Clare K. R. Miller

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 44: It All Happened Very Quickly

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Dawn grinned, but let Corrie lead the way, since she was the one carrying the pancakes. Corrie set the plate down on Troy’s desk. Troy reached out eagerly for it, though he winced a little when he stretched out his left arm. The upper arm was covered with a white bandage that bulked out the sleeve of his T-shirt.

Link shut the door behind them and sat down in a chair next to it, his arms folded. “What exactly did the magic professors tell you?”

“Thanks for the pancakes from both of us,” Troy said.

“You’re welcome,” Corrie said, laughing. “I grabbed you two clean forks. You can both eat.”

Link just glowered while Troy began to eat pancakes. “You guys can sit down,” he said through a mouthful of pancake, gesturing at the bed with the fork. “Sorry, the bed is the only place, since Link is using my only chair.”

The three of them squeezed onto the end of the bed, leaving Troy enough room to sit and move his arms. Dawn made sure to take the spot nearest Troy so she could look at his arm if she had to, but turned to Link. “They said a faerie attacked Troy and that you fought it off with illusions, and you both ran away. They said Troy was injured and you were both weak.”

“That’s why we wanted to bring food,” Corrie said.

“I’m doing okay,” Troy said. “It still hurts a little. Come on, Link, have some pancakes. He keeps healing me, that’s why he’s weak, so he should eat.”

“Fine.” Link got up and speared a pancake with a fork, then returned to his seat to eat it.

“They also said that you weren’t really able to see the faerie,” Edie said. “Just teeth. Is that because it was dark, do you think? Or maybe that’s all it was showing through its glamour?”

Link shook his head. “I don’t really know. It all happened very quickly. It might have just been the darkness. But I’m sure I didn’t see any eyes, and those would have shown up most clearly, wouldn’t they? If I’d seen its eyes, it would have been easier to fight, but the illusions didn’t seem to bother it much.”

“Could you tell it was a faerie?” Dawn asked.

Link shrugged. “Those teeth didn’t look like anything else living. I guess I assumed it was a faerie.”

“We’re not supposed to talk about them, you know,” Troy said. “Link wouldn’t tell them anything until Professor Lal pointed out that whoever it is, they’ve already broken the agreement.”

“That’s right,” Corrie said. “Your agreement with the faeries is that you’ll keep their secrets and they won’t hurt the prince, isn’t it?”

“In a nutshell,” Link said. “But yeah, Lal was right. This faerie clearly broke it, so we stopped trying to keep its secrets.”

“And then after you left, it killed Sean,” Edie said. “Do you have any idea why it would go after you, or him? Troy, do you know why Sean came outside?”

“No idea,” Link said shortly.

Troy put the plate back on his desk. There were still plenty of pancakes, but he looked a bit sick. “I don’t know why it wanted to attack me or why he came outside. But if it had something against me personally, maybe it would attack him because he was my friend.” He was hunching his shoulder, his head sinking toward his chest. “And he had no protection.”

“I told you,” Link said. “Fighting it wasn’t doing any good, and my first job is to keep you safe. There’s nothing I could have done for Sean.”

“Yes, but—“ Troy cut himself off, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms.

“How would it know that Sean was your friend, though?” Edie asked. “It might have nothing to do with you. Maybe he’s just the next person who came out of the building.”

“He could also have been looking for you,” Corrie said. “Maybe he said your name.”

Dawn was surprised to see that Troy’s cheeks were a bit pink. He nodded. “That could be it, or maybe it, uh…” He mumbled something that was too quiet and muffled for Dawn to understand.

“What was that?” Link said, leaning forward and frowning.

Troy’s cheeks were turning a brighter pink, and he wouldn’t look up to meet Link’s eyes. “Maybe, if it has a really good sense sense of smell, it could smell me on him. I’d kissed him a few minutes before I came outside.”

“You what?” Link rose to his feet.

Dawn stared between the two of them. She wasn’t sure she, Corrie, and Edie should be here for what was obviously a big reveal. But suddenly a few of the things Roe had said, or not said, about her unsuccessful date with Troy made a lot more sense.

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