Unbound (Forbidden Bond Book 1)

By: Cat Miller

Griffin sat in a rocking chair, holding his newborn daughter. She was only hours old. He laughed quietly to himself, trying not to wake her mother, Tessa.

He pulled off the little knit cap on her tiny head to stroke her hair. He had always hated the white streaks in his own dark brown hair. His mother had always called them birthmarks. His father had told him they were very rare and were believed to be a sign of great power among their kind. So, when Griffin’s daughter emerged into the world with a head full of dark hair with little white streaks, his heart swelled with pride. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

Her name was Soleil. It meant sun. He chose the name because surely the world would revolve around the perfect child in his arms.

Just then, his pride and joy looked up at him with the palest blue eyes that resembled the lightest of aquamarine jewels. Tessa had smiled and teased him earlier, saying they were the color of Windex. She thought it was funny. Griffin did not. The baby had Tessa’s eyes, and staring into them took him back in time to the night he found Tessa walking down a dark, abandoned street.

She was a petite girl with dark blond hair hanging in loose waves down her back, almost to her waist. She wore a dark jacket that was too light for the season and a snug pair of jeans. The sway of her hips drew his eyes to her feminine curves.

As he got closer to his prey, he could feel her warmth and the blood pulsing through her body urging him to feed. It made his mouth water and his pulse quicken.

She turned down a dark alley as he stalked her quietly. Could she make this any easier? Hard to believe no one ever told the little thing to stay away from dark alleys at night.

As he turned the corner, Griffin knew he would catch her before she reached the end of the alley. He was surprised to find her standing there, among the empty bottles and trash blowing in the wind, with both her hands on her hips, smiling.

The streetlight closest to the alley shone on her face, illuminating those pale-blue eyes. They were so clear, he feared she might have the ability to see straight into his soul without all the color of normal eyes to block her view. He felt naked in her stunning gaze.

Being a vampire meant he was a natural hunter, aware of his surroundings and ready for anything at all times. However, at that moment, everything faded into the background. A bomb could have dropped at his feet and he would not have noticed the blast.

“I was wondering when you were going to show up.” The little blonde grinned up at him.

Confused, he searched the vacant street behind him. As he scanned and listened for witnesses, he wondered why he felt so off guard. “Are you waiting for someone to meet you?”

“No. I have been waiting for you. You are the man of my dreams, so to speak. Would you like to walk with me?” She cocked her head to the side in a most endearing way, as if they had spoken a thousand times before and she knew just how to lure him away. “I promise I won’t bite,” she joked, as she started down the alley and turned her back to him.

He could overtake her at any time, but the need to be closer to her was stronger than the hunger for her blood. She piqued his curiosity. What was wrong with him? Humans had never drawn him as she had. His family had taught him from birth that they were cattle to be maintained and respected for the gift they give, but nothing more.

Moreover, how could she possibly have been waiting for him? She must think I’m someone else, he thought to himself. The thought sent an odd wave of jealousy over him. It didn’t matter. Why should he care if she were expecting to meet a human male?

She strolled down the alley without a care, and he began to follow, as if he were the tide being pulled by her gravity. He felt a sudden surge of anger at her arrogance. She could not lead him, Griffin Vaughn, around by the nose like some weak, human male. He caught up with her in less than a heartbeat and spun her around by her arm so she could see her predator’s true face. His fangs extended, and he knew his dark blue irises had darkened to solid black. She needed to develop some respect for the danger he displayed. He would be sure she never acted so foolishly again.

“I don’t think I’m the male you were waiting for, little one,” he snarled into her face.

“Of course you are. You just don’t know it, yet.” Her voice wobbled.

“You have no idea what you’re dealing with, little one. I’m not one of your timid males.” A growl came from deep in his throat.

Why had he done that? He really didn’t want to scare her away, and he knew better than to reveal himself to a human. Vampires enthralled their donors and sent them on their way with no memory of the feeding, but she had him so twisted in the space of a minute that he’d exposed himself.