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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 143)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(143) by Chloe Neill
  • “Ree,” she quietly said.

    “And that’s all for you, Elisa,” Ethan said. Margot cut a piece of the cake, handed me the plate. Ethan fastened on a bib—much good it would do—and I put the cake slice on the high chair table.

    Elisa stared at it. Gently, I dipped her finger into the green icing, then brought it to her mouth. She grinned and looked at her now-green finger, then dug her other hand into the icing and brought a sticky handful of it to her mouth. But before she dug in, she looked at me.

    “Go ahead,” I said, nodding at her.

    Elisa pushed icing into her mouth, giggling all the while, then dug both hands into the cake again.

    “And that cry of joy at the taste of chocolate pretty much confirms she’s your daughter,” Mallory said, slinging an arm over my shoulders. “I mean, in case the labor wasn’t proof enough.”

    “You just wait until Lulu’s a toddler,” I said, putting an arm around her waist. “There’s plenty of fun in store for you, too.”

    • • •

    We eventually said good-bye to our guests, and the Remains of the Cake (the lesser-known British novel) were finished off by a descending horde of hungry Cadogan vampires. It took two baths to remove Elisa’s skim coat of chocolate, and we were inching toward dawn by that point. She slept like a vampire—lights out at dawn, fully awake at dusk—with naps sprinkled during her waking hours.

    We’d just given her a late bottle when Malik found us in Ethan’s office, sitting on the couch as we perused one of Elisa’s favorite books.

    “Meek!” she said, clapping her hands together when she saw him.

    “Ms. Sullivan,” he said, and she squealed with delight. Probably didn’t know what it meant, but she enjoyed it all the same. “There’s someone here to see you,” he told her, then glanced at us. “Of the shifter variety.”

    Together, we walked into the foyer, found Gabriel with Connor in his arms. Connor’s head was on his father’s shoulder.

    Connor’s hair was as dark and curling as his mother’s, his eyes as blue as a spring sky. His fingers were clutched around a plastic giraffe, and he watched us with baleful eyes and the poked-out lip that said he was unhappy about his trip to Cadogan House.

    “Sorry we missed the party.” Gabriel’s gaze narrowed at his son. “Someone had a tantrum.”

    “He looks displeased,” Ethan agreed.

    “Yeah,” Gabe said. “I offered him a cup of water.”

    “A parent’s worst betrayal,” Ethan said soberly.

    Gabriel’s mouth twitched. “I love my son. God and Pack willing, he’ll lead the NAC someday. But if there was a pill that would get him to adulthood that much faster, I’d take it.”

    “Probably a good thing you missed cake time,” I said, imagining Connor smearing green frosting down the hallway. “But there’s plenty left, if you’d like a piece to go?”

    “Let’s see how it goes.” He looked at Connor, brushed a dark curl from his face. “Would you like to say hi to Elisa, kiddo?”

    In response, Connor buried his face in Gabe’s shoulder.

    “We’ll get things started,” Ethan said, and carried Elisa to the front parlor, put her down on the rug in the middle of the floor, where she promptly sat down in her footie pajamas. It had been an exhausting night, evidently.

    “Here we go,” Gabriel said, and put Connor on the floor in front of Elisa, giraffe still firmly in hand.

    They hadn’t actually met yet. Scheduling vampire-shifter playdates hadn’t been the easiest thing to do, especially given the sheer number of people who’d wanted to lay eyes on Elisa, assure themselves that Ethan and I had actually managed to make her.

    None of them, curiously, wanted to deal with her when she had soggy diapers, pureed carrots in her nose, or Spaghetti-Os in her hair.

    For a long moment, Elisa and Connor just looked at each other.

    “Doggy,” Elisa said.

    I stared at her. “Did you just call him ‘Doggy’?”

    Ethan lifted a brow at Gabriel. “Do I even want to know how she knows that?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire