Corrie stared at Charlie, her mouth half open. Elrath was the victim? It was hard to believe. He was such a big, scary guy—surely he could take care of himself.
What could have killed him? And why?
But a moment later, she felt herself relax a little. She couldn’t be sure what would have killed him, but she could imagine many reasons why. He must have made himself enemies among the faeries. Even Tom didn’t like him—could Tom have killed him?
It didn’t seem likely, but after all, Tom was a faerie. They didn’t know what he might be capable of. It was hard to imagine that the faerie who had loved Dawn’s Aunt Pru enough to give her magical glamour-piercing ointment would also be the faerie to commit literal bloody murder, but she couldn’t be sure.
Finally, she closed her mouth and shook her head. “That’s really shocking. Do you know any more about it?”
“No. She wouldn’t answer specific questions about how she—he—well, we were talking about a girl named Christy, anyway.”
Corrie nodded. “That’s weird. I mean, there’s a big bloody splotch on the ground. People aren’t going to be satisfied by not having their questions answered.”
“Yeah.” Charlie shrugged, his big hands spread out to his sides. “I have the impression that they weren’t sure whether it was a suicide, and wanted to make sure no one else had the idea of following Christy’s example if it was.”
“A suicide. I wonder about that.” It was the sort of thing Elrath might do—make a big, bloody mess in the middle of campus to freak people out. But why would he? Trying to work with him on information about the treaty and locating his sister had persuaded Corrie that Elrath didn’t do anything without strong motivation.
Tom had told them that faeries could decide to die. If Elrath had done that, would it have created so much blood?
Of course, faeries could kill other faeries. They’d seen it happen. There hadn’t been so much blood when Belara had been killed, but she didn’t know what kind of weapon had been used on Elrath—or maybe it had been the teeth that Roe was having visions about.
It could even have been a human. Elrath definitely pissed people off, and Corrie doubted that she and her friends were the only ones on campus who knew about faeries. A human with an iron weapon, or with some other way of weakening Elrath, might have been able to get the better of him.
But this was all speculation. She didn’t have any specific ideas as to why, who, or how Elrath might have been killed.
“I don’t know,” Charlie said. “If he killed himself, maybe we don’t have anything to worry about. But if someone or something else killed him, then they might come after other people. They might still be on campus.”
“It wasn’t a werewolf, right?” Corrie asked, smiling faintly at him.
He didn’t smile back, though. “I don’t know. It wasn’t anyone in my pack, and we’re pretty far from the full moon, so nobody would have lost control. But I know there are other werewolves in the world, and for all I know one could have come to campus.”
“Surely he would have been able to defend himself against a werewolf.”
“I would think so, but we’re pretty powerful in our own right.” This time Charlie did smile.
Corrie laughed and patted him on the chest. “I know.” Her mind went back to the splashes of blood on the ground, and her smile faded. “I wonder what they did with his body.”
“If it hadn’t been a faerie, I would say the police have it for an autopsy. Maybe they do.”
Corrie shook her head. “The administration knows about faeries. I don’t think they would have allowed that. An autopsy would… well, I’m not sure, actually. How deep does a glamour go?”
“I hope you’re not asking me.”
“No, no, rhetorical question.” Though maybe she could ask Derwen or Professor Lal. “Now that I think about it, I wonder why the glamour stayed in place even after he died. There must be an aspect of magic holding it in place even when you’re not consciously creating it. That might be something to ask one of my magic professors. I have psionics later this afternoon—though Professor Rook doesn’t much like to answer questions outside of his class topic.”
“I guess there isn’t a class on faerie glamour.”
“If there is, they don’t teach it here.” Corrie sighed. “Thanks for telling me what you know, Charlie. Sorry to waste your time standing here in the hallway.”
“Hey.” He touched her chin. “You never waste my time.” He kissed her, a long, lingering kiss that sent tingles throughout her body and brought warmth to her cheeks.
She broke away reluctantly. “Speaking of Professor Rook’s class, I actually have to get to it. I’ll see you later.”
He nodded and squeezed her hand briefly. “Stay safe.”
“You, too.” Corrie smiled over her shoulder at him as she left.