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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 38)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(38) by Chloe Neill
  • I caught her underneath the chin, snapped her head back. Her eyes rolled, and she hit the ground.

    “Good girl,” I said, and turned back to the other woman.

    “Sentinel,” Ethan said, and I glanced back at the black bow tie he’d extended. His hair was loose around his face, his shirt unbuttoned. “Tie her hands.”

    I nodded, took the thin panel of silk as he ran forward and blocked the strike of a woman carrying—quite literally—a wooden rolling pin that looked like it was still dusted with flour. And worse.

    Focus, I told myself, and pulled the woman’s other arm back. By that point, her voice had become one long ramble of throaty pleas. “Make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop!”

    “I’d like to, but you don’t want to be coldcocked, so you’ll have to settle for second place.” I maneuvered her to the bike rack and pushed her to the ground, then pulled her arms through one of the rack’s supports and used the bow tie to secure her. “We’ll get you unconscious as soon as reasonably possible.”

    I turned, was pushed backward by Catcher’s outstretched hand as a blue ball of fire whirred past me, thrown by Mallory’s hand. It hit a man wielding a bloody wooden baseball bat in the chest, sent him flying backward, arms and legs thrown forward by the momentum. He flew ten feet before hitting the sidewalk, arms and legs splayed. And he stayed down.

    I looked back at Catcher in horror. “Did she kill him?”

    “God, no. It’s just force, not fire. Kind of like getting hit by a very large beanbag.”

    I looked back at the man. Sure enough, his chest continued to rise and fall, but he didn’t try to get up. I’d say that hit the mark.

    “Shit!” Mallory called out, as a hulk of a woman—easily six and a half feet tall and two hundred forty pounds of muscle—stalked toward her. Two whole Mallorys would have barely covered her bulk. Her Cubs T-shirt was torn and bloody, blood dripped from her nose, and her eyes were wild with fear. And she was much too close for Mallory to use magic.

    “Stop screaming!” she said, accusation clear in her eyes. “Stop screaming! Stop screaming!”

    “I’m not screaming!” Mallory said, now screaming.

    “Later,” Catcher said, and went to help his wife.

    The gleam of metal in the streetlight caught my eye, and I looked back. A woman walked forward, chef’s knife in her hand. She was wearing pajamas and scuff-style slippers, and I’d bet the knife had come from her kitchen.

    For whatever mysterious reason was driving them, she’d probably walked right out of her house and right into hell.

    Her hair was short and curly, her eyes wild and panicked. She raised the knife in one hand, beat against her temple with the other. “Get them out of my head!”

    “I can help you,” I said, reaching out a hand while I kept my eyes trained on the knife and its wide, flat blade, with a pattern that looked like mokume-gane. If it had been well cared for, it would be sharp and could do some damage.

    “You can’t!” She screamed it, putting so much energy into the sound her body bowed with the force of it. “They won’t stop. I will make them stop! I will stop them!”

    She held the knife to her throat, and my heart seemed to stop sympathetically.

    “Please don’t,” I said, trying to draw her gaze back to me. “I promise I can help you. There’s a place you can go where the voice won’t bother you anymore.”

    That place might have involved a cell and a drug-induced coma, but it was all I had to offer at the moment, at least until we learned more.

    She paused for a moment, shoulder twitching up toward her ear, and I could see hope spark in her eyes. But it was a small spark, extinguished by whatever delusion ripped through her awareness. She grabbed handfuls of her hair, bent over from the waist like the voice had weight and was pulling her to earth.

    She screamed and stomped her feet in obvious frustration, and when she lifted her gaze again, there was a horrible desperation in her eyes. “This won’t end. It doesn’t end. It’s the same thing all day, every day, and there’s nothing you can do about it or that I can do about it. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop!”

    She regripped the knife so the blade pointed toward her, a new grim determination in her eyes.

    “No!” I said, and ran forward, but I was a moment too late. She plunged the knife into her abdomen, dark blood staining her apron. The fingers still wrapped around the blade turned crimson as she fell to her knees, eyes wide. She looked down, horror filling her eyes, and began to shake.

    “Little help here!” I called out, and dodged forward. She pulled one hand away, began to beat back at me. I grabbed her slick wrist, wrapped my free hand around the one still on the knife. There was no telling what she’d punctured, or if pulling out the knife would make the situation worse.

    Malik hit his knees beside me. “Do exactly what you’re doing,” he said, and pulled off his jacket. “Keep your hand on the knife. I’m going to apply pressure.”

    I just nodded, since I was busy trying to keep the woman’s clawing hand away from me. She was still screaming; her plan to kill the noise by giving herself a brutal amount of pain clearly wasn’t working.

    Malik wrapped the coat around the knife below our joined hands, pressed firmly down. The woman screamed with pain, which made more delusional heads turn our way.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire