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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 13918

Updated: 2019-06-11 14:51

Chapter 9

"They didn't stay at the hotel last night, " Russell told her as they pulled out of the drive. Behind them Danny shut and locked the gate guarding the entrance to Wildwood. She Alex and Russell were in Russell's Land Rover. Nick and Irina were in his mud spattered car ahead of them.

"What?" Ivy asked. Her eyes swiveled from one side of the road to the other looking for anyone who might be watching. With the blocker someone would have to see and identify Nick and Irina in person if they were going to follow them home.

"Lee and James, " Russell said. Ivy looked at him and found he was grinning. "After Alex showed them the apartments and they reached an agreement on move in dates, they went back to the city instead of staying in Isliton."

"And you know this because…" Ivy asked.

"Because I knew you'd be worried they were spies sent to ferret out Irina's location. So I called and made sure of their movements and made certain that no one else was in town visiting."

"Oh, " Ivy said. "Thanks."

"I knew you were worried. "

"I was, " Ivy replied.

"Even though their kidnapping last time wasn't your fault?" he prompted.

"Even though, " Ivy agreed, only half believing it. Russell didn't look fooled. She went back to scanning the woods.

"We also did a sweep through the woods during the morning run, " Russell added. "No sign that anyone has been in the woods recently other than the pack."

In the back seat Alex laughed. Ivy sighed and shot her brother a glare. There was no heat behind it.

"Fine, " she said stopping her scan of the forest. "I wasn't cut out for clandestine affairs anyway, " she said. She shifted in her seat feeling the two keys she slipped into her front pocket.

"Everyone is as safe as we can make them, " Russell told her. "And if anyone jumps out at Nick's car, I promise to run them over."

"And I'll throw something out of the window at them, " Alex added. He lifted his travel coffee mug and wiggled it in the air.

"Fine, I'll stop worrying, " she told them.

"No you won't, " Russell said.

"I'll try to make my worry less obvious then."

Because Nick took several back roads avoiding Isliton and getting on the interstate several exits over, the drive took longer than usual but was uneventful. As Nick piloted his car towards their house, Russell kept going towards Ivy's old apartment. Nick and Irina were only a couple of blocks away from their home now and well within the more substantial blockers Ivy laid down in the area so she expected them to be all right.

As Russell parked in a spot only a short walk from her apartment, Ivy's phone buzzed with a text letting her know that the pair made it safely into their house with no interference and she felt her worry melt away. While she knew that there were other things after Nick and Irina, this time they were helping her out and she didn't want that to be the cause of their undoing.

Having used up all of her worry for the day, Ivy slung her laptop bag over her shoulder and extended the handle of her rolling suitcase. It made a low whirring sound of wheels on concrete as they walked down the sidewalk. A short climb up a set of stairs let them into the lobby where Ivy automatically checked the mail box.

All her regular correspondence went to the post office box so there were just a few grocery store circulars crammed into the box. Ivy scooped them out and deposited them into the trash can left in the lobby for such purposes. As it was already half full of other people's copies of the same circular she knew she wasn't alone in the disposal.

The elevator had an out of order sign on it so even if Ivy was tempted to risk using it, the unreliable contraption was not available. They climbed the stairs to Ivy's floor and moved down the hall. If anyone on the floor was home, they stayed behind closed doors. She unlocked the apartment door and moved inside. Despite Eric using the apartment on his last visit a couple of weeks ago, the apartment had that stale, unused smell of unoccupied places. The three of them moved around, opening windows and turning on fans to get the air m

that none of you studied the golems or knew how to create them."

"Except in the past few days both Alex and I took a crash course from their creator's journals, " Ivy told him. "It seemed prudent since Hamilton said they were malfunctioning."

"Prudent. I can see that, but I doubt Hamilton would think of that. Danny is the one who came to aid you last time, he might be expecting the water mage and not have thought of the earth." Albert grew silent and Ivy tried not to fidget while he was thinking. Catching on to her agitation, Russell stopped pretending to watch television and turned towards her, waiting.

"When do you see him?"



"I don't know I'm supposed to call him when we are ready to go to the office so he can meet us, " Ivy said.

"He might ask for you to come this afternoon. Anything with the golems he will want taken care of both quickly and quietly. I can ask around and see if there are any plans floating around but I would suggest that if you are asked to go in today then you make certain not to take Alex with you. Bringing him could be seen as antagonistic, one earth mage to challenge another and it may force Hamilton to try to prove something. He'll be on edge with the previous attack even without a malfunctioning golem. And it would not hurt to have someone not in the building with you when you go. I will assume Russell will be with you?"

"Yes, " Ivy replied.

"Then leave Alex my number and leave him in your apartment. Do you know his number?"

Ivy rattled her brother's phone number off once Albert secured a pen and paper.

"Good, " he said once he had the number down. "I will make a few calls and find out what there is to know. If I can not reach you, I will call him."

"Okay, " Ivy said but she was talking to empty air. Albert had already hung up. Ivy ended her call and looked at the time. She couldn't remember when Alex left for the store. Thoughts of runaway Packards swam through her mind.

"Stupid, " she chided herself. "They wouldn't use the same car they used to take out the mages helping shifters in the 1940s. It'd be a different car."

"What would be a different car?" Russell asked letting her know she spoke aloud. She relayed Albert's information to him and saw his face go serious. He nodded. "Alex and Max would be the biggest targets, " he agreed. "Stay here and wait until I get back to call Hamilton to tell him we are in town."

Before Ivy could respond, Russel moved from the couch to door. "And throw the deadbolt." He said. Russell opened the door and stepped into the hall, closing the door behind him.

Ivy walked over and threw the dead bolt. "Now I have to worry about both of them, " she said to the closed door. "Not exactly progress."

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