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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(112) by Chloe Neill
  • “The scales are reflective,” Catcher said. “Magic bounces off.”

    It may not have been hurt, but the fireball didn’t do anything for its attitude, either. YOU CANNOT HURT ME.

    It was less a sound than a rumbling in the air, a deep bass note somehow split into words that we could understand.

    “Holy shit,” Lindsey said, staring openmouthed at the flying lizard that was circling above us, looking for a spot to land. “Tell me someone else heard that.”

    “Say hello to the Egregore,” Ethan said, and glanced at Catcher. “What do we do now?”

    “Maybe we can’t hurt the dragon with fireballs,” Catcher said. “But we can hurt the rider.”

    I could tell he was getting tired. His form wasn’t as good, his shots not quite on target. But the dragon, even if protected from the fire, was skittish enough. It shrieked at the exploding sparks, turned directly into one of Catcher’s blasts.

    The shot hit Sorcha in the leg, and she screamed in furious pain. The dragon screamed with her, and we covered our ears at the horrible, grating sound. Then it flapped its wings, lifted into the air, and disappeared into fading darkness.

    CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

    SCALES OF JUSTICE

    We’d rushed the dawn, made it back to the House in time to seal the door before sunlight speared across the yard.

    We woke to find the city had thawed, and no reports of further delusions, at least according to the Tribune. On the other hand, in addition to temporarily freezing the city, Sorcha had killed a sorcerer. She’d created a dragon that had killed two humans and injured five downtown, not to mention the near destruction of two of the city’s favorite buildings.

    We hadn’t managed to do anything but goad Sorcha into finishing what she’d intended to do all along—create her brand-new flying weapon.

    Ethan’s office at dusk looked like the losing team’s locker room. No smiles or champagne. Just supernaturals, blood, black coffee, and dour expressions.

    “Well,” my grandfather said from the doorway, “this is a rather grim room.” Jeff walked in behind him in an Ombudsman T-shirt.

    I looked up from my spot on the floor, where I’d been cleaning my sword with oil and rice paper. Sorcha’s magic had done a number on it.

    “We’re feeling sorry for ourselves,” Mallory said from the couch, where she lay with her feet in Catcher’s lap.

    “Because?”

    “Check the papers,” Mallory said.

    “I’ll agree last night was not what you’d call a victory,” my grandfather said, taking a seat in one of the club chairs in the sitting area.

    “Drink, Chuck?” Jeff asked, then glanced at Ethan, gestured to the fridge in Ethan’s bookshelf. Ethan, who’d been reviewing contracts at the conference table, nodded, walked toward us.

    “Water would be appreciated,” my grandfather said. “It’s gotten sticky out there. So much humidity.” He took a long look at Mallory. “How are you feeling?”

    “I’ve been better,” she said, and held up her wrist, where she’d tied on what looked like a friendship bracelet with a small gold charm.

    “Ward,” she said. “Not unlike Merit’s apotrope. Keeps the bad juju away.”

    “Keeps Sorcha from draining any more of her magic,” Catcher said. “Although it will be a while before she’s in top form again.”

    Mallory gestured to the green drink on the coffee table. “And in the meantime, he’s making me drink grass clippings.”

    Catcher rolled his eyes. “It’s kale, and it’s good for you.”

    “I don’t see how it could be,” she said, and I grimaced on her behalf. It did look like grass clippings.

    “Any signs of the dragon?” Ethan asked, as Jeff took a bottle of water out of the fridge, brought it to my grandfather.

    “No,” my grandfather said. “There’ve been patrols across the city. No sight of it here, or in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana. They’re running patrols across Lake Michigan, and there are copters in the air over the city.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire