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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(27) by Chloe Neill

    Ethan’s eyes widened and went hot, his gaze full of love and pride, possessiveness and wicked promise.

    As I walked toward him, my Master and friend, I thought of the first moment we’d talked, when I’d blamed him for making me a vampire without my permission, even though he’d saved my life. He’d asked me if I believed he was a monster, if I believed he’d made me a monster. At the time, I wasn’t sure—about either of us. And then he gave his life for me, and by some chance miracle, I got him back. And I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

    I meant to glance at those I passed, smile or nod, accept their hand-blown kisses. But while I could feel them smiling beside me, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I reached him, had to look up to meet his gaze, even in the heels.

    You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, he silently said, the words just for me.

    I smiled up at him. In your long and illustrious life?

    In every single moment of it. There is no sunset, no creative masterpiece, no aria or symphony as beautiful as you.

    You don’t look so bad yourself, I said with a grin wide enough that it made my cheeks ache.

    I glanced at my grandfather, who winked at me. “If you’re ready to begin?”

    “I absolutely am,” I said, and offered my bouquet to Mallory, who’d given up completely on holding back the tears. Amit reached over, offered her a handkerchief.

    “Allergies,” she whispered with a laugh, and pressed the handkerchief to her cheeks.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” my grandfather said, drawing our attention again. “We are gathered here today to witness the union of Ethan Sullivan and Caroline Evelyn Merit in holy matrimony.”

    “Woo-hoo!” I didn’t see who yelled it, but given the crowd’s chuckles, they appreciated the sentiment.

    “My thoughts exactly,” my grandfather said. “Only a few short months ago, many of the men and women in this room were in very dire circumstances, including our groom. But fate is a crafty woman, and just as we have grieved at times in our recent past, so we have joy tonight, as these two brave and kind and stubborn individuals join together, stand together against fate’s future whims.” He smiled at the crowd. “Let’s help them seal that union in matrimony.”

    He glanced at Ethan. “Do you, Ethan Sullivan, take Caroline Evelyn Merit to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this night forward, until death do you part? Again, I mean.”

    The crowd chuckled, but Ethan’s expression was set and serious. “I do.”

    “And will you love and honor her for all of your days, whether rich or poor, in sickness or in health, for as long as you may dwell on this earth?”

    “I will.”

    My grandfather nodded, turned his eyes to me. “And do you, Caroline Evelyn Merit, take Ethan Sullivan to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this night forward, until death do you part?”

    I turned my gaze to Ethan, enjoyed that instant frisson of nerves in his eyes. Ethan, Master of Cadogan House, wanted me to seal the deal. It was easy enough to obey that one, as there wasn’t a doubt in my mind.

    “I do.”

    “And will you love and honor him for all of your days, whether rich or poor, in sickness or in health, for as long as you may dwell on this earth?”

    “I will.”

    My grandfather nodded. “You have the rings?”

    We reached back to our dutiful assistants, who handed us the rings.

    “Ethan, place the ring on Merit’s fourth finger.”

    I glanced down, my lips parting as light glinted on the ring. It was a worn silver band, inscribed with a circle of forget-me-nots. An antique, but not the type you could buy in a store.

    This had been my grandmother’s ring. Tears welled again, but refusing to cry, I looked up at my grandfather. He smiled at me, nodding.

    He’d given the ring to Ethan for me because he wanted me to wear it, because I’d loved my grandmother with all my heart, and because he had, too.

    “She’d want you to have it,” he said with a nod, his own eyes red rimmed.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire