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Unbound (Forbidden Bond Book 1)(2)

By:Cat Miller



     



 

"No. I'm fine, but I had a terrible dream. I'm afraid this time of joy  is about to end for us. We are about to be separated." She shivered and  winced with the pain the movement caused her battered body.

Tessa was what humans referred to as psychic. She dreamt of things yet  to come and regularly had feelings about people or things that proved  amazingly insightful. She usually knew when Griffin needed to leave to  meet his parents before suspicions arose. She knew little things, such  as a phone that would soon ring, and bigger things, like when he would  need to leave her for a time. That prediction was the last thing Griffin  wanted to hear. He would not leave his family. The thought nearly broke  him. He watched a single tear slide down Tessa's too-pale cheek.

Just then, the door flew open and Griffin jumped to his feet, turning so  fast to shield their child that Tessa couldn't even follow his  movements. In the doorway stood Mason, Griffin's lifelong best friend.  He was the only person who knew about Tessa and their situation. He had  helped hide Tessa and had procured a midwife with knowledge of both  human and vampire births to assist with the delivery.

"We have a problem. Griffin, you need to come with me now, or they will come looking for you," Mason quickly explained.

"Who will come looking for him?" Tessa demanded.

"The council," Mason replied. "I believe they may know."

"That's not possible! We've been very careful!" Griffin argued.

"I'm afraid the midwife has broken her vow of silence. It seems there's  more money to be made by talking to the right people. We have to leave  now, Griffin," Mason growled. "We will deal with her treachery later."

Stunned by the news, Griffin handed the baby to Tessa after kissing her  tiny forehead and gently brushing his hand over the white streaks in her  hair. Then he brushed his lips over Tessa's and promised, "I will be  back as soon as I can. I love you both more than my own life." He kissed  her sweetly one more time and ran out the door, eyes glistening.

Tessa watched Griffin leave, and the nightmare of just moments ago  returned to her in a painful rush. She'd dreamt of being ripped away  from Griffin, and no matter how she fought, she just couldn't hold on to  him. Tessa knew it wasn't just a dream; it was a premonition. Mason was  watching her with a remorseful expression. He dropped the small duffel  bag he had carried with him onto the end of her bed. He stepped forward  and bent to kiss the sleeping babe on the head.

"I'm so very sorry about this, Tessa. I hope this will help. It's the  very least I can do for you and my godchild. Please open it quickly and  leave as soon as possible. There will be a car waiting for you outside."  He left, closing the door softly.

Tessa opened the bag and retrieved a letter placed on top of stacks of  cash and a gun. Still in shock, she opened the letter and, as she read  it, began to cry.



Several months later …

Griffin was losing his grip on sanity. He'd been searching for his  missing mate and their baby for months. He'd had a hell of a fight with  his parents the day Soleil was born. They wanted the baby, but he didn't  know why, since they were adamant that admitting a human into their  family was unacceptable. Griffin didn't want to believe they would have  his child murdered. They would likely hide his baby girl from the prying  eyes of vampire society. They wouldn't want their house name tainted by  a half-breed baby. His mate, on the other hand, would likely not fare  as well. To buy him some time to move his family, Griffin promised to go  get the baby and bring her back for their inspection. The midwife who'd  betrayed his trust had disappeared, and he had to relocate his family  before his parents found her, because she'd delivered the baby in their  home. They had no idea where he and Tessa had been living since their  mating. He had a separate property purchased in Mason's name. He'd  finally made it home hours after leaving his weak mate to fend for  herself with a newborn vampire who was, so far, refusing to suckle her  human mother's breast. Griffin feared what he would find in the condo.  What he did find was worse than anything he ever could have imagined:  Tessa and their baby were gone. They'd just disappeared. Griffin  destroyed his condo in a blind rage directed at his meddling parents. He  could feel the warm buzz of his mate's soul in the back of his mind,  but he could no longer reach her. The connection their bond had created  became weaker with distance, but they were in love, so it never mattered  to Griffin. Their emotional connection was stronger than blood. But  that hadn't helped him find her in the months that had passed since that  day. The longer they were apart, the more Griffin questioned Tessa's  safety. At times, he felt her and knew she was safe-sad and lonely, but  safe. Other times, he feared his heart was playing tricks on his mind.         

     



 

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.

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