Corrie raised her eyebrows and looked at Dawn. That was probably the best they were going to get in terms of Tom agreeing to help them.
Dawn blinked a few times, but said, “We’re all meeting at the magic building at seven. That’s a little while before sunset. Do you want to meet us at the gate at five of seven or so and we’ll take you there?”
Tom raised his eyebrows. “Do you see a clock out here?”
“Uh… meet us at the front gate now?”
They all agreed to meet at seven with whatever backup they could find. Troy and Link seemed to be arguing in quiet voices as the students left the magic building, so Corrie, Edie, and Dawn separated from them easily, even though they were both going north and staying carefully to the paths.
It was another humid day. “Do you think it’s going to storm?” Corrie asked Dawn.
“There’s a storm near here. I’m not sure if it’s coming in this direction.” Dawn glanced back. “Do you think Tom will agree to help us?”
Corrie was a little surprised to find that she was getting more and more enthusiastic about this plan as they discussed it. She didn’t really need to be convincing Troy and Link of the plan—it was the magic professors’ plan, so it was their job to get the Djanaea on board. But she wanted the plan to work, even if not all of it made sense.
Maybe it was just that it was the only plan they had. She wanted Gerlina to be caught; she wanted the murders to stop. If this was going to give them the best chance, then she wanted everyone in on it.
“I didn’t know there were werewolves on campus,” Link admitted.
Corrie managed a smile and nodded at Dawn. She was asking the right question. If the magic professors did have a plan, that would probably make Link feel better about the whole thing. If they didn’t actually have a plan, though, then it was best for everything to wait until they could come up with something useful.
“Yes,” Professor Lal said. “At least, we have the rudiments of a plan. The center of campus seems to attract her the most, so that is where we will be. Troy, if you agree to be part of our plan, you will exit the magic building and walk across the grass as though you are walking toward the science building. We will be concealed around that space, at the various entry points.” She made a gesture that took in herself and the other three magic professors. “One of us should be able to see or sense Gerlina when she enters, but as an extra precaution, we will have Corrie watching with her distance sight, which will allow her to survey the entire area from above.”
Corrie took her usual seat in the classroom, with Dawn by her side. Edie sat down next to Corrie, and Troy and Link, after a little hesitation, sat down on Edie’s other side. The professors chose chairs from around the room; Professor Lal and Professor Rook showed no compunction dragging chairs to suit themselves and face the others. Corrie hoped that Professor Strega hadn’t been too attached to the current arrangement—she couldn’t remember any student ever moving the chairs or even asking to move them.
“You know that we are on our way to capturing the murderer and we wish to ask for your help,” Professor Lal said, nodding at Troy and Link. “Ginny will explain what we have discovered.”
“The faerie who attacked you and killed several other students is called Gerlina,” Ginny said. She looked very comfortable perched on a tall stool. “Does that name mean anything to you?”
Corrie closed her eyes, stretching her back slightly to get closer to Charlie. His lips came down gently on hers, sending a thrill through her.
And then, of course, her phone rang.
She swore lightly, the words coming out as a hiss between her teeth, and slumped her shoulders, opening her eyes. “Sorry. I should really see if that’s Professor Lal.”
Charlie drew back, a frown pinching his eyebrows together. “Uh, okay.”
Corrie hoped Charlie hadn’t actually asked her to stop so they could talk about her murders. He wasn’t exactly her boyfriend, but… well, she still hoped whatever conversation he wanted to have was more personal than that.
And to her relief, he smiled and stepped back to his front door. “Come inside, let’s sit down.”
“Sure.” She followed him into his dorm room—he had the privilege, as an RA, of a much bigger room than most of the other Gilkey residents, with its own sitting room, bathroom, and separate bedroom. He kept the front room pretty nice, and it had a couch and a TV. She sat down on the couch, and he joined her, sitting at the other end with his feet up on the coffee table.
Corrie put her phone away and tried to turn the conversation to a more lighthearted topic, but none of them could stay on that for long. Eventually, she found herself telling Edie and Dawn about what Tessa had said.
“So people are looking for a monster,” she finished. “And they’re not wrong.”
“I guess not,” Edie said. “But if they think they’re looking for something big and hairy, aren’t they going to miss the real danger?”
Saturday, May 27
Corrie got back from the shower, rubbing her hair dry, and immediately checked her phone. No call from Professor Lal. She would have been surprised to get one so early, but she still wanted to check. She hoped they could get the chat with Troy and Link over with quickly.
Not that she would be able to enjoy her last weekend on campus very much regardless.