His father waved a dismissive hand. “This nonsense needs to stop, Vicente. Mate’s are not worth your time. You simply need to focus on what’s important and put these thoughts out of your head. Women are nothing but tools.”
Vicente felt anger burn through him. Before he would have agreed, but now that he knew Nani, the thought of her being referred to as a tool infuriated him. He told himself to calm down. “I disagree father and I have decided I will father no more children until I’ve found a mate who would have me.” He could feel the shift in the air as both his father and grandfather shared a look of displeasure. He didn’t even have time to blink before his father was up and backhanding him. He crashed to the floor, his vision spinning and his glass flying across the room. He blinked, trying to bring his vision back into focus when he was lifted by his throat.
“You disappoint me, son.” His father said as he brought him closer. He could taste the blood in his mouth now where his cheek had been cut by his teeth. “Who has put this nonsense in your head? Some witch, a enchantress?”
“No one, this is my choice.” He grabbed his father’s arm and squeezed it, but it only got him a punch to the stomach. His father was incredibly powerful, almost frighteningly powerful, but he wasn’t going to beg for forgiveness.
“You disappointing, defective child.”
He hated that that actually stung, that he could be hurt by a father who didn’t actually love him. It hurt knowing he was just another tool, like all those women. “I don’t care.” He managed to get out. He shifted through the pain and struck his father, forcing him to let go and sending him flying over the couch where his grandfather sat. “I will not be used by you anymore.” He growled as his father stood and started to shift as well.
“That’s enough.” His grandfather said, holding up a hand that halted his father. “I will not have you destroying the house with this display.” He shook his head as he stood. Vicente was actually frozen as his grandfather came closer to him and punched him so hard he doubled over, instantly shifting back. He couldn’t breathe or think, he had never felt a pain like this. His grandfather grabbed him by his hair and pulled him to the front door, opened it a tossed him into the yard, following him. “You wasted our time, we should have killed you the moment you were born.” He kicked Vicente in the side then pinned him to the ground. “Who rotted your brain boy? Tell me now and maybe I will go easy on you.”
“No…one, I swear.” His grandfather let out a sigh and lifted him, hitting him again, so fast Vicente had no time to do anything but block. The final blow to his stomach had him on his hands and knees actually throwing up this time. He took a deep breath and forced himself to stand and meet his grandfather’s gaze. “Are you done, grandfather?”
“Yes.” He waved his hand. “Go then, find a mate, if you think you can. Know that even though you are your father’s strongest child, you are also his greatest disappointment.”
“Am I disowned then?” He snapped.
“It would be a waste to simply do away with you, after all the work that was put into you. I would rather you live with the pain and the fact you’re broken.” He turned away from him. “Get out of my sight and stay away for awhile.”
“Yes grandfather.” He said and even though he was in agony, he took to the air. He flew as far as he could before his injuries had him landing near a river. He actually stumbled and fell. His grandfather had done more damage than he had realized. He was sure some of his ribs were broken and his chest felt heavy, his insides on fire. He rolled onto his back and just stared up at the canopy above him. He was so tired, but at least Nani and her family were safe, at least he had been able to walk away. He started to close his eyes, the flapping of wings catching his attention as a large black bird dropped from a branch. A raven, he thought. “An omen of death.” He said with a little laugh. “Appropriate.” He closed his eyes, swearing he felt someone brush fingers over his forehead before he fell unconscious.