Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 76: Movement

Edie, Corrie, and Dawn tried to make conversation as the light faded, but there wasn’t all that much to talk about. They were too anxious about what would happen tonight. They eventually resorted to quizzing each other on the order of stones and the locations of the professors so they could all be sure of them. Dawn checked periodically to see if she could locate the cold spot, and Corrie checked with her distance sight to make sure they knew where the professors were. Corrie also checked on Tom and the werewolves to make sure she knew their locations.

Edie was jealous. She wished she had a special power that could be useful tonight. But her own magic seemed to be pretty straightforward—she was really good at water magic, but that wasn’t very interesting, and lacking the ability to do trance meant she couldn’t even look at other people’s magic. She had an interesting magical heritage, but it always seemed to be a liability, not anything useful. The only things she could recall that being part faerie had done for her were to get her more attention from other faeries and to make it easier for Brandon to teleport with her.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 75: Waiting

Edie still felt a little uncomfortable sitting in the chairs, where just last night the members of the Circle of the Goddess had sat with Payton and Elena’s blood all over them, but they seemed to have been cleaned well; she couldn’t see any trace of blood on them. Anyway, she was sure she couldn’t stand here all night, or however long it took for Troy and Link to attract Gerlina’s attention, so she took a chair and dragged it over to the window.

Corrie followed her example. Dawn grabbed two chairs and placed the extra with its back against the window, the seat pointing toward the three of them. “You can put the stones there,” she said, gesturing to the seat.

“Good idea,” Corrie said. She put the four stones in a row along the front of the seat. Edie took her notebook back out and set it behind the stones so they could all see it, though it would be harder to see as the light dimmed.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 74: Positioning

Edie grinned back as she wrote down which stone corresponded to which professor, and then started to sketch the area, but realized something was still missing. “Where will each of you be? Corrie might be able to see you with her distance sight, but since it’s going to be dark, we shouldn’t take any chances.”

“Ah, we hadn’t worked that out.” Ginny looked at the other three professors. “I’ll take the southwest, between the magic and administration buildings.”

“I’ll take the northeast,” Professor Rook said.

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 73: Preparations

Edie leaned forward, curious what Link’s better plan might be. Did he want Tom out front as the main plan, despite what Professor Rook said? Maybe he had something else in mind, now that the backup was here. She was just glad that he was no longer protesting against the whole concept—he just wanted to make improvements.

Troy made a protesting noise without opening his mouth, and Charlie’s mom shook her head. “You don’t need to worry. We’ll be there to protect you. Don’t you agree, Francis, Marie?”

“I’m sure we can hold our own against this faerie,” Corrie’s dad said. “If nothing else, Link, I’m sure we can hold her back long enough for you and Troy to get away, if necessary.”

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 72: Plan B

Edie was very curious as to how Professor Strega and Tom knew each other. She didn’t seem happy to see him there at all. Maybe he’d messed with her before—that did seem to be what he liked to do. But presumably he hadn’t done her any lasting harm, because she seemed mostly satisfied with the answer she’s gotten.

The rest of the room seemed to be more interested in what Tom had just said to Troy.

“Um, prince?” Charlie said, looking at Troy.

“I get the idea there are a few more introductions to be made,” Corrie’s dad said.

“Why don’t you all find seats?” Professor Lal suggested. “And we’ll finish the introductions and explain what is wanted of each of you.”

Corrie, Edie, and Dawn went to the other side of the room to sit down where they’d been sitting that morning. Corrie’s dad found a seat close to her, and the werewolves all sat by him. Tom sat on Professor Strega’s desk, swinging his heels against the side, which Edie thought she could have predicted he would do, especially as it obviously annoyed the professor.

“Troy and Link, I think you should explain yourselves,” Ginny said.

Troy looked at Link. Link nodded and straightened his shoulders. “Troy and I are not human. The closest thing to describe what we are in English would be ‘mermaids.’ We live under a lake, but our magic allows us to partly change shape and appear to be human. It’s been the tradition for hundreds of years for the crown prince to attend Chatoyant College. My family serves and protects the royal family, so I was sent here to be Troy’s friend and help him get used to the human world.”

Charlie was staring unabashedly at Link. Troy fidgeted a little. Edie thought it was interesting that Link had left out the part about the prince coming to Chatoyant College to find a wife. But it made sense—that wasn’t relevant to what they were doing today, and the questions that would follow that explanation would needlessly complicate the discussion.

Anyway, that was clearly enough for the others to think about. The older werewolves looked confused. Tom looked bored.

“The important thing is that the faerie we’re trying to trap tonight, Gerlina, is primarily interested in the Djanaea,” Corrie put in, with a gesture at Troy and Link. “She seems to think that she wants revenge against them.”

“That’s correct,” Professor Lal said. “She attacked Troy, but he was lucky enough to escape with little damage, thanks largely to Link’s quick acting.”

Tom stopped swinging his feet. “We can’t allow that to happen again.”

“Exactly,” Link said, nodding at Tom.

“Unfortunately, we only know two ways to draw her out,” Professor Lal said. “She has only attacked when she has seen Troy outside alone at night, or when something has caused her pain by disrupting the balance of magic on campus or doing something to change its flow.”

“Well, if that’s all we need to do, I was practically born to change the flow of magic,” Tom said, smirking. “What happens then?” Edie wondered whether he meant changing the flow of magic wasn’t entirely his purpose in life, or whether he hadn’t actually been born.

“She would likely attack you instead of Troy, trying to stop the pain,” Ginny said.

“Why don’t we call that plan B?” Professor Rook suggested. “I still think that the plan to tempt her out with the Djanaea is the soundest and safest for everyone involved.”

“Except Troy and Link,” Charlie said.

I’ll be fine,” Link said. “It’s Troy she’s interested in. And we’re not agreeing to this plan unless I’m sure he’ll be safe.”

Troy sighed and looked over at the girls. Edie gave him what she hoped was an encouraging smile. He might have been perfectly fine with acting as bait, but she understood Link’s hesitation.

“That is where we need your help,” Professor Lal said, gesturing toward the werewolves. “We have a solid plan in place, using a magical net to trap Gerlina when she gets close to Troy, but in case she is too fast for us or too strong—though no matter her strength, it is unlikely she will be able to break free of our net—we have sought those who are faster or stronger.”

“I’m sure the four of us can best a single faerie,” Charlie’s mom said.

“This one is pretty nasty, Mom,” Charlie said. “She ripped those four people she killed to shreds.”

“Bit them to pieces, actually,” Professor Rook said.

“Still,” Charlie’s mom said with a shrug. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had to fight a faerie, but I think we are more than capable. She doesn’t have any venom in those teeth of hers, does she?”

“Evidently not,” Professor Lal said. “I hope it won’t come to that, but I am glad to have werewolves as our backup. Tom… are you really willing to provide backup?”

Tom spread his hands wide and shrugged. “I don’t want to let her touch the prince, but I’m happy enough being the third tier.”

“Link, does this satisfy you?” Professor Lal asked.

Link hesitated, then shook his head. “We need a better plan.”

Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 71: Introductions

Edie couldn’t help being anxious as they waited at the gate. Tom did show up, though, several minutes later, looking around dubiously at the gate as though it were going to swing shut on him unexpectedly. “Hello there, ladies,” he said as he stepped onto campus. “Where to?”

“We’ll wait here for a few more minutes,” Dawn said. “We’re expecting Corrie’s father and maybe a few others to help us out.”

Tom raised his eyebrows. “You expect a human’s father to be useful in this situation?”

“Well, he’s not entirely human,” Corrie said. “We did tell you we were asking werewolves for help.”

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Chatoyant College, Chatoyant College Book 13: The Teeth

Chatoyant College Book 13: Chapter 70: Drama

Edie walked with Dawn north through the campus, toward the spot where she would meet Tom. Corrie was waiting at the front gate in case her father showed up a little early; Edie had decided to go with Dawn, who seemed more nervous than Corrie did, though neither of them exactly seemed happy.

They’d spent the afternoon playing card games and trying to distract themselves. It had been fun, but they hadn’t really been able to forget the plan for the evening, which loomed over them.

Edie hoped that they’d be able to actually pull the whole thing off and catch Gerlina tonight. She didn’t want to have to go through this all over again tomorrow night—and the werewolves probably wouldn’t all be available on short notice again, even assuming they were available tonight.

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