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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 11633

Updated: 2019-06-11 14:49


Chapter 7

'Here we go, ' Ivy thought as Russell escorted the two nervous looking Seers into the room. From their expressions, she expected Russell to be glowering at them menacingly, but his face held only a neutrally pleasant expression.

"Welcome gentlemen, " Ivy said. Lee jumped as though her words stung him. "Thank you for agreeing to meet here. I know it's a bit out of the way. Would you like some refreshments?"

"Um, thank you, " James said. Everyone, including Ivy, filled cups and plates with their choices of food and beverage and settled themselves in the available chairs. Ivy noticed that James and Lee sat very close together as though taking comfort in each other's nearness. Surprisingly, all of their attention was focused on Ivy.

'Strange, ' she thought. 'I would have thought Irina as the missing Seer, Nick as the unknown or even Russell's big bad wolf would attract more attention.' Whatever the reason for their focus, Russell found it amusing. She saw him hide his grin in his coffee cup. 'Apparently he found a use for the delicate china after all.'

"I hope the drive was a pleasant one, " Ivy said.

"It was quite pleasant, " James said. He glanced at Lee and Lee gave him a small almost imperceptible nod. Ivy guessed James was their designated spokesman. "If you accept us into your house, would we be living out here?"

"No, " Ivy said. "You would be welcome out here of course, but if you find it suitable there are apartments in town, in Isliton, that I thought might be more appropriate."

Both men relaxed slightly. "Good, " James said. "The further away from people we are, the less reliable our sight is and the less use we would be to you."

"I see, " Ivy said. She nodded slowly and took a sip of her coffee, taking a moment to frame her comment in her head before speaking aloud. She hoped they didn't take her lack of interest in their skills as an insult. "To be honest, it is more your retail experience than your sight I find useful, " she told them. "Not that I have anything against your sight of course."

"You aren't looking for Seers?" James asked.

"Not particularly, " Ivy said.

She saw both men looked to Irina. Irina sipped delicately from her tea cup and said nothing. They turned back to her.

"My family is starting to produce various things that those in the Society need, from tracking remover spray to anti-hex cream, " Ivy continued. "Most of the items will be shipped from here to other places like the Oasis Spa, but we will have a small retail shop in Isliton. It will mostly be locals picking things up and dealing with orders that will be called in and shipped out. The apartments are located above the shop."

"I see, " James said. The two Seers exchanged glances. "So our role would be primarily to run the retail venue?"

"I would hire you to run the retail venue, " Ivy said wanting no misunderstandings. "You would receive a normal salary and benefits that are similar to what you had when working other jobs in the same style. The jobs do come with the apartments, primarily because there really isn't much available housing in Isliton at the moment. You aren't required to live in the apartments. If you find something more suitable no offense would be taken were you to move. Truthfully if you don't want to work at the shop that is fine as well. I won't force you to work there if you find it offensive. It was just the only thing in Isliton that looked like it matc

. 'Not that I do much worth spying on anyway.' At the moment the only thing really being kept private were the formulas and spells for the products she was selling in the retail shop. While she could see other mages being interested in such things, she didn't see how they would be useful to the Seers. 'Even if they knew exactly how the item was created they'd have to get another mage to create the items for them. It would be simpler just to buy the products in the first place.'

When the basic details were wrapped up, Lee and James still exchanged a nervous look between them.

"Is there something I've missed?" Ivy asked.

"The use of our sight?" James asked.

Ivy had no idea how the Seers dealt with that and the handbook she was given merely said that Seers within a mage house 'reached an agreement with the mage'. It was not terribly enlightening.

"If you see something you feel I ought to know or that would be useful, I would like you to tell me, " Ivy said.

Both men nodded and looked somewhat relieved, although she wasn't sure why. She chalked it up to them not knowing how joining a House outside their clan would work any more than she did. As it had been several hundred years since the last time Seers were allowed as part of a mage house they were all flying blind at this point.

"And the tithe?" James asked.

"We have no tithe, " Ivy said. "You would just pay your normal taxes."

Again both men looked relieved. "Alex will be walking you through the apartments so you can decide if they are suitable and once you are settled we will hold a gathering here to celebrate your joining our House." While not big on formality, she felt some sort of notice should be taken of their joining the House.

Ivy walked the two Seers to the door, while Russell went to tell Alex he was needed. "Since this is all sort of new to everyone, let me know if you think something is falling between the cracks, " Ivy said. They nodded and said they would before following Alex back into the muddy front yard.

Ivy closed the door behind them and walked back towards the kitchen area where she knew the others would be gathered. While she still thought of this as hiring two people to run the retail shop, she suspected they thought of it as much more. "Here's hoping we meet expectations."

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