Unbound (Forbidden Bond Book 1)(4)

By: Cat Miller

His mother viewed this time in his life as a youthful rebellion that he would regret when he was older. She had made it her mission to save her son from a life of scorn and embarrassment.

Griffin was at his parents’ home in upstate New York. He returned with them from a council meeting instead of going to his own home, at his father’s request. His father, Lloyd, a tall, attractive, middle-aged-looking vampire with the same dark hair and steely blue eyes as Griffin, entered the room after wrapping up a business call. He caught Griffin staring out the window onto the perfectly manicured lawn, which somehow remained green even in the winter. His mother would have it no other way.

“Griffin, my boy, it’s really past time for you to stop bereaving the loss of your little fling,” Lloyd scoffed.

Griffin interrupted. “Father, I don’t want to have this conversation with you again. You’ve made your feelings abundantly clear.”

Lloyd shook his head in disgust. “I have been avoiding telling you this, in hopes you would move on willingly, but it seems you will not, until you know the truth.” Lloyd paused. “Your mother began to search, against my wishes, after we were made aware of your indiscretions and you returned without the child, as we had requested. She is very resourceful when she wants something,” Lloyd huffed.

“I bet she is. She learned from the best,” Griffin replied sarcastically.

In a flash, his father crossed the room and dug his nails deep into Griffin’s shoulder. Griffin went to his knees with a yelp of pain. Griffin was strong, but he was still very young. Unlike humans, who became weaker as they aged, vampires became more powerful.

“Listen to me, boy! I have had enough of your disrespect! I am your father and a leader of our race! You would be wise to remember that and act accordingly!” He released Griffin and helped him calmly to his feet, as if he hadn’t just nearly snapped his shoulder. “It is time for you to take your rightful position on the council, and you are not nearly ready. My patience grows thin, Griffin.”

Carrying a basket of fresh-cut flowers, Griffin’s mother, Adele, entered the room through the French doors that led out to the garden and the hothouse. Adele was a tall, statuesque woman with golden-blond hair in a tidy twist at her neck and warm, caramel-brown eyes. Her heels showed no signs of dirt, in spite of her romp through the garden. She always moved as if she were floating rather than walking.

“What seems to be the problem here, darlings?” his mother asked, sounding equal parts concerned and annoyed. She was a lady above all else, and she never tolerated dramatics.

She put down the flowers and removed her gardening gloves. As she moved closer, she eyed the new holes and fresh blood on Griffin’s shirt. The wounds had already begun to heal. Her eyes widened as she looked to her husband. Griffin would not allow anyone but his father to attack him without retaliation, and she knew it.

“Adele, love, your timing is perfect. I was just about to inform Griffin of the result of your search,” he purred to her. His father knew she would be displeased with him for ruining her son’s tailored shirt. His father avoided upsetting his mate at all cost.

“Everything is fine, Mother. We were just doing a little male bonding. Why don’t you come tell me about this big secret you and Father have been keeping?” he insisted.

“Well, darling,” she stuttered. Her uncharacteristic stumbling sent a chill over Griffin. “Give me a moment to go gather the information I’ve been collecting.” She left the room quickly, and Griffin looked to his father with questioning eyes.

“I think it’s best if we wait for your mother to return. Otherwise, I’m sure you won’t see the truth.”

Adele returned carrying a large, brown envelope and wearing a solemn look on her perfect face. She sat in the chair closest to Griffin and beckoned him to sit across from her, which he did. Griffin’s father walked to his side slightly behind him, with a comforting hand on the shoulder he had sunk his talons into just moments before. It was unsettling to Griffin. His parents were not the comforting type. He knew it wasn’t a good sign.

Adele began, “The day we found out about your little secret, and you did not retrieve the child as requested, I began to search for her. I couldn’t very well have the child raised by your human pet.”

“Mother, please!” Griffin shouted. He’d had enough of their prejudices.

“Hush, son, and listen to me! This will be hard enough without your interruptions,” Adele barked. She continued without pause. “The girl called a cab to carry her to the human hospital. When the driver was questioned, he revealed that he was uncomfortable driving the girl, given she had no car seat for the child. She pleaded with him, saying she couldn’t get the child to nurse. The driver noted the pale and generally weak condition of the girl and thought better of leaving her behind. He helped the girl into the ER and left.”