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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 136)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(136) by Chloe Neill
  • The dargon turned and banked toward the heart of downtown Chicago.

    I considered my options. I didn’t think I could finish the magic in the air. I had to wait until it landed and we were both on solid ground. Otherwise, it would disappear beneath me, and I was pretty sure falling a thousand feet wasn’t the same as jumping a few hundred.

    So I held on, and felt guilty about the exhilaration of soaring over Chicago, soaring over glass and asphalt as the wind whipped my hair into tangles. I shouldn’t have reveled in the feel of flight, shouldn’t have closed my eyes in the warm breeze. But it wasn’t often that a girl who loved fairy tales, who spent her childhood dreaming of princesses and haunted woods and dragons, got an opportunity like this.

    But the exhilaration faded as we moved closer to the river, as I saw what the dragon had done to the city of my heart.

    It was an apocalypse. Limited to Chicago, but severe enough that it would take months, if not years, before the city was the same.

    The dragon plunged down, zeroed in on the top of the Towerline building. But then again, it was hurt, it was angry, and it felt it had been tricked and betrayed. The magic that created it had begun at Towerline. It had apparently decided this was the place to heal.

    I screamed into my comm unit but wasn’t sure if they could even hear me this far away. “We’re heading to Towerline!”

    The building’s large roof, still scarred by the magic we’d used before, grew larger and larger in front of us, and I closed my eyes against the rising vertigo.

    The dragon hit the roof hard, skidding across the gravel and debris and throwing me off. I made my own sliding roll across rock and asphalt, my momentum only stopped by one of the building’s remaining HVAC units.

    What was a little concussion between friends? I thought, closing my eyes for a moment to give my head a chance to stop spinning.

    The roof shook beneath me, and I reached for my sword before opening my eyes.

    The dragon’s foot—as big as a hubcap—loomed above my head.

    “Shit!” I said, and rolled just before the hubcap came down and smashed a divot into the roof. I climbed to my feet, but the dragon caught my foot with a talon and brought me down again.

    He began dragging me backward across the gravel, and then its breath was on my back.

    “This is not how the story ends!” I said, and spun my sword blindly over my head.

    The dragon screamed and reared backward in pain. I rolled away and scrambled to my feet, gravel spraying beneath my boots, and put distance between us before looking back again.

    Like the scales on its foot, those on its neck were small and easier to penetrate, and I’d etched a gash on one side.

    PAIN! it screamed, the sound cutting the air as sharply as my sword.

    “It doesn’t have to be pain!” I said, and lifted my sword. “Surrender now, and I won’t have to kill you!”

    I AM ANGER AND PAIN AND FEAR. I AM HATRED AND REVENGE AND AGONY. YOU CANNOT STOP ME.

    The only dragon in existence, and it had to be a sociopath. “This sword in my hand says different.”

    PAIN WILL EXIST EVEN IF AM GONE. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE MORE.

    Now it was just pissing me off. I let my eyes silver, let my fangs descend. “Anger and pain and fear are part of life in Chicago and everywhere else. But so are joy and love. And I’ll be damned if you take any more of that away.”

    Katana in front of me, nearly perpendicular to my body, I strode toward the dragon. “With blade and blood I bind you!”

    It roared, swiped out, one nail catching a gap where rock had shredded leather and striping a slice across my ribs. The pain was outrageous, fire searing across my skin. But I didn’t have time to worry about that now.

    I dodged and ran beneath its leg. “With darkness and steel I bind you!”

    FEAR WILL ALWAYS EXIST. The dragon’s tail whipped to the side, and I jumped up to avoid it, hit the ground and rolled, sword in hand. I came up bruised and scraped again, but the sword was still in my hand.

    “Maybe so,” I said. “But fear doesn’t have to be the only thing that exists.” I blew out a breath, narrowed my focus, and stared him down.

    “With water and wind I bind you! With hope and fear I bind you!”

    The sword heated in my hand, the blade going white-hot with the force of the spell. I ignored it, gripped it harder, and ran toward the dragon.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire