Why would I want a child as a mate????
Jackson was back in his office the next night going over the crime scene photos and notes for the umpteenth time. They suspected Vash’s Alpha was responsible for the guard’s death in some way but there was no evidence. All they found was a small trace of magic in the air, but it couldn’t be traced and could have been from Casey transporting Jamie.
Jackson sighed and picked up another report. Casey was still confounding him, the witch now knew Jackson was his mate but instead of talking to him Casey was avoiding him. Even if Jackson couldn’t mate with Casey it hurt that Casey wouldn’t even speak to him as a friend and let him at least explain why he hadn’t told him. Okay, Jackson didn’t know what he would say but he wanted the chance. He needed to make Casey move on to someone else but he wanted to keep the young witch as a friend if possible
He was startled to hear a knock on the door frame and he looked up. He was even more shocked to see Casey standing there.
“What can I do for you?” Jackson asked, trying to keep his voice neutral, he didn’t want to cause him to run away. By the look on Casey’s face he wasn’t successful.
“I wanted to talk to you about Vash. I was worried if we spoke at the main house he may overhear and take something we say the wrong way.”
Jackson saw Casey’s point and indicated the couch in the corner of the office.
“Why don’t you sit down? I’ll send for something to drink, Tea, Coffee?” Jackson watched Casey sit on the couch and waited by the intercom.
“Nothing, thanks. I won’t be here long.” Casey’s answer felt like a stab to Jackson’s heart, but he kept his face passive as he wheeled his office chair over so he sat facing Casey for their talk. He didn’t want to push his luck too far.
Casey raised an eyebrow but made no other comment.
“So what’s on your mind about Vash? Jamie said he’d been sleeping a lot since his shift.” Jackson asked trying to read Casey’s expression but drawing a blank.
“I want to get him more involved with people but I don’t want to spook him. He trusts you and me and Craig, so I thought it would be better if one of us accompanied him everywhere for the foreseeable future. Maybe we could start with walking to my garden. One way to get there is to go down one of the hallways of the clinic, but it’s usually quiet and you would only see maybe one or two people”
“That sounds like good idea, what can I do to help?”
“Well, we need to make up a schedule so we can make sure one of us is always with him. I want to try and avoid another melt-down like yesterday.”
Jackson was nodding, “That makes sense. I’ll get you a copy of my upcoming schedule; if you need anything else just contact my secretary. She has a standing order to tell you or Jamie where I am at any time.”
Casey blinked at that, “That’s good, thank you.”
“Why do you look so surprised? I needed to know you or Jamie could contact me in an emergency. Your mother left you under my protection.”
That was apparently the wrong thing to say. Jackson had wanted to reassure Casey he would still be there for him but Casey was rising to stand angrily over him.
“I am not a child in need of babysitting anymore. I am adult and have been for over eight years. When will you see me for the adult I am? When will you give me the respect I deserve?
“I co-run the best witch healing clinic on the island. I have been considered the best witch authority on vampire healing for over three years. I have even healed you when you needed it.
“What more do you want me to do?”
Jackson started at Casey in shock, “I have never treated you like a child. You were thirteen when your mother died, even then I tried to give both of you as many choices in your own lives as I could.
“Both you and Jamie have always had my respect for the way you survived and for all the hard work you have put into your lives since that awful day.”
Casey wasn’t up to being appeased though it seemed, “Respect? You keep tabs on us all the time. You rarely listen to our ideas and when you do, you’re condescending and snobbish. You all but pat us on the heads like pets.”
Jackson tried to interrupt but Casey seemed to be on a roll, “Then to find out only my blood could save you when you were hurt, because I’m your mate, and you never told me? You must have had a great laugh at the teenage witch lusting after the Elder Vampire. To think I loved you and would have done anything to be with you. Why didn’t you tell me? Were you waiting for something? The perfect time maybe?”
Jackson steeled himself for what he was about to do. He hadn’t known Casey had wanted him, this changed things slightly and made what he had to do ten times harder. He knew he couldn’t mate with Casey, or any other, and he knew he needed to make sure Casey would move on to someone else in the future and not pine after him. The idea of keeping the young witch even as a friend disappeared as did the careful explanation Jackson had made up in his mind. The saying you have to be cruel to be kind flashed in his thoughts as he spoke.
“Why would I want a child as my mate?” he said in the most condescending tone he could muster, but inside his heart was breaking. “I’m a High Council member, an Elder Community Council member, and I’m over two thousand years old. Why would I want a 27-year-old witch for a mate? I want someone who can be my equal, not someone I have to constantly protect and watch over…”
He would have said more but Casey let out a sob and ran from the room, obviously forgetting he could have just disappeared. Jackson sat there feeling like the worst kind of slime. But he also knew what he had done was necessary, Casey would get over him eventually. He on the other hand would love Casey for eternity.