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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 104)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(104) by Chloe Neill
  • That explained that.

    The SWAT team had moved an e-screen into the marble lobby, which was lit with golden light from the chandeliers above us. They were gilded and old-fashioned, not unlike the lights in the first floor of City Hall. Vestiges of a different era in Chicago.

    “Ah,” said a pale man of average height with silvery hair and a paunch above his belt. He wore khakis and snow boots, and a puffy jacket that looked warm, but not conducive to fighting. “You’re here.”

    This was Al Baumgartner, the head of the Order.

    He walked toward us, the others in the room taking the opportunity to look us over. Their glances, from what I saw, weren’t flattering. I saw at least one pair of rolling eyes, wondered if they saw us as too “obviously” supernatural, in the same way they all appeared to be very “plainly” human.

    Baumgartner stopped, looked at Catcher. There’d been bad blood between them, and while those wounds were healing, they still looked at each other with wariness.

    “Bell.”

    “Baumgartner.”

    “If everyone would gather round?” Wilcox asked, gesturing us toward the screen. “We’ll get this under way, and get this closed down.”

    Does he really think it will be that simple? Ethan silently asked. Or does he say it because he has to?

    My grandfather told him what Sorcha’s planning, I said. So probably a little from Column A, little from Column B.

    The screen showed Northerly Island, the planetarium at the north end to the lagoon at the south. An “X” marked a spot near the south end atop one of the flattened hillocks the Army Corp of Engineers had sculpted out of dirt and rock. “This is the location she’s agreed to meet us.”

    Baumgartner pulled at his bottom lip. “You think she’ll follow through with that?”

    “If she wants action, she’ll come where we are,” Wilcox said. “And that’s where we’ll be.” He looked at me, at Mallory. “Where you’ll be.”

    “And you will be where?” Ethan asked.

    He pointed to a position along the concrete trail that circled the lagoon, a spot in the water. “Here, and we’ll have snipers atop the planetarium, just in case.” He looked at Baumgartner. “Your people will be here, and shielded?” He pointed to spots at the base of the hill.

    Baumgartner nodded. “She won’t know we’re there.”

    “Be careful,” my grandfather said. “She’s more powerful than she seems.”

    One of the other sorcerers stepped forward, and her tone was catty, which pretty much matched the expression on her face. “We know who and what she is. We set the wards. Just because you aren’t trained to deal with her doesn’t mean we can’t handle it.”

    “It’s not an issue of training, Simpson,” Mallory said, and there was no anger in her voice. Just fatigue. “You’ve heard what she’s planning to do?”

    “What you think she’s planning to do,” Simpson said, rolling her eyes. “The Danzig Manuscript isn’t a grimoire. It’s nonsense, and you’re reading too much into it.”

    “Sorcha isn’t even trained,” Baumgartner said, as if that were a defense against magic. “Even if the manuscript was legitimate, there’s no way she could accomplish magic on that scale. The delusions, the weather, the ultimatum—it’s all for show. She’s acting out.”

    I looked at each of them, the sorcerers who refused to believe the world wasn’t exactly as they imagined it, ordered in exactly the way they believed. Fury rose, that they refused to see the truth and face the coming danger. And pity accompanied that anger, that they lived in worlds so simple, so defined by their own prejudices.

    “Even if I’m wrong,” Mallory said carefully, her eyes narrowed to dangerous slits, “would you rather prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised, or walk in with your arrogance, and be blown out of the water?”

    The sorceress rolled her eyes. “Always drama with you, Bell.”

    “Simpson,” Baumgartner said. “Focus.”

    Simpson bit her tongue, but rolled her eyes again.

    “I’ve got a governor,” Mallory said. “A small spell that will ratchet down her magic, keep her from being able to give the Egregore physical form. I just need to get close enough to use it.”

    “Take the chance when you can get it,” Wilcox said. “Let’s bring her down.” He pointed to a spot at the music pavilion near the park. “The vehicle to take her in will be here. It’s been warded and sealed, and it’s ready.”

    “And you’ll actually contain her this time?” Baumgartner asked haughtily, as if he’d been the one to put out all the effort at Towerline. In fact, he’d put out none. My opinion of him before walking into the room hadn’t been high. That didn’t help matters.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire