Summary: Kat has an honest heart-to-heart with Tess and makes her choice
~ooO Interludes III, Life with Stregas - Kat's Choice Ooo~
Three weeks after Caius's first visit, Kat could not deny reality and excuse away all the drop-ins, paths crossings, after meeting discussions. She could not pretend not to be aware of all the knowing looks from all the vampires and magicals who had witnessed the events in question. And hiding in her suite behind a privacy ward was not going to cut it so she asked Tess to join her for tea.
Tess was pregnant and only just showing. Alice and Jasper were overjoyed, by the impending parenthood. Alice was particularly gleeful over the opportunity for shopping.
"So what's up?" Tess asked with a knowing smile after tea was poured, two cress sandwiches consumed.
Why couldn't her sister be properly sympathetic? Kat wailed internally before steeling her nerve to speak, because once spoken the words could not be taken back.
"Caius Volturi is courting me."
Tess snorted and picked up another sandwich. "Hello! You're the only one who has been denying it." She cocked her head. "He has been surprisingly patient with you. I thought he was the type to give orders and expect them to be followed."
Kat nibbled on her own sandwich. "I think Athenadora's been restraining him."
"How has he been courting you? I've heard he's been visiting with lots of boxes."
Kat sighed. "If he were giving me jewellery and dresses I could have refused them and never thought twice on it."
"So what has he been giving you?" Tess asked with a barely restrained grin.
"Expensive potions tools and rare ingredients, saying it's for my research."
"And stuff for Michel too. He's been babbling non-stop about his new modelling and engineering kits. And the neat programs on His laptop," Tess pointed out casually.
Kat sagged. "Caius gave me a laptop as well. It has several programs he wrote himself to simulate ingredient reactions using Arithmacy and reaction tables."
"A very thoughtful gift," Tess pointed out. "Most would have just bought the laptop and be done with it."
"He said it was for my research."
"Then why did he bother delivering it in person?"
Kat opened and shut her mouth. "He has a mate," she said feebly.
Tess snorted. "Do you think he would have done anything without Athenadora's support and blessing?"
Kat made an aggravated sound and tore at her hair. "This is so frustrating!" she screamed. She slumped in her chair and whimpered. "You know, I'm finally getting it."
"Why you said you couldn't turn down Jasper. To deny him."
Tess made a soft sound and poured a fresh cup of rosehip tea for herself. "Vampires are very attractive, charismatic. Jasper especially so given his gift."
"Caius is not charming or nice and he makes me want to scream."
"And at the same time you want to kiss him. To twist your hands in his hair and pull him down and force him to bend and follow your lead."
"Yes." Kat was silent for a long while. "If I had any sense I would go look for another. A single vampire without a mate."
"Do you really want to?"
There was silence while Kat worked through her feelings. "No," she finally answered. "I only want him."
"Then accept him."
Two days later a house elf delivered a sealed note to Caius and Athenadora's suite.
Athenadora recognized the scent of the person who wrote it… Kat Williams. Since it was addressed to both Caius and herself she opened it and quickly scanned the contents. Then she spoke out loud knowing her mate would hear her if he was in the 'public' spaces of the Fortress.
"Caius, please join me as soon as possible. Kat has asked both of us to join her after lunch. Two o'clock."
She heard his response just seconds later. "Hold on. I'm coming."
Less than a minute later the door opened. Wordlessly, she held out the note. Caius took the sheet and read it quickly. Then he looked up at his mate.
"Last chance to change your mind," he warned her. "I doubt I will ever let her go once she accepts. You know how possessive I can get."
Athenadora smiled. "Do you honestly think you're going to frighten me with that? You should be afraid of Kat and I getting together and managing you!"
Caius sniffed haughtily and lifted his nose. "I frighten plenty of vampires and humans."
"You didn't frighten Hermione or Hannah or Tracey. And even Tess once she got to know you. I doubt you'll scare Kat off, even at your worst. She's too bull-headed."
Caius relaxed. "I know. That's why I think this is really going to work."
AN: I think you can expect what follows. And that's it for Interludes 3. Next is the last arc. What happens when the enclaves find out?