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.
“I was just realizing that we haven’t seen much of each other the past couple weeks,” he said. “We’ve been busy—and I guess you’ve been busier than I even realized.”
Corrie grimaced, leaning against the back of the couch. “I have been running around trying to help the magic professors—and not just for them, but because I want to know what’s doing the killing and stop them, too. I hadn’t realized how much of my time it was taking up.”
“You always seem to be busy with one project or another.”
She shrugged. “I guess I like having something to do. And it seems like my responsibility… well, mine and my friends’. We know a lot more about what’s really going on at Chatoyant College than most people, and we know how to protect ourselves.”
Charlie nodded. “I’m not criticizing. I think it’s great. But I realized that you’re probably leaving on Monday, and then I’m graduating on Friday, so we might not see much of each other for a while.”
“But you’re staying in the area, right?” she asked, sitting up a bit too quickly—her heart felt like it was racing to catch up. “I mean, to stick with the pack. That’s what you told me.”
“Sure, but it’s a big area.” He made a broad gesture with his arm. “Your dad lives way out in Franklin, and that’s still close enough for him to come and meet every full moon.”
Corrie wasn’t even sure where Franklin was; whenever she and her dad had met up, it had been either at Chatoyant College or close by. He seemed to be happy to do the traveling. But she realized Franklin, or wherever her dad lived, could be as much as a few hours away, if he liked driving and didn’t mind spending a whole day or night getting to and from his pack meetings or visits with his daughter.
That didn’t mean Charlie was going to go that far away. But he would have to live somewhere. And presumably he was going to have to get a job. “So what are your plans?” she asked.
“Well, I’ll be moving back in with Mom right after graduation while I look for a job. She’ll love that.” He ran his hand through his hair.
Corrie raised her eyebrows. “I can’t tell whether you’re being sarcastic or not.”
He laughed. “Not, I promise. My mom will be thrilled to have me right where she can see me more than once a month. Running errands for her, doing the dishes, cooking. And, of course, being told what to do with my future. She’d love to have me lead the pack when she’s ready to step down, which I hope will be far in the future.”
“I’d think so.” Corrie had only met Charlie’s mom briefly—she’d been going to the werewolf pack’s full-moon meeting to talk to her father—but she had seemed very serious and strict, just the kind of person who would not relinquish leadership easily.
“And I’ll throw my resume far and wide and see what I can find. But like I told you, I don’t know what there is around here.”
“I’m sure your RA experience will help you find something good. Better than food service. So does your mom live in West Ashburn?”
He shook his head. “A couple of towns north, in Marion. Still the same house I grew up in, and my room is still the same. Of course, I’ve been going back there every break, so it’s not like she’d try to rent it out or anything.”
“You never know.” Corrie grinned. “I’m sure if my mom owned a house, she’d rent out my bedroom. I don’t know why she doesn’t get a smaller place, really. I can sleep on the couch on my breaks. I don’t need a whole bedroom.”
“Aw, she’s just trying to take care of you.” Charlie slid his feet off the coffee table, moved over on the couch, and put his arm over Corrie’s shoulder. “But my point is, there’s no guarantee of how much we’re going to be able to see each other after the next couple of days, so we should make the most of the time we have.”
He leaned in, his eyes intent, his warm breath washing over her.