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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 94)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(94) by Chloe Neill
  • “We’ll be there,” I said.

    That gave us four hours to come up with a plan that didn’t suck.

    CHAPTER NINETEEN

    GIRLS ON DEADLINES

    Catcher and Ethan were both furious. They managed to hold in their anger in the elevator down to the ground floor, until we walked into the dark street, empty of cars.

    “I believe we all have things to say,” my grandfather said. “Perhaps we could find someplace warm to say them?”

    Ethan gestured to the small hotel across the street, its front entrance squeezed between a chain doughnut shop and a shoe store, the windows dark in both of them. “They’ll be open despite the weather,” he said, “since they’ll already have guests in the rooms.”

    We nodded silently, trudged through unplowed snow—thicker here than in Hyde Park, probably because we were closer to Towerline—and into the lobby.

    The reception desk was empty, but light and sound blared from a small room beside it. Canned laughter echoed out from a late-night sitcom.

    We dusted off as much snow as we could, walked to a seating area on the other side of the room. The hotel was small, the lobby prettily decorated but showing signs of wear—chipped baseboards, threadbare furniture, worn floors.

    My grandfather took a seat first, gestured to us. “Why don’t you four talk through what you need to talk through, and then we’ll discuss the details?” Nonplussed by the possibility, he pulled out his phone, began scanning the screen. “I’ll just do a little reconnaissance.”

    We left Mallory and Catcher to their own conversation. I was going to have a hard enough time dealing with Ethan; I certainly didn’t need two alpha males in a single argument.

    We stood in the elevator bank, the doors of three of four elevators opened like maws waiting to be filled.

    Ethan paced to one end of the short hallway, then back again, his gaze focused on me like a predator scenting prey. “You will not hand yourself over to a monster.”

    “Ethan—”

    But he took a step toward me, emerald fire in his eyes. “I am your husband, and your friend, and your lover. And I am also a soldier. I am a vampire. I am a monster, in no small part.” The emerald shifted, transmuted to quicksilver—one element battling another. “And if I must show them that in order to protect you, I will. Should it come to that, God have mercy on their souls. Because I will have none.”

    “You know that I have to do this.” I lifted my chin. “And you know that I can do this.”

    “She will kill you.”

    “She will try. I won’t let her. Mallory won’t let her. She’s a supernatural, just like the rest of us. And she is a narcissist.” I lowered my voice, trying to make him understand. “She will destroy Chicago if she gets the chance, Ethan. Even if worse came to worst, my life is a small price to pay for that city.”

    “There are other options.”

    “Name one.”

    Heat flared in his eyes again, and he took a step backward, put distance between us. “I want to both throttle you and lock you away.”

    “You could try it.”

    He looked back at me, eyebrow arched imperiously, a challenged king. “You think I couldn’t best you?”

    We’d fought each other before, battled too many times to count. We’d both won battles, lost them. But that didn’t matter now. I walked away, giving myself some room, then looked back at him. “I know you’re torn, and I know why, because I know you.”

    His face was still drawn with irritation, but he lifted his brows.

    “On the one hand, I’m your family, your life. You love me, and you’re drawn to protect me. That’s who you are. And on the other, I’m your Sentinel, and your partner. You know that I’m skilled because you trained me, and you wouldn’t have allowed any other result. And you’ve helped me be brave, and that makes you proud.”

    He still looked irritated, but I thought that was because he knew I was right. And I was.

    “That’s our dynamic,” I said. “That’s our life. You’re going to be proud, and you’re going to be worried. And the same goes for me, because if you’d had your way—and the voting hadn’t been rigged—you’d be King of All Vampires, and I’d have to worry about coups d’état and assassinations.”

    A corner of his mouth lifted. “If the voting hadn’t been rigged?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire