Dawn considered going to look for the faerie again over the next couple of weeks, but never ended up doing anything. If she hadn’t seen it at the mall, it probably didn’t live there; it might have just been there for a specific purpose, never to return. Most likely, it lived in one of the small patches of wild in the area, and searching those was out of the question. For one thing, it was too cold to go tramping around in the woods—not to mention the six inches of snow that had fallen since New Year’s.
Edie spent a few more days focusing on her faerie research and knitting, but she kept thinking about her great-grandmother and how she might possibly still be around. But who would know if she was? She certainly hadn’t told any of her family—and that made sense, if she had faked her death. She must have done it so she could separate from her family, maybe because she was tired of humans or maybe just because she knew she couldn’t live forever without suspicion. Either way, telling her family it was fake would have been counterproductive.
Scott was looking at Corrie with a strange, soft look in his eyes. He was leaning toward her. She had to say something. She couldn’t just stand there and let him think she liked him as much as he liked her—
She took a deep breath and a step back. “Sorry, Scott,” she said. He straightened up immediately and gave her such a hurt-puppy look that she forgot what she was going to say next. She couldn’t really reject him, could she? He was so sweet, and he liked her so much, and they had friends in common and everything.
Dawn waited a few day for the post-Christmas sales to die down, and then she went back to the mall by herself. She hadn’t been able to shake the memory of seeing a faerie there, even though it might have just been a trick of the light. She didn’t want to go with a friend because of how weird and uncomfortable she’d felt talking to Steph, and because if she decided to take off after the faerie, she didn’t want to have to explain to someone else what she was doing.
Edie waited a couple of days before asking her mother about her great-grandmother. She didn’t want to make it sound as though she was completely obsessed with her, especially if her parents had discussed the conversation she’d had with her dad in the car (and they probably had).
Three days after the party, it was December 26 and Corrie was back at work. She had half not wanted to come today, since she would have liked to be hitting some of the after-Christmas sales and maybe getting some cool stuff, but she had almost no money left over from the summer anyway. She was even more inclined than usual to be cheery, pleasant, and polite as she took people’s orders, brought the food out, and checked to make sure everything was all right.
Waiting for everyone else to eat the ham made Dawn hungry, even though she’d eaten earlier. She picked at the cranberry sauce, but the crescent rolls had already been eaten and there was nothing to put it on, so she was happy when the pies came out. It turned out that the blueberry one her parents had made wasn’t the only one—Pru had also bought a pumpkin pie and some vanilla ice cream. Dawn took some of each.
Edie might not have found anything useful, but at least she had some books to entertain herself with. And she had some things to research on the internet. Maybe if there was more information out there, she would find it. She knew that if she wanted to tell people about her experiences with faeries, she’d rather put it on the internet than in a book.
Corrie dropped Etta off at her house a few minutes later; her cousin was obviously feeling better after just that little time away from the crowd. Corrie waited for her to get her door unlocked, and they waved at each other before Corrie drove away.
The party had gotten a little rowdier by the time she got back. Someone had put on some music and the volume of talk had risen to match it. Corrie suspected there was some alcohol out now.
They didn’t have to wait too much longer. The first to arrive was Dawn’s aunt Sandy with her husband Travis and her two kids, Mia and Shane. They were several years younger than Dawn; Sandy was her dad and Pru’s younger sister. Dawn had always gotten along with her cousins, though, so she was happy to see them.