Chapter 76 - Reece-A Talk With Little Bunny's Grandfather
I had taken her Grandfather aside and talked to him on Christmas. I wanted to know why he had treated her the way he did. Why he seemed to hate his only granddaughter so much. What he told me had actually surprised me, but I thought what he had to say should come from him and not me. Little Bunny deserved that explanation too, but it wasn't mine to give.
Little Bunny was lost in conversation with her friends and family, but for some reason her Grandfather was only watching from a distance.
"Mr. Whitton, can I have a word with you?" I seemed to have caught him off guard, he looked nervous momentarily before answering.
"Yes, I guess it is about time we have a conversation. You are mated to my only granddaughter after all." The man was acting as if he cared about her, as if he hadn't made her miserable her whole life.
The old man got to his feet quickly and easily, a movement I would have thought him incapable of at his advanced age. I never knew why my father's beta had been so much older than him, why he had chosen this man in particular. Mr. Whitton was in his mid-sixties, but my father, if he were alive, would only be as old as Little Bunny's uncle, maybe a little older, so why was his beta almost twenty years his senior.
I led the old man into a room down the hall, I didn't want to be overheard. He knew there was something I wanted to talk to him about, but I think his mind was heading in the wrong direction. As soon as the door was shut behind us, he started talking.
"I know that girl is a handful, and most likely difficult to deal with at times, but I have made certain she knows how to be a proper wife in a high-ranking family. I never dreamed she would mate with you, Alpha, but I assure you she will live up to your standards. Just let me know if she needs a reminder of the lessons she learned as a child." My blood boiled and my wolf snarled upon hearing his words.
"And what lessons might those be?" I asked him. He seemed shocked.
"Why, etiquette and proper behavior befitting a woman of her rank, and what is expected of her." He was perplexed by my intensity when I asked the question, that was clear, but what he didn't seem to grasp was that he was the cause for it. The old man simply put his head in his hand and shook it, clearly frustrated.
"She has been behaving improperly for a Luna, hasn't she? I assure you that is not how I raised her. She should know better. That stupid girl." I couldn't stop the growl then, my wolf and I both growled at the same time. This man was insulting my mate and I would not have it.
"I don't know why you think you can talk about my mate like that." I spoke through my clenched teeth.
"I don't follow you, young man. Aren't you upset because she has not been behaving as you expected?" He had the self-awareness to look nervous now.
"No, that is not why I am upset." I hissed. "I am upset because I want to know why you treated her so horribly. Why you acted like she was any different from your other grandchildren?" I glared at him.
"I did not treat her horribly. Is that what she told you?" He shouted.
"No, she has said little about her childhood, as of yet. But Noah and Carter have told me plenty. I have learned a few things from Trinity, but she never spoke of you negatively."
"The boys said I was cruel to her?" His eyes widened in shock, the sadness in his eyes was clear to see.
"They said you showed her no love and made up ridiculous excuses to not let her be seen by anyone for as long as you could."
"That is utterly ridiculous. I love my granddaughter very much. I was just intent on not repeating my mistakes." He fervently defended himself.
"Then why did you hide her away from everyone? Why did she not make a single friend outside of that family until she went to college?"
"I didn't want to repeat my mistakes." He bellowed, his face immediately turning red after he shouted the words.
"What mistakes?" He looked shocked, like he didn't know how to answer that at first. I watched as he paled then crumpled onto the couch behind him. This man that I had only ever seen standing tall and at full attention, or sitting up straight to look perfectly poised, was now huddled nearly in a ball as he held his face in his hands.
"I didn't want to lose her. I didn't want her to leave me the same way Lily left. I couldn't bear it if I had to live through that again."
"I don't follow you." The confusion was leaking into my voice as I watched this once tall and proud man nearly begin to weep before me.
"My daughter is gone forever. Lost to me. And she will never come back." He was looking at me now, his pitiful eyes filled with unshed tears. "I failed as a father. I didn't have my daughter ready for the world. Whatever happened to her that weekend, those two days she went missing, I know she wasn't at her friend's house, and she didn't remember it at all either. It was like the time didn't exist for her. It was just gone. But then, we found out she was pregnant. That was what broke her the most. People always thought it was the rumors, but it was the thought of being pregnant with no memory of how it happened."
"So, are you saying she was drugged and raped?" I asked him in disbelief.
"I don't know if it was drugs, but something was done to her, and she didn't get pregnant willingly. Everyone always assumed my anger at the time was directed at my daughter, specifically because she didn't tell me who the father was. No, it was directed at whoever hurt my baby girl, and that I would never get my chance at revenge." His anger and sorrow were mixing now, his face and eyes red but there was a determined set in his jaw and brows.
"So why treat Trinity so bad, why make her miserable?"
"I didn't know she was miserable. I just didn't want to chance that she would be taken from me as well. I don't know who her father is, but who's to say he won't come back for her some day? He knows what he did. He knows he made a child with my little girl. What was stopping him from snatching my granddaughter like he snatched my daughter?" He had been scared for her this whole time? It just didn't make sense.
I saw that the anger was winning out over the sadness in his eyes, his voice was growing stronger now.
"Maybe I should have done things a little different. Maybe I should have explained things to her. But I love my granddaughter, with every fiber of my being. And I will do whatever I can to make her life better. That's why I made sure she had the best education possible. That's why she had all the knowledge needed for being the perfect wife. But, unlike my daughter, Trinity knows how to defend herself."
"Carter says as soon as Trinity turned eighteen you cut her off, no more fighting instructors, no more tutors, you paid for her college education but that was it."
"Trinity was desperate to get out on her own, and the instructors I had teaching her to fight had nothing more to teach her. She had learned all she could from them. But I knew she would find someone else to train her, she's resourceful and determined."
"So, you risked her going to college at eighteen but not going to public school her whole life?"
"She would not have settled for staying home, I'm sure you've learned she is a stubborn girl. Did you know she even taught herself to play contemporary instruments when I only got her classical instructors?"
"Yeah, actually I did. She said she learned drums and guitar just to spite you." To my surprise the old man laughed, a hearty full belly laugh that looked strange on a man so tall and still athletic that he barely had a belly.
"You see, young man, she is stubborn. If I didn't agree to let her go, I am certain that she would have run away. I made sure that she went to a school with a heavy wolf influence though, so I could inquire about her. I was happy when I learned that she had made friends. And I laughed when I found out she daydreams in class, I'm afraid her education was of a higher standard than most high schools, so she is a bit advanced."
"Yeah, her guard told me she liked to zone out in classes she finds too easy." This conversation was definitely not going how I thought it was supposed to go. "You know, Mr. Whitton, there is someone who you should be telling all this to."
"You mean I should tell Trinity?" He asked me.
"Yes. If you truly did what you did out of love, and fear, then she deserves to know."
"Can't you tell her for me." He asked, nerves clear in his shaking voice and wavering eyes.
"No, this is something that will be best coming from you." The old man sighed before he looked at me, a pitiful look on his face.
"You're probably right." He smirked. "I will tell her, soon. Not today but soon." He smiled ruefully.
"I will hold you to it." I assured him.
We returned to the Christmas party after that conversation. Little Bunny seemed to have noticed our absence, but she never said anything. Thankfully, the rest of the evening went smoothly.
Little Bunny needed to know what her Grandfather had said, but it wasn't my place to say anything. But I could try to make her future a happier one than she thought she was going to get. I could make up for my mistakes and be there for my mate, protect her the best that I could.