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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 15)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(15) by Chloe Neill
  • “But you’re making it difficult to concentrate.”

    “That’s the general idea,” he said, and applied those nips to my jaw.

    “This is a serious talk, though. For real.”

    He looked up at me, a lock of blond hair over his eye, so he looked very much like a pirate interrupted during a very interesting journey. Eyes narrowed, he sat up and looked at me consideringly.

    I pushed up to sit beside him, legs folded beneath me. “It’s about our names.”

    “Our names,” he repeated, expression blank.

    “Only Master vampires use last names, which is a rule I’m technically breaking, since Merit is my last name. I guess, technically, I could play the ‘Caroline Merit Sullivan’ game, but that’s too much. There’s too much baggage, and it just—I don’t know.”

    He lifted his eyebrows.

    I held up my hands. “I’m not saying this very well. The point is, after we’re married, I’d like to stay ‘Merit.’ I want to keep that name.”

    He smiled. “Ah. I see.”

    “I’ve been putting this off. I didn’t want to hurt you.”

    He smiled at me. “You were born Caroline, and you made yourself Merit. I demand your love and your faithfulness.” He smiled slyly. “Your identity is yours to keep.”

    That was it, exactly. The thing I hadn’t been able to put into words. I shouldn’t have doubted that he’d understand what it was to feel like you’d made your own identity. He’d done the same when escaping from Balthasar, the vampire who’d made him.

    “Come here,” he said, pulling me against him as he lay down again.

    I put a hand on his chest, felt his heart pounding beneath my hand. “You were born a soldier, turned into a monster, or so you feared. And you made yourself a Master. You made your identity.”

    “That was more of an ‘it takes a village’ effort, but to your point, yes.” He lifted my fingers to his mouth, pressed lips to soft skin. “Others wanted us to play certain roles. To be certain people. But we made ourselves. So keep your name, Merit of Cadogan House. I have your heart.”

    He certainly did.

    “Besides, I wasn’t born ‘Sullivan.’ And I don’t believe I’ve told you that story yet.”

    Before being outed, vampires had changed names every few decades to avoid detection. “You haven’t,” I said, a little guilty I hadn’t thought to ask him before.

    “Television anchor in the seventies,” he said with a grin. “Name was Sullivan Steele.”

    “No.”

    “Absolute truth. He wasn’t nearly as suave as the name suggested—I believe there was a double-knit suit in there, but I liked Sullivan.”

    “And Ethan?”

    “That was Aaliyah’s idea.” Aaliyah was Malik’s wife, a writer who tended to keep to herself. “Found it in a book of baby names, which is what we used back then for ideas.”

    “In the days before the Internet tubes.”

    “I don’t think they’re tubes, but yes. When the library was truly necessary.”

    I narrowed my gaze at him. “I hope you don’t mean to suggest it’s not necessary now. Because it is.”

    He wrapped his arms around me. “Easy, Sentinel. There are plenty of vampires who use the library, including us. The Librarian would certainly lead the charge for my assassination or dismissal in any event.”

    “Good,” I said. I kissed him lightly. “Because that would endanger our relationship.”

    He nodded. “Besides, what would I do with the space? Although a conservatory would be nice . . .” He smiled again, but there was still a troubled tightness around his eyes.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire