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Chatoyant College

Chapter 31: Don't Tell Me

She didn’t have to go very far, not once she got out of the trees. In fact, she’d only gone a few more steps when she saw Corrie, passing her on the path. She called out and waved. Corrie turned so fast she almost fell over, then stopped and waved back, grinning. Edie caught up to her quickly. “It must be really early,” she said ruefully. “I’ve never been up early enough to see you in your running clothes before.”

Chapter 30: Cold Morning

Saturday, November 1

Edie woke up and, for a moment, she had no idea where she was. That scared her at first, because it had been happening too often lately, and if it was happening again, maybe there really was something wrong with her. But once she realized that the reason the light looked so odd was that it was coming through the trees instead of her window, and that the strange warmth next to her was actually Leila, she remembered what had happened last night and how she had gotten here, and she felt much better.

Chapter 29: Over the Wall

It was still dark, but at least Corrie could follow the wall. It couldn’t possibly go all the way around the campus, or they would have encountered it before. Certainly the one on the east side didn’t go all the way around, or she wouldn’t have been able to get to the street from the campus. She turned around and reached for the wall to guide herself with. It wasn’t there.

Chapter 28: ID

Her best hope, she decided, was to go up to the gate anyway and hope the guard there would let her in. With luck, it would be one of the guards she’d met. Before trying it, though, she re-did her ponytail and brushed bits of dirt and leaves off her clothes. There was nothing she could do about her shoes until she got back to her room, but at least she looked less like a disheveled drunk now.

Chapter 27: Escape

Corrie froze. The eyes were small, yellow, and animal-like. She didn’t recognize them, and she couldn’t see anything else; just leaves, all around. With a start, she realized that the rest of the tree was much more bare. Whatever she was looking at was covered in leaves. Hope rising in her thoughts, she took a step forward. Could it be Ever?

Chapter 26: Halloween Ball

Corrie felt all the blood rush to her face. For a moment she could do nothing but stare, astonished. Then she began to recognize others in the ballroom. Professor Strega. Professor Rook. Professor Shannon from the philosophy department. And, strangely enough, her history teacher, Professor Drehmer, dancing an elegant waltz with a black-haired woman nearly a foot taller than him.

Chapter 25: Rest and Relaxation

They brought Dawn back to her room with no trouble, Charlie carrying her. Once again, Corrie watched their path, and it was empty—though this time she did see a couple laughing, holding hands and running down the path from one dorm to another. At least they weren’t the only ones walking on the campus at all.

After Charlie had set Dawn back down on her bed and left, Corrie and Naomi wiped the makeup off her face, took her shoes off, and tucked her in as best they could. Corrie sighed, straightening up, then turned to Naomi. “Do you want me to stay here and help you keep an eye on her?”

Chapter 24: Empty Campus

Leading Charlie up the stairs, taking them two at a time, Corrie paused briefly at the fourth floor. She hadn’t knocked to see whether Rico or even Duncan were home. She didn’t think they were—she recalled Dawn saying something about wanting Rico to come to the party, but him being busy—but she still ought to check, since Dawn was Rico’s girlfriend and he would want to help. Then again, she really didn’t want to explain the situation to him. When Dawn woke up, it would be her choice what and whether to tell her boyfriend about being drugged and dancing with another guy.

Chapter 23: Sleeping

Corrie stared at Dawn for a few minutes. Her brain was failing to come up with anything useful to do now. Finally she reached out and, without much hope, shook Dawn’s shoulder. She continued to sleep. Corrie grabbed her discarded bracelet and shook Dawn again, but just like before, there was no reaction.

“I don’t know if waking her up is even a good idea,” said Naomi. “If the spell or drug or whatever made her sick, she might just need to sleep it off.”

Corrie sighed. “You’re right. But what do we do? Other people might get sick.”

Chapter 22: Under the Influence

“Let’s get out of here,” she said, gesturing urgently at Naomi and Dawn. “I don’t know how long they’re going to be able to hold him back.” Her heart was hammering with adrenaline.

“Who?” Naomi frowned and glanced back toward the building, but scrambled to her feet. “Tom?”

Corrie shook her head and held her hand out to Dawn. “The guy who was dancing with Dawn. He did not want me to come back in. I didn’t get a chance to find Tom. Though considering how much he’s drawn to any drama, he should figure out where we were…”

“Unless he’s distracted. Come on, Dawn, get up.”

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