Authors: Cat Miller
|Forbidden Bond |
Betrayal, passion, family secrets, murder, and vampires...
What else would one expect during their freshman year of college?
After her birth, Danielle Vaughn, and her mother were ushered out of town in a surreptitious attempt to save her life; vampire prejudice can be deadly.
Like any normal nineteen year old, her biggest worry in life was blending in and working hard to keep her grades up. Her departure from a small town in search of a higher education causes a domino effect; she quickly finds herself maneuvering through a maze of enemies and lovers who are all hell bent on capturing her at any cost.
Danielle’s life is turned upside down by the return of her father and the society of vampires that shattered her human mother’s life. She must find a way to survive in the new world she is thrust into by a power hungry rogue on the hunt for gifted vampire youth. The hierarchy of the vampire nation is rocked by the existence of a demi-vamp who has challenged their narrow-minded views of the human race.
Warning: Adult Content
Cat Miller was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Today she lives not far from her birth place in Perry Hall, Maryland with her two teenage daughters and her fiancé. She is an avid reader and lover of all genre of romantic fiction from historical to contemporary and paranormal. She is an insomniac, so most nights she can be found in the living room reading or writing, instead of in bed like the rest of the world. She loves creating characters that remind her of people she knows, and people she wishes she had never known. Cat welcomes comments from her readers. Please visit www.catmiller.info for links to her email and Facebook.
The Forbidden Bond Series
Copyright © 2012 Cat Miller
All rights reserved. Except for use in any reviews, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form is forbidden without expressed written permission from this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and events are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover art by:
What people are saying about U
Unbound is not a book you set aside early; there is never a dull moment, a useless scene, or a single plot-blah. --Bonnie Bernard, Author of The Midnight Hunter Trilogy
Cat Miller went against the grain on this one and knocked it out of the park! --Tyra Coil, Book Snobs
This amazing book grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go until the end. --Sabrina Ford, Paranormal Reads
Cat Miller put an amazing spin to the typical vampire story. I would definitely recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars. --Mary Hensley, A Page Away
Mia sorella, Debbie Pillitteri, because she told me this day would come.
Thanks to Kathy Ambrose for teaching a new dog some old tricks.
As always, I send love to my family. Thank you JR, Danielle, and Samantha for putting up with me while I pursue a dream.
Griffin sat in a rocking chair holding his newborn daughter. She is just 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 dark brown hair. His mother had always called them birthmarks. His father told him they were very rare and 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 would be Soleil. This means sun. He chose the name because surely the world would revolve around this perfect child. Just then, his pride and joy looked up at him with the palest blue eyes that resembled the lightest of aqua marine 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 her walking down a dark, abandoned street.
She was a petite girl with dark blonde hair hanging in loose waves down her back, almost to her waist. She was wearing 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. She could see the shock on his face and he believed that it amused her greatly. The streetlight closest to the alley had shown on her face, illuminating those pale blue eyes. They were so clear it was as if she could 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 at all times, 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 wh
en you were going to show up,”
Confused, he search
ed the vacant street behind him. S
canning and listening 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 a
way. “I promise I won’t bite,”
she joked as she started down the alley, turning 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. He was curious. What was wrong with him? Humans had never drawn him this way before. His family taught him from birth 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 he is someone else, he thought to himself. That 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 his dark blue irises were solid black. He felt 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,
hissed 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.” The 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 expose himself to a human. They 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 he had exposed himself. Tessa put both of her fists against his abdomen and pushed with all her might to put space between the two of them. It didn’t move Griffin at all but the motion forced Tessa back against the cold brick wall behind her.
“I’m not afraid of you! If you wanted to hurt me I’d be dead by now or at least unconscious from blood loss,” she stuttered.
He stepped in closer so they were chest to chest and she had to crane her neck up to look into his black eyes. The fangs he now had on display for her to admire and fear were just inches from her face.
“Are you quite sure about that, little one?” he hissed.
He could hear her suck wind between her glossy bow shaped lips and her heart sped at his touch. She composed herself instantly and she laid her head back turning her face to the side in order to bare her neck. Her hair fell down her chest from her shoulder. The smell of vanilla wafted up to him. She was calling his bluff. Now his mouth watered for an entirely different reason.
“Do it then.” There was uncertainty mixed with the challenge in her eyes. “I don’t have all night to hang out in a dark alley with you,” she said, facing the direction they had come from. Her breath suddenly sounded too rapid.
She stayed very still for several moments, her neck splayed out before him in what felt like a dare as he looked down on her in wonder. Humans aren’t supposed to know about vampires but her lack of shock and current behavior led him to believe she was aware.
“I didn’t think so, tough guy,” she whispered as he allowed her to push him away. The smug glare she tossed him made his body quicken. So arrogant. So beautiful.
There was a noise on the street. The humans were beginning to filter out of the various watering holes and nightclubs in the area. She stepped around him and began to walk again, expecting him to follow. He did so without pause.
Tessa’s weak voice pulled him out of his revelry and back to the present.
“You know if you don’t put her down she’ll be the most spoiled child either of our worlds has ever known?” Tessa teased.
Her weakness concerned him. It was a long hard labor for her after nine months of the baby draining her of the blood she also needed to survive. Vampire women would have fed more frequently but Tessa didn’t have that option. He had arranged for regular transfusions but it still hadn’t been enough. She suffered it all with a smile and joyful expectation of their coming child and he could do nothing but comfort and try to support her. There’s no such thing as pain medication when you have a secret home birth. He was so worried about how her body would deal with it all. Delivering and carrying a vampire baby is very different from a human child. She had spent the last three months in bed. Griffin had never known of a vampire siring a child with a human but from the research he had done in preparation for the event he learned that the mothers didn’t fare well. He found that they usually died in childbirth and the babies didn’t do much better. In the records he reviewed at the council hall libr
there had been no known surviving births.
“I fully intend to ensure that is the case anyway,” he whispered, as the baby was now asleep.
“I love you, Griffin,” Tessa told him.
“I will love you always. Why do you sound so sad? Are you in pain? Can I get you anything?” Griffin’s heart ached at her weakened state and his inability to do anything for her. If he were able to stand up to his parents, she would have the best care available.