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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(59) by Chloe Neill
  • “Beyond that, we don’t know,” Ethan said. “She needs to change clothes. Give us a few minutes; then we’ll meet in the Ops Room. We’ll discuss the details then.”

    Luc saluted. “Sire.” He glanced at me, grinned. “Mrs. Sire.”

    “Nope,” I said, shaking my head. “I’m going to nope that one right there.”

    We made it to the staircase but stopped when we saw the obstacle that awaited us. Helen stood there, hands clasped in front of her. Waiting.

    Steady, now, Sentinel. She isn’t so bad as delusional humans.

    Easy for him to say. Helen adored Ethan. Although when she looked up, she gave us both hard stares.

    “Your suitcases have been taken back upstairs, and the wedding guests have left.”

    Ethan nodded. “Thank you, Helen.” He took a step forward to continue up the stairs, but she held up a hand.

    “Your wedding ensembles were severely damaged.” She looked at Ethan. “A Turnbull & Asser suit.” She looked at me. “A Chanel dress. Both garments would have been important parts of the House archives.”

    “We were attacked.”

    “I was entirely prepared to remind you of the importance of maintaining the image of this House, of looking the part. But you did right by those poor, deluded humans. So I will have the garments repaired—to the extent they can be repaired—and placed into the archive.”

    “Your efficiency is appreciated, as is your concern for the House’s legacy.”

    “Yes, well,” Helen said. And with an efficient nod, she stepped out of the way.

    I think we got off easy, I silently said.

    “Sire. Merit.”

    Jinx, Ethan said, and we looked back.

    “It really was a beautiful wedding. Congratulations to you both.”

    With that, she disappeared down the hallway.

    Compliments from Helen? We’d definitely gotten off easy.

    • • •

    The shower at the Portman Grand had been good. But a shower on my home turf—with Ethan scrubbing shampoo through my hair? Even better.

    He let me stand under the water until I was warmed through again. The shower seemed to rinse away the night’s tension, or at least the bits that weren’t firmly dug into bone and muscle. That tension wouldn’t be alleviated until Sorcha was under wraps. And hopefully, the CPD wouldn’t let her escape their grasp this time.

    I debated jeans or leathers, wondering how much more trouble we’d experience before the sun rose again. I decided on jeans. They weren’t as good in a battle, but they were more comfortable out of one. I was putting my eggs in the “no more battles tonight” basket, although I knew the odds weren’t great.

    Jeans, boots, long-sleeved shirt, leather jacket, Cadogan pendant. It was my Cadogan uniform, adjusted for the sudden temperature issues.

    “Come here,” Ethan said, and wrapped his arms around me. “I need a moment here, with you, in the quiet.”

    Ethan was strong and usually demanding, and he always walked that particular walk. I guess I forgot that even a Master needed a break every once in a while.

    “It has been an eventful first night of marriage,” he said.

    “Freak magical weather, a river rescue operation, a meet with the mayor, and some questionable food choices.” I looked up at him. “We didn’t say ‘for better or for worse,’ but it was implied.”

    He kissed my forehead. “One of these days we’ll have ‘better’ in abundance. There will be quiet evenings with books and good whiskey, trips to exotic locales, and abundant Mallocakes.”

    He didn’t say there’d be evenings with a child, the joy and exhaustion of that experience. It had been an emotional roller coaster—accepting the fact that being a vampire meant no child, letting hope lift again with Gabriel’s prophecy, having that dream dampened by a heavy dose of fear. Between Gabriel’s pronouncements, there’d been tentative joy, the possibility that I could walk that line between vampire and human—have Ethan, immortality, strength, and a child. Now that line seemed improbably thin.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire