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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 80)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(80) by Chloe Neill
  • Mallory sat back again, cleared her throat. “We’ve created a receiver. We’ll see if we can dial it in.” She put a hand over the fireball, fingers extended, and slapped the air on top of it.

    The motion created a dull, round sound that rippled the air, just like she’d dropped a pebble in a lake. The circles moved out from the orb, to us, through us, until they diffused a few yards away.

    Hand over the orb, ear cocked to the sky, Mallory waited. “We’re here,” she said. “And we’re looking for you.”

    She hit the orb again, making another dull sound and sending another wave rippling.

    But there was still no response. Not that I was entirely sure what kind of response we were supposed to receive.

    “What are we hoping to hear?” Ethan asked.

    “Acknowledgment,” Mallory said. “I know it can hear me. The messages are bouncing back.”

    “Like radar,” Ethan said, and Mallory nodded.

    “The concussion finds something, the message comes back. I can sense it.” She lifted her gaze to Catcher. “You?”

    He nodded. “Faintly, but yeah. There’s something out there.”

    “Then we try it louder,” she said. She resituated herself, blew out a breath, and positioned her hand over the orb again. She gave the orb another whack, then a second, and a third.

    The sounds seemed to grow louder, deeper, with each hit, until it felt like the vibrations would stop my heart.

    This time, the greetings made it through. And the voice didn’t like our intrusion.

    Lightning ripped across the sky, thunder cracking like the shot of a rifle at point-blank range. Power burst across the field like a slapping hand, and then I was flying, the city lights blurred with movement.

    I hit the ground on my back, my diaphragm seizing with shock, head rapping against the ground, my fingers and toes tingling with heat and energy.

    I lay there for a moment in the grass, looking up at the few stars that had managed to pierce the sky. Each was surrounded by a halo of light, and bees buzzed in my ears.

    Slowly, I pushed up on my elbows, looked around. Ethan, Catcher, and Mallory were on the ground, too, all blinking up at the sky. We’d fallen perpendicularly to one another, our bodies aligned like the points of a compass. And between us, the orb still glowed.

    “Well,” Mallory said, pushing hair from her face.

    I sat up, put a hand on my forehead, as if that would stop the world from spinning. “That was not a success. That was some kind of magical grenade.”

    “It was a success,” Mallory said, and we all looked at her.

    “How?” Ethan asked, brushing snow from his sleeves.

    “We know it heard us. And we know it can fight back.” She moved to her knees, poked at the rosemary with a finger, then sat back on her heels. She looked up at the sky, closed her eyes, the breeze blowing her hair across her pinked cheeks. After a moment of silence, she looked at us. “We need to try again.”

    “No.” This time, Ethan said it. “Absolutely not.”

    “Agreed,” I said. “When you poke the bear and it tries to tear your face off, you regroup and replan.”

    Ethan rubbed the back of his head. “Or perhaps you can try again solo and give us the report later. While we’re several miles away.”

    Mallory sat up but looked back at the ground, frowning. “Look, even if the answers are somehow automatic, if the delusions are just emotions trapped in the magic, and no thing is actually asking for help, we can still learn from it. If we keep asking questions, maybe we can get a sense of its spread, of its size, from the answers we get back.”

    “Like echoes,” I offered.

    “Like echoes,” she agreed. “We’re running out of time. She’s getting ready for something big, and that big is going to happen very, very soon. If we aren’t prepared for it, it’s going to be worse than Towerline.”

    Towerline had been half success and half disaster, with plenty of injuries and destruction.

    Ethan opened his mouth but closed it again and glanced at Catcher, who was rolling his head, then his shoulders, as if trying to loosen a stubborn ache. Then he looked at us.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire