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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 86)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(86) by Chloe Neill
  • “Good evening, citizens of Chicago. I hope you’ve enjoyed this bracing taste of my powers.” She looked around, pride gleaming in her eyes. “It took remarkably little effort on my part, although it was, of course, helped along by the sophomoric efforts of the sorcerer Mallory Carmichael.”

    Mallory cursed under her breath.

    I didn’t like the way she used “sorcerer” like a title, like we were characters in a spaghetti Western, and she planned to take care of us at dawn on a dusty, sun-bleached road between worn wooden buildings.

    “Rest assured that this is only the beginning—a sample of my practiced powers. And I intend to use them. I had a plan for this city, one that would bring us into a new era. That plan was ruined by your supernaturals, your law enforcement officials, because they are too shortsighted, too stupid, to see the virtue of it.”

    Some of that calm and collected visage, the debutante-trained smile, faltered, like a mask slipping away.

    “You have debts to pay. I will collect them. I will take back what you’ve taken from me, and I will take what I am owed.”

    She smiled, and it was chilling. It was a predator’s smile, amoral and sharp.

    “I will take this city in payment of your debts, or I will take the traitors. If Merit of Cadogan House and Mallory Carmichael are delivered to me by dawn, I will release Chicago.”

    There was a gasp in the room—maybe it came from me?—and a few heads turned to look at Mallory and me before staring at Sorcha again.

    “If you do as I’ve asked you—this one small thing that I’ve asked you—the ice will melt, and the temperatures will climb, and you can have your city back.” Her eyes darkened, like storm clouds passing over. Although she smiled pleasantly, there was nothing pleasant in her eyes. “If you do not, if you deny me what I am owed, you will learn how vindictive I can be. It’s such a small thing to ask, don’t you think? Two lives, in exchange for three million?”

    She waited, as if allowing the entire city to gasp, and slid her hands into pockets tucked into the voluminous skirt. “You have ten hours. I hope you’re smart enough to make the right decision.”

    There was a movie-worthy swirl of smoke—green, of course—and she disappeared, the scuffed snow the only evidence that she’d been there.

    “Okay,” Lindsey said into the intervening silence. “I’m going to cut the tension by saying she’s a stone-cold bitch. But it truly pisses me off how gorgeous she is. Can I have a fashion crush on my mortal enemy?”

    “Yes,” Mallory said, gaze narrowed on the screen. “Unrelated issues.”

    “Good. Because that dress was sick. I hate her.”

    “Because of fashion or mortal enemy?” I wondered.

    “Yes,” was Lindsey’s answer. “Because of that.”

    “She’s bluffing,” Catcher said, his voice low and dangerous, like fury only barely bridled. “She doesn’t have that kind of power—not to destroy the city.” But he didn’t sound entirely certain.

    “She only needs our fear,” Mallory said. “And she has plenty of that to do this. Enough to extort the mayor and everyone else. At least she’s not passive-aggressive.”

    “She’s aggressive-aggressive,” Catcher said. “And I want a chance at her this time.”

    “She didn’t ask for you,” Mallory said. “She asked for us.”

    “She won’t get you,” Ethan said. I looked at him, found his gaze on me, eyes full of flashing heat. “Under no circumstances will you be handed over to Sorcha Reed.”

    “Seconded,” Catcher said, a deep timbre to his voice, as if he’d imbued the word itself with magic.

    Like me, Mallory looked ready to argue. Not that I wanted to hand myself over to Sorcha—I’d seen what she could do. But nor did I want to sacrifice Chicago—and every person in it—to her sociopathy. There had to be a middle ground between giving in and giving up.

    And both of us were smart enough to pick our battles. Mallory and I exchanged a look and the smallest of nods. We’d do what we had to do, to protect our city, our people, and our men.

    “We took her out once,” she said, with a long look at her husband. “And she’d have stayed that way if the CPD hadn’t lost her. We’ll take her out again.”

    The phones started ringing, the modern-day warning siren, and we pulled them out. “Jonah,” I said, reading mine. “Letting us know Gray House has our back.”

    “Your grandfather,” Catcher said. “He and Jeff are on their way; the mayor wants a strategy meeting in two hours.” He looked up. “We won’t be able to avoid it.”

    “And the Tribune asking for a quote.” Ethan growled the words, then tossed his phone into an empty chair, where he apparently planned to ignore it.

    “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to them,” Luc said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire