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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 6)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(6) by Chloe Neill
  • “Hey, Char,” I said, squeezing her back. “How’s my favorite niece?”

    “Being quite the two-and-a-half-year-old, Olivia believes she is a debutante and is very disappointed she can’t go to her aunt Merit’s party tonight. But she is very excited about being a flower girl. And she’s been practicing.”

    “Oh my God, I bet that’s adorable.”

    Charlotte put a hand on her heart. “Granted, she’s my kid, but yes. It is quite possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.”

    “I’m sure she’ll toss those petals with aplomb.”

    Charlotte nodded. “If she remembers to toss them, yes. So far, it’s been more of a petal-free sashay.”

    Sounded entertaining either way.

    The woman who’d opened the door, who wore a dark, fluid tunic over dark leggings, walked to the table and pulled out the center chair. I glanced back at Mallory, who nodded.

    “Go for it, sister,” she said and, when I was seated, took the chair next to mine.

    “We’re having dinner?” I asked her. I’d actually grabbed a bite before leaving the House, to lay the foundation for what I assumed would be ample champagne.

    “Not exactly,” Mallory said, and gestured toward the doorway that led to the back of the building. The moment we were all seated, a bevy of waiters in black button-downs and jeans walked through, domed trays in hand. With the perfect timing of practiced dancers, they each walked to a spot at the table and simultaneously placed the trays in front of us, leaving the domes in place.

    “The first course,” the hostess said, hands clasped in front of her, and the waiters whisked away the domes, revealing gleaming white plates dotted with a rainbow of fruit around a pretty cube of chocolate cake, a small dish of what looked like chocolate mousse, and some kind of lacey and delicate cookie.

    I glanced at Mallory as the women around the table oohed and aahed. “You got me chocolate.” My heart lifted, sang. I should have trusted that these two would do it right.

    “It’s a chocolate-tasting table!” Mallory said, hands clasped together at her chest like a kid with a burning secret. “Five full courses!”

    I wiped away an imaginary tear. “I love you guys.”

    “Damn right you do.” Mallory lifted her glass. “To my immortal sister from another mister, and the future wife of the hottest damn vampire in the United States.”

    “To Merit!” Lindsey said, and everyone raised a glass. “Now, for God’s sake,” she said, “let the girl eat!”

    • • •

    I had to give the chefs credit—and sent my compliments back. I’d had my own chocolate stash once upon a time, but I still hadn’t realized how diverse chocolate could be in the hands of a talented person. There was chocolate soup, chocolate foam, drinking chocolate, smoked chocolate. Chocolate with pistachio cream, chocolate with Scotch bonnet peppers, chocolate with bacon (a personal favorite), raspberries injected with chocolate, and a dozen more.

    Somewhere near the bottom of the fifth inning, I decided even my immortal body couldn’t hold any more. I spent a few minutes chatting with the guests and watching Mallory. The worry I’d seen earlier hadn’t dissipated. Either they hadn’t managed to work out the kinks in tonight’s plan, or something else was bothering her.

    I didn’t like thinking about what might be worrying my oldest friend and talented sorceress—and the woman who’d outmagicked Sorcha Reed. But I also knew that she probably wanted the break and release of a party as much as the rest of us. So I decided I’d bide my time—and interrogate her later.

    The hostess returned with a large silver tray of mints, fruit, and cheese.

    “Please, sir,” I said, hand over my stomach, “I do not want some more.”

    “With you,” Mallory said, waving off the tray when it was offered to her. “That mousse-cake square did me in.”

    “It wasn’t the half dozen before it?” Margot asked dryly, chocolate hangover clear on her face.

    “I didn’t eat six mousse-cake squares.”

    “I think you had eight,” Lindsey said, licking chocolate off her thumb.

    Mallory looked a little horrified, and a little nauseous.

    “It’s all good,” I said, patting Mallory’s hand. “Special occasion.”

    “Says you. I can actually gain weight, vampire girl. Still, though . . .” This time, when she looked at the empty plates in front of most of the women at the table, there was pride in her eyes. “We did damn good work here tonight.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire