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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(28) by Chloe Neill
  • My heart so full of love I feared it might burst, I looked back at Ethan, at my Master and warrior, who knew exactly how to honor what I’d known of love, and had generously agreed to share it here.

    “Repeat after me,” my grandfather said. “I offer you this ring, Merit, as a symbol of my love and commitment.”

    “I offer you this ring,” Ethan said, voice as clear as the emeralds of his eyes, “as a symbol of my eternal love and commitment.” He smiled at the addition and slid the ring onto my finger.

    “Merit,” my grandfather prompted, and I opened my palm, showed Ethan the ring I’d had made for him.

    It was a platinum band, inscribed with the tiny oak leaves of his original family crest, taken from the shield that still hung in the House’s training room.

    “Well,” he said, emotion bare on his face. He looked up at me, awe shining in his eyes.

    “Place the ring on the fourth finger of Ethan’s hand,” my grandfather said, and I slipped the ring onto his finger.

    “And repeat after me: I offer you this ring, Ethan, as a symbol of my love and commitment.”

    I looked up at him. “I offer you this ring, Ethan, as a symbol of my eternal love and commitment.” I slid the ring home.

    My grandfather smiled. “By the power vested in me by the state of Illinois, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

    Forever, Ethan said, just for me.

    Forever, I agreed, and could all but feel his love, powerful and strong, like a blanket around us both.

    My grandfather smiled, lifted his arms. “You may kiss the vampire.”

    Ethan wasted no time. His eyes gleaming with power, with pride, he slid a hand around my neck and moved in for the kiss, which was powerful and deep, and singularly possessive.

    Our family and friends stood, applauding and catcalling, but Ethan ignored them.

    He let the kiss get just heated enough to singe before pulling back again.

    The silver in his eyes glowed. “I love you,” he said. Mrs. Sullivan, he added in silence, just for me.

    Mr. Merit, I offered back.

    He smiled. You are mine and I am yours, whatever the titles.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” my grandfather said, “a Sentinel and her Master.”

    “That works,” I whispered, as Mallory handed back my bouquet, Ethan took my hand, and the audience cheered.

    Katherine and Thomas began their music. Together, we walked down the aisle, among friends and family and lumps of rose petals, and into our future.

    • • •

    The spare elegance my mother and Helen had managed for the service had been abandoned for the reception.

    It was held on the other side of the divided space and featured a parquet dance floor and plenty of cocktail tables and round tables with seating, all of it draped with tropical flowers. There were pots of palm trees, birds-of-paradise in clear cylinders on every table, and floral swags hanging from the ceiling.

    My mother insisted we not enter the reception proper until Shay had photographed us in every possible position around the exterior of the room with every possible group of individuals. Family groups, friend groups, House groups, business associate groups. (A ticket to the Merit-Sullivan wedding was apparently a hot one.)

    You spared no expense, I silently said, smiling as Ethan shook the hand of one of my father’s business associates. He’d paid for the bulk of the wedding from his own personal savings.

    You’re worth it, he said.

    When every photographic box had been checked, Shay released us, and the leader of the band stepped to the microphone.

    “I am thrilled to present, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Ethan Sullivan!” He hadn’t gotten the naming memo, but then, he also probably hadn’t played a wedding for supernatural creatures who didn’t generally use last names. We were a particular bunch.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire