Cheering up my
Vash woke with a start; he looked around the room, trying to see what had woken him.
Then faintly he realized he could hear crying. After a few moments he recognized Jamie’s voice and realized after listening that he was speaking to Casey.
He wanted to know what was wrong but was still nervous of leaving the room alone. He gnawed on his lip. Then he turned his mind inward and sought out his animal self, hoping for an idea. Although their minds had merged, his animal was still a separate part of him too. He didn’t really understand much yet but Casey and Jackson had promised to get him some books to read on the subject. What he did know was his animal seemed to communicate mainly through images and feelings — only rarely did it use words. On his first shift his animal had overwhelmed him with too much; images, emotions, and more. His lion wanted to tell him everything they had been missing all at once but Vash had made it understand and it had now slowed down to a trickle.
His animal was also much more driven by instincts rather than reason, and so the idea it presented to him wasn’t much of a surprise.
After stripping out of his clothes he concentrated and allowed his body to shift. This time was much easier than the first time. He immediately started scenting the air and his lion gave him an image of Casey and he was upset.
He whined, gave himself a shake and padded out of the room following the sounds.
In the main room he found Jamie kneeling in front of a crying Casey.
“Come on, Bro,” Jamie was saying. Casey was just ignoring him, crying and rocking on the couch.
Vash padded softly toward the two men and laid his head on Casey’s lap causing him to look up. He couldn’t explain it but his lion didn’t want the witch upset.
“Hey Vash, what are you doing down here?” Casey’s voice sounded rough but at least he was talking.
Vash nudged at Casey’s hand till he got him to scratch behind his ears. Purring loudly Vash was pleased to hear Casey and Jamie laughing, albeit quietly.
“What happened, Bro? I heard you were going to see Jackson about something. Then I find you like this.” Jamie’s tone was pleading, Vash could sense he wanted to help his twin but didn’t know what to do.
Casey spoke low but told Jamie and Vash about what Jackson said. How he didn’t want Casey as a mate and why would he. About how he wanted an equal, not a child.
Vash suddenly found himself growling. How could anyone treat this lovely man like that? How could anyone reject him as a child and not worthy of being an equal?
His lion wanted to find Jackson and scare the living shit out of him, and maybe use him as a scratching post too. That vampire would regret upsetting Casey.
“But he can’t reject you!” Jamie was saying. “What about the mating call?”
Vash pricked up his ears, what was a mating call?
Casey obviously didn’t know about it either by the frown on his face.
Jamie started explaining, “When a vampire touches their mate skin on skin for the first time they know immediately that he or she is the only person for them. On the other hand if the mate is a non-vampire, they feel a connection to the vampire. They feel a longing, always wanting to be near them and feeling better when they are. It’s subtle but hard to ignore.”
This surprised Vash; he wondered what it would be like for a shifter to meet their mate. Would they know immediately? How would a mate be claimed? Did hybrids get a mate too?
The thought of leaving the community to find other shifters, to search for his mate, scared Vash so he pushed that thought to the back of his mind for later.
Having an idea to cheer Casey up he lifted his head and reached for Casey. He gently bit down so he could tug on Casey’s sleeve. It took a few tries but Casey took the hint and got up.
“What do you want, kitty?” Casey said with a smile.
Vash huffed at the nickname, he was a lion not a kitty.
Vash let go of the sleeve and instead moved behind Casey and pushed against his legs.
His lion was happy when Casey laughed again and went where Vash was trying to herd him.
Casey was getting more and more amused as Vash tried to move him to wherever they were heading. It only took a few moments to realize they were heading for the garden.
As soon as they entered the enclosed yard Vash stopped in front of Casey and crouched down on his front paws. Casey couldn’t help laughing as Vash’s tail flicked from side to side.
Suddenly he wasn’t laughing as he lost his breath when Vash jumped and knocked him to the floor. As soon as Vash had him pinned he licked him from chin to hair line.
“Ewww, was that really necessary?” Casey said trying to wipe his face.
Vash just huffed and moved off him. Casey continued to wipe at his face until he saw Vash crouching down ready to pounce again.
“Oh no, not again.” And with that Casey leapt up and ran across the yard.
Vash roared and took up the chase.
Jackson was still sitting at his desk when he heard a banging on his door. Before he could call out for whoever it was to just go away, Jamie burst into the room.
“What the hell do you think you’re playing at, you stupid idiot?” Jamie shouted as he slammed the door shut.
Jackson looked in shock at the angry young man facing him. There was no sign of the usually easy-going witch, who liked to play jokes on people.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Jackson said with false confidence. Surely Jamie can’t be here just because he wouldn’t get together with his twin? He knew the brothers were close but they rarely got involved in each other’s love lives.
“You cannot simply ignore your mate. You’re a vampire, for heaven’s sake. And a high council member at that.
“You of all people should know that a vampire cannot ignore their true mate. To this day I remember the mating pull I felt for Andrew and I’m not a vampire. I can’t even imagine what you’re feeling…”
“What mating pull?” Jackson interrupted. He had never heard of any such thing.
Jamie stopped and looked at him as though he was trying to gauge whether he thought Jackson was lying or not.
After what to Jackson felt like an age Jamie answered, “If one of the mates is a non-vampire they don’t feel the instant connection. It’s more subtle, they feel drawn to the vampire. They want to be around them all the time but don’t realize why. They want to touch and be touched by their vampire mate. They also trust them instinctively. They won’t understand any of this and it can be very frightening but the end result when they bond with their mate more than makes up for it.
“I realized what Casey was feeling after I bonded with Andrew. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure what to say. What was I meant to say? ‘Oh by the way Casey, I think you’re the mate of the vampire we look at as a father.’
“I also wasn’t sure if you had realized what he was to you yet. I mean if you knew you would have told him, right? At least that’s what I believed. To find out you knew and didn’t say anything, even after we turned eighteen was a shock.
But the worst shock was getting a garbled message from Casey and going to find him broken and upset. Do you know it took Vash to calm him down? Does that tell you how upset he was? I couldn’t get through to him at all, not verbally or through our mind-link. Vash came in in his lion form and he managed to get Casey to stop crying long enough to tell us what happened.”
Jamie had to stop to take a breath and Jackson finally snapped out of his shock to answer him, “I have never heard of a mating pull for a non-vampire but if it is as you say, then why wasn’t Casey drawn to me years ago?”
Jamie snorted, “You have said yourself that you and Casey were fine till we turned sixteen. You really are dense for a wise old vampire. At sixteen witches hit puberty and after talking to Casey I realized he had started to feel attracted to you. But you were the closest thing we had to a father and he didn’t want to do anything to humiliate himself, after all why would a two-thousand-year-old vampire want a child as a mate?” Jackson flinched as he had his earlier words thrown back in his face.
If what Jamie said was true then Casey would never move on, what was he going to do?
Suddenly Jamie’s face went white, before Jackson could ask what was wrong Jamie was already talking, “Sorry I’ve got to go, there’s an emergency at the clinic.”
With those words Jamie was running out the door, not knowing why Jackson felt like he needed to follow him and so he did.
Casey and Vash played for over half an hour and Casey knew Vash was letting him keep running, a lion would be able to catch him no trouble. Of course Casey did cheat a time or two. Vash would get too close so Casey would disappear and reappear on the other side of the yard. This would make Vash chuff and whine.
Casey could almost hear the young man complaining that he wasn’t being fair and this made Casey laugh. But this turned out to be a mistake as Vash used his momentary distraction to crash into him from behind.
Casey was still laughing until he felt Vash’s teeth lock on to the join between his shoulder and neck to pin him down, the bite was hard enough to break the skin. Casey fought down the fear and drew on his limited knowledge of shifters. He went limp under the lion and tilted his head as much as Vash’s jaws would allow, to show his submission.
Suddenly the weight on his back disappeared taking with it the jaws from his throat. Casey turned to find a very naked Vash curled up on his knees crying and babbling.
“Oh God, what have I done? Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.”
Casey crawled over to him, trying ignore the pain that seemed to be getting worse. “Jamie, I need you in my garden now. Bring some bandages and if you can grab Craig on your way please do that too.”
He gathered Vash into his lap and wrapped him in his arms, he was glad when the young man didn’t pull away. “Hey, I’m okay. Look at me. I’m okay, it’s not much more than a scratch,” he kept saying everything he could think of to calm Vash and was pleased when Vash finally stopped shaking and looked up at him through wet eyes.
“If it’s only a scratch why did you call Jamie and tell him or bring bandages?” Vash asked.
Casey just stared in shock, how had Vash heard that? “How do you know what I said to Jamie?” Casey asked trying to keep his voice steady and stop his heart from trying to beat its way out of his chest.
Vash frowned, “I heard you on the phone to him. Which is funny coz I didn’t know you even had a phone out here.”
Casey took a deep breath, “Vash, how do you feel?” he asked silently.
“I still feel a bit shaky and I’m scared.” Vash answered, not seeming to notice Casey wasn’t speaking out loud.
“Vash, what was your lion telling you before you bit me?”
Vash frowned again and seemed to be deep in thought, “All my lion was repeating was ‘mustn’t let him get away’ and ‘got to keep him with us’. I didn’t understand but he was having fun and running around felt good. What did he mean?”
“I’ll answer that in a moment, I promise, but I need to ask a few more questions first, before Jamie gets here.” Vash nodded so Casey continued. “What do you feel when you’re around me?”
“I feel safe and warm. I want to be around you more and I like the way you feel and smell…” Vash opened and closed his mouth a few times.
“That’s okay,” Casey reassured him out loud, “Um, do you feel the same about anyone else that you’ve met so far?”
“Only Jackson,” Vash answered.
“What about Craig? You know you’re safe with him.”
“I trust Craig and feel I am safe with him but I feel safer and calmer with you and Jackson. Is that wrong?” Vash asked. He looked worried and he was starting to shake again.
Casey quickly tightened his arms and again and reassured him, “No, your answers were just fine, little one.”
Vash relaxed and again just as the door to the garden burst open.
Jamie rushed over to Casey and tried to get a look at Vash.
“What happened?” Jamie demanded as soon as he realized Casey was the one hurt and not Vash.
“An accident,” Casey rushed to reassure his twin.
Craig and Jackson came through the door together. Casey was not happy to see Jackson but he knew he needed to let Jamie tend to his neck and Jamie couldn’t do that with Vash in Casey’s lap.
“Jackson, would you mind taking Vash?” The vampire walked over to him warily.
Vash looked at Casey and Casey nodded to say he was okay. When Jackson reached down Vash allowed himself to be lifted into the vampire’s strong arms.
Jamie held his hands over Casey’s neck and muttered a deep healing spell. But when the spell was finished Jamie let out a gasp, “The cut has healed but it’s scarred. How is that possible? I’ve done that spell millions of times.”
Casey patted his brothers shoulder, “That’s okay bro, a mating bite doesn’t heal. It leaves a permanent mark to show a person is taken.”
Casey heard Vash and Jamie gasp and knew he was going to have a lot of explaining to do.
“Can we please all head to the main room? It’s starting to get cold out here and someone please get Vash some clothes.”
Everyone nodded and Jackson headed out first, still carrying the small shifter.