Friday, May 19
Corrie felt refreshed as she left the bathroom after her shower, toweling her hair dry. Now that it was a few inches long, she’d thought about buying some styling gel to see what kind of interesting things she could do with it, but at least she could make it stick up if she managed to dry it correctly—it was just thick enough to stay up if it dried that way.
Or maybe she would just cut it all off again, now that summer was coming. It would be nice to feel a breeze around her scalp when it wasn’t the middle of winter.
Preoccupied with her hair while she walked past Dawn’s room, she jumped as the door opened just after she’d passed it. She turned, holding her two towels in place—the one wrapped around her head, the other around her body. “Oh! Hi, Dawn.” She grinned, laughing at herself for being startled.
“Hi, Corrie.” Dawn didn’t look nearly as happy—though of course, to her it was first thing in the morning. “You haven’t checked your email yet, have you?”
Corrie shook her head, still holding her towels in place. “I don’t usually check it before my run. Why? Class hasn’t been canceled again, has it?”
“No, not this time. Uh, maybe you should just read the email.”
Corrie felt her morning cheer drain away. “Okay.” She went into her room, where Edie was still sleeping. Dawn followed silently.
Corrie hung up the towel she was using for her hair, then sat down at her computer and opened her email. There was an official email from the school, which must have been the one Dawn was talking about, so Corrie opened it.
You may have heard rumors about a second death on campus. We regret to inform you that the information is real. Early this morning, the body of Sean Cassells was found outside Sayer, where he lived.
We regret that we do not have any further information to share at this time. We urge any students with any information about Sean’s death, however tangential it may seem, to come forward.
Please continue to go about your days as usual. Your academic careers are your most important focus at this time. Rest assured that if anything can be done, you will be informed.
Corrie sat back in her chair, feeling as though the breath had been knocked out of her by that email. The school was being much more forthcoming with information than they had been when Elrath had died—but maybe they’d learned their lesson and decided to get ahead of the rumors this time.
Not that it would help much. They weren’t giving any information about how Sean had died. Was it the same way Elrath had been killed? Or was it totally unrelated? Maybe Sean had jumped out of the window. Maybe he’d gotten drunk and fallen out. Corrie didn’t know Sean, so…
But she might know someone who did. She turned quickly to Dawn, who was staring over her shoulder, somber. “Is this the Sean that you know?” she whispered. “In your class?”
“Was he human?”
Corrie stared at the email again. Then if it was the same killer—or the same method of death—Professor Lal had been wrong. Humans did have something to fear if a human had been killed.
But maybe it wasn’t related, or wasn’t the same killer. It could all be a horrible coincidence.
Something else struck her. “He’s friends with Troy, isn’t he? Roe was talking about that.”
“So I have to wonder if the Djanaea had anything to do with it.”
Dawn shook her head. “I can’t imagine either of them hurting anyone.”
“Troy, no.” Even when they’d first met Troy and discovered that there was something strange about him, even when he’d been his angriest at them, Corrie couldn’t imagine him hurting anyone. He was sweet and gentle. But Link—not that she knew him very well, but he was tough. He’d gone into the woods to talk to faeries. And she’d seen and heard how very protective of Troy he could be. “But maybe if something was threatening Troy—or Roe, for that matter.”
“What? Why would anyone threaten them? And wasn’t Roe with him last night?”
“Oh… that’s right, you weren’t there.” Corrie explained as quickly as she could about how upset Roe had been because Link wouldn’t meet up with her and wouldn’t tell her what was going on.
Dawn swallowed. “That is a little scary. You think he had something to do with this and that’s what he wouldn’t tell her?”
“It could be.” Could Link have been hiding the truth from Roe because it was a threat to her—or because he’d killed someone and didn’t want her to know? She didn’t see him killing someone without a really good reason, but very strange things happened on this campus.
Edie sat up, pushing her blankets away. “What’s going on?” she asked fuzzily.
“Sorry,” Corrie said, realizing with a spark of guilt that they’d stopped whispering. “We didn’t mean to wake you.”
Edie picked up her phone and looked at the time. “I was about to get up anyway. What are you whispering about?”
“Someone else was killed on campus. Sean, who’s in Dawn’s class and is friends with Troy.”
Edie looked up, her eyes wide. “Is it foggy again?”
Corrie shook her head. Come to think of it, she should have realized right away that Sean had to be human, because it was a perfectly clear and lovely day. “No. He was human. There’s an email about it, but we don’t know if the deaths are related.”
“They probably don’t, either,” Dawn said. “But they’re hiding something.”