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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12912

Updated: 2019-06-11 14:56

Chapter 15

After they finished eating and cleaned up from dinner, Alex settled himself with a notebook and Theodore's journal, determined to find anything that could possibly help them. Having nothing to do but worry, Ivy settled herself on the couch with Russell and tried to enjoy an evening of mindless entertainment via the television.

The evening passed quietly and Ivy tried not to dwell on the aspects she couldn't change. It wasn't easy. 'Theodore may have set the protocol, but I'm the one stuck with it.' All through the evening she kept wondering what Jane would say if she ever got a chance to give a full report. Would any of the information be relevant?

'I could find out some answers or I could find out someone who died before I was born had an affair with someone else who died before I was born, ' Ivy thought as the evening shaded to night and she began to ready herself for bed. She wasn't certain what information Theodore would tell Jane and the others to record. 'Or how they would take the directive to record information.' She shrugged as she slipped between the sheets and snuggled in next to Russell. 'Hopefully Theodore knew how to give orders to golems better than I do.'

The next morning, Ivy woke from tangled dreams to find she wasn't the first one awake. She ran her hand over Russell's side of the bed and found the sheets cool. She automatically rolled over to look at the spot where she habitually kept her alarm clock when she lived here, only to find it wasn't there.

'It's at Wildwood, ' she recalled, stretching. 'And my phone is charging in the kitchen.' She glanced over to the window. Even without a clock available to check she didn't think it was too late judging from the light coming through the curtain. Ivy slid out of bed and moved to the bathroom.

'Always good to empty the bladder before finding out what caused a change in the morning schedule, ' she decided.

After using the facilities, Ivy washed her hands, ran a quick brush through her hair and applied deodorant. Everything else she figured could wait a few minutes. Immediate needs cared for, Ivy left the bathroom, crossed the bedroom and opened the door into the main part of the apartment. To her surprise, the couch Alex was sleeping on was not only vacant, but the hide away bed was refolded and hidden away once again. Ivy looked over to the kitchen and found her brother and her husband peering into the open fridge and surveying the left overs from the night before and what few snacks managed to survive Alex's worry fueled hunger.

"Anything good?" she asked.

"Not really, " Russell said as both of them turned towards her. Alex closed the fridge door.

"Russell mentioned a diner not too far from here, " Alex said hopefully. "Maybe we could go before the archives, and then save the power bars for if we get stuck in the archives?"

"Missing Winston already?" Ivy asked.

"Terribly, " Alex replied. "Breakfast used to be coffee and a power bar. I've now been ruined."

"Yes, the curse of steady meals. How will you sirvive?" Ivy replied with a laugh. "Is that what got you up so early? Or did I sleep late?"

"I got up early thinking I needed to get my run with Bugsy in early because we had such a busy day, only to find no Bugsy and no woods to run in and I accidentally woke up Alex."

"I'm a light sleeper, " Alex said shrugging it off.

"And not the only one spoiled by Wildwood, " Ivy said. She noticed both men were already dressed. "Give me a minute to throw some clothes on and we can go to the diner before the archives, " she said.

"Sounds fair, " Russell said. Alex nodded and moved to pick up his work boots from beside the couch. Ivy ducked back into the bedroom and got dressed as quickly as possible. Since this morning would involve her spending time on the archive level an

onger than was typical, one eye always turned to see what she was doing.

People who had only contempt for what they termed inferior norm education would follow her across campus or lurk just outside of her classroom buildings, despite having no actual business on campus. She occasionally spotted people going through the trash she put into the dumpster behind her building. The only place they couldn't go, at least not without an invitation, was her apartment. The layered and extra strength shields and locks prevented any intrusion even if they were inclined to visit when she was out.

'Maybe if my shields were less impenetrable, they wouldn't have followed me so much, ' Ivy thought as the three of them walked down the sidewalk.

At the moment the sidewalks were full of people hustling to reach office buildings and early morning meetings so the three of them didn't bother with conversation. It left Ivy swimming in her own thoughts.

Through her research Ivy knew that Albert was the one who suggested the familial split. It was a protection of sorts. Someone feared that they were too strong, especially if allowed to work together. The split was supposed to minimize the threat they posed and prevent someone from arranging a lethal accident to get them out of the way. While Ivy was forced to admit that they were a formidable force when together, she was still hazy on exactly why they were viewed as a threat. Shen never could figure out what those who feared them thought they would actually do.

'Even if Theodore was once the clan head, none of us went anywhere near politics and were taught to avoid the council whenever possible.' Ivy shook her head. 'I wonder how many people even knew we were related to Theodore anyway.' The relationship and possible aspirations they might have because of it were the only reasons Ivy could see that they might be a threat. 'Which makes us only a threat to people like Hamilton who seems to live in a state of constant suspicion that someone, somewhere, wants their power.'

Ahead of them, the building housing the now defunct Shadow Council loomed. While designed to look like every other high end office building on the block, to Ivy it fairly pulsed with an ominous energy.

'Admittedly I saw it that way before things started to attack me, ' Ivy admitted. As Russell reached for the door, Ivy wondered if Jane's super-secret report would, if she ever ended up hearing it, make the political doom of the building lessen or grow worse.

'I suspect it would just make it worse, ' Ivy decided.

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