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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 69)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(69) by Chloe Neill
  • That’s new, I said silently to Ethan.

    And concerning.

    For several reasons, I thought, and glanced up, saw the challenge in her eyes. “Get your magic off my sword.”

    Claudia’s gaze shifted to Ethan as if to confirm I had any authority in the House—or to assess whether getting married had softened his edge. He smiled back at her.

    “She stands Sentinel of this House, Claudia, and you know she can fight. For that reason alone, I’d suggest you heed her advice.”

    Claudia watched him for a moment. Her expression didn’t change, but I caught the light flick of her fingers, the rustle of her long red locks. And I didn’t need to look down to know the vine was retreating. The tingle of magic receded along with it.

    “You’ve regained power,” Ethan said.

    Her smile looked pleasant, but there was something behind it. Something old and powerful and treacherous.

    The air filled with buzzing magic so quickly I barely had time to recognize the attack before we were somewhere else . . . and somewhen else.

    I stood in a meadow, green and lush, and as misty as an Irish shore. A lark sang somewhere in the distance, its voice a melody against the low thrush of waving grass, the faraway sound of a beating ocean. I looked down, found myself in a long skirt of soft, nubby fabric, a tunic over it in the same shade of pale blue.

    Ethan stood beside me, eyes closed, in leggings and tunic, a heavy iron sword in his hand, streaks of blue across his face.

    “There,” Ethan said, and lifted his arm, pointing toward the meadow.

    A dozen men and women stood in a circle, moving rhythmically to the soft and hollow sound of a leather drum.

    I closed my eyes, let the breeze caress my face, as soft as a mother’s kiss. There was no buzz of magic here. It was the breeze, the tall grass beneath my fingertips, the swell of the cold ocean tide. It was the salt air, the pale mist, the dancers and their music. It permeated every rock, every hill and vale, every person, every thought in the land of fairy, the place where they made their home. A place that was home.

    There was happiness here, and pain. Birth and death, and the parade of things that happened in between, the kaleidoscope of experiences that made up a life. But beneath it all, there was contentment, because there was home. Because this was the domain of the fairy. This was fairyland, literally and figuratively.

    A sound echoed over the hill, the laughter of a child whom I’d never seen before, but somehow knew as intimately as I knew myself. The giggle echoed across the land, bursting with joy and buoyant silliness.

    Ethan’s smile widened, his eyes alight with joy and hope as he watched the horizon, waiting for the child to crest the hill. He moved forward to be one step closer to the child . . . But the wind lifted and turned cold. The earth shuddered, and we stood once again in Chicago.

    Wherever we’d gone, we’d come back.

    I knew it hadn’t been real, that nothing we’d seen had been real, so it couldn’t have been taken away from us. But that didn’t matter. The grief was instant and as deep as an ocean, leaving me empty and aching, and hollowing out a part of my soul I knew would never be filled. Not when I might have stayed in that world forever, waiting for the child to run into our arms.

    The child whose existence was no longer guaranteed.

    A hand gripped mine, and I looked at Ethan, found that same look of longing on his face. And as the moment passed, that longing faded to understanding. We’d been there in that world for only a moment. And neither of us had wanted to come back. From the expression of the vampires around us, we weren’t the only ones affected.

    No wonder so many fairy-tale characters disappeared, accidentally (or intentionally) stepping foot into the land of the fae, never to return again. They hadn’t been captured by the fae, or not literally. They simply hadn’t wanted to return. They’d have lived contentedly in Emain Ablach for an eternity.

    I was pretty sure I hadn’t even heard the phrase before. But it had been slipped into my thoughts like a secret note, a hidden message that I would remember for an eternity, and a place to which I’d probably never return.

    I shifted my gaze to Claudia, saw that she knew at least something of what we’d seen, what we’d experienced, and also saw what looked like arrogance.

    Claudia looked at me, and I found myself unnerved by her attention. Her eyes seemed to see too much. “You have seen much.”

    I shook my head. What I’d seen wasn’t for her. And I didn’t have time to dwell on it right now, so I pushed it aside. “What is Emain Ablach?”

    “The green land. Our land.”

    “You have access to the green land again,” Ethan said, every word carefully spoken.

    Claudia nodded. “I can see home, as I have shown you. I cannot physically travel there, but I can see it. That is . . . a change.”

    “And you’re here to show us,” Ethan said. “To demonstrate your power.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire