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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 127)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(127) by Chloe Neill
  • “And how do we lure the dragon into our little trap?” I asked.

    “Simple,” Mallory said with a smile. “We bring bait.”

    “You will not be bait,” Catcher said.

    “Oh, hell no,” she agreed. “I’ve already seen one sorceress get chewed up this week.” She waved it off. “The dragon doesn’t want me anyway, not really. Remember—it’s the manifestation of the Egregore, of a very angry Chicago. With a little creative spell casting, we can create an offer it won’t be able to refuse.”

    I glanced at Mallory. “When we make that offer, and it shows up, and we kill it, what happens to the Egregore, to the magic? Would we release that back into the world again, and just set ourselves up for more drama? For another round of this in the future?”

    “There’s a risk,” Catcher said with a nod. “The magic doesn’t dissipate cleanly, just spreads out over downtown again, and we have more delusions, more violence.”

    “That would be an unacceptable risk,” my grandfather said.

    “We need to nail that down,” I said. “We can’t risk letting the magic spread again, or having six or seven tons of dragon fall onto downtown Chicago. We need to take the dragon down, and we need to keep that magic bound together.”

    “Actually,” Mallory said, “Portnoy thought of that, too. Jeff?” she requested, and he panned the zoomed image on-screen to another corner of the arranged pages. There, the Egregore spark was enclosed in some kind of orb.

    “He trapped it,” Ethan said.

    “Technically,” Mallory said, “he bound it into quartz. But yeah, same effect.”

    “So what do we use to bind it?” Gabriel asked with a grin. “World’s largest piece of Tupperware?”

    “Could be anything,” Mallory said with a smile. “As long as it’s strong enough to hold the magic without breaking.”

    “Maybe we can keep it simple,” I said. I unbelted my katana, placed it on the table, brilliant red scabbard gleaming beneath the lights. “We’ll already have our swords. Can you trap it in steel?”

    Catcher opened his mouth, closed it again.

    “Is that possible?” Ethan asked. “To bind magic in steel?”

    “Like Mallory said, it just needs to be capable of holding magic, and we know it can. The tricky bit would be the size differential. The sword is not literally large enough to hold a dragon’s worth of magic. But we might be able to finagle it.” Catcher nodded as he considered. “You’ll need a protocol. Words, steps. I’ll let you know.”

    My grandfather nodded. “In that case, we’ve got the place, the weapons, the bait, the binding.”

    “And tomorrow at dusk,” Ethan said, “we finish the job.”

    • • •

    As dawn approached again, the Ombuddies returned to their offices, the vampires to their Houses. Mallory and Catcher returned to Wicker Park to ready the magic. We returned to our apartments. Ethan closed and locked the door, emotions heavy around us.

    “This could all be over tomorrow,” I said.

    He looked at me. “I’m not sure if you’re saying that with relief or regret.”

    “Both, I think.”

    He walked toward me, put a hand on my face. “How are you?”

    “I’m managing. How about you?”

    “Things feel . . .”

    “Precarious,” I finished, and knew by the relief in his eyes that I’d captured it exactly. “I’ve had the same feeling. But, then, we talked about that.”

    “So we did,” he said, careful not to let emotion peek through his voice.

    “And I was wrong.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire