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Family Matters: The Society Book 4 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 10824

Updated: 2019-06-11 15:01

Chapter 23

By the time Russell started to blink himself awake, Ivy managed to clean up and change as well as polish off a selection of the offered food items. She felt sated and sipped on coffee as she continued to copy out information on the inner workings of the archival level.

After a moment of confused blinking, Ivy watched as Russell shot to his feet. He snarled, his eyes already edging into his wolf as he looked around for enemies.

"They've gone, we are safe, " she told him. He looked at her and blinked. Ivy watched as her words registered and he pulled his wolf back, calming himself down. He reached up and scratched at the dried blood on his face. Ivy guessed it itched. He stared at the red flakes on his fingers and then looked up at Ivy confusion on his face.

She gestured towards the bowl of water. After she cleaned up she had Fig refresh it for when he woke. "Why don't you clean up and I'll fill you in."

Russell nodded. "Did I imagine leaving the archives?"

"No, " Ivy said.

As he washed the blood from his face she gave him an abbreviated version of the night's events. A few times he paused and stared at her. When he did, she saw him sniffing the air and guessed he was trying to decide if she was pulling his leg. At the end he shook his head.

"I always knew mages were trouble, " he told her. "You weren't hurt?"

"Just a graze, " she assured him. "Same arm and just above my earlier injury so at least I still only have to baby the one arm."

"And the new clothes?" he asked.

"Mine were pretty much done, " she told him. "Fig had them taken away for the trash after I emptied the pockets. Somehow I managed not to lose either my wallet or keys." She stood up so Russell could get the full effect of her new attire. While she kept her sneakers, the rest came from Jane. "Apparently this is what Jane believes doctors wear, " she said. "I declined the lab coat though." Ivy gestured towards the white coat she left hanging over the back of one of the chairs.

"Snazzy, " he said taking in the three piece pinstriped suit Ivy now wore. Ivy wasn't sure how Jane managed it, but the suit was perfectly tailored to fit her.

"The food's good if you are hungry, " Ivy said. "We still have to wait for Alex to wake up before we can leave."

Russell nodded and moved to fill a plate before joining her at the table. Ivy rolled up the schematics to get them out of the way.

They didn't have too long to wait for Alex and when he surfaced, Ivy gave him the same brief explanation as she gave Russell.

"We weren't really much help in the keep Ivy safe department were we, " her brother said as he stretched.

"And yet we all managed to survive, " she said.

"True, " Alex admitted. "So are we going home now?"

"Not quite yet, " Ivy said looking at her watch. "You two slept almost through the night so Hamilton will be going into the office soon."

"And Jane is going to pretend things are back to normal, " Russell said. He shook his head. "Mages are even convincing golems to be sneaky, " he said.

"It's practical, not sneaky, " Ivy told him. "And I'd rather scratch dealing with Hamilton off the list before we leave. Once we are home, I'm going straigh

normal. The time here at least helped me to complete my report." Ivy held out the pages to him and he took them, glancing down only briefly.

"Wonderfully efficient, " Hamilton said. "Of course action will need to wait until Mr. Winters is up and about again. But still efficient and I am glad to see your research has been concluded. Have a nice drive back to Wildwood Ms. Chambers." Hamilton turned and went back into his office, shutting the door behind him with a resounding thud.

"Now we can leave, " she told the others. They walked towards the elevator.

"Have a nice day Dr. Chambers, " Jane said as Russell pressed the button for the elevator.

"You too Jane, " Ivy said looking at the receptionist. Her face still wore the blankly pleasant look. The elevator dinged and the doors open. They climbed inside and as Russell pressed the button for the lobby, Ivy looked back at Jane. The golem winked at her as the doors slid closed.

"So what do we do now, " Alex asked.

Ivy thought about it. Her report was complete, or as complete as she could make it. Finding out if anyone else was involved in the archival attack was someone else's job now, as was finding out who was paid off by the Brotherhood. Fae involvement was also something for Hamilton to deal with in his role as Head of the Clan. The golems appeared to be functioning as they always had.

'And as long as Hamilton doesn't order Jane to send someone like the Auxiliary to attack us, they will remain in working order.'

For the most part, the world, at least this section of it was back to normal. How long it would stay that way was anyone's guess. Ivy suspected it was only a temporary reprieve, but she wasn't going to poke it and risk upsetting the delicate balance. While she still needed to have a talk with Nick about the manila envelope currently in her laptop bag next to the hefty book on golems and the death of his father, for now everything else was as settled as it could be. She was free to leave the building and not look back.

At least for a while.

"Now we go back to the apartment and I sleep, " Ivy told them. "Everything else can wait."

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