A VAMPIRE'S VINDICATION
by Alexis Morgan
eISBN: 978 142 6865282
August 1, 2010
Keelie Bronson and Griff Tyler have been adversaries for years, locked in legal battles and enmity over Keelie's belief that Griff was responsible for her father's death. But when Griff's control over his vampire clan comes under attack, Keelie may be the key to clearing his name.
When Griff and Keelie finally meet face-to-face, neither of them are prepared for their fierce attraction. Soon, a moment of weakness unleashes a passion that cannot be denied. But Keelie still wonders: is Griff a good man, or is he the monster she always believed him to be?
"The daughter's already on her way home?"
"Yes, sir. Keelie started back as soon as she heard."
To buy himself some thinking time, Griff refilled his glass from the carafe of blood on his desk. Well aware of the half-blood chancellor watching his every move from the video screen, he sipped the O neg with a calm he wasn't feeling. The blood gave him an excuse for his fangs to show other than sheer temper.
From the day she'd left the clan to work for Lydia Bronson, his cousin Dorothy had been ordered to maintain silence about their family connection. So far, she'd held to their bargain.
"Are you sure Lydia will tell her?" He flashed his canines at the screen. "And, cousin, I will know if you're lying."
Dorothy's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Lydia has been refusing all of her medications to keep her head clear, and she's quit confiding in me. Even so, I think her intent is to tell her daughter everything."
"Keep me posted."
Griff disconnected the call, deciding he'd showed amazing restraint by not bashing the computer against the wall. Son of a bitch, the timing couldn't have been worse, but then Lydia had never been concerned about the devastation her rash actions had caused others.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and prayed for patience. He was already under attack on another front. All he could do was hope that Lydia managed to quietly pass into the next world without adding to his problems.
But knowing her, that was probably too much to wish for. Stubborn didn't come close to describing that chancellor when it came to her own agenda. Hell, her arrogance would have done a pureblooded vamp proud. Lydia Bronson would hold off the specter of death with nothing but sheer willpower until she was damn well ready to go.
He considered his options. If he were to show up at her house uninvited, maybe he could stave off the impending disaster that would ensue if she broke silence after all these years. Damage control was everything.
With Lydia about to die, that left him the only other person who knew the truth behind the events of twenty-five years ago. Maybe the past could be laid to rest for good. Then again, perhaps not.
Griff studied the file he'd spread out on the desk, his eyes once again drawn to the pictures of Lydia's daughter, Keelie. Her looks favored her late father Kenneth more than her harpy of a mother except for that distinctive eye color: not quite amber and not quite brown, but somewhere in between, like the color of fresh caramel, rich and sweet.
Not that Bronson women of either generation were either of those two things. Lydia worked, but her part-time teaching job at a small college didn't pay enough to maintain her lifestyle. To make up the difference, she'd been feeding off his finances for years.
Then there was the daughter, an environmental scientist and a born crusader. She'd scrutinized every enterprise his clan was involved in since she'd finished college. Keelie had kept Griff on his toes, knowing that she was waiting to pounce at the first hint that any of his clan's actions threatened the native flora and fauna.
Although it certainly pissed him off, he admired her persistence. It was her way of striking back at the vampire she held responsible for her father's death. Oh, yes, if Lydia opened her mouth, his world wouldn't be the only one to be turned upside down. Keelie Bronson was in for a major shock.
Rather than watch his life unravel from a distance, he'd confront Lydia and try to talk some sense into her. Soon the sun would set, and he'd be on his way.