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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 55)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(55) by Chloe Neill
  • “It’s all right,” I said, striding forward to the humans who were hanging on to benches bolted to the deck in an effort to stay upright and keep from sliding into the gap themselves. “We’re going to get you off the boat. And onto the dock,” I added, since getting them off the boat and into the water was a real possibility.

    The boat’s staff were downstairs, so I looked around, found someone who looked reasonably strong and reasonably calm, pointed at him. He was young, with tan skin, dark hair, and a faint mustache over his top lip that he probably wished was thicker.

    “You!” I said. “What’s your name?”

    “Pham.”

    “Excellent, Pham. I’m Merit. You’re going to help me, okay?”

    He swallowed hard, Adam’s apple bobbing in his thin neck. “Okay.”

    I put a hand on his arm. “You’ve got this.” I glanced around, pointed to the closest stairway—or the boat’s half-ladder, half-stairway version of one—where people were pushing and shoving to get to the first deck. The stairs were already leaning and slick, so pushing was a recipe for certain disaster. “Go stand at the stairs,” I said.

    “I can’t swim,” he said, blinking back tears I could see he was working not to shed. “I don’t want to drown.”

    “Pham, do you know who I am?”

    “Vampire,” he said with a nod.

    “Exactly. I’m immortal, which means this water can’t hurt me.” Or so I hoped. God, I really, really hoped. “So one way or another, I will be here to make sure you get off this boat. Okay?”

    That seemed to be enough to satisfy him. With grit in his eyes, he nodded, then slip-slid down the leaning deck toward the stairway, squeezing his lean form into the line and positioning himself at the access point. “One person at a time!” he yelled out. “One person at a time!”

    I found another supervisor, a woman with strong shoulders and a narrow waist. A swimmer’s build, I hoped. Just in case. I put her in charge of the opposite stairwell.

    “Get the fuck out of my way!”

    I looked back, watched Pham work to stop a man in a suit who tried to push an older woman out of the way so he could get to the stairs first.

    And that was my cue. I pushed through the throng, grabbed him by the arm. I saw fury fire in his face, replaced by quick confusion, and then anger again when I pulled him back.

    “Get your fucking hands off me.”

    I hauled him closer by the lapels of his very expensive coat. “You will not make this situation worse and more dangerous by being an asshole. You can’t follow the rules, you go to the back of the line.”

    He tried to shove my hands away.

    Emphasis on tried.

    “I’m stronger than you. I could make sure you’re the last person off this boat, or I can call the Tribune and let them know you just tried to push a woman twenty years your senior down the stairs.”

    “I’ll fry you for this.”

    “I doubt it. But my name is Merit, Sentinel of Cadogan House. You want to fry me? The House is easy to find.”

    That put the fear of God in his eyes.

    “Exactly,” I said. “Get your ass in line.”

    He moved back into position, stayed there until it was his turn. “What a piece of work is man,” I muttered, and turned around just in time to hear a woman scream when the boat shuddered. She lurched forward, hand outstretched, as something disappeared over the side of the boat.

    “Shit,” I murmured, and ran forward, slipping once and hitting my knees on the slick and icy deck; it took a moment before I could get traction again.

    Her son had tumbled off the boat and onto a plate of ice below, screaming in terror. He slid across the ice nearly to the serrated edge, managed to stop himself before hurtling into the dark water.

    There were cuts on his cheeks from scraping the ice, and his face was pale with fear. But he was in one piece.

    “I’ll get him!” I yelled, and looked down at the slick flat of ice, a chunk about the size of a recliner. I couldn’t jump down onto it. It still bobbled in the not fully frozen water, buoyant now, but maybe not if I put all my weight and the force of my jump onto it. If it didn’t hold, we’d both end up in the drink.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire