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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(32) by Chloe Neill
  • I bet she wasn’t the only one.



    When hunger got the best of me—there’d been no time to even sample the beautiful food Margot had put together—I grabbed a spiraling cheese straw from a basket and ducked into a corner to munch it.

    I wasn’t officially sure if Margot had put crack in it, but it was good enough that I instantaneously wanted another. I carefully dusted off my hands, trying not to get Parmesan-scented crumbs on my dress, and emerged from behind a potted palm.

    “And there’s the beautiful bride,” Gabriel said. He was tall and tawny, with golden skin and blond-brown hair streaked by the sun. He’d traded his usual jeans and leather jacket for slacks, a button-down shirt, and a blazer, but the clothes just made him seem more feral. Tarzan, newly emerged from the jungle, disguising muscle beneath a suit.

    “Merit, you look lovely. And it was a lovely wedding. I hope your husband proves himself worthy.”

    “I don’t think that will be a problem,” I said with a smile. I glanced around, didn’t see Tanya. “Where’s your lovely wife?”

    He gestured across the room, where Tanya—slender and delicate, with brown hair and blue eyes—sat at a table with my grandfather. He was talking animatedly while she scribbled something on a small pad of paper, smiling as she wrote.

    He smiled. “She’s borrowing your grandmother’s meat-loaf recipe.”

    “Excellent choice,” I said with a nod. My grandmother had been a fantastic cook.

    He pulled a hip flask from his coat pocket, offered it as Ethan joined us. “May I offer you a congratulatory drink, Kitten?”

    Ethan’s smile looked pleasant, but there was steel behind it. “I’ll thank you not to call my wife ‘Kitten.’”

    Gabriel grinned. “Wondered when you’d get around to saying that.”

    “And now you know.”

    “So I do.”

    “Drink,” I requested, and took the flask from Gabe’s hand, sipped it suspiciously, and was pleasantly surprised. It was Scotch, or so I thought. Dark and oaky, but still as smooth as honey, and with the same citrusy sweetness.

    I handed the flask to Ethan. He lifted his eyebrows but took a drink, and surprise crossed his face, too.

    “Well,” he said, and took another. “It’s like . . . drinking sunshine.”

    Gabe took back the flask, capped it. “This is a little something we’ve been working on.” His smile went sly. “We’re happy with the first results.”

    Ethan slipped his hands into his pockets. “Are you looking for investors?”

    That sly smile went positively wolfish. “Shifters in bed with vampires? That’s a dangerous game.”

    “Too dangerous for the Apex of the North American Central Pack?”

    “Didn’t you once say we were family?” I teased.

    At the word “family,” a shadow crossed his face, and the dread in his eyes chilled my blood. I didn’t like seeing that emotion on Gabriel Keene, who was as fearless as they came.

    “What is it?” Ethan asked.

    Gabriel shook his head. “It’s your wedding.” He uncapped the flask he hadn’t yet put away, took a drink of his own before tucking it away.

    “It’s our life,” Ethan said. “And our city. If you know something . . .”

    Gabriel had prophesied Ethan and I would have a child—the first among vampires. Historically, three vampires had been conceived, but none were carried to term.

    There’d been a caveat to our possible miracle: We’d have to face some unspecified test before it happened, and even the drama of the last year hadn’t filled that horrible quota.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire