Act your age!!!
Three days had passed and Vash was ready to pull his hair out at the roots. Casey had withdrawn completely into himself. He had put up mental walls so strong not even Jamie could breach them and he only reacted to anyone when he was hungry. Vash, Jamie and Andrew took it in turns to feed him. Casey refused regular food and so he needed more fresh blood to compensate.
One thing that guaranteed a reaction was if anyone mentioned Jackson’s name within his hearing. If he heard that name Casey went into a mad panic and would cower in the corner. After this happening a couple of times they made sure to think before they spoke around him, even when Casey became too weak to get out of bed.
“We need to do something,” Vash was saying. He had called Jamie and Andrew to meet him. They had in turn brought Ben and Adam with them.
Adam spoke up, “Jackson is just as bad. He isn’t sleeping, isn’t eating, and he is throwing himself into his work so much that he has practically moved into the Council offices. I’ve already had ten resignation letters handed to me in the few days, because he has such a short temper. He’s harassing the staff and he’s making himself ill. As a High Council member he can go longer than most vampires without blood but not indefinitely. He’s refusing fresh and bottled blood. Since he has blood bonded with Casey then it may be his body is craving his blood. Although bonded vampires can still drink from anyone, we do prefer our bonded and their blood will give a more lasting effect than someone else’s or bagged blood. Also we need to reaffirm the bond regularly. Although I don’t know what happens if you don’t. I just know the urge is always there to be rebond.”
Vash tipped his head to the side. “I wonder if that’s what’s wrong with Casey too. He takes my blood with no trouble, but if we really are a tri-mating then he may need Jackson’s blood too. We need to get Jackson and Casey together — without them killing each other.”
Adam nodded and then Ben spoke up. “I think I know how to get Jackson here. But it will be up to you to stop them from killing each other on sight.” The last comment was directed at Vash.
Ben then went on to outline his plan, everyone agreed and it was set in motion.
Jackson was sitting at his desk just staring blankly as his computer screen. His mind could barely function, he had reinforced his mental walls to keep out Jamie, Andrew and Vash. Those three had been trying to contact him as soon as they realized he had been included in his and Casey’s mental link. They wanted him to go and see Casey, but the little witch could come to him this time. He had given Casey what he wanted. He wanted Jackson to bond with him? Well he had. But what thanks did he get? None! Casey turned away from him as soon as he could. He had Vash now, Jackson was only needed when his life was in danger.
Jackson shook his head, who was he kidding? If Casey himself tried to contact him, he would go running in a heartbeat. But that wasn’t going to happen. Casey was probably cuddled up to Vash, they didn’t need him.
Turning back to his screen he tapped a few keys and decided to check his email. The high council had replied and said they were sending council member Donald Broking, who was also the shifter council member. Donald was due to arrive within three days.
They would then make a plan about just what was going to happen to Alpha Jeffersin and the rest of his pack. If Jackson could, he would find out which pack members hurt Vash and make them really regret the day they were born.
Just as he was thinking about what would be a satisfying punishment for them he heard a knock at his door.
“Come in,” he called harshly, he knew he had been like a bear with a sore head but he was hungry and wanted his mates, so sue him.
He frowned when Vash, Andrew, Ben and Adam came filing in.
“What do you four want?” he demanded.
“We need your help with Casey,” Ben answered for all of them.
Jackson then noticed Vash hanging at the back of the group, he looked like he hadn’t slept for days, or eaten properly judging by what Jackson could see of his new clothes hanging off him.
Jackson got a bad feeling, “Vash, what’s going on?”
Vash looked up and Jackson almost recoiled at the devastated look in the young shifter’s eyes. “Why are you letting our mate waste away? He doesn’t sleep, he won’t eat, and he won’t talk. He will only take blood and lie in bed. His mental shields are so strong none of us can get through to him.
“Jamie is there with him now, as we all have been since you left us. Why are you not with us trying to help our mate?” The last question was yelled at the top of Vash’s voice and Jackson was shocked for few moments that the abused young man had it in him to stand up and shout like that. Part of him was very proud that Vash was yelling — at anyone — but that didn’t matter at that moment, what mattered was what Vash had been yelling.
“Why are you yelling at me about him? Casey refused to feed from me when the seizures stopped. What was I meant to do? Force feed him? He turned to you, I may as well have not even been there. So tell me what am I supposed to do?”
Vash was already shaking his head, “You raised him but you really don’t know him, do you?” Jackson growled at this comment, but Vash continued, “Jamie told me Casey will always shut out anything he doesn’t understand. He also said he can sometimes act like a baby and sulk when he doesn’t get his own way.”
“Doesn’t get his own way?” Jackson scoffed. “He wanted me to bond with him? Well I did. He got what he wanted, he is now half vampire.”
“You’re a prick you know that,” Vash screamed. “He didn’t want to become a hybrid, but he did want you. And he was willing to do anything — become anything — if it meant he could have you. But the only reason you bonded with him was because he was dying. If he hadn’t been attacked you’d still be ignoring him. How do you think that makes him feel? His so-called mate, who is supposed to want to protect him and love him, will only bond with him as a last resort.”
Jackson jumped out his chair and advanced on Vash, “What do you mean so-called mate? And what do you mean is supposed to want to love and protect him? I have loved him from the moment I touched him when he was born. I knew he was my mate and I also thought I would never be able to claim him. But I have protected him and loved him.”
Vash met Jackson in the middle of the room, he was shaking with anger. “If you love him so much then why are you here while he is withering away in bed? Why have you repeatedly ignored all our requests — both mental, and phone calls — to come and see him? Why is he suffering because of you and your damn ego? Why don’t you get your butt into gear and act your age? You’re two thousand years old and you’re acting like a child that has just had its favorite toy taken away. If you don’t believe what we’re saying then come and see for yourself.”
Adam then broke into the conversation, “There’s more too.”
Jackson swung to face the other vampire, what more could there be?
“What Vash isn’t telling you is how he’s suffered too in all this.” Jackson saw Vash trying to hush Adam but Adam took no notice, “Vash has been having nightmares — he almost lost Casey too, remember, and they were newly mated when Casey was hurt. He’s also taking on most of Casey’s feeding. Casey has been very hungry and so as you can see Vash here has lost a lot of weight, even in just the last few days, from the blood loss. You’re the eldest known vampire so you should know that Vash being only half vampire himself makes it harder for him to replace the blood he’s losing. He’s been having the bottled blood, but he’s refused to feed directly from any of us. What do you think will happen to him if they continue this way?”
Jackson knew that even as only half vampires both Vash and Casey needed fresh blood. Casey because he was newly turned and Vash because he was — by the sound of it — making himself the sole blood source for Casey. Only a full vampire could be an exclusive blood source and even then they would need a fresh source of their own to feed from to replace the blood they were giving away.
If what they were saying was true he needed to go see Casey.
“Fine, I’ll come. But I can’t make him talk to me or let me help him.”
Suddenly Vash was falling. The color drained from his face and he seemed to simply crumple as he fell.
Jumping forward Jackson caught him just before he hit the floor.
“Damn,” Adam said, “I told you he was trying to take on too much. He’s barely had any energy for the last two days. We tried to get him to stay behind, Ben thought we could get you to come with us by saying how ill both of them were. He had pictures of both of them that he’d magically altered to make them look even worse than they are — if that’s possible — but Vash insisted you wouldn’t believe anything but your own eyes,” Adam huffed, “I guess he was right.”
Vash’s eyes started to roll back in his head and Jackson saw he was about to lose consciousness “Oh no you don’t little one.” Looking around he latched onto Ben, “Ben, please let him feed from you. He needs fresh blood.”
Ben went to move forward but Vash stirred and Jackson felt him trying to communicate mentally. Letting down his shields he asked Vash to repeat what he’d said.
“Not him, you,” came the weak reply.
“You don’t know what you’re asking,” Jackson sent desperately. “Please don’t do it like this and I promise I will talk to you both. Please?”
Vash opened tired eyes and seemed to be assessing whether he could trust Jackson’s word, but he finally nodded his assent.
Ben looked at Adam who nodded and they both moved nearer to Vash. As soon as Ben’s wrist made contact with his mouth Vash latched on and bit down. It didn’t take long for the fresh blood to take effect and the color returned to Vash’s pale skin.
Jackson gently moved Ben’s wrist away and swallowed down the jealousy he was feeling at it not being him the young one was feeding from. But he knew he was right, if he was going to complete this mating he needed to talk to both Vash and Casey. And they all needed to make decisions together, not in the heat of the moment. He was starting to think he may have been hasty by staying away but bonding with Casey while he was dying hadn’t been how he had dreamed of joining with his mate. Even if he’d thought he would never claim his mate, it didn’t mean he hadn’t thought about how he would do it. His dreams had included candles, soft music, and a very willing Casey spread out before him. Now that vision included a beautiful lean body next to Casey with flashing eyes watching him. Maybe there was hope after all.
He helped Vash stand and after turning off his computer they headed out.