If a spouse dies you are widowed. If the clan leader’s spouse dies before a successor is born they can wed again without repercussions. However, if they have a successor they cannot wed again unless their male child dies. If the clan leader impregnants a woman he can choose to wed before the child is born however the child will still be a bastard and cannot inherit anything from the clan. If a clan member impregnants a woman or is impregnated after their spouse dies the clan leader can decide if they should be kicked out from the clan and be forced to live with humans.
“Why aren’t clan members given the same rules as clan leaders?” I ask Ivan and lift my head from the old book.
“Clan members don’t need successors and the only people that can remove a clan leader are council members.” He tells me as he sets down the even older book he is reading.
“How many clans are there in the states?” I ask curiously and meet his round grey eyes.
“There is four Clan of the Light and three Clan of the Darks here in the states. There was more but some have had to merge with others over the years throughout the world. From clans not having successors to them breaking laws. The number of clan members has gone up while the number of clans has gone down.” He explains to me
“You mentioned early that I have a second ability but everyone in this book only states one. What’s my other ability?”
“It’s a bit complicated, its name is ‘gift of the spirits’ it’s incredibly rare and probably the only reason you are still alive. You have the ability to summon dark spirits, Achyls, and control them. The first person to have this gift actually named them after his wicked and cruel wife. He, however, could only use his gift after something that made him feel complete terror. The next person was after extreme anger so it’s to be believed you have to feel a strong emotion to activate the gift. The Achyls until you have control over them I guess only make an appearance than to protect or do whatever you may need them to at the time.” He is a much better teacher than Aldrich was, though I only had him teaching me yesterday.
“Ivan, what are the rest of my rules?” I ask him and look down at my hands as I clasp them together nervously.
He sighs and stands up, he stretches his arms above his head before answering me. “Arabella, for right now all your rules... just stay within the limits you were given and make sure to eat every meal. I need you to come to me if you are feeling down as well, we have doctors and nurses that are staying in our guest bedrooms right now because Sarah is due any day now and has had complications. When you have earned more freedoms I will be adding to your rules. Your goal is to get a clear understanding of our culture. When you start school at the academy that will change to understanding your gifts.” He pauses and looks at me but I don’t lift my head until he grabs my chin. “If you go outside your limits your punishment will be a physical one. I am going to show you what your necklace does when you get close and when you leave the area you are allowed.” He grabs my right hand and helps me stand up. Apollo and Eva follow us out of the library instead of us going left in the hallway we turn right. His phone makes a pinging sound when we get down the hallway a bit. Ivan ignores the ping and opens a door near the end of the hallway and indicates for me to step in. We are in a small conference room? It has a really long table and a TV on the far wall. “Look at your necklace,” he tells me after he comes in. I look down and see the three green lights are gone and are now yellow like a traffic light. He pulls me through another door that goes to a huge formal dining room. The bar necklace starts to flash red then when we get to sliding glass doors that lead into the backyard it glows red completely. His cellphone pings at the same time the necklace goes red.
Ivan pulls out his fancy smartphone and shows me he received two notifications, “Arabella is nearing the boundary” and another one that says, “Arabella has left the boundary.” He puts his phone back into his front pocket and tells me we are going to go back to the library.
When we get back into the library Eva and Apollo start to play with each other and Ivan motions for me to sit back down. “Arabella, the further you go from your set boundary the worse the punishment is.” My heart squeezes at the fear of being punished. He pauses and runs his hand through his hair. “Bella, I know this seems really bad but if you try to run the counsel just may execute you this time or take you into their custody. Just so you don’t stress about it I will go ahead and tell you some of the rules you’ll have when you start going to the Academy. The first and biggest one, don’t try and start any romantic relationships with any other girls or boys. You can have friends and I hope you make some just no romantic relationships. We are to be married after all. Your next rule is that you are not to enter the dorms at all. You are to come back here after school unless you need extra tutoring. I think you may have a cousin that goes to the Academy so I will have to speak with the council to know if you can have contact with him.”
“I have a cousin?” I ask surprised, my parents never talked about their families.
“Yes, your mom has two brothers and both have kids now. I think your dad may have a sister but I am not too sure. Now back to your rules depending on how you behave you may be allowed to join clubs or sports if you want. The Academy has a lot because students from all over the world come here.” A knock on the library door interrupts him, he calls for the person to come in.
It is Crow and Emma, “Sir, your sister is coming home today and Mrs. Churchill has requested that the family has a formal dinner. Some of her and your family will be coming here as well. She asked me to make sure Miss Kynaston has dressed appropriately for the dinner.”
“How dressed up does she want us?” Ivan sighs and runs a hand through his hair messing it up even more.
“I’m sorry, sir before you start talking about the clothing I am here to discuss if you want Miss Kynaston there and if you would like more security around with everyone here.” Crow interrupts before Emma can answer Ivan’s question.
“I’m going to take a guess and say Sarah said she had to be there?” Ivan asks looking at Emma to which she nods her head yes. “Increase security then we need to make sure Arabella doesn’t try to slip through while so many people are here.” He really doesn’t trust me, though I don’t think I would trust me either if I was in his shoes. Apollo comes running over to where I am sitting and paws at my leg. I pick him up and put him on my lap. “Crow, I want you with her at all times in case I get taken away. Emma, how dressed up do I have to be?”
“Sa-“She pauses and fixes herself, “Mrs. Churchill, said that Miss Kynaston needs to wear a dress and you need to wear a suit.” Ivan sighs and sits back down.
“Of course she did, she’ll take whatever reason to get herself a new dress. Emma, does Arabella have anything in the closet to wear or should you go out and get her one?” He asks her and starts to pet Eva’s fluffy head.
“She may, I will check and come back to tell you.” She runs out the door before he can ask her anything else.
“Crow, find out if Sarah invited anyone else besides family. If she invited any of her friends... keep them away from me.” Crow tries to hide a smile at Ivan’s words. “Arabella let’s head back to the room.” I put Apollo on the floor and follow Ivan out of the library and Crow follows me. Both Eva and Apollo follow us to the room.
Emma peaks her head out from the closet when she hears the door closed causing some of her brown hair to fall out of her bun. Her brown eyes glisten with happiness as she pulls out three dresses. One of which my mom got me is a flowy, emerald green, knee-high, with off-the-shoulder sleeves. I’m not too sure why she wanted to get me it but at the time I had brown contacts and not my natural green eyes. The next dress is lavender but I think that will make me look paler than I already am. Emma lays all the dresses on the bed and tells Ivan that’s all the cocktail dresses.
“Go with the black one,” he tells her and goes into the closet. I move over towards the bed to look at it. It’s very soft, I don’t know how far this length will go down but it isn’t knee length. The black dress has a bateau neckline with full sleeves. The bodice looks like it may be a little tight then becomes flowy at the hips. This will show off one of the mark things. Ivan comes out with a black strapless bra, black lace panties, and small open-toed heels. My face turns red at the sight. “Emma, you are in charge of hair and makeup. Do you want to take a shower, Bella?”
“I probably should, this seems like a very fancy dinner.” Emma agrees with me and hands me a robe and tells me not to get dressed yet. I quickly shower and put the robe on. Emma hands me a lotion to put on my body so I head back to the bathroom and lather my body in it. It smells really good like vanilla and some kind of flower. At Ivan’s desk, Emma has made it into a make-shift vanity just without a mirror.
After probably two hours she is done and Ivan is dressed except for the suit jacket. He puts a watch on and turns to see what Emma is doing. She let my hair flow down and did soft curls in it. He nods his head at Emma. “I kept her makeup looking as natural as possible the lipstick I used shouldn’t wear off at dinner either.”
“Ok, you can leave now and get ready to serve at the dinner.” He dismisses her, she nods her head and quickly scurries out the door. He tells me he will be right back and to get dressed while he is gone. I put everything but as I am struggling to zip the back of the dress Ivan comes back in. He puts a warm hand on my cold shoulder and finishes zipping it up for me. “You look beautiful, Bella.” He then kisses the top of my head and opens the closet door all the way so I can see myself. The dress falls about mid-thigh but still looks beautiful. Emma did keep my makeup natural-looking. Ivan puts his suit jacket on and pulls a jewelry box out of his pocket. It has a small diamond earring and a delicate silver ring in it. He takes the ring out and slides it onto my left ring finger. “This should keep my cousins at bay.” He says and puts my hand back. I look up at him and notice he trimmed his beard and styled his hair.
“You’re not wearing a tie?” I ask him, he shakes his head no and puts my left hand in the crook of his elbow.
“My family should be arriving soon.” He tells me and opens the door. Crow is waiting there in an all-black suit he steps behind me as we start to walk down the hall.