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   Chapter 17 Councilor

Councilor: Book Six of The Channel Riders By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12340

Updated: 2018-02-26 16:44

Chapter 17

Elena tugged her shirt straight even though it didn't need it. As she stood on her grandfather's doorstep, she realized she was extremely nervous about talking to him about Therese. Growing up, he waved off their differences believing that they were both passionate, intelligent people and that such people always had issues dealing with each other. It was only after Therese attempted to run her over with a rental car that he began to admit that the rift between them might not be easily spanned. Adding to her nerves, both dreams returned in the night, each seeming equally viable. The only difference she could see was Evan's seal of office glowing more brightly and seeming more substantial than anything else around it.

"And I still can't stand the scent of orange blossoms, " Elena muttered, thinking of the bottle of perfume that smashed as Thompson pulled her out of the way of the speeding car. The scent hit her nose at the same moment she saw Therese behind the wheel, the two becoming linked if only in her own mind. She sighed and knocked on the door.

A moment later Marcus, her grandfather's bodyguard pulled the door open and ushered her inside. She tried not to draw comparisons between the dark haired man she grew up seeing as her grandfather's shadow and Benjamin Valentine. As she walked in, she saw her grandfather sitting in a comfortable looking chair and reading a newspaper.

She frowned. "Did you stock pile newspapers to bring with you or did you actually find a way to arrange for home delivery?" she asked. He put his paper down and chuckled. Elena bent over and kissed him on the cheek. "Good morning Grandfather."

"Good morning, " he said as he stood up from his chair to lead her to a small table. "While I did stockpile, as you say, this is a local paper."

"Haven has a newspaper?" Elena said with a smile as she took a seat.

"Oh yes, quite interesting, you should take a look. It is quite an interesting read." A small carafe of coffee, two porcelain cups with saucers, a bowl of fruit and a plate of flaky pastries was set in a pleasing arrangement on the table. As they took their seats, Marcus discretely left the room. Elena heard the sound of a door closing in the back. As pleasant as the table looked, Elena couldn't help but find it a stark contrast to the loud gatherings that seemed to define meals at her place. She wondered if her grandfather felt isolated.

"You know you are welcome to join us at meal time if you ever get tired of the peace and quiet, " Elena told him, leaving the topic of newspapers. "During the day breakfast involves who ever happens to be in the house, lunch is usually a quick bite between meetings, but dinner often includes Mateo, Kiera, Lucas, Melanie, Consuelo and if they happen to be in port, sometimes Nate, Ambra, Aunt Catherine and Uncle Tomas as well as the rest of the house hold occupants. You are more than welcome to join the fray."

Alexandro chuckled. "I will keep it in mind for when the peace and quiet becomes too much, " he told her looking pleased to be invited. He poured two cups of coffee and leaned back with his cup. "Have you seen Mateo since your arrival?"

"Not yet, " Elena replied. "I'm sure I'll see him and Kiera at dinner if not before."

"Ah, I thought that is why you came to see me."

"Is something wrong with Mateo?" she asked, her coffee cup frozen halfway to her lips.

"No, on the contrary, everything is fine." Elena unfroze, took a sip of her coffee and saw that her grandfather looked like he wanted to break out into a grin.

"It is his news to share of course, " he continued. "However, I know you. As soon as you hear, you will t

n Hashi takes her seat, the House he rules will be lesser for it." She paused and looked through the open door, out across Haven. "And then there's Therese, Mateo, his unborn child. And you grandfather." She continued.

He smiled sadly as she turned back to him. "You are worried for me?"

"Of course, a seat has to be emptied before it can be filled." Elena replied. He started to wave off her concern as inconsequential. "I also took a good look around and realized that the only people eligible for your seat are your direct descendants." Alexandro's face dropped into the blank mask she saw him use for difficult negotiations. It gave nothing away, but she knew what it meant.

"Therese is not currently eligible for your seat. She lacks a few requirements at the moment, a fact she often conveniently forgets. While Mateo is your listed heir, Lucas is only one requirement away from qualifying. Nate, Aunt Catherine and Aunt Elizabeth are all fully qualified for your seat. Aunt Elizabeth views herself as your successor, regardless of what was publicly proclaimed." Elena looked into her grandfather's eyes. "Do you think she will be more lenient than either you or Hashi?"

Alexandro closed his eyes and took a deep shuddery breath. "It is the Guild way, " Elena reminded him softly, the words no less harsh for her change in tone. "But maybe it doesn't have to be."

Alexandro opened his eyes. "Maybe it doesn't, " he said. He looked towards the crossroads and the archives. "I will be interested in what you learn after your talk with the Senior Librarian, already there is much to think of. I would however keep your conversation very private."

Elena nodded in agreement, hearing the warning. She knew there would be many unhappy with her train of thought, not the least of which would be her aunt and cousin.

"I doubt Mateo would like it any more than Therese actually, " she told him. "I believe he is hoping you find the secret to eternal life so he never has to contemplate your Council seat."

Alexandro laughed, the tension easing slightly. "Go on and get to your meetings then. And when you see Mateo, remember, surprise." He made a face that looked surprised and fluttered a hand to his chest.

"I'll remember, " she told him. She gave him a parting kiss on the cheek and headed down the stairs. She glanced back over her shoulder and saw the humor already left Alexandro's face as he contemplated his next move.

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