Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires)

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9781400119370: Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires)

Vampires in Chicago! You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite-fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet. All that will change once they learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior-but that doesn't make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family. So now my "master"-the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan-wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires...and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn't want people and vamps to play nicey-nice-someone with an ancient grudge.

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About the Author :

Chloe Neill was born and raised in the South but now makes her home in the Midwest. When not transcribing Merit's and Lily's adventures, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also loves spending time with her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout.

Actress Cynthia Holloway, a native of Seattle, Washington, has performed on stage, film, and television. She has lent her voice to television programs, radio and television commercials, video games, and audiobooks. Cynthia's most recognizable work is as the voice of Anita Blake in Laurell K. Hamilton's bestselling Vampire Hunter series.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Acknowledgements

Epigraph

 

CHAPTER ONE - MOVIN’ OUT

CHAPTER TWO - HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS . . . NOT NECESSARILY WHERE YOU SLEEP

CHAPTER THREE - AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MONSTER

CHAPTER FOUR - THE PRE-PARTY PLANNING COMMITTEE

CHAPTER FIVE - TALKIN’ ’BOUT FREEDOM

CHAPTER SIX - THE RETURN OF THE PRINCE

CHAPTER SEVEN - THE BELLE OF THE BALL

CHAPTER EIGHT - PAPA DON’T PREACH

CHAPTER NINE - THE SECRET GARDEN’S SECRETS

CHAPTER TEN - YOU CAN TELL A LOT BY THE SIZE OF A MAN’S LIBRARY

CHAPTER ELEVEN - IN WHICH OUR HEROINE IS SENT TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE

CHAPTER TWELVE - MERIT’S DEEP, DARK (72% COCOA) SECRET

CHAPTER THIRTEEN - THEY’LL EAT YOU ALIVE

CHAPTER FOURTEEN - THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD

CHAPTER FIFTEEN - I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT

CHAPTER SIXTEEN - AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN - LOVE BITES

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN - IN THE STACKS

CHAPTER NINETEEN - CRYING WOLF

CHAPTER TWENTY - THE RUNT OF THE LITTER

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE - YOU GIVE BITE A BAD NAME

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO - GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE - HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR - CH . . . CH . . . CH . . . CH . . . CHANGES

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE - THE KING AND I

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Excerpt from TWICE BITTEN

PRAISE FOR

SOME GIRLS Bite

“Debut author Chloe Neill owes me a good night’s sleep! With her wonderfully compelling reluctant vampire heroine, and her careful world building, I was drawn into Some Girls Bite from page one, and kept reading far into the night. I love Merit and can’t wait for the next book in this fabulous new series.”

—Julie Kenner, USA Today bestselling author of Deja Demon

 

“Chloe Neill sinks her teeth into the vampire genre with Some Girls Bite. Neill’s Merit is the kind of sassy heroine readers love to root for—add to that a fun cast of quirky characters and smokin’-hot sexual tension, and you’ve got a stunning combination.”

—Tate Hallaway, author of Dead If I Do

 

“I’d so hang out with Merit the vampire. Some Girls Bite is smart, sexy, and delightful. A must read!”

—Candace Havens, author of The Demon King and I

 

“In Some Girls Bite, Chloe Neill has brought us an exciting new protagonist who is smart, strong, loyal, and audacious enough to embrace her new reality as a vampire with aplomb. I look forward to Merit’s next adventure.”

—Jeanne C. Stein, national bestselling author of Retribution

 

“There’s a new talent in town, and if this debut is any indication, she’s here to stay! Not only does Neill introduce an indomitable and funny heroine; her secondary characters are enormously intriguing . . . truly excellent!”—Romantic Times

 

Some Girls Bite is engaging, well executed, and populated with characters you can’t help but love. It was impossible to set down, and book two, Friday Night Bites . . . has gone right to the top of my wish list.”—Darque Reviews

ALSO BY CHLOE NEILL

Some Girls Bite

New American Library
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

First Printing, October 2009

Copyright © Chloe Neill, 2009

All rights reserved

REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:

 

Neill, Chloe.
Friday night bites: a Chicagoland vampires novel/Chloe Neill.
p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-14534-0

1. Vampires—Fiction. 2. Chicago (Ill.)—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3614.E4432F75 2009
813’.6—dc22 2009018717

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Writing is a kind of team sport. Although one person does the typing, others brainstorm, offer support, market the product, and ensure that the book that goes out the door is better than the one that came in. Friday Night Bites is dedicated to the team of friends and relatives who’ve helped get the Chicagoland Vampires novels to print, especially the following: my fabulous marketers, Brooke, Caitlin, Jia, and Mom; my patient editor, Jessica; my fabulous agent (and new author!) Lucienne; the folks who patiently read the drafts, including Dusan, Jenny, Amy, Anne, Sandi, Jon, Linda, and Heather; my fabulous book-signing liaison, Sara; and, of course, Nate, for his moral support, excellent brainstorming skills, and dog walking.

A portion of the author’s proceeds from the sale of Friday Night Bites will be donated to the Chicago Food Depository.

 

CURIOUS ABOUT THE CHICAGOLAND VAMPIRES,
CHLOE OR THE CANON?

Visit http://www.chloeneill.com

“First get the facts. Then you can distort them all you want.”

 

—Mark Twain

CHAPTER ONE

MOVIN’ OUT

Late May
Chicago, Illinois

 

 

“Higher, Merit. Bring up that kick. Mmm-hmm. Better.” I kicked again, this time higher, trying to remember to point my toes, squeeze my core, and flutter my fingers in the “jazz hands” our instructor ceaselessly demanded.

Next to me, and considerably less enthused, my best friend and soon-to-be-ex-roommate, Mallory, growled and executed another kick. The growl was an odd accompaniment to the bob of blue hair and classically pretty face, but she was irritated enough to carry it off.

“Remind me why you dragged me into this?” she asked.

Our instructor, a busty blonde with bright pink nails and impossibly sharp cheekbones, clapped her hands together. Her breasts joggled in syncopation. It was impossible to look away.

“Fiercer, ladies! We want every eye in the club on our bodies! Let’s work it!”

Mallory glared daggers at the instructor we’d named Aerobics Barbie. Mal’s fists curled and she took a menacing step forward, but I wrapped an arm around her waist before she could pummel the woman we’d paid to grapevine us into skinny jeans.

“Ixnay on the ighting-fay,” I warned, using a little of my two-month-old vampire strength to keep her in place despite her bobbing fists. Mallory grumbled, but finally stopped struggling.

Score one for the newbie vampire, I thought.

“How about a little civilized beat-down?” she asked, blowing a lock of sweaty blue hair from her forehead.

I shook my head, but let her go. “Beating down the teacher’s gonna get you more attention than you need, Mal. Remember what Catcher said.”

Catcher was Mallory’s gruff boyfriend. And while my comment didn’t merit a growl, I got a nasty, narrow-eyed snarl. Catcher loved Mallory, and Mallory loved Catcher. But that didn’t mean she liked him all the time, especially since she was dealing with a supernatural perfect storm centered over our Chicago brownstone. In the span of a week, I’d been unwillingly made a vampire, and we’d learned that Mallory was a still-developing sorceress. As in, magical powers, black cats and the major and minor Keys—the divisions of magic.

So, yeah. My first few weeks as a vampire had been inordinately busy. Like The Young and the Restless, but with slightly dead people.

Mal was still getting used to the idea that she had paranormal drama of her own, and Catcher, already in trouble with the Order (the sorcerers’ governing union), was keeping a pretty tight lid on her magical demonstrations. So Mallory was supernaturally frustrated.

Hell, we were both supernaturally frustrated, and Mallory didn’t have fangs or a pretentious Master vampire to deal with.

So, given that unfortunate state of affairs, why were we letting Aerobics Barbie guilt us into using jazz hands?

Simply put, this was supposed to be quality time, bonding time, for me and Mallory.

Because I was moving out.

“Okay,” Barbie continued, “let’s add that combination we learned last week. One, two and three and four, and five, six and seven and eight.” The music reached a pounding crescendo as she pivoted and thrusted to the bass-heavy beat. We followed as best we could, Mallory having a little harder time of not stepping on her own feet. My years of ballet classes—and the quick-step speed that vampirism gave me—were actually serving me pretty well, the humiliation of a twenty-eight-year-old vampire doing jazz hands notwithstanding.

Barbie’s enthusiasm aside, the fact that we were doing jazz hands in a hip-hop dance class didn’t say much for her credentials. But the class was still an improvement over my usual training. My workouts were usually très intense, because only a couple of months ago I’d been named Sentinel for my House.

To make a long story slightly shorter, American vampires were divided into Houses. Chicago had three, and I’d been initiated into the second oldest of those—Cadogan. Much to everyone’s surprise given my background (think grad school and medieval romantic literature), I’d been named Sentinel. Although I was still learning the ropes, being Sentinel meant I was supposed to act as a kind of vampire guard. (Turns out that while I was a pretty geeky human, I was a pretty strong vampire.) Being Sentinel also meant training, and while American vampires had traded in the black velvet and lace for Armani and iPhones, they were pretty old school on a lot of issues—feudal on a lot of issues—including weapons. Put all that together, and it meant I was learning to wield the antique katana I’d been given to defend Cadogan and its vampires.

Coincidentally enough, Catcher was an expert in the Second of the Four Keys—weapons—so he’d been tasked with prepping me for vampire combat. As a newbie vampire, having Catcher as a sparring partner wasn’t exactly great for the confidence.

Aerobics Barbie whipped herself into a hip-hop frenzy, leading the class in a final multistep combination that ended with the lot of us staring sassily at the mirrors that lined the dance studio. Session concluded, she applauded and made some announcements about future classes that Mallory and I would have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to attend.

“Never again, Merit,” she said, walking to the corner of the room where she’d deposited her bag and water bottle before class started. I couldn’t have agreed more. Although I loved to dance, hip thrusting under Barbie’s bubbly instruction and ever-bouncing bosom involved too little actual dance and too much cleavage. I needed to respect my dance master. Respect wasn’t exactly the emotion Barbie inspired.

We sat down on the floor to prep for our return to the real world.

“So, Ms. Vampire,” Mallory asked me, “are you nervous about moving into the House?”

I glanced around, not entirely sure how much chatting I should be doing about my vampire business. The Chicagoland Vampires had announced their existence to Chicago roughly ten months ago, and as you might guess, humans weren’t thrilled to learn that we existed. Riots. Panic. Congressional investigations. And then Chicago’s three Houses became wrapped up in the investigation of two murders—murders supposedly perpetrated by vampires from Cadogan and Grey, the youngest Chicago House. The Masters of those Houses, Ethan Sullivan and Scott Grey, dreaded the attention.

But the Master of the third House (that was Navarre) was conniving, manipulative, and the one that actually planned the murders. She was also drop-dead gorgeous, no pun intended. She might as well have leaped from an editorial spread in Vogue. Dark hair and blue eyes (just like me), but with an arrogance that put celebrities and cult leaders to shame.

Humans were entranced, fascinated, by Celina Desaulniers.

Her beauty, her style, and her ability to psychically manipulate those around her were an irresistible combination. Humans wanted to learn more about her, to see more, to hear more.

That she’d been responsible for the deaths of two humans—murders she’d planned and confessed to—hadn’t minimized their fascination. Nor had the fact that she’d been captured (BTW, by Ethan and me) and extradited to London for incarceration by the Greenwich Presidium, the council that ruled Western European and North American vampires. And in her place, the rest of us—the exonerated majority who hadn’t helped her commit those heinous crimes—became that much more interesting. Celina got her wish—she got to play the bad little martyred vampire—and we got an early Christmas present: We got to step into the vacuum of her celebrity.

T-shirts, caps, and pennants for Grey and Cadogan (and for the more morbid, Navarre) were available for sale in shops around Chicago. There were House fan sites, “I ♥ Cadogan” bumper stickers, and news updates on the city’s vampires.

Still, notorious or not, I tried not to spread too many deets about the Houses around town. As Sentinel, I was part of the House’s security corps, after all. So I to...

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Chloe Neill
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Description du livre Tantor Media, Inc, United States, 2010. CD-Audio. État : New. Unabridged edition. Language: English . Brand New. Vampires in Chicago!You d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite-fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don t get me wrong. Joe Public isn t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven t stormed the castle.yet.All that will change once they learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior-but that doesn t make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family.So now my master -the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan-wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires.and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice-someone with an ancient grudge. N° de réf. du libraire AAC9781400119370

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Description du livre Tantor Media, Inc, United States, 2010. CD-Audio. État : New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. Vampires in Chicago!You d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite-fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don t get me wrong. Joe Public isn t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven t stormed the castle.yet.All that will change once they learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior-but that doesn t make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family.So now my master -the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan-wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires.and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice-someone with an ancient grudge. N° de réf. du libraire AAC9781400119370

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Description du livre Tantor Media Inc. No binding. État : New. Audio CD. Dimensions: 6.5in. x 5.5in. x 1.1in.Vampires in Chicago! Youd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, were enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elitefending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Dont get me wrong. Joe Public isnt exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they havent stormed the castle. . . yet. All that will change once they learn about the Ravesmass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behaviorbut that doesnt make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family. So now my masterthe centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivanwants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires. . . and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesnt want people and vamps to play nicey-nicesomeone with an ancient grudge. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Audio CD. N° de réf. du libraire 9781400119370

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