Dawn stared at Elrath, trying not to be too obvious about it. He must have been asking them to do something for or with his sister—that was his trade for the information they wanted—but she couldn't imagine what. And she didn't think it would be anything they were willing to do.
Dawn stared at Elrath. He was lying. He had to be. What he’d just said didn’t make any sense.
How could the treaty not apply to the faeries still on campus and in the area? What did it even mean, if the agreements that had been made back then by Alienor Chatoyant and Thengul were no longer valid? How were there both humans and faeries still living on campus?
Dawn watched Elrath as he paused deliberately, settling himself back a little more in the chair. “You haven’t come up with anything to offer me?”
“We don’t know what you want,” Edie said. “We don’t have anything we think is valuable to others, except maybe knowledge, and like you said, you know everything you need to know.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Are you trying to flatter me?”
Edie frowned and shook her head. “It’s just what you said. I don’t know—“ She stopped in the middle of the sentence, her forehead wrinkling.
Dawn and Rico walked back to Gilkey together. When the building was in sight, her phone buzzed with a text from Corrie. Where r u?
She didn’t bother responding, knowing that she would see them in a few minutes. Sure enough, when they got inside, Corrie and Edie were sitting in the common room. Edie waved and leaned to talk to Corrie. Dawn waved back, hoping they hadn’t been waiting for too long and that Elrath wasn’t already inside.
She squeezed Rico’s hand. “I’ll stop by your room on my way back up and let you know what happened, okay?”
Dawn didn’t sleep well that night. She kept waking, thinking there was thunder and lightning outside, but in the morning her view out the window was unclouded and dry. When she finally woke enough to get out of bed, it was late, after ten. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, brushed her hair a little, and went next door to see if Corrie and Edie had gone to breakfast.
No one answered when she knocked, so they must have gone. Annie’s roommate Salome passed Dawn in the hallway, but she just offered her usual surly look, so Dawn didn’t say anything.
Dawn sighed, slumping in the chair. “You’re right. He might want to know something about one of our friends, and that wouldn’t be ours to give.”
“Or he might want to be set up with one of our friends,” Edie said with a shudder. “We definitely couldn’t do that.”
“But we know a lot about the faerie activity on and around campus,” Corrie said. “If there was something he wanted to know about Mardalan, and we have that information, I would be happy to give it to him.”
Dawn leaned against the door. She was sure they would figure it out. The question was, would it be too late for Professor Strega—or for them—when they did?
Edie flopped down on her bed with a sigh. “The question is, what can we trade to Elrath?”
Corrie’s eyes widened. “You didn’t promise a trade, did you?”
“We offered one,” Dawn said. “Edie asked him why the contract still applies to all faeries. He asked what we would trade for that information.”
“Okay,” said Charlie, “I might not be the brightest guy, but even I can tell that something weird was going on there. Edie, what were you doing with that clover?”
“It’s a four-leaf clover,” Edie explained, holding it out to him. “You know about them, don’t you?”
He frowned and nodded at it. “I didn’t notice that. I know there’s a lot of them around campus…”
“We use them to see past glamour,” Corrie said. “Those of us who don’t have the Sight like Dawn, of course.”
Dawn had not expected that response. She stared at Elrath, but his cool, calculating expression didn’t change. Of course, he wasn’t looking at her; he was focused on Edie.
She looked over at Edie, who was frowning, but didn’t seem as surprised as Dawn felt by the question of trade. But Edie had bargained with Brandon; she knew Leila, and probably Derwen, better than Dawn knew any faerie. Maybe she had been expecting that response all along.
Once the dessert menu was there, Corrie and Charlie both zeroed in on the chocolate lava cake, and when he suggested that they share dessert, she only hesitated for a moment. She probably couldn’t eat the whole thing herself, after that heavy meal, and she liked that they both had the same favorite dessert from this menu.
She was right: the cake was delicious and gooey, and their forks fought over the first few bites, but she was too full to go any further before she had eaten half of it. Charlie devoured the rest.
“High werewolf metabolism?” she asked him.