As promised, it’s Day Five of Fall Fling, and time to share the first chapter of MIDNIGHT MARKED, the
eleventh twelfth (and next-to-last) Chicagoland Vampires novel.
I stood at the corner of Clark and Addison in jeans and a Cubs T-shirt, my long hair pulled into a ponytail through a vintage Cubs cap.
At a quick glance, I probably didn’t look much different from the thousands of humans around me. But I was a vampire, and I’d caught the devil’s eye. So there was a House medal around my neck, a Master vampire beside me, and a dagger tucked into one of my boots.
I stared up at the building, excited as a kid at her first baseball game. The famous red marquee glowed over the hologram of Harry Caray smiling behind thick black glasses that was projected onto the sidewalk.
I’d been a vampire for three hundred and eighty-four days. This was going to be one of the best of those, because I was home.
For the first time since becoming a vampire, I was at Wrigley Field.
“Do you need to take a moment, Sentinel?”
I ignored the teasing tone of the man who stood beside me, the four-hundred-year-old Master vampire who ruled Chicago’s Cadogan House and the parts of my heart that weren’t devoted to great books and good pizza.
I turned to give him a pithy look, expecting to see sarcasm on his face. But there was something softer in those deep-set green eyes. Love tinged with amusement. His hair, thick and gold like summer silk, was tied at the nape of his neck, showing off knife’s-edge cheekbones and a square chin. And although he wasn’t much of a baseball fan, and even though we lived on Chicago’s South Side, he wore a vintage Cubbies shirt that fit his lean body like a very fortunate glove. Ethan Sullivan didn’t wear casual clothes very often, but he wore them as well as he did his bespoke, thousand-dollar suits.
“I am taking a moment,” I said with a grin. “Quit distracting me.”
And don’t forget to enter today’s contest, to win a Cadogan House medal of your very own (!!), a complete set of Chicagoland Vampires novels thus far (1-10), and plenty of swag.