Thursday, April 27
Corrie was leaving her psionics class in a bad mood—as she often did. She didn’t know if it was just because she had such success with elemental and trance magic that psionics was harder by comparison, or if she really just had a problem with psionic magic, but it always seemed to be an enormous strain for her to do just a very little.
In fact, she thought she had a headache brewing, which was why she’d parted ways with Roe immediately, rather than walking back with her to Gilkey as she often did—she needed some space and time alone. She was actually contemplating skipping her art class and either hanging out with Charlie or just holing up in her room alone until Edie came home. Either one would have been relaxing. But art class could be relaxing, too.
In the meantime, though, she could go back to Gilkey for at least a few minutes to gather up her stuff and clear her mind, and she was looking forward to that.
So it was a very unpleasant surprise when someone grabbed her shoulder.
She spun around defensively, lifting her wrists in front of her chest. Her first thought was of Paul, but she knew he was still in jail, so her second thought, right on its heels, was of Elrath or another faerie.
But it wasn’t either of them. It was a short, busty, scowling woman. Corrie knew she looked familiar, and could almost come up with her name, but it wasn’t coming to her tongue.
At least she wasn’t worried about being rude right now. “What do you want?” she snapped.
The woman just scowled more deeply. “You’re Edie’s friend, right?”
Corrie dropped her arms, but her suspicion intensified. What did this woman want with Edie? She had something to do with her… this was one of Leila’s friends, wasn’t it? The annoying one who’d had a crush on Edie and wouldn’t leave her alone about it.
“Why do you ask?” she said, not wanting to admit to anything. She certainly wasn’t going to give this woman any access to Edie.
The woman rolled her eyes. “I just want you to tell her it’s over. I’ve done everything and I don’t want to hear any more about it, okay?”
Confusion started to overcome Corrie’s anger. Had Edie asked this woman to do something for her? Didn’t Edie dislike her and want to keep away from her? Chris, that was her name. “Why don’t you just tell her?”
“Tch. I’m not supposed to talk to her.”
“Okay.” Corrie frowned, but she wasn’t about to argue with Chris not talking to Edie. “So what is it that you’ve done?”
“She’ll know what I’m talking about.”
“Are you sure?”
Chris shrugged. “If she doesn’t, it’s not my problem. Just pass it on, okay?”
She turned and walked back toward the crowd, which was disappearing back into the buildings. Corrie ground her teeth in frustration, but turned and hurried toward Gilkey. That conversation had lost her several minutes, and now she had just enough time to gather her supplies for art class and get there before class started.
She forgot her idea of skipping class until after she’d already arrived, but by then it didn’t matter. The teacher praised her homework, which went a long way toward healing the headache that Elementary Psionics had caused. Corrie wasn’t sure that she was particularly artistic, but this class emphasized technical ability with a pencil. Corrie hadn’t had much of that at the beginning of the semester, but it was learnable, and she was learning it.
In fact, she was considering taking a couple more art classes over the next three years at Chatoyant College. After all, she couldn’t spend every hour taking magic or English classes; she had to fill things out around her major somehow.
She left art class in a much better mood and returned to Gilkey to find Edie studying in their dorm room.
The memory of Chris’ message struck Corrie, bringing her mood back down a little, but at least she was going to get the answer to the mystery now. She hoped. Unless Chris was just crazy… which was not a possibility that Corrie was ready to discount.
“Hey,” Corrie said to Edie. When Edie looked up and returned her greeting, she told her about the encounter with Chris.
“Wait, what did she say was done?” Edie asked.
Corrie shrugged. “She just said… let me see if I can remember it exactly.” She closed her eyes, wishing she was good at psionics—perfect recall was an ability that Professor Rook had taught the class. “She said it’s over… that she’s done everything and she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. No, hear about it. And that you would know what she was talking about.”
“I didn’t ask her to do anything,” Edie said.
Corrie opened her eyes and frowned. “I’m not sure she thinks you did, just that it was a message she was supposed to pass on. And that she’s not supposed to talk to you.”
Edie’s eyes widened. “Theater class.”
“What do you mean?”
“They started being nicer to me again. Leila said she’d talked to Chris. That must be what she’s talking about.”