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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 74)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(74) by Chloe Neill
  • It took two long minutes for headlights to play down the street. On its way, I told him. Five seconds.

    When the car passed in front of the house, he slammed the katana against the glass. Glass tinkled inside, but the noise was at least partially muffled by the sound of the passing car. We waited in silence for an alarm, for the heavy thump of guards’ feet, but heard nothing.

    Eyes narrowed in concentration, Ethan reached inside the opening of jagged glass, flipped the lock, lifted the shutter.

    He climbed in first, pushed away glass, then offered a hand to help me inside. We left the window open, cold air spilling into the room behind us, and crept to the closed door that probably led to the interior hallway.

    I got there first, turned the knob with slow and careful concentration, pulled open the door just a sliver.

    The light in the hallway was pale and golden, and there was nothing but silence on the other side.

    We’re clear, I told him, and we stepped into the hallway.

    It was big. Cavernous, as far as houses went. A lot of open space, a lot of marble, and a lot of décor. A museum’s worth of portraits and paintings and tables and credenzas.

    We crept down the hallway to the junction that led to the long gallery of art, and the main staircase between. The hallway was like a museum of doors—one after another in two long rows.

    I guess we start here, I said, and Ethan nodded.

    You take this one, Ethan said. I’ll take the other.

    Roger, I said, and we walked to our respective doors.

    I got a closet. He got the master bedroom. We scoped it out, found nothing interesting. We followed with another bedroom, a bathroom, and a small home theater.

    I hit pay dirt, personally if not professionally, on my third door.

    The room was small, little more than a nook with a window at the end. But the longest wall was filled with books, with a couple of chairs and a small table in front of them.

    Curious, I walked to the shelves, scanned the spines. I’d expected grimoires, celebrity biographies, or true crime stories. I couldn’t imagine Sorcha reading anything else.

    But they were fairy tales. Volume after volume of them, from countries and cultures around the world. Reference books, books for children, picture books. But all about magical creatures and the worlds they inhabited.

    “Fairy Tales of the Round, Round World,” I murmured, and pulled the book from the shelf. It had been one of my favorite books as a child, and I’d pored over the stories of Camelot and Rose Red, fairies and djinns, dozens of times. As a child, this book had been my companion. I’d lost my dog-eared copy somewhere along the way, and hadn’t thought about it in years.

    I opened the book, the pages thick and stiff with age, but absolutely pristine. There were no crayon marks here, no drawings or scribbles in the margins. If Sorcha had read this book, she’d read it carefully and left no trace behind.

    Something about that made me terribly sad. And, looking back at the rest of her books—the hundreds of volumes of stories in this lush room—absolutely furious.

    • • •

    She had everything, and she’d still demanded more. More power. More fame. Just . . . more.

    Ethan must have felt the burst of magic. Sentinel? he asked, stepping into the room.

    She had every opportunity, I told him. Privilege, wealth, status. She could have done anything with that kind of power. And she chose to destroy.

    He walked toward me, brushed a lock of hair behind my ear. You are angry because you were not so different, once upon a time. But your paths diverged.

    He knew me so well. In very different directions, I agreed.

    We’d both been pulled into the world of supernaturals. Me, by an attack. She, presumably, when she learned about her power. And, just like I said, she’d chosen to destroy.

    What did you find? I asked him.

    Another bedroom, he said. So nothing. Since Catcher’s been through the center wing, let’s check the others.

    We walked back into the hallway, made it four feet before the digital pop of a communication device engaging broke the monasterial silence.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire