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  • Home > Chloe Neill > Chicagoland Vampires Series > Blade Bound (Chapter 95)      Page
  • Blade Bound(Chicagoland Vampires #13)(95) by Chloe Neill
  • “Obviously it was rigged. You scored higher than Nicole, and you saved her life. Little wonder, since she’s the one who set up the voting in the first place.”

    He just stared at me.

    “Did you think I hadn’t figured that out?”

    “You never mentioned it.”

    I shrugged. “I didn’t want you setting yourself up for assassination. But look at the evidence—vampires decide to leave the Greenwich Presidium and she wants to be their leader, so she sets up an ‘election’ that pits you against her. And yeah, you have enemies, but enough to decide to vote her, a weaker vampire, into a position of authority? No. She wins, which is what she wanted all along. But she made it look like a democratic process, and then says the vote was close. So everybody thinks the vote was fair and that she was the democratic choice. She wins both ways.”

    Something flashed in his eyes. “She rigged the votes. She was required to hold the electoral data, which we obtained. Jeff analyzed it for me.”

    “And didn’t spill a word to us.”

    Ethan smiled. “He’s good and reliable.”

    “So she stuffed the ballot box.” I nodded, thinking it through. “We’d wondered how it was done.”

    “We?”

    “The guards.”

    Ethan blinked. “Luc knew?”

    “Of course.” I smiled at him. “You hired canny vampires, Ethan, unless you forgot. And to come full circle, you’d have been head of the GP, and I’ve have worried about you more. Instead, I worry about you the usual amount, and I know you’re capable of handling yourself—at least when you aren’t stepping in front of stakes for me.”

    “Well worth it,” Ethan said, inching closer and wrapping his arms around me. The tension had left his body, but the magic still prickled. “You are uniquely skilled at diffusing my anger. Malik, as well, but with a very different energy.”

    “I should hope so, as your wife and his would likely object.” I leaned up, pressed my lips to his. “I love you, Ethan. And I appreciate that you worry, that you’re concerned enough about me to do so. I won’t tell you to stop—as that wouldn’t be fair. But we have a good team, and you’ve trained me well. The rest of it—life, immortality, safety. None of that is guaranteed, even if I was House Librarian.”

    He chuckled. “You’d have grown bored, Sentinel. Books should be your respite, not your prison.”

    It had taken time for me to understand that was true, but I understood it now. “You’re right. And kicking bad-guy ass is so much more satisfying. If we’re going to survive, if Chicago’s going to survive, we have to do what scares us.”

    “Last night, a lot seemed to scare you.”

    “Yeah, it does. But that’s life, right? Isn’t that what you taught me? To be scared, but do the thing anyway?” I paused. “This doesn’t change anything about our conversation last night. If anything, doesn’t it prove I was right? That we’d bring a child into a world that’s not only dangerous for her, but everyone she cares about?”

    “I could throttle your father,” he said, teeth bared. “I could throttle him for what he did to you.”

    “The fact that you were assassinated in front of me doesn’t help.”

    He growled, put a hand on my chin. “I intend to have you both.”

    I didn’t mean to smile, didn’t mean to make light of the fire and emotion in his eyes. But the sheer “alphaness” of it tickled me. “The child isn’t even here yet, and you’re already overprotective.”

    The mask of anger dropped incrementally.

    “Does it matter that I said I wouldn’t hand you over to her?”

    I put a hand on his cheek. “I’m not anyone’s to be handed over, or to be accepted. Mallory and I are volunteering for an op that might end Sorcha’s reign tonight. That’s not an opportunity I intend to pass up. And look at it this way: We are inherently more capable than the mayor and her cabal of bureaucrats.”

    “So I shouldn’t consider you prey—I should consider you hall monitors?”

    I grinned at him. “Exactly. But minus the teacher’s-pet overtones.”

    “I believe we’ve just crossed into some personal territory.”

    “Possibly.” I smiled at him. “Now that we’ve gotten the ego and bravery parts done with, can we talk about how truly and terribly bad this plan is?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire