’s sake.”

Jason sighed heavily, then looked over at Callisto. 

“Just so you know, I fucking hate you.”

Chapter Text

Callisto broke down in shaky tears after getting back in her SUV after dropping him off at the airport. For years, she’d been doing fairly well, being single with no prospects - but now? Her heart hadn’t felt loss this strongly in a while. It sucked pretty hard.

It’s not as if I’m never going to see or talk to him again. Shit, I need to get it together.

Still - the separation had been… rough. She had seen it in his eyes as well, before he’d hugged her and headed off to go through security. She had never really considered a long distance relationship before - and honestly, it wasn’t as if this was back in the 1980’s, when all you had to stay in touch was a land line.

Surely technology would help bridge the gap - wouldn’t it? Besides, she really did need to take a rest. Their last day together was spent mostly in bed, and time to recover was a good thing.

Billie Holiday’s Lover Man echoed out from her pocket and she pulled her phone out.

“I made it to the gate. You okay?”

Callisto let out a shaky breath. “Yeah. This is just a little harder than I thought it would be.”

She heard him take a deep breath and blow it out. “Yeah. I’m sorry about that.”

She wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about, A rúnsearc .”

There was a pause on the phone, then Chris asked, “uh roonshark?”

Callisto chuckled, then explained, “It’s an Irish term of endearment - it’s a really heartfelt way of saying ‘beloved’. I don’t feel right calling you baby or sweetie, or anything like that. A rúnsearc pretty much covers how I feel about you.”

There was another pause, and his voice softened a little, “I like it.”

“Good, ‘cause you’re stuck with it now,” she laughed, feeling a little better.

“What are you doing for Halloween?” he asked.

She blinked at the question that seemed to have come out of nowhere. “I’m flying out to Edinburgh Scotland for the Samhuinn Fire Festival this year.”

“What’s that?”

Callisto brightened and started smiling now as she explained, “The city essentially comes alive with otherworldly creatures - lots of people dress up in colorful, scary outfits and perform street shows. It's kind of a dramatic standoff between the Summer and Winter Kings, as one is forced to make way for the other. I've wanted to go for awhile now, and I figured this is the year I make it happen. It helps that Edinburgh is also one of my favorite cities.”

“Wow. That sounds fantastic,” Chris murmured.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Callisto admitted, then blurted out, “Wanna go with?”

“Actually, yeah. I’d really like that.” Chris sounded excited too, now.

“It’s a date,” Callisto nodded, feeling much better now.

“Shit, I have a call coming in - you going to be okay?” he asked.

“Yeah. I’m good. I’ll talk to you later, A rúnsearc .”

Her heart felt a little lighter as she turned the engine over and Soch Na Sake echoed out of the speakers.

“I can do this,” she muttered, pulling out of the parking space and starting back home.

 

--

 

As the first few days passed, the feeling of loss eased, which was reassuring. Getting back into a normal schedule helped settle and focus her. She and Chris still talked every night, which helped. After the first week, they had decided to start engaging in an ‘experiment’ to see how phone sex worked out between them. To the surprise of neither of them, it was a rousing success.

A full month had passed before Chris asked, “How would you feel about being my date for a movie premier a week from now?”

Callisto stilled, a little thrown. “Uh… what would that entail?”

Chris explained that he wanted to support one of his friends who had a new movie coming out. She would be fitted for an outfit, which she only agreed to if she could wear her battered black tanker boots beneath it. No fucking heels , she’d growled. Anything higher than an inch and I’ll break an ankle.

She was definitely eager to see him again, but the idea of being in front of so many cameras and nosy people rubbed her the wrong way.

Still - it was bound to happen sooner or later. She supposed it was best to rip the band-aid off entirely with one pull.

“How soon would I need to fly out?” she asked.

“Would this friday be too soon? I kinda wanted to spend a few days with you beforehand.”

Callisto frowned as she figured out who she might be able to press into farm service while she was out of town. 

“I think I can make that happen,” she replied. “I’ll buy the tickets today.”

“Sweetheart, I’m inviting you - the least I can do is take care of your travel arrangements,” he murmured.

Callisto thought about that for a moment. When was the last time she had actually dated somebody that could afford to pay their own way, much less hers? In all her other relationships, she’d been the primary moneymaker.

“Please let me do this for you?” Chris asked softly.

Callisto chuckled. “You drive a hard bargain, Mister Darcy.”

Chris laughed, then said, “My assistant, who is admittedly much better at sorting this stuff out than I am, will email you flight details.”

“Okay. Sounds good.”

A silence stretched out between them before Chris blurted out, “I told my mom about you.”

Callisto’s throat clicked shut. She quickly recovered and replied, “Was she properly horrified?”

“She wants to meet you. Everybody does,” he explained.

“You know I’m not exactly rated PG, right?” she asked, her voice quiet.

“I explained that to her. She understands. I don’t expect you to tone yourself down for anybody.”

Callisto chuckled and muttered, “I’m not a total Philistine. I’ll keep any talk about your dick to a minimum and I’ll try not to show off my tits so much.”

He laughed, then took a deep breath in, letting it out. “I just wanted you to know.”

Callisto sighed, then said, “I wish they’d gotten to meet you - my parents. My mom would’ve loved you.”

“From what you’ve told me about her, she sounds like she was pretty damned awesome.”

He paused, then murmured, “I love you, Callisto.”

Her heart raced. It was the first time he’d said it and emotion swelled in her, bringing up tears.

Her voice cracked a little as she replied. “I love you too, Chris.”

“You okay?” he asked, sounding concerned.

“My heart is too full for words,” she whispered, blinking back tears.

“I didn’t mean for the first time I said it to be over the phone…” he started.

Callisto smiled as she wiped a tear away. “Words sometimes just pop out when you’re not ready for them to come out.”

Chris sighed, then explained, “Oh, I’ve been ready to say it. I just… I wanted to be able to hold you afterward.”

Callisto shivered, then replied, “I’ll be there soon enough, A rúnsearc .”

 

-- 

 

Callisto had felt a little guilty about flying first class. Although she had the money to do so, she rarely took advantage of it - unless it was for a flight that was going to be over ten hours in the air.

“I see the guy now,” she said, spotting a man in a limousine driver’s outfit holding up a sign that said CALLISTO TIERNEY.

She walked up to him and he nodded, “Ms. Tierney?”

“That would be me,” she replied smoothly, presenting him with a grin.

“I’m Jackson. Can I help you with anything?” The man was very polite.

“Nice to meet you, Jackson. This is all I’ve got. I’m good. Thanks, though.”

She hadn’t really packed much, and what she had fitted easily into her carry-on.

“This way, please, ma’am.”

Callisto smiled as she moved to follow him. “I ain’t ever been a ma’am, Jackson.”

“Yes ma’am.” Jackson replied.

Callisto chuckled as they made their way outside to a well appointed black limousine. Jackson held out a hand and she looked over at him. It took a moment to register before she said, “Oh.” and handed him her bag. Jackson then reached over to open the door and Callisto crouched down and spotted Chris inside smiling back at her. She grinned and moved to sit beside him as Jackson closed the door.

He’d explained earlier that meeting her inside LAX would likely have created a hassle that neither of them wanted to deal with, so she had agreed to meet him out here.

Before she could say anything, the nervous tension between them snapped and they both reached for each other. They groped at each other with frantic, hurried movements before Callisto pulled away for a moment to catch her breath.

“Holy fuck,” she whispered.

Chris laughed, gripping at her hips as she moved to straddle him, but he suddenly went still as he realized something.

“Tell me you didn’t.” His voice was hoarse as his fingers flexed against her.

Callisto grinned then, feigning innocence. “Didn’t what?”

“Tell me you didn’t just ‘go commando’ for the entire trip here.”

He was breathing heavier now.

“What can I say? Sometimes a girl just needs to feel the breeze in public. The skirt does go down to my knees…,” she explained.

Chris groaned and captured her lips with his, pulling her skirt up around her hips and rocking up against her. After a few moments of activity that reminded her entirely too much of what she had engaged in with school crushes - back when ‘dry humping’ was ‘the thing’, Callisto quickly moved to kneel before him to free him from the confines of his pants.

She then met his eyes as she wrapped her fingers around him, slowly squeezing and pumping once… twice, her own desire rising as she watched his eyes become heavy lidded with pleasure. As she moved to take him in her mouth, he croaked, “God no. I won’t last if you do that now. Please…”

She moved to straddle him, slowly sliding along his length a few times before he entered her with a groan.

This was the first time they hadn’t used a condom together, and somehow the feeling was so much more intense for her this way. Chris shivered and Callisto stilled against him, letting him ease into it at his own pace. If the intensity of this was shaking her this hard, it was likely overwhelming him. He looked up at her, his breathing heavy and a little shaky.

“I fucking love you,” Chris murmured softly.

Callisto moved to plant soft butterfly kisses against his lips, her own voice surprising her with its husky tone as she leaned in to whisper, “I love you too, A rúnsearc .”

They began moving against one another then, starting slow, but the pace quickly became demanding and almost punishing, and after a few minutes Callisto held him tightly as he shuddered against her in release, crying out her name against her shoulder.

She murmured soft, sweet words to him as he slowly got his breathing back under control.

His head rocked back against the seat and he croaked, “ FAHK . Oh my gawd I missed you.”

He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly.

Callisto chuckled and Chris groaned, still inside her as he shivered. “Oh fuck, don’t do that...”

She nuzzled against him with a happy sigh. “Sorry.”

After a few minutes, they parted and he moved to clean them both up.

“The only downside of not using a condom,” he murmured, blushing a little.

As she shifted her skirt down and sat up, she asked, “Are you okay that we didn’t use one this time? I know we’d been talking about possibly going off using them, but…”

They had both gotten tested, were clean, and well before he came out to visit her, Callisto had explained that she was unable to have kids, so they didn’t need to worry about unintended pregnancy. It had been a bit of a blow to him, initially - as he explained that he dearly wanted kids. This just wasn’t something she could give him, and - honestly, she had never wanted them herself.

Chris zipped himself up, moving to take her hand and kissing her palm before moving to sit beside her. 

“I figure as long as I’m the only sexual partner you have, then I’m good with it.”
Callisto snuggled against him and sighed.

“Don’t think I didn’t notice that you didn’t climax...” he murmured.

She rolled her eyes and chuckled. “This isn’t a trading situation - orgasm for orgasm. Sometimes it’s nice to just watch you lose yourself entirely and be present for it. It’s hot as fuck, honestly.”

He gave her a squeeze, then kissed her forehead as she looked up at him.

“Anything else on the agenda today?” she asked.

“Seb wants to meet you.” Chris threaded his fingers through hers.

“What, today?”

“If you’re up for it. If not, I’ll guess I’ll just have to torment you with multiple orgasms late into the night.”

Callisto laughed, sliding down to rest her head in his lap, looking up at him.

“Why not both?”

Chapter Text

She and Chris approached a table with a very handsome man with dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes. He broke into a smile and his entire face changed - it completely lit up and he went from handsome to gorgeous. The man’s grin was a little mischievous as he waggled his eyebrows at them.

Callisto looked over to see Chris dropping his head and shaking it.

“That him?” she asked.

“Oh yeah. That’s him,” Chris responded, looking back up.

“How hard can I go on him?”

Chris chuckled and slid his hands into his pockets. “The sky’s the limit, sweetheart.”

As they walked up, Chris moved to pull a chair out for her and she smiled up at him. “My Paladin,” she murmured softly.

Chris grinned, blushing as he moved to sit beside her.

She looked over to see Chris’ friend peering back at her, looking back and forth between the two of them.

“You look like you’re trying to figure out which one of us ends up on top.” she asked, casually.

Chris chuckled and Sebastian laughed outright before leaning forward and asking, “So, which is it?”

Callisto shifted in the chair and presented him with a wicked grin. “He wears the saddle, most nights. It’s when I put on the Godzilla suit and ask him to dress like Tokyo that he ends up on top.”

With that, both men started laughing and she looked around, trying to find a server. “Who do I have to blow to get a drink in this town?”

When she looked back, Sebastian was looking at her with a look of admiration.

At this point, Chris spoke up. “Callisto, this is Sebastian. Seb - Callisto.”

Sebastian sighed, then grinned. “It’s an actual pleasure to meet you, Callisto. Our boy won’t shut up about you.”

Callisto watched as Seb looked over at Chris, his expression growing fond - but there was an echo of something else there.

Isn’t that interesting… she thought to herself as she felt a tension between the two men.

Chris grinned back at his friend, then looked over at her, his smile softening.

Feeling a flutter in her chest, she gave him a slow smile in return.

Their server walked up and took their drink order, then headed off towards another table. 

Sebastian leaned back into his seat, sighed and said, “You realize he’s completely gone on you, right?”

At this, Callisto laughed and nodded. “Oh yeah. I’m clear on that. Fortunately, I’m gone on him as well.”

She reached over and took Chris’ hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze.

Sebastian and Chris briefly talked about some of the details about the premier and Callisto just smiled as she watched them interact, entirely at ease with each other. They both seemed to relax a little as they talked, checking in with her with their eyes to make her feel as though they weren’t excluding her. She found it very sweet and considerate.

During the meal, they started sharing embarrassing set stories, which had her howling with laughter.

“Aren’t you a tricksy pair?” She asked, laughing. “Little fucking troublemakers.”

Sebastian laughed and replied, “He always starts it.”

Chris looked back at her with mock affront. “The fuck I do! The things I could tell you about this asshole…”

“LIES! All lies.” Sebastian crowed, still laughing.

They’d all had a bit to drink and were getting giggly. 

Sebastian sobered and looked directly at her. 

“Fuck if you didn’t tell the gods honest truth about her, though,” Sebastian murmured with a sigh, looking back at her with an odd expression.

“Seb…” Chris warned.

“You’re everything he said you were. I didn’t believe it.” Sebastian shifted in his seat, eying her. “You meet a lot of people in this industry who are always looking for an angle. I don’t see that in you, though. You’re good for him, I think,” he finished, softly.

Surprised by the amount of emotion in his words, Callisto quietly replied, “Thank you, Sebastian. I’m really glad he has you watching his back.”

“Please… call me Seb,” he smiled.

She grinned back at him, nodding. “Seb it is, then.”

“Although, if we’re really going to bond…” Sebastian looked over to Chris, who growled, “ SEB .”

at the same time Sebastian nodded and grinned, pointing at them both and saying, “KARAOKE.”

Callisto looked over to see Chris glare back at his friend. “I’m going to kill you. They’ll never find the body.”

“Hey, I’m down. I can’t really sing, but why not?” she shrugged.

Sebastian laughed and said, “We’re gonna need to find a place that has the entire Disney catalog, though.”

Chris sighed and said, “CHECK, PLEASE.”

 

--

 

Callisto already knew that Chris had a good singing voice - however, it turned out that the more he drank, the better he sounded. The better they both sounded, actually.

However - when both Chris and Sebastian ended up serenading her to a song called ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, she was both touched and highly embarrassed. She also couldn’t stop laughing. Still - as long as the pair of them were handing the mic back and forth, she wasn’t pressured to actually sing, which was reassuring.

Until they finally handed it to her, that is.

“Oh no. You do NOT want to hear me sing,” Callisto backed away from the pair who were advancing on her, grinning.

Chris pouted and fluttered his eyelashes. “Pleeeeease?”

Callisto rolled her eyes and grabbed the mic. “It’s your funeral.”

She went through the digital catalog and selected the one thing she thought she could actually get through without sounding too awful.

A growling guitar echoed through the speakers and she started singing, “Can't stay at home, can't stay at school. - Old folks say 'You poor little fool'. - Down the streets I'm the girl next door. - I'm the fox you've been waiting for. Hello, daddy. Hello, mom. - I'm your ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb! - Hello world! I'm your wild girl. - I'm your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!

Both Chris and Sebastian stared back at her, jaws dropped, as she growled the lyrics out at them, really selling it now as she started getting into it.

By the end of the song, both of them were cheering her on, grinning. Chris was looking at her as though this was the first time he’d really seen her.

The booth fell silent and they both yelled, “Another one! Another one!”

Callisto laughed and shrugged. Fuck it - why not?

As she belted her way through The Runaways’ California Paradise, she started grinding and jumping around as she got into the song. Both boys just watched her, heads bobbing as they grinned. Chris was biting his lip, and she could see a familiar heat in his eyes.

As the song ended, Chris spoke first.

“Who the fuck told you that you couldn’t sing?” he muttered.

Callisto looked back at him, skeptical until Sebastian added, “Yeah. That was completely fantastic, pisică . Holy shit.”

Chris looked over at Sebastian in surprise. “You’ve given her a nickname already?”

Sebastian smiled back at him, shrugging. “She’s like a little sexy, angry cat, singing like that.”

Callisto stared back at them.

Chris suddenly stood up and pulled her into a kiss and Callisto, forgetting where they were for a brief moment, fell into it, into him and all the desire he radiated, echoing it back to him.

“That’s the hottest fucking thing I’ve ever seen,” he growled.

Sebastian coughed and they both stopped, turning to look over at him.

“Ah, sorry…,” she mumbled, a little self conscious, stumbling as she stepped away from Chris and smoothed down her shirt.

Callisto looked up to see the two of them looking at each other as if in silent conversation. The tension ratcheted up in the room for a few brief moments, then Sebastian stood and said, “I should get going…”

“Fuck, things aren’t going to be weird now, are they?” She asked, starting to get a pretty good idea of what was going on now.

Both men blinked and looked over at her, but stayed silent.

Callisto silently held a hand out to each of them, shaking a little, hoping she was reading the situation correctly. Chris and Sebastian looked at each other, then over at her before reaching out to take her offered hands.

She took a shaky breath and pulled them both a little closer as she looked up at Chris who was breathing a little quicker now. His dilated pupils told her all she needed to know.

“We should establish some ground rules,” she murmured softly. “The first being, where we’re going to go to see how this all works out between us.”

Chris kept his expression carefully neutral as he asked, “Are you sure?”

Callisto smiled back at him, nodding. “As long as you’re comfortable with it, oh yes.”

Chris spoke, his voice low and almost guttural. “My place.”

Callisto nodded, feeling a little weak in the knees as she looked over at Sebastian, who looked just as keyed up as Chris did. He said something she didn’t understand as he looked over at Chris, then back to her, nodding.

“Okay,” she breathed, “We should probably rein it in a little before we cover this nice public Karaoke booth with fluids.”

The three of them started laughing then as the tension dissolved entirely.

 

--

 

By the time they made it to Chris’ house, Callisto’s nerves were on edge. Once back in the car, the sexual tension had become almost unbearable. They were all being so careful with each other, not wanting to shatter the fragility of whatever this was.

Once inside, however, all bets were off. The door closed and there were suddenly two sets of hand on her - Chris at her front, dipping down to kiss her deeply, and Sebastian behind her, holding her hips and kissing along her shoulder.

She moaned at the combined sensation as Sebastian’s hands moved to her stomach, pulling her back against him.

He hissed something that sounded like ‘Futima’ as Chris started sliding his hands beneath her tanktop, pulling it up. Sebastian shifted his hands to her back as he continued helping to undress her.

Feeling the air on her breasts, Callisto shivered and they both paused as Chris checked in with her. 

“What’s your word?” he asked, his voice husky and deep.

She took a breath, met his eyes, then groaned out, “Unicorn.”

Chris softly cupped her cheek. “Good girl. You still with us?”

Callisto nodded and groaned, “Yes. God yes.”

Chris slid his hand down her thigh, raising her skirt and hissing as he found her to be missing a certain garment. Again.

Fahk , you’re killing me, Calli,” he growled. “When did you manage this?”

She grinned, completely blissed out. “Remember when I had to visit the bathroom at the restaurant?”

Sebastian bit out what sounded like a curse in another language, but he didn’t sound angry.

Chris picked her up then, hauling her over a shoulder.

“Right,” he groaned, heading back towards the bedroom.

She giggled - fucking giggled , and ogled his magnificent ass. 

“Best show in town,” she laughed.

He tossed her on the bed and she quickly got to her hands and knees, watching both of them, feeling playfully combative now. She had no hope of winning against either of them, much less both together, but then - that was the point now, wasn’t it?

“You’re right. A hissy, spitty cat,” Chris laughed, circling the bed as Sebastian went around the other way.

Sebastian shrugged and grinned. “I call it like I see it. How you wanna play this?”

“Get her legs,” Chris commanded, dropping into what she realized was his Cap voice.

Holy fuck .

She spun to face him and felt Sebastian’s hands grab her ankles, pulling her to the edge of the bed before flipping her over to face him.

“Sweet pisică .” he murmured softly as she looked up at him.

She felt the mattress dip behind her as Chris moved to lay beside her, his grin wicked. He looked over at Sebastian who then slowly began sliding her skirt off her.

As she heard Sebastian’s breath catch, Chris moved to kiss her forehead, her temple, her cheek. Then she felt Sebastian’s mouth on her, and she cried out, closing her eyes.

“Look at me, sweetheart. Look at me while he makes you come apart.”

Callisto looked over to see Chris watching her intently, his gaze moving from her eyes to her mouth, her body, then back up as she shook.

“Holy fuck,” she groaned as he shifted to kiss her.

Chris pulled at her heart as his mouth moved against hers and Sebastian pulled her pleasure, shining and hot, from her with his own. Chris reached out and gently squeezed her breast, then pinched her nipple hard.

The combined sensations threw her over the edge, ragged as she screamed out.

 

--

 

When her eyes opened next, she was in Chris’ lap and Sebastian was looking over at her, concerned.

“Does she always do that?” he murmured, shaking his head.

“It would seem so,” Chris chuckled, gently rubbing his fingers along the stubble on the side of her head. “Scared the hell out of me the first time it happened.”

Callisto took a deep breath as Sebastian said, “She’s fucking beautiful.”

“You guys talkin’ shit about me?” Callisto grumbled.

Chris laughed and kissed the top of her ear. “Always.”

She chuckled and looked over to meet Sebastian’s eyes.

“You both have a fucking gift. Holy shit.”

Both men laughed and she realized that something had changed. They were both naked now. 

She rolled her eyes and grated, “Christ, don’t you know anybody that isn’t hot as fuck? This shit isn’t statistically possible.”

“I think we’ve given her enough recovery time,” Chris murmured as he shifted her off his lap, laying her back against the bed.

The way the events of the rest of the night unfolded would keep her in erotic daydreams for the rest of her life.

 

--

 

Callisto woke to the sound of light snoring. On both sides. Both men had arms thrown around her and were cuddled up against her. 

Her heart stuttered.

How the fuck did I end up this lucky?

She said a quick, fervent prayer to Freya, suffused with gratitude.

The room was a little brighter than she found comfortable as sunlight streamed in through a set of curtains that were obviously not meant to blackout such a thing.

She held a hand up to shield her eyes and groaned.

Chris stirred beside her and opened an eye.

“So what you’re saying is I need darker curtains?” he asked, chuckling.

“Maybe,” she grumbled, grinning when he gave her a quick peck.

Sebastian started moving then, kissing her shoulder.

“Morning pisică ,” he mumbled before turning to face the mattress. “Please tell me you have an extra toothbrush.”

Chris chuckled and pulled her a little closer. “In the medicine cabinet.”

“Thank god.” Sebastian groaned, sagging.

Callisto laughed and reached out to place her hand on Sebastian’s back. The man let out a happy groan and turned towards them, then winced.

“Who turned the fucking light on?”

“Right?” Callisto grumped.

Chris began kissing her shoulder and he murmured, “I’ll get some blackout curtains, just for you.”

“Thank Christ,” she groaned.

Sebastian moved to get up and Callisto rolled to face Chris, hiding her face in his shoulder. “I’ll protect you from the hideous ball of death in the sky,” he crooned.

She heard the bathroom door close as Chris pulled back to look down at her.

“You still okay with this?” he asked softly.

Callisto sighed and placed a hand on his chest. “My biggest fear is that you’ll freak out at some point and run.”
Chris held her hand against his chest.

“While the three of us ending up together like this was certainly unexpected, it was also ridiculously hot,” he murmured, kissing her forehead. “Nothing about last night freaked me out.”

Callisto let out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding and closed her eyes.

“He really likes you. I can tell.”

“He’s a really sweet guy,” she murmured. “I like him too.”

The bathroom door opened and Sebastian made his way back to the bed. Callisto turned to smile at him and held a hand out. He smiled back at her, looking behind her - she guessed, to check in with Chris, then came to lay down beside her, wrapping an arm around her waist.

“We should really consider breakfast at some point.”

Chapter Text

Sebastian ended up being the one cooking. And, Callisto had to admit, he did a proper job of it. The dynamic between the three of them stayed easy and happy as they ate, which was reassuring. After the meal, she moved to collect the dishes, and both men shook their heads.

“We’ve got this,” Chris said, grinning and kissing the side of her head as he and Sebastian both moved to clean up.

They goofed off in the kitchen, laughing and giving each other shit as she walked over to watch them. They were like large puppies together, and it made her a little giddy thinking about it.

Then she was reminded of something.

“Hey, where’s Dodger?” she asked, wondering where the pupper was.

“He’s visiting with Uncle Scott. He’ll be back tonight.”

Callisto smiled, happy that she was finally going to meet his furry companion. It was now, however, past time for her to take a shower. She turned to make her way back to the bedroom and Chris padded over to her, taking her hand and spinning her to face him as he placed his other hand on her hip.

“Where ya goin?”

“I’m sticky. And I probably stink at this point,” Callisto’s features scrunched up, just thinking about it.

Chris laughed and pulled her into him, sniffing at her neck and groaning.

“Mmm. You smell good…,” he murmured, giving her a quick bite.

Callisto chuckled as he looked down at her. “I’d smell much better if I took a shower,” she replied in a singsong.

“Did somebody say shower?”

She looked over to see Sebastian looking over at them with interest as he finished wiping down the counter. His lips curled into a mischievous smile and she turned to meet Chris’ eyes. He was grinning down at her.

“Your call,” Chris whispered, moving in to kiss her temple. “You’re in control of where this goes.”
She considered it for a moment, then said, “Not without a handrail or something. I’m not possibly breaking an ankle up in here.”

Chris was smiling now. “I’ve got that covered.”

He made his way to the bedroom and Callisto followed him, trailed by Sebastian, as she watched Chris duck into the bathroom to pull out from a cabinet what looked like a large handle with suction cups, holding it up.

Callisto shook her head as she looked back at him. He shrugged and explained, “I get injured sometimes. It comes in handy, so I keep it around.”

She laughed then as Sebastian came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her as he started slowly walking her towards Chris. “Come, pisică . Let us wash you.”

“Jesus wept. What god did I please?” she muttered, not ungrateful.

Both men chuckled as Chris stepped in and kissed her. He then gently spun her and Sebastian moved to meet her lips as Chris’ hands began wandering over her back and shoulders. Their kissing styles were pretty distinct - she could definitely tell the difference between the two of them, which had proved for very interesting experiences last night.

At some point, the three of them were going to need to have a long, in-depth conversation about this, but for now, she simply concentrated on being in the moment with them. Enjoying and sharing this with them.

In the end, among the other many wonderful things they did with her, they managed to keep her from breaking a leg.

 

--


Callisto flopped back onto the bed, fully sated, trying to catch her breath.

“I’m going to have to get a gym membership just to keep up with the two of you. Holy fuck,” she groaned.

Both men laughed, breathing hard as well as the three of them lay on their backs, eyes focused on the ceiling.

“Oh my god,” She breathed out, “I need a time out. I haven’t been this active in years.”

Chris shifted to face her, moving his hand to rest on her hip. “As much as I hate to admit it, a break doesn’t sound so bad.”

Sebastian muttered, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”

At this, they all laughed, then the boys nuzzled into her.

Callisto let out a happy sigh, then said, “Ok. Since ‘hostilities’ have ceased for the moment - we should probably address the elephant in the room.”

Sebastian asked, “Do we have to get dressed for this?”

She chuckled and shook her head. “No. We don’t have to get dressed for this.”

Callisto looked over at Chris, gently stroking his cheek. “You have my heart, a rúnsearc . I don’t want to do anything that will make you uncomfortable.”

Chris smiled back at her, his eyes shining. “And you have mine, sweetheart. I feel the same.”

Callisto took a deep breath and placed a reassuring hand on Sebastian’s arm, stroking it gently.

“I guess what I’m asking is - do we want this to be a one night thing… or something more?”

She looked over to see the desire in Sebastian’s eyes.

Chris answered first. “Honestly? It excites me to see the two of you together. Enjoying each other. More than I thought it would.” He kissed her shoulder and continued, “I want her to be happy, Seb. If that includes this, then I’m more than ok with it.”

Sebastian trembled and muttered something she couldn’t understand as he reached out to touch her cheek. His voice was deep and a little rough as he replied, “I need to think about this.”

Callisto nodded and reassured him, “Of course.”

Chris rumbled, “Take all the time you need. Don’t stress about it.”

Sebastian let out a bark of laughter, “Yeah, that’s probably not possible. The not stressing, that is.”

“What can we help with this week? I know you have a lot you need to get done before the premier…,” Chris asked.

The conversation descended into details of fittings, after parties and other sordid affairs that just made Callisto realize how tired she was. She shifted and snuggled into Chris and drifted off to sleep to the sound of their voices.

 

--

 

When she woke, the bed was empty and it was dark outside. She stretched as she heard the sound of voices, then the sound of clicking nails quickly making their way to her.

Something heavy landed on the bed and moved to start sniffing her, which tickled, which in turn started her laughing.

“Hey buddy!” Callisto rubbed at the pupper’s cheek and ear as Dodger made excited, happy noises. “Oh my god, you’re adorable!”

Dodger quickly licked her face and Callisto laughed, trying to escape.

“I see you’ve met,” Chris said, mildly chiding his pup. “I thought we agreed that you wouldn’t wake her, buddy.”

He turned the light on and Callisto yelped, covering her eyes with her hands.

“Oh, you dick. That’s it. I’m totally cracking you in the nuts again. Ow.”

Chris chuckled and moved to sit beside her, scritching at the scruff of Dodger’s neck. Callisto cracked an eye open to see somebody standing in the doorway; she recognized Scott from his photo.

She grinned and waved to him, reflexively pulling the sheets up a little higher, even though she was already well covered.

“Hey! It’s nice to finally meet you. If I didn’t have my tits out, I’d hug you.”
Scott laughed at that. “Honey, you can hug me with your tits out anytime.”

“Scott picked up dinner from Genghis Cohen.” Chris offered. “Hungry?”

Callisto was suddenly ravenous. “Oh my god, yes. I love that place.”

Chris grinned and moved to stand. “Okay Dodge - we need to let Calli get ready so she can eat. C’mon.”

Dodger did an excited turn on the bed, then jumped down and ran from the room.

Scott followed behind the pup and Chris turned to smile at her as he moved to close the door behind him.

Callisto quickly jumped in the shower, then dressed for dinner.

--

 

All the embarrassing childhood stories were trotted out as they ate. It was as if the brothers had a competition to see who could bring up the worst, and yet most hilarious stories they had. Then, there were the pranks. Callisto actually had to catch her breath multiple times because she was laughing so hard. When she started sharing her own stories about her and her own brother, she almost had them on the floor.

Finally, the stories petered out and Scott asked, “So, did you really punch him in the dick the first time you met him?”

“Oh my god.” Chris laughed, shaking his head.

“I did. Well, by accident.” She turned to grin over at him and added, “I think you called me ‘hammer hands’ at one point.”

“No, I said you had hammer hands.”

Callisto waved him off. “Potato, potahto.”

She looked back over at Scott and explained, “I did offer to get him some ice for his balls, after.”

Scott laughed and replied, “Ever the lady.”

Callisto looked over at him, deadpan, and said, “Oh honey. I was never a lady.”

She sat back in her chair and smiled as she popped a piece of fortune cookie into her mouth.

“Oh, I like her.”

Chris grinned as he looked over at her. “Yeah. Me too.”

“So, is she coming for Thanksgiving?” Scott asked, leaning back in his chair.

Chris turned to face her and said, “I don’t know. Wanna come over for Thanksgiving?”

Callisto stilled for a moment, then nodded. “Yeah. I think I’d like that. I ah… haven’t really celebrated a holiday like that in a while.”

“It’s a date.”

 

-- 

 

The premier was overwhelming. 

She had found a vintage 1950’s Hawaiian sarong dress with large colorful hyacinth flowers. Her black tanker boots went perfectly with it. All of the gowns had made her cringe. When she’d come out of the bedroom fully dressed and done up, Chris had actually lost the ability to speak for a few minutes.

And now here they were, out of the car and walking towards the theater. The near constant strobes from the cameras disoriented her, and she wondered if anybody had ever gone into an epileptic seizure at one of these fucking things. Chris squeezed her hand and dipped down to ask her if she was alright and she nodded quickly.

A few reporters peppered him with questions about the night and his next movie, before they started asking him questions about ‘his date’. Callisto didn’t hear his responses - everything started sounding a little muffled as she stood a foot or so away from him, giving him space. She wasn’t who the press was here for, after all. Callisto looked over to see Sebastian peering over at her. He looked concerned as he gave her a tentative thumbs up, and she nodded with a quick smile.

Once they were through the gauntlet of press, Chris quickly walked over to her and wrapped a hand around her waist and moved to lead her inside. Once inside the confines of the theater, he relaxed a little and that helped her ease down. Sebastian found them and walked up, looking over at Chris as if to see if she was okay.

Callisto drew in a deep, shaky breath and moved to stand facing a wall.

Chris was immediately at her side, as was Sebastian. Chris calmly talked her through a quick anxiety exercise, which helped her to focus and get her breathing under control.

“Too many fucking people,” she grated, shivering a little.

“I know, sweetheart. Fuck, I’m sorry.”

Callisto gripped his hand tightly, her breathing coming a little easier now.

“That the worst of it?” she asked.

Sebastian replied, “For you guys, yes.”

Callisto turned to face them then, nodding. She remembered Chris explaining what that they all went through on a premier night. It sounded nightmarish to her. She reached out and took Sebastian’s hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

“You got this, kid.”

She gave Sebastian a shaky grin.

“Fuck you.” He smiled back, laughing softly before pulling her into a hug.

“If you need us, we’re here,” Chris said.

Sebastian nodded, then released her. She moved to stand next to Chris who tucked her in against his side. 

“Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.”

Sebastian then strode off into the crowd and the next few minutes were filled with introductions to other actors that Chris had worked with in the past. It all went by in a blur, and by the time they were sitting in their seats waiting for the movie to start, Callisto was already exhausted.

The movie itself was fairly good, but Callisto ended up falling asleep halfway through it.

Afterwards, Chris gently jostled her awake, grinning when she opened her eyes.

He looked a little sheepish as he murmured, “Sweetheart, you look wrecked. Do you want to make it an early night?”

She frowned back at him. “Don’t you guys have to go to an after party or something?”

“Seb does. I can beg off. I’m more concerned about you.” He leaned in, gently resting his forehead on her temple.

Callisto let out a shaky sigh and said, “I’m completely out of social spoons. I’ll likely just pass out at this point. You should be here for him.”

Chris pulled out his phone and typed out a quick text message, then moved to help Callisto to her feet. She wobbled a little, then steadied herself.

“Steady there, grace,” he sang.

She laughed and gave him the finger.

“There’s my girl,” he murmured, grinning.

 

--

 


Back at his place, Chris quickly got her tucked into bed, then again asked, “Are you sure? I feel like an asshole leaving you here alone.”

She chuckled and waved him off. “I’m not alone, dork.”

Dodger snuffled in her ear and she laughed.

“See? We’re fine. We’ll keep each other company. Go have fun with Seb. Have fun for me too.”

Chris sighed and sat beside her. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

“Try not to get into too much trouble.”

He leaned down and kissed her. “I’ll save all the troublemaking for when I get home.”

 

--

 

She was startled awake by a hand on her shoulder. She jumped and tried to pull away.

“Sweetheart, it’s me,” Chris’ voice was soft and reassuring.

Callisto moved to look up at him as he sat beside her. She winced at the light in the hallway, but she was grateful that he hadn’t turned on the room light.

She looked over to see Sebastian standing in the doorway.

“He wanted to see for himself that you were okay,” Chris explained.

Sebastian walked over to the bed, then slowly crawled up to lie beside her, hesitating for a moment between reaching out to wrap an arm around her waist.

Pisică . I have an answer for you,” he murmured, nuzzling her shoulder.

“Yeah?” she smiled.

He smiled then, his face lighting up.

“Yeah. I’m in.”

Callisto looked up to see Chris grinning. She held a hand out to him, gently nudging Sebastian.

“Scoot over, puppy.”

Sebastian chuckled, then the two of them moved so that Chris could settle back beside her.

“Is that my nickname now?” Sebastian asked.

“Yep.” She laughed as the pair of them surrounded her and snuggled in.

“How was the party?”

Sebastian groaned and Chris laughed. “Go ahead - tell her, idiot.”

Sebastian narrowed his eyes as he looked over at Chris, then admitted, “My date overheard us talking about you. Things went downhill after that.”

“Oh shit - were you guys…,” Callisto asked, horrified.

“They weren’t actually dating. One of his cousins set him up,” Chris explained.

“Fuck, I’m never going to hear the end of this,” Sebastian groaned.

Callisto took pity on him and moved to hug him, “C’mere, puppy.”

Sebastian let out a deep sigh as they held each other.

“This helps.”

His voice came out a little muffled and she laughed before saying, “Please tell me that’s the worst of it.”

“Actually…,” Sebastian started before Chris cut him off.

“Not tonight, Seb,” he snapped.

Callisto stilled and looked over to see Chris glaring at Sebastian.

“She needs to know,” Sebastian snapped back.

“Okay. Enough dancing around it. What happened? Anxiety issues and suspense don’t go well.”

Chris blew out a breath. “So… remember what I said about rumors?”

Callisto relaxed, asking, “Is that it?”

“Fuck, Calli. Some of the shit that’s being said is really ugly. Hateful .” Chris sighed, frowning.

She shifted to reach out to him, comforting him. “Hey. We knew this would happen.”

Sebastian touched her shoulder, squeezing gently. “It’s bad Pisică . Trust me.”

“Let me guess - it’s a combination of trashy slut, tattooed whore, golddigger, gash, cum dumpster… along those lines?” she chuckled.

Sebastian blinked and looked over at Chris, who replied, “Towards the end you got a little far afield, but it started out in the same direction.”
Callisto laughed, “Shit, I’ve been called worse by better.”

She sobered, then looked over at Chris. “Oh shit, is this bad for you ?”

Chris shook his head. “Not in the way you think.”

Sebastian grated out, “We were both pretty pissed when we started checking the online commentary from earlier. Chris’ mom called to let him know how bad it was getting. We ended up leaving the afterparty early.”

“Were you worried that I might’ve read some of it?” she asked.

Chris nodded, pulling her close. Sebastian shifted to rest up against her back.

“Yeah,” he muttered. “I didn’t want you to be alone if you’d read any of that shit.”

Callisto sighed. “People are twats. I had to grow a pretty thick skin back in my teen years. People would throw bottles out of cars at me, and call me all sorts of horrible things as they screamed down the road past me. I don’t give a shit what anybody says about me. They don’t know me. Their opinions don’t matter to me. You can’t defend me from words, Chris.”

“He wants to, pisică . We both do.” Sebastian kissed her shoulder.

“Well, you guys know how this shit works better than I do - say what you feel you need to say, but you don’t have to defend my honor against the people who enjoy swimming in social sewage. I’m too old to be bothered by that shit at this point. Me and my AARP membership have no fucks left to give in that quadrant. I won’t be angry for anything you guys feel you need to do about this.”

With that, they seemed to calm down. Callisto relaxed, then snuggled into their embrace.

After a few minutes, they were all asleep.

Chapter Text

Callisto jerked awake to the sound of Nazi Punks Fuck Off echoing out of her phone. She reached for it, realizing the bed was empty. With a frown, she put him on speaker.

“Stupid?” she asked, tentatively - still a little groggy.

“Are you ok?” Jason sounded really concerned.

Callisto frowned, wiping at an eye. “Yeah. I’m fine. You woke me up.”

“So, you’re not freaking out and stabbing everybody in the neck with a pencil like I taught you to?” he asked, sounding agitated.

Callisto moved to sit up and Dodger raced into the room, jumping on the bed and bounding over to her. “Hey buddy…” she murmured, giving him neck scritchies before saying, “What - should I be?”

She heard footsteps coming her way. As Chris and Sebastian came into the room, Jason said, “It should be a fucking bloodbath out there, are you stupid ? Are you seeing what these shitbags are saying ? God, do I have to do everything ? Do I need to help a tiger escape from the zoo or something?”

“I doubt a tiger mauling anybody will have a positive effect of any kind,” she explained, shrugging as the boys looked over at her.

“Yeah, but it’ll make me feel better.” he snapped, before growling, “Is he there? He better fuckin’ be there.”

“I’m here,” Chris answered, moving to sit at the end of the bed, reaching out to touch her foot. Sebastian joined him.

“Who’s that?” she could see Sebastian whisper.

“Best friend,” Chris answered, keeping his voice low.

“Are you doing anything about this? Are you…”

Callisto tried to shut him down. “Jason. It’s not his fault. It’s ok.”

“No it fucking isn’t. Only I get to call you horrible things - that’s how this works. The shit these people are saying…”

Fuck. He was really upset.

“Jason. Please . I’m handling it. Trust me. As if I give a fuck about what the Becky and Chad squad have to say about me. You KNOW me.”

There was a pause on the other end of the line as Jason took a breath, then seemed to calm down.

“Did he pick the dress out?” he asked.

Callisto grinned and shook her head. “I did. I rocked that shit, huh?”

“Yes, you were very cute. Now go stab Malibu Barbie in the fucking face for me.”

“Aye, cap’n.” she replied.

“And Chris?” Jason asked.

“Still here,” Chris answered.

Fix this .”

 

--

 

The rest of the morning was spent doing damage control.

Callisto had to admit - it was actually pretty bad. Granted, most of the comments just made her laugh, but she felt bad at how this was reflecting on Chris. She honestly didn’t care, for her own sake - she already knew damned good and well how hateful people could be, so this came as no big surprise.

Chris was apparently on with his agent, having a bit of an argument, while she and Sebastian camped out on the couch. She leaned back against him, watching as he scrolled through an alarming array of memes and commentary, interspersed with people who didn’t know who the fuck she was, but who were jumping to her defense - which surprised her.

“Wow. What a shitshow,” she muttered, feeling guilty. “I hope I’m not getting him into too much trouble.”

Sebastian kissed the side of her head, his voice soft. “None of this is your fault. You know that, right?”

She sighed and muttered, “People are taking this awfully personally.”

Sebastian put the phone down and shifted her to face him. “Whenever one of us ends up dating somebody… because of the lives we have, everything is really front and center. It’s the least pleasant thing about this gig. You learn to navigate it.”

Callisto shook her head. “Shit, I don’t know how you guys do it. I hate the spotlight. The idea of anybody crawling up my ass as if they have the right to, simply because I produced some art? Fuck…”

Chris came over and Callisto lifted her legs, laying them out over his lap as he sat back into the couch and let out an explosive breath. She reached out, wrapping arms around him as he leaned into her.

He stayed silent and held her while she gently ran her fingers through his hair, working to ease him.

He then jerked and moved to dig his phone out of a pocket.

“Hey ma,” he answered. “Yes, I talked to him.” There was a pause, then, “Yes, she’s okay. I’m okay.”

Chris moved to rest his head against her chest with a sigh. “It comes with the territory, ma - you know this.”

He quieted and his expression went dark. “I didn’t think it would get this bad either.”

Sebastian leaned his forehead against her temple as Chris continued, “Yeah. I’ll be coming home for a few days.” Another pause. “Yes, I’ll ask her.”

Chris laughed, then said, “I love you too, ma. I’ll talk to you later.”

He tossed the phone onto the table and curled into her.

“Talk to me, a rúnsearc ,” she murmured softly.

He took a deep breath, then said, “I gotta get the fuck outta this town for a few days.”

Callisto let her fingers play over his shoulder. “Can’t say as I blame you.”

She wanted to apologize, but that would only frustrate him. He didn’t blame her for this - he’d said as much already. 

“You couldn’t maybe take another few days and come with me, could you?” he asked, his voice sounding a little diminished. She felt awful for him. Honestly, she was ready to get back to her cats - her own house, after all this - to something familiar and comforting. A safe place. She could hear the need in his request, though - and, other than this situation, he made her feel safe.

“Yeah. I can make that work,” she whispered into his hair, holding him tight.

The three of them remained silent for a few minutes before Callisto said, “So, I guess we’re taking that RV trip sooner rather than later?”

Chris looked up suddenly. “Oh shit. I hadn’t even considered that.”

He sat up, thinking about it. “It’ll take about 3 days to get to Boston.”

He looked over at Sebastian, asking, “You got a couple days free?”

His friend grinned and shrugged, “Yeah. Fuck it. Road trip sounds perfect.”

 

--

 

“...it’s a fucking tour bus.”

Callisto looked back over at Chris who was laughing now as it pulled up into the driveway.

“What did you think it would be?”
Callisto glared back at him, shrugging, “Shit, I don’t know. An airstream? A camper? Not this...”

she waved a hand at it, “ Behemoth .”

Sebastian walked out into the driveway and shook his head. “All I know is I’m not driving the fucking thing. It’s huge. I’m getting a nosebleed just thinking about navigating it.”

The door opened and out stepped an older gentleman Callisto didn’t recognize.

“Thanks Ben. I really appreciate it.” Chris shook the man’s hand firmly.

“Happy to help, Mr. Evans. Did you need any help getting bags onboard?”

“We got it - thanks.” Chris replied, looking over at Callisto. “Go ahead. Check it out. We’ll load up.”

She grinned and stepped inside, shaking her head. She didn’t realize that the inside of a vehicle could look so opulent. It was a little weird.

In her head, she had pictured a ratty old Winnebago out of the 1970’s or 80’s, but this? It was a little overboard. She moved to the back and blinked. The bedroom was respectable - the bed would definitely fit the three of them, and the shower had plenty of room to maneuver, for one person.

Dodger shot past her and jumped on the bed, then rolled on the covers, rumpling them up.

Callisto chuckled as he then ran back behind her and jumped up to put his paws on Chris, panting happily.

“Yes. We’re going on a trip, buddy.”

He stroked the dog’s ear fondly as he looked up at her.

“Is it too much?” he asked, looking a little sheepish.

Callisto laughed and nodded. “It’s posh as fuck. This sure as hell ain’t my dad’s Winnebago.”

Chris grinned back at her, then moved to pull her into a hug. Callisto sighed and settled into him as Sebastian called out, “This is a little over the top,” as he walked into the room, looking around.

Chris shifted to pull his phone out, answering it. “Hey ma… we’re…”

Callisto looked over to see the color drain from his face as he listened to her response. Her stomach dropped as he looked over at her - first shocked, then impossibly sad. “Oh my god. Yes, I’ll tell her. Thanks for letting me know.”

Chris looked over at Sebastian, then back at her.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked her, his voice quiet.

Ok, now she was scared. What hadn’t she told him? She couldn’t remember.

“I don’t…” she started. “What?”

Chris walked over to her - he was being so careful that it was freaking her out a little. He moved to sit on the bed, reaching out to take her hand and pulling her to sit down beside him.

“I don’t know how to tell you this…” he croaked, looking lost.

“You’re scaring me, Chris,” she whispered.

“I can’t protect her from this.” He looked up at Sebastian, shaking his head.

“What the fuck happened?” Sebastian snapped, looking extremely uneasy.

“You… ah… somebody at one of the gossip rags… FUCK .” he grated, taking a breath.

“Calli - were your parents murdered?” he asked quietly.

She sat in shock, her chest going painfully tight. She felt the bed depress beside her as Sebastian came over and sat with them. There was a rushing in her ears as the memories flooded back, overwhelming her. Yeah. She definitely hadn’t told him that. She didn’t like telling anybody that.

She didn’t recognize her own voice as she replied, “It was a home invasion… I… ah…Oh god I’m gonna be sick…”

Callisto was suddenly throwing up into the toilet, not really knowing how she’d gotten there.

Then everything went black.

 

--

 

When she woke, her head was splitting - which meant she’d been crying. A lot, if the ache stabbing through her was any indication. There was something wet and cool over her eyes and forehead that was keeping her from opening her eyes.

“Hey, sweetheart. We’re here.” Chris gently squeezed her arm and Sebastian rested his head on her shoulder. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry,” he whispered.

Callisto just focused on breathing and trying not to cry. Her head hurt enough as it was.

“Sweet Pisică .” Sebastian crooned, giving her shoulder a kiss.

She pressed a hand against her chest, trying to ease the tightness - the panic.

“Valium,” she croaked, shaking a little.

“I figured you’d need one when you woke. Can you sit up?” Chris asked, gently removing the cloth from her forehead.

“Yeah,” she grated, groaning as she moved. The pair of them helped her up and the room spun briefly before Chris handed her several pills. Aspirin as well. Thank god. She thought to herself, immediately grateful for them.

She choked the pills down with some water, then winced.

“Holy fuck.”

Aaaand now she was crying again.

Both men held her silently as they gave her the space to get it all out.

 

--

 

When she woke again, she felt worlds better. It was easier to think without the anvil sitting on her chest trying to crush her, and the headache was gone, thank fuck.

She moved to try to stretch, rousing the boys beside her. They both tightened their grip on her and cuddled close. After a few minutes of silence, Chris said, “You should call Jason.”

Callisto cringed - oh, he would have been furious

“Did he…?”

“OH yeah,” Chris replied. “I answered your phone, figuring he would want somebody to vent at, and I wanted to let him know you were okay - that we were getting you out of town.”

“Oh my god. I’m so sorry…” she began.

“Sweetheart, it’s fine. He didn’t say anything that I wasn’t already feeling. We… ah… had a good talk.”

“...was there yelling?” she asked.

“So much yelling,” he chuckled. “It was cathartic, I think. I’m surprised we didn’t wake you up.”

Sebastian laughed. “Yeah, I’m afraid the cat is out of the bag about the three of us, though.”

Callisto groaned. “All three of you got into it?”

She looked over to see Sebastian nodding and grinning back her.

“He wanted to know who the fuck I was, and why Chris let a stranger around you with all this going on… and it kinda went from there.”

Callisto rolled her eyes, then buried her face in Sebastian’s chest.

The boys both laughed and hugged her.

“Ok, gimme the phone,” she mumbled, her voice muffled.

She dialed Jason, then put him on speakerphone, moving to rest the phone on her chest.

“Chris, if this is you again, I swear to god…

“It’s me, poopypants. I’m ok. I’m not dead.”

There was a silence on the other end of the line and Callisto could literally picture Jason taking a deep breath, preparing himself. “Ok. First of all - Chris, I need to thank you for what you said online earlier.”

Callisto looked over at Chris, frowning - wondering what had been said. Chris shrugged, looking back at her as if he didn’t know what Jason was talking about.

“Ok.” Another breath. “Second - I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE OUT THERE SLUTTING IT UP WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA AND SOME OTHER RANDO MOVIE STAR. Who sounds hot, by the way. I CAN’T LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR A MINUTE.”

“Rando movie star?” Sebastian muttered.

Chris chuckled and said, “At least he said you sounded hot.”

Callisto started laughing then.

“Someone’s jealous,” she sang out.

“Oh my god. Just so you’re clear, I still hate you.”

“Feelin’s mutual, princess,” Callisto cackled.

There was another breath. “Ok. Now. When are you coming home?”

Callisto sighed and said, “I’m working on figuring that out. At the moment, I’m just really appreciative of the support I’m getting here. I don’t know what I’d do if this had happened when I was back home.”

“I’m gonna kill that journo shitbag,” Jason growled.

Callisto grumped, “I guess I just didn’t realize that I’d get blindsided with this. You know how much I hate talking about that night.”
“I know, pookie. You sure you’re really alright? I mean - is all that dick you’re getting an effective distraction?”

At that, the boys laughed as she said, “I imagine there will be an experiment later to that effect.”

“Alright. I’m sufficiently convinced that you’re actually okay.”

“I love you, pookie.”

“I love you too, stupid. You’re using condoms, right?”

Callisto groaned, “Oh my god, what are you, my mother? Fuck off.”

There was more muffled laughter from the peanut gallery beside her as she hung up on him.

She slowly turned to look over at Chris. “...what was he talking about?”

“What… the online thing?” Chris asked.

“Yes… the online thing .”

Sebastian held his phone up, showing her a video image of Chris that looked like it was taken from inside the bus. It started playing.

“Callisto is a private citizen. She didn’t ask for any of this.” he took a breath. “I get that my life and my choices are under scrutiny, just in having this job - but the liberties that are being taken with her privacy are, quite frankly, appalling. You’re going after another human being - a woman I happen to love, and you’re shaking the murder of her parents in her face.” He looked angry now. “I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people. I’m so disgusted and disappointed by this entire thing.”

The video ended and Callisto blinked.

“... is this on your Twitter feed??” she asked, stunned as she looked over to see Chris looking over at Sebastian with a pained expression.

Sebastian shrugged and said, “She needed to know.”

Chris looked back at her, wary now. “Are you angry?”

Callisto shook her head, looking back at him with wonder. “No, I’m not angry. I love you.”

Chris sagged in relief, then moved in to kiss her.

“Shit, Calli. I don’t even know where to start with all this. I had no idea that this would… I… fuck, I just got so angry .”

She touched his cheek, giving him a quick kiss. “You’re… just… shut up and come here.”

Within moments, what started as reassuring and gentle quickly became a driving need between them. As Chris started kissing his way down her neck, she looked over to see Sebastian watching them quietly with a little smile.

Chris shifted down to her hips and Sebastian leaned in to kiss her, his stubble scratching her chin.

They effectively distracted each other for the remainder of the night.

Chapter Text

They had stopped to camp for the night at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The boys got a fire going and they all feasted on burgers and hot dogs out under the darkening sky. The sunset had been magnificent and Callisto felt some of the tension in her heart ease. There were a few families around, but nobody approached them, which helped to calm her nerves.

“Okay, we have to do this more often.” Sebastian leaned back in a camping chair, his legs crossed at his ankles.

Chris smiled, nodding as he poked at the fire. “I want to take an extended trip at some point.”

He looked over at Callisto who was holding a travel mug of hot chocolate and sipping it. “Are there any points you didn’t hit during your time driving around the country?”

Sebastian shifted to look over at her, curious now. “Yeah - he told me about your time on the road. What made you pack everything up and live out of a van for a couple years?”

Callisto took another sip, then replied, “Bad breakup.”

Sebastian looked nonplussed. “C’mon, there’s gotta be more to the story than that.”

She sighed and placed the cup into the holder in the camping chair and explained, “I wasn’t paying rent at the time - didn’t have a mortgage. I was staying with a friend and life had gotten… stagnant. I hated it. Somebody suggested the idea, and so I bought a conversion van from a guy up in Pennsylvania, took out the two middle seats and filled it up with everything I thought I’d need to visit all the friends I’d made around the country online.”

Sebastian moved to look back at the fire and signed. “Man, that sounds ideal .”

“It really was,” she murmured, remembering some of the high points of the journey.

Callisto smiled and looked over at Chris, who had walked back over to sit in the chair beside her.

“So, what’s your favorite place?” Sebastian asked.

“The Hoh rainforest out on the Washington coast. Hands down.” Callisto shifted in her chair, adding, “Although the coast throughout both Oregon and Washington is breathtaking.”

She sighed softly. “I had some good times out there.”

Sebastian leaned back in his chair. “I still can’t believe you made that entire trip yourself.”

“Sometimes, I can’t either. It was pretty ballsy. I ended up in some hairy places.”

“Tell him about the rest stop near the prison in the middle of nowhere,” Chris prompted, making Callisto laugh.

She began to share some of the more bizarre stories of the things she’d experienced and done throughout the trip, which prompted the boys to share similar stories of times they’d been on location. They talked and laughed by the fire late into the night.

 

--

 

Over the next couple of nights, Callisto became more comfortable with the dynamic between the three of them. It wasn’t that there had been anything wrong with it before - it was just… finally settling in. When they weren’t in bed, they were lounging on each other, reading or playing card games.

“So, is this what tours are usually like most of the time?”

Sebastian nodded. “Pretty glamorous, right?”

Callisto leaned forward and grabbed a bag of kettle cooked potato chips, happily munching on them. She moved to rest back against Chris and popped a chip into his mouth.

Sebastian started picking through the assortment of snacks scattered out on the table, finally deciding on a bag of Japanese muscat gummy candies.

“Oh my god, I hate you for introducing me to these,” He grumbled, glaring over at Callisto.

She chuckled and replied, “I also like the Lychee ones. But those are my favorite. Ok, listen to this…”

Callisto proceeded to continue to reading from the very poorly written ‘sexy’ romance novel she’d started narrating for them the other day, and before long, they were all laughing again, trying to catch their breath.

“‘Dick aneurysm’? How is that even remotely sexy…? I mean, come on .”

Sebastian shook his head, throwing a candy at her.

“Please stop. I beg you.”

He looked up at Chris, who was still laughing.

“You’re really in this to ride it to the end, aren’t you?”

Chris nodded, slapping his leg. “My face hurts. But I can’t stop. I have to know what happens!”

“Unless they all turn into dinosaurs and eat each other, I’m betting nothing good happens,” Sebastian groaned, starting to laugh again.

“C’mon c’mon - What happens with the serving wench? And the monkey? These are surely questions that Must Be Answered.”

Callisto cleared her throat, trying to stop smiling so she could continue reading. Before she could start, they all started laughing again.

“I need another burger if we’re gonna keep this shit up,” Sebastian grumbled, then started chuckling again as he moved to unwrap another one of the five burgers still on the table between them.

“So, you’re saying that you need a little meat in your mouth in order for the story to continue?” Callisto asked.

Sebastian gave her a grim look and Chris burst into laughter.

“I hate you both.”

 

--

 

By the time they finally made it to Chris’ parents’ house in Boston, most of the online furor had died down. His family was completely delightful and they all seemed really happy to meet her, which honestly surprised her. They were all as open and easygoing as Chris was, and the dynamic between them all was beautiful to watch. It was no wonder he’d turn out the way he had, having been surrounded by such open affection and support. His mother had immediately pulled her into a warm, strong hug, startling her at first. The woman gave fantastic hugs. 

Callisto had then been quickly ushered inside to a whirlwind of introductions. 

It was the first time Callisto had felt like part of a full family in many years.

Everybody was just so open and easy with each other, and there was so much love in the house - it made her miss her own parents.

As she watched Chris interact with them, she fell for him a little more, which she didn’t think was possible.

After a day or two, though, she had started getting antsy to return to her own house. She really missed her cats - her routine. Sebastian had flown out the day after they arrived, and it was time for her to get back to a semblance of normal. Well, her normal.

It had been difficult to part with Chris again, but they both had separate lives to lead on alternate sides of the country. Besides, she figured that being able to disengage for awhile would help her reset her perception, help her get her focus back.

Happy to finally be going home, Callisto smiled as she shifted the airplane seat back, remembering with a great deal of fondness how honestly excited everybody was that she was going to be able to visit again around Thanksgiving.

Chapter Text

About a week and a half after arriving home, Sebastian reached out to her for the first time.

 

S: There’s no way you’re fifty two.

Cal: Ah, you saw that, did you?

 

Why the fourteen year age difference between herself and Chris was such a big deal to the press, she didn’t know. I mean, sure if he was actually fourteen, then she could understand. A fair amount of people tossed their shitty nickels in about it, though, and she had to admit that the names they’d come up with for her were entertaining, at least. Hag, spinster, crone - all the ‘oldies’ were all trotted out as well.

Why were so many people personally invested in it? She didn’t get it.

 

S: It’s just a little hard to believe.

Cal: Bet I’m the oldest biddie you’ve ever been with, eh?

 

She laughed to herself, then stilled when he replied.

 

S: You’re completely fucking gorgeous. You know that, right?

Cal: ...is this a test?

S: Why do you do that?
Cal: Do what?

S: The self deprecating humor. The deflection.

Cal: …

 

She honestly didn’t know what to say to that.

After a few minutes, her phone rang. She answered and he said, “I’m not letting this go.”

Callisto sighed and frowned.

“Shit. I don’t know. This whole thing… fuck, being seen as sexy and desirable by men that I’m actually attracted to is something I’m still getting used to.”

Sebastian paused for a moment, then murmured, “You’re one of the most beautiful, desirable partners I’ve ever been with. I need you to know that.”

Callisto took a deep breath and explained, “I’ve always been… a bit of a ballbreaker. Guys either end up wanting to fuck around with me behind their wives backs or they want to ‘break’ me and make me ‘normal’, like taming a fucking high spirited horse. Everybody wants the ‘freak girl carnival ride’ experience. This has waned somewhat as I’ve gotten older, and thank fucking christ for that shit, but… I hate to say it - I’m used to guys that look like you and Chris being total dismissive dicks.”

Sebastian stayed silent as she added, “I don’t have a frame of reference for this - any of it. Being with the two of you has been the highlight of my life, but… after spending time without the constant physical contact, I’m kinda starting to wonder why you guys bother. I can’t say this to Chris - it’d really hurt him, and my god, fuck if I’d ever do anthing to hurt him… and I honestly can’t say why I’m saying this to you either, but…”

Sebastian’s voice was soft as he responded, “We love you, pisică . I love you. I want you in my life.”

Oh fuck.

This had just gotten a whole lot heavier than she had expected. Callisto stilled, shaken by his admission. She took in a deep breath and let it out. “Fuck. I’m sorry. I… my anxiety is getting the better of me tonight, and it…”

“There is nothing to apologize for. I’m… actually happy that you feel comfortable enough with me to have shared this with me.”

“I miss him, Seb. I miss both of you,” she murmured.

“I miss you too, pisică , both of us do.”

“How much did Chris tell you about my previous relationships?”

“Enough to know that I want to do what I can to help you forget that anybody ever treated you like that.”

Callisto smiled. He really was a sweet man. They both were.

“Chris mentioned that you were both going to Scotland for Halloween, and I… ah…” he muttered something in that same language that she was just starting to recognize from its tonal qualities. She remembered him mentioning that he spoke Romanian and found herself wanting to look up a few choice phrases after this call.

“Are you saying you wanna crash our trip?” she asked, grinning.

Sebastian laughed, sounding a little nervous. “It does sound really cool.”

“I don’t see why that would be a problem, if Chris is okay with it.”

“He actually told me to call and ask you,” Sebastian admitted.

Callisto laughed. “You two. Such troublemakers.”

“You’re not wrong,” Sebastian replied, laughing.

Her other line started ringing and she looked to see that Chris was calling her.

“It’s Chris…” she began, but Sebastian said, “Say no more. Can I… call you again at some point? I really like talking with you.”

Callisto smiled, nodding, even though she knew he couldn’t see it. “I’d like that, puppy. Have a good night.”

“Good night, my pisică .”

She switched calls and Chris immediately said, “Did he ask you?”

Callisto chuckled. “I don’t know why we couldn’t have had a three way conference about it.”

She heard an interested rumble from his side of the line. “Hmm… three way…”

“Settle…” she warned him, halfheartedly.

Chris laughed. “Fuck, I miss you.”

“Yeah. I miss you too. The nightly phone ‘sessions’ help though.”

Chris chuckled softly, “They do indeed.”

Callisto paused, then blurted, “Seb said he loved me tonight.”

“I thought he might,” Chris replied, not sounding at all surprised.

“I don’t know how to feel about this.”

“Did him saying that make you uncomfortable?”

“No… it made me happy. And I feel a little guilty about that,” she explained, plucking at a thread on her shirt. “I didn’t expect to find anybody like you in my lifetime, and I completely fucking love you - but… There’s something about him that fills another place in my heart, and I feel shitty about that.”

“Were you more comfortable when it was just about the three of us having sex?” Chris asked, sounding honestly curious.

Callisto shook her head. “I don’t think that’s it - I mean, I felt that there was… a whole lot more happening than three people throwing their bodies and genitalia together.”

Chris laughed. “Nice visual, champ.”

“Fuck off,” Callisto snapped, laughing now and breathing a little easier.

“I guess… I just didn’t expect him to end up with a piece of my heart as well. I figured that was all yours.”

“Do you think your love for me is somehow diminished if you love him too?”

“Fuck, I don’t know. I’m riding the high anxiety train here tonight,” she grumped, then added, “All I know is I don’t want this to fuck up anything between you and me.”

“Would it help to hear that I think I’m kinda into him too?” Chris said quietly.

“Actually, yes,” Callisto murmured. “Talk me through it.”

Chris took a deep breath and replied, “There’s always been something there with him. I wasn’t entirely able to figure out exactly what it was until the three of us ended up in bed that night.”

“I could see it in him the night we met for dinner,” Callisto explained.

“I’ve always felt really comfortable around him, really at ease. He’s… dealing with a lot of shit - a lot of pain, and I guess I was kinda drawn to that about him. It’s hard for me to see somebody that’s hurting and not want to help. And now that’s becoming something… more.”
There was silence for a few moments before Chris added, “I should thank you for intervening that night. It helped him open up, trust himself a little more.”

Callisto blew out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding. “Fuck, I’m just glad I made the right call. For a minute, I was sure I’d fucked up and read the situation wrong.”

“I love you, Callisto - and it’s okay if you love him too.”

Callisto smiled, her heart hammering against her ribs. “I love you too, Chris. Thank you for… sharing so much of yourself with me. To me, you are luminous, and I’m so grateful for you.”

“I’m so fucking grateful to you as well. For more than you know. Ok, if we keep this up, I’m going to start crying,” Chris replied, sighing.

Callisto took a shaky breath and said, “Should we just skip right to the dirty talk, then?”

Chris laughed and snapped, “Brat.”

Callisto grinned. “You know it. So, I had a thought…”

“Three way conference?” Chris asked.

“It’s like you’re a goddamned mind reader,” Callisto laughed as she heard him click off for a few minutes.

When he came back on, she could hear Sebastian on the line as well.

“Hi puppy. Wanna play?”

 

--




As she waited for Sebastian at the security checkpoint, she was reminded of the first time Chris had come to visit. She’d been a wreck - jittery and nervous. This time, she was more relaxed - sure of herself. It helped that he was in crisis, which was awful to admit. That always brought out the confident, caregiver side of her. This was the first time they were meeting alone - Chris had a project that he was in the middle of and couldn’t break away. Sebastian was going through a rough time and Chris had suggested that he go out to see her.

“Hey, they’re letting us off now. I’m heading your way.”

His voice sounded a little clipped, as if he was nervous as well.

“I’m here, puppy. Want me to stay on with you until you get here?”

“Yeah. Please.”

Apparently there was an ugly issue with an ex that he was going through - ‘ It’s Seb’s story to tell, not mine ’ Chris had explained.

Sebastian stayed silent, but she could hear him breathing.

“You doing okay, puppy?” she murmured softly.

“I’m a little cranked up. Once I’m out of this fucking airport, I’ll be able to ease down,” he grumbled.

After a few more minutes, she saw him in the crowd, heading towards her. He was able to blend into crowds a lot easier than Chris was, for which Callisto was grateful. In this state, it would be bad if somebody recognized him now and tried to approach him. She could feel the frustration and agitation radiating off the man from here.

She heard the line click off as he headed over to her, then grabbed her and hugged her fiercely.

She held him and felt him slowly relax.

“I’m here for whatever you need me for, Seb.”

He shook briefly, then grated out, “Thank you, pisică . Fuck .”

He sighed, then slowly released her, looking at the people that were flowing around them nervously, then moved to keep his head down.

“C’mon, puppy. Car’s this way.”

Callisto took his hand and they started walking towards the exit.

 

--

 

Once they were back in her SUV, Sebastian stared straight ahead, his jawline tight.

Taking this as a cue that he wanted time to get himself together, she started the car and started driving.

Once they were back on the highway, she could feel the tension in him ease down. He took a deep breath, then just started… talking. It was like a firehose of Romanian words as he raced to get it all out, so none of it made sense to her. It was as though he was having an argument with somebody in his head, finally getting out what he hadn’t been able to in the moment. 

Once he finished, he was breathing a little easier.

Callisto quietly held a hand out to him and he grabbed it as if it were a lifeline.

“How can I help?” She asked.

“Honestly? I don’t even fucking know. I just…” he squeezed her hand and looked over at her.

“This. This helps.”

Callisto smiled. “Good. I’m glad.”

Sebastian took another shaky breath and said, “Thank you for this, pisică . I… ah.. I really missed you.”

“I really missed you too, puppy.”

Sebastian sighed and said, “Fuck, I don’t know how to do this.”

“Do what?”

Sebastian waved to indicate ‘us’. “This. It feels really weird being here with you without Chris.”

“Is it because you want to have sex with me?” she asked.

Sebastian let out a bark of laughter. “God, yes. I kinda feel like I’m helping you cheat on him, and that…”

“Feels shitty,” she finished for him, understanding.

He let out an explosive breath. “Yeah. That.”

“I had that conversation with him, too. All I know is that each of you has a place in my heart, and I’ve been wrestling with that as well. Because Chris is an amazing human being, he understands. He wouldn’t have suggested you stay with me, otherwise.”

Sebastian nodded. “Yeah, he told me he’s okay with it, but… shit, this is all new. I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

“This is all new to me, too, puppy. We’re off the grid, here. Just means we have to figure out where our boundaries and comfort zones are together.”

He squeezed her hand, but remained silent.

“Want to pick up some junk food on the way home?”

Sebastian grinned and looked over at her.

“It’s like you’re a mind reader.”

 

--

 

The cats loved him. They literally followed him everywhere he went as he explored the house.

Callisto let him prowl on his own for a while as she started her daily chores. She wanted to give him as much space as he needed.

As she was out back getting the goats fed, she felt a pair of strong arms circle her waist.

“This place is fantastic,” he murmured, hugging her.

“My little slice of paradise,” she replied, smiling.

He took a deep breath, then said, “Thank you for giving me a little time on my own to decompress.”

She moved to touch his arm. “I try to be a good host.”

Sebastian turned her to face him and pulled her into a kiss that thrummed through her.

He then picked her up and Callisto wrapped her legs around him as he began walking back to the house.

Once they reached the bedroom, she hopped down and looked up at him.

“I need…” he looked a little lost.

Callisto gently pushed him back onto the bed, smiling. Sebastian looked up at her, eyes locked with hers as she straddled him.

“You need to be loved. You need to feel safe,” she murmured softly. “Do you feel safe with me, puppy?”

Sebastian slowly lay back, letting out a long, shaky breath as he moved to slide his hands up her legs, gripping her hips.

“I feel safe with you, pisică .”

Callisto immediately felt tears brimming her eyes.

“I want to tear apart anybody who’s ever hurt you,” she admitted, a tear rolling down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and leaned down to kiss him. “ Te iubesc ." she whispered.

He smiled and it lit up his entire face. “I love you too, pisică .”

She slowly began stripping for him, tossing her shirt and then her bra behind her as Sebastian ran his hands up her sides, gently gripping her breasts. Callisto leaned into the touch, letting him explore.

He sighed as he trailed fingers along the various designs inked into her skin, tracing them.

“[ So beautiful ] , ” he murmured in Romanian.

Callisto was starting to pick up phrases here and there in what he said, loving it when he dropped into speaking the language. She shivered and he grinned.

“You like it, when I speak like that?” he asked, knowing damn well she did.

She dipped down to kiss him. “Very much.”

Sebastian shifted a hand to cup her cheek and the most delightful cascade of words poured from him, soft and heartfelt, even though she had no idea what he’d said.

She felt his other hand slide down to her hip, gripping her as he gently bucked up against her, the thick ridge of him rubbing her in all the right places.

He groaned and quickly flipped her over then, pinning her hands above her head with one hand, settling between her legs. As he began exploring her body with his lips… his tongue, he continued speaking in Romanian, moving to lift one of her legs as he pressed against her, sending pleasure racing through her.

Sebastian slowly removed the rest of her clothes, then stripped out of his own before returning to the bed, moving to lay beside her. He wrapped an arm around her waist and rested his head on her breast, sighing.

“Talk to me, puppy,” Callisto softly encouraged.

Sebastian explained that one of his exes from a few years ago had shown up recently at a restaurant he frequented with her in the past. She apparently made quite the scene when he expressed disinterest in continuing to stay in touch with her. As Sebastian talked through some of the uglier parts of his previous relationship, Callisto couldn’t help but wince. She sounded pretty toxic.

He stilled, then. “I guess this is pretty fucked up, right? Getting naked with you and talking about another woman that shredded me?”

Callisto gently stroked his hair, murmuring, “There’s always at least one or two people that we run across in our lives that dump our hearts into a chipper shredder. The vulnerability of giving it can be ruinous when the other person isn’t worthy of it. I’m so sorry that happened to you, puppy.”

Sebastian sighed then looked up at her. “You’re a lot like him, you know. You’re a really good listener.”

Callisto reached out and touched his cheek. “You have value , Sebastian. You’re a fantastic, sweet man. I’m grateful for… whatever this is between us. That you’re willing to share yourself with me this way.”

Sebastian suddenly pulled her over to straddle him, kissing her deeply.

His breath hitched and he whispered, “This is really fucking with my head. Help me forget?”

“I can do that,” she murmured.

And for as much as she was able to, she did.

 

--

 

When Callisto woke, the cats were beside her, but the rest of the bed was empty. She stirred and sat up, moving to pull on a fleece leopard print robe.

She found him outside, laying on the couch bed, looking up at the stars.

When she opened the door, he looked over at her, then looked back up.

“You okay out here?”

Sebastian rolled over onto his side then, facing her.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” he asked, his voice sounding a little ragged.

Callisto frowned, shaking her head.

“No. You didn’t hurt me.” She smiled and added, “Well, any more than I wanted to be hurt, that is.”

She moved to sit beside him, resting a hand on his hip.

Sebastian shivered and closed his eyes.

“I… ah… haven’t been that rough with anybody in a while,” he explained. “And never without… working up to it.”

Although Callisto did feel sore in a few places, there was absolutely no regret in her for any of it. It had been hot as hell to have been on the receiving end of such fiery passion. Chris could get rough, from time to time, but it wasn’t really in his nature to go full-tilt like that. He was more controlled - had a tighter intent. With him it was more Dominance than anything else. Sebastian, though… he was like a wild fire. He definitely put her through her paces. She would have bruising and visible bite marks in the morning, and she was strangely looking forward to seeing them bloom on her skin.

“Puppy - that was hot as fuck for me. Period. Full stop.”

Sebastian relaxed a little, but still looked a little dubious.

Callisto grinned back at him and moved to lay beside him. “I… like it rough, sometimes. And that was…”

“Terrifying?” he prompted.

“Fucking glorious,” she breathed, trembling a little.

Sebastian frowned down at her. “You’re serious.”

Callisto felt her smile go a little dreamy.

“As a fucking heart attack, puppy,” she groaned with pleasure. “You can open up on me anytime, Seb. Fucking hell.”

Sebastian let out a pained groan and muttered, “Chris is going to kill me.”

Callisto let out a bark of laughter. “For making me feel like this? I doubt it.”

“I saw your neck, Calli. I left teeth marks ,” he looked uncomfortable.

She looked over at him and narrowed her eyes. “Do Not start tearing yourself up about this. We are two consenting adults. At any time I could have stopped you - and I didn’t.”

Sebastian shook his head, “I outweigh you by how much? You couldn’t…”

He immediately yelped out in pain when Callisto quickly put him in a wrist lock.

Fuck ! Okay, OKAY!” he grated.

She released him, then moved to lay back down.

“I can defend myself, Seb. Don’t think I can’t. Nobody can force me to do something I don’t want to do - not without me breaking bone.”

With that, Sebastian shook his wrist and looked back at her, seeming to really hear what she was saying now.

“That was mean,” he grumbled.

“You were feeling sorry for yourself and being a twat,” she snapped.

“Truce?” he held up his hands.

“Was there fighting?” she asked, smiling.

He slumped and lay back down.

“You’re a pain in the ass.”

“I certainly can be,” Callisto laughed.

The silence between them stretched out and Sebastian quietly asked, “...you really liked it?”

Callisto moved to snuggle against him.

“I fucking loved it. More, please.”

He chuckled, shaking his head, but she could feel the tension in him evaporate.

“Maybe later, pisică . For now, I need to sleep.”

 

--

 

Sebastian was still completely sacked out when Callisto woke, so she did what she could to be quiet as she padded into the bathroom. When she saw the various marks he’d left last night, she trembled, remembering choice bits and pieces from their… adventures. Smiling, she pulled her robe and slippers on, then slipped out of the room to feed the cats.

After she’d been up for about an hour, Chris called.

“Morning, sweetheart. How’s our boy doing?”

Callisto pulled her feet up under her as she sat on the couch. She winced as she pressed against a bruise, then shifted her weight.

“He’s still wrecked. I could kill that bitch,” she growled.

“Yeah. She really did a number on him,” Chris murmured.

“He’s a little worried that you’re going to be angry at him,” she explained.

“For what?”

“Well…” Callisto began, “He got a little… bitey last night.”

Chris chuckled. “Is that it?”

Callisto took a picture of one of the bite marks and sent it to him.

She heard him hiss on the other side of the phone.

“I have absolutely no regrets or complaints.”

“Did you enjoy yourself?”

Callisto grinned and nodded. “I kinda feel a little guilty about it, but god yes.”

She paused for a moment, then added, “I think he feels bad about how rough he was. I tried to explain that I was more than okay with it - that it was a huge turn-on, but I don’t know if he really believes me.”

Chris was silent for a few moments, then sighed. “Sorry. Just picturing it… yep. I’m definitely going to have to jerk off after I get off the phone with you, otherwise I’ll be no good for the rest of the day.”

She chuckled and murmured, “You could always do it while I’m on with you… you know how much I love hearing you…”

“I have a meeting in five minutes, otherwise I’d take you up on that.”

“Better get going then, Dog Savior. I’m going to go see if I can wake Seb up. He’s still out like a light.”

Chris laughed, then said, “I’ll call you later when I get a chance.”

Callisto grinned. “Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetheart.”

 

--

 

Sebastian stumbled out of the bedroom, wiping at an eye. Callisto looked up from the canvas she was working on and smiled. At least he’d woken up enough to pull jeans on.

“Mornin’ sunshine,” she called out, chuckling.

He grunted and headed into the kitchen. She shrugged and continued painting. After a few minutes, he walked back out with a cup of coffee in his hands.

“It’s still hot. I love you,” he groaned appreciatively.

Callisto chuckled. “Actually, I don’t drink coffee. I’m more of a tea drinker, but I know you do so I brewed you some. I figured you’d need it this morning.”
He came up to her and stepped beside her, putting an arm around her shoulders.

When he saw the image on the canvas, he stilled at the image of Dodger rampaging through New York City on his hind legs. He smiled, then chuckled.

“He’s going to love it.”

“Yeah? He made me promise to do one for him.”

He stiffened, and she figured he’d seen the bitemark he’d left. He spat out what sounded like a curse in Romanian, then gently touched her neck. The ache sent a shiver through her.

She turned to face him and he slowly opened her robe, wincing at the bruising he saw before kneeling before her, placing the coffee cup on the ground.

Silently, he leaned in and started kissing each bruised spot, trembling as he brought his hands to rest on her knees.

Callisto gently ran her fingers through his hair as his breathing quickened.

“Are you…?” he croaked.

“If you ask me if I’m okay one more time, I’m punching you in the solar plexus,” she grated.

Sebastian leaned forward, his forehead resting on her breast.

“Did you tell him? Show him?”

“I did,” she replied softly.

“What did he say?”

“Look at me, Seb,” she murmured, lifting his chin so that he could meet her eyes. “The idea of it turned him on.”

He frowned and she watched as he processed what she’d told him. He collected the coffee cup and took a deep drink.

“More. I’m gonna need more of this.”

He then got to his feet and headed back into the kitchen.

Chapter Text

Callisto turned her stereo on and Anders Osborne - My Old Heart started echoing out of the speakers. With a sigh, she walked back over to the canvas to put the finishing touches on the painting before her. She really didn’t want him to tear himself up about this, but she could only be supportive and positive about it and let him come to his own conclusions.

After a few minutes Sebastian came back out of the kitchen, placing the coffee cup down on a bookshelf as he held a hand out to her.

“Dance with me,” his said, his voice soft.

Surprised, she stood and smiled, taking his hand as they swayed together.

“I’m sorry…” he whispered, squeezing her hand lightly. “This is… it’s an adjustment.”

“You have absolutely nothing to apologize for, Seb. Truly. I’m just glad you’re here. I’m glad you… trusted me enough to be around me as you’re going through this.”

“You’re amazing, you know that?” he breathed, pulling her into him.

Callisto felt a dismissive comeback at the edge of her thoughts, but ignored it, instead saying, “Thank you, puppy.”

“I’m fucking gone on you, Calli. You just… you blow me away,” he murmured softly, shifting to look down at her.

Callisto’s breath hitched and she could feel tears coming. “...it’s an adjustment for me too, puppy.”

She rested her head on his chest. “I’m having… it’s just… you both… I don’t know what to do with all of this. It’s so much more than I thought I’d ever have…”

Sebastian held her a little tighter as they continued dancing.

Her voice cracked a little as she admitted, “It’s a lot to process, having all this love given to me. Fuck, I feel like I won the lottery - it’s just...”

She looked up at him and the first tear fell. Sebastian gently wiped it away, then dipped down to kiss her. He continued kissing her as they swayed to the song, then as it ended, he swept her into his arms and carried her back to the bedroom.

As he set her down, laying her back, he looked down at her, his voice a little hoarse as he murmured, “I guess I need to get over this guilt shit, then.”

Callisto smiled and reached up to stroke his cheek. “You and me both, puppy.”

She was pleasantly surprised at how tender and soft he was this time. There was less hesitation, less holding him back. And when they were finally rocking into each other, she could feel something shift in him - something falling away - and a similar echo answered in her in turn.

 

--

 

Callisto woke with a start as a hand clamped hard over her mouth.

It was still somewhat dark in the room and she shivered as she looked around, a little frightened, then eased down when she saw Sebastian looking back at her as she imagined a cat would with a mouse.

She shivered and she saw the ghost of a smile tugging at his lips.

“What’s your word?” he growled.

Oh jesus , she thought to herself, immediately turned on.

“Unicorn,” she hissed once he moved his hand so that she could answer him.

“Good,” he murmured, moving to tie her right wrist to a rope that he’d attached to one of the feet of the bed, pulling it tight. Apparently he’d been a busy boy while she’d been asleep.

When he reached for the other wrist, she shifted away from him - not really wanting to fight, but unable to help herself.

“That’s it, Pisică . Fight me,” he grated, his breath hitching a little.

At this, Callisto took him at his word and shifted, pushing up on his shoulder and kicking out with her legs, shifting his weight, but not really moving him. She took advantage of what she could, grabbing the rope around her other wrist, trying to use it as leverage.

As she and Seb wrestled with each other, she notched her foot into the crease at his hip, pressing with everything she had, curling her body out from under him. He grunted and reached for her, gripping her leg and squeezing, yanking her hard back beneath him.

Callisto growled and squirmed as he pinned her with his hips and grabbed her other wrist, letting out a dark chuckle as he hauled her hand up over her head, attaching a rope and tying it taut.

Callisto stilled then, waiting for him to shift his weight. When he did, she brought both feet up and back then kicked forward, catching his hips and pushing back hard. Sebastian laughed and grabbed one leg, quickly shifting off of her to tie it down. Christ, the man moved like a cat.

He then stood up and looked down at her, his grin hungry and wicked as she tracked his movements with her free foot. Whenever he reached out, she’d kick out at him. After a minute of this, he finally got ahold of her free leg and tied it down as well.

Callisto fairly thrummed with excitement as he slowly walked over to the bedside table and started tossing toys onto the bedspread.

“Ever hear of something called edging?” he asked, sounding casual now.

Callisto glared back at him, growling herself now. “Oh, you asshole. You wouldn’t.”
Sebastian’s answering grin was savage as he shrugged and held up what was easily her favorite device - a clit sucking appliance with an insertion bulb.

Callisto felt her breath catch as he sat beside her, his eyes slowly tracking over her body before coming up to meet her gaze.

“Oh, I think I will…” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her. 

He laughed when she moved to bite him, jerking back.

He slid a hand down her stomach then, biting his lower lip as he slid a finger through her slickness, giving her clit a few lazy circles before he dipped it into her, groaning at her reaction.

He bent down to capture her nipple with his mouth, going back to making those slow circles that sent electric tingles throughout her body.

Callisto struggled to control her breathing.

“I don’t know if I like this newfound confidence you have,” she grated, then moaned as he pinched her clit.

Sebastian met her eyes and smiled as he brought his fingers to his mouth to slowly lick them clean. Callisto moaned at the sight. He then picked up the toy, then purred, “Then fucking safeword, or shut up.”

He slid it in her and turned it on and she rocked her head back, her hips bucking up at the immediate overstimulation. Lips brushed against her ear as Sebastian started speaking in rapid, harsh sounding Romanian.

He pinched one of her nipples hard and her body bowed as she started getting close. Just as she was about to crest, he pulled the toy out, chuckling as she yelled, “You total fucking Bastard!”

His hand was suddenly at her breast, gripping hard - bruising as he bent down to first suck, then bite.

“You were saying?” he asked, amused.

Callisto glared at him and he murmured, “Gonna bite me again if I try to kiss you now?”

“It’s a good bet,” she snapped.

He shook his head and grinned, first rubbing, then tapping gently at the juncture of her legs with his fingers. Callisto cried out as he slapped, then continued the maddening tapping as her breath stuttered. Another slap and she was startled at the strength of her arousal. He then gripped her pubic hair and pulled, dipping down to capture her cries with his mouth.

The combination of rhythmic tapping and sharp, yet delicious pain, was making her shake. She could feel him smiling as he kissed her, dipping his tongue inside her mouth. Callisto nipped, then gently sucked his tongue and she smiled as he shivered and groaned in return.

He quickly pulled away, looking down at her, seeming to drink in the entire sight of her bound to the bed. He reached out and slowly traced his fingers over the surface of her skin, barely touching her. She was thankful that he was careful to stay away from her ticklish areas - he knew better.

He moved to collect the toy, then slowly inserted it, turning it on to one of the lower settings.

Callisto could barely feel the suction, so it was a slow build as Sebastian lay down beside her and slowly started stroking his cock, his gaze wandering all over her body. She watched him in return, unable to look away. The combination of the visual he presented along with the sensations she was receiving from the toy soon brought her body to shaking.

Sebastian was keeping pace with her until she started riding that edge again, then he quickly removed the toy and had his cock in what looked like a death grip. After a moment, he let out a shaky breath and released himself, looking over at her.

Callisto worked hard to control her breathing and frustration as she looked up at the ceiling.

“The things you do to me, Pisică . The things you make me want…,” he growled.

Callisto shivered and closed her eyes. God, she loved the sound of his voice, especially when he started sounding all primal.

She felt him position himself over her, hissing as he began slowly rubbing her clit with the head of his cock.

He reached up to run his thumb across her lips and she licked the tip of it, groaning as he slid it inside her mouth. As she sucked, she could feel him tremble briefly before he slowly slid into her. He matched his thrusts with the timing of her mouth, groaning as she sped up in an attempt to direct him.

He moved to push himself up then buried himself inside her, his eyes locking with hers.

“I want to give you the world,” he hissed in a hushed whisper, then set a rigorous pace as he rocked into her, hitting just the right spot to set her off on her own shattering path of release.

He roared as he bucked into her, gripping her shoulders so tight she was sure there would be marks in the morning. He slumped against her, his breathing ragged. After a few moments, Sebastian moved to pull at the quick release knots he’d made at her wrists, pausing to catch his breath again before reaching down to pull at the ones binding her ankles.

When Callisto was able, she wrapped her arms around him, starting to feel a little ache where the ropes had been. It wasn’t an unpleasant sensation.

“Oh my fucking god…” Sebastian moaned as he flipped over onto his back, finally breathing easy.

Callisto chuckled, turning to rest her head on his chest, wrapping an arm around his waist.

“Thank you,” she murmured, letting out a happy sigh.

“... the fuck you thanking me for, I should be thanking you ,” he muttered. “Jesus.”

Callisto smiled and nuzzled him.

“You know you’re the first person I’ve been able to do this with? Without feeling like utter shit about myself?”

“You’ve given me such a gift, puppy. Just by saying that - by sharing this with me.”

He turned to face her, trailing fingertips softly down her cheek, sweet Romanian words flowing from his lips as he kissed her.

 

--

 

The next day, Sebastian was an entirely different person when she walked with him to airport security. There was none of the tightness or wary caution he’d had when she had picked him up. His posture was relaxed and easy and he smiled more, which pleased her immensely.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can, Pisică.

He pulled her into a kiss, then grinned down at her.

“If you need me, call me. I could give a fuck what time of day or night it is. Ok?”

Sebastian nodded and gave her a quick forehead kiss before pressing his forehead against hers.

“I love you, Pisică. ” he murmured softly.

 “ Te iubesc, Puppy." she whispered.

He held her tightly, then turned to stand in the line to get through security. He didn’t look back, and she didn’t expect him to.

 

--

 

On the way home, Chris called.

“How’s he doing?” he asked.

“He’s fucking bouncy. He’s definitely not the same guy who flew in,” she grinned, happy to hear his voice. “I may have to start calling him Tigger.”

Chris laughed softly, then asked, “How are you doing?”

“I miss him already, but it’ll be good to get back to my daily routine.”

“You ready for Halloween?”

Callisto nodded, smiling. “OH yeah. Oh god, I miss you.”

“I miss you too,” he breathed, letting out a sigh.

Callisto then told him in detail everything that Sebastian had done the night before, enjoying the resulting sounds on his end.

“Oh my god,” he murmured, letting out a little groan that sent a zing through her.

“Right? Jesus .” She muttered.

“Do you know how fucking lucky I feel right now?” he asked.

“Probably about the same as I do,” she replied, grinning.

He cleared his throat and said, “You’d better call me the minute you get home. There’s… a situation we need to address .”

She chuckled and bit her lip.

“You’re rock fucking hard, aren’t you?”

He groaned. “It’s a recurring problem when I talk to you. How far out are you?”

“Twenty minutes.”

“Fuck, I need a cold shower,” he grated.

“Patience a rúnsearc. I’m going as fast as I can.”

 

--

 

Fastest. Phone sex. Ever.

She ended up having to repeat everything she’d said in the car, but the response was everything she’d hoped it would be.

She could hear him trying to catch his breath on the other end of the line as she fell back against the mattress, boneless.

“Do you think…” he murmured, in between breaths, “...that he might…” another few breaths, “be willing to…”

“Have an audience next time?” she suggested, grinning.

“Oh my god, yes,” he groaned.

She laughed lightly. “Of that, I have no doubt.” she took in a few quick breaths. “He’ll probably want your help pinning me down.”

“I fucking love you guys,” he murmured, letting out a very self-satisfied groan.

Chapter Text

The boys’ schedules ended up being too tight for either of them to meet her and fly out to Edinburgh with her, so they’d agreed to meet at a hotel called The Witchery by the Castle. When she’d looked up the website, she’d literally been stunned by the high gothic interior decor. Chris had made all the arrangements, after they’d gone back and forth about it a few months back, and she had to agree that he’d done an excellent job of it.

Once in the room, she winced at how small it was - forgetting how small the older hotel rooms overseas had been during her last visit. It was excellently appointed with velvet-lined walls, oak furniture and rich color schemes, but… the boys weren’t exactly small guys. She hoped they’d all fit without stumbling over each other.

The four poster canopy bed could prove interesting, though , she thought to herself, smiling.

She texted them in a group message, letting them know she’d arrived, then crawled under the covers for a nap.

 

--

 

The sound of the room door opening woke her and she slowly roused.

“Honey, I’m home!” Chris called out, making her laugh.

She stretched, then moved to crawl out from beneath the covers.

“A Rúnsearc.” She called out, grinning.
“I… ah… guess I forgot the room would be so small,” he winced, looking over at her.

She walked up to him, pulling him into a hug. “It’s gorgeous. I love it.”

He picked her up and she wrapped her legs around him as he walked them over to the bed.

Chris chuckled as he placed a hand on one of the bed posts. “This has interesting possibilities…”

Callisto laughed and kissed him.

They couldn’t get their clothes off quickly enough, it seemed, and after a great deal of noise that hopefully wouldn’t get them kicked out of the hotel, they lay beside each other, sweat soaked and stupidly happy.

“Sorry… I just…” he groaned.

“Yeah. All good,” she replied, her breathing a little labored. “It was completely warranted.”

“Oh my god, I missed this. Missed you.” He rolled toward her, placing a hand on her stomach.

Callisto let out a happy sigh as he cuddled against her, kissing her shoulder.

“I really had every intention of taking my time, but… when I saw you…” he murmured.

“Yeah. Me too.” Callisto blushed, giggling. “Been awhile.”

Chris cupped her cheek, stroking his thumb along it. “Too long.”

Callisto nodded, sobering. “Yeah.”

He kissed her and she felt it down to the bottom of her toes. They curled around each other, reacquainting themselves, hands, lips and tongue tracing over skin already heated with desire.

The sound of the door unlocking and opening startled them and when Sebastian came into sight he busted out in a huge grin.

“For me? You shouldn’t have.” he laughed.

Callisto laughed and snapped, “Get your kit off and get your ass over here, Puppy. We only have a few hours before the festivities start.”

Sebastian waggled his eyebrows and replied, “Looks like they started without me.”

Chris laughed and both of them flipped him the finger.

“Soon, baby. Soon,” Sebastian crooned, quickly getting out of his clothes.

He then climbed in bed beside her and pulled her into a sweet, savage kiss, gripping her hips and pressing into her. Callisto groaned and rocked into him, “I missed you,” he hissed. “ Fuck , I missed you Pisică .”

“I missed you too, Puppy.”

Chris cleared his throat and Sebastian looked up over her and nodded to him, “Oh yeah. Hey, man.”

Chris laughed and shook his head. “Fuck you too, buddy.”

Sebastian grinned and slid a hand down Callisto’s ass, squeezing it and groaning. “Later. Maybe.”

The very idea sent the most appallingly filthy images dancing through her head. She looked over to see a flush coloring Chris’ cheeks, but before she could remark on it, Sebastian took her wrists, holding them over her head.

“Hold her for me?” he asked, his grin positively wicked.

Chris held her wrists fast as Sebastian bit down on the underside of her breast. Callisto cried out, squirming to get away, but the boys quickly immobilized her.

“What’s your word?” Chris’ voice was hard and a little hoarse.

“Unicorn,” she hissed out. “Fuck, that hurt , you bastard.”

Sebastian looked down at her, biting his lip. “You can always safeword…” he called out in a singsong.

Fucker was having entirely too much fun. And, she had to admit, so was she.

“How ‘bout I kick you directly in the nuts?” she growled.

“Aww, Pisică. C’mon,” Sebastian crooned, then slid a finger into her and leaned in to hiss what were likely ridiculously filthy Romanian words into her ear.

Callisto’s hips bucked up as Chris cupped a breast, his mouth closing over a nipple, his other hand still firmly holding her wrists above her head.

When Sebastian’s finger came in contact with her clit, she cried out, her body shaking.

“Fuck, you’re so close already?” he murmured. “Are you ready for me, Pisică?

She looked over to see Chris drowning in desire. “God, yes,” she moaned.

Sebastian shifted his weight, then slid inside her, nice and slow.

Callisto growled, “You total fucking asshole.”

He laughed and stayed like that for a few moments. “You know, I think I like it here. Might just stay like this for the rest of the night.”

Callisto tried rocking her hips against him and he gave her a cocky grin, then looked over at Chris.

“Wanna help me out here?” Sebastian lifted off her enough to give Chris access to slide a hand between them, and she groaned as he found her clit and started circling it.

Chris was rapt as he sent those maddening pulses through her, and when he met her gaze he looked a little lost, but So. Fucking. Into it.

“Fuck… don’t stop…” Sebastian was starting to breathe heavy now. “I can feel her getting close.”

Chris shifted a little closer, quickly bringing his finger to his mouth to re-moisten it, then redoubling his efforts.

Callisto started feeling that familiar wave getting ready to crest and she cried out, “So close… fuck , so…”

Chris captured her lips with his own as she went over, and Sebastian’s breath started hitching.
“Oh shit… Oh my god…”

And then he was hammering into her, quickly swept away with his own release.

Something splashed against her side and she turned to see Chris finishing himself off, his body trembling.

Sebastian started laughing, then. “Oh my god, I love you guys.”

Callisto let out a bark of laughter, then grumped, “Ok, we really gotta stop now because I gotta shower and get ready.”

Then Chris started laughing, and that set them all off again.

 

--

 

Callisto had come prepared to stand as a member of the Winter Court. She wouldn’t be in the parade, but she would damn well dress to impress. What her rather overly revealing black outfit didn’t cover, she had painted with a silver dusting of shimmering body paint. She’d hand drawn swirls and other sigils in black greasepaint over the exposed parts of her body, putting her hair up into a dramatic sweep, with porcupine quills and raven feathers sticking out at all angles. She’d crafted a ‘Crown of the Dead’ with animal bones and sharp looking pieces of black plastic that looked as though she could use it as a weapon. She hadn’t told either of the boys about the costume, only that she’d be wearing one - so when she stepped out of the bathroom, they both looked at her, stunned.

“All hail the Queen,” Sebastian murmured, with a little shiver. “Holy fuck, Pisică.

Chris stared at her, dumbfounded. “...I don’t… have words.”

She looked back at the pair of them, all decked out in black - the Angel and the Devil, side by side. They looked completely fantastic. 

“I had to take him shopping. He doesn’t own anything in black,” Sebastian explained, grinning.

“Your entire fucking closet is dark,” Chris grumped, but smiled.

“C’mon - let me do your faces.”

 

--

 

The event had been everything she had wanted it to be, and the fact that she’d been able to spend it with Chris and Sebastian had just surpassed every expectation she’d ever had. With the facial makeup, nobody had recognized either of them, so they were safely anonymous as they wandered in and out of pubs and other places happily carousing, making out and dancing with each other. When they’d arrived back at the hotel, changed and showered, they all fell into bed, exhausted and a little drunk.

“Can we do this every Halloween?” Sebastian asked, his voice a little muffled by the pillow.

Callisto laughed and cuddled back against Chris. “Hey, if you guys are up for it, I definitely am. This is the most fun I’ve had in years.”

“If it makes you this happy, ’m good with doing it for the rest of my life,” Chris murmured, slurring his words a little.

“Ha! You said doing it ,” Callisto cackled.

Chris giggled helplessly beside her.

“Fuck,” Seb groaned. “I don’t want to go back tomorrow.”

Callisto reached out to him, pulling him close. “Ah, puppy - I wish you could stay longer too.”

“What are you guys doing tomorrow?” he asked, wrapping an arm around her and Chris.

“I’m dragging Chris up to Inverness.”

“It’ll be awful. You won’t be missing a thing,” Chris muttered, laughing when Callisto elbowed him.

“Dick.”

Chris hummed happily and murmured in a singsong, “You love my dick.”

“Oh my god,” she shook her head, blushing furiously. “I do.”

They both started laughing.

“You’re both disgusting,” Sebastian made a faux vomiting sound, then snuggled against her.

They were all asleep within minutes.

 

--

 

The next morning, they had breakfast in the downstairs dining room - which was posh as all fuck, and then it was time to say goodbye to Sebastian. He was fairly grumpy about having to leave early, but still gave both of them fierce hugs before getting into the taxi to the airport.

“I miss him already,” Callisto murmured, waving as the taxi pulled away from them.

“Me too.” Chris echoed, stepping up behind her and wrapping her in his arms.

“So…” she turned to face him, looking up and meeting his eyes. “...is he actively flirting with you now?”

Chris blushed and it made her smile. “It’s hard to tell with him. He’s… ah… he can be hard to read and he really likes fuckin’ with people.” 

She took his hand and gently pulled him along as they made their way to Waverly train station. “Have you ever talked with him about how you feel about him?”

Chris gave her hand a brief squeeze, then replied, “I’ve kinda danced around it since the night we… well…”

“Yeah,” she grinned and gently bumped his shoulder with her own.

“It’ll happen or it won’t,” he murmured. She could tell that he was trying to sound non-committal.

“But holy fuck, if it does… ,” she sucked in a breath, then shivered. “Shit, I think I need a moment.”

He laughed and gently hip checked her.

“Stahp,” he groaned, still smiling, though.

 

--

 

They checked into Loch Ness Lodge shortly after the train arrived, then headed out to the town and wandered around to find some lunch.

“I love this place,” Callisto sighed. “I’d move here if it wasn’t so damned cold.”

“What, Scotland in general, or just Inverness?”

“Scotland in general, actually. I love the people, the politics. The country. It’s all gorgeous.”

“The architecture is pretty fantastic.”

They sat on a bench and just people watched for a while.

“Yeah.”

Callisto sighed and leaned into him.

“Gotta say, I’m likin’ the ‘being out in public without being recognized’ thing,” he murmured.

She chuckled and threaded her fingers through his. “Thank you for coming with me. For… being with me.”

He looked over at her and smiled. “Are you kidding? I’m having a fantastic time. Thanks for letting me crash your Halloween plans.”

“Baby, you can crash my plans anytime,” Callisto purred.

He laughed and put an arm around her, planting a kiss on her cheek.

“Next time we come, can we go to the Isle of Skye? I’ve always wanted to go.”

Chris nuzzled the stubble on the side of her head, his voice breathy as he replied, “Sweetheart, I’ll go anywhere you want me to with you.”

 

--

 

She had two more days with him in Edinburgh before they had to head back to the states. At least Chris had been able to get them seated beside each other on the same plane going back home. They had slept most of the flight back, and arrived in Dulles far too soon for Callisto’s liking.

This was the hardest part - separating and going back to their own lives. Still worth it , she thought, even though she could feel her chest tighten.

When they got off the plane, Chris figured out where his connecting flight was, then turned and held her tightly.

“This keeps getting harder,” he breathed.

“I know,” she replied, letting out a long sigh. “It’s only three weeks, this time, at least.”

She looked up chuckling as he pulled his ridiculous sunglasses down to meet her eyes, his ballcap tightly affixed to his head.

“Three weeks,” he murmured. “Shit, I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.”

Callisto shook her head. “You’ll be fine. You have work to do. That’s distracting, right?”

He kissed her soundly and she fell into him with a happy sigh. “I fucking miss you already.”

“Yeah. Me too,” she whispered.

“Call me once you’re on the highway.”

He had a two hour layover - at least he could hide in an executive lounge for it.

“I will. I love you, a rúnsearc.

He touched his forehead and nose to hers. “I love you too, Callisto.”

--

 

Thanksgiving at the Evans household was a little overwhelming. For the first time in years, she was surrounded by people who felt like family. She’d never really liked the holidays to begin with, but Chris’ family was so open and welcoming that she was beginning to change her mind. The meal was excellent and she enjoyed watching Chris interact with his family - they were all delightful, down-to-earth people, and they clearly adored him.

Later that night, as they were settling beside each other in bed, Callisto said, “I didn’t realize families could be like this…”

He nuzzled her and asked, “Like what?”

She met his eyes and explained, “I loved my parents, don’t get me wrong - but… there was always a tension there. Sure, we’d laugh at times, but… you’re all so amazing with each other. There’s such an ease to your family dynamic. It’s rare and beautiful.”

He smiled and kissed her forehead.

“I think my mom has adopted you. You can’t escape now. You’re part of us,” he replied.

“Part of me ,” he added softly.

Callisto smiled and she could feel tears coming. “I will swat you if you make me cry, Chris.”

He chuckled and she could see tears brimming in his eyes as well. The man was so wonderfully free and easy with his emotions. It made her almost painfully protective of him.

“I love you, Callisto. I want and need you in my life,” he breathed, cupping her cheek.

“Well, for better or worse, you got me, Champ. I couldn’t ask for a better Companion,” she whispered.

“Fuck, don’t let Ma hear you say that. She’ll force rings on us,” he laughed.

She turned to kiss his palm.

“Is that something you’d want?” she asked.

His voice quavered a little as he answered, “I think I might.”

Holy shit.

“Even though I can’t give you kids?” she breathed. “And will likely never watch football with you?”

He moved to take her hand, kissing her knuckles, then met her eyes again.

“Yeah.”

“I ah… wow. How would that even work with Seb in the mix?” she asked, her heart racing.

Chris shrugged and replied, “We figure that out as we go? Talk to him about it.”

“Does your mom know about… the three of us?”

He smiled. “She does. I tell her pretty much everything.”

She bit her lip, then grinned. “Then, I guess we need to talk to Seb.”

His eyes brightened as he asked, “Really?”
Callisto laughed and nodded.

“Really.”

 

--

 

The next morning, Chris both startled and embarrassed the hell out of her by actually getting on a fucking knee in the living room and proposing to her in front of his family. The little bastard had a ring specially made and everything.

“You little shit. You had this planned all along, didn’t you?” she growled.

He laughed and bit his lip, his eyes shining. “Yep.”

She shook her head, grinning as she snapped, “You are going to be in so much trouble later.”

“Is that a yes?” he asked, still laughing.

“That’s a Hell Yes.”

The room erupted in cheers and he quickly got up and pulled her into a tight hug.

“You’re going to take this out on me later, aren’t you?” he murmured softly into her ear.

“I might make Seb do it,” she purred, satisfied at the barely audible moan and shiver that went through him.

When they separated, Lisa pulled Chris into a hug and smiled over at her. Callisto grinned back as Scott stepped up to her and pulled her into a warm embrace.

“Welcome to the family, Calli.”

 

--

 

The rest of the visit was fairly low key and Callisto just enjoyed being able to be part of a family again. She’d never actually considered getting married before. It just wasn’t something on her radar at all. The fact that this was actually happening was more than a little daunting, and she shifted in the kitchen chair as her thoughts wandered.

“...you haven’t heard a word I’ve said, have you?”

Chris’ mother’s voice snapped her out of her thoughts and she looked over at Lisa, feeling guilty.

Lisa chuckled and moved to sit in the chair beside her. Callisto could hear the football game going on in the next room, the men grumbling about the way the game was going.

“Sorry…” she blurted, “I’m a little… distracted.”

Lisa smiled and nodded. “He really loves you, you know.”

Callisto flushed and smiled. “I really love him too. So much.”

She quickly added, “And you’re all amazing… it’s just… a lot to process, you know?”

There was a shout from the living room and Lisa just shook her head.

“I’m guessing it’s another bad play,” she explained.

Callisto laughed and replied, “I honestly don’t get the sportsball. I’m more of a competitive fighting gal, myself.”

Lisa smiled. “Yeah, he’d said you were.”

“I know this might sound weird, but I really want to thank you for raising such amazing, authentic, wonderful kids. You have a fantastic family.”

Lisa’s cheeks pinked up a little and she reached a hand out, placing it over Callisto’s.

“You’re part of it now, you know?” she murmured.

Callisto felt her eyes fill with tears and grumbled, “I can’t seem to stop crying. I don’t have words…”

Lisa squeezed her hand and Callisto wiped the tears from her eyes.

“You and your family have given me so much. I’m so grateful.”

They hugged and Callisto let out a few shaky breaths.

As they separated, Chris walked into the kitchen and was immediately at her side, his hand on her thigh.

“Everything okay?” he murmured.

Callisto nodded, wiping at her eyes. “Yeah. My eyes are just leaky.”

He chuckled, then kissed her cheek before leaning over to kiss his mother’s cheek.

“Game’s almost over,” he said. “Want to go for a hike after?”

“Sounds perfect,” she replied, smiling back at him.

 

--

 

“I can’t help feeling that... I’m holding you back.” Callisto huffed as they walked up a hill. “I’m… tragically… out of shape.”

Chris chuckled and squeezed her hand. “You’re fine. Wanna rest for a bit?”

She nodded and they walked over to a large downed tree, sitting on it. Chris pulled his cellphone out of a pocket, and held it up.

“I have signal up here? That’s nuts.”

Callisto looked over at him as he asked, “Should we call Seb?”

She laughed, still trying to catch her breath. “Sure. Why not.”

Chris grinned and dialed Sebastian’s number, putting the call on speaker when he answered.

“Hey, how’s it goin’? I thought you’d be busy...” echoed out of the speaker along with the voice of a woman speaking in what sounded like Romanian. Sebastian replied back in rapid Romanian.

“Is our Pisică there with you?”

Callisto smiled at the hopeful tone in Sebastian’s voice.

Chris grinned and nodded, “She is. There’s… something we want to talk to you about. Got a few minutes?”

“Sure,” Sebastian replied, and it sounded as though he’d moved to another, quieter room. “What’s up?”

“I... ah... I asked Calli to marry me earlier today,” Chris explained.

Sebastian was deadly quiet on the other end of the line for a minute, then asked, “Did she say yes?”

Callisto answered quietly, “I did, Puppy. This is what we wanted to talk to you about – where the three of us go from here.”

“Shit,” Sebastian sighed. “Wait... the three of us?”

Callisto smiled and replied, “Yes. The THREE of us. You, me and Chris - together.”

She heard his breath hitch and Callisto quickly said, “Puppy, I love you BOTH. I want us to try to make this work – if you're ok with that.”

“We wanted to give you some time to process this, buddy,” Chris explained. “Remember what we  talked about last week?”

Callisto frowned, wondering what that was about. She figured she’d find out eventually, so she wasn’t too worried about it.

“Yeah,” Sebastian replied, 'Yeah, I do.”

“I meant it. Every word,” Chris murmured. “Still do.”

“Holy shit. This is a lot to take in over the phone,” Sebastian breathed.

“I know, but we wanted to let you know as soon as possible. It’s not ideal - we would rather have done this in person, but…,” Chris tapered off.

“No, I get it. I get it.” Sebastian replied, “It’s just… fuck. Married ?”

“It’s a ways off yet,” Chris answered. “Callisto wants to wait until next October.”

Sebastian actually laughed then. “Don’t tell me - Halloween?”

Chris laughed, nodding. “Yep. Got it in one.”

Callisto bristled a little, snapping, “Hey - I’m only planning on doing this shit once, so I’m gonna make it count.”

Chris wrapped an arm around her, giving her cheek a quick peck.

“The least you could do is show me the ring,” Sebastian snapped.

Chris took a quick picture and sent it - he’d gotten her a cornflower blue star sapphire surrounded on both sides by silver tentacles. She loved it.

“Ok - at least you got that shit right,” Sebastian murmured appreciatively.

Callisto laughed and rested her head on Chris’ shoulder.

“Glad you approve,” Chris replied mildly.

“Fuck, I miss you guys,” Sebastian murmured.

“We miss you too, buddy,” Chris said with a fondness that made Callisto grin.

“I better be invited to the fucking wedding,” Sebastian grumped, then chuckled.

“Without a doubt,” Chris replied, “Calli would kick my ass if you weren’t.”

“Damn straight,” she snapped, smiling.

“Is your Ma gonna kick your ass about waiting so long to tie the knot?” Sebastian asked, and Callisto swore she could hear his grin through the phone.

“At the moment, she’s just happy that I found somebody to share my life with,” Chris replied quietly. 

Callisto blushed and leaned into him, threading her arm through his and resting her head on his shoulder.

“I’m really happy for you as well, man. If anybody deserves this, you do,” Sebastian sounded happy, but a little distant.

“You do too, Puppy,” Callisto replied, adding, “We all do.”

“This is so fuckin’ weird,” Sebastian murmured, letting out a sigh. “Good, but… Shit, I dunno…”

“We’ll figure it out, Seb. We’ll make it work,” Chris replied warmly.

“I gotta go, guys.” Sebastian muttered, and Callisto could almost hear him running his fingers through his hair.

“We love you, Puppy,” she breathed. “So fucking much.”

“I love you too, but I have some thinking to do about all this. I’ll talk to you later. Tell your Ma I said hi, Chris.”

“Talk to you later, buddy,” Chris replied, sighing when the line disconnected.

“That could have gone better,” He lamented. He sighed and looked over at her.

“We really need to see him before Christmas comes,” Callisto urged.

Chris nodded. “Yeah. I have some time coming up. I’ll talk to him about it - we’ll figure it out.”

“You’re both welcome to come stay with me, if a somewhat neutral place works,” she offered.

He smiled and stood up, holding a hand out to her.

“C’mon. We’re almost at the top.”

Callisto groaned and swatted at his hand. “If my heart explodes before we get there, you have only yourself to blame.”

He laughed and looked up into the canopy of fall colors.

“I’m going to end up carrying you the whole way down, aren’t I?” he grinned as he looked back at her.

“Such a dick,” Callisto snapped, then laughed.

 

--

 

Callisto groaned and Chris gently shushed her as he stopped what he was doing.

“I’m going to kill you. Murder you dead,” Callisto hissed as he started again. She was desperately trying to stay quiet as he alternately toyed with her clit and pressed against her G spot.

“You don’t really want to wake everybody up, do you? I mean, how embarrassing would that be?”

He giggled, then dipped down to suck her clit into his mouth.

“Dirty pool, Evans,” she grated, rocking up into him, fisting the sheets in a death grip.

She gritted her teeth, body shaking as he continued, merciless in his assault. She jerked as he slid two fingers back in her, bucking into him.

“Try not to lose a tooth, shithead,” She growled.

He chuckled against her and the sound resonated in a way that pushed her so damn close. Almost…

Then he stopped.

She glared down at him, shaking her head. “That’s it. I’m taking the ring off.”

He grabbed her wrists - hard , pinning them to her sides as he went back to what he was doing, and within minutes she was silently screaming over the edge. He quickly shifted to move above her, then slid into her, his breath hitching. He hauled her hands over her head and set a quick, brutal pace before finally crying out and slumping against her.

“Tut tut,” She whispered. “What will your mother say?”

He chuckled and slurred, “It’s not the worst thing she’s heard. In a house raising two boys?”

“Asshole,” She growled, wrapping herself around him.

“Hey, if you can’t fuck your fiancee in the room you slept in as a kid, are you really living?”

At that, they both laughed.

She shivered as he got up and cleaned them both off, sliding out the towel he’d placed beneath her and dropping it to the floor before climbing back in to join her. As he nuzzled her shoulder, she asked, “Do I get to know what this mysterious conversation between you two was about?”

Chris stilled, then sighed and relaxed against her.

“I… ah… finally told him,” he admitted, pulling her close.

She turned to face him, then pressed a hand to his heart, her forehead to his.

“Did it… go well?” she asked, her voice quiet.

He let out a nervous chuckle. “Actually, yeah. Turns out he’d been into me for awhile now, and wasn’t sure how I’d feel about that if he ever said anything.”

He looked up to meet her eyes and explained, “Seb wanted me to wait to tell you. He kinda wanted it to be a surprise.”

Callisto’s heart fluttered at the idea of the boys together, letting out a shaky sigh. Then she sobered, “Oh shit. The proposal must have knocked the wind out of him. Poor puppy.”

Chris kissed the tip of her nose. “He just needs some time to get his head around it. He’s clear on how we both feel - now he needs to figure his own shit out.”

Chapter Text

“You WHAT?”

Jason was yelling again.

“I… got engaged?” she winced, holding the phone away from her ear.

“How the fuck did that happen?!?” Jason cried.

“He got down on a knee - in front of his fucking family , and proposed. Over Thanksgiving.”

The silence on the other end of the line was deafening. Then…

“Are you fucking kidding me??”

“Newp.” she replied, petting the cats as they wandered over her lap.

“So, you’re gonna move to LA then? And leave me here? I can’t believe what an asshole you’re being…we were gonna joust on rascal scooters in the retirement home and everything...”

Callisto laughed and replied, “Shit, I don’t know. We haven’t really discussed that yet.”

“There’s a date, though - right?” Jason asked.

“Next Halloween.”

Again, silence.

“Really? He’s willing to wait until Halloween?”

She grinned and nodded. “Yep.”

She sent him a picture of the engagement ring.

“Ok, at least he got that shit right,” Jason grumbled. “So, wait. Aren’t you still fucking that other guy? His friend? The one with The Hair?”

“His name’s Sebastian,” she muttered.

“How can I possibly be expected to remember all the dick you keep landing on at this point?”

“Keep up, fucko. There’s only two,” she snapped.

“If I’m not your whatever of honor - NOT maid, I’m never talking to you again,” he grumped.

“Like there was ever a fuckin’ question on that,” she replied.

“Wait - does this mean you’re gonna have to do Christmas with him and his shitty family now? You can’t do Family Dinner this year?”

“‘Fraid so - and those are my future in-laws you’re talking shit about,” Callisto snapped.

“Just so you know, I still hate you. Just so we’re clear.”

“Declan’s going to shit himself,” Jason quipped.

That started them both laughing.

 

--

 

Sebastian kept his head down as he made his way towards her. Granted, she understood that he didn’t want to be recognized, but something felt off about him today.

Before he crossed the security boundary, somebody tapped her on the shoulder and when she looked over, a male voice said, “Holy shit, it is her.”

Callisto frowned, trying to find the source of the voice, and another voice yelled out, “Hey Callisto, where’s Chris? Are you waiting for him? Is he here?”

A girl yelled out, “OH MY GOD, CHRIS EVANS IS HERE?”

Ah, fuck , she froze, having no idea how to react to this.

The small group of people, that was slowly growing larger, were starting to crowd her and she started panicking, her chest tightening. Why was it so hard to breathe? Questions started coming at her from all directions, and camera phones were being held up, the lights disorienting her. She held up her hands to try to ward it all off, accidentally backing into a woman who pushed her forward angrily.

“Fucking whore,” the woman spat, her face twisted into an ugly, smug grin as Callisto twisted to look back at her. While the crowding had brought out her anxiety, violence was now quickly bringing out her immediate anger and need to defend and retaliate. Callisto’s eyes narrowed and she’d finally had enough. She pulled her rage around her like a cloak, prepping to start swinging if need be. 

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS SHIT?” she yelled. “No, he isn’t here. Back the fuck off!”

She felt a sharp pain in her leg and immediately Sebastian was there, arm around her shoulders as he quickly started walking her away from the surrounding people, forcing his way through the rest of them.

“Did that bleach blond beige Becky BITCH just fuckin’ KICK ME?” Callisto growled.

“Keep your head down,” he hissed. “I’m here. I got you.”

They started walking faster and he grabbed her hand, “Try to keep up.”

He started running and she was surprised that she was actually able to keep pace with him as they raced for the exit.

 

--

 

As they ran through the parking lot, she tossed him her keys.

“You’re driving,” her own voice sounding toneless and cold. Sebastian snatched the keys out of the air.

Chris - who had chosen to wisely wait in the SUV, once Callisto had explained what a bad idea it would be for him to go inside and wait with her, immediately jumped out, took one look at her, then asked, “Seb. What the fuck happened?”

“Get in. We need to get the fuck out of here.”

Seb slid into the driver’s seat and Callisto scrambled into the backseat, holding out a hand when Chris tried to join her.

“I can’t. Not right now. Please…” she croaked, barely holding it together as she tried desperately to catch her breath.

Chris nodded and got into the passenger side seat, looking over at Seb, who shook his head.

“Not until we’re out of the lot, man. Trust me.”

Callisto clicked her seatbelt in place, and she could feel her lip curling and twitching as her hands tightened into fists. Callisto was in a full on fucking towering, silent rage for the first time in many years. She stared straight ahead, trying to get control of herself.

“Holy fuck, Pisică - you’re scary as fuck when you’re angry, you know that, right?” he murmured appreciatively.

“Thank you for getting me out of there before I ended up in a jail cell,” she muttered darkly, still furious, grinding her teeth.

The fury finally started to subside once they were on the highway and now she was just cold, cold, cold.

She closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around herself, taking deep breaths - then, suddenly, she was crying.

“Shit…” Chris snapped, then crawled clumsily into the back and wrapped arms tightly around her. 

“Sweetheart, I’m here,” he murmured softly.

She clutched at him as though he were the last bit of floating wood in a vast sea, desperately trying not to drown.

“What happened?” he snapped, looking up at Sebastian.

Seb’s hands were twisting as he held the wheel, his jawline taut and his eyes dark.

“She got recognized. And assaulted,” he growled.

“Fuck…” Chris breathed, holding her tighter and kissing her temple.

“Yeah.”

 

--

 

By the time they got home, Callisto was feeling marginally better. Once she was down on the floor with her cats, letting them climb all over and comfort her, she finally started to relax.

She could hear the boys talking in the kitchen.

“Where the fuck was security ?”

Well, Chris was yelling.

“You know those assholes aren’t trained for this sort of thing. Maybe in LA, but out here?” Sebastian sounded equally angry. “I saw a few idiots in uniforms step forward once they figured out what was happening. I think that’s why nobody was able to keep up with us when we broke for the parking lot.”

Callisto lay back on the floor, curling around Nag and Nagaina, giving them pets and rubs as the heated conversation in the kitchen continued.

She was actually grateful that they’d both left her alone with the cats, as she’d gone nonverbal shortly after breaking down in tears. Knowing her panic attack pattern, she’d likely be able to start talking again in another half hour.

The conversation in the kitchen stopped and she looked over to find both of them peering over at her. Chris looked immeasurably sad, but Sebastian just looked pissed.

Chris walked over and sat on the floor beside her, his voice haunted as he murmured, “Fuck, I’m so sorry.”

Callisto reached out to him and he embraced her as Sebastian tried to find a spot beside her where the cats weren’t. She felt him rest a hand on her thigh and looked over at him.

“Want me to go back and clock that bitch? At this point, I’m really tempted to,” he growled.

At this, she let out a bark of laughter, surprising herself. She silently shook her head, reaching out to cover his hand with hers.

“Is there anything…?” Chris began, but Callisto gave him the ASL sign for ‘I cannot speak now’ and he nodded.

“What’s that?” Sebastian was frowning back at Chris.

“She explained to me that sometimes, when her anxiety gets bad, she gets nonverbal…” Callisto could see the muscle in Chris’ jaw twitch as he looked back down at her.

“Want us to get you into bed so you can rest?” he asked.

Callisto nodded and sighed as they lifted her and carried her as though she was the most precious thing in the world.

They set her down then both settled beside her - the cats moving to take up positions by their feet. In moments, she was asleep.

 

--

 

She was jerked awake by the sound of a phone ringing. Chris groaned and shifted beside her, pulling his phone out of his pocket and answering it.

She looked over to see his expression growing dark and angry. “Yep. Got it. Just… gimme an hour.”

Then Sebastian’s phone rang. They both looked over to see him scramble to get it, only to end up sharing the same expression as Chris’ when he finished the call.

They both looked at each other, then down at Calli.

“What?” she asked, spreading her hands.

Chris let out a long sigh, then explained, “TMZ has footage of the two of you running through the airport, hand in hand. The speculation is just fucking stupid. That was my agent.”

“I really fuckin’ hate this industry, sometimes,” Sebastian grated.

“Oh shit!” Callisto jerked and sat up. “You never got your luggage!”

Sebastian gaped up at her, then started laughing.

“That’s the first thing you think about? My fucking luggage?”

“Well… you’re here for two weeks. Aren’t you…?”

He grabbed her hand, kissing her wrist. “Yeah, that’s handled. It’s ok. Don’t worry about it.”

Chris’ phone rang again and Callisto guessed it would be his mom calling this time.

“Hey Ma,” he answered, sounding so tired. “Yeah, we’re ok.”

He started pinching the bridge of his nose, then replied, “Yeah, she’s here.”

Chris handed the phone to her, and Callisto frowned, then said, “Hi Mrs. Evans…”

“What did I tell you?”

“Sorry - Lisa,” Callisto replied with a sheepish grin.

“Are you ok, honey? Somebody said you were assaulted?”

Callisto sighed and nodded, “Yeah. Some bimbo pushed and kicked me. Real high school. Classy.”

Chris stilled beside her as Lisa replied, “I’m really glad Sebastian was there to get you out. Where was Chris?”

“I had him wait in the car. God, if he’d been there with me, it would have gotten ugly really quickly.” She didn’t want to think about it.

“I’m just glad to hear that you’re ok - hand the phone back to my son, please.”

Callisto winced as she handed the phone back to Chris, who was rolling his eyes as he brought it back up to his ear.

His cheeks pinked up at whatever his mother had to say, and he nodded. “Yes ma’am. I know. Thank you. I love you too, Ma.”

When the conversation ended, he looked over at her and grumped, “Even though she knows you’re right, she’s still irritated that I didn’t go with you.”

He turned to face her, laying an arm across her waist. 

“It would have been a total shitshow if you’d been there.”

He frowned and muttered, “It was enough of a shitshow that it happened at all.”

Sebastian curled up against her back, nuzzling her shoulder.

“Better now?” He asked softly.

She sighed and let them cuddle her.

Chris broke the silence first. “I gotta call my agent back. Shit, I don’t know what I’m going to say.”

“Is it against the law for a friend of your boyfriend to visit? Fucking hell,” Callisto snapped.

“We still have yet to talk about all this and how it shakes out,” Sebastian replied.

“Fiancé…” Chris murmured offhandedly.

Sebastian thought about it for a moment, then said, “It’d be a good distraction.”

Chris looked over at him, frowning, then winced. “That feels… wrong. Opportunistic.”

Sebastian parked his chin on her shoulder and explained, “Yeah, but… nobody expects that from you. And I’m guessing you wanted to announce the engagement at some point, right?”

“Wait, what?” Callisto caught on now, eyes wide.

Sebastian continued, “You could just explain that I was coming out to celebrate with you guys. We could take a couple of pics, Instagram them and put this to bed.”

Callisto frowned and looked over at Sebastian. “What, would that actually work?”

Sebastian laughed. “Are you kidding? It’d bury the story entirely.”

Chris let out a heavy sigh and murmured, “My agent’s going to hate me.”

Callisto looked back at him. “Why?”

Sebastian explained, “A girlfriend is tentative - it still means our boy might be available again someday. A Fiancée…? It takes him off the market entirely.”

“You’re right. It’s the right move to make,” Chris replied, sitting up.

“Fuck, I’m not going to be able to go anywhere for a month,” Callisto groaned. “That’s it. I’m shaving my head bald.”

They both hugged her and she sighed.

“Okay. But if that shit happens again? Back at the airport? I’m swingin’ the fuck down. I don’t give a shit about the bad press.”

Chris nodded and said, “Fair enough.”

 

--

 

The headlines were ridiculous. You’d think the entire world was in mourning with the way the news was coming out. Callisto had to back entirely off any form of social media. The amount of messages and tweets were astounding. Well wishers, hateful missives and outright threats - it run the gamut.

So we’re back to this , she thought with irritation.

She’d had to create alternate accounts just to stay in touch with her friends, it was a pain in the balls.

They’d had to tickle her to get her to honestly laugh for one of the Instagram photos, but the press seemed to be eating it up. She’d had countless people reach out to her to beg for interviews, but she had absolutely no desire to get back to any of them. It bugged the shit out of her that these people were so goddamned invasive - nothing was sacred, nothing private.

“You’re not regretting this, are you?”

Chris stepped a little further into the kitchen, then moved to sit down beside her at the small table in the alcove where Callisto was sipping her tea. He looked so uncomfortable and wary. It made her heart hurt.

She looked over at him and held out a hand. “You’re worth all of it, Chris. All of it . I regret nothing.”

He scooted closer to her, letting out a shaky sigh as he rested his head on her chest. She hugged him tight and kissed the top of his head.

“I love you, Chris. Okay? That’s not going away anytime soon.”

He curled against her and silently wept.

“Shhh, baby. I’m here. You’re safe. I’ve got you,” she murmured, running her fingers through his hair.

Sebastian stepped into the kitchen, frowning over at her, his concern obvious. He walked up to Chris and wrapped around him - both of them holding him while he let it all out.

 

--

 

Later that night, the vibe between the three of them was more intimate, more intense. The way the boys touched her was almost reverent, they way they loved her - it was as though they were paying tribute. There was a brief moment of tension, after she sought to catch her breath after having been tossed over another screaming edge of joy and release, when she saw the two men look at each other, as if finally deciding something.

When she felt the tension between them snap, she shivered as they moved to kiss each other. She watched them in silence, not daring to do anything that might shatter the moment. The kiss was tentative - inquiring. An intimate exploration. When they pulled apart to look down at her, she smiled back up at them.

“It’s about goddamned time.” she murmured softly.

They both laughed, which set her off in a fit of giggles.

When they quieted down, Sebastian muttered, “You lucky fucking bastard.”

Callisto cleared her throat and said, “Oh I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky fucking bastard here.”

Chris was openly laughing now, which set all three of them off again.

When the laughter died down, Callisto touched Chris’ cheek and said, “Go play. I kinda desperately need to watch the two of you together.”

And with that, the entire dynamic changed. She shifted so that Chris could climb over her to get to Sebastian, which prompted some chuckling, but that died down pretty quickly.

The men started slow at first, with tentative touches. Callisto watched in rapt attention as they explored each other, smiling as she realized that Chris was sexually researching Sebastian’s body, cataloguing his reactions in much the same way he’d done with her those first few nights they had spent together.

Then, it became a dominance game, with both of them working to figure out what they wanted and how they wanted it. Sebastian groaned as Chris pinned his arms down to the mattress, kissing him in a way that set Callisto’s heart thrumming.

Chris ground into Sebastian with his hips and they both groaned and shivered.

Chris looked over at her, then shifted his hips to the side. Unable to help herself, Callisto reached out and fisted Sebastian’s cock and the man went completely still, letting out a soft cry. He bucked his hips and she gently stroked him as Chris moved to suck the man’s nipple into his mouth.

Chris then shifted a little further so that Callisto could slide her mouth down over Sebastian’s cock. Sebastian cried out then, his hand slapping on her shoulder and gripping her tightly. He grated something that sounded like ‘ dracus funt ’ then cried out before unleashing a torrent of Romanian in a guttural groan.

She looked up and met Chris’ eyes. His pupils were almost completely blown - she could see the barest hint of blue rimming them. He watched her, his eyes growing hooded as she took Sebastian’s cock deeper, groaning as it hit the back of her throat.

The man shook beneath her and she could tell he was already getting close. He was likely overloaded with sensation. His breathing was quick and thready.

Callisto slowly withdrew, letting her fingers play along his shaft as she looked up to see them both looking back at her, their eyes full of need.

She and Chris quickly moved to switch positions and Sebastian hissed, then bit out what sounded like a curse as his head rocked back into the pillow.

Callisto looked over to see Chris’ mouth descending down over Sebastian’s cock and she felt a powerful pulse go through her. Her heart was hammering in her chest as Sebastian’s chest rose and fell faster at sensations Callisto could only imagine. 

“Oh god, Chris… fuck ...”

She often wondered what it would be like to be on the receiving end of that kind of attention.

Pisică…”

She turned to see Sebastian looking back at her, shaken with need. She dipped down to kiss him and the man clutched at her, trembling as his body bowed, then jerked. Callisto captured his cries, feeling more turned on than she ever had in her life.

Chris was suddenly on her, pressing her back down to the mattress.

“Please…” he whispered, shivering.

Callisto nodded and opened to him as Chris slammed into her, his rhythm fierce and rough.

She wrapped around him, her voice husky as she groaned out, “So… fucking… hot…”

With a cry he spilled into her, shaking - his breathing hoarse and fast.

When they all had a moment to catch their breath, Callisto felt a hand on her thigh, looking over to see Sebastian looking back over at them with what looked like astonishment.

She reached out to touch his cheek softly.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Are you fucking kidding?” Sebastian laughed, gently taking her hand and kissing the inside of her palm. “I could do this all day.”
Chris laughed then. “You dick.”

Chapter Text

Callisto woke to an empty bed and the smell of coffee and breakfast. She was betting the cats were somewhere around Sebastian’s feet, as they always were when he visited. She made a meowing sound and both of them came running to cuddle with her.

“Hello babies. Is Puppy keeping you occupied?” she crooned, giving them copious pets.

She looked up to see Chris in the doorway, wearing a set of soft sweatpants that rode low on his hips and nothing else. She grinned and stretched as he climbed up on the bed to lay beside her, wrapping an arm around her waist and giving her a quick kiss.

“Breakfast is almost ready,” he murmured.

Her stomach rumbled and he chuckled. “Just in time, it seems.”

“Lemme catch a quick shower, then I’ll be right out.”

He nuzzled then kissed her, giving the cats quick scritches before heading back to the kitchen.

Her muscles had gotten a little stiff over the course of the night and the hot water felt amazing on them. She dried off and pulled on a long KISS tanktop that went to her knees and headed to the kitchen. She rounded the corner to see Chris curled around Sebastian, his chin on the man’s shoulder, watching while he cooked.

They both looked over at her and she grinned. “Oh my god, you guys are adorable.”

They boys chuckled and Chris kissed Sebastian’s neck, making him blush, as she went to start making her tea.

The cats were back at Sebastian’s feet and he was grumbling, “I swear to god, you fuckers want me to break a leg.”

Chris laughed and she felt his arms come around her waist as she dropped two teabags into her mug, pouring in sugar and hot water.

“How did you sleep?” He murmured, kissing her shoulder.

She shivered and replied, “I’m a little stiff this morning, but sleep was good.”

“C’mere.” He took her hand and led her over to the small kitchen table. “Sit.”

She sighed and obeyed, then groaned as he started working strong thumbs against the muscles of her shoulders and neck.

“Fuck - how did you get so tight? Your back’s all in knots,” he breathed.

Callisto let her eyes close and almost slurred her words. “Some days are just worse than others.”

“Do we need to take it easy on you today?” Chris kissed the top of her head.

“I just need a half hour in the hot tub and I’ll be okay.”

Sebastian walked over and placed a plate with eggs, sausage and an english muffin before her.

“Eat. It’ll help.”

“Oh my god, I love you guys,” she grinned, looking back to try to find her tea.

Sebastian put the mug beside the plate, saying, “I got you, pisică ” placing a quick kiss on her cheek. One of the cats meowed and Sebastian grated, “You guys are killin’ me here.”

She looked over to watch him crouch down to play with and pet them, then groaned when Chris’ thumbs hit the muscles beneath her scapula.

“Oh, fuck. Right there,” she breathed, feeling the muscles slowly release.

“Ok - if you keep that shit up, I’m gonna end up fucking both of you on the kitchen table,” Sebastian growled. “EAT.”

 

--

 

Callisto sighed and leaned back against the back of the hot tub, letting the heat do its work while the boys cleaned up the kitchen.

Shit, I could get used to this , she thought to herself, grateful for the shade tree that kept the sun off this portion of the back deck.

She looked over as the back door opened and the boys walked out, jostling each other and laughing easily. When they saw her tanktop on the deck, they both shrugged and stripped down, then joined her in the hot tub. She was certain that her heart had stopped for a brief moment as she shook her head, ogling them the entire time.

“Oh Lord Jesus, it’s a fire…” she muttered as they both grinned back at her, knowing exactly what they were doing to her.

“Has it been half an hour yet?” Sebastian asked, waggling his eyebrows as they moved to sit across from her.

Chris laughed and she smoothly replied, “You realize this is the worst possible environment for lubrication, right?”

Sebastian shrugged and looked over at Chris, his gaze heated. “Then we’ll just have to put on a really good show,” he murmured.

Chris blushed as Sebastian pulled him into a kiss and Callisto groaned as they kissed each other, slow and soft at first, their hands moving to explore and tease. Sebastian’s hand dipped down and Chris gasped, his head rocking back and his eyes fluttering closed as Sebastian growled, “ Fuck , I’ve wanted to do this with you for fucking ever .”

Chris’ eyes flashed open, meeting hers for a brief moment before looking over at Sebastian.

“Yeah?” he asked, his voice husky and full of need.

“Oh fuck yeah,” Sebastian crooned. “Didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to…”

Sebastian did something that made Chris cry out and Callisto just sat staring, unable to move, her own breath starting to come in quick gasps.

Sebastian looked back over at her, his grin wicked. “Do you like watching us, pisică ? Watching me work my hand on his dick?”

Callisto made a strangled sound and Sebastian laughed with self-satisfaction as Chris began to tremble. “You gonna come for me, Chris? Fuck - open your eyes and see how into it Calli is.”

Chris obeyed and she met the eyes of a man drowning in pleasure. He held a hand out to her and she took it, moving over to sit beside him as he cried out again.

“Eyes on me now, Chris,” Sebastian purred, “I need you to watch me as you let go, knowing I’m doing this to you.”

“Fuck… Sebastian… Holy…” Chris’ breathing was harsh and wild now and Callisto felt an answering shudder go through her as Sebastian leaned in and kissed Chris roughly, before pulling back and doing something that tossed Chris over the edge, howling. She damn near went over herself, completely untouched as Chris went limp beside her, and they both moved to support his body so he didn’t go under the water.

Sebastian looked over at her as though he might well cry. His voice was shaky as he whispered, “Thank you. Thank you for letting me have this with him.”

Callisto shivered and moved to hold them both. “Thank you for sharing him with me.”

“Oh my fahking gawd,” Chris croaked, trying to catch his breath. “ Jesus , Seb.”

Sebastian and Callisto laughed as Chris sat up, wrapping his arms around both of them.

He was still a little breathy when he asked, “Was it worth the wait?”

Sebastian shivered and nodded, his own voice low and shaky, “Oh fuck yeah.”

He moaned then as Chris leaned in to kiss him, his fingers wrapping around Sebastian’s cock.

“I want to try something…”

Sebastian’s breath hitched and he croaked, “Fuck. Anything . Yes.”

“We’re going to need to go inside for it, though.”

Dripping water throughout the house, Sebastian and Callisto fell into her bed, soaking the sheets while Chris opened the bedside table drawer and pulled out a bottle of lubricant.

Sebastian shivered as Chris smiled down at him, then groaned as Callisto fisted his cock, slowly stroking it. 

Chris moved to sit at Sebastian’s hip, then asked, “Remember what we talked about?”

Sebastian groaned and bucked into Callisto’s hand, biting his lip so hard she was sure it was going to bleed.

“Pleasepleaseplease…” he whispered.

Chris dipped down to kiss him and Callisto squeezed, enjoying the sounds Sebastian made. “Oh, puppy. You’re so goddamned beautiful,” she breathed, moving to cup his balls gently.

She watched Chris apply lube to his fingers, then looked back up at Sebastian who was now breathing in rapid gulps. Suddenly, Sebastian cried out and Chris calmly said, “Breathe, Seb. We’ll go as slow as you need us to.”

As Sebastian’s breathing became less stuttered and more regular, he said, “I’m okay… need more…”

She watched Chris’ finger disappear deeper into Sebastian, then looked back up at him, stroking his cock gently. “Stop… oh god, take your hand off my dick. It’s too much…”

Callisto moved her hand to rest it on his stomach as Chris asked, “Do you want me to stop?”

“FUCK no…” Sebastian grunted, “I just… gimme a sec…”

By the time Chris had been able to work him open enough for two fingers, Chris did something that made Sebastian almost leap off the bed, the sound he’d made actually startling her.

There we go,” Chris grinned, doing it again, causing Sebastian to make the most exciting, delightful noises.

“Oh god, more… please… fuck,” Sebastian’s voice was shaky with need, his body taut and trembling.

When Chris added a third finger, Sebastian went completely still, trying to control his breathing. He looked down at both of them, tears at the corners of his eyes.

Chris gave him a minute, his own breathing heavy and a little thready. Callisto just took in the entire scene, her entire body vibrating.

Then Sebastian started moving against Chris’ hand, slow at first, then faster - harder.

“Oh god, please…. just fuck me, Chris,” Sebastian groaned, gripping the sheets so hard his knuckles were white.

Chris moved to clean his hands off, then pulled Sebastian down to the edge of the bed and lubed himself up, pumping himself a few times before pressing against Sebastian and pushing.

Callisto’s heart stopped - she swore it did, as the boys groaned loudly enough to wake the dead.

They both stopped, shuddering and swearing as she bore silent witness. She wanted their first time together like this to be precious, so she held herself back, letting them finally have this. It was enough that she was allowed to simply watch.

When they’d both gotten their breathing back under control she was startled to find them both looking over at her ask if asking, Why aren’t you joining in?

Her own voice sounded so small as she explained, “You’ve been waiting for this for a long time. It’s yours. It’s enough that I’m here.”

“Fuck that, pisică ,” Sebastian growled. “If you don’t put your fucking hands on me, I’m going to kick you.”

She let out a sharp bark of laughter and Chris nodded, “This is US, sweetheart. All of us. BE with us.”

The words shook her heart and she moved to touch Sebastian’s stomach, chuckling when he grabbed her hand and wrapped it around his cock.

“Now fucking kiss me while your fiancé fucks me, dammit.”

They all laughed, then Sebastian hissed when Chris pushed in a little further. Callisto moved to capture his lips with her own and started slowly stroking him.

“Tell us what you want, Seb. How you want it,” Chris murmured, his tone soft.

Sebastian directed them and they followed, letting him set the pace - but they’d backed things off when he got a little too close to the edge.

Callisto looked down at him and crooned, “Ever heard of something called edging?”

Sebastian glared back at her, then grinned.

“You wouldn’t.” he teased.

“Oh, I fucking well would,” she assured him.

He looked up at Chris who simply shrugged. “Turnabout’s fair play.” He then gave Sebastian a sharp grin.

Callisto laughed as they started again.

By the time they finally let him come, Sebastian’s throat was raw.

Callisto and Chris curled around Sebastian, soothing him with soft words and touches.

“Oh my fucking god… I had no idea…” he croaked, shaking.

Chris wrapped around him from behind and Callisto nuzzled his chest, kissing his chin.

“You did so good, puppy,” she crooned, touching his cheek.

Sebastian’s breathing had slowed down, but it was still faster than usual. Chris slowly ran his fingers through Sebastian’s hair, kissing his shoulder and whispering to him. “Thank you…”

Sebastian’s answering laugh was rough. He let out a shaky sigh and wrapped his arm around Callisto, pulling her close.

“Yeah, I could do this for the rest of my fucking life…” he trailed off.

Chris chuckled and Callisto kissed Sebastian’s chest.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” Callisto murmured.

 

--

 

The three of them sat on the living room floor gorging themselves on Chinese food.

“It’s not Genghis Cohen, but it’s not bad for Northern Virginia,” Callisto muttered, shoving more beef lo-mein in her mouth.

Sebastian was popping his third spring roll of the night, groaning and grinning around it.

“It’ll do,” he grunted.

Chris laughed and took a long drink of water before eating more crab rangoon. “Oh my god, I could eat a crate of these damn things,” he murmured, his resulting grin adorable.

The amount of experimenting they’d done together over the last few days had been damn near Olympic, and they were only just now settling to a point where they could be in the same room without being all over each other.

“So…,” Sebastian started, taking a sip of water before sitting up straighter. “It’s probably time we had ‘The Conversation’.”

Both Chris and Callisto paused in the act of bringing food to their mouths, then Callisto replied, “Now that we’ve bled all the resulting sexual frustration out of our systems, yeah… Might be a good time.”

Chris wiped his mouth, nodding.

Sebastian looked uncomfortable for a moment, then said, “How the fuck are we going to make this work?” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Shit, it’s hard just figuring it out with one person at this point…”

Callisto moved to pet Nagaina as the kitty moved into her lap. “I guess we need to figure out if there’s a main place were we’ll all feel comfortable staying - but with you in New York, puppy, and Chris out in L.A. and me here… Where would that be?”

Chris leaned forward, resting his arm on his knee. “I guess we could… rotate? I mean, it’ll be a pain in the ass when Seb and I are working on separate projects, but…”

He looked over at Callisto, his brow furrowing as if he wasn’t entirely certain what her answer would be as he asked, “Would you be up to visiting us on set from time to time? I mean.. The hours can be brutal, but…”

“I can make that work… but, at some point, I’d have to look at either hiring somebody for the critters, or… shit.” As if it had only now occurred to her, she jerked back as if slapped. “I can’t give this place up. There’s too much here… I can’t turn my back on it.”

Chris reached out and she tucked herself in against his side as he brought his arm around her. “You wouldn’t have to give it up.”

She looked up at him and asked, “But, do you want us to live together? I mean, that would make sense, but… I mean, it’s what married people do, right?”

He smiled and kissed her temple. “It’s what most of them do, yes - but this is a… it’s an unusual situation, at best.”

Sebastian spoke then, shifting forward a little. “At least the next movie we’re on we’re doing together.”

Callisto remembered then - they had mentioned it in a previous phone conversation. The filming was going to be taking place in Los Angeles.

“So - we all dogpile on Chris?” Callisto suggested. “Then figure it out from there?”

Seb bit his lip and grinned, shrugging. “Works for me.”

Chris laughed and replied, “Nobody’s saying all of this has to be hammered out in the next few hours. That sounds like a good place to start.”

Callisto frowned and said, “I’m gonna have to bring the cats. Thank fuck neither of you are allergic to them. Will Dodger be okay with them?”

“He’s pretty easy going. We start shooting in February.”

Callisto nodded, then slowly explained, “I’m going to… ah.. Need to bring some of my altars with. Will that be okay?”

“Will everything fit on a plane?” Chris asked.

Callisto shook her head. “I’d want everything with me, so I’d probably drive out to you. I’d feel better that way.”

“There’s no way you’re driving yourself across country, pisică. You’re too recognizable at this point.” Sebastian looked over at both of them, shaking his head.

“Shit,” Callisto grumped. It was too easy to forget that.

“Sorry, sweetheart,” Chris murmured softly.

“Still getting used to that,” she muttered, sighing. “I keep forgetting.”

“Guess we’re tour busin’ it again,” Sebastian grinned.

“In February?” Callisto asked. “What about snow?”

Chris chuckled and said, “Says the one who wanted to drive across the country alone in an SUV in the middle of winter.”

“Shut up,” she snapped, her eyes narrowing.

Sebastian started laughing then. “There’s my cat.”

Chapter Text

Callisto was awakened by the sound of a shout, then Chris yelping out. She was out of the bed before she heard Sebastian start cackling. By the time she made it to the door Chris was on the floor, eyes narrowed, looking back at Sebastian who was now howling with laughter.

“Boys…?” she muttered. “Everything okay?”

Sebastian actually had tears in his eyes from laughter as he reached down to help Chris up. Chris slapped his hand away and just lay out on the floor, grinding his jaw.

“You’re such a dick,” Chris shook his head and started laughing, then moved to get up.

“...Do I want to know?” she asked.

Sebastian was giggling now as Chris swatted out at him. Then, at the same time, they both seemed to notice that she was fully naked. Callisto never slept in clothes - they bugged the hell out of her.

“Truce?” Sebastian held his hands up, then looked over at her, his eyes hooded with growing excitement.

Chris nodded, his grin wicked.

Callisto held her hands up and started backing into the bedroom.

“Look, you assholes woke me up… I still need to…” she turned tried to close the door behind her, but they had her on the bed so quickly she just started laughing. She kept forgetting how quickly they moved.

“Dammit! I need my beauty rest!” she yelled.

“You’re plenty gorgeous already,” Sebastian crooned. “Fuck, I’m never going to get tired of touching you.”

Chris crawled over her, grinning as he kissed his way up her stomach.

“What time is it? Fucksakes.” She was still laughing.

“Who gives a shit?” Sebastian answered, silencing her with a kiss.

 

--

 

The amount of pranks the boys tended to play on each other were almost alarming in their frequency and intensity. It was stupid, really - and yet, endearing as fuck. The varying yelps and shouts followed by uproarious laughter was infectious, and more than once she’d had to tell them to ‘take it outside’.

“Christ, I never wanted kids, and now I have two ,” She grumbled to herself as the buzzer for the front gate rang out. There was a Best Buy delivery truck at the gate. The idiots were out back laughing and chasing each other around so Callisto sighed and hit the button to let the driver in.

She stepped outside as he pulled up and a young man stepped out. “Delivery for Sebastian Hamill?”

Callisto shook her head, grinding her teeth. “Yeah. You’ve got the right address.” What had the asshole done now ?

She quickly signed the tablet and the driver asked, “Got anybody to help you with this? It’s pretty large and heavy.”

At this, the boys came around from the back, apparently having heard the truck.

“We’ll get it.”

Callisto glared at the pair of them, and they both just giggled.

The delivery guy’s eyes widened, his hands shaking a little as she walked to the back of the truck, gently placing a hand on his arm.

“Please don’t tell anybody you saw them here,” she said softly.

The guy nodded with a blank, starstruck expression. “C...cc.. Can I get an autograph?”

The boys grinned and nodded, happily obliging before moving to collect a ridiculously enormous flat package from the back of the van. It was an 80 inch flatscreen TV.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” she grated as they hauled it inside.

“...there’s more…” the delivery guy sounded hesitant.

“...how much more?” Callisto growled.

 

--

 

Later that night, after the boys got the TV mounted on the wall and finished upgrading her entire sound system, they all sat back on the enormous couch that had been delivered a day ago.

“I’m going to kill you both,” she grated, scooping a chip through homemade bleu cheese dressing she’d fixed earlier. The coffee table was lined with enough junk food to choke a horse.

Chris curled around her as she leaned back against him, letting her legs rest across Sebastian’s lap. The three of them cuddled together as Not Another Teen Movie started playing.

“I can’t believe you’re making us watch this,” Chris groaned, jostling Sebastian.

“Hey, you lost - fair and square,” Sebastian replied smoothly, dipping a chip into a bowl of salsa in his hand. “When I lose, we’ll watch one of my shitty movies.”

Fairly quickly, Callisto was making gagging sounds as the movie progressed. “Ok, I’m tapping out. I can’t.”

She tried to extricate herself but Chris held her fast as Sebastian laughed, finally giving in and turning the movie off.

“I hate you both,” Callisto grumped, wriggling around as she tried to get free.

“But we luuuuurve you, pisică. ” Sebastian crooned, holding her legs fast as she tried to kick out at him.

“You invade my house, scare my cats and buy a bunch of shit that I don’t want. I hate you.” 

They both sobered, looking serious as Chris said, “Shit… I didn’t realize we…”

Callisto took advantage of the situation to free herself and cackled, “HA! Freedom!” before running into the bedroom, the boys hot on her heels.

Sebastian pinned her to the bed and he looked down at her. “Oh, that was dirty fuckin’ pool.”

Callisto laughed and bucked up into him. “Yeah? What’cha gonna do about it?”

“Check the ropes,” Sebastian growled as he forced her hands above her head.

“On it,” Chris replied, sliding into his Cap voice.

Sebastian’s grin was dark as he murmured, “I hope you’re not emotionally attached to these clothes…”

Within an alarmingly short amount of time, Chris had her tied down and was handing Sebastian a pair of medical scissors.

“Cut them off her,” Chris ordered, his jaw tight and his eyes filled with heat.

Sebastian looked up at Chris with a wicked, desire filled smile and saluted. “Aye, Cap’n”

Chris raised an eyebrow at Sebastian and the man trembled and let out a shaky sigh.

“Fuck, I love it when you get all bossy,” he groaned, then shifted off Callisto and stood at the foot of the bed, bending forward to start cutting her pants from the ankle up.

Chris shifted himself behind Sebastian and grabbed his hips, pressing into him. Sebastian trembled and stopped as Chris slowly slid a hand between his legs, cupping him and squeezing.

“Did I tell you to stop?” Chris breathed.

Sebastian cried out, then tried to start cutting again.

“If he bleeds me, so help me god…” Callisto growled. “I’ll kill you both.”

Chris met her eyes then bit his lip. “I know first aid. You’ll be fine.”

At this, she shivered, her eyes fluttering shut.

Sebastian was breathing heavy now, clearly having trouble with the task he’d been given.

“Can’t handle the level of difficulty?” Chris asked, sounding disappointed, then did something that made Sebastian collapse against her. Callisto opened her eyes to see Chris grinding against Sebastian, his own breath coming in harsh gasps. She started pulling at the ropes, pleased that Chris hadn’t really gone easy on her. She had almost no freedom of movement.

Sebastian worked to control his breathing as he pushed to hold himself up and started cutting again. It seemed to take a year and a day before the remains of Callisto’s clothes lay in pieces around her. The boys, however, were still fully clothed and were now full-on making out with each other at the end of the bed.

As punishments went, she supposed it wasn’t all that bad.

By the time they finally untied her, her hands and ankles were aching and they were all curled around each other in a naked puppy pile on the bed.

“Fuck. I need to buy you a giant ass TV more often…” Sebastian laughed.

 

--

 

“How is it that I never knew this shit existed?” Callisto breathed, entranced. Sebastian had convinced her to watch a show called Banshee with them, and she’d immediately fallen in utter LOVE with the character Job.

“Banshee is the ultimate,” Sebastian held her a little tighter as Chris massaged her feet.

“Holy fuck, Job is fierce. I have such a crush,” she whispered. “His outfits just keep getting better as this thing progresses.”

“Shit, I kinda do too,” Sebastian chuckled.

Chris laughed and started moving up her calves, making Callisto groan.

Sebastian moved to collect the remote and Callisto quickly growled, “If you pause this, you die. You can fucking well tie me to the bed later.”

Sebastian sighed then shifted beneath her, his growing excitement easily detectable.

Callisto grumped, “Christ, it’s as though you’d never had sex before.”

Sebastian leaned in and groaned, “Before I met you? Yeah. You could say that.”

He gripped her hips and Callisto rolled her eyes.

“You know that’s cheesy as fuck, right?” Callisto answered, grinning now.

“It’s true, tho’,” he replied, sliding his hands up her stomach. “I have… I need things that not everybody is comfortable with. And not many women would… really accept or appreciate, much less encourage how I feel about Chris as well.”

He simply rested his hands on her stomach now, linking his fingers.

Chris looked over at the two of them, his hands still on her thighs now.

“To me, the attraction between you two was easy to see - even from the first night I met you.”

Callisto met Chris’ eyes and gave him an affectionate smile, which he returned happily.

“Really?” Sebastian asked, clearly surprised.

“OH yeah. I was so giddy when you guys finally figured it out,” she grinned, laying her head back against Sebastian’s shoulder.

“She knew before I did, actually…,” Chris replied, looking a little sheepish.

Sebastian laughed and said, “Captain Oblivious.”

“Shut up,” Chris snapped, chuckling.

Callisto sighed and said, “Ok, pause the fucking show.”

Sebastian giggled as he complied, then leaned back and squeezed her. In the resultant silence her smile grew wider and soon they were all laughing.

They only had a few days left with each other, and Callisto was already starting to feel it weigh heavy on her - the eventual absence of this closeness, this physical intimacy. She’d grown so used to having them both around that she honestly didn’t know what she was going to do when they finally left. Granted, she wouldn’t be parted from Chris long, as Christmas and New Year was right around the corner - she’d be spending it with in a house full of Evanses, but then it would be a full month before they saw each other again.

“Shit,” she sobered, irritated with herself. “I don’t know what I’m going to do when you guys leave.”

“Ok, if you’re gonna start that shit, we need to start drinking,” Sebastian groaned, lifting her up off his lap and getting up.

“...I might have a better idea…,” Callisto murmured, then she got up and made her way over to a ceramic container painted with a swirling, colorful universe, pulling out a baggie filled with mushrooms. She grinned and looked over to see Sebastian’s eyes glaze over.

“Oh, you fucking goddess ,” He crooned, heading over to her as Chris stood, shaking his head and laughing.

Sebastian reached out to touch the baggie and Callisto pulled it back, holding up a hand.

“We will only do these if that fucking thing,” she pointed at the TV, “Does Not come on for the rest of the night.”

Sebastian nodded quickly. “Anything you say, pisică.

 

--

 

One hour later, Sebastian was crying with joy as the kittens pounced on him, giggling like a little kid with one foot splayed in the air. Chris was on the floor holding up a salt cellar and inspecting it as if it held the secrets of the universe. Callisto watched the pair of them, literally weeping with gratitude. It always happened when she dosed - the immense joy and connectedness of all the elements in the house crowding around her and comforting her.

The spirit of her mother sat beside her - Callisto had never seen her so happy.

I’m so happy you found them, Calli.

“Me too,” she whispered, her voice barely audible.

She felt her father’s fingers ruffle her hair and smiled. They always got stronger on hallucinogens - more tangible - as did the other inhabitants of the land. She said silent prayers to everything, her heart feeling so large she was actually a little scared that it might crack open her chest.

She watched as Chris carefully placed the salt cellar on the coffee table, as if it were the most fragile, precious thing he’d ever held - before slowly, and sloppily, crawling over to her.

Callisto giggled as he slowly made his way over, his movements overly exaggerated, as though he were climbing up a mountain instead of simply going across plush carpeting.

By the time he grasped her foot, as though it was the only thing from keeping him falling down a sheer cliff face, she was howling with laughter, and he was giggling like a loon.

“You are the most beautiful lollipop,” he groaned, making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Trippy Chris was hilarious and goofy as fuck. Somehow, this was both surprising and not surprising. Callisto looked over at Sebastian who was now nose first in the carpet, snuffling at something the cats had found. She watched his ass go up in the air, then laughed as he fell over on his side, the cats quickly getting out of his way before jumping back to pounce on him.

Chris looked as though he was struggling to hold onto her foot and Callisto reached out a hand to him. He quickly slapped his hand in hers, panting as though it had taken tremendous effort to do so.

“Oh my god. You just saved my life,” he breathed, relief fairly vibrating out of his pores.

She moved to curl around him, chuckling. “I will always save you, a rúnsearc. ” She leaned in to whisper it in his ear. “Always.”

He wept then, shifting to wrap himself around her. “I’m so grateful for you, Calli.” He murmured as he rested his head on her breasts. “So fucking grateful…” he trailed off, his breath hitching.

“Stop making my boyfriend cry!” Sebastian shouted from across the room, starting his own sloppy, slow trek across the carpet to reach the both of them, the cats leaping and pawing at his legs the entire way.

Callisto reached for the remote for the stereo, hitting a button to start her trip playlist and Ott’s - One Day I Wish To Have This Kind Of Time echoed out of the speakers. Both boys immediately stopped, their eyes widening.

“Here comes the rollercoaster,” Callisto whispered, sighing deeply and laying back on the carpet, her heart racing as she started coming up yet again. Every level had its own flavor, and she found that music helped the deeper she went - wondering if the boys would feel the same.

Within minutes, the three of them were splayed across each other on the floor, laughing and rubbing on the nap of the carpet, each other - anything they could get their hands on, really.

Chris groaned, “Fuck yeah,” his back arching as she looked over at him.

Sebastian seemed fascinated by the texture of Chris’ jeans, running his hands down his legs until he reached Chris’ feet, at which point he started laughing hysterically as he traced his toes with his fingers.

Chris looked over at her and his eyes were so completely unguarded, so filled with love, that she could actually feel herself plummeting into their depths.

They reached out for each other, staring at each other, smiling until it actually started to hurt a little, then Sebastian crawled in between them, watching.

“He has such a crush on you. I’m not supposed to say anything, though,” Seb murmured, making Chris giggle like a fucking schoolgirl.

“It’s ok. It’s mutual,” She replied, laughing.

Chris’ expression became incandescent and he asked, “Really?” his eyes wide with disbelief.

She tried not to laugh - really she did. He was so earnest, it was so adorable it almost broke her heart.

“Yes, really. You asked me to marry you, remember?”

Chris’ eyes grew wide and he asked in a hushed whisper, “I did?” He looked thoughtful for a moment, as if trying to recall something. “Did you say yes?”

Callisto nodded and grinned, unable to keep from laughing now. “Yes, I did, a rúnsearc.

She really was handling the trip a great deal better than they were.

“Oh my god, she said yes, Seb!” Chris started crying and Sebastian was immediately hugging him.

“Way to go, buddy!” Sebastian was crying now too. “I’m so happy for you!”

Oh lord , she thought to herself.

The boys were suddenly kissing, then they stopped and looked back at each other, then over at her.

“Do we do this?” Chris asked, honestly confused.

Sebastian looked just as confused, but nodded. “I think so.”

“Then why is it weird now?” Chris asked, frowning.

The situation quickly resolved itself when Chris focused on something across the room, heading off in that direction. Sebastian found himself nose down in the carpet again, humming happily as the cats pawed at his hair.

Callisto could Not. Stop. Laughing.

The rest of the night was a collection of varying precious moments that she was sure would stay with her until the day she died.

By the time they finally started coming down, the sun was coming up.

 

--

 

Callisto winced, pain singing through her back as she tried to roll over. Something grunted as she did so and she realized that she was laying half on and half off both boys who were splayed out on the carpet, snoring.

“Oh my god,” she groaned, trying to get up so that she could make it to the bed. “Heating pad…” she croaked.

Chris shifted beneath her, his eyes a little bleary as they opened. “What’s happening?”

Sebastian was still dead to the world. The boy could sleep through damn near anything.

“Up. Ow. Shit. Ow.”

Chris coughed as he moved to get up, reaching out to help her.

“Bed…” she muttered, her steps stuttering against the carpet as he helped her to the bed. Chris settled her on the mattress, then rubbed at an eye. “Oh my god,” he croaked, coughing again. “Why does my throat hurt?”

Callisto waved a hand and said, “Heating pad… need…” 

Chris nodded and moved to retrieve it as she then explained, “Because the two of you decided to serenade me last night - I have no idea what the fuck you were trying to sing, but you sounded like cats fucking,” she grumbled, then laughed.

He returned with the pad, plugging it in and making a motion for her to shift so he could get it placed beneath her. “Oh. That. I remember now.”

His voice was haggard and he sounded as though he’d been smoking for years.

“Lemme get you some ibuprofen…” he murmured, making his way to the bathroom and rubbing at the back of his neck.

Callisto let out a heavy, satisfied sigh as the heat finally started doing its job. “Should we wake him up?”

Chris returned with a glass of water and pills. “The cats will help him sleep it off.”

Once Callisto had swallowed the pills Chris climbed over her and settled beside her, wrapping an arm around her waist.

“Better?”

“Oh my god, so much better…” she moaned, wincing as another pain shot through her hip. “Fuck, I’m definitely not twenty anymore.”

Chris kissed her shoulder, then her cheek, before immediately passing out beside her.

She chuckled and closed her eyes.

“Still worth it,” she murmured softly.

Chapter Text

Sebastian was in the kitchen when Callisto walked in, his hand curled around a coffee mug. He wouldn’t meet her eyes.

“Puppy?”

He sighed and looked out the window, shaking a little. She went to him and placed a hand at the back of his neck. He immediately turned into her, crushing her to him, clutching at her and shaking.

“Oh shit, Sebastian… ” her voice was so soft, so quiet.

She ran her fingers through his hair, soothing him as best she could. He held her for a long time, then slowly, his breathing slowed - stopped hitching as much. He simply held her now, easing down, not seeming to trust himself with talking just yet.

When he finally did speak, it was a croak. “I woke up… and you guys were gone… I.. ah, fuck…

“Oh, sweetheart,” Callisto breathed, curling around him and kissing the top of his head.

He started weeping and she let him pull her onto his lap, wrapping around her.

“Oh Puppy, I’m here. I’m so sorry… shit…”

Chris walked in and was immediately kneeling, wrapping his arms around them both.

“You were gone… ” Sebastian sounded so fucking broken, her heart felt like it was tearing.

Chris started murmuring in Sebastian’s ear, such soft loving words Callisto felt tears gathering in the corners of her eyes as well.

Fuck .” Chris grated, holding them both tighter. “I didn’t know - I’m so fucking sorry ...”

She kicked herself for not realizing how Sebastian might feel after having been left on the floor alone after everything they’d experienced last night. She was pretty sure that Chris was beating himself up as well. Hallucinogen drop could be rough, but this was vicious.

“Never let you go…” Chris was softly whispering, his hand brushing Sebastian’s hair back away from his face, and he started breathing a little easier. “I’m here motănel , I’m here. Te iubesc .”

Callisto smiled affectionately at the endearment and Sebastian started crying a little harder.

“We’ve got you, Puppy. We’re not going anywhere,” Callisto crooned, burying her nose in his neck and kissing him.

When he finally settled, they pulled away and covered his face with kisses. He took in a shaky breath, then laughed.

“Ok, fuck…. Get off. I’m covered in spit, tears and snot here,” he grated.

Callisto started to get up, but he pulled her back down, so Chris went to get some tissue.

“Oh my god, that’s embarrassing as fuck,” he shook his head, taking another deep breath.

Sebastian took the tissue Chris handed him and wiped his entire face down, blowing his nose. His eyes were red and a little bloodshot as he handed the tissues back to Chris, who took them without complaint.

“You have every right to expect us to be here for you, Sebastian,” Callisto reassured him. “I’m so sorry we left you there. I wasn’t thinking.”

Chris was sitting back on his heels, one hand at Sebastian’s shoulder and the other on his thigh as the man looked back and forth between them.

“I didn’t think I’d get so wrecked over it. I just…,” he muttered.

“It’s entirely new territory. We’re gonna fuck up here and there,” Callisto assured him. “As long as we stay open and communicating about it, we’ll be okay.”

Sebastian nodded, then looked over at Chris and something immense seemed to pass between the two men.

Chris’ eyes started tearing up and Sebastian grabbed him by the back of the neck, his voice harsh but fond as he said, “Don’t you start now.” then kissed his forehead.

Chris wiped at his eyes and smiled tightly. “I fucking love you, asshole. The thought that I did anything that hurt you…”

They were forehead to forehead, nose to nose, both breathing heavily. “I love you too…” Sebastian’s voice trailed off quietly. Callisto watched as they eased each other down, finally relaxing.

“Please come to bed, Sebastian. Let us hold you for awhile,” Callisto murmured.

Sebastian let out a shaky breath, then nodded.

“I’d better get all the fuckin’ pets and ice cream out of this,” He grumped, the ghost of a smile showing.

When they lay beside and wrapped around him, he made a happy, relieved sound and they both made soft promises that they’d never do something like that to him again.

That night, there was no boundary pushing, no harsh, rough dirty talk - just the three of them going gently with each other, understanding that a new level of intimacy had been reached and that it needed to be respected and protected at all costs. Hopes, desires and fears were discussed, shared, and assuaged.

And once they had reached a point of clarity and comfort that satisfied them, they gave their love to each other in every way they could - in every way that mattered.

 

--

 

The day before the boys were scheduled to leave, a package arrived. Callisto opened it and pulled out three matching books, giving each of the boys a copy.

“The Ethical Slut?” Sebastian asked, frowning.

“Homework,” Callisto urged, her smile small and a little nervous. “Well, it’s really time for me to re-read it again anyway…”

Chris, easygoing as ever, simply started flipping through the book and nodding, his eyes scanning the pages. Sebastian looked over at her with an odd expression, then started going through his copy as well.

Later that afternoon, the three of them sat on the enormous couch; rather than everybody reading their own copy, the boys had wanted her to read it to them. As they went through the book, they would discuss the finer points in detail, in between brief makeout sessions.

“Holy fuck, this can get complicated and involved…,” Sebastian murmured, shifting back against Chris’ chest. 

Callisto looked over at him and nodded. “Thus, the homework,” she explained.

“If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right . I don’t want anybody in this Triad getting hurt again, if we can help it. Everybody’s needs and concerns get addressed.”

“Triad sounds too much like a gang thing. Why not Throuple?” Sebastian offered, placing his feet against hers and tweaking her toes with his own.

Chris chuckled, “We can call it anything we want. It’s ours .” He wrapped his arms around Sebastian, who just blushed and snuggled back against him.

“Throuple it is,” Callisto grinned, her feet warring with Sebastian’s as she started reading again.

 

--

 

That night, the intimacy was bittersweet. They were all clearly trying to push the fact that they’d be separated out of their heads, but it would keep coming back and changing the collective vibe between them.

Sebastian seemed to be taking it the hardest of the three of them, and once Callisto got a feel for where his headspace was, she and Chris worked to focus all their efforts on him. None of them slept well, and when Callisto woke, she and Sebastian were the only ones still in bed.

Rubbing at an eye, she moved to get up and walked out to the living room, finding Chris sitting on the couch, crouched over his laptop. He looked up and smiled, looking exhausted.

“Can’t sleep?” She murmured, sliding in beside him and leaning into him.

“Yeah. I get an idea in my head and it just spins and spins until it resolves itself,” he explained, running his fingers through his hair as he leaned back into the couch.

Callisto looked over at the screen, seeing a selection of houses for sale. She turned and met his gaze and he simply shrugged.

“It’s the only thing that seems to make sense,” he explained quietly, pulling her back into his arms. “With the Marvel stuff over, I don’t really need a place in LA anymore… and I only really feel at home in Massachusetts.”

Callisto tucked her feet to her side and nodded.

“Find anything that feels right?” she asked.

He shook his head, frowning. “This is the closest thing I could find so far,” he replied, leaning forward and opening a tab up.

Callisto slapped her hand over her mouth before she could laugh out loud. “Holy fuck. 61 acres?” The house was a 3718 sq/ft 1850's antique colonial home, which didn’t really appeal to her personal esthetic, but it was literally surrounded by acres of full forest, which she could totally get into.

“Man, it’s really hard for me to get around the way it’s currently decorated. Ugh.”

Chris laughed softly and set his hand on her hip, “Yeah, you need to look past that when shopping for a house - you know that, right?”

Callisto elbowed him, gently, but he still made a comical ‘oof’ sound.

“It makes sense. It’s less than 4 hours driving time for Seb - a little over an hour of flight time for you and it’s close to my parents,” he explained, nuzzling and kissing the stubble on the side of her head.

 “Want me to make a call about it tomorrow?” he asked, sounding more hopeful than he had in the last few hours. She was well aware of his need to control things, and she sure as fuck didn’t want to do all the legwork for this endeavour.

“God, yes. Please . I hate dealing with that shit. I’m not good with paperwork,” she admitted, wincing.

“C’mon,” Callisto stood and held a hand out to him. “Let’s go snuggle with Puppy. We have a few more hours yet.”

The three of them discussed the idea later that morning while they were still in bed and, after thinking it over, Sebastian finally shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, actually. I can work with that.”

Callisto whooped. “We have a plan!”

It was settled. Sebastian would drive up to check the house out with them over the holidays.

Sebastian and Chris laughed, piling on her and giving her matching hickeys on the sides of her neck.

“Oh my god, fuck off! What is this, high school?” She giggled, swatting at them.

All in all, it was a fine sendoff and helped keep the fact that they had to leave from being so difficult.

Chapter Text

Christmas at the Evans house was… definitely something. Callisto felt as though she’d just walked into the Christmas section of a department store. There was Christmas shit LITERALLY EVERYWHERE - on Every Possible Surface. It was a little nuts.

She hated to think what his apartment in LA must look like. Sebastian had explained that Chris’ affinity for the holidays could sometimes get a little… over the top.

She showed up feeling like a cat that had been forced into one of those awful Christmas outfits, with the little reindeer antlers on it and maddening jingle bells for accessories. Chris had gotten outlandishly jarring awful Christmas sweaters for them and had begged her to wear one. That had almost devolved into a full-out argument, but it was really difficult for her to refuse him almost anything when he pulled out the big guns with those puppy dog fuckin’ eyes.

The sweater he’d picked for her was really was completely wretched, though - so they’d compromised and instead she now wore a sweater with a large blood red pentacle above a reindeer’s head whose antlers were on fire, its mouth dripping blood, imposed over a background of an immolated Santa sleigh that was setting fire to all the houses in their wake.

Chris’ mother had just cackled, looking over at her son and laughing. “You’ve clearly met your match.”

Chris just shook his head and hugged his mom, shrugging. “Ya gotta pick your battles.”

“Good boy,” she grinned, chuckling.

Callisto just looked over and rolled her eyes. His sweater was covered in little blinking lights, tiny shiny Christmas ornaments and glittering packages. It was the antlers, however, that she just couldn’t take seriously. They even had little jingle bells on the points.

“I can’t even with you…,” She shook her head and laughed.

His answering grin was huge and goofy as he leaned down to kiss her cheek.

When they had sent pictures of them in the sweaters to Sebastian, he had promptly laughed himself silly until he was literally gasping for air.

When he’d finally recovered, he had sobered and said, “Throuple or not, you are NOT ever getting me in one of those. Just so we’re clear.”

“When is Sebastian getting here?” Lisa asked.

Since Sebastian celebrated Orthodox Christmas, which wasn’t until January 7th, the pair of them had successfully pressed him into ‘coming with’ for Christmas at the Evans Compound.

Chris looked at his watch. “He should be rolling up any minute…”

There was a knock at the door and Lisa went to open it. Sebastian stood in the doorway, blinking quickly at the scene behind Lisa before she pulled him into a hug. Chris quickly moved to collect the large bag of packages he was holding and Callisto just laughed. Sebastian was dressed in all black, and she loved him for it.

He stepped in and stared over at Chris with a completely mild expression.

“Oh, come on,” Chris muttered, “You couldn’t at least wear a Santa hat?”

Sebastian narrowed his eyes at Chris and growled, “You’re so fuckin’ lucky I love you, Evans.”

At this, Chris blushed and grinned while Scott and his boyfriend said, “Awwww…” from the living room.

Sebastian pulled Chris into a kiss, then looked over at Callisto and scooped her up into a hug.

“My pisică. ” he murmured, then let her down and kissed her.

“Hey Puppy. Welcome to the madness,” she grinned. “Should we start scouting defensive positions now, or…?”

He laughed and they looked over at Chris who was now getting into an antler fight with his brother.

“It’s never too soon, pisică .”

At some point during the festivities, Chris had actually gotten a Santa hat on Sebastian’s head, at least for the full family photo. Sebastian had grumped about it, but - realizing that sometimes concessions had to be made in a relationship, he kept it on for the rest of the night - mostly because it seemed to make Chris so happy.

 

--

 

Exactly how Chris had actually gotten a broker to show the house to them between Christmas and New Years was a mystery. He wouldn’t say - he’d just quietly smiled to himself and continued doing whatever he’d been doing.

The lawn was egregious. Other than that, the place was actually perfect. Granted, Callisto would change damn near everything about the surrounding greenery, but… it was good. She had started scouting out a location for a large greenhouse, planting plots and even places in the woods where she could start building altars. They all agreed. They took as many pictures as possible - to show to the family when they got back, and when the walk through was done, Chris walked the nice lady back to her car, happily posing for a selfie with her and shaking her hand before she got in her car and left.

Sebastian laughed and shook his head. “We really lucked the fuck out, you know,” he murmured, leaning back against the SUV he’d rented to drive up from his SoHo apartment.

Callisto joined him, leaning beside him and nodding, “ Trust me. I know .”

Chris walked over to them, grinning from ear to ear. “We should be able to move in once we’re back from L.A.”

Callisto gaped. “What, just like that?”

Sebastian took a step forward, frowning. “Seriously? Aren’t we all going in on this?”

He gathered them both in a hug and said, “Merry Christmas. This is my present to US.”

“Oh my god… you didn’t have to…,” Callisto started, as Sebastian said, “Oh my god, Chris. ...I don’t know what to say.”

“Allow me to have this Big Romantic Gesture Moment - that’s all I ask,” he murmured softly.

And now they were all crying.

 

--

 

To say Chris’ mother was thrilled about the prospect of her son setting down roots and starting a family of his own was an understatement. Chris was slowly starting to warm up to the idea of just being an awesome uncle to all his nieces and nephews - even to the kids from his extended Avengers family. She knew that a pretty big part of him still really wanted kids, but Callisto couldn’t have them and Sebastian wasn’t ready for that in his life yet - if ever.

The day after the house announcement, Lisa started discussing wedding plans with Callisto - then Carly and Shanna soon joined in, and before long the rest of the family had moved the conversation to the living room.

Callisto had explained that Jason wanted to be her ‘whatever of honor’, and wanted to walk behind her dressed as Septa Unella from Game of Thrones, ringing a loud bell, yelling, “SHAME!” as she walked down the aisle - and while Chris, Sebastian and Scott had laughed hysterically at the idea, Lisa made it clear that this would NOT be happening.

Planning a wedding turned out to be one of the least pleasant exercises that Callisto could imagine. While, yes - she had her own ideas about what she wanted, she was also clear that at the endpoint waited a man she’d waited her entire life to meet. And really, in the end, that was all that mattered.

Callisto still wouldn’t budge from a Halloween wedding date - even though the family had talked her out of wearing a black leather corseted wedding dress with buckles going down the front (Although it should be mentioned that neither Chris nor Sebastian were opposed to the idea). Her ‘helpful’ suggestion that everybody could dress up like zombies was also shot down. Honestly, this was a situation where she would compromise to keep the peace and smile. As it was, her friends simply being in attendance would make for an interesting enough event on its own.

“Sweetheart, it’s OUR wedding,” Chris had quietly reassured her much later that night. “Don’t let my mom keep you from having the wedding you want.”

Callisto sighed, trying to keep her voice down as she shifted against him, resting her hand on his chest. “A wedding is a joining of families, as well as two people. It’s for everybody involved - a community thing. Yeah, I want some odd shit, but… in the end, as long as you’re there waiting for me and with me after and beyond, that’s all that really matters to me.”

Chris looked over at her in the dim lighting of the bedroom, his voice so soft as he said, “I’m so fucking lucky.”

She could see tears shining in his eyes and she smiled and cupped his cheek. “A rúnsearc… Chris… I fucking love you to the moon and back. Pretty sure I’m the lucky one.”

Chris chuckled as the first tear began to fall, then he leaned in to kiss her.

“Would you guys please keep it down? Some of us are trying to sleep,” Sebastian grumbled, making them both laugh. They then both dogpiled on top of him, smothering him.

 

--

 

New Years Eve was another thing entirely. The hotel room that Chris had gotten for the night was ridiculously huge and it was filled with his closest friends and family, and as the night progressed, and more alcohol was consumed, the more pronounced Chris’ Boston accent became, and the handsier he got. With everybody.

Callisto sat sipping at a bottle of cider as Jason walked over and said, “Your ridiculously hot fiancé just touched my ass.” moving to sit beside her. There was a brief half hearted slapping skirmish for positional dominance between them on the couch, then she explained, “Yeah. He seems to get more heteroflexible the more he drinks. It’s adorable.”

Chris’ laughter rang out from across the room and she looked over at Sebastian who was smirking and drinking a beer.

Jason just shook his head. “I hate you.”

“Still jealous?” Callisto quipped, taking another sip of her cider.

Jason grumped, then grinned. “Thanks for flying me up.”

“It’s not New Years without you, poopy.”

“Yeah.” he muttered.

“So. Still moving in with the idiot twins, then?” he asked, looking over at the boys with a brief wistful expression.

“Yeah. I’m keeping the house in Virginia, tho,” she replied, kicking a booted foot up on the coffee table.

Jason took another swig of his cider and said, “I can’t believe he bought you guys a fuckin’ house.”

Callisto nodded and watched as Chris and Sebastian separated to go talk to some of the other inhabitants of the gathering. “Yeah, right? That was a little nuts.”

“I need a cigarette. Wanna come with?” Jason stood and Callisto nodded, walking to the outside balcony with him.

“Shit, lemme get my coat…,” Callisto turned and bumped into Sebastian who wrapped an arm around her waist.

“And where are you going, pisică ?” he murmured, his grin sly.

“The Best Friend needs smokey treats. I need my coat. It’s cold as fuck out there.”

Sebastian gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “Good idea. I’ll walk Jason out. We’ll meet you out there.”

She grinned as Sebastian and Jason headed outside, then went to get her coat. When she walked in to fish through the pile of coats on the bed she saw Chris and a woman she’d met earlier. They were hugging and laughing.

“Everything good here?” She asked as she finally found her coat.

“Calli! Oh my gawd. Fahkin awesome.” He pulled away from the woman and said, “This is Sharon. We go waaaay back. Sharon - this is my fianceé, Callisto.”

Callisto chuckled and moved to take Sharon’s proffered hand.

“So he’s always been like this?” She asked.

Sharon nodded with a wry grin. “Oh yeah. Although he’s making better fashion choices now…,”

Chris pouted, his face scrunching up in a way that was so exaggerated that Callisto couldn’t help but laugh.

“Oh my god, do I need to cut you off?” she asked him, playfully, slipping on her jacket.

“You’re not leaving, are you?” he looked suddenly alarmed.

She explained, “Jason needs a cigarette. I was gonna go stand with him out in the arctic temperatures for moral support.”

“You know I love you, right?” he engulfed her in a hug, nuzzling her neck with his nose.

“Yes, I know, rúnsearc… I love you too. I’m not going anywhere,” she grinned back at him when they parted.

He brightened, took her hand and said, “I’ll join you.”

Sharon laughed and followed as they all headed to the outside balcony.

“What, you couldn’t bring my fuckin’ jacket?” Jason whined as they stepped outside.

“Oh my god, if you’d wanted your jacket you should’ve gotten it before you came out here, ya whiny prick,” Callisto snapped.

“But now I’m coooold…,” he continued.

Sebastian handed his cigarette to Chris who took a long drag off it. “I’ll get it. What’s it look like?”

“Like mine, but Yeti sized and less cool,” Callisto grumped, trying to stay upwind of the smoke. She hated the fucking things. At least Chris only smoked when he drank. Sebastian was trying to cut down somewhat.

“Got it,” he grinned, giving Chris a quick hug before ducking inside.

“Jaysus fahk, yer not kiddin’. It’s wicked fahkin’ cold out heah,” Chris shivered and Calli moved to wrap around him.

Sebastian came back out handing a coat to Jason and Chris, then collected his cigarette back from Chris.

“Hey…,” Chris whined, brightening when he started sliding into the jacket.

He looked over at Sebastian and crooned, “Oh my god, I love you.” then pulled him into a tight hug.

Callisto looked over at Jason and grinned.

“I fuckin’ hate you,” he grumbled.

They all watched the ball drop on an enormous TV and when Midnight hit, the room erupted in giddy cheers. Chris pulled her in and kissed her thoroughly. “Happy New Year, sweetheart,” he murmured, touching her forehead to his.

She then turned to Sebastian who seemed to be in a competition with Chris to see who could kiss her more soundly. “Happy New Year, pisică.

The boys looked over at each other, grinning before they moved to hug each other, kissing each other on the neck. She knew how frustrated the two of them were about having to keep the relationship between them out of the public eye.

Jason gave her a bear hug and said, “Ok, I have to admit this was a pretty fuckin’ good New Years party. Happy New Year, stupid.”

“Happy New Year, asshole.”

“I still hate you.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

 

--

 

Later that night, after everyone had left, Callisto and Chris proposed to Sebastian, giving him a ring that was two perfectly matched puzzle pieces.

“Just because it’s not legal for the three of us to get married, doesn’t mean we can’t have all the trappings and ceremony on our own,” Chris explained as Sebastian broke down in tears, which then got the three of them going.

He nodded and croaked, “Oh for fucksakes, yes. YES .”

They both slid the ring on his right ring finger, then had him slide separated puzzle rings on Chris and Callisto’s right ring fingers.

Sebastian muttered something in Romanian, then wrapped them in a bone crushing hug.

Chapter Text

The separation this time was a little easier. Lots of three way nightly calls definitely helped. They had started getting creative with camera angles and lighting with their video calls, which always made her laugh, but - she had to admit, did make things look a great deal better than simple stark lighting for ‘performance’ nights.

Callisto spent a fair amount of time catching up on necessary spiritual workings and prayers that had fallen by the wayside with the new relationships. Coming back to ground with her practice, her path, was the focal point she needed to get through the next month without having the boys around.

Sebastian and Chris were excited to be working together again - this time with Chris directing. Chris had run across a script that he’d completely fallen in love with - a romance where Sebastian would be playing an asexual male lead who falls in love with a woman with a normal sex drive. The idea of getting the depiction of the intimacy, tension and resulting frustration was magnetic for him. Sebastian was all over it.

The woman who wrote the script was a first time screenwriter, and they were going with an indie studio. Chris explained that shooting would take about a month, then they would be able to relocate to Massachusetts for edits.

Some nights, their shared calls were mostly filled with back and forth between Chris and Sebastian about the movie details. It was fascinating to witness, this process, and she was grateful that they had chosen to share it, what they could - anyhow, with her. 

In the meantime, Callisto started packing up the portion of her house that would be relocating to their shared house up in Massachusetts, as well as reaching out to her Hoodoo friend in Salem to make connections within the community there. She’d heard good things about the pagans in Salem and was looking forward to finally hanging out with her friend - she hadn’t seen him a few years.

A good witchy friend who needed a place to land after an abusive relationship - someone both she and Jason trusted, was going to stay in her house while she was out of town, making sure everything was handled.

The cats did not handle the boxes well. The more things that were sealed into boxes, the less comfortable they seemed to get. She did her best to try to explain what was happening, but being cats, they were having none of it. At least they hadn’t started using… less pleasant tactics to make their discomfort known.

She found herself sitting with them and comforting them more often as the time for their departure grew closer. They were already irritated with her that she’d been gone so much already, but she was at least taking them with this time. She dearly hoped that they got along with Dodger. That would be the true test.

In the last remaining days before she left for L.A., she went to all the sacred sites in her area - the river, railroad tracks, three way crossroads in a graveyard deep in the back of the woods, the swamp, tree groves - and said her goodbyes, explaining to the beings in these places that the woman who would be moving into her house was a witch and that she’d likely be along soon to start working with them. It was the one requirement for anybody who occupied her place while she was gone. Maintain the Sacred Spaces.

The answering energetic flutter in return was somber but understanding.

When she wasn’t prepping for the move, she was creating new structures and pieces for the new property. Her mind was buzzing with all the new projects she wanted to undertake with the new house.

 

--

 

L.A. was… interesting. After the first few days there, the three of them hadn’t really left the bedroom, but now that Nag, Nagaina and Dodger were finally seeming to settle down around each other, it was time for the boys to work on filming. 

Their hours were long and grueling, so when they ended up finally coming home, they were too exhausted for anything other than relaxing and then passing out. Callisto did the best she could to ensure that they were fed and cared for - for which they were both enormously grateful.

During her second week in town, Callisto visited friends in and around the area - hugely thankful for the Goth/Industrial scene. It was the first time she had been able to immerse herself into a crowd of people that honestly couldn’t give a shit about who she was, they all just wanted to dance . It had been too damned long. 

She had texted the boys with the name and location of the club, in case they finished shooting early - but she hadn’t really expected them to show up.

She’d been dancing for a good hour, feeling fantastic and high as fuck on dance endorphins when she spun to see Sebastian dancing beside her with a sly, wicked smile. Front Line Assembly’s Deadened was pounding through the club speakers, the bass making her skin vibrate, and she grinned and looked around for Chris.

Sebastian leaned in and pressed into her, pulling her against him as he said, “At the bar.”

She met Chris’ eyes, biting her lip. With his thick beard and dishevelled hair, nobody seemed to be recognizing him, so he was just standing, watching them with a beer in his hand, his eyes hungry.

He quickly downed the rest, turned to set the beer down, then headed towards them just as Funker Vogt Strike Force started playing. The three of them kept easy pace with each other as the music pounded through the dancefloor and Callisto just let the dance take her away.

 

--

 

They stumbled into Chris’ apartment late that night, a tangle of bodies and clothing.

“Fuck, what time is it?” Chris asked, his voice cracking a little.

“I… ah…,” Callisto fumbled as Sebastian undid her corset, wrapped the lacing around it and placed it on a bookshelf. 

“Shit, where’s my fucking phone?” she muttered.

Sebastian laughed, reaching into her waistbelt pocket and pulling it out as Chris palmed her breasts through her shirt and leaned into her. She could feel the thick ridge of his cock against her hip.

“Shit, it’s 3 in the fuckin’ morning?” Sebastian grunted, tossing the phone on the couch and quickly getting out of his pants, almost tripping as they made their way awkwardly to the bedroom.

Callisto laughed and pulled a day glo green mesh shirt over her head and the black bra beneath it went sailing over onto the couch. Chris quickly yanked his shirt over his head, pulling her into him and kissing her, his hand low on her back and clutching at her as she heard Sebastian yelp out in pain.

They both looked over and to see him wincing. “Fucking sofa bit me. ow .”

Chris giggled then and the three of them stumbled into the back hallway, almost at their destination. Sebastian moved to try to get Chris’ pants off and Callisto ducked out of the way to divest herself of the rest of her clothing, looking over her shoulder as she walked into the bedroom.

“You guys coming?” she asked, her voice breathy.

Chris’ voice was tight and rough as he said, “Fuck it. Who needs sleep?”

“‘s overrated anyway…,” Sebastian mumbled, silencing Chris with a kiss before they stumbled into the bedroom.

 

--

 

Callisto groaned as she woke - her body having locked up a bit overnight over all the exertion. The boys were long gone and she was surrounded by Dodger and the cats. Dodger gave her a quick lick, then whined.

“I’m ok, Dodge. I just… hurt. Ow.”

She pet the menagerie for a few minutes, then finally got up and took a bath. While she was soaking in the tub, her phone rang, but she had difficulty remembering where she’d put it.

“Shit…” she groaned, staying in the tub. It wasn’t worth it to break her neck trying to get out and find the phone when she still ached this much. The Ibuprofin was slowly taking the edge off, but the pain was still a beast.

“Fuck. I’m definitely not twenty anymore,” she grumbled.

When she was finally out of the tub, she wandered in search of the phone, finally finding it where Sebastian had tossed it.

Both Sebastian and Chris had apparently texted ridiculously cute, sweet messages to her earlier, and she saw that Chris had called her earlier, ringing him back.

“Everything okay, Hollywood?” she asked, hearing him groan on the other end of the line.

“Stahp,” he chuckled. “Yeah, it’s fine.”

He sighed and asked, “Is it weird that I miss you even though we’re living together now?”

She grinned and sat on the couch, petting Dodger who’d come over to join her.

“You have that kinda life, a rúnsearc . I’m still here. But yeah, I miss you too,” she murmured.

“We’re going to try to wrap up early tonight. I’ll bring home dinner. Anything specific you’re in the mood for?”

“I could really go for Greek,” she replied, getting hungry now. Breakfast probably wouldn’t hurt at this point.

“Greek it is. I’ll let you know when we’re on our way. Love you.”

 

--

 

Callisto had just gotten used to the rhythm of things by the time filming was finally wrapping up. The wrap party was very low key. There was a brief flurry of introductions, then everybody set to drinking and shooting the shit. Callisto was grateful for the small gathering. The boys had told her about some of the previous wrap parties they’d gone to for the Marvel movies, and those sounded a little too insane for her tastes. She sat talking with the actress who had been working opposite Sebastian, quickly being drawn into a conversation about talking with the dead and various tinctures and tonics that her grandmother had passed down. The woman seemed eager to talk about it and Callisto wondered how many people on this side of the country had in-depth conversations. She’d always heard that people in L.A. were shallow, and the woman pretty much confirmed it for her - she’d moved here from Georgia, and was finding the lack of social conversation frustrating.

The two had paired off earlier and were chattering like a pair of magpies when Chris came over.

“Made a new friend, I see,” he murmured, leaning in and kissing the side of her head. “Hey Avery.” He gave Callisto’s conversational companion a quick wave and she grinned back.

Callisto wrapped an arm around his waist and sighed. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of all the hard work you guys have done. Man, the hours you guys keep. I couldn’t do it.”

Chris laughed and Avery nodded, “It can be brutal, but it’s worth it in the end.”

“You about ready to head out?” he asked.

Callisto nodded, taking a long swig of ice water. “Yeah, I’m toast.”

He grinned and gave her a brief hug, then said, “I’ll go find Sebastian.”

Avery blurted out, “Man, those guys really do go everywhere together.”

Callisto smiled and smoothly replied, “They’re like puppies. Best friends will do that to ya.”

“I guess so…,” Avery said, her eyes glazing a little as the two men walked back over to their table. She couldn’t seem to keep her eyes off Sebastian.

Without even a look Avery’s way, Sebastian came over and swept Callisto into a tight hug.

Pisică . I missed you,” he murmured, his lips brushing her ear.

“I missed you too, Puppy,” she breathed, even though she wanted to say, But you just saw me this morning...

He finally seemed to notice Avery and moved to hug her as well.

“It was really great working with you. Thank you.”

Avery’s face lit up and Callisto and Chris looked at each other as they separated, Sebastian looking back over at them.

“What’s for dinner?”

 

--

 

On the ride home, Callisto said, “You know she’s into you, right?”

Sebastian looked over at her, frowning. “Who?”

“Avery, dumbass,” she chuckled.

His eyes widened and he shook his head, “What makes you say that?”

Chris laughed then. “She couldn’t take her eyes off you, man.”

“Really?” Sebastian looked bewildered, then nervous.

“Oh shit. That’s… no… that’s not something I want,” he stammered. “I mean, she’s attractive, but…”

Callisto rested a hand on his arm and said, “It’s ok, Puppy. It’s more of a heads up in case you work with her again.”

He let out a sigh of relief, “Shit, I can barely keep up with you two. Adding another person to the mix? I can’t even wrap my head around it.”

Chris nodded, “I know the feeling.”

“Right there with ya, Puppy,” Callisto chuckled.

Chris fished around in a pocket, then handed Sebastian and Callisto two small keys attached to leather heart keychains embossed with C + C + S = HOME.

“I got the keys to the house earlier this week,” he blushed.

Callisto and Sebastian pounced on him.

Chapter Text

Callisto woke up early and started collecting all the supplies she needed to bless and protect the land. The storage container from her house would be arriving later today, and she was eager to start getting everything set up. The boys were set to arrive later this morning - their shipping containers already having arrived the previous day. She’d spent her first night camping on the land, surrounded by totes packed to the brim with her altar pieces.

The night had been uneventful, which was surprising. She’d expected more unusual animal visitors throughout the night - thus the reason for the shotgun and KaBar knife she slept beside, but nothing wandered by.

She wandered into the woods with two five gallon pvc buckets filled with incense, candles, art pieces, various types of alcohol and an assortment of dried and fresh herbs.

When she found a suitable place, she started carving out a three way crossroads in the forest floor, singing an ancient Orphic hymn to Hekate while she worked.

 

--

 

By the time she had the full altar for Hekate finally set up, candles lit and incense going, she heard the sound of someone moving behind her. She turned to see Chris and Sebastian carefully making their way toward her. They both looked down at the wicked, curved black blade in her hand and Chris held up his hands.

“Shit… Sorry. We didn’t mean to disturb you,” he grimaced.

Callisto looked down, having actually forgotten about the blade and quickly lowered it, meeting his eyes with a sheepish smile. 

“You’re not… I’m glad you’re here, actually.”

She poured a little more incense on a charcoal disk that rested on a large oyster shell, setting the knife back on the altar. 

“...is it okay if we watch?” Sebastian asked. He looked deeply curious about everything that she was doing.

“I’m just getting started. I’m about to start my prayers - that’ll take about a half an hour. Then I’ll need to walk the land. You’re welcome to watch if you want.”

They both quietly nodded, then she turned back to the altar and began.

 

--

 

“...that was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed,” Chris murmured when she finished and turned to face them.

She grinned and walked over to hug them.

“Thank you for… being part of it.”

Sebastian walked over and seemed to drink in every facet of the altar, as well as the various accompanying art pieces she’d placed around the area. She heard him mutter something in Romanian as he looked back at her, his eyes full of wonder. The cats were at his feet, putting their paws up on his thighs. The little menaces had been running around all morning, hunting. He gave them quick scritches, then walked over to her.

“My clever pisică vrăjitoare ,” he grinned, then pulled her in and kissed her softly.

“Witch cat?” Chris asked, shaking his head and grinning.

Sebastian nodded and laughed, a joyful sound.

Callisto blushed and ducked her head, then said, “Please tell me you guys brought food.”

Chris took her hand and Sebastian held the other as they started walking back to the house.

“We brought all the food,” Sebastian chuckled.

“Why didn’t you sleep in the house?” Chris asked, having apparently seen the tent as they had pulled up.

Callisto gave his hand a brief squeeze. “I like to feel the land itself before moving into any structures on it. Kinda taking the pulse of it. Getting the rhythm of its heartbeat.”

Chris seemed to think that over for a minute, then asked, “Can you show me how to do that sometime?”

“Definitely,” She grinned over at him, happy that he was actually interested.

“What time are the movers showing up?” Sebastian asked.

Chris wrapped a hand around Callisto’s waist, his hand on her hip as he replied, “Couple of hours…”

“I still have a lot of work to do out here,” Callisto explained. “I want to get the basic grid and as many altars up as possible before tonight…”

“Basic grid?” Chris asked.

“It’s… well, the best way to explain it would be the protections for the land and the house. Did you ever wonder why you both felt completely comfortable and safe at my place?”
The boys frowned, then Sebastian said, “I guess I didn’t really think about it all that much, but now that you mention it… yeah.”

Callisto explained, “There’s a resonance to everything - and when there is harmony with it, it just makes everything… easier. Communication, engagement, connection - all of it. That’s what I put in place at my house, and it’s what I want for any of the places where I end up spending most of my time. I’m too old for drama and bullshit at this point. I need easy and comfortable.”

“Is making that happen here something we can help with?” Sebastian asked, kissing her hand as they stepped out of the woods.

“Definitely,” Callisto replied. “You already did. But I can always use more help…”

Throughout the rest of the day, Callisto would text the boys when she needed something heavy moved to one of the cleared outside locations, when they weren’t busy directing the movers with all the boxes and furniture.

By the time twilight rolled around, Callisto had gotten the bare bones of all the sacred spaces set up and had walked a portion of the property with Hekate’s blade, putting the last protection seals in place. At some point, she wanted to invest in an ATV - 61 acres was a bitch to navigate on foot.

Once she felt everything lock down spiritually, she let out a huge sigh of relief and made her way back to Hekate’s altar, finishing out the last of the prayers and offerings for the working.

She made her way back inside, surprised at how much the boys had gotten done. So far, all the major pieces of furniture were in place, as were basic necessities. If she were being honest, though, as long as the bed was ready, that was all she had the energy to care about. The boys were off in another part of the house, laughing and giving each other shit when Callisto finally came back inside. She made her way to the bedroom, then stripped down and stepped into the shower, washing off the grime and grit of running around in the forest all day. 

The work had been hard and draining, but the entire tone of the house felt different now - and she found herself wondering if the boys would be able to feel it as well. The fact that they openly trusted her instincts on this and supported and assisted whenever they could? She didn’t have words to express how grateful she felt.

Once she was finally clean, she fell into bed, dead to the world.

 

--

 

She was jolted out of sleep by a loud crash. The boys didn’t even react.

Ah , she thought to herself. Time to meet the residents.

She had felt a bit of a presence when they’d done the walkthrough, but it wasn’t anything that felt malefic. In her experience, most houses had spirits that either attached themselves to the structure because they’d died there, or because they’d found the location comforting somehow. She wrapped a thick leopard print robe around her, pushed her feet into her slippers and padded out into the kitchen. She looked around, but couldn’t see what would have made the noise.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but… I’m really tired. I’m going to need you to use your words if you need something,” she called out as she scanned the kitchen.

The light fixture over the table started swinging - not wildly, but enough to be distinctive.

“Ok, light as an oracle - I can work with that.”

She walked over and caught the light, stopping its movement, then said, “Ok - swing for yes, no swing for no. Sound good?”

The lamp swung. Callisto ran her fingers through her hair and asked, “Do you need something?”

The lamp came to a dead stop over the table, which - she admitted, had been a little unsettling the first time she had encountered such a thing, but over thirty years of weird shit like this happening, she was pretty much used to it.

“So - you just wanted to make your presence known?”

Swing.

“Thank you for introducing yourself. Can you tell me your name?” she asked.

A voice echoed in her head and said the word Bob .

“Hi Bob. Are you good with us living here?”

Swing.

“Outstanding. All I ask is that you don’t freak my companions out - any of the animals or the people. Okay? And if you need anything, all you need to do is ask.”

The light fixture kept swinging.

“Solid,” she murmured. “Thank you Bob. I’m going to go back to bed now, okay?”

The light kept swinging. Callisto leaned forward and caught it, stopping the movement.

“Thanks Bob. May you have the necessary light to elevate you to the place beyond this one - may you find peace and may you find your people.”

A soft moan of relief, one she could barely hear, came from the direction of the light itself. She smiled and turned to see the boys standing behind her, both staring at her, eyes wide.

“What? You’ve never seen a ghost conversation before?” she asked, shrugging.

She walked up to them, making a parting motion with her hands, “Can the questions wait until tomorrow? I’m fuckin’ wrecked.”

 

--

 

There were oh so many questions in the morning.

Callisto figured that, in some way, sure - the boys had been humoring her about the witchy stuff, but she was pretty sure that they hadn’t really understood what she’d said about the weird shit in her life before. Having watched actual phenomena take place in front of their eyes was kinda throwing them. She did what she could to reassure that what they saw last night was the weirdest it would get, at least in this house, and they seemed to relax. Oddly enough, Sebastian seemed to be taking it easier than Chris did, although Chris was responding by wanting to read almost everything he could get his hands on to understand what he’d seen.

Sebastian admitted that he’d experienced some pretty outlandish shit back when he was a kid, so for him, it wasn’t as shocking - but still, it shook him momentarily.

“What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen?” Sebastian asked, taking a sip of his coffee.

Callisto balked. “I’m… not entirely sure you really want to know that.”

Sebastian stilled and Chris moved to sit at the table beside her.

“That bad?” Chris murmured.

Callisto turned her tea mug a few times with her fingers, then explained, “I… ah… I used to work as a medium for a paranormal investigative team. This was YEARS ago.”

“You never told me this,” Chris breathed.

Callisto shifted in her chair, uncomfortable. “This isn’t really something I talk about all that much. I was in my early thirties when all this happened. It’s not that I’m trying to obscure anything, it’s just… shit, I also went into the Marine Corps back in the ‘80’s - and that literally feels like a lifetime ago. I sometimes… forget. I’ve… done a lot.”

Sebastian chuckled. “Holy shit.”

Chris shook his head, looking back at her with a slow smile.

“Ok, now we gotta hear the story,” he urged.

Callisto winced and proceeded to recount the bare bones of the investigation - a couple had been dealing with the feeling of ‘something watching them’ at night, then it started happening during the day. At some point, the activity graduated to a black shape standing at the foot of their bed watching them while they slept. The boyfriend basically told it to get the fuck out of the house - and then their infant daughter started having excessive night terrors. The boyfriend started waking up with bloody scratches on his back and arms.

When she and her partner showed up to interview and investigate, they found that a malefic entity was essentially stooping over the baby’s bed and… eating its energy, which was causing the night terrors.

At this point, Chris had paled, but Sebastian was simply nodding, completely fascinated.

She continued, explaining that the entity tried to seat itself in the boyfriend - who was enormous. They had to exorcise it from him, then trapped it and removed it from the house - at which point the family cat, who wouldn’t venture farther into the back of the house than the edge of the hallway, started exploring the back bedroom that the infant slept in. After a thorough cleansing of the house, things got much better for the couple.

Callisto took a sip of tea as the boys processed what she’d told them.

Sebastian then said, “My grandmother… people would come to her for help in the middle of the night. Nobody ever really said why, but when they came, they were usually terrified and crying. Later, they would return offering gifts and thanks. It wasn’t something you talked about in the open.”

Callisto nodded, setting her mug down.

“So yeah. That’s one of the scarier things,” she finished.

Chris let out a slow breath, then asked, “Has anything ever attacked you?”

Callisto nodded. “Yeah. Lots of stuff has tried. It never gets through. In my line of work, after awhile, you either build up defenses against this sort of thing or you go nuts or commit suicide.”

“Jesus,” Chris murmured.

Callisto looked over at him and asked, “You ok? I know this is a lot of weird shit to drop at once.”

“Yeah. It’s just… yeah, it’s a lot.”

Sebastian let out a bark of laughter, “Hey, I signed on for everything, pisică vrăjitoare - even the weird shit. Hell, especially the weird shit.”

She grinned, then reassured Chris, “I’m the brightest thing here, Chris. If anything is going to start shit, it’ll come for me first - and trust me when I say it won’t get through the barriers in place. I haven’t really been active in that way in a LONG time. I’m not really on anything’s radar anymore. You don’t have anything to worry about.”

“Didn’t think you’d be marrying a superhero, did you?” Sebastian laughed.

Callisto eyed him, shaking her head. “Stahp.”

Chris was clearly pondering something and she gently bumped his shoulder.

“What’s your head spinning up about?” she asked.

He frowned, then said, “I want to know everything.”

He didn’t seem angry, just… eager to know as much as he could.

“We’re gonna need more coffee,” Sebastian said, getting up and starting to make another pot.

Chapter Text

Much later, Callisto was handing Chris some of the more estoeric books from her library as they unpacked and shelved them.

“A lot of the things I do aren’t really written about in books, but these will give you a good general idea,” she explained, handing him another book on Rune magic, then one on Demonology.

Sebastian plucked that one out of Chris’ hands and went to sit on the couch, thumbing through it.

“How did I not see all these before?” Chris asked, shaking his head.

“...we were too busy having Naked Destruction Time?” Callisto answered, grinning.

Sebastian laughed, continuing to flip through the book in his hands.

Chris frowned, then said, “No, really. How is it that we’ve been dating for over half a year, and I didn’t know all this about you?”

He didn’t seem angry - more irritated at himself for a perceived failing in perception. Callisto had come to understand that he was always fairly hard on himself about things like this.

“Think of it this way - if there’s nothing new to learn about a partner, where’s the challenge?” Callisto murmured, picking up a book on sex magic and tossing it Sebastian’s way. Sebastian made a ridiculously cute sound of interest, then started reading that instead of the Demonology book.

Chris chuckled, “Why do I have the feeling that you’re going to keep me on my toes for the rest of my life?”

Callisto shrugged then continued to stack more books on the shelves.

Sebastian hummed, then said, “Ok - we need to try some of this shit.”

Callisto laughed, shaking her head. “I figured you’d say that.”

Chris left her side and moved to squeeze in beside Sebastian, his eyes growing wide. “Holy fuck - this stuff actually works?,” he breathed, looking over at Callisto.

She nodded and Sebastian asked, “So… you’re telling me you created a… “ he slid a finger along the page as he read a phrase out, “...sexual servitor?”

Callisto replied with a sly grin. “Shit, I had to take care of my own needs somehow over the last four years.”

His eyebrows went up and Chris’ eyes grew wide.

“Four years?” Sebastian asked, stunned.

Callisto turned to face them and sat with her curled beside her. “What, you didn’t tell him?”

Chris blushed and explained, “It wasn’t my story to tell.”

“Wait…” Sebastian leaned forward, putting the book down. “Are you telling me that you hadn’t had sex for four years before…?”

“Yep,” she replied smoothly.

Sebastian sat with that for a moment while Chris asked, “So… about this ‘servitor’ thing…”

“Don’t worry… its beyond it’s expiry date. I, ah… let it dissipate about a half year before I met you,” Callisto explained, “It was just… Fuck, I got lonely. It helped.”

Sebastian shifted back into the couch, clearly considering this. “So… when you say it ‘helped.’...”

Callisto remembered how frustrating things had gotten towards the end. Sure, in the beginning it had been nice enough, but it couldn’t hold a candle to solid flesh and bone - an actual living, breathing human being. It had only ended up making the longing for a partner worse, actually. She had known other practitioners who swore by the ones they had created, however, not wanting to deal with the drama and bullshit of actual living people.

“To a certain extent, it did - but it’s not… the same.” she finished, lamely.

Chris stood and moved over to her, sitting beside her and pulling her into his arms. “I’m sorry you were alone for so long.”

He was getting entirely too good at knowing what she needed at this point. It was a skill she encouraged and often praised him for. She leaned back into him and sighed.

“Was all worth it. This - you guys, it’s worth everything .”

There was a comfortable silence for a few moments, then Sebastian murmured, “...I’m actually surprised that there are so many breathing techniques in here.” 

He continued scanning through the book.

“Controlling the breath and quieting the mind are pretty basic in most traditions, and it takes a lot of discipline and consistency to master it. It’s the whole ‘transferring of/working with sexual essence’ that’s a real headtrip,” Callisto explained while Chris held her. “Then you get into charging sigils with sexual energy and fluids - directing the energy in the way you want it to go. It’s wild stuff.”

Sebastian looked over at her, intensely curious. “And you’ve tried all that?”

Callisto nodded. “Yep. It has its place in my practice awhile back, but I don’t do it that often anymore. Most of the advice and guidance I offer now is to my friends in the sex work industry.”

Sebastian moved to put the book down, leaning forward and and asking, “How does that work?”

“A lot of workers in the industry are at risk due to the illegality of it, which is total bullshit. Because of this, clients will sometimes rough them up, really hurt them and often outright deny payment. The workings I craft for them help them get better clients, work in safer conditions - with safer clients, and get the proper monetary value for their offered services.”

Sebastian nodded, frowning. “Yeah. I knew a couple girls that worked on the street, long time ago. The fuckin’ horror stories they told…” he shuddered.

“When you say you craft a working…?” Chris asked.

“I essentially consult with spirit allies to figure out what’s needed - sometimes it’s a sigil they paint on their bodies and have their client ejaculate onto, sometimes it’s just holding a certain phrase in their heads as their client comes so they can direct all that energy to their intention instead of having it just dissipate, unused - there are lots of different ways to go about it, and not all clients get the same working for the same job. It’s really all tailored specifically to the person and the situation.”

Sebastian just shook his head, eyes wide. “Wow. That’s… Wow.”

Chris shifted and she turned to meet his gaze. “So, you still do all this? What, is it online, or in person?”

Callisto nodded and explained, “With some clients, I just get a feeling about them and I’ll physically meet them somewhere, to get a vibe for who they are and what they want. With others, if they’re too far away, I’ll do Skype consultations and mail them what they need.”

“Did people ever come to your house for work?” Sebastian asked.

“Rarely. My den is sacrosanct. I don’t invite many people into my life that way.”

Chris pulled her into a tight hug. “Shit. Thank you for letting us in.”

Sebastian looked over at them with an enormous grin, then he pounced on the both of them. Chris made an ‘oof’ sound and Callisto groaned, then laughed.

“I love you guys.” Sebastian’s voice was muffled, being that he was nose first in Callisto’s cleavage. Chris started laughing then. “We love you too, Seb.”

Sebastian planted a kiss on her chest and pulled back, then asked, “So - you’re gonna continue to do this work at this point?”

Callisto nodded, her brow furrowing, “Oh yeah. There are too many people that need help for me to stop, and I’m only just now hitting my Croning years. I gotta step up for all the kids out there who are just getting started.”

Both Sebastian and Chris lay back on the carpet, looking over at her as Chris asked, “Croning?”

She was starting to feel as though she was actively teaching a class now - it wasn’t an entirely bad feeling.

“A witch begins her Croning time in her fifties. It’s when she begins teaching what she’s learned to the younger generation - when she becomes an Elder. I’m hitting that stride now, and I’m wanting to start getting back into teaching,” She shifted into a cross-legged position. “There’s a shop in Salem that a friend of mine works at. I let him know I was in the area, and he’s asked if I wanted to start doing classes - I’d been wanting to talk to you guys about it…” she trailed off.

Chris grinned and sat up, all earnest eagerness. She often wondered if he ever wanted to be a cheerleader - it was so fucking adorable.

“That’s great! How can we help? Can we see the shop?”

Callisto grinned, feeling her face heat as Sebastian just grinned and nodded back at her, as if to say ‘Good on ya’.

“Actually - I… ah… have an appointment to meet with the owner next week. I guess if you don’t mind possibly being photographed going into an obviously Occult shop, then sure.”

Sebastian sat up then, asking, “What are you going to teach?”

“Classes on exorcism, oracular reading, working with spirits and allies - stuff like that.”

He grinned and shook his head. “I gotta tell my ma about this.”

Callisto started at that. “She won’t get weirded out about it?”

Sebastian laughed. “Shit, no. She might just end up as a client at some point, though - so be warned.”

 

--

 

The work on the house progressed at a surprising rate, and they soon had everything up and settled. Callisto and Chris had gone into town for a few supplies, and when they returned, Sebastian was literally crying with laughter in the living room. It echoed throughout the house. They followed the sound and found him giggling on the sofa, the cats leaning against one leg, Dodger on the other. He looked over at them, tears streaming down his face.

“What on earth are you watching?” Chris asked, looking over at the screen.

“Trixie and Katya,” he explained, and laughing loudly now as Chris’ eyes widened at what was being discussed on the show.

Callisto brightened and grinned. “Oh shit, are new episodes out?”

Sebastian immediately looked guilty, but couldn’t stop laughing.

She glared at him, “And you’re watching them without me ?” she growled.

He’d introduced her to the YouTube talk show featuring two hilarious, irreverent as fuck drag queens back when he first stayed with her - one of his guilty pleasures, he’d said at the time. Since then, they’d been waiting for new episodes to be released.

“Look, I’ll start over. I’m only on episode two,” he quickly paused it.

“We’ll need supplies,” she said, turning back to head into the kitchen.

“Ooh, snacks!” Sebastian cried happily, getting up to follow her, putting an arm around Chris’ waist and dragging him along.

“Wait, what…?” Chris murmured.

“Shhh - just go with it. Trust us,” Sebastian crooned, giving his neck a quick bite.

Chris shivered, then laughed as he helped them collect everything they’d need. Once the coffee table was fully stocked with junk food, the two of them introduced Chris to the majesty that was Trixie and Katya.

 

--

 

The boys roamed around the shop, looking at everything, while Callisto sat and talked with the proprietress of Bell, Book and Candle, Gwen Eld. The name suited her, as her hair was damn near fire red and went to her waist with braids throughout. Callisto immediately loved her. She was an older woman with a colorful sense of style and a luminous smile. Everything about her felt - GOOD. Comfy.

She had that expression that told Callisto that she often walked with one foot in this world, and one in the other - mostly in the other, actually. She was a delight.

Callisto’s friend Artemis was happily showing Chris a selection of rune sets as Sebastian went through the book selection. Gwen and Callisto got into an in depth discussion on Heathenry and Spirit Work, and before long she saw Chris out of the corner of her eye, sitting and listening very carefully to their conversation.

She smiled over at him and Gwen turned and waved, then asked, “He with you?”

Gwen hadn’t seen the three of them come in together, so it was a fair question. Chris smiled that damned devastating smile and waved back.

“‘Fraid so,” Callisto replied, not sorry at all.

Gwen let out a sigh and said, “Freja’s been good to you, sister.”

Callisto nodded, her grin growing as she replied, “You have No Idea.”

Chris smiled back at her, then looked over at Sebastian who had walked over and sat down at the table beside him. He was flipping through a book called The Red Goddess and a book titled Exu & the Quimbanda of Night and Fire was placed on the table in front of him. Callisto blinked quickly, then almost laughed. Life was about to get VERY interesting.

“Did you want to do any readings from time to time?” Gwen asked.

“Maybe once a month or so,” Callisto replied, “But I’m thinking mostly teaching at this point.”

Gwen nodded. “Artemis speaks really highly of you, so your coming out here was really a formality.”

They hammered out the details for times and presentations, and as Callisto stood, Sebastian came over with the two books in hand. He gently placed a gorgeous box on the counter; it was covered with runes and the Ægishjálmr, or Helm of Awe, carved into its surface.

He looked over at Chris who blushed. 

“What? I knew you wouldn’t get them for yourself,” Sebastian snapped, shrugging.

Gwen looked over at her again, raising an eyebrow, as if to ask ‘him too?’. Callisto nodded and grinned. Gwen just laughed. Joy was such a great look on her.

“Going down the rabbit hole, eh?” she asked Sebastian with a grin.

He shrugged and placed the books on the counter, then looked up at Gwen, who blinked then cleared her throat. Sebastian’s grin could have outshone the sun and Gwen blushed.

“Are they always like this?” Gwen asked.

“Worse,” Callisto laughed.

Chris chuckled and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

“We’re apparently a handful,” he explained, nuzzling the side of her head.

Hagl freya ,” she muttered under her breath, ringing up the sale.

“Indeed,” Callisto replied.

 

--

 

Later that night, Callisto worked with Chris - talking him through rune casting. He’d already been doing some reading, so it wasn’t surprising that he was drawn to them. Whether he ended up using them as an oracle or for magical intent, time would tell. In her experience, Chris tended to throw himself fully into something once he found a true interest in it, and it was wonderful to watch. He lived with such joyous, childlike abandon and wonder that it often took her breath away - and yet, he was fiercely loyal and rarely backed down when riled. Sebastian was such a feline, in so many ways - seemingly at ease with almost everything. He laughed and showed emotion with the same abandon Chris did, but there was an intensity about it that seemed to scream ‘cat’. They were a joy to be around, and as their time together grew shorter, Callisto could feel it weighing on all of them.

They had a week left before Sebastian had to relocate to Toronto for a movie and Chris would be leaving a few days after to head out to finally play one of his dream roles - the dentist from Little Shop of Horrors. This morning while making coffee, she’d overheard him singing ‘I thrill when I drill a bicuspid / It's swell though they tell me I'm maladjusted’. He was over the moon about it, and she was really happy for him.

And although she was really looking forward to working at the shop, which would be a helpful distraction - she could feel her chest tightening. There was nothing to be done for it. It was just the way things were, and really - the joy in their times together made up for any of the remotely uncomfortable stuff that came up from time to time.

Over the last month, they’d gotten to know the rhythm and flow of each other - how to be more supportive, more open and communicative - and on off days, whoever had available ‘spoons’ would gladly step into the role of caregiver. It was getting easier to ensure everybody’s needs were met, although there were still flaws - it helped to remember that they were all in this together, all for each other.

Sebastian padded into the kitchen and sat beside her, scooting his chair over and snuggling into her shoulder, listening as Callisto talked Chris through the idea of combining runes for wards and protection. He’d been catching on pretty quickly and was fascinated with all of it.

“I hate to interrupt, but you said you’d help me run lines tonight…?” Sebastian gently prompted.

Chris looked over and said, “I want to try some stuff on my own - go run lines with Seb. I’m good.”

He grinned, then refocused on the ornate wooden rune tiles on the table.

Callisto leaned over and kissed him, then said, “Ok, puppy. Are we doing ‘the argument’ again?”

Sebastian nodded and stood with her. “That one part keeps tripping me up. I really want to nail it down.”

“I’m gonna need ice cream after, dammit,” she snapped. She really didn’t like that scene.

Sebastian chuckled and wrapped an arm around her waist as they made their way into the living room.

“Always,” he murmured softly. “Thank you for doing this. I know it’s rough.”

Callisto murmured, “ Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno .”

Sebastian replied with a wry smile. He then handed her a copy of the script and she took a deep breath, trying to tap into the anger she’d need. The argument was ugly - all vicious words and snarls. She knew that part of him really enjoyed tapping into this, wondering if it helped him purge some of his own. She hated saying these things to somebody she loved, but once she got out of her own way, she was able to give back as much fury as the scene required.

When they were finished, Sebastian was staring at her.

“That was fucking fantastic.” He was actually breathing a little heavy.

“I think you guys nailed it,” Chris murmured, nodding.

Callisto walked around, flexing her fingers, trying to bleed off the emotion. She had to admit, though - it had felt pretty good.

“...have you ever considered…?” Sebastian started - Callisto cut him off quickly.

“No. I can’t. Especially after seeing what you guys go through? No thanks.”

Sebastian pulled her into a hug and Chris was suddenly at her back, wrapping his arms around them both.

“Thank you, Pisică . That really helped,” Sebastian whispered.

Callisto shivered, then said, “First, ice cream, then orgasms.”

The boys chuckled and squeezed her.

“Yes ma’am.”

 

--

 

Callisto woke early the next morning, itching to carve a large totem for Freja. It was time to repay the goddess for her abundance of good fortune in companions. After making herself a quick cup of tea, she shuffled through the house, the cats at her heels. The boys were still asleep, but her workshop was far enough away that she could start some of the basic work without making enough noise to wake them up.

She opened the door and walked in, turning on the light, then stood in stunned silence as she looked around the room. Sneaky little bastards that they were, the boys had found a way to upgrade all of her tools. They’d even gotten her a fucking lathe. When had they found the time? And how had they sneaked it past her?

Her hands shook, spilling tea, and she quickly placed the cup on a table.

“Oh my god…” she breathed, feeling tears just beginning to spill down her cheeks.

“It… ah… was supposed to be a surprise,” Chris explained, his voice a little hoarse from waking up. Sebastian stood beside him, looking concerned.

“It wasn’t supposed to make you cry…. Shit, Pisică. ” Sebastian groaned.

Callisto just shook her head and said, “I just… you guys. Fuck .”

They went to hold her as she shook.

“We didn’t get rid of your old stuff, we just figured…”

“Shut up. Oh my god. I love you both so fucking much, dammit,” she croaked.

Both of them sighed with relief.

“Happy birthday, Callisto,” Chris murmured, kissing her.

“Please tell me there isn’t a surprise party,” she chuckled.

Chris laughed. “No. I know you’d hate that.”

She turned to kiss Sebastian. “Happy birthday, my Pisică. I’m glad you’re not pissed.”

“Are you kidding? I’m going to make All The Things now. Holy shit,” she grinned, ridiculously pleased.

“We knew you wouldn’t get this kinda stuff for yourself, so…” Sebastian explained, looking a little sheepish.

Chris cleared his throat and said, “Ah… there’s more.”

Callisto gaped at him. “You’re shitting me.”

Chris took her hand as they started walking her to the garage. Inside, she found a gas powered chainsaw with an 18” blade with carving attachments and an ATV.

“You really know how to woo a girl,” she laughed, grinning.

“Power tools for the win,” Chris chuckled.

“We’re going to cook breakfast. Anything special you want?” Sebastian asked, kissing her forehead.

“Just the usual diner breakfast fare is good.”

“Comin’ right up,” he grinned, heading towards the kitchen.

“I’ll come get you when the food is ready. Chainsaw is already filled, so it’s ready to go.”

Chris kissed her temple then gave her a squeeze before moving to follow Sebastian.

Callisto whooped, then opened the garage door, grabbing her heavy work coat off a hook. She pulled on a pair of heavy duty gloves, grabbed the chainsaw, then went out to look for that large tree that had fallen last week.

She’d gotten most of the bark off the 5 foot long section of the trunk and had just started to carve out a basic shape when she heard an air horn. It was the easiest way for the boys to ‘ring the dinner bell’ when she was outside - she could hear it easily over everything. She shut down the chainsaw, covered up the trunk section, then headed back to the house.

“Jesus, your face is bright red,” Chris muttered, helping her out of her coat as she stepped onto the mud room off the back deck. He helped her clean most of the wood shavings off before they went into the kitchen. He held warm hands against her cheeks and Callisto groaned, leaning into him.

“Gonna get frostbite if you’re not careful,” Sebastian grumbled, mildly irritated.

So she lost track of time when she worked. It happened. She knew he was just worried about her.

Chris shifted a hand to warm up her nose and she sighed.

“Yes, mom,” she replied, rolling her eyes.

Sebastian snapped the dishtowel in his hands at her and she yelped as it stung her thigh.

“Dammit puppy!” she growled.

He presented her with an enormous grin. “Eat.”

The breakfast spread was thorough and delicious and she damn near inhaled her French toast and corned beef hash that Sebastian had clearly made from scratch. “It’s stupid how good you cook, Puppy. Don’t ever change.”

Sebastian grinned and Chris chuckled, nodding. “She’s not wrong.”

Sebastian dumped more sausage onto her plate and she eyed him.

“If I know you, you’re gonna go right back out there and continue whatever the fuck it is you’re doing out there with that chainsaw. Eat some more fucking meat so you don’t freeze to death,” he groused.

He was right, of course.

 

--

 

She completed the project (well, offering ) over the next few days; kept going back to it to add more little details, little designs and flourishes. The boys had helped her haul it into a patch she’d cleared in the woods. They also helped her create a small stone altar beside Freja’s totem, standing quietly while they watched her place honey, bread, pork, mead and chocolate onto it, surrounding it with fresh cuttings of Cowslip, Primrose, Strawberry, Daisy and Linden.

She silently promised Freja that she would come out and do a more elaborate ceremony after the boys left. She turned to face them and said, “I’m so grateful for both of you. For who you are as individuals, and who you are together - for how you make me feel, for how you’ve changed my entire life for the better. My heart is so damned full.”

She walked over and hugged them both, then stayed beside Sebastian as Chris walked over to Freja’s altar and stood before it, looking it over, then pressed his hand to his heart - giving a little bow of respect to the image of Freja carved in wood.

Callisto reached into her pocket to collect the pendant she’d crafted earlier for him, wanting it to be a surprise. As he walked back to them, she held it out, presenting it to him.

“It’s Bay Alder - good wood for Protection from Harassment and Unwanted Advances, and the galdrastafir inscribed on it is for protection and tranquility,” she explained, watching as his eyes lit up. “Should hopefully help with some of the anxiety.”

Chris picked the pendant up and stared at it, stunned.

“Good gift,” Sebastian murmured, voice thick with approval.

He clutched it tightly in a fist, then pulled her into a hug.

“Thank you,” he whispered, his voice rough.

She smiled and held him, explaining, “The cord is leather, so you probably don’t want to wear it into the shower…”

“It’s one of the nicest things anybody’s ever given me,” he croaked. She could hear the tears in his voice.

“Ah, honey…” she crooned, then both she and Sebastian were hugging him.

“C’mon buddy. Let’s get inside before we freeze our balls off, eh?” Sebastian prompted.

Chris chuckled and they turned to go back inside.

 

--

 

She gave Sebastian his gift as he was getting ready to head out to the limo that was taking him to the airport. It’s a small goat horn filled with - well, she’s not saying - and sealed with wax that’s topped with a few colorful beads. The carved sigils on the side were both decorative and functional.

“What’s this?” He looked back at her, his grin sly.

“Thought I’d forgotten about you?”

He chuckled. “I would never.”

She pressed it into his hand, closing his fingers around it. “Protection. Safety…” then she moved to press her hand against his chest. “Easing deep heart wounds and healing trauma.”

Sebastian’s smile disappeared and she could see him struggling to contain strong emotions. “Shit,” he croaked.

She’s in his arms before she can react. He was suddenly babbling in Romanian, his words tight as he held her.

“I love you so fucking much, Pisică . Thank you,” he hissed, before quickly moving to hug Chris. The boys held each other for a few minutes, murmuring to each other before they parted.

“Don’t burn the house down while I’m gone,” he called out as he opened the door and walked out.

“Shit. I miss him already,” Chris murmured as he closed the door.

“Yeah. Me too.”

 

--

 

All too soon, it was Chris’ turn to leave.

“I’ll fly you out in a few weeks, ok?” he asked, his voice hopeful.

Callisto smiled and kissed him, nodding. “Go be the best sadistic dentist you can, a rúnsearc .”

He laughed then, and she could tell that he was trying to shake off the frustration and sadness of having to leave. “I’ll be fine. I’ll fill the house with art - you know me.”

“I love you, sweetheart,” he whispered, pulling her in for a tight hug.

Dodger whined at his feet and he said, “Keep her safe for me buddy, okay? I’ll be back soon.”

Chris sat and gave Dodger all the hugs and kisses before he stood and turned back to Callisto, flashed a grin, then headed outside.

As the door closed, Dodger started whining and getting agitated.

“C’mon pupper. I have treats. You looooove treats, right?”

Dodger looked up at her, then started dancing around, excited.

“I know. Treats aren’t as good as having daddy around, but we’ll make it work.”

Chapter Text

Dodger, Nag and Nagaina lounged around the studio while Callisto worked on a piece featuring the boys, wanting to gift it to them as a present when they returned. As she painted, she remembered her conversation with the friend who was now living in her old place. The land had accepted her - eagerly, and the fit was turning out to be better than she had hoped. With luck, she would only need to return a few times a year to check on everything to make sure that everything was going well. Having relocated most of the altars to the woods around the house, everything was settling in and she was eagerly looking forward to celebrating Ostara on the new land.

She had also found the perfect wedding dress. Plans for the event were proceeding accordingly, and it had been decided that the ceremony would take place at the house itself, which pleased her greatly. The ceremony was going to be a mix of Church tradition and Heathen, with vows being taken in both paths.

The classes at the shop were going wonderfully - attendance kept growing, even though she was using a pseudonym. The Sex Magic classes were the most popular, so far, with the Spirit work running a close second. She was slowly starting to connect with other practitioners in the area and was working to share knowledge and assistance where she could.

Callisto had forgotten how closed off she had allowed her life to become, and was enjoying getting back out into the spiritual community and the connections she was making. She felt as though she was truly thriving for the first time in a long time.

The nightly calls kept her connected with the boys, and they were all finding it a little easier to be apart this time, which was reassuring. Chris, having finished filming earlier than they’d expected, was out visiting Sebastian on set and was then going to fly in to spend Ostara with her before going from there to the next project he was working on out on location in Thailand. Sebastian was trying to break away for the holiday, but didn’t know if he’d be able to make it.

Callisto was set to fly out to visit Chris in late March, and while she was gone, Chris’ family would help keep an eye on the pets.

The alarm beside her went off and she quickly finished up, then went to get ready to head to the shop.

 

--

 

When Callisto walked in, Gwen’s face lit up.

“The handfasting cords came in!”

“No shit! Fantastic!” she grinned, walking up to the counter as Artemis came out of the back. They hugged and Gwen placed the box with three sets of cords on the counter. They were both constructed out of a mixture of green, blue, purple and gold plush and fluffy wool, with charms and ribbons on each end.

“They’re perfect,” Callisto breathed, running her fingers along the soft material. 

“Oh my god, Gwen. They’re amazing,” Artemis smiled and hugged her.

“You have twenty students today and another one of your staves sold.”

“Full house again, eh?” Callisto chuckled.

Gwen nodded. “We’re going to have to start having you come in more often at this point, unless I get a bigger space.”

Another one of the shop regulars came in, waving and grinning.

The shop was such a vibrant, welcoming place, and the more of its local denizens Callisto met, the happier she was. It was such a tight knit community, filled with people of varying paths and faiths, and they all seemed to get along surprisingly well. Callisto’s experience of pagan communities in other areas wasn’t always so… positive. Filled with bickering, infighting and ‘witch wars’, they often tore themselves apart rather than coming together for the common good of the community and younger practitioners. Sometimes, it just came down to good old fashioned dick measuring contests, as it were - then came the reactive throw downs. It was one of the reasons she had distanced herself previously.

While she was certain that there were similar people and situations in Salem, so far, she hadn’t encountered any of them them, for which she was immensely grateful.

“Hey Heather!” Callisto called out.

“Hey Calli!” Heather came over and hugged Artemis, then her before heading over to Gwen.

“How’s the job hunt going?”

“I found the perfect place! I start on monday.” Heather beamed, her eyes shining.

Callisto smiled. She’d done a working for her a week ago and was glad that things were turning around for her new friend.

“Now she just needs to get away from that shithead she’s fucking,” Artemis snapped, looking sour.

Heather rolled her eyes and sat down at the table near the front counter. “Yeah, I know. It’s just…”

“The dick… it’s too good…,” Artemis crooned dramatically.

Callisto laughed and nodded, “Hypnodick. It’s a killer.”

“TRUTH.” Gwen replied, her tone mild.

They all sat at the table, catching up until the first few class attendees started filtering in.

 

--

 

After class, Callisto sat and talked with several of her students who shared some of the things that had come up while doing the coursework. One, in particular, was advancing quicker than she had expected. She’d have to take them aside and teach them some more advanced concepts - their work was solid and their efforts were getting them exactly the results they needed. It was time to groom them to get them ready to step up and start doing work for others in the community soon.

Teaching and guiding was a delicate balancing act. Some students reacted to perceived failure stronger than others. Twenty was a reasonable class size, she realized. Any more than that, and she would be unable to address the needs of everybody attending without neglecting some of the others. She definitely wasn’t in this for the money - it was all about bringing as many other practitioners online and actively working in the community as quickly as possible. There was SO much need for this kind of thing, and although there was clearly a resurgence in ‘alternative spirituality’, lots of it still tended to be ‘pagan lite’ - and although there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with that, it was still unbalanced. There were still so many people who considered anything that wasn’t Light, Love and Laughter as bad or dark .

Still, people would do what they would, and the world would spin on.

As she said goodbye to her last few students, her phone buzzed.

She dug it out of her belt pocket and looked down to see a message in all caps.

SEB’S BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT. HE’S OK. CALL ME.

--

 

Apparently, the idiot twins had been out drinking and at some point Sebastian had lost his balance, crashing through a glass coffee table. He was bruised and cut up badly enough that they’d had to go to the hospital, but he was going to be ok.

“You don’t have to fly out,” Chris had said, but Callisto had growled at him and gone ahead and bought tickets for the first flight out already.

She was a nervous wreck until she arrived at the place he’d been staying during filming. She rapped loudly on the door and Chris answered, looking immensely guilty.

Callisto shook her head and pulled him into a hug. “I’m not going to yell. I promise,” she murmured.

Chris held her tightly, shaking. “Fuck, I’m sorry. I’m so fucking glad you’re here.”

He was due to fly out tomorrow, and was likely beating himself up over the fact that he wouldn’t be able to stay to help Sebastian recover.

“Come on, a rúnsearc - let me see him.”

Chris’ hold on her tightened as he whispered, “Just… I need this. Please.”

“Hey…,” Callisto held him tighter, frowning. “Ah honey.”

“It was so stupid,” Chris blurted out, then he was crying.

“Is that asshole crying again?” echoed out from the back bedroom. “It wasn’t your fuckin’ fault, dammit.”

“He’s ok, Chris. It’s ok.”

Chris’ breathing hitched and he took a deep breath. She pulled away and reached up to cup his cheek. He looked awful.

“I love you Chris. I’m here. Whatever you need,” she breathed, pressing her forehead to his.

“Fuck…” he trembled, struggling to master his emotions.

“We’re ok, baby… We’re ok,” she murmured softly.

He nodded and it broke her heart how much like a little boy the motion made him look.

“Wanna wipe your face off on my shirt?” she asked.

At this, he let out a weak laugh, wiping his face down with his own shirt.

She wrapped an arm around his waist as they made their way to the bedroom.

Sebastian looked nonplussed as they walked in. “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he explained, wincing as he shifted position in the bed.

His arm was bandaged, as were the fingers on both hands. Callisto gave him a dry look.

“Is that so?”

He grumped and snapped, “The doctors said it could have been much worse. Hell, the people there said they were surprised I didn’t break anything.”

“You’re a really shitty patient, aren’t you?” Callisto asked with a sigh.

Sebastian let out a weak laugh, then shrugged and immediately seemed to regret the movement. “Fuck. Ow.”

Chris shook his head, looking a little haunted. “Never drinking with you again.”

Sebastian let out a sharp bark of laughter, then winced. “Yeah. Heard that one before.”

“My fucking heart stopped, you asshole - I swear…” Chris snapped, getting grumpy now as well.

She heard the ringtones of Chris’ phone and watched him fumble to answer it.

“Hey Ma - yeah, he’s fine. You…,” Chris’ head dipped and he let out a heavy sigh.

Callisto went to sit over by Sebastian, brushing a lock of hair away from his forehead. “What the fuck, puppy?”

He looked away from her, then frowned. “You didn’t have to fly all the way out here.”

“The fuck I didn’t,” she snapped. “Fiancé unit #2 goes down swinging against a goddamned coffeetable, and I just - what, fuckin’ stay home? Screw that.”

He chuckled, holding a hand against his right side. “Fuck you. Makin’ me laugh.”
She felt Chris’ hand at her back and looked over at him.

“Ok, Ma. Thanks for telling me. Here he is,” he shifted and handed the phone to Sebastian who glared back at him before accepting the phone.

She turned towards Chris, who just looked completely wrung out at this point.

“This is so utterly fucked,” he croaked as he moved to place his head in his hands.

Sebastian started laughing then, in between bouts of wheezing. “Holy shit. That’s hilarious .”

Callisto looked over at him and frowned, then looked back over at Chris.

“...what the hell’s going on?” she asked, her voice quiet.

Chris groaned, then turned to look at her.

“I… ah… there’s now apparently footage of me and Sebastian kissing,” he coughed, before continuing. “Ah… making out, really.”

Sebastian wrapped up the call with Lisa, then hung up.

“Oh, for fucksakes - who cares?” he snapped.

Chris shifted to glare at him. “Marvel…” Chris started.

Sebastian quickly cut him off. “You’re shitting me, right? You’ve done your time, you don’t have to put up with that bullshit morals clause anymore.”

“Yeah, but you’re just getting started, dickhead,” Chris bit out. “What if they drop you because of this?”

Sebastian laughed and shook his head. “Fuck, if you assholes keep making me laugh, I’m gonna have to go get stitched up again.”

He sighed, then explained, “If Marvel drops me because I’m Bi, they’re going to have one hell of a legal fight on their hands.”

“Yeah, but the perception is going to be that you’re Bisexual and a homewrecker. That won’t go over so well,” Chris explained.

Callisto held up a hand, stopping them both.

“Ok. So the cat’s out of the bag. Boat’s left the harbor, Etcetera. Bisexual visibility and representation is shit in this country. You don’t think you’ll have enormous support for this?”

Sebastian nodded, “She has a point.”

Chris pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s not that simple…” he began.

Sebastian frowned, then said, “Would I rather keep my private life private? Sure. Am I ashamed of being with you? Fuck no. Yeah, this isn’t going down the best way it could, but it was going to come out at some point.”

Chris ran his hands through his hair and Sebastian grated, “Christ, with the amount of guys who suck dick in Hollywood, how is this even a fuckin’ issue anymore? Fuck, gimme my phone.”

Callisto reached over and grabbed it off the table beside him, handing it to him. Chris looked green and was breathing quickly, his hand on his stomach. He quickly got up and ran to the bathroom and Callisto winced at the sound of him vomiting.

She looked up at Sebastian who was frowning and looking over towards the bathroom.

“Shit,” he grumbled, frustrated and concerned. “I hate it when he does this to himself.”

Callisto waited until she heard the toilet flush, then went in to see Chris on the floor, wiping his mouth. Knowing an anxiety spiral when she saw one, she calmly sat beside him and started talking him down, talking him through it. She knew that he wasn’t doing this out of anything resembling shame - but it was a mixture of fear and frustration at having his private life scattered out like trashy little leaflets of paper, where any asshole could pick them up and have their say about his life choices.

She took him in her arms and held him, doing her best to soothe him. He just had to ride it out until he reached a point where he could see things more reasonably. Panic often blew so many things so entirely out of perspective, so much so that they often seemed insurmountable. This too would pass. It might not be easy, but it’d pass.

“Wow,” Sebastian murmured. “Huh. Figure that shit out.”

“You gonna share with the rest of the class?” Callisto called out.

“Apparently #StuckyIsReal, #EvanStan #CapNBuckyFuckyFucky and #FuckYesBiVisibilityinHollywood are trending at an insane rate,” he called out. “TONS of Bi folks are literally losing their minds over this, and they’re all being… really fuckin’ supportive.”

“That’s good to know,” Callisto replied. “You seeing a lot of negative feedback?”

Sebastian laughed at that, “OH yeah. Not a huge surprise, tho.” He made a hissing sound, then said, “Yikes. Lots of people are pretty pissed at me, I guess. Ouch.”

She heard his phone ring and he answered it as Callisto turned back to Chris, who had moved to rest his head on her shoulder.

“I don’t know if I can continue doing this,” he sighed.

Callisto rested her head on his. “I’m afraid I’m going to need you to be a little more specific.”

He let out a weak laugh and replied, “Well, I had been thinking about retiring from acting…”

Chris shivered, then continued, “But Seb… this could really fuck his career.”

“Ah, honey,” She moved to hold his hand.

Sebastian let out a heavy sigh, then said, “That was my agent. They just cut me from the project, so I guess we’ve got some hangout time…”

Chris stiffened and shook his head, “ Fuck .”

“This is not your fault, Evans. Hear me?” Sebastian grated. “I won’t let you blame yourself for this shit.”

Callisto gave Chris a gentle nudge. “C’mon. Let’s go sit with him.”

Then Chris’ phone rang.

 

--

 

The three of them lay beside each other, Callisto and Sebastian on either side of Chris, who was just staring up at the ceiling.

“What can I even say at this point?” he asked.

He’d been released from his project as well. She watched as the news had almost literally crushed him. Callisto was beyond furious, on both their behalfs.

“Seems as though there are two options. One - the three of us open up about this and lay everything, Within Reason, on the overly public table and let the imminent events unfold around that, or Two - we say nothing and go to ground for awhile,” Callisto murmured, nuzzling his shoulder.

Chris groaned and frowned. “Seb?”

“Honestly? Let’s just do a goddamned interview, then go to ground for a bit. I know a lot of indie directors, actors and studios that would still be happy to work with me. This isn’t gonna wreck me.”

Chris sighed and looked over at Callisto. “Would you be okay with that?”

“Looks like it’s the best option we have at this point, as much as I hate that it has to be done. Fuckin’ press.”

“On the upside - Calli, you’re getting tons of support over this. Everybody feels bad for you.” Sebastian chuckled.

“What utter fucking horseshit,” she snapped, grating her teeth. “Fuck this. I don’t want some smug asshole coming in and asking us questions. Why don’t we just - shit, I dunno, do a YouTube video or something? That way we get to control what’s said, and how.”

“It’s not a bad idea…” Sebastian replied.

Chris took a deep breath, then said, “That might not be too awful.”

The first lonely trumpet notes of The Godfather Waltz echoed out of a phone and Chris sat up, “Oh shit.”

Sebastian started giggling. “Oh shit is right.”

“What?” Callisto asked, confused.

“You’ll see,” Sebastian replied as Chris answered the phone.

 

--

 

Several hours later, the room was full of a number of the members of the cast of the Marvel movies. Robert was off with Chris in the living room, discussing tactics with Scarlett as Mark and Jeremy were in the kitchen cooking.

Callisto just lay beside Sebastian and said, “They really are a force of nature, aren’t they?”

He let out a sharp bark of laughter, “Oh yeah.”

There was another knock at the door, then a loud voice yelled out, “You started the party without me? What the hell?”

“That’ll be Anthony,” Sebastian explained. “Them being here is good for him. It’ll help get him out of his head.”

Callisto sighed, grateful. “Good. He doesn’t need to hurt anymore than he already is.”

“Can I just say how awesome it is that you’re not jealous about any of this?”

Callisto looked up at him, frowning. “Why on earth would I be jealous about any of it?”

Sebastian shrugged. “I know more than a few women who would be irritated that they weren’t enough to help in a situation like this.”

Callisto snorted. “That’s stupid. Poisonous monogamous thinking. Why wouldn’t I want anybody who can actually help him feel better involved and helping?”

“See, that’s why we love you, Pisică. ” He tapped her side, taking her hand, then wincing.

“Stop hurting yourself, puppy. Shit, you should really take some of those meds the doc gave you.”

He smiled, then nodded. “Well now that the cavalry’s here, I think I just might.”

Anthony Mackie popped his head in the bedroom and said, “Did you lose a fight with a blender? What the fuck, Sea Bass?”

Callisto moved to get up and Sebastian reached for her. “Don’t leave me alone with him. He’s a monster.”

She laughed and Anthony crawled onto the bed beside him. “Shhh, baby. Mackie’s gonna make it all okay.”

“I swear to God, if you kiss me Choclachino, imma crack you one.” Sebastian yelled, then both of them started laughing.

“Psssh. White boys ain’t my taste, Vanilla Ice. You know that by now. ‘Sides, you ain’t crackin’ nuthin’ with them busted ass paws of yours.”

Callisto turned back, looked at Anthony and said, “Make sure he takes his fuckin’ meds.”

Both of them saluted her, then cracked up. She gave them the finger and walked out of the room.

“She’s a keeper,” she heard Anthony’s voice echo from the room.

“Fuck yeah, she is.”

 

--

 

Robert ended up taking the picture of the three of them that they posted on Sebastian’s Instagram account, and both Chris and Callisto’s Twitter feed, stating that they would be responding with a formal statement in the next 24 to 36 hours. They’d posed on the couch, with both Chris and Callisto on either side of Sebastian, who was still looking fairly banged up. The three of them held hands and just leaned into each other, looking at the camera.

Shortly thereafter, all the members of the Avengers cast liked the statements and retweeted them in solidarity with the hashtag #LoveIsLove.

After a few hours, they had a script, were well fed, and were ready to record the statement.

 

Callisto spoke first. "I want to respond to the allegations I've been seeing that Chris and Sebastian are somehow cheating on me. This is Unequivocally Not True. For reasons that are entirely our own, we actively chose to enter into a relationship with each other. At no point did we mislead or lie to each other about any of it. It was our decision to keep this to ourselves and trusted close friends, as there are still many who aren't entirely accepting of Bisexuality, much less Polyamory.

Unfortunately, since the video of Chris and Sebastian came to light, this has forced us to speak publicly about our relationship - something that should have been our choice to keep private, personal and precious."

Chris spoke then, " I regret the stress and worry that this has caused our friends and family. They definitely support us, but having to watch this unfold has been difficult for them. I'm also deeply disappointed that this video has lead to lost professional opportunities. Both Sebastian and I were released from projects we had signed on to after our relationship became public, unfortunately. Yet, I still have every intention of marrying Callisto and Sebastian knows this.”

Sebastian picked it up, saying, "And I'm more than okay with it. We aren't three separate couples, we're a single unit - a Throuple."

Callisto grinned over at him and Chris blushed as Sebastian continued, "Because more than two people can't yet marry legally, we are - all three of us, are going to have a ceremonial dedication to each other."

He looked over to Callisto and asked, "What'd you call it?"

She grinned back at him and replied, "A handfasting. While not legally binding, it's a promise that we're all making to each other, similar to the vows one makes during a wedding."

Chris spoke again. “I know this is unconventional, and I didn’t realize it was what I wanted until it happened - but I won’t apologize for it. Nobody should have to apologize for who and how they love. I’ve been outspoken about LGBTQ+ issues for a long time, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon - especially now. For all the painful things that are being said - I can’t imagine what kind of message that’s sending to kids out there who are terrified of just expressing their love for another human being. If it’s this bad for us - think how much worse it must be for those people who have precarious minimum wage employment and live in an At-Will state, where employers can fire you simply for being Bisexual.”

Sebastian added, “Or somebody who has to enter survival sex work because of the prejudices against trans women, especially those who are women of colour.”

Callisto spoke then. “Discrimination in any form is Not Ok. Biphobia is homophobia. We Exist. We Matter. In lieu of wedding gifts, we’re asking that donations be made instead to The Trevor Project, A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.”

Chris wrapped up with, “That’s pretty much it. Now you know where we stand. Thank you for everybody who took the time to watch this - to listen to us, and thank you so much for all the messages of support and love that have been pouring in about this. We love you guys.”

 

Now it was just a matter of consulting with their collective publicists.

Chapter Text

The call with Jason went about as well as could be expected, really.

“I’m gonna kill them both.”

Callisto laughed. “No, you’re not.”

“Why are we even friends if I can’t kill people for you?” Jason snapped. “How does that even work?”

Callisto simply sighed as he asked, “Are you getting death threats yet?”

“Yeah,” she groaned, irritated. LOTS of women were furious with her. How dare she be such a greedy cow? Most of the threats were coming from either women or conservative idiots that seemed to default at raging at women over simply daring to exist and speak up online. And as for ‘Turning Captain America Gay’? Well, that was the unforgivable sin, wasn’t it?

“Ugh. The worst. I’m still invited to the wedding, right?” Jason asked.

“Yes, but you can’t do the whole Septa Unella schtick. That’s been nixed.”

Jason gasped in mock outrage. “What? They can’t do that! I HAD PLANS.”

Callisto laughed and said, “You’re gonna dress in the inflatable unicorn costume instead, aren’t you?”

“NO.” Jason grumped. “MAYBE the T-Rex one.”

“I’m certain you’ll make the right choice,” Callisto replied sarcastically.

“Watched your YouTube announcement. Wasn’t too bad. How’d they get you on camera?”

Callisto shrugged, explaining, “I didn’t mind so much, actually. It’s for a good cause, and I want to be there in any way I can for the boys.”

“Just make sure they do the same for you,” Jason warned.

“If they didn’t, do you think I’d put up with this shit?” Callisto snapped, then laughed.

“Good point.”

 

--

 

The vitriolic responses weren’t really all that surprising. Predictably, the Fox News contingent was losing their everloving minds. Idiots were buying Captain America merchandise only to burn it in protest. Bigots were misspelling wretched homophobic slurs left and right, and being generally horrible.

The support, however, was overwhelming from the Bisexual and Polyamory community. Because of Sebastian’s statement about Trans women of color, the Trans community was throwing their full support in as well. The comments on their collective YouTube statement were alternately breathtakingly beautiful and heartbreaking.

There was also a literal tidal wave of, “I KNEW IT!” coming from every corner as well.

“Holy shit. We broke the internet,” Callisto breathed.

“Again,” Sebastian chuckled.

There was also a huge outpouring of support from other actors, as well as politicians and various activist groups. A representative from the Bisexual Resource Center wanted to interview them, and Ellen’s team was begging to have them on the show.

They had agreed to limit their time rubbernecking online to a few hours, just to save their sanity. Still, Chris seemed to be rallying - actually getting angry now. He’d arranged for them to fly back home on a charter plane - the last thing he wanted was for any of them to get blindsided by any member of the press at this point - and now that they were finally home, Callisto was starting to relax.

Sebastian was doing a little better as well, even though the bruising was getting to that really ugly looking stage.

Chris and his brother were arguing about something in the other room while she and Sebastian ate breakfast. Nagaina was on Sebastian’s lap, pawing at his plate as he fed her pieces of egg. He was spoiling the cats terribly.

Chris walked into the kitchen, snapping, “I’m not the fucking Poly Bi poster child!”

Scott smoothly replied, “Actually, you kinda are now.”

Chris growled, “When does it fucking end? When have I given enough?”

Scott snorted, “You’re kidding, right? You’ve seen what I’ve had to go through all these years. Doesn’t it piss you off?”

“Of course it pisses me off!” Chris yelled, crossing his arms. “I just… fuck .”

Scott sighed and explained, “Whether you like it or not, you’re now the face of this. Sure, you can choose to disappear - not openly talk about it further, but… think about all those people out there who see what the three of you have, and how important they see that it’s okay . And healthy . And good .”

Chris frowned and sighed. Callisto moved to stand beside him, wrapping an arm around his waist.

“If you choose to do it, you won’t be alone - if that helps,” she murmured.

He looked down at her, shocked. “You’d… put up with that shit? Being on camera? Being asked insidious little shitty questions about your sex life?”

Callisto laughed and said, “Fuck no. I’m not answering anything about my sex life. Nobody has the right to that. But I’ll gladly talk about the fact that the three of us are happy together - that we do the same things all the other couples out there do together.”

Chris gave her a wry smile and nodded.

“They can’t put you on the spot if the three of us are united in the interview,” she explained. “And I’ll call anybody’s bullshit on them in a hot minute. You know this.”

Scott laughed at that. Chris looked over at Sebastian and asked, “Would…”

Sebastian gave him a mildly irritated look and grumped, “You really have to ask? Of course I’ll fuckin’ stand with you. Don’t be stupid, asshole.”

Chris laughed then, tears gathering at the corners of his eyes.

“Okay - fucking okay! I just…” he looked over at Scott. “Shit this was a lot easier when I wasn’t talking about myself.”

“I know. It’s gonna be ok. You got this.”

 

--

 

They chose to do an interview with Ellen at the house. She and her team came out and set up in the living room, and although Callisto found Ellen a little irritatingly bubbly at first, she slowly warmed to her. She showed her and the cameras around the house and the property, consciously choosing not to go back into the woods with them. Whenever Ellen asked about something that was pretty obviously witchy, Callisto would just shrug and say, “I like dark, weird things. It’s something they’ve had to adjust to.”

Adding witchcraft on top of everything wouldn’t help at this point - it would only muddy already confusing, highly unconventional waters.

The interview itself went fairly smoothly and everybody stayed ‘on message’, with a little self-deprecating humor thrown in from Chris’ corner. Callisto, after having conferred with Chris that he was okay with the whole world knowing about how they met, told Ellen the story, which was apparently highly entertaining.

There were a couple spots where she felt really uncomfortable with some of the questions asked, but before she could snap about it, either Chris or Sebastian would interject and redirect. Apparently after years about being laconic about his sexuality, after having played so many gay men, Sebastian was playing with it now, enjoying himself.

The interview finally finished and as everybody was wrapping up, Callisto politely excused herself to head to the bedroom. Oversocialization drop was a thing for her, and she’d reached the peak of it about fifteen minutes before the interview was over. Exhausted now, she fell asleep shortly after laying down.

 

--

 

“They’re all gone now,” Chris murmured, kissing her cheek. “Food’s ready. C’mon, sweetheart.”

Callisto felt the bed dip as he sat beside her. She groaned, then frowned, which made Chris laugh. “You’re so damned adorable when you do that.”

“Shut up.” she grumbled, trying to hide her head.

“What, you wanna eat dinner in bed?” he asked.

She looked up at him then, her eyes narrowed, which only made him laugh harder.

“Is she being difficult?” Sebastian walked in, flopping down on the bed beside her. “Ow!” he yelped, then winced.

“Oh my god, fuck off,” she giggled. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine,” he muttered. “just dying…” He made a dramatic groaning noise.

“And the only thing that will make you feel better is if I eat something, right?” she asked, rolling her eyes.

“That might help,” he said in a small, childlike voice.

“How can I argue with that logic?”

As they ate, Callisto asked, “When will it air?”

“Tomorrow,” Chris answered, taking a sip of water. “You up for going out to the house to watch it with the family? Ma wanted me there when it aired.”

“Is the entire Evans clan going to be in attendance?”

Sebastian laughed. “You’re kidding, right?”

Chris blushed, “Pretty much. Anybody who can get out here. It’s gonna be a full house.”

“Good thing she has a huge ass TV so everybody can see,” Callisto chuckled.

“All by design, sweetheart,” Chris grinned. “Just wait ‘til football season starts.”

Callisto groaned and both boys laughed.

 

--

 

As the three of them walked into Chris’ parents house, they were swamped by people in t-shirts with the BiPride flag on them, stamped with Team #EvanTierStan . Callisto lost count of how many people hugged them all, literally boggled by the gesture. Chris had explained that his family was tight knit, but this was… so completely unexpected and touching.

“Wild, isn’t it?” Sebastian chuckled when they were finally seated in the living room.

“It’s a lot… but it’s amazing,” Callisto replied snuggling into the two of them.

Chris took her hand, threading his fingers through hers as the show started.

As they watched some of the ‘candid home shots’ of the three of them doing normal ‘couple shit’, Callisto couldn’t help but grin. It was so odd to see herself on TV, but the boys seemed entirely at ease, and they were so beautiful together.

The interview was fairly painless to watch, and she had to admit that they’d done a fairly good job. She was pleased, and both Chris and Sebastian seemed to share the sentiment. 

Afterwards, a full celebratory cookout broke out. She could tell that Chris was pulling back on the alcohol - still a little gunshy about Sebastian’s accident. Sebastian seemed to be as well. Callisto was supremely thankful that there was no awkwardness between Chris and any of his family members over this. Having known too many friends that had been ostracized or outright attacked by parents and close friends for their sexuality, it was really reassuring to see this. To be a part of it.

At some point, she’d decided to show Lisa the wedding dress she’d picked out - Chris’ mother had actually loved it, which was nice. This then turned into a conversation about wedding details, which prompted her to show Lisa the handfasting cords, as well as the pictures of the work that was progressing on the Viking handfasting pavilion - she’d been carving the poles by hand. Since the news was already out about the three of them, they had come to the decision that the handfasting between the three of them would take place shortly after the wedding ceremony itself.

Lisa called over a bright eyed man with salt and pepper hair about her age. He was wearing one of the shirts as well - and Callisto was honestly surprised to discover that he was the Catholic priest who would be performing the Christian portion of the wedding ceremony. He was very easygoing, and turned out to be a lovely, open minded and open hearted person. She talked with him about getting him in touch with the Viking Völva who would be overseeing the pagan portion of the ceremony, as well as the handfasting between the three of them. He was a sweet, earnest man, and she was sure he’d do a wonderful job with his portion of the ceremony.

Chris came over and greeted the man with a warm, full hug, then pulled Callisto into his arms.

“Your family is so amazing,” she breathed, nuzzling his neck.

“They really are. Always have been. I’m don’t know how I got so lucky. So many kids don’t have this kind of support.” He sighed and squeezed her, then kissed her cheek, then went to hug his mom.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t dragged you to DisneyWorld yet.” Scott chuckled and gave her a quick hug.

Callisto laughed. “Yeah - we had a long talk about that. I just… I can’t do crowds. I’d have to be drugged to the gills to handle it. I liked theme parks when I was a kid, but as I get older. It’s just too much.”

She felt somebody step behind her, wrapping arms around her waist. “ Pisică.

Grinning, she snuggled back into Sebastian. He hummed against the back of her neck and she felt her knees buckle. “Puppy, what are you doing?”

She felt him laugh, then he gave her neck a quick nip before stepping away to look back at her. He shrugged, then said, “Just saying hi.” His grin was wicked and warm as he made his way over to Chris.

Callisto looked over at Scott, then playfully grumped, “Such a burden those two are.”

He grinned and replied, “I don’t know how you manage it. You’re clearly a saint.”

Clearly ,” she chuckled.

Chris was back at her side, looping an arm around her waist. “When do I get to see the dress?” he asked.

“That depends on how traditional you want to go with this whole process. I mean, I could show it to you now, but…”

Chris grinned, then said, “Well, there’s a huge difference in seeing what it’s going to look like as opposed to seeing you in it .”

“He has a point,” Scott prompted. She hadn’t had a chance to show him the pictures of the dress idea yet either.

When she brought it up on her phone, the pair of them made all the appropriate approval noises, then Sebastian was peering over her shoulder.

“Holy shit - that the dress?”

Callisto nodded and Sebastian actually gaped. “It’s perfect.”

“I know. A friend out in LA is making it for me. She does some truly amazing work. I go out in another month for another fitting.”

“So - have you decided about whether or not to let the press in for the wedding?” Scott asked.

It was something they had been kicking around and none of them really felt comfortable with it. False gossip about the three of them was still spreading like wildfire, but there was only so much they could do to contain it. They’d said their piece, and were still hoping it would die down soon.

“Might be better to just edit footage from the ceremony and throw it up on YouTube - again, we control the narrative that way,” Chris replied.

Callisto and Sebastian nodded. “Makes sense.”

“Now we just need to work on getting this guy an outfit. He hasn’t even started looking yet,” Sebastian chuckled.

“I’ve been a little busy!” Chris snapped, frowning.

Sebastian went over and pulled him into a kiss, effectively silencing him.

Scott rolled his eyes and looked over at Callisto.

“Get a room,” he joked, then grinned.

Chris was blushing furiously as Sebastian pulled away, still not entirely used to being able to openly display his affection in public yet. Sebastian literally gave no fucks and seemed actually happy that he could now paw Chris in the open as much as he wanted. The two of them were adorable together.

“Think you’ll ever get tired of that?” Scott asked.

Callisto let out a bark of laughter. “Are you kidding? I have a front row seat to the hottest fuckin’ show in the known world every night. I can’t get enough of it.”

 

--

 

After about two weeks, Sebastian received a call from his agent, assuring him that he’d be staying on with Marvel and continuing his character’s story arc. Both Chris and Callisto had been relieved to hear that - but the studio that had released Chris back when the video first came out remained firm on their choice. Chris didn’t get a call about his project, but he wasn’t really expecting one. Thailand was notoriously awful about LGBTQ+ rights. At the moment, he was just happy that his part wasn’t being cut from Little Shop of Horrors.

The three of them had been invited as guests of honor at Boston’s Pride parade, which they had accepted. Both Lisa and Scott were going to be onstage with them, which helped ease Chris into the idea. He still hated talking about his personal life, but he was approaching this with the same strength and determination he did when tweeting about other political issues. It was a battle he could definitely fight, and once he got his teeth in something, he rarely let it go.

The three of them sat on the couch, after Chris had convinced them to watch an animated movie called UP and Callisto was now glaring at him through tears at the opening scene. It didn’t help that he was openly tearing up as well.

“Wait, it gets better…” he explained as she shifted back against him.

“Well it certainly couldn’t get any worse at this point,” she grumped, her heart breaking for the old guy in the movie already. What kind of sadistic asshole puts this kind of scene at the beginning of a movie for kids?

Sebastian dug into the exact right spot on her foot and she groaned, feeling a little better. She’d been on her feet in the studio all day and the boys had to practically yank her out to rest. As the movie went on, she had to admit that it was really adorable and sweet. Just the kind of thing she expected Chris to fall in love with.

“So, tomorrow’s the thing?” Chris asked.

“What, Ostara? Yeah. I’m almost done with everything for it,” Callisto explained picking up a carrot and crunching down on it.

The boys, having found themselves with some extended time off for the time being, were helping as much as they could. They had even attended one of her classes at the shop, sitting at the back and trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. It was still pretty cold out, as temperatures didn’t usually get into the fifties until about April. Another thing she was working on getting used to. The heated blanket was a godsend, and she’d littered the house with other smaller electric blankets, which helped.

“What time did you want to start everything?” Sebastian asked, digging into another muscle in her foot that had been cramping up earlier. Callisto had started seedlings for everything she wanted to grow shortly after they had moved in, and now was the time to start getting some of them into the ground.

“Early. I want to get a fire going right around sunrise. I figure I’ll do the Landsegen at the firepit.” Earlier in the week, they’d helped her dig out a large firepit out back, and she’d set up a small altar for seasonal offerings nearby. “Then, after eating, I’m going want to to start moving some of the larger seedlings to the beds out back.”

“I don’t understand why you wouldn’t let us bring a crew in to build beds for you,” Chris murmured.

“Some things just have to be done by hand,” she explained. “I’m already going with the contractor you recommended for the greenhouse and I’ll still need help cementing in the staves around the firepit at some point.”

Sebastian started massaging her calves and she let out a breathy moan, “Oh my god, please don’t ever stop.”

“Wasn’t planning on it…” Sebastian replied, grinning, pleased with the responses he was coaxing from her.

“Ma wants to come out later tomorrow. She wants to see what this is all about.”

Some of the Evans clan had already come out to visit, but there hadn’t been an official gathering yet. They had decided to have the housewarming in a few weeks, and Callisto had been rushing to get everything ready.

“Really? That’s awesome,” Callisto grinned, happy that Lisa was taking an interest. She wasn’t out to convert anybody - that was never her intention, but having other people being a part of her spiritual connection? It was very… touching and sweet. 

Callisto’s own parents, in the attempt to be supportive of her ‘witchy stuff’ back when she was a teenager, had bought her a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum. After she had explained to them that the tome was a treatise on witchcraft that was written to instruct magistrates on how to identify, interrogate (torture) and convict witches (an action that usually resulted in the death of the witch) back in the late 1400’s, they’d been mortified, of course, but she’d still seen it as a generous gesture. 

They really had tried, after all.

 

--

 

The Ostara ceremony itself was short and sweet and they’d all placed small offerings on the altar to celebrate the return of Spring. Surprisingly, Lisa had brought lots of brightly colored flowers with her, and was immensely pleased when Callisto explained that this was a perfect gift and offering for the occasion.

“I had no idea that any of this existed,” Lisa murmured as they all sat and ate lunch.

Gwen and Artemis had shown up for the ceremony as well, honored to have been invited. The six of them sat around the dining room table, sharing various ceremonial stories from their traditions - Gwen, from her Heathen roots and Artemis from his southern Hoodoo lineage. The mead flowed and Callisto felt her heart warm as she looked around the table.

Chris leaned in and murmured, “What are you thinking?”

She smiled and replied, “If you had told me a year ago that this would be my life, I would’ve called you crazy.”

He grinned and kissed her cheek. “Yeah. Me too.”

Sebastian took another deep swig of mead and said, “That’s it. I’m totally dancing naked around the fire this summer.”

Everybody went quiet and Artemis crowed, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

“Nope,” he grinned. “Only these two assholes get to see that shit.”

Everybody laughed and Callisto said, “Best show in town, I’m telling you.”

Artemis just sighed and shook his head. “Beltaine is going to be nuts here, isn’t it?”

“You’re assuming that it’s not that way every day here, Arti,” Sebastian grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

Chris blushed furiously, then they were all laughing again.

Chapter Text

Callisto was whooping with laughter, clutching at her stomach, as she read the words on the screen. This was the funniest damned thing she’d read in what seemed like forever. Dodger started barking, announcing the arrival of the boys back from their town run as he made his way to the door. When they finally came inside, she was actively trying to breathe, tears streaming down her face from laughing so hard.

The boys dropped the packages they were carrying and walked over to the couch. Callisto just looked up at them, continuing to giggle helplessly. “I was… I just… I can’t…”

They looked down at the laptop screen. Callisto started laughing harder as Chris’ eyes went wide. “What on earth are you reading ?” Chris asked - after a few moments of scanning the screen.

Sebastian just started laughing like a loon as he read.

“Uh… fanfiction?” Callisto admitted, red-faced now. “I kinda went down an information rabbit hole earlier… I couldn’t help myself.”

Sebastian leapt over the couch to sit beside her, turning the laptop to face him. “Oh my god, this is fucking hilarious.”

It was essentially a collection of one-shot mini stories about a fictional Chris and Sebastian where Seb kept leaving little plastic spiders everywhere as a joke for Chris to find. Chris’ responses when he found them were what had her in stitches. When Chris got the gist of the story, he narrowed his eyes at Sebastian and growled, “Do it, and you’re sleeping in the wet spot until the sun goes out, fucker.”

Sebastian howled with laughter and Callisto reached up to touch Chris’ arm. “I’ll protect you. I don’t mind dealing with spiders.”

Somewhat mollified, Chris moved to sit beside her while Sebastian continued reading and giggling like an idiot.

“What are you doing reading fanfiction about us?” Chris asked, honestly curious.

“I have several friends who write fanfic about various things. I apparently had no idea that stories about the two of you, both in and out of character, were damn near everywhere. And the pictures? My god.”

Chris winced. “Yeah - some of it’s pretty bad, but…”

Callisto looked over at him as a flush colored his cheeks. “But…?”

He cleared his throat and said, “Let’s just say that there are some really talented artists out there.”

Callisto gasped. “Do you have a secret art dungeon of images of the two of you?”

Sebastian, in between giggles, said, “I know I sure as fuck do.”

Chris, shocked, looked over at him.

Sebastian shrugged, his tone mild. “Fuck, have you seen yourself? Chris, come on.”

Chris stayed silent and Sebastian got that wicked, mischievous grin she loved so much as he purred, “You DO, don’t you? You filthy, nasty boy.”

“...maybe,” Chris teased. “You’ll never know.”

And that was how the war of images and questionable toys started.

 

--

 

Over the next two weeks, Sebastian searched furtively for any evidence of Chris’ secret ‘superhero spank bank’, as he’d taken to referring to it - with nothing to show for it. Chris remained silent as the grave, no matter how much Sebastian poked and prodded at him about it.

And then, one day, a full color image of a fully nude Bucky and Cap appeared in the middle of the kitchen table. Callisto blinked rapidly as she picked it up, scanning the entirety of the image. It was extremely well rendered and very… vivid. There was absolutely no question about the action that was taking place. She turned the picture, trying to figure out how it was possible to contort the human body at such an unnatural angle. That being said, the image definitely… did something for her.

“What are you…?” Sebastian had shuffled into the kitchen, his hair a disaster as he slowly scratched the back of his neck. His eyes went wide at the picture in her hand and he was immediately at her side, his eyes racing as he looked down at the image.

He growled, “Evans, you dirty bastard. Dammit.”

He marched back into the bedroom and Callisto heard Chris yelp, then laugh.

Callisto shrugged, dropped the picture onto the table and walked back to the bedroom. Sebastian had straddled Chris’ hips and was pinning him to the mattress.

“Hold him down. We’re gonna see if this position is physically possible.”

Chris was laughing helplessly at this point. 

“I think you’d have to break my back to get that to work.”

“We are not breaking Chris, puppy. Bending, sure - NO breaking,” Callisto snapped.

Sebastian sighed and looked back at her. “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Chris grinned and said, “Thanks, baby.” in a smug voice as he looked up at Sebastian.

Callisto let out a bark of laughter, then said, “Fuck it. I’m in.”

Sebastian whooped and Chris yelled, “Oh shit!” as they closed in.

 

--

 

The second incident took place a week later.

This time, it was an almost painfully cute image of Chris and Sebastian, curled up beside each other in what looked like a very ethereal meadow full of butterflies and flowers. The artwork was very stylized and the boys were almost absurdly beautiful as they looked at each other with eyes full of adoration.

‘Someone’ had left it on the couch in the living room. The pair of them had become almost unbearably sweet and overly affectionate with each other for a few days afterwards, to the point where Callisto actively wanted to chase them out of the room at times because it was becoming so distracting.

 

--

 

It took a few days, but a Captain America vibrator somehow found its way into the vegetable bin. Chris yelled out when he found it. “ Seb ! Dammit - Food goes in here!”

He tossed it onto the counter as Sebastian clutched at his stomach, howling with laughter. Chris closed the refrigerator and glared at him and Sebastian held up his hands, giggling.

“Hey - it wasn’t me this time!” he snapped.

Callisto felt her cheeks flush and she stood and cleared her throat.

“Oh hey, I think I hear a baby crying in the woods…,” she took a few steps back then took off with Chris hot on her heels.

 

--

 

Two days later, Callisto walked into the kitchen to see a Captain America butt plug in the middle of the kitchen counter. She blinked, then shrugged and moved to begin making her tea. Chris shuffled in, looking gloriously disheveled in a pair of low slung sweatpants, then stopped and stared.

“Seriously?” he groaned.

“Oh, that? Yeah, that’s all Sebastian,” Callisto murmured, as she clicked the electric kettle on.

Chris sighed and went to retrieve it. “Could we please stop putting sex toys on eating surfaces?” he yelled.

Sebastian’s laughter echoed out of the bedroom.

Chris then looked down at it, then over at her. “You wanna hold him down this time?”

Callisto shrugged and said, “Sure. It’s the only way he’ll learn…”

They both grinned and made their way back to the bedroom.

 

--

 

Chris stumbled into her studio and Sebastian was wrapped around him, practically mauling him. They both stopped when they saw what she was working on.

“Dammit, guys - I told you I’d show it to you when I was finished!” Callisto snapped.

They walked over to her, eyes wide.

“Oh my god, Calli.”

Chris was blinking quickly and the way Sebastian was looking at her made her feel as though somebody had just punched her in the chest.

“It’s us,” he breathed, taking another step forward, his eyes back on the painting.

“It’s mostly done, but there are still...” she trailed off, feeling a little uncomfortable. She really didn’t like showing anybody her paintings until they were completed.

“Is this how you see us?” Chris croaked, tears shimmering in his eyes.

The image was a painted collage of captured moments - laughter, joy, somber moods, longing - all the emotions scattered throughout a relationship captured in moments in time and recorded on canvas. A rather enormous canvas, really.

Callisto watched their reactions as they absorbed the images, drinking them all in. She rarely felt that she had the appropriate words to tell them how much she loved them, so she had decided to put all the precious moments and expressions she’d witnessed in the time they’d been together in a love letter of art.

So rarely did people see themselves as others did - when their faces were alight with childlike joy, suffused with satisfaction or in the beauty of quiet contemplation. Sure, they had both been models and the camera had captured their images before, but these were private moments - where they’d been unguarded in their joy, their pleasure - and anguish.

She’d woven it all into a tapestry of moments of Chris alone, Sebastian alone - and the pair of them together.

“I don’t know what to say…” Chris breathed, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Callisto’s voice trembled when she replied, “When I tell you my heart is too full for words… this is the only way I can express how I feel for the two of you.”

Sebastian was tearing up as well. They both came over and enveloped her in a hug.

“It’s not done yet…” she muttered.

“Oh my god, pisică. Shut up. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful,” Sebastian covered her neck with kisses.

Chris rested his forehead on hers and whispered, “Thank you for everything you bring into my life.”

Callisto started tearing up then.

“Dammit, I should be angry at you guys for barging in,” she mumbled, halfheartedly.

Chris chuckled and let out a happy sigh and Sebastian rested his head on her shoulder. “This is the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me.”

Callisto smiled. That was saying something. She’d seen the large collection of gifts that he’d received from fans all over the world. He treasured all of them. They had dedicated a special room just for all the amazing things fans had given both of them over the years. When Sebastian was having a bad day, he’d lay in the room with all the wonderful reminders of how well loved he was by people he barely knew.

“I’m really glad you like it,” she said, her voice sounding so small.

“Where are we going to put it?” Chris asked, his eyes drawn back to the painting.

“Can we put it in The Room?” Sebastian asked, his chin on her shoulder now as he kissed her ear.

“Of course we can put it in The Room, puppy.” Callisto laughed, reaching back to sink her fingers into his hair. “But I have to finish it first!”

“You’re done for today, sweetheart. I’m finding that I have an overwhelming need to express my appreciation.” Chris kissed her softly. “Let me?”

“Let us love you, pisică. Please…,” Sebastian breathed.

Yeah, there was pretty much no arguing with that.

 

--

 

Callisto and Chris sat across from each other on the couch in the living room reading and touching feet. Sebastian walked in and stopped in his tracks, staring at the item on the table.

“There’s no fucking way that’s a mass market item,” he hissed.

A life size Winter Soldier fisting toy rested on the coffee table. He paled, then growled, “There is No Fucking Way.”

Callisto started giggling and explained, “Yeah. We had to have it specially made.”

Chris was laughing now as well. “What? I thought you were ‘adventurous’...”

“Not that fuckin’ adventurous,” he snapped, heading back into the kitchen. “Assholes.”

It only made them laugh harder.

“But - wait… should we put it in The Room?” Callisto asked, causing Chris to collapse into a fit of giggles.

“I hate you both. Fuck off,” echoed out from the kitchen.

Chapter Text

Callisto was jolted awake by Sebastian crying out in his sleep. He was making these heartbreaking little pained sounds, the sheets fisted in his hands. He yelled out then sat up, drenched with sweat. His eyes scanned the room wildly, his breathing erratic. He looked terrified.

“Puppy, you’re ok. You’re safe. We’re here,” Callisto murmured softly, unsure whether it was ok to touch him or not. It was the first time she’d seen this happen.

Chris sat up and gently placed a hand on his shoulder and Sebastian flinched, then eased into the touch. “Baby... motănel - we’re here. You’re safe.”

Sebastian leaned into Chris and Callisto scooted over to put her arms around him. They held him while he shivered and stared straight ahead, tears falling from his eyes. After a few minutes, he seemed to calm, his breathing becoming a little more regular.

His voice was tight and rough as he muttered, “Fuck. I thought I was past this shit.”

Callisto looked over at Chris who just shook his head. Sebastian pulled away from them and ran his fingers through damp hair.

“I… ah… I need a minute,” he murmured, then quickly got up and went to the bathroom, closing the door.

Callisto frowned over at Chris as she heard the sound of the shower being turned on.

“What…?” she began, Chris cutting her off before she could finish.

“He went through some really ugly stuff when he was younger. He gets nightmares sometimes,” he explained softly, looking worried.

There was the sound of a thump, then what sounded like Sebastian crying. They both jumped out of bed and opened the bathroom door. They found him on the floor of the shower, hands curling over his head. They went in and sat beside him, Chris on one side and Callisto on the other, just leaning into him - being present for anything he needed.

A torrent of broken Romanian poured out of him and Callisto’s heart broke for him. He hadn’t really talked with her much about his childhood, but she had the feeling that he’d shared quite a bit of his past with Chris, so she let him take the lead with this.

Chris gently wrapped an arm around Sebastian, kissing his temple, which only made Sebastian cry harder as he reached out to Callisto. She took his hand, then let him wrap himself around her while Chris held him.

He whispered in hushed Romanian to her as he rocked her, kissing the sides of her head and her cheek. It felt almost as though he was trying desperately to comfort her, and she couldn’t understand why. Still, she went with it. Whatever he needed.

By the time he was breathing easier, they were all fairly pruny after being under the spray of water for so long. Suddenly, he started giggling. “I feel like I’m in a submarine that’s been hit. Can we please get out of here?”

“Anything you want, puppy,” Callisto smiled, relieved.

Sebastian released his hold on her and Chris moved to help him up. She turned off the water and they started drying him off, which made him blush and grin.

“This is nice,” he breathed, his voice sounding so small.

Chris chuckled and worked on drying his hair. “Yeah?”

Sebastian nodded as he watched them work to dry themselves. “Yeah. I don’t usually have anybody around when…” he trailed off.

Chris dropped his towel to the floor then pulled Sebastian into his arms.

“Never again. You’re never going to be alone again, Seb - not if I have anything to say about it. I love you so fucking much,” he crooned softly.

Sebastian smiled and nodded, letting out a slow sigh. Callisto wrapped herself around his back, planting soft kisses along his back and shoulders. “Oh puppy. I want to give you all the things in the world that will chase the bad things away.”

“You already do, my pisică vrăjitoare. ” He shivered as Chris kissed him.

“What do you need?” Chris asked softly.

Sebastian sighed and leaned into him, whispering, “Take me out of my head.”

Chris met Callisto’s eyes and she nodded, taking a step away from him and reaching down to collect the black and purple riding crop in the corner. Chris pulled away from Sebastian and said, “Hands behind your back.”

Sebastian shivered and obeyed, clasping one fist with the other hand to rest against his ass. Chris moved a hand up to caress Sebastian’s cheek, then gripped his chin firmly.

“Are we going to need to restrain you, or are you going to behave this time?”

Callisto’s heart fluttered at the look on Chris’ face. When he dropped into that commanding voice, that solid, overwhelming presence , it was breathtaking.

Da iubire . I need it.”

Sebastian’s voice quavered and Chris moved to collect a length of soft rope from the bedside dresser. As he wrapped it and tied it off, Sebastian relaxed, letting out a slow breath, then groaned out loud when Chris kissed, then bit down where his neck met his shoulder - hard.

Chris spun Sebastian to face the mattress, then climbed onto the bed, looking up at his lover. The silence in the room stretched until it was almost uncomfortable, then Callisto swatted Sebastian with the riding crop.

FUTAI !” he cried out, trying to catch his breath.

Chris simply cocked his head, then frowned. Callisto hit him again and Sebastian wisely kept his mouth closed this time.

“Better,” Chris murmured, moving to kneel facing Sebastian, gently placing a hand against his heart.

Callisto smoothed a hand over the red marks, squeezing and kissing Sebastian’s shoulder.

“Again,” Chris commanded and Callisto cracked him two more times with the riding crop, watching Sebastian’s body tremble with the effort of trying to keep from yelling out.

Chris leaned into him, gently caressing his cheek and murmuring, “Tell me when your legs are ready to give out. If you fall on the floor, I’m going to be really disappointed.”

Chris reached down to circle Sebastian’s cock with his fingers, squeezing and slowly working him.

Da domnule ,” Sebastian replied, his voice cracking a little. “ Verde.

Callisto started gently tapping against Sebastian’s ass with the crop, hitting him harder when Chris nodded. The man had an almost supernatural ability to know how much pain or sensation a partner could take. Two more sharp strikes and Sebastian trembled then said, “Now, domnule.

Chris gently maneuvered Sebastian, laying him face down on the bed, letting him turn his head to the side. He slid his fingers through Sebastian’s hair and Callisto watched as he looked back at her and said, “Hand now.”

Callisto nodded, returning the riding crop to its corner, then moved to sit on the bed at Sebastian’s hips. She looked over at Chris for direction and he nodded. She started with slow, soft tapping, building up to hard, punishing smacks that had Sebastian wriggling and trying to get away from her hand. Chris gently touched her elbow and she stopped, looking over at him, then looking down to see Sebastian sobbing quietly.

She placed a gentle hand at the small of his back then began kissing his shoulder as she and Chris both showered him with affectionate touches.

“You’re doing so good, puppy. You’re so fucking beautiful,” she purred.

“Such a good boy,” Chris crooned, smoothing a hand over his shoulders and back.

The iubesc la infinit ,” Sebastian croaked, and Callisto felt something in him release and relax.

Callisto moved to loosen and release the ropes around his wrists and gently moved his arms to rest at his sides.

“Baby, you need to roll over now,” Chris murmured.

Sebastian balked, then moved, stiffening as he rolled onto his back. They gave him a minute before Chris pulled him further back onto the bed and Callisto settled over him, pressing his hips down into the mattress with her weight. She watched as both pain and pleasure echoed in his features as she began sliding against him, seeking her own release. He was so completely beautiful like this, so far in subspace that his pupils were completely blown.

Chris dipped down to growl in Sebastian’s ear, “You don’t come until I tell you to. Clear?”

Sebastian groaned and nodded, his hands balled into fists as Callisto shifted and angled her hips so he slid inside her.

He made a sound as though somebody had punched him, then he gritted out, “ Da domnule .”

Chris moved off the bed, positioning himself behind Callisto, gripping one of her breasts in his left hand, teasing her nipple with his fingers as his other hand dipped down to circle her clit. Callisto cried out, trying to fight him. It was too much sensation, but Chris knew how much she could handle, and the fucker always pushed it further every time.

Sebastian’s hands were suddenly on her hips and Chris bit out. “Over your head. Now.”

Sebastian shuddered and quickly complied and Chris took mercy on Callisto, releasing her.

“Lay down on his chest and stay there. Don’t move,” Chris commanded. Callisto obeyed, trying to catch her breath as she rested her cheek on Sebastian’s chest. She felt Sebastian tremble beneath her as she felt Chris’ hand rest on her ass.

“Oh fuck…” Sebastian groaned, followed by what sounded like an extremely filthy stream of Romanian. He hissed, then cried out, bucking up against her and crying out.

Chris tapped her ass gently and Callisto slowly began moving against Sebastian. The man began babbling and struggled to keep his hands over his head as she felt Chris settle in behind her. Once he was fully seated, flush against Sebastian’s ass, the two of them played off each other, enjoying the utterly wrecked look on Sebastian’s face as he was overwhelmed with sensation.

“Remember what I said,” Chris grated out, seeming to have a little difficulty keeping the desire out of his voice.

More Romanian poured forth from Sebastian’s mouth and Callisto hissed as Chris’ clever fingers found her clit again.

“God, I love the sounds you make when you come. The way your body shakes. So fucking responsive… I never want to stop touching you,” Chris growled into Callisto’s ear as the coiled heat in her body released, throwing her over the edge.

Sebastian was muttering, “Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease,” his expression tight with the effort to delay his own release.

Chris started snapping his hips forward in a brutal pace, then followed shortly after, his breath hitching as he cried out and said, “Now Sebastian.”

Sebastian let out a ragged cry, his body shaking so hard it almost alarmed Callisto. His arms went around her, gripping her tightly as she felt Chris’ forehead touch her back. The three of them stayed like that for a few moments, trying to catch their breath and their senses.

Sebastian groaned and Callisto heard Chris stumble as he moved to flop down on the bed beside them.

“Holy fuck,” he groaned, looking over at them.

“Oh my god, I needed that,” Sebastian croaked, giggling now.

Callisto chuckled and said, “I think it might just be time to invest in rather specific furniture.”

That set the three of them laughing.

 

--

 

The next morning, Callisto woke to find Chris still adorably asleep beside her, but Sebastian was apparently up already. The smell of something delicious was in the air - a mixture of bacon and… waffles?

She stretched and then moved to get up. Chris made what could possibly be the cutest sound she’d ever heard from him as he draped an arm across her lap.

She grinned and said, “Come on, a rúnsearc. Puppy’s made breakfast.”

He frowned, then stretched and looked up at her, blinking. “Muh?”

Callisto chuckled and leaned down to kiss his forehead, ruffling his hair gently. Chris shifted and sat up then, smiling. “Oh my god, that smells amazing.”

They quickly pulled on warm robes, then wandered into the kitchen to find Sebastian dancing around as he cooked, wireless earbuds in his ears. They stood there for a few minutes, just delighting in seeing him so happy, until he turned around then flushed bright red. He quickly pulled the earbuds out and asked, “So… ah… how long have you been standing there?”

Callisto beamed back at him. “Don’t stop on our account.”

She then saw the sheer amount of food on the counter. He’d been busy.

“...are we having company for breakfast?” Chris asked.

Sebastian moved to retrieve another fresh waffle from the waffle maker, depositing it onto a stack of five.

“I sometimes cook to… express gratitude,” he explained, biting his lip and looking a little guilty.

Callisto went to him and hugged him. He shifted to kiss her, then reached a hand out for Chris, who came over and hugged them both.

“I’m not used to… this. Still. Having anybody there for me when…” he trailed off, then sighed. “I like it. Love it.”

“Thank you for letting me be there for you, puppy. It’s… everything,” Callisto breathed.

“Seb…” Chris pulled him into a kiss, a tear trailing down his cheek. “I love you,” he breathed.

Sebastian sighed happily, then said, “Ok - go eat. It’s getting cold.”

 

--

 

Being famous by proxy was… odd. Both Chris and Sebastian were booked for a convention out in Seattle. While Callisto dearly loved the Pacific Northwest - the thick, old growth forests with ferns and mosses that fairly dripped off of everything, the city still made her teeth itch. She just wasn’t a city girl at heart.

She sat in the front row of one of their panels, having promised that she would attend for at least one of them. There were So. Many. People. It was uncomfortable and unnerving, but so far, the people she had encountered had been fairly nice. So many people knew who she was, and kept wanting to talk to her. She kept up with it as best she could, grateful that there were only a few people who had entirely inappropriate questions about her partners and what she did with them.

She’d been barely listening to the Q&A portion of the panel, but one of the people in the audience caught her attention. She looked behind to see a nervous young man standing, holding a microphone with shaky hands.

“I don’t really have a question, but… I just… I wanted to thank Chris and Sebastian for coming forward about… I just… I’ve been attracted to both men and women all my life - and I’ve always had more than one partner at a time, and you guys have shown me that I don’t have to feel dirty or ashamed about that. I’m sorry…” he trailed off, a tear streaming down his cheek.

Sebastian jumped off the stage and ran out to the guy, pulling him into a tight hug as the entire audience erupted in applause. The two of them exchanged a few words - the kid looked as though he would literally explode into a shower of giggly sparks as Sebastian walked back to the stage, touching Callisto’s knee gently as he brushed by.

She turned to see Chris watching Sebastian with such warmth and joy that it almost made her cry. Sebastian sat down beside Chris and leaned into him, blushing and grinning as Chris put an arm around him as the panel quickly got back on track.

Once the panel was over, Callisto stood off to the side as people exited the room. Somebody tapped her on the shoulder and she turned to find a young woman with teal hair, facial piercings and lots of occult tattoos.

“What’s your secret?” the woman quietly asked.

“Communication,” Callisto whispered back.

“No, really. I mean - how does that…” she waved to indicate the boys, who were still on the stage talking to the other participants of the panel, “even happen without divine intervention?”

Callisto frowned and cautiously asked, “Are you honestly asking me if I bewitched them?”

The very idea is appalling.

The woman shrank back, eyes wide. “Oh, shit - you didn’t did you? Then how…?”

Callisto rocked back on a heel, her hand on her hip.

“OK - One - I don’t do love spells. Period. It’s just not my wheelhouse. Two…,” and here, she sighed, “I’m honestly trying to figure that shit out myself. I have no idea.”

She wasn’t really angry, per se, given that it was a total unicorn situation. Real Life relationships just didn’t happen like this.

The woman nodded, then quickly said, “I’m really sorry if that sounded insulting. I really didn’t mean it to.”

“It’s ok. I guess I can understand why you’d ask. I mean…” she looked over at the boys who were giggling and poking each other. “I get it.”

The woman relaxed a little, then said, “I just saw your ink sigils, and figured you were…”

Callisto chuckled, “Oh, I’m definitely a witch. You’re not reading that wrong.”

The woman smiled and held her hand out. “I’m Tayla.”

Callisto took the woman’s hand and gave it a gentle shake, “It’s really nice to meet you, Tayla.”

Teal hair fell over Tayla’s eyes as she blushed and dipped her head down, then looked back up to meet Callisto’s eyes.

“I’d better go - my friends are waiting for me at the next panel…”

“Have an awesome rest of your weekend, Tayla. IO HEKA .” Callisto smiled, happy to have met another fellow practitioner.

“Hail Lilith,” Tayla grinned, then turned and walked off.

“What was all that about?”

She turned to see the boys walking over to her, then made an ‘oof’ sound as Sebastian grabbed her and lifted her.

“Apparently, there are people who think that I must’ve spellbound you guys in order to be with you.”

Chris frowned and looked up at her. “Wait, that’s actually a thing ?”

Sebastian let Callisto down, then curled an arm around her waist.

“What, you didn’t know?” He asked. “People used to try to do that shit all the time back in Romania. Didn’t always work out they way they quite expected, though…”

“Love spells can be really tricky. If you don’t word them very carefully and you’re not properly observant with all the things that go into it, ugly things can happen. It’s why I don’t go near that shit,” Callisto explained with distaste.

“Was she a dick about it?” Sebastian asked, offhandedly.

“No - she was honestly curious - which I get,” Callisto replied.

Chris chimed in with, “Wait - what? What do you get about it?”

Callisto shook her head as she looked back at him. “I don’t know if you’re aware, but just one of you is - by default, a Thirst Trap on legs. The two together? Jesus, lort.”

Sebastian started laughing then.

“You’ve seen yourself, right pisică vrăjitoare? Please.”

Callisto gave him an odd look and Sebastian narrowed his eyes.

“Stop doing that.”

Chris frowned then, “Doing what?”

“Do I need to claim you in front of everybody in this room? So you get it ? How much I want you? How desirable you are?” Sebastian murmured as he softly stroked the stubble on the sides of her head.

Callisto’s eyes fluttered and she looked over at Chris, who actually looked concerned.

“Wait, are you serious ? You don’t think….?”

Callisto sighed heavily. “Shit. Can we have this conversation somewhere less… public?”

Chris took her hand and said, “Room. Now.”

 

--

 

Once they were safely in their hotel room, Chris took a breath, then sat down. Callisto remained standing as Sebastian sat beside him. She spluttered, “Fuck - I just... Yeah, I sometimes wonder why you’re both with me. I get that this isn’t about looks, per se, but - in my head, at times, I’m still that weird freak girl living alone in the woods that nobody really talked to.”

She looked away from them, down at the carpet. “Sometimes I wake up and just fucking boggle at how goddamned lucky I am.”

“Calli.”

She could hear the hurt in Chris’ voice - but didn’t know if she’d hurt him with what she had said, or whether he was hurting for her.

“C’mere, sweetheart.”

He reached out a hand and she took it, letting him pull her over to sit between them, her heart hammering in her chest. They both wrapped arms around her and she let out a shaky breath.

“Did it ever occur to you that I might feel the same?”

Callisto started at that, looking up at him - those gorgeous blue green eyes luminous as she met his gaze. No. It honestly hadn’t, actually. He could obviously see it in her expression because he continued, “Every fucking day I get to wake up with you, I feel like the luckiest man in the world. That you let me in - that you made a conscious decision to share your life, and everything you are, with me. Oh my god, Calli…”

Fuck. I made him cry. She tucked into his side, holding him tightly. Sebastian took her hand and started covering it with soft kisses before pressing it to his chest.

“It’s the same for me, pisică vrăjitoare. I really need you to get that. To hear it. To feel it in your bones .”

Callisto sighed, then said, “It’s not all the time… I just… Shit, I’m not saying this right.”

“Is there something we can do? So that you don’t feel this way?” Chris asked, honestly curious.

Callisto gave him a weak smile and replied, “I know you guys love me. I really, truly do. It’s just… you get how unlikely this all is, right? How ridiculously fortunate it is that we found each other - that this works for us, and works well ? I just… I never thought I’d have this, and it’s sometimes a little hard to believe that it’s actually happening. Just… It’s really important that you guys understand that I don’t doubt either of you. Ever . Please understand that it’s just how I feel sometimes, ok?”

Chris nodded and seemed to relax.

“I get it. I do.” He rested her forehead on her temple. “I need you to understand that I kinda feel that way sometimes too.”

Sebastian chuckled, “ Pisică, you’re not alone in feeling this way. Shit, I’ve had this huge crush on Chris for years. You think I ever thought that something like this would ever happen?”

Callisto let out a sigh of relief. “I just... I don’t ever want to say or do anything that would hurt either of you.”

Chris laughed softly then. “I think it’s safe to say that Seb and I feel that way too. We can only do the best job that we can for each other - and sometimes, we’ll fuck it up. And that’s ok. It happens. As long as we keep talking about the scary shit we’re feeling, we’ll be ok.”

Callisto nodded, smiling now. There was a knock on the door and Sebastian went to answer it. His guest wrangler explained that his next panel would be starting in twenty minutes. He turned and said, “If you can’t make it, I understand…”

Callisto shook her head and replied, “No, I’m good. And I want to be there for you, puppy.”

His answering smile seemed to light up the entire room.

Chris nudged her shoulder and said, “C’mon sweetheart. Let’s go support our guy.”

Chapter Text

“So, I’ve been reading more about people… like us,” Chris shifted in his seat. 

He glanced back and forth between Callisto and Sebastian, as if searching for a connection, some kind of understanding from them.

“Turns out our thing - the throuple thing… it’s rare . It’s not completely unheard of because well ‘throuple’ is an actual word but… the one thing I’m becoming clear on is that a lot of polyamorous relationships work in wildly different ways.”

Callisto nodded, wondering where he was going with this.

“So… fuck, I’m screwing this up already. Uh… so, in the interest of staying communicative about everything, it feels like we need to address exactly how different this is. For each of us - all of us.”
Sebastian’s brow furrowed with worry. Callisto leaned towards him, wanting to understand.

“Okay,” she breathed. “I need to ask - are you unhappy?”

He jerked back as if slapped, quickly stuttering out, “With the way things are? Fuck no. FUCK. NO.” He ran his hands through his hair, then said, “I’m just saying that the three of us are different together from when it’s just me and Calli. And it’s way fucking different when it’s just me and Seb. And I’ve seen the evidence that sometimes it’s really different when it’s just you and Seb.”

Callisto was well aware that Chris and Sebastian spent time together when they were away working on a project, or when Chris would swing into a town where Seb was for a convention - if he could connect through on his way to somewhere else. The idea that they wouldn’t get frisky with each other during this time was laughable, so for her, it was a given.

Usually when they were home together they were together as a trio. That seemed to be the default. They did everything together.

“Where exactly are you going with this, Chris?” Callisto tried to take the sharp edge of concern out of her voice. 

Sebastian quietly asked, “...is this about Houston?”

Chris’ nervous facade crumbled at the mention of the trip. Sebastian had returned to the house two days earlier after a convention appearance. Chris had visited him out in Houston on a stopover flight to LA, taking a day or two to hang out with him. He’d returned the night before and had seemed a little… off, but sometimes that could just be boiled down to travel irritation.

Chris looked down at the floor, then met Sebastian’s gaze, and for a moment Callisto felt like she was intruding on a very private confession.

“It’s ah… not about Houston, exactly. It’s about how I kinda feel we should show Calli about how different it is between the two of us than it is between us as a Throuple,” Chris looked supremely guilty and uncomfortable. Calli’s heart went out to him. He’d obviously tied himself up in knots about this.

Sebastian murmured, “Chris, love, we can tell Calli anything. We love each other. We’re together . And if anyone can understand that certain dynamics change depending on who’s in the room, I’m pretty sure it’s Calli.”

Sebastian scooted everyone closer on the sofa, took Chris’ hand into his own and then brought Callisto’s hand in to join them.

“What do you want to tell Calli about Houston, Chris?”

Sebastian’s voice was low and steady, his hand gently stroking hers.

Chris let out an anguished laugh and replied, “Well, first... we’re probably going to have to explain the bruises.”

Sebastian smirked and Callisto’s eyebrows shot into the air.
“Bruises?” She frowned over at Sebastian, not seeing any obvious marks on him. When she went to lift the hem of his t-shirt, he quietly said, “Not me, Calli…” 

He trailed off as he looked pointedly at Chris’ torso.

“Oh… OH .” She replied, looking over at Chris and feeling her heart roll in her chest as his face fell.

“Yeah. Ah… Things kinda got out of hand in Houston last weekend - not in a bad way… and there was… some… bruising.”
“So. These ‘mystery bruises’. I’m assuming they came from a particular activity? I’m only guessing here, because if one of you ended up in the ER and didn’t fucking tell me, you know I’ll slap the shit out the pair of you.”

Sebastian laughed and shook his head and Chris flushed.

“Although, I guess that would explain why you slept in your hoodie when you rolled into bed late last night.” 

Callisto stifled a chuckle. Was he honestly scared that she’d be angry with him over a few love bites? Fuck, she knew what Sebastian could be like. Chris had seen with his own eyes what Sebastian was capable of when he rolled Aggro Top on her. She enjoyed every minute of it. Also, how bad could it be after 5 days of healing?

Chris sighed and pulled his Patriots hoodie over his head to reveal two hand prints around his throat, the coloring now fading to yellow and green.

Oh .”

Callisto hardly needed to guess what had happened there. Chris also had hickeys around his groin and a few pale pink bite patterns peppering his ribs, which was pretty much par for the course when Sebastian got overly playful, but the finger shaped bruises on Chris’ shoulders were a bit of a surprise. She bit her lip as she looked them over, pressing against one and smiling as Chris let out a hissed breath.

Sebastian smirked again and then abruptly left the room. He came back a minute later with a washcloth and what looked like facial cleanser on his left cheek.

“I guess I don’t need to cover this up anymore.”

The asshole was grinning as he wiped away makeup that had apparently been covering the side of his face, revealing a light pink hand print on his cheek.

“After all that happened between us after my nightmares, and then Seattle, I was feeling a little... needy by the time I got to Houston. Chris had said he was coming in to rescue me from my brooding. When he arrived, I told him that I needed things that we’d never talked about before,” Sebastian explained more to the palms of his hands than to Callisto or Chris.

“I love you both. So fucking much.” Sebastian seemed to want to fold up into the sofa cushions.

“What I didn’t realize was that Chris still needed to process what happened with you at the airport when you picked me up the last time out at your old place. I also didn’t realize that what we did together when I visited you solo that one time might scare him, but…” Sebastian lapsed into his thousand yard stare.

“What comes after but, puppy?” 

He snapped back to awareness of the room and out of the far-away place he would sometimes go when stressed.
“What comes after but is that I’m going to need a bunch of stuff right now that neither of you has asked for. Calli has never even expressed an interest.” 

He took a breath and just came out with it.

“Our word is “unicorn”. If you can’t roll with what’s happening, use it - without hesitation. Ok?”

Callisto frowned and nodded, squeezing his hand. Yeah, she was on board. She’d participated in some pretty extreme scenes in her youth, and she had to admit she was interested to see Sebastian’s limits. Maybe push some of her own. Would Chris be ok with it? She guessed they’d see.

Sebastian let out a rough laugh, “Look, Chris is already half naked. The only thing better than half-naked Chris is fully naked Chris. I think we can both agree on that.”

Sebastian grinned back at her, then considered the doorway for a moment.

“I don’t think we should wreck the living room tonight. How about one of the guest bedrooms?”

Callisto and Chris considered Sebastian with caution. These were some wild mood shifts, even by Sebastian’s standards.

“Are we going to have to have a contractor in to repair walls?” Callisto asked, honestly curious at this point. Exactly how crazy was shit going to get?

“Are you okay, Seb?” Chris said with more concern than desire.

“I will be. I just… need this. Ok?” he explained softly. “After, there will need to be pizza, beer and all the pets.”

Callisto chuckled, ruffling his hair. Sebastian grinned at his partners before standing and reaching a hand down to both of them. He gently pulled them up then guided them out of the room.
“The spare room with the plush armchair and faux down comforters on the king sized bed is ideal for today’s activities. I need you to go in there and… strip down and keep each other occupied while I go get… supplies.”

He turned and walked off, leaving Chris and Callisto to look over at each other.

“Gotta admit - I might be a little scared,” Chris murmured, before chuckling.

“I’m here. The other part of your heart is off getting god knows what, and we have the rest of the day to destroy each other. C’mon,” Callisto took his hand and walked them into the guest room. They both started undressing and she whistled at the thin narrow strips of blue and red across his ass and the backs of his thighs.

Chris turned and blushed furiously. “Yeah. I apparently like it? Who knew?”

Callisto grinned as they removed the last of their clothing, then walked toward him. He turned and wrapped his arms around her, wincing as she smacked his ass.

“Still a little tender?”

He hissed, then growled, “Now that you ask, yes. Fuck .”

She giggled and squeezed and he groaned. “Oh, he marked you up so pretty…”

Chris laughed and replied, “Yes, he did.”

She kissed him and they both sighed. She’d missed the both of them terribly. She mouthed the bruises on his neck and Chris shivered, gripping her hips tightly. “I didn’t know you were into breath play, you dirty boy,” she purred.

“I… ah… didn’t either, until…” Chris trailed off, groaning as she sucked and bit down on one of the bruises. His cock responded immediately.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” she grinned, kissing down his neck to his shoulder.

Sebastian came back into the room wearing surprisingly revealing, low hanging grey sweatpants and nothing else. He had a laundry basket in his arms and walked over to the bed, setting the basket on the floor. He then walked over to them, wrapping arms around their waists, moving to kiss Chris as his fingers played along the skin of Callisto’s lower back.

They played with each other, kissing, pinching and biting until the two men were groaning into each other’s mouths.

Seb pulled away and slipped Callisto back into Chris’ arms, then moved to drape a fine linen table cloth across the bottom corner of the bed.

He looked back at them and blushed. “Presentation is everything.”

On it he lay the items he’d collected in the basket.

 

Lube, two different kinds.

Condoms - Chris made a quizzical face at this because they had long stopped using condoms with each other, but Sebastian looked back at him and explained, “Just trying to make clean up easier and the dirty things we’re going to do to each other a little more sanitary.”

Sebastian grinned and shrugged, then picked up his favorite leather belt.

Callisto watched Chris’ eyes widen at the sight and tucked that piece of information away for later.

Callisto’s favourite sex toy, a purple clitoral sucking vibrator.

Chris’ favourite black leather driving gloves.

The black and purple riding crop.

A length of clear pvc that looked suspiciously like one of the rods used to adjust hotel window blinds. Chris made a surprised, yet bashful face as Sebastian informed Callisto that he’d stolen it as a memento from that night at the hotel room in Houston.

A box of nitrile gloves.

A box of tissues.

And finally, a box of baby wipes.

 

Sebastian stood and looked back at them both, asking, “Does anyone have any questions or objections to anything I’ve brought here today?”

Chris muttered something that sounded very much like “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”

Callisto chuckled and Sebastian just glared at him.

“Tremendous,” Sebastian crooned, his lips curling into a wicked grin as he slid his grey sweatpants down his hips. They dropped in a pile at his feet and he stepped out of them. He then moved to sit at the end of the bed, patting each side of him for his partners to sit beside him.

“Calli. My pisică vrăjitoare .”

He turned and took her face in his hands, tracing her cheekbones with his thumbs. “I love you. We haven’t talked about a lot of things that I need to have happen here today, but please, please, trust that Chris and I would never do anything purposely to harm you.” He pressed soft kisses to her forehead, eyes, cheeks, and lips. He tugged at her lower lip with his teeth and when he released it, he murmured “Remember, our word is ‘unicorn’. If you can’t do something, fucking safeword. Immediately. Any physical hesitation or pained expressions will be regarded as a yellow. Are you good with this?”

Callisto nodded slowly, almost painfully excited at this point. The sound of her own voice actually surprised her as she replied, “I think I might be better than good, actually.”

Sebastian smiled and explained, “This might end up being a little less about you than it’s been in the past.”

She chuckled and murmured, “Oh no, I get to watch my two stupidly hot partners mess around with each other. How terrible. No, don’t, stop.”

“There’s my girl.”

Chris snickered and Sebastian grinned that sunshine smile back at her. He kissed her, then turned to Chris.

Iubitul meu, we’re not charting any new territory today - but it’s an opportunity for us to get closer to Calli by sharing our dynamic with her.”
Chris sighed and said, “Sometimes, it just feels like we’re hiding… but not on purpose or because of shame… or whatever. Maybe I’m being stupid.”

“Anything that involves my fiancés being naked and fooling around while I watch? So not stupid. Just so you’re clear.” Callisto sighed. “You’re so completely beautiful together. How could that be anything but hot as fuck?”

Chris blushed and looked down, then back up to meet her eyes. It was so ridiculously adorable. Sebastian pulled him close and murmured, “We have fun, right? We’re hotter than hell together, right? Let’s give Calli a show, baby.”

Sebastian’s grin was wicked and smug and he bit his lip briefly before crashing his lips against Chris’. As the pair kissed a rush went through her, and when they started gripping each other tightly, almost looking as though they were struggling to get closer than they already were, Callisto breathed, “ Hagl freya , indeed.”

Chris grabbed Sebastian by the shoulders and pushed him down to the mattress, flipping him onto his back, mouth barely leaving his as he maneuvered himself on top. He pinned Sebastian to the bed with hands on his shoulders, pushing his hips into the mattress. Chris leaned down and dropped into ‘the Cap voice’ and said, “Prep her.” 

He gave Callisto a sidelong look. “Show her how you know what she loves.”

He shifted off Sebastian, moving to lay on his side, watching as Sebastian started setting up pillows against the headboard before inviting Callisto to set herself upon the throne of faux down he had built for her.

“You know, my initial thought was that having 9 pillows on a bed was a little excessive as a design choice, Puppy, but now I see where you were going with this. Nicely done.”

Sebastian chuckled softly and murmured, “Thank you for trusting me, pisică. Now here, sit back. Relax. Get comfortable. I’m going to wind you up for a bit. But first… Chris, iubitul meu, domnule, does she need to be tied down or do we need her able to roam free?”

“How about you just tie her wrists for now? Don’t make it easy on her but don’t make it so complex that we’ll need an engineering degree to get her out of it.” 

Sebastian grinned and pulled several lengths of soft rope from behind the mattress. Callisto crooked up an eyebrow, wondering when they’d managed this particular bit of mischief.

“Oh yeah, about this. Every bed in the house now has rope restraints tied to the frames. It was a design choice that Chris and I made since you left all the rooms you don’t use up to us to decorate. Hope you’re okay with this.”

Callisto shivered and replied, “You delightful fucking troublemakers.”

Sebastian gently bound her to the bed with carefully chosen knots. There was barely any slack, but she was in a very relaxed position on her pile of pillows. Chris smiled softly at her.

“Are you comfortable? Need a blanket?” Chris inquired.

Callisto shifted a bit, smiling. “Very comfy. I don’t need a blanket yet, but I might at some point.”

“I got you pisică. Just say the word and I’ll cover you up.” Sebastian moved to adjust her pillows and check her bindings.

Chris murmured, “ Pasiunea mea , show her just how much you’ve got her.”

Sebastian spread her legs and knelt down between them, leaning in to kiss her. He was playful with the kisses - teasing her lips with his own, his tongue, his teeth, before moving over her jaw, down her throat, placing a playful nip on her collarbone. He spent a few minutes suckling her breasts before making his way down her belly.

When his tongue connected with her clit, she cried out, bucking her hips. He kissed her there, then looked up at her and grinned as he met her eyes.

He moved up to kiss her, and Callisto could taste herself on his tongue as he gently slid two fingers inside of her. After a few strokes to her g-spot, Sebastian removed his fingers and pressed them against her mouth. She quickly opened her mouth and sucked her own juices off them.

Sebastian trembled for a moment, then held up the toy, his grin wicked.

“We don’t want you in discomfort and we don’t want you come until we want you to,” Sebastian maintained eye contact as he touched her and gently pushed the toy into her. Callisto groaned as it slid in, shivering a little.

“Right, Chris?” 

Chris hummed in agreement and then moved to sit beside Callisto.

As Sebastian set about getting the toy positioned correctly, Chris kissed her while gently touching and stroking Sebastian’s shoulders and back. Once Sebastian was pleased with his handiwork, he leaned into Chris, kissing the back of his neck and shoulders.

He leaned in and whispered, “Chris, iubitul meu, domnule, I think she’s ready.”

“Turn her on, then - but not too much.” Chris smirked at her.

Sebastian literally pushed her buttons. Setting both the internal vibration and the external sucking to the lowest level as he watched her face for signs of pleasure.

He asked, “Is that too much, not enough, or just right?”

It was frustratingly weak, both the vibration and the pulses. “Uh… It’s not enough?” Callisto knew this setting would build on her arousal but wouldn’t have her writhing and moaning like it usually did when she used it.

“Then it’s perfect,” he replied with a kiss to her forehead.  “Is it slipping or does it need repositioning?”

Callisto shook her head no and continued to focus on the two gorgeous men before her, her knees up and her hands resting up on the pillows at her sides.

“Okay Pasiunea mea, get over here and kiss me. We need to show Calli how much we love each other so she knows how much we love her.” His voice was low and commanding and it sent a thrum through her as Sebastian moved to obey.

Chris laid down on his back, his head resting between Callisto’s legs so she could look down at his face and the magnificent body of her lover spread out in front of her. He looked up at her, then over at Sebastian, who slowly straddled him.

Chris cupped Sebastian’s chin and said, “Kiss me like you know Calli is watching.”

Callisto shifted her weight and the intensity of the toy increased, but not dramatically. How was this even her life? Sebastian dipped down and ground his hips into Chris as they began kissing. He was making needy little sounds as Chris gripped his hips, grinding up into him. They both ate at each other as though they wanted to actually consume each other, and the sounds they made literally made her clit jump.

She’d watched them before, but restrained and unable to touch, it made her feel like a spectator - watching a highly intimate, private thing. The boys were rougher with each other then they were with her, and she was surprised at how hot it was.

“Fuck. Get your mouth on my dick, Seb,” Chris ground out.

Sebastian looked up at Callisto and Chris snapped, “Did I stutter?”

Callisto shivered as Sebastian swayed, then quickly slid down and swallowed Chris down. Chris bucked and groaned, fisting his hand in Sebastian’s hair as he began grinding slowly into Sebastian’s mouth. Callisto watched as Chris’ mouth dropped open, his eyes fluttering shut briefly before he moved to look down at Sebastian. After a few quick pumps into Sebastian’s mouth, Chris looked up at her, his pupils fully blown and his breath coming in harsh gasps.

“You okay?”

“Please don’t stop. Holy fuck.” Callisto tried to reach out to touch his hair but the restraints held her back.

Chris released Sebastian’s hair and cupped his cheek, his tone fond and soft.

“Such a good fucking boy,” he crooned.

Sebastian quickly shifted up to kiss him and the men both groaned into each other’s mouths.

He then looked up at Callisto, his lips swollen and his eyes bright.

“Do you see how beautiful he is when he’s wrecked like this?”

Callisto could only nod. Words were clumsy things and couldn’t possibly be useful for something like this.

“He looks like this because of us, Calli. Look at his eyes. They only look at us like that, pupils all blown out, mouth all agape, red and swollen.”

He went back to kissing Chris and she watched the hypnotic rhythm of Sebastian’s hips as the men ground against one another. Chris’ hand slid from Sebastian’s hip to the small of his back, finally settling on the curve of his ass, his fingers digging in. Callisto shifted and the toy hit a sweet spot causing her to cry out. Chris spoke then, his voice low and laced with a ferocity that Callisto had never heard before.

Fuck , Seb. I need more of that fucking mouth.”

Sebastian’s answering growl left her nearly breathless as he started kissing and nipping his way down Chris’ chest, moving to trace each of his well-defined abdominal muscles with his tongue.

Callisto made a mental note to get Chris to do that to Sebastian in the very near future, then shifted her weight off the toy to lessen the sensation for a moment.

Sebastian then gently grazed the tip of Chris’ cock with his tongue. Chris made this completely wrecked sound then grated, “I told you I needed more of you. You know I don’t like having to say things more than once.”

Sebastian’s looked penitent, but not entirely so.

“Chris, iubitul meu , domnule , I’m sorry.”

He looked up to meet Callisto’s eyes and there was the barest hint of a smile. “He says he wants more. Are you ready to watch me give him what he wants?”

Callisto let out a bark of laughter and bit out, “You gotta ask? Fuck…”

Sebastian grinned then, positioning his mouth over the head of Chris’s slick cock, sucking it into his mouth and reaching up to set Callisto’s vibration button to the next level. Chris released a sighing groan unlike anything she’d ever heard before as he reached back for her. He groped for her nipple, pinched it and then pushed the suction button on her toy. Callisto started breathing heavier, pulling at the restraints as Chris trembled. 

Sebastian worked his mouth around the top third of Chris’s cock, stopping only to trace the head of it with his tongue while staring up at Callisto. Chris shuddered long and slow as Sebastian teased him. Well, the boy could be a brat. While the boys had warned her that this might not be all about her tonight, she couldn’t find any part of this that bothered her or made her feel left out in any way. Sebastian carefully took Chris back into his mouth and Chris buried both of his hands in Sebastian’s hair.

“I asked for more, pasiunea mea . Are you going to give it to me now?”

Sebastian groaned and Chris gritted his teeth, tightening his hold on Sebastian’s hair.

“If you need me to pull back, give me two taps. Show me you know what I want, pasiunea mea .”

Sebastian tapped the outside of Chris’ ribs with two fingers twice.

“You’re such a good boy. You’re so good for me. Now let’s show Calli how you make me moan, beautiful boy.”

Sebastian ran his tongue from the base of Chris’ dick to the tip then swallowed him down. Chris bucked up into Sebastian’s mouth, his face slack with pleasure.

“Fuck, so good. Fu---holy shit, Seb. so good… holy fuck…” Chris moaned, his hips continuing to snap up into Sebastian’s mouth. He took it like a champ, and Callisto strained against the ropes, her heart hammering in her ribcage at the sight.

Chris was full on facefucking Sebastian when he began babbling.
“SogoodSebsogoodtomesogoodsebpleasei’mgoingtosogoodsosososogoodseb…”

Chris cried out, his body bowing up as Sebastian swallowed him down. Chris trembled, his breath coming in harsh gasps as Sebastian helped Chris ride out his orgasm with soft movements and licks of his mouth. Sebastian then shifted above his lover, dipping down to kiss  and touch Chris’ chest, neck and throat, planting a few soft kisses on his face and brows, before turning his attention to Callisto who squirmed for a moment under his gaze.

He shifted off Chris and moved toward her, taking her face in his hands.

Sebastian kissed her face and lips with soft feather-light kisses and when he stopped at her mouth he spoke in a tone she hadn’t heard from him before.

“KIss me and taste your fiancé on my tongue.”

Callisto closed her eyes and leaned into the kiss. Of course she knew what Chris tasted like but this was… not the same. “Calli, did you see how good I was to him? Did you like it when I made him come?”

Callisto nodded - words failing her, and then felt the energy shift between them. With her face still in his hands Sebastian punctuated each word with a kiss on her lips, cheeks, eyelids, forehead, brows, and lips again.

“Do. You. Want. To. Watch. Me. Take him apart?”

Sebastian’s tone had changed from needy to confident, he was coming out of subspace and starting to roll Top. However, Callisto was fairly certain that even in Sebastian’s more sadistic moments she’d never met this version of him. 

But fuck, if she didn’t want to watch that more than anything. She nodded. 

Callisto looked down and checked in with Chris, who looked a little giddy. He sat up for a moment and gave her a quick kiss.

“Gotta say, it’s pretty fucking amazing when he does this...”

His voice sounded… so different from anything she’d heard before. He looked a little dreamy. This had the potential to be both visually stunning and erotic as fuck. She was all in. The pair of them knelt on the bed between her spread legs, Sebastian leaning in to kiss Chris, sliding his fingers into Chris’ hair. The kiss quickly became desperate as they groped each other, gripping tightly enough to leave marks.

Sebastian leaned away from the kiss and moaned into Chris’ mouth, “Get your hand on my dick, baby.”

Chris reached out and began stroking Sebastian’s cock slowly while Sebastian’s eyes fluttered closed. “Harder.” he gritted, and Chris complied, dipping down to kiss along Sebastian’s chest.

Sebastian captured his lips, drowning in their kiss. He pulled away, his eyes roving all over his lover’s body, the two of them looking demolished and blindingly gorgeous.

Sebastian’s tone was softer now as he murmured, “Lay back down, pasiunea mea. Let’s show Calli how beautiful you are as I pleasure you.”

Chris moved to lay back with his head resting between Calli’s legs, his expression eager and a little nervous. Callisto looked up to see that Sebastian donned a pair of black nitrile gloves, the index and middle finger shiny with lube.

She watched as Sebastian kissed and licked around Chris’s groin while his hand disappeared from her sight. Chris sighed and Callisto watched as Sebastian stroked small circles on his hip with his other hand.

“You’re so beautiful. Just relax. Let go. I’ve got you. Just like I had Calli. Just like I had you before, pasiunea mea. Ease up, bear down.”

Chris let out a shaky groan and Sebastian smiled, “There you go, amant . You’re so good for me.”

Chris croaked out, “Sebastian, iubitul meu , domnule , fuck, I’m ready for more.”

Sebastian’s right arm shifted and Chris exhaled a long breath of relief.

Sebastian crooned, “So beautiful. So good. You are so good for me. Look at me, pasiunea mea. Don’t take your eyes off of me.” 

Judging by the sound that exploded from Chris’ chest along with his instantaneous erection, Sebastian had located Chris’ sweetest of spots with little difficulty. Callisto felt shaken, so pleased that they’d both been able to get to this point together.

“So beautiful. You’re so good to me when you let me make you feel good. Do you want more?”

Chris’ breath stuttered, then he replied, “Yes. Please. iubitul meu . Da domnule,” his voice coarse and raw. Callisto’s restraints again kept her from stroking his hair. It was starting to get a little frustrating, but she supposed that was the entire point.
She couldn’t help herself, softly murmuring, “You’re so good, a rúnsearc. I can’t believe how good.”

Sebastian looked up at her and something in his expression made her go very still.

Pisică , this is between me and Chris. You will get all your attention later, I promise you, iubire . We will devour you later. Can you be good for us?”

Who the fuck was this man and where had Sebastian been hiding him? Oh, he definitely needed to come out to play more. Any worries and fears she might have had disappeared and she started to feel as though she was floating. Her breathing slowed and she almost felt as though she were underwater.

“I can be good, Seb.” she murmured

He smiled and it was sharp and dangerous.

“But will you?” he asked.

She felt herself get a little deeper into the floaty feeling and quickly nodded, her voice sounding a little slurry to herself.

“I’ll be good for you. I promise.”

Sebastian’s answering smile was indulgent, and he returned his attention to their fiancé.

“She really loves us, pasiunea mea. She loves us so much.”

Sebastian’s arm moved forward and Chris moaned again.

“She loves us and we’re so. Fucking. Lucky.” 

He moved away from Chris, pulling the glove off his hand, inside out, then tossed it into a trashcan at the side of the bed.

“Now we’ll show her how much you love me. Do you need help getting up on your knees?” Chris shook his head, and it made him look almost like a little kid.

“Okay, good. Get on your knees and turn to face Calli.” Chris quickly complied, pressing his head against Calli’s stomach and trembling.

“Pisică, you’ve never watched me fuck our sweet boy, have you? This is going to be so hot for us, isn’t it pasiunea mea ?”

Chris moved to look up, meeting Callisto’s eyes. He was drowning in subspace.
“I hope so. Jesus fucking Christ, I hope so.”

Callisto met his gaze and smiled at him, nodding.

“Fuck, I love you, Pisică.

Sebastian caught her eyes and gave her a pleading look as he moved in behind Chris.

“Know that we love you with everything we have.”

And with that, Sebastian sunk his teeth into Chris’s shoulder as he slowly pushed into him. Chris let out a long hiss as Sebastian threw an arm around his chest and pulled him closer. Callisto’s eyes flew over the sight before her, Chris on his hands and spread knees, Sebastian positioned behind him as he pinched one of Chris’ nipples. Chris choked out a cry and Sebastian quietly crooned, “I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

Chris trembled and moaned and Sebastian murmured, “I’ve got you forever, pasiunea mea . I’m never letting you go.”

Chris cried out as Sebastian started pumping his hips up into him. Chris’ breath was coming in stuttering, hitching gasps, his brow furrowed and his mouth open, his jaw slack and Sebastian started rocking into him a little faster before stopping entirely.

Chris let out a whine of frustration and Sebastian chuckled.

“Not just yet, iubitul meu , not just yet.”

He pulled away from Chris, who let out a barely audible whimper as Sebastian leaned over to collect the leather gloves from the corner of the bed, pulling them on.

“Oh, these are nice. Buttery soft.” He grinned wickedly and murmured, “And they smell so good.”

Sebastian then clapped his gloved right hand over Chris’s mouth and slid back inside him.
Chris groaned loudly beneath the glove, his chest heaving irregularly.
“Breathe for me Chris.”

Sebastian waited until Chris’ breathing eased down, then he flicked Chris’ left nipple with his other hand and began to touch and caress Chris’ chest and ribs.

“Your job is to not make a mess of your lovely gloves and to bend down and push Calli’s buttons while I fuck you. I think we’re getting her closer to that edge.”

Chris reached over with shaky hands, pushing each of the separate buttons on the toy to increase both the suction and the vibration, before planting soft kisses on the inside of both of her thighs.

Callisto actually whimpered for a second, then returned her focus to the two loves of her life in front of her. When Sebastian caught her eyes again, he began snapping his hips up into Chris hard, forcing his head down between Callisto’s legs until he was breathing hard and hot on her hip.
“You don’t come until I do, Calli. Don’t forget. If we need to slow down your toy, two taps on Chris and he will slow it down for you. You understand, Pisică?

Callisto nodded again, not breaking eye contact with him as she again fought the urge to try to touch the man between her legs. Sebastian reached down and began jerking Chris off, his hips pounding against Chris’ ass. Chris moaned while trying to find some physical anchor in the real world by grabbing onto Callisto’s hips.
“Ah, fuck… Seb, I… I…” Chris stammered, sounding completely out of breath.

“Not on these fucking gloves you aren’t,” Sebastian growled, squeezing down and letting out a soft laugh as Chris cried out in frustration.

“I guess we’re almost done here, Calli. You get to come after I do and it’s not going to be long at this point. Just give us a second, please Pisică?

Callisto could barely sit still with all the physical and visual stimulation she was processing. She shuddered and Sebastian shifted to touch the buttons on the toy, turning it back down. He then pulled out of Chris, stood up and reached over to pick his favourite belt off the bed. He walked over and moved the overstuffed armchair away from the wall and into Callisto’s line of vision, draping the belt over the back of it. She’d be able to easily watch whomever was in the chair in profile from this vantage point. Sebastian took off the gloves, tossed them on the bed, then swapped out the condom he had on for a new one before signalling for Chris to come over to him as he pulled the gloves back on.

“I think you need to come from riding my cock, pasiunea mea. Would you like that? Tell Calli how much you’d like that.”

Without taking his eyes off Sebastian, Chris gasped out, “God, please. Yes. Calli?”

Chris looked back over at her and she could see the barest rim of blue around his pupils. He looked high as fuck. Callisto’s brain was mush with desire and need at this point, and she barely registered what was said. Still, she nodded, knowing that whatever they did, they’d put on a fantastic show for her.

Sebastian sat down and pulled Chris over to him, letting out a shaky moan as Chris positioned himself over Sebastian’s cock, then slowly lowered himself down onto it. Both men moaned and sighed in sync with each other once Sebastian was fully seated. They sat there, motionless for seconds, foreheads together, stroking each other’s back and shoulders, whispering at each other so low and quiet, Callisto couldn’t hear what they were saying.

For the second time that evening, she felt as though she was a crass intruder, bearing witness to a completely unguarded, private moment. The feeling was over as soon as Sebastian started pushing his hips up into Chris. Chris rode Sebastian for a few minutes, and by the time both boys were breathing heavily, Chris grabbed Sebastian’s favourite belt and cinched it around Sebastian’s neck. Calli’s heart battered at her ribs like a bird trapped in a cage too small to comfortably contain it as Sebastian then put his gloved hands against Chris’ throat and squeezed.

Their faces grew redder and their breathing came in short, laboured gasps as Sebastian fucked into Chris harder and faster. Chris tightened the belt tighter and Sebastian croaked, then groaned with pleasure as he tightened his grip against Chris’ throat. Chris dipped down and kissed Sebastian as though he were literally starving. They continued kissing roughly through their moans until Sebastian let go of Chris’ neck with a shout. Seconds later, Chris was falling forward onto Sebastian’s chest, releasing the belt and moaning and gasping.

Their chests heaved for a few moments until Chris sat up and looked at his partner with glazed over but shining eyes. He actually giggled, then looked over at Calli.
His voice sounded a little haggard as he said, “Calli has been so good for us. We should thank her.”

Sebastian nodded in agreement and Chris lifted himself off Sebastian and stumbled to the side, while Sebastian moved to remove the condom. He reached over to grab a piece of clothing to wipe off his chest.

Chris seemed to quickly be coming back to himself, and the Cap voice was back as he said, “Let Calli have a taste of that before you clean up.”

Sebastian walked over to the side of the bed, dipping a finger to collect Chris’ spend and bringing it to her lips. She licked the finger clean, trembling with the effort. The bastard had held the finger far enough away that she had to strain to reach it.

“Such a dick,” she muttered, chuckling.

“Brat,” Sebastian chided, threading his fingers through her hair and tightening as he pulled her into a kiss.
“You’re so fucking good to us, Calli.”

Sebastian grinned and moved away to wipe off his stomach while Chris moved onto the bed to undo her restraints. Callisto let out a sigh of relief as he kissed her wrists and the tips of her fingers.

“Oh, sweetheart. Fuck me… thank you ,” Chris breathed, shivering as he looked up at her. He pulled her into a hug and was suddenly crying.

Callisto wrapped her arms around him and soothed him. “You were so beautiful, a rúnsearc. So fucking beautiful. Both of you.”

Sebastian climbed onto the bed with them, placing a hand on Chris’ hip. “We still have Calli to take care of, pasiunea mea. Did you forget?”

Chris looked over and Sebastian kissed his tears away. Chris let out a shaky breath and nodded. “Sorry. Wasn’t prepared for that reaction.”

Sebastian chuckled softly. “It’s not surprising. You kinda tied yourself up in knots over everything, silly boy.” He gently cupped Chris’ cheek, kissing him.

“Now…” Sebastian said, turning to Callisto.

The pillow under her ass was… not dry and her hips were jerking involuntarily due to the toy inside her. Sebastian tossed it in the corner with the other things that were going to need laundering and gently pulled her down to the middle of the bed, placing her in the middle of the mattress.

Chris shifted and moved to continued kissing her wrists and her fingers as she combed her fingers through his hair. He touched his tongue to the inside of her elbow and nuzzled his beard into the soft nook of her neck just as Sebastian planted a hot wet kiss on the inside of her ankle. She shivered, which Sebastian took as a cue to ‘keep going’, then began moving his mouth up the inside of her calf, stopping behind her knee, giving it a quick lick - which sent an electric zing through her. He kept moving up her thigh, then to her hip, then double tapped Chris to get his attention.

“Do we turn this thing up and risk her going under for a while or do we turn it off and do it ourselves? I did say she couldn’t come until I did, and holy fuck, did I ever. Thanks for that, by the way.”

Sebastian looked thoroughly pleased with himself and Callisto rolled her eyes, her nerves on edge at this point.

She growled, “Are you two idiots going to high five each other or are you going to fuck me into this mattress?” 

Chris made eye contact with Sebastian and said in a voice that was way too earnest,

“I can see no reason why we can’t do both. Up top, buddy. Good job on the mutual orgasm, big guy.”

Callisto shook her head as they actually did it, then both of the boys laughed.

“Ok. That’s it. I’m done. I’ll take care of myself at this point, fuck you very much.”

She tried to move and the boys pinned her, still laughing.

“Oh my god, you guys are such assholes,” she grumped.

Chris nuzzled her cheek and murmured, “I love you, Calli. I love you endlessly.”

He then pushed both buttons on the toy and she hissed, arching up into the sensation.
Chris mused, “I see no reason why we can’t turn it up AND do it ourselves.”

Sebastian nodded and replied, “Well, life is all about compromise and middle ground, Chris.”

“I swear to Christ, if you high five each other again, I’m walking out of the fuckin’ house like this.”

Callisto squirmed as Chris hit the buttons again, very effectively shutting her up.

Chris sounded almost disappointed, “Oh, it doesn’t look like she needs our help at all now, Seb.”
Sebastian frowned and looked over at her. “Man, that’s a shame.” 

He looked over at Chris and said, “How long do you think it’ll take her?”

Callisto hissed, “Look - if you aren’t going to turn this fucking thing off, could one of you at least kiss me?”

Chris gave Sebastian a pensive look, “...could you do that, Seb? Or should I?”

Sebastian shrugged and replied, “Maybe you should, Chris. You’re the one legally marrying her.”
Chris nodded, then said, “But you’re clearly the hotter fiance, so maybe you should do it, Seb.”

Callisto bucked against the sensations shaking through her, then growled as Seb turned the toy down.

She sat up and spat, “I am going to kill you both in your sleep if one or both of you don’t touch me right fucking now .”

“We did warn you that tonight wasn’t really about you, Calli.” Sebastian gave her a rueful smirk.

“I mean, you’ve talked at length about what settings work best for you with this toy,” Chris frowned at her.

“I think you once described the suction on this as ‘low, medium, and you guys can take your time getting home’, didn’t you?” Sebastian pushed the suction higher and Calli groaned.

“Yeah, and I think she said that her favourite settings were six or seven on suction and four or five on vibration, right Seb?”

“Oh yeah, we’ve got to be pretty close to that right about now, I think. Maybe it’s even too much. I didn’t keep track.”

Chris frowned, looking honestly concerned. “One of us really should’ve kept track, Seb.”

Sebastian shrugged and said, “Well, we were kind of busy earlier...”

Chris nodded. “That’s true enough.”

Callisto cried out, then gripped Chris’ wrist so hard she heard him grunt.

Sebastian murmured, “So if we’re close to right, she’s probably about ready to have a…. what did she call it again, Chris?”
“Mind-bending, earth-shattering orgasm. That’s gotta be close.”

She was going to kill them both. She was pretty sure of it.

Sebastian purred, “Calli, how you doing baby?” 

“Like you give a shit, Puppy.” Callisto gritted out, almost spitting. At least she was getting really, really close at this point.

Sebastian looked hurt. “Chris, she thinks I don’t care about her well being? That doesn’t seem right.”

Sebastian unceremoniously put his mouth around her nipple and she writhed against him with a loud groan.

“That’s not a fair assessment of what’s happening here at all, Seb.”

Chris crashed his lips down on Callisto’s mouth, pressing the toy into her.

Sebastian pressed her hips into the mattress, kissing and licking her breasts and nipples as Chris pinned her shoulders down with one arm, his mouth on hers, capturing the rest of her cries. He pumped the toy in and out a few times, then pulled it out - tossing it aside and pushing two fingers into her. Calli began grinding against his hand as he began stroking her g-spot. With one kiss he moved down to situate himself between her legs.

Pasiunea mea, hold her down. And please, watch me take her apart.”

Sebastian kissed Callisto and pushed her further into the mattress as Chris sealed his lips around her clit and held her there as she shattered around his mouth while Sebastian watched. She was tossed over the edge, ragged, her vision almost whiting out as Sebastian kissed her mouth and face and told her she was so good.

It took a few minutes for her to swim back to a reasonable state of awareness after that, and she found found Chris and Sebastian cradling her between them as they kissed and touched and murmured soft, precious things to each other.

“Uh.” She croaked, “So that’s what you get up to when I’m not around?”

Chris looked a little nervous, but Sebastian laughed.

“Sometimes, yeah.”

“It doesn’t have to be like that with us, Calli.”

“It can be sometimes, though, if that’s okay?” Callisto was hopeful because Jesus, Mary and Joseph that was hot as hell.

Chris kissed her, nibbling playfully at her bottom lip and smiling. He pulled back and cupped her cheek.

“You can have whatever you want, my love.”

Sebastian was quiet beside her. He seemed to be contemplating what had happened and how it may have been as much of a surprise to Calli as it had been to Chris.

He tentatively asked, “Are you okay with… everything that happened?”

Callisto replied honestly.

“Finding out I’ve got two potential tops in the bed is a bit of a revelation. I really didn’t see that one coming, even though I figured you were maybe switchy. But probably moreso with women.”

Sebastian shrugged.

Chris replied then. “Sebastian’s interests were initially a surprise to me as well, but I guess I shouldn’t ask of my partners what I’m not willing to do for them.”

Sebastian laughed then.

“Fair is only fair, Calli. I mean, you’ve seen his ass. I could hardly help myself.” Callisto conceded it was a lovely ass and probably quite worth wrecking from time to time.

She grinned and murmured, “So, would now be a bad time to bring up my future interest in pegging either one or both of you?”

“Not at the same time, tho?” Sebastian didn’t look upset by the idea, but needed more details.

Callisto laughed. “I mean, it’d be a feat of sexual engineering, but we could maybe work that out.”

Chris chuckled and said, “Can we wait before we start creating penetrative erector set sex toys?”

That set all of them laughing.

Sebastian sighed, then said, “Ok. I need pizza, beer, a shower, probably some ibuprofen, and then bed.”

“Pizza will be here in 15-20 minutes, beer and cider is in the fridge, ibuprofen can be taken with pizza and beer, and it’s suggested that one takes 30 minutes to eat three slices and drink a beer.”

Chris had apparently put everything into motion shortly after Callisto had gone under. He was good like that.

“This is the bestest day.” Sebastian beamed and giggled.

“Agreed,” both Callisto and Chris replied.

Chapter Text

Callisto was awakened by the sound of Chris crying out, “What the fuck?”

She looked over at he looked as though he’d been startled by something. Sebastian groaned and rolled over.

“What happened?” he asked, his voice thick with sleep.

Chris was frowning, looking around the room.

“The door’s closed, right?” he asked, his voice hushed.

From time to time, they’d have an ‘animal free’ night where they shut them out of the room. Callisto sat up and looked over. “Yeah. It’s shut.”

“I could’ve sworn one of the cats just jumped on the bed and walked around my feet, but when I looked, there was nothing. I didn’t feel it jump down.”

Callisto frowned, then asked, “Does it feel like it’s still standing there?”

Chris jerked his feet up to his chin, then yelped.

“...not anymore.”

Callisto chuckled and said, “Oh. That’s Pi, my ghost cat.”

Sebastian giggled, then. “Of course you have a ghost cat.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Chris grumped, irritated at being awakened from a deep sleep.

“She’s been with me on and off for ten years. She only comes around from time to time - jumps on the bed, walks around to my back, then I go back to sleep, so I don’t know what she does after that.”

Callisto called out, “Pi - baby. It’s ok. Momma misses you.”

A basic ringtone sang out and Callisto frowned. Who the hell would be calling her at this time of night?

Chris leaned over and collected her cellphone from the bedside table, handing it over to her.

“Calli? Calli, are you there? Shit, Calli, it’s Jayce - from that paranormal investigative team you worked with last year? Please be there…”

She remembered Jayce and his team. They were pretty seasoned professionals in the business. What on earth had happened to get him all frantic like this?

“Yeah, Jayce. I remember. Gimme a sec,” she crawled out of bed, holding up a finger to ward off questions from the boys as she slid on a robe and slipped out of the room. She closed the door quietly behind her, then asked, “What’s wrong? What happened?”

She walked through the kitchen, seeing the light over the table swinging. Interesting.

“We ran into a really bad situation at a house out in Cambridge, Mass earlier tonight…” he stammered.

Callisto frowned, “Wait - you’re up near Boston now?”

Jayce explained, “No - we’re still headquartered out in Baltimore, but… this was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Lady calls us, says she has something in her house that’s been scratching her while she sleeps. It’s pushed her down the stairs at least once. It’s been giving her kid nightmares.”

“Ok - so what happened?”

Both boys wandered into the kitchen, looking concerned as she moved to sit at the kitchen table. Jayce explained that they’d gone to the woman’s house as a special favor for a family friend. Other people had visited the house, but they weren’t able to help. Now, one of their guys was in the hospital with a fractured arm and the woman and her had son fled the house. They were staying in a hotel room for the night.

The boys stared at the light fixture as it continued to swing, looking a little nervous.

“You’re the only person we know who deals with stuff like this, Calli. I’m real sorry to be calling you so late at night.”

He sounded scared. It was a little unsettling.

Sebastian sat down beside her while Chris went to fill a glass with water before walking over and sliding it in front of her.

“Jayce - are you guys safe tonight? You don’t need me there tonight, do you?”

“No - we’re safe for the night. We really need you on this one, Calli,” he sounded desperate.

Callisto sighed and nodded, then quietly replied, “Ok. Let me do some checking on this. I’ll get back to you later this morning, ok?”

Jayce let out a sigh of relief, “Yes, god. Anything you can do. Thanks Calli. You’re a literal lifesaver.”

Callisto nodded, then disconnected the call, gently laying the phone down on the table.

The boys stayed silent while she took a drink, then Chris asked, “Is everything ok?”

Callisto looked up at the light and asked, “Bob - do we need to worry about the house?”

The light immediately stopped swinging. Callisto nodded and asked, “You’re just worried, right?”

It started to swing, although not as wildly as it was before.

“I’ll be fine, Bob. It’s ok. Thanks for letting me know you worry about me though. It’s very sweet.”

The light fixture slowed down, then stopped entirely.

“I’ll never get used to that,” Chris murmured.

“At least it doesn’t happen that often,” Sebastian chuckled.

Callisto moved around the kitchen looking for a pen and paper. Once she found them, she sat back at the table and started scribbling down notes as she gave them a quick rundown on the situation. Chris stiffened in the chair beside her.

“I don’t know how comfortable I am with you putting yourself into a dangerous situation…,” he explained.

Sebastian, however, looked excited. “...can I go with?”

They both looked at him; Chris frowning and shaking his head.

Callisto shook her head. “Yeah, that’s not such a good idea, puppy. Trust me. As it is, I’m going to have to call in a heavy hitter I know down in Virginia for assistance on this. Been awhile since I’ve been out in the field.”

Sebastian grumped, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.

Chris was still frowning when she looked back over at him. “I’ll be okay, Chris. This ain’t my first rodeo, and I’ll have backup. This lady and her kid really need help.”

He sighed, clearly unhappy about it, but knowing that he didn’t want to be at odds with her over this.

“How can I help?” he asked.

“Food. Moral support. Patience? My friend will need a place to crash when she gets here.”

Both of them nodded, “Of course. Anything you need,” Chris replied.

Callisto sighed, then took another sip of water. “I think it’s safe to say I’m going to be up for a few hours. Are there any leftovers from dinner?”

Sebastian nodded, then stood and walked over to the fridge. “I’ll reheat something for you. I’m definitely not getting back to bed anytime soon.”

“Shit, I’m sorry this woke you guys up…,” Callisto groaned.

Chris leaned over and took her hand, giving it a squeeze. “Hey. You’ve been for us when we needed support for our work. Let us support you for this.”

 

--

 

Gehenna, an old friend that Callisto used to work with on similar cases in the past, was built like a bit of a fireplug, dressed entirely in black. She’d made polite, if awkward, conversation with the boys after arriving, before she and Callisto wandered off towards her studio. Gehenna worked with Mesoamerican deities, and walked a fairly intense path of necromancy. They had paired well together in the past, and for anything that Callisto couldn’t handle on her own, together they could easily trounce it. She only called her in on situations that seemed like they could get out of hand if not handled delicately.

With the promise of a free flight and housing, Gehenna had quickly agreed - excited at the opportunity. Callisto found herself looking forward to the work as well. It’d been years since she had last done anything like this, and was surprised to find that she’d missed it.

“You still got your old kit?” Gehenna asked, looking around the studio, taking everything in.

Callisto chuckled and pulled out an old medical bag. “Yeah. Some habits die hard.”

Gehenna grinned, nodding. “Yeah. I hear that.”

They both picked through their bags, calling out the items inside so they could check everything off their mental checklists.

There was a knock at the door and Sebastian peered inside. “Is this super secret squirrel stuff, or can we watch?”

Callisto chuckled and Gehenna let out a loud bark of laughter. “Come on in. It’ll be fairly boring.”

The boys came inside and Gehenna pulled out what looked like a long, black stick covered with god only knows what. It was wrapped with what looked like a few tatters of old blackened cloth.

“Holy shit,” Callisto breathed as Gehenna handed it to her. “I never thought I’d see this again.”

She held it in her hands, feeling the power of it as it thrummed through her.

Sebastian took a step closer, peering down at it as she turned it over in her hands.

“What is it?”

Gehenna’s response was short and matter of fact, “Fibula from a mummified holy man. You probably don’t want to touch it. All that black shit? It’s blood.”

Callisto hung her head and sighed. “Gehenna…”

“What?” the woman blinked as she looked back at her friend. “He asked.”

She looked over to see Chris’ face turn a little green. Gehenna looked over as well, then shrugged. “Got it. No more narration that’ll squick out the normies.”

Tact. It was something Gehenna simply didn’t have in her. Chris cleared his throat and slid his hands into his pockets.

“Can I touch it?” Sebastian asked.

Both Chris and Callisto replied at the same time. “NO.”

“You said bring the big guns,” Gehenna muttered.

“That I did,” Callisto replied, shaking her head.

Sebastian grumbled, looking back and forth between the two women as they continued going through the items in their respective packs.

“Fuck. Devil’s Dung. I hate this shit, but can’t fault its effectiveness,” Gehenna muttered offhandedly.

“Ah!” Callisto pulled out a pendant she hadn’t worn in over ten years. It was a blackened bone covered with a strip of leather, hanging from a leather cord. She pulled it over her head, then kissed it, greeting the spirit that resided in it. It’s time to work again, Ma Bones.

“I think that’s the last of it,” she called out, beginning to situate everything back into the bag in order of importance - the immediate use items going on top of the rest.

“Can we at least drive you there?” Chris asked, blinking quickly. Again, she was giving him a lot to process without really having the time to explain it all - but then, she hadn’t really expected to be called back into the field like this again anytime soon.

She looked over at Sebastian, seeing the hopeful look on his face, and she caved.

“Just - promise me you’ll stay in the car?”

Sebastian beamed, nodding.

 

--

 

The car ride to the house in question was… enlightening. Callisto sat in front with Chris while Sebastian peppered Gehenna with questions in the backseat. As ever, her answers were direct, to the point, and alarming. Callisto kept looking over at Chris to gauge his reaction, and to his credit, he seemed to be taking it all in stride.

“I feed my gods blood, semen, vaginal secretions - they eat it all,” Callisto heard Gehenna explain. The rest of the conversation trailed off as Callisto asked Chris, “You sure you’re ok with this? I know it’s a lot…”

Chris chuckled, shaking his head. “It’s… ah… definitely not anything I’d ever thought I’d be learning about - much less, in this way. Maybe we don’t tell the family about this?”

Callisto winced. “You’re not freaking out, are you?”

He glanced briefly over at her, then grinned. “It’s a little exciting, actually. Just… really outside my realm of experience.”

She looked back to see both Gehenna and Sebastian chatting animatedly between themselves.

“Puppy’s jumping in with both feet, I see,” she smiled back at him.

“That’s kinda his thing,” Chris explained. “He’s a bit of an experience junkie. He soaks up knowledge like a sponge.”

“Fuck, he’s like a kid in an occult candy store,” Callisto laughed.

“I didn’t realize he’d get this into it either, if I’m being honest,” Chris replied.

“Stop talking shit about me up there,” Sebastian snapped, which made them all laugh.

He and Gehenna seemed to be getting along like a house afire. She was a truly honorable person, and Callisto was very fond of her. Granted, she dipped into some really dark shit, but always Fought The Good Fight with it. She was Truly Good People, and she was pleased that the woman had been able to accompany her on this run.

“I’ll be ok. I promise,” she murmured as Chris pulled up in front of the house. He looked more than a little dubious, but pulled her into a quick kiss.

Callisto turned to see a white panel van parked in the driveway. An older man in painters coveralls, black boots and a black bomber jacket, stepped out of the van, heading towards them. Callisto opened the passenger side door and walked out to hug him.

“Thank god you’re here,” he whispered, shaking a little.

Callisto pulled back to see the man’s eyes wide and scared. “Never seen anything like this before.”

She reassured him, turning when something tapped her hand. Sebastian stood beside her, holding out her bag.

“Is this what ‘stay in the car’ means to you?” she shook her head at him, sighing.

He smiled and shrugged as she collect it from him. Troublemaker.

There was a loud smash inside the house and a light went out in one of the upper rooms.

“Sweet! Feisty. I can work with feisty,” Gehenna laughed.

Callisto turned to look over at her friend, grinning. “Been too long, eh?”

Gehenna placed her bag on the ground, then closed her eyes, taking long, deep breaths. After a moment, she said, “Two upstairs, third one’s in the basement. That’s the one running the show. Cut off the head and the other two should be easy enough to round up.”

She opened her eyes, then picked her bag up and started heading towards the house.

Callisto gave Sebastian a quick hug and kiss, then moved to follow her friend and yelled, “Get back in the car. DO NOT come in - no matter what you hear.”

She turned just in time to see Gehenna open the door. The moment she did, all noise from within the house went deadly silent.

“Time to make the doughnuts,” Callisto muttered.

They stepped inside and the house looked… completely fine. From the noises they’d heard outside, Callisto had expected to see a warzone. Everything looked normal.

The door opened on a landing that had a set of stairs going up and down.

Callisto felt a strong energetic tug to go down the stairs and she pulled out the blackened bone that Gehenna had handed her earlier. It hummed in her hand as Callisto began making her way down the steps.

“There’s something in one of the back bedrooms I want to check out. You got the basement?” Gehenna asked.

“Yeah. I’ll sing out if I need you.”

It was unsurprising that all activity ceased once they’d entered the house. In Callisto’s experience, once actual sensitives who could actually do something about the paranormal activity afflicting a location, it stopped in the hopes of simply biding its time. Then, once they left and the original occupants of the dwelling returned, it would all start up again.

As Callisto reached the door to the basement, the vibration of the bone started getting stronger. It was as effective a spiritual dowsing rod as she’d ever found - Gehenna had constructed it for her years ago, and she’d given it back, thinking that she’d have no further need for it. She’d been glad that the woman had kept it on hand just in case.

A little surge of static electricity stung her as she turned the doorknob, and when she stepped inside, it felt almost as though she had cotton in her ears. The vibration of the bone was actually starting to become uncomfortable and Callisto started calling in several of her spirit allies. As she felt them at her back, her hearing returned and the bone calmed down. There was a deep, rumbling growl from behind her and she smiled as something in the basement shrank back from it.

“Swinging for the fences already?” Gehenna called out as she walked into the basement.

“Apparently. I think he’s hungry. He’s got it corralled behind the water heater.”

Gehenna walked over and cocked her head, peering curiously at the water heater.

“Insidious little fucker, aren’t you?” she crooned. “Get the trap ready.”

The bindrune stone was in Callisto’s hand before she’d even thought about it. Old habits die hard, I guess , she thought to herself as she held it up, placing the tip of the bone to the back of it.

“Ow!” Gehenna cried out, then growled, “Oh Fuck You .”

There was a howling metallic sound, then Gehenna performed a series of gestures, cupping her hands then throwing them out in Callisto’s direction. She felt her spirit allies surround her, giving the entity only one place to go. It slammed into the runestone, pushing her back a little, then Callisto tapped the back of the stone three times and inscribed a bindrune on the back. The stone shook briefly, then settled down.

“You get it?” Gehenna asked.

“Yeah. Fucker’s in.” Callisto quickly wrapped the stone in a white cloth, pulling out a spool of sinew and tying it tight before reaching into her medical bag and pulling out a wooden box with arcane sigils on it. She dropped the stone in, closing the lid, then put the box back in the bag.

“One down,” she replied, looking upstairs as something started howling.

 

--

 

The other two - although loud and boisterous, were nowhere near as difficult or dangerous as the one in the basement had been. It was over in short order, and the pair of women worked on fumigating the house with a banishing incense that Gehenna had created. They’d both tied on handkerchiefs as masks in an attempt to keep from breathing in too much of the smoke. It was foul and pungent, but it did the job admirably.

Once they finished, they packed up and headed back outside.

All three men were standing on the lawn with worried expressions.

“You’re all utter shit at listening to directions. Just so you know,” Callisto grumped.

Gehenna laughed as she followed them back to the car, depositing the bags in back.

“That’s it? Can the family come back now?” Jayce asked, looking substantially less jittery than when they’d first arrived.

Callisto nodded, grinning. “Yeah. It’s safe now. Although you’ll want to open the windows at this point. It’s still pretty rank in there. You should let it air out a little.”

Jayce let out a heavy sigh of relief. “So… are you back in the rotation now?”

“Only for stuff like this,” She replied. “Otherwise, I’m retired.”

“I get it,” he nodded, “Thanks again. Really. What’s the charge on this?”

Callisto shook her head. “I don’t charge for this kinda thing anymore, Jayce.”

He looked worried. “You sure? I just…”

She held up a hand and reassured him, “It’s ok. We’re good, you and I. Square.”

Jayce held out a hand and she shook it firmly. “Thanks again, Callisto.”

He walked back over to his van and pulled out his phone. She guessed he was calling the family to let them know it was ok to return to the house.

She walked over to Chris and let him wrap her in a tight embrace.

“You okay?” he asked softly.

“Yeah. Just tired.”

He smiled and kissed her forehead.

“Let’s get you home.”

Chapter Text

Although, to an outside observer, what Callisto had done at the house would have seemed as if it had taken place in the blink of an eye and had taken no effort whatosever, it had taken years for her to truncate the number of actions, visualizations and prayers into something that would only take moments. It had been hard won information, and the fact that she was still able to do it quickly and effectively was reassuring - but, unfortunately, the energetic drop that came afterwards could be pretty rough.

She’d been able to handle it somewhat easier when she was doing work like this all the time, but for the first time in almost a decade, right out of the gate?

It was gonna be a doozy, if what she was feeling was any indication.

Sebastian and Gehenna were still talking up a storm in the backseat when the first of the headspins started.

“I don’t want to alarm you, but I’m about to pass out. I’ll be okay - it’s just my body needing to go offline for a while. You’ll probably have to carr….”

And then she was out.

 

--

 

Chris panicked. A little.

He quickly pulled over when Callisto slumped, reaching over to check her.

“Shit. Pisică!”

Chris kicked himself for not keeping a better eye on her as he jumped out of the front seat and raced over to open her door. Sebastian was beside him in an instant, eyes wide.

Gehenna helpfully called out from the backseat, “She’ll be fine. I’m surprised she stayed alert this long, honestly.”

“So, this is normal?” Chris asked, trying to tamp his fear for her down.

“For her? After years out of the flow of the work? Yeah.”

Sebastian peered back at her, eyes narrowed. “You seem to be just fine, though.”

Gehenna shrugged and replied, “I never stopped. I’m doing shit like this all the time.”

“Fuck,” Chris muttered under his breath. “I shouldn’t have let her do it.”

At that, Gehenna laughed. “One thing you learn with Callisto? She’s hard-headed. She does what she feels she needs to - and whether you like it or not, she was needed tonight. She did good work. It was necessary .”

Chris frowned back at her. “How is that your call to make?”

“Didn’t say it was. It was hers - and she made it.”

He didn’t have to like it, but she was right, and that bugged the hell out of him. He had such a strong protective streak - almost overly so, and his need to control a situations in the past had definitely caused issues with previous relationships. He took a deep breath and tamped his anger and frustration down. He’d have time to feel it later - at the moment, they needed to get home and get Callisto into bed.

She’d seen the effects of his job at its worst, and had actively chosen him and all the social baggage and inconveniences he came with. He was damned if he’d clip her wings because parts of her life weren’t entirely comfortable for him.

Seeming to know that he was getting spun up in his head about it, Sebastian placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, his other hand moving to rest at Chris’ hip.

“C’mon. We need to get her home,” Sebastian murmured, giving Chris’ hip a squeeze.

Chris nodded, frowning. “Shit…” he grated, gently closing the car door after making sure that Callisto was secure in her seat.

The boys climbed back into the car and Chris got them back on the road. He listened as Sebastian and Gehenna picked up their conversation again, focusing on his breathing until Callisto shifted in her seat and groaned. Chris felt his chest tighten as his beloved slurred her words. He reached out and took her hand and she gave it a weak squeeze.

“...m’ok… jus… bed…”

“We’re almost there, sweetheart. We’ve got you. We’re right here. You’re safe.”

 

--

 

Callisto woke to the sound of soft snoring. Her head ached and felt as though it was stuffed with wool. She was a little disoriented and dizzy as she sat up, looking over to see Chris asleep beside her, his mouth slightly open. It’s unfair how adorable he is , she thought to herself. She shifted to stand to make her way over to the bathroom, but Chris rolled over, his voice thick with sleep as he asked, “You okay?”

“Yeah. Just worn out. It happens,” she replied softly.

He reached over and gently pulled her down to him, nuzzling her neck. “You scared me.”

Callisto kissed him, then murmured, “I’d forgotten how bad the drop used to be. I’m sorry…”

Chris curled around her then, holding her tight. Callisto let out a happy sigh and let herself be held for a few minutes before asking, “Where’s Sebastian?”

Chris chuckled softly. “He and Gehenna are probably still talking. He’s like a dog with a bone. He wants to know everything.”

Callisto smiled and shook her head. “He’s got his hands full with her. She does a lot of dark death work - she’s really good at what she does. He’ll have to learn to like blood, bones and other… fairly ripe things if he wants to learn anything from her.”

She could almost feel Chris cringe behind her.

“I like her, but… something about her sets my teeth on edge,” he muttered.

“She’s… her stuff doesn’t play by the same rules that everything else does. Because she works with so much death energy, things that roll more towards the life end of things tend to get rubbed the wrong way around her. She tamps it down as best she can when she’s around the living.”

Chris pressed his head into her back, shaking it.

“I love you, but fuck - some of your friends are scary,” he breathed.

“You say the nicest things…,” Callisto chuckled, squeezing his arm. “I gotta pee - lemme up.”

Chris sighed and released his gentle hold on her.

“Need any help?” he asked.

Callisto laughed and said, “What, you wanna come and hold it for me?”

He laughed then. “Shit. I don’t think I’m awake enough to have actual conversations at this point.”

Once she tended to her bodily needs, she got back beneath the covers with him, letting him pull her into him.

 

--

 

The next morning, Gehenna and Sebastian were out at the kitchen table discussing something in hushed tones.

“What’ve you two hens been up clucking about all night?” she asked as she walked into the kitchen, shuffling around as she walked over to find a fresh pot of tea waiting for her. He really was the best companion ever.

Sebastian turned and smiled back at her, “Demons, Necromancy - you know, just girl talk.”

Callisto laughed and Chris walked in, kissing her cheek before going over to the coffeepot.

“Oh my god, I love that you made coffee. When are we getting married again?” Chris looked over at Sebastian, grinning.

Sebastian grinned, biting his lip, immensely pleased with himself.

“He’s a quick learner,” Gehenna mentioned, nodding as though he’d impressed her.

“Please tell me she’s invited to the wedding,” Sebastian pleaded.

Callisto chuckled as Gehenna rolled her eyes and made a moue of disgust. She LOATHED weddings. They made her skin crawl.

“Yeah - ‘fraid that’s not gonna happen, puppy. She can’t stand the fuckin’ things,” Callisto explained.

Sebastian frowned and looked back over at her. Gehenna shrugged and explained, “I’m Aro - I can’t deal with all the horrible emotions that come with romance. It’s literally nauseating to me.”

Callisto poured herself a cup of tea as Chris went to the table and sat with them, fascinated now.

“What’s Aro?”

“Aromantic,” Callisto explained.

Gehenna cut in, “I love sex, especially when it’s particularly loud and filthy - just not the emotional bullshit that comes with it.”

Callisto made her way over to the table and pulled out a seat, amused at the boys’ expressions.

“Besides, being around a whole lot of living people? It’s not always that pleasant for them - or me either.”

Sebastian deflated a little, frowning. Callisto chuckled softly. Sebastian apparently liked pushing the social envelope as much as she did. He was playful and super goofy, but he had a subversive spirit that warmed her heart. It was rare to encounter people that young who honestly had a full-on ‘Fuck It’ attitude, and it was wonderful being able to watch him connect with her friend in a way that gave him joy.

Chris seemed to be the anchor that kept Sebastian and Callisto tethered - that kept them honest and reasonably safe, while they ran around like little hungry, overly curious and sometimes troublesome puppies, pulling him along for the ride as he walked them.

She wondered if it bugged the shit out of him from time to time. If so, he hid it well. She grinned and reached out, taking Chris’ hand and squeezing it, earning a ‘ What was that for?’ look from him. Callisto simply chuckled and pulled him into a quick kiss.

Sebastian stood and asked, “Hey, can anybody get in on this?”

Gehenna just laughed and rolled her eyes. “Gross. Hey, who’s driving me to the airport?”

 

--

 

In the end Sebastian offered to drive her, and actually wanted to make the drive alone. He said he had a few errands to run, and Callisto figured it’d be easier for him to continue the conversation the two of them had been having earlier without it making Chris uncomfortable.
Callisto and Chris lounged on each other on the sofa as the pair headed out.

“He’s gonna come home and want to play with dead things now, isn’t he?” Chris asked. She could almost feel the discomfort roll through him.

“Honey, I’ve always played with dead things. You’ve seen my bone sculptures, right? Those are from actual roadkill,” she explained.

Chris actually shuddered, then shook his head. “Fuck. I thought I was less squeamish than this.”

“If it helps, think of it as positive repurposing. They had full, short lives, and now they live on as something else.”

She snuggled back against him and he kissed the top of her head. Before he got too In His Head about it, Callisto asked, “How’s the Rune study going?”

“I’ve been doing a single rune casting a day, to get a feel for the mechanics of it. So far, it’s been pretty on point. It’s a pretty reliable indicator of how I can expect the day to go. I want to give it another month to get enough information before I start doing anything else with them,” he explained, sliding a hand down her arm and taking her hand in his, bringing it to his lips and kissing her fingertips.

Nag and Nagaina shifted gently against their feet and Dodger yawned, making a cute little doggie yawn sound.

“Can I put in a request for a few days of normalcy?” Chris asked with a soft chuckle.

Callisto grinned and rocked her head back to look over at him.

“I’ll bring it to the Weirdness Magnet shift supervisor - see what he can do.”

“Weirdness Magnet?” Chris asked, mystified.

“Weird shit tends to happen around me - it’s just… that’s just the default. I can’t really control it, but I’ll try not to let it get too weird around you, okay?” Callisto replied softly.

Chris shifted her and frowned back at her. “You know I’m just giving you shit, right?”

Callisto gave him a mild look and replied, “You’re half heartedly giving me shit. I know you’re not entirely comfy with some of the… darker paranormal aspects.”

He brushed a strand of hair away from her cheek. “You don’t have to hide anything, Calli. I don’t want you to feel that you need to hide any part of yourself from me, ever. I mean - I know there are secrets that everybody keeps, but… please don’t think that you ever have to keep something from because you think it’ll make me uncomfortable. That’s a bad precedent to set - especially in a relationship like this.”

Callisto sighed, then smiled. “I love you, A rúnsearc . So fucking hard.”

Chris relaxed and hugged her, nuzzling her nose. “I love you too, Calli.”

They both closed their eyes and drifted off to sleep.

 

--

 

They were both startled awake by Sebastian’s arrival. His hands were full of bags and he was grinning that bright, shining smile that always made her heart thump almost painfully.

“I bring sustenance!” he called out, gently kicking the door closed.

Dodger ran up to him and tried jumping up on him and Chris said, “Bubba, none of that food’s for you…”

The cats immediately jumped down and tried to make him break a leg as they walked in front of him and weaved in and out of his legs.

“You all know I’m clumsy as fuck, right? If I’m dead, you don’t get fed,” he snapped.

“That’s not entirely true. If you’re dead, then we have to feed them,” Chris replied, sitting up and rubbing an eye.

Sebastian looked over at him, eyes narrowed and Chris held up his hands.

“Hey - I’m not saying that you dead is my preference - I’m just saying that pets are mercenary as fuck.” He laughed.

“I bring home Italian, and this is how I’m treated? See if I bring home take out again…,” he trailed off as he walked into the dining room, shucking off his coat and placing on the back of a chair.

Callisto and Chris went to help him unpack all the food, getting plates and silverware as the animals continued to try to cause Sebastian grievous bodily harm by showing him how much they’d missed him.

“Oh my god, fuck off!” he yelled, laughing.

“But they miiiiiissed you, Seb,” Chris sang out, then he glommed onto Sebastian’s back, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him in to smother his neck with kisses.

The boys laughed and made out for a few quick minutes, then returned to the table. Callisto had already plated her own food and was already eating.

“So, I learned about a new thing today - maceration buckets.”

NOT while we’re eating , Puppy,” Callisto snapped.

Chris frowned and opened his mouth to ask and Callisto quickly said, “You really don’t want to know. Not if you’re going to eat anytime soon.”

Sebastian laughed and started getting his own food ready.

“And you’ll keep those fucking things well away from the house in high summer. Got me?” she eyed him, glaring.

He simply snickered and started humming The Worms Crawl in and the Worms Crawl Out as he ate. He was still such a 12 year old boy in so many ways.

“Oh, can she visit again sometime? I really like her.”

Callisto shrugged and said, “I don’t see why not. It’s entirely up to her.”

She heard a phone ring and Chris frowned, then pulled his phone out of a pocket. He mouthed, Sorry. before answering it and walking into the living room.

Callisto waited until he was out of hearing range, then asked, “So. Dead things, huh?”

Sebastian gave her a mischievous grin and nodded. “I can’t say why, but… it’s really fascinating. I just… dig it,” he shook his head then added, “no pun intended.”

Callisto chuckled and gently jostled his toe with her own. “I’m really glad you made a new friend. I didn’t expect Gehenna to hit it off with you as well as she did.”

Sebastian shifted in his seat and replied, “Me either. Her brain is… strange and weird and beautiful.”

Callisto nodded at that. “Very much so. I enjoy talking ‘shop’ with her, as well as other things. She’s ridiculously brilliant.”

Sebastian was quiet for a moment, then he said, “She kinda propositioned me, but I wasn’t entirely sure if she was serious, so I let it slide.”

Callisto smiled and looked over at him. He looked a little guilty - and nervous.

“Oh, I’m sure she was completely serious. She’s very forthright.”

He thought about this for a moment, then nodded and went back to eating his food.

“Is that something you’d be interested in?” she asked, honestly curious.

Sebastian frowned and shook his head. “I don’t see her in that way - if that makes sense? There’s… not that kind of attraction for me.”

“Yeah, I get that. And it’s ok. There’s something about her that attracts me as well, but not that way. Although I get the feeling that she’d be down for it if that ever changed.”

Sebastian chuckled and Chris walked back into the room, his expression a little dazed.

“That was my agent. Apparently the GLAAD Media Awards want me as a presenter this year.”

Sebastian stood up and went to hug him. “Chris, that’s great!”

Callisto smiled over at the two of them. “Sit. Eat. Tell us about it.”

They returned to the table and Sebastian asked, “Wait, isn’t that in a few weeks?”

Chris nodded, taking a deep breath. “Yeah.”

Callisto frowned. “Are you ok with this? You seem a little shaken.”

Chris took a sip of water, then replied, “It’s just weird… I guess, to be the public figurehead for this… relationship we’re in together. I’m still not entirely comfortable with all the attention on my private life.”

Callisto reached out and Chris took her hand.

“Need us there with you?” Sebastian asked, placing a hand on Chris’ arm.

Chris let out a soft chuckle and replied, “There will never be a time where I don’t need both of you with me.”

Sebastian rolled his eyes, then pulled Chris into a quick kiss before going back to eating his dinner.