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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 135)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(135) by Chloe Neill
  • It was learning, had figured out how to use its scales’ resistance to fireballs to launch them back at us.

    Ethan got another shot at its abdomen, and the dragon turned, wings flying around it. “Jonah!” I called out, but a moment too late. The swipe caught Ethan, sent him sprawling forward into the grass.

    He didn’t get up immediately, and I had to tell myself he was a vampire and could take care of himself, that he’d just had the breath knocked out of him.

    I needed to bind the dragon now, before it hurt anyone else.

    I put my palm against the katana’s cutting edge, pulled. Pain shot through my hand as blood beaded at the edge of the steel.

    I turned the blade on its side, watched the drops of blood roll down the blade as if with purpose and into the inscription Catcher had etched there. Blood met magic, and fire burst across the blade, which quickly spread from handle to tip.

    “With blade and blood I bind you,” I screamed, yelling the words that Catcher had composed.


    “You are pain and death.”


    “And you killed her, so don’t lie to me. With this blade and blood I bind you!”

    The dragon screamed and flapped its wings and began to ascend straight out of the stadium. I wasn’t sure how intelligent it was, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t fall for Mallory’s bait twice. That meant this was our one and only chance to take it down without more injuries, more deaths.

    I’d either have to give up, or go with it.

    If I didn’t stop it now, it would destroy more of Chicago. More people, more sups, would be injured and killed. More homes and businesses destroyed. The apocalypse would continue.

    But if I jumped, if I took flight with it, I’d have to face my fear of heights, and I’d have to face it alone. I’d have to fight the dragon without Mallory, Catcher, Jonah . . . or Ethan. I’d have to fight him alone—just me and my steel—in a place of his choosing. And then I’d have to find my way back.

    I’d have to face the risk of losing, of dying on whatever field it chose for the inevitable battle.

    For a moment, I was back in the green land, with the child’s laughter echoing across the hills. The laughter, I thought, of a happy little girl.

    Yes, I thought, as tears blossomed again, we might never know her. Or worse, we might know her and lose her, as my parents had done with their first Caroline. But if there was a chance I was to be a mother—her mother—she deserved more than fear and bravery. She deserved a Sentinel of her own, someone who would fight for her father, her family, her city.

    Gabriel’s test, I realized, wasn’t about triumph or victory. It wasn’t about winning. It was about bravery. It was about trying, and persevering. It was about staying the course even when things seemed desperate, even when all seemed lost.

    That left me only one choice.

    I ran toward the dragon and jumped, gripping for purchase with my nails one of the ridges that lined his spine and climbing up his leg.

    NO, it screamed, furious at the contact, but didn’t have enough rotation in the limb to shake me loose.

    Its scales were pitted and cracked, giving me handholds to climb the relatively short distance from leg to neck, then throw a leg over its side, settling between two ridges on its back.

    Our fates were bound together now. Either the dragon would live and die by my sword—or we both would.


    I wasn’t sure whether Ethan screamed the word aloud, or silently for me. But it ran through the air on a current of fear and grief and fury that I’d offered myself up.

    Too bad. I was Sentinel of my goddamned House.

    I love you, I silently said, and hoped that he could hear me.

    The dragon banked sharply, lifted, and I pressed my face into its scales, the scent of chemicals and city, of tears and anger, of sweat and fear.

    “Don’t fire!” Ethan yelled, his voice in the earpiece Luc had handed out before we’d left the House. “Don’t fire! Merit’s on the dragon.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire