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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12580

Updated: 2019-06-11 14:50

Chapter 8

"So we are having a celebration?" Russell said as she entered the kitchen. The tray that held the snacks for their meeting was now only dusted with crumbs. As Hackett was at the table brushing additional crumbs from his shirt front and Jerome was still eating the pastry he held, she could guess where the extra treats went.

"So a cretch is like an extended family?" Nick was asking Irina.

"It is, " she answered. "We are now their cretch, more or less. I suppose a celebration would be similar to a wedding reception."

Ivy saw the tea and coffee service was also in the kitchen awaiting washing as well. Ivy took her regular coffee mug and filled it with some of the remaining coffee. She stirred in a dollop of cream and sugar.

"A celebration seemed like the thing to do, " Ivy said. "It probably won't be much more than a barbeque, but it will give everyone a chance to meet. There certainly won't be a bride and groom."

"What about cake?" Jerome asked. "That was always my favorite part of the wedding."

"Of course it was, " Ivy said with a laugh.

"So we will be holding it here?" Russell asked. "Not at the diner?"

"Definitely here, " Ivy said. "The diner is where the pack gathers. This is a Mage House gathering. Not a Shifter thing."

"Does this mean we can't come?" Hackett asked. Jerome looked at him. "She said barbeque. I like barbeque. And cake. Will there be cake?"

"The pack can come, " Ivy said. "That way we can introduce the Seers to them as well so you know they aren't outsiders."

"And?" Jerome asked as Hackett looked pleased that he wasn't being excluded from a barbeque that had yet to be planned.

"It won't be wedding cake, but we can have a deserts table with cake on it if you'd like."

Jerome smiled and leaned over to Russell as Ivy took a sip of coffee. "She said deserts table, " he said to Russell in a stage whisper. "Cake and other things." He smacked his lips at the thought and Irina chuckled.

"They don't change, " she said. "I forgot the love of sweets."

"Everyone loves sweets and since I don't bake, I like when other people make cake for me, " Jerome told her.

Irina laughed. "Coat it with honey and dust it with powdered sugar and a wolf will happily eat a couch cushion, " Irina told him.

The two of them bickered companionably over what it would take to get Jerome to eat a couch cushion. Ivy sipped her coffee, amused to see the wolf enjoying conversation with someone so much, even if it was an absurd argument. Not too long ago he was hiding from her and everyone else in an attempt to avoid talking to any of them. By the time the coffee was finished and the dishes washed and put away, Irina decided to retire for a little rest.

"I haven't seen her that happy for a while, " Nick said as she left the kitchen.

"Has she been depressed?" Ivy asked.

"Not exactly, " he said with a frown. "We've always been sort of isolated. She talks with a few people when she goes out to pick up the mail at the post office, but we don't do a lot of socializing. I never really have. I think when all this got stirred up and I started asking questions, she started thinking about when she did socialize."

"She went from living with a cretch to living with a pack, " Ivy said. "I guess even if she became isolated after your grandfather died she still grew up in a much more social atmosphere. Anytime you two want to come by, you are welcome. We'll just make sure Jerome is around to argue with her."

"She impugned my taste buds, " Jerome said exaggerating his wounded dignity. It was clear, however that he enjoyed the exchange.

"While I don't mind the drive, especially now that you gave us the portable blocker. It makes it less likely that someon

oss purposes, one who wanted to use me and one who wanted me dead before I could research. Unless they wanted someone else to find the file after I was dead and leap to conclusions."

Ivy sighed and realized that was why she was nervously making a copy of the key and squirrelling them away as though she needed an escape hatch. Sure people died, both Brotherhood and Society, but was everyone dead or did one group escape notice? "And what if they were just expendable henchmen for someone else out there still plotting evil?"

Ivy was used to bending the rules and keeping secrets. She wasn't used to people wanting her dead. "Or using me as a cog in their plotting machinery."

"So we keep the keys, " She decided. I can always return them later if I need to." She scooped up both key rings and dropped them into her new laptop bag. It was the replacement she bought for the bag that was stolen in the archives and never recovered. It still had a new slightly industrial scent to it, unlike her old one which smelled of lemons and strawberries from an incident involving scented hand sanitizer. After trying for years to remove the smell, Ivy now found she missed it.

She decided she would move the keys around as well as add her own personal key ring later. With the keys settled, Ivy finished packing. As going out while she was back last time proved problematic, Ivy decided that trips out would be limited. She packed mostly comfortable, casual clothes. "And shoes I can run in, " she added. Even though she added one dress, Ivy slipped a pair of comfortable flats rather than heels.

"I'm also planning on take out more than restaurants, " she said thinking of the sandwich she didn't really get to eat on her last trip.

"Definitely a reason to order pizza, " She decided.

She zipped her suitcase closed and placed it near the door next to her laptop bag and her stack of returning files. Ready for the following day, Ivy decided she would check on the house guests to see if they needed anything then retire to her work kitchen to see how much she could get done before they left.

"At least we aren't yet busy, " Ivy decided as she left her quarters. Petra's order went out a few days prior and so far Ivy filled the few individual orders that came in. As the growing season progressed and more orders came in, Ivy would be less able or willing to take time away. "And hopefully Hamilton's issues will be easily settled so I can get back and get ahead of incoming orders."

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