What did I do??
Jackson was staring at his computer screen, he knew he wasn’t going to get any work done but he had wanted the distraction.
Casey finally knew part of the truth and he had already rejected Jackson, without even waiting for any explanation. The memory of Casey running out the clinic examination room would not be something he forgot for a long while.
Jackson leant back in his chair and thought back to when his life had taken a turn for the bizarre.
“Sir,” said the receptionist’s voice, through his office intercom, “There’s a young lady out here asking to see an Elder. I’m afraid you’re the only one here tonight. Shall I send her up?”
Jackson saved his work and answered, “Yes, please do, Delores.”
A few minutes later a fresh-faced women knocked at his open door and he waved her in. As she entered he couldn’t help but stare, she was at least six months pregnant. She was also not over five foot tall, with long blond hair and a fair complexion.
“Hi, my name is Ellie.” The woman smiled and lowered herself to the couch when he indicated for her to sit.
“Hello, Ellie. My name is Elder Jackson Langman, but please call me Jackson.” He took the chair next to the couch as he spoke. “Now, what can I help you with? I don’t recognize you from the community. Are you passing through?”
“No, I’m not from the community and I hope that I’m not just passing through. I come from a very small community on the other side of Unison City. Unfortunately an illness swept through recently and killed a lot of people, including my husband. I headed for the City hoping to find work to support myself and my children, you see my community was so devastated by all the losses they disbanded and everyone had to move. When I was in the city I was told about an opening you had for a healer. I am trained and have ten years’ experience as a senior healer, with witch healing, and I also have a bit of experience with vampire healing. I know your species can heal almost anything yourselves but even you need a healer occasionally.”
When she had finished speaking Jackson didn’t know what to say, he had heard about the small community that had to disband because it lost so many people, he had also put out the word that a healer was required in Chapmistres.
“Well what would you do when you get further along with your pregnancy? You must be at least six months gone already? Soon you will be unable to work.”
Jackson was surprised when Ellie just laughed, when she’d calmed a bit she answered. “Firstly I’m only four months gone. I’m having twins and therefore am a bit bigger than if I was only carrying one. Secondly, as I said I was a senior healer. I know what I can and can’t do whilst I’m pregnant. I didn’t just do healing back home, I also ran the healing center. I can do accounts, schedules, give your community spells and potions you’ve never heard of, that will heal things you never thought could be cured. Trust me when I say I will be an asset to your community and if my boys inherit their father’s and my talents, then so will they.”
Jackson assed the woman closely. “I have a Council meeting tomorrow night. I will put it to them that we give you a trial period. If you’re as good as you say you are, then you’re welcome to stay in that role. If not then we will reassess the situation.”
Ellie nodded then stood holding out her hand, “Thank you for seeing me. Could you point me towards a place I can stay for the night?”
Jackson turned to his desk and, after grabbing his jacket, held out his arm. “Why don’t you let me escort you to our finest establishment?” he asked with a smile, he was already liking the bright little woman.
Ellie laughed as she took his arm, and said, “Lead the way kind sir.”
Ellie turned out to be the best thing the clinic had ever seen. She organized the workers, got more workers and set up advanced training for them all.
She went into labor at eight and half months and one of the new healers helped her to deliver twin boys – who she of course named, Jamie and Casey. Casey was born first with Jamie two minutes later.
After they were born Jackson went to visit her with some flowers, she insisted he held each baby. Like many men before him and most likely many after, he was terrified he was going to hurt one of them or drop one. Jamie behaved perfectly and just looked up at Jackson, but then she swapped him for Casey. As soon as he held him he knew, his whole being lit up when he looked into Casey’s eyes. Mine, his mind screamed, but his heart was breaking. Jackson had known all his vampire life he would never be able to take a mate, he just never realized he would actually meet the person. Jackson did know one thing though, he knew he would protect Casey and therefore his twin, with his life if necessary.
Jackson thought he had kept his thoughts off his face but Ellie must have seen something, as she laid a hand on his shoulder in comfort.
The years that came were both the happiest and saddest of Jackson’s life so far. He spent what time he could with the boys, teaching them about history, showing them what the Council did for the community and he even took them to the park a few times when Ellie’s babysitter canceled on her.
As they grew up their personalities split and they became the individuals that people knew and loved. Ten year old Casey had the bright idea of expanding his mother’s training program to include the vampires in the guards. He explained that if the guards had to work with witches then there would almost always come a time when the witch may get hurt. Any help the vampire can offer before proper help arrives could be vital.
Jackson was so proud of his mate but he was frustrated that he could only praise him as another family friend would.
The worst happened when Jamie and Casey turned fifteen. Jackson retired to bed early and was disturbed by a pounding on the main front door of his apartment building. He was the only vampire living there and the witches of the building were either still asleep or already at work.
Climbing out of bed he hit the intercom and harshly demanded, “Who on earth is banging on my door in the middle of the day?”
Okay so it wasn’t the middle of the day, it was only seven in the morning. But he didn’t like being interrupted.
He froze when the sound of Casey’s panicked voice came through the speakers, “Jackson it’s not the middle of the day and I need you to let me in. Please I need you!”
He had hit the door release before Casey had even finished and was waiting by his door listening to the footsteps running up the stairs. There had been a problem with the sunlight spell on the island, instead of the sun rising between eight and nine in the morning, something had happened to make the sun rise earlier the last few days. So he made sure to stay out of the early morning rays while he waited.
As Casey got to the top of the stairs Jackson looked at him in shock, “What’s going on Casey?” he asked pushing his hair out of his face to get a better look at the boy. He looked like he was going into shock.
Suddenly he saw Casey crumpling and he used his vampire speed to grab him before he hit the ground. As he stood up with Casey in his arms he realized he was unconscious.
Casey came round when Jackson sat on the couch, but he immediately started sobbing like his heart was breaking. It took a while for Jackson to calm him down enough to get the problem out of him.
Ellie was dead.
Jackson let Casey cry himself to sleep and then tucked the boy’s limp body into his bed. He called Ricky’s parents and explained what had happened, he told them to send Jamie straight to him and not to tell him what had happened. He would have to do that.
By now it was ten in the morning and he knew he needed to call an emergency meeting of the council.
First he waited for Jamie, he told the boy as calmly and as nicely as possible, but really how many ways are there to tell a fifteen year old boy his mother is dead?
Jamie, like Casey, cried himself to sleep and so Jackson put him to bed with his twin and started by calling the guard to check out the scene and then called the witches of the Council. Morgana and Gareth said they’d be straight there. He left messages for Adam and Elsie, being vampires they would have to wait for at least dusk to be able to come.
When the two council members arrived they sat and went over what he knew and what had been found since Casey had arrived. The guards had started to investigate the scene and had found no sign of foul play. It looked like Ellie had fallen and hit her head causing her to bleed out on the floor when there was no one she could contact for help. Jackson was upset to lose the bubbly little witch, she had brought a lot of fun and light into the community and everyone had benefitted from her wisdom and good heart.
Morgana was the one to bring up the boys. “What will happen to her sons? Who will look after them?” she asked during a lull in the conversation.
Jackson had the answer for that one, Ellie had insisted on it, it was as though she had known something was going to happen. “The boys will come under my protection. They are legally minors till their eighteen, but my protection will be for the remainder of their natural lives and the lives of any of their descendants. You will find a will written by Ellie and properly notarized, stating that I am to take custody of the boys should anything happen to her before they reach majority.”
They continued talking about the provisions that needed to be made for the twins and the funeral arrangements to be made for Ellie. Adam and Gareth arrived at seven thirty and were very upset by the news as well. Jackson had just finished filling them in on what had been discussed so far when he heard movement coming from the bedroom.
He found the twins awake and sent them to freshen up.
When they had returned to the main room he saw how both boys still showed signs of their extended crying. He really wanted to pull Casey into his arms and comfort him, but he knew he couldn’t and so he had to leave him to be comforted by Jamie.
Both boys wanted to stay in their own home, which was understandable, and so Jackson said he would stay there too.
The year went by with no obvious problems, Jackson enjoyed staying with the twins. Casey was always well behaved and was mostly able to help control Jamie. Especially when Jamie started dating, Jackson nearly pulled his hair out the first time the young man stayed out late and he had to get Casey to link with him to find out where he was. Jackson then had to go and pick up a very embarrassed Jamie, he had gotten himself in an argument with his date and the jerk had dumped him in the town square at midnight. Jamie had been too embarrassed to contact anyone and had started walking home. Jackson had picked him up and given him an earful about calling when he was alone at night, whether he was embarrassed or not. When they got home Casey had also laid into his brother and told him in short easy words what would happen next time Jamie didn’t think of calling him through their link when he was in trouble.
Things seemed to be going fine till just after the brothers turned sixteen.
Suddenly Casey couldn’t stand to be in the same room as Jackson, he was rude and argumentative. He refused to tell Jackson where he was going at night, his usual response was “You’re not my father!” He refused to join Jamie and Jackson for dinner unless Jamie shamed him into it first. Jackson was at his wits end trying to figure out what he had done to alienate his mate. He tried to get Casey to speak to him when Jamie was out but Casey just left the house or locked himself in his bedroom.
In the end Jackson stopped staying there so much and when the boys turned eighteen he moved back to his lonely apartment.
Jamie still insisted he come over for dinner as much as he could, but Casey tried to always make sure he was busy elsewhere.
Jackson brought his mind back to the present. To this day he didn’t know what he had done wrong and now it seemed Casey was appalled at the idea of being his mate. Even if he couldn’t claim his mate, to have his mate react so negatively to the idea was soul-destroying, he didn’t know how much more he could take.
He was startled out of his misery by a knock at the door.