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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 79)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(79) by Chloe Neill
  • “No, you aren’t. But that’s not how you earned the name. Recall that on our first meeting you marched into my House, with your pale skin and dark hair, and those hauntingly pale eyes—eyes that were filled with so much pain and anger. You looked like the duchess of some strange and beautiful land. I couldn’t take my eyes off you.”

    I just stared at him. He’d given me compliments before, and obviously I knew that he loved me. But I’d never heard the story of our first meeting in quite the same way.

    “And then she challenged you to a duel,” Mallory said to him.

    “She did. She was very imperious.”

    Mallory nodded. “And you were like, ‘All right, girl. Let’s go. Let’s see what you’ve got.’”

    I pointed at Mallory. “You aren’t helping.”

    “I disagree, but . . .” She mimed zipping up her lips.

    “And she’s right,” Ethan said. “That’s fairly close to my recollection.”

    “Damn, Sullivan,” Catcher said as I offered the bottle back to him. He declined, so I recorked it, set it aside. “Merit’s got that Angry Master look down pat. You should probably be careful using that particular moniker.”

    Ethan grinned at me. “He has a point, Duchess. You are good at it.”

    I growled. Maybe I needed to challenge him more often, I thought. Just to keep him in line.

    Ethan leaned over, pressed a kiss to my lips. “If it helps, you became Sentinel very, very quickly.”

    I kept my gaze narrowed. “Does the entire House know about this?”

    There was amusement in his eyes. “Fewer than those who know about ‘Darth Sullivan.’”

    “Touché,” I said after a moment.

    “If you’re done flirting,” Catcher said, “should we get on with the magic?”

    “Let’s do,” Mallory said, pulling a match from the box. “I’m ready to get started.”

    “What should we do?” I asked.

    “Seem friendly. We don’t want to scare it.” With that, she flicked the match against the side of the box, spark and sulfur following in its wake. She put aside the box, carefully applied fire to the stick of rosemary. The herbal scent filled the air, made me hungry for baked chicken. But I put that aside.

    Silently, Mallory opened her notebook, scribbled something on a page, tore it out. She folded the page into a complicated arrangement, held it over the smoldering rosemary until it caught fire, too, and dropped it into the platter.

    “For ambience and explanation,” Mallory said, then sat cross-legged, hands on her knees, and straightened her back. And she began winding up her magic.

    Catcher had once told me that sorcerers didn’t make magic—they funneled it. They were capable, for genetic or paranormal reasons, of funneling the universe’s magic, redirecting it for some purpose of their own. That was what Mallory did now, pulling in magic that was warm enough to make steam literally rise from the top of her head.

    She cupped her hands together, blew into them.

    “Is she blowing out the magic?” I quietly asked.

    Catcher clucked his tongue. “She’s warming up her hands, noob.”

    Logical, but how was I supposed to know? I didn’t spend many nights with Mal in public parks trying to contact unseen magical creatures.

    Hands apparently warm enough, Mallory cupped them in front of her. A spark appeared, which grew larger and brighter as she concentrated, lips moving and head bobbing in some silent motion. I’d have guessed she was singing a favorite Muse song, but that would probably also be wrong, so I kept it to myself.

    The spark blossomed to the size of a golf ball, then a baseball, then a softball, the light bright enough to shine blue through her hands, like when I’d held my fingers over a flashlight as a child.

    When the orb of light, the same pale blue as a summer sky, was large enough, she opened her eyes. “Carefully,” she murmured to herself, and leaned forward, placed the ball on the platter. It hovered there, vibrating with power, casting pale light on our faces.

    I glanced around, hoped no one was watching us. Sorcerers were out of the closet, but that didn’t mean it was a good idea for humans to watch this little experiment. Considering the weather, they might have called the CPD first, asked questions later.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire