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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 138)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(138) by Chloe Neill
  • Two weeks after the dragon’s demise, when the wounded had been attended to and the city had begun to right itself again, we enjoyed that gorgeous autumn weather from the stage at Pritzker Pavilion—the place where we’d first heard the Egregore speak—while thousands of Chicagoans looked on.

    Microphone in hand, Mayor Kowalcyzk stood in jeans, boots, and a windbreaker, her power suit abandoned for clothes better suited for walking Chicago’s broken streets and helping pick up the scattered pieces.

    We stood behind her—vampires of Cadogan House, my grandfather and his staff, Mallory, CPD officers, and the men and women who’d served at Soldier Field.

    “Not once,” the mayor said, “but twice, have supernaturals saved this city in clear and obvious ways, and at great cost to themselves and their loved ones. And at the head of that effort were the staff of the Ombudsman’s office, the vampires of Cadogan House, and sorcerer Mallory Carmichael. And those are only the efforts of which we are aware. How many more times have they acted in the dark of night, in the quiet, when we weren’t aware? Or when we didn’t believe them?”

    She paused, hands at the edges of the podium, gaze downcast and contemplative. “Like you, I’ve had doubts and concerns. Supernaturals have wreaked havoc upon this city. But supernaturals have saved us, too.” She glanced at Ethan. “We owe those supernaturals a debt of gratitude. And to ensure that, in the future, we pay attention to their advice and their warnings, I am pleased to announce the Ombudsman’s office is hereby established as a permanent department of the city of Chicago.”

    She walked back to my grandfather, offered her hand. “Thank you, Mr. Merit.”

    He nodded gravely, well aware of the responsibility she’d placed on his shoulders. “You’re welcome, Madam Mayor.”

    She shook Jeff’s hand, then Catcher’s, then returned to face the crowd. “Let’s hear it for the Chicagoland Vampires!” she said, and led the crowd in a roaring round of applause.

    I looked at Ethan, saw the pride and contentment in his face. And beneath that, hope. He’d shepherded his vampires through many storms in his time as Master, and undoubtedly would again. But for now, there was peace, and there was acceptance. Both had been a long time coming.

    Ethan looked at me and smiled. We did good, Sentinel.

    I nodded back. We did good.

    When the crowd finally died down, Kowalcyzk lifted the microphone again.

    “Chicago has been saved from a most terrifying threat,” the mayor continued when she turned back to the crowd again. “But the rebuilding begins now. Let us begin it together. For now, and for the future, let us be one Chicago.”

    • • •

    Because it was Chicago, my grandfather took us for pizza after the event. And then we returned to Cadogan House for the movie night I’d arranged in the House’s ballroom. There’d be food, alcohol, and ridiculous comedies, which, as the House’s official social chair, I thought was just the thing to reward the House.

    But before that, before relaxation, there was one more bit of business. So I stopped Ethan on the steps of Cadogan House, kept my fingers entwined with his, and looked up at him.

    “Sentinel?”

    “There’s something I want to tell you.”

    Predictably, he lifted an eyebrow. “All right.”

    I’d waited until a doctor confirmed with science what I’d believed was true on the roof of the Towerline building. And even then, I’d waited until after the mayor’s commendation; I wanted to be sure of Chicago.

    I steeled myself and said the words that would change everything.

    “I’m pregnant.”

    Ethan simply stared at me. His eyes went saucer-wide, then dropped to my abdomen, my face again. “What?”

    “I’m pregnant.”

    “You’re—how do you—how?”

    “Well,” I said, thinking of the way he and Mallory had both teased me, “when a man and a woman—”

    “Sentinel.” There was a joyous and impatient edge to his voice, like a child who can’t wait to open a Christmas present.

    I smiled at him. “It was at Towerline. The binding magic.”

    Ethan was as smart as they came, and realization dawned quickly in his face. “The side effect. It didn’t bind you inside the sword; you think it bound the child to you.”

    I nodded. “That’s the theory. The binding magic made her stick, at least until she’s ready to pop. And ‘her’ is just a guess,” I said, before he could ask. “I don’t like saying ‘it.’”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire