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  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(65) by Chloe Neill
  • Winston sighed. “I don’t suppose this will help me in the job market.”

    “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Ethan said. “You won’t be here forever. And when we figure out what’s causing the delusions, and we put a stop to it, you’ll still need that help.”

    Very deliberately, his gaze on Winston’s, Ethan stepped over the yellow line, extended his hand through the bars of Winston’s cell.

    Winston took a step closer. The movement was tentative, but the handshake wasn’t.

    “Thank you for listening,” he said. “Sometimes you just need someone to listen. Think that you aren’t crazy.”

    No argument there. The question was—which someone had needed Winston to listen?

    • • •

    Before we walked back to the guard, I stopped Ethan with a hand on his arm.

    “There’s someone else we could talk to. Someone who might have an idea what’s happening.”

    Ethan considered for a moment. “You’re thinking about Tate.”

    Former mayor Seth Tate was the “good” of the magical twin beings created millennia ago, compressed together by magic, and split again due to Mallory’s dark magic. He’d confessed to a crime he hadn’t committed in order to atone for those he had, and to stay close to Regan, his magically enhanced niece, in order to help in her rehabilitation in prison.

    We’d known each other for a very long time, and I think we’d come out as friends. Or some supernatural version of friends.

    “Other than talking to Claudia, he’s our best—and oldest—source for information about magic.”

    Claudia was the queen of the fairies. She’d been separated from her homeland in Britain, and had been living in a tower in Chicago for hundreds of years. She led the fairies who’d guarded Cadogan House before they betrayed us. She—and the rest of them—were dangerous.

    Ethan considered for a moment. “Okay. And it might be good to show him the ring. Remind him that you’re taken.”

    “Seth isn’t interested in me,” I said. “Not like that.” I’d known him since I was a child; my father had supported his campaigns since he’d been a young alderman.

    “Just so,” Ethan said, taking my hand. “I’ve no qualms about a reminder.”

    I looked back at him, this man with broad shoulders and golden hair, a brilliant mind and rapier wit, and green eyes that were focused on me. No one had ever looked at me the way he did—as if he could see who I was and what I might be simultaneously. And I knew he didn’t want to give the reminder because he feared I’d stray or others might have an interest, but because of who and what I was to him.

    Because just as he was mine, I was his.

    • • •

    We waited ten minutes while inquiries were made, while our request to talk to Tate was considered by the appropriate parties.

    “This way,” the guard said. He led the way back to the front row of cubes, where Seth’s box was positioned.

    Seth Tate might have been an angel, but he had the look of the fallen variety. Hair as dark as midnight around bright blue eyes, generous lips, and a square jaw. He wore a floor-length black cassock, even if there was little that was angelic about his past.

    Where Winston’s cube had been fronted by bars, Seth’s was fronted by a long sheet of glass. There’d be no contact between us.

    “Merit,” Seth said, rising from his seat at a small table, his robe swirling around his feet as he moved. “Ethan. It’s good to see you. Congratulations on your wedding. Although I’m sorry it took a turn for the worse.” He gestured to the newspaper spread on the table. “I was reading about the attack.”

    “That’s why we’re here,” I said. “Something’s happening, Seth.”

    Seth moved a step closer. “What kind of something?”

    “You don’t feel anything?” Ethan asked.

    “In here?” Seth crossed his arms, looked up at the ceiling of his box. “No. But then again, I spend every day in this very warded building. And there have been many of those days.” He looked down again. “I’ve been blocked from magic for many months. Long enough that my ability to sense it has faded, too.”

    “The humans who attacked us last night are having delusions,” I said. “As was the vampire who attacked me two nights ago.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire