Prologue - The Message
“The blood status clans had always been a thing. Same with blood status. You were either a blue-blood or a magenta-blood. More often than not, magenta-bloods were called mags or magentas, and blue-bloods ‘blues’. Magentas were the part of lower half of Ethrian - the name of the societal structure Avalonians had developed. And then of course there were the blues. The rich and famous, the royals. Royal family structure and all that shit. Magentas? Most of the gangs were made up of those guys-”
“Those guys? Really Etta?”
I looked up from my copy of the newspaper that had been distributed earlier this morning, and towards the person who had spoken. If I could recall correctly, he was a complete newbie. I shrugged nonchalantly as we made eye contact and held up the paper.
“Just readin’ what the paper says.” The other members of my clan all let out a laugh as the newbie pretended not to be embarrassed. Suddenly a bell rang three times, signifying a meeting with the boss. I got up and stretched my arm, yawning.
“Welp, you heard the sound, meetin’ time!” I dropped the newspaper in the box that held this week’s newspapers and hopped out of the Beta’s dining chair, walking out of the mess hall. I heard the others beginning to follow me as chairs scraped against wood and groups began to guess about what the meeting would be about.
After all, Ethan never called meetings this late in the month, and if I didn’t know what it was about, then no one but Ethan knew why he was calling this meeting.
The walk to the meeting room was short, considering the layout of our house. When the group I was leading had taken their places according to rank, I took mine. The meeting room was set up in a semicircle of chairs with a smaller open half circle of chairs in the middle. The room was always well lit and felt incredibly homely, though no one was allowed in the room if there wasn't a meeting. Soon the other groups began to file in, and when everyone had taken their seats, Ethan entered the room from a door behind me and the other important people's chairs. The whole room was silent as Ethan took his place in the middle chair, which happened to be the fanciest.
"Alright, so I'm sure you people are wondering why I called a meeting this late in the month, and I'll tell you in a minute after Etta goes over the norms." Ethan turned his icy gaze to me, but I was already speaking.
"Okie dokie! As most of you all know, nobody speaks unless spoken to or addressed. Any random outbursts will be punished in some way, so try to shush it. Any questions that you all may have can be asked to myself or Aggy our most gracious healer. Schedules will continue normally after the meeting unless the message Ethan speaks is of more importance than it usually is. And now, I turn your attention back to our boss."
Ethan cleared his throat, signifying the group to look at him, not that it was really necessary. Even the newbies knew to look at him when I had finished speaking. It was common sense in this kind of life after all.
“Alright, now that my sister has finished with the formalities, I suppose I can tell you all why the hell I called this meeting… We’re moving locations-” As soon as Ethan spoke of the news the entire room went into chaos. Even I was dumbfounded. The room had erupted into shouts of confusion and even some words of anger, before Ethan’s normally ice blue eyes - that somehow managed to look clear in some lighting - turned a disturbing blood red. It wouldn’t have been that startling if the whites of his eyes hadn’t turned into the deep black that they were now. Ethan usually didn’t pull this eye trick unless he wanted to show off or when he was furious. I was assuming the latter for now. When one person saw this change, the entire room went silent gradually. I noted his eyes went back to normal before he continued.
“As I was saying, we’re moving locations. Now, considering the recent outbursts just now, I’m assuming you want to know why we’re moving. Especially considering The Thorns haven’t moved since before my great-grandfather’s time of leading, so almost a century ago.” He paused, and everyone - including myself and my sister Ella - hung on his next words.
“The Royal Blue Family has taken some interest in this group. Now, I’m not sure why, or what kind of interest they’ve taken, but we’ll be moving onto Royal grounds for a while, probably for the rest of my leadership. Keep in mind this was not my choice, but make sure to pack your things, we’ll be leaving in three days.. You are all dismissed to the modified schedules.” Ethan’s face conveyed emotion - though well hidden it was a sort of defeat. My brother quickly left through the back door behind his chair.
I was worried, and I could sense that my sister was as well. Her dark blue eyes met my own dark blue eyes, and we both were quick to understand that we were going to follow him. I walked over to my twin sister and we waited a half-beat before speed walking to our leader slash sibling.
Ethan was giving off a very stressed and upset energy, but I knew Ella could sense it much better than I could.
“Ethan, why didn’t you tell us before just now?” Ella said, her smooth and soothing voice a much better approach than my own gravely alto would-be words.
“Because I found out an hour ago.” Ethan said, anger obvious. Ella and I exchanged a glance. He wasn’t angry at us. I risked a question.
“From who?” It was quieter than I had expected to say. Ethan started visibly shaking, but not to a degree that my twin and I jumped to calm him. He growled a low, angry growl. I almost sighed in relief when I recognized that the growl was more of annoyance than anger. Things went bad quickly when the growl was angry.
“The fucking Prince of the god damn Royal Blue Family.”