Council of War….
Casey woke up first and smiled as he watched Jackson and Vash sleep. He ran his hands up Jackson’s chest wishing there wasn’t a shirt in the way of touching Jackson’s soft skin. Grinning to himself he realized there was a way. He muttered a familiar spell and not only did Jackson’s shirt disappear but so did his pants—hmm, he was commando—and so also did Vash’s shirt and pants.
Vash stirred as Casey trailed his fingers over the arm he had across Jackson’s chest. “Morning,” Vash smiled sleepily.
“No, evening actually. Part vampire remember?” Casey laughed.
Vash rolled his eyes. “I always say morning when I wake up. My room didn’t have windows so I never knew what time of day it was unless I was on the computer and looked at the time there. If I was given as a reward it was always dark or I was blindfolded.”
Casey winced at reminding Vash about his past, he didn’t want his young mate to ever have to remember anything he didn’t want to.
Casey had an idea. “Why don’t we find a good way to wake Jackie up?” he asked quietly, grinning when Vash nodded eagerly.
They started by just running their hands over Jackson’s chest and stomach, causing his muscles to twitch at the sensations. Suddenly Jackson twisted and managed to grab both of them and pull them under him on the bed.
“Now my mates. I have you exactly where I want you. What am I going to do with you both?” Jackson was trying to look serious but Casey could see and feel his amusement.
He was just about to tell the vampire exactly what he could do when Jamie’s voice rang in his mind.
“Bro, do you know where Jackson is? Andrew is looking for him.”
Casey rolled his eyes, cock-blocked by his own brother and brother-in-law. Not feeling very helpful he answered, “Why didn’t he just use the mind-link or why don’t you?”
“We both tried but his barriers are too strong. Andrew tried you and Vash too but he couldn’t get you to answer, we found only I could get through.” Jamie’s voice was whining and Casey gave in before his brother started pleading pathetically.
“Jackie, Andrew is looking for you. Your shields are too strong for the others to get in contact with you, plus I think you’re shielding Vash and me too.” Casey looked up at Jackson through his eyelashes.
Jackson poked him in the side at the use of the nickname but Casey felt Jackson reaching out mentally for Andrew. His mind seemed to be so tangled with Jackson’s he couldn’t get free—not that he wanted to. It took him a moment to realize that Vash’s mind was there too, it seemed Jackson didn’t want to let go of either of them. He filed the questions he had away to ask later, like just how strong was his mate’s mind?
“Andrew, what do you want? I’m occupied at the moment.” Casey stifled a giggle at Jackson’s words and received a pinch to his nipple. A yelp told him Vash had received the same.
“Jackson, a Councilor Donald Broking is here, he says you’re expecting him. He wants to see you ASAP.” Andrews’s voice became pleading. “He is scaring the staff here, please can you get here quickly.”
“We’ll be there in an hour.” Jackson cut the connection and Casey felt his mind being surrounded in a comfortable feeling of safety and love. He was just about to ask why he and Vash had to go when Jackson spoke again. “Now how about something to eat before we leave?” Jackson asked Casey.
Casey frowned at first then he realized what food Jackson meant. He shook his head. “If you won’t allow Vash to feed from you then I can’t feed both of you. One of you will have to have donated blood.”
Vash shook his head and sent an image to them. Casey grinned and nodded then looked at Jackson. Jackson smiled and stood holding out his hands to them.
They stood in a tight circle, Casey leant and fed from Jackson’s neck where it met his shoulder, Vash leant and fed from Casey’s neck and Jackson decided to bend his head slightly and feed from high up on Vash’s neck. It was fun and fulfilling all at once. When they’d all finished they headed for the shower. To save time Jackson insisted they all shower together and then kept the two younger men in line to get them all washed and out in time for Casey to drive them all to the Council Building.
“So why are we coming with you?” Casey finally got to ask.
“I want you and Vash to meet Donald, he is the Shifter High Council Elder I told you about, he’s going to help sort out Vash’s old pack. Also having contacts within the High Council is always a good idea. And lastly you’re my mates, you belong with me when I’m greeting visitors.”
They pulled into the parking lot with minutes to spare and Jackson strode purposefully toward his office.
“—I’m sure he’ll be here as soon. It hasn’t been an hour yet sir,” came Andrews’s voice from the office as they approached.
“He should have been here to meet me,” answered a booming voice and Casey felt Vash flinch both mentally and physically as they were walking side by side.
Vash started backing away from the door when the voice spoke again. “Jackson, I know you’re out there, get in here, you old coot.”
Jackson was laughing until he noticed Vash. He wrapped an arm round Vash’s shoulders. “Trust me,” he whispered and opened the door for them to enter first.
Donald Broking was a large man, he had to be at least as tall as Casey and twice as wide. Vash was doing his best to hide behind Casey without looking like he was doing it deliberately.
“Come out of there, cub. I can smell you as well as see you,” Donald said and peered round Casey to get to Vash.
Vash started to panic and was ready to bolt until Jackson intervened. “If you keep scaring my mate Donald, you’d better make sure your will is all up to date.”
Donald turned his head and looked ready to snap at Jackson but instead let out a yelp when a splash of water suddenly gushed over his head.
Jackson rolled his eyes. “Casey, did you have to?”
Casey crossed his arms over his chest. “Yes. He was scaring our mate and then you were going to start a testosterone battle that we haven’t got time for. It looks like he’s already been having a go at Andrew, he shouldn’t mess with our family.”
Vash buried his face in Casey’s back to hide his giggles; hearing Jackson‘s exasperation and Casey’s cocky answer really helped him relax.
“That was the idea,” came Casey’s amused voice along their mind-link.
Vash shook his head slightly and peeked out to see Donald shaking water from his shaggy hair. Obviously sensing his gaze Donald looked directly at him.
“I’m sorry cub, please will you come out from there?” Donald asked in a soothing tone.
Vash crept out watching Donald for any indication he may attack so he could be ready to run.
“We won’t let anyone hurt you,” Casey sent to him and Jackson added his agreement.
Vash smiled and moved to stand between Jackson and Casey where he was immediately surrounded by their arms round his shoulders.
“Donald, these are my mates, Vash, and Casey,” Jackson did the introductions. “Mates, this is Donald Broking a shifter councilor on the High Council. He’s mostly harmless and his bark is worse than his bite—in human form anyway.”
Donald rolled his eyes and held his hand out to Vash first and then Casey. “Pleasure to meet you both.”
They all sat in the seating area of Jackson’s office and Andrew had taken the opportunity while the introductions were being made to make an excuse and get out the room. The poor man looked like he needed a stiff drink.
“First let me say Vash, as a shifter and a member of the High Council, you have my unreserved apologies for allowing what happened to you to happen and to keep going on. Jackson sent a complete report, it was appalling. It shouldn’t have taken what it did for us to start the investigations into the treatment of hybrids. Now we are aware of what’s going on we will be launching full investigations of all communities. All of them will be searched thoroughly to see if anyone is still hiding and/or mistreating hybrids in any way.”
Vash thought about it for a moment. “I’ll accept your apologies but I don’t blame you or the high council. The alpha is in charge of the pack, he is supposed to protect every member. He is at fault and those of the pack who supported him by their actions or inaction.”
Donald nodded “Thank you for the sentiment but it is the job of the High Council to know what’s going on with the communities and we should have been keeping a better eye on things.” He turned to Jackson. “So you got yourself two mates hmmm?” he grinned. “Thinking about it, it would take two to keep you out of trouble and in line, my friend.”
Casey and Vash laughed while Jackson actually blushed.
Donald sobered. “Now let’s get down to business. I have five hundred shifters with me and another five hundred ready to move on a moment’s notice. I have your report of what your undercover guy found, so all that’s left is to make a plan of attack.”
Getting comfortable Jackson sent for maps the pack lands and its surrounding areas and refreshments while they all started throwing out ideas. Later they were joined by Jamie, Andrew, Adam, Craig and surprisingly Jaydon.
Soon they had managed to hammer out a rough plan for Jackson to take to the town council with Donald.