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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 42)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(42) by Chloe Neill
  • I felt suddenly, unbearably tired. Emotionally exhausted by a long night of prepping and socializing, physically exhausted by the battle we hadn’t wanted to find ourselves in. And as much as I knew why we couldn’t go, why we couldn’t leave the city in the midst of some unknown supernatural contagion, I couldn’t shake the heavy grief that settled into my bones.

    I’d only wanted a honeymoon. That wasn’t so much to ask, was it?

    Ethan put an arm around me, drew me closer. I shut my eyes and let myself be calmed by the warmth and nearness of him. “I suppose I was wrong about this not being our problem,” he said.

    “It became our problem through no fault of yours. Not much we could have done about that. And it’s better we were there than not. It wasn’t our plan, but if we hadn’t stepped in, things would have been a lot worse.”

    Ethan smirked, drew me closer. “I believe I’m the one who should be comforting you, rather than the other way around. Because my beautiful wife deserves peace and comfort.”

    “‘Wife’ sounds weird. I wonder when I’ll get used to it.”

    “You’ve an eternity,” Ethan said, “as I’m not letting you go.”

    • • •

    It was nearly dawn, and the Portman Grand was quiet, our footsteps echoing on the marble floor. A woman stood behind the reservation counter, brow furrowed at something in front of her. A man across the room dusted tables in the sitting area, and a lone and exhausted-looking family waited at the bottom of the stairs, all in matching CARTER FAMILY VACATION T-shirts. The parents’ gazes lifted to watch us, eyes widening as they took in our torn clothes, scraped bodies.

    “Sit down,” Ethan quietly said. “I’ll check in.”

    I nodded, walked toward the stone fountain against the far wall.

    “Big fight over the bridal bouquet,” I said to the parents, with the only hint of a smile that I could manage, and hoped that would be enough to soothe their fears.

    Water trickled from a lion’s head mounted to the wall in a quatrefoil base. I sat down on the edge, watched koi dart across the water toward me, probably hoping for breakfast.

    I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of the water, tried to forget everything I’d heard and seen and felt tonight. Everything except love. Because when all was said and done, that might be the only real thing we had left.

    I was tired enough that I didn’t know he’d joined me again—hadn’t even heard him cross the marble lobby—until his hand was on my shoulder.

    “Sentinel, I believe you are nearly done for today.”

    I nodded. “I think I am, too.”

    “In that case, let’s go upstairs.” He pulled me to my feet, kept my hand in his.

    • • •

    The honeymoon suite was even more grand than the rooms in which we’d prepared for the wedding—and not just because of the sleek grand piano that faced a long wall of windows overlooking the city. Like the other, this room had been divided into separate living spaces, including a dining room, an enormous sectional sofa facing the windows, and a library’s worth of books on a wall that must have stretched twenty feet to the ceiling. A door in the window wall led to an outside terrace dotted with boxwoods and low furniture.

    Several doors led from the hallway at the other end of the room. A floating staircase monopolized the interior wall, leading to what I guessed was the bedroom. And beside the stairs, a suite of suitcases, dark brown leather with the Cadogan “C” embossed across the front in silver, stood ready for Paris.

    I’d been prepared to wax poetic about the glory of the penthouse, but the sight of them brought that grief into full focus again.

    I walked to the windows, looked out at the city. It seemed dark and peaceful from this height, although I knew that was a mirage. That we’d see more of whatever it was that we’d seen tonight. And until we figured out exactly what that was, we wouldn’t be able to stop it. More people would die.

    I sighed heavily and with much self-indulgence. “Sometimes I wish our lives were normal.”

    “We just got married,” Ethan said, walking to a standing champagne bucket and checking the vintage. “That’s a fairly normal thing to do.”

    “And we were attacked by a mob of housewives and coffeehouse kids. That is not.”

    Ethan slid the champagne home again, looked up at me.

    “Think of everything that we might have missed, Sentinel. So many full moons. So much magic that others have missed. So many Mallocakes that a slower metabolism might not have handled.”

    I knew he was trying to make me laugh, and looked back at him. “Now who’s comforting whom?”

    “I owed you one.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire