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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 39)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(39) by Chloe Neill
  • A blue ball whizzed by, sparks jettisoning as it passed like an out-of-season sparkler. I looked up, watched it stream toward a young man in his early twenties in athletic shorts and shower shoes shuffling forward, hands gripping his head like he was trying to rip away a vice. He hit the pavement much the way the first one had.

    “Merit,” Malik said. I looked back, found him nodding toward my skirt.

    “Shit,” I murmured, and slapped at the sparks that were eating their way through the silk. But my hands were very much occupied . . .

    “I got it,” Amit said, slapping out the sparks with a hand. He blew away the ashes, tamped again just to be sure, and then looked back at the woman bleeding on the ground in front of us. There were streaks of blood on his face.

    “Cadogan House has a unique way of partying,” he said.

    I looked back at my hands, covered in blood and around an equally bloody knife, hoping to God I wouldn’t lose the woman I hadn’t been able to save.

    “Yeah. I’d say that about sums it up.”

    • • •

    The ambulances arrived first, sirens roaring toward us, lights flashing. Catcher pulled the EMTs to our position, and they worked to stabilize the woman, get her into the ambulance. They must have been experienced with disaster work, as they didn’t flinch at the sight of the chaos, or the humans on the ground.

    “Keep her guarded and secured to the bed,” Catcher said of the woman with the knife. “She did this to herself.”

    “Suicide?” one of the EMTs asked, crossing himself in the process, two fingers across forehead, breastbone, left, and right.

    “Not exactly,” Catcher said. “But we don’t have time to explain right now. The Ombudsman will be in touch.”

    They nodded, swept her away and to the hospital with sirens roaring again.

    One of the EMTs offered me a bottle of water, and I rinsed the worst of the blood from my hands.

    Ethan walked toward me, looked me over, and I did the same to him. Limbs still connected. Filthy and blood smeared, like me, but generally healthy.

    “I’m okay,” I said, anticipating the question. “You?”

    He nodded, looked down at his now-untucked shirt and ripped pants. “The streets of Chicago are filthy. I don’t recommend rolling around on them.”

    I looked down. I’d lost a sleeve, the lace along the bottom of my dress had been shredded, and blood stained the front in ugly vermillion streaks.

    “Yeah, my dress is toast.”

    He glanced down at it. “You and clothing. At least the wedding was already over.”

    I blanched as I realized what would come. I’d have to take the dress back to the House, where Helen would undoubtedly see it. I could all but feel the lecture taking shape, judgment forming like a cloud over us, never mind that I’d paid for the damn thing.

    “Helen,” I said, looking up at him, and watched understanding dawn in his eyes.

    His gaze went steely. “We’ll move. Our bags are already at the hotel. We’ll just pick up and leave, and she’ll never know what became of it.”

    Until the dozens of passersby with cell phones and reporters with cameras—all of whom were outside the hastily hung caution tape—shared their images with the world.

    “Too late for that,” I said, and looked back at the carnage that we’d helped wreak tonight.

    There had been more humans than supernaturals, but we had more strength and more firepower, literally and figuratively. Some had been knocked out, some were still squirming, and some were tied to bike racks with more abandoned bow ties. More than a dozen prone humans on the ground while we stood, bloodied and torn, over them—humans who’d come down with some kind of delusional disorder we’d seen in a vampire in Cadogan House.

    “It wasn’t just Winston,” I said.

    “No,” Ethan said. “It wasn’t just Winston. And we need to know why, and how.”

    In addition to the people on the ground, two trash receptacles were on fire, sending the scents of burning plastic and garbage into the air. Blood spattered and pooled on the concrete, reflecting the cruisers’ blue and red lights.

    When four uniformed CPD officers emerged from their cruisers, we lifted our hands instinctively. But for the wedding attire, it would have looked like we’d made a breakfast buffet of the neighborhood.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire