The Nightmare Affair Page 87

’’Sure we can.’’

’’Hel-lo? Remember the stuff Bethany said about manipulating dreams and trapping people?’’

’’She lied. Or exaggerated greatly, to be more accurate.’’

’’How do you know?’’

’’He asked Lady Elaine about it,’’ said Selene, patting her lips with a napkin.

Eli nodded. ’’She came to see me in the hospital. Apparently, we\ e supposed to do that kind of thing. Lady Elaine thinks Bethany just told you that because she wanted you to keep suspecting your mom and not her. That, and she didn\ want us spying on what Marrow was up to, like we did when the phoenix attacked us.’’

I chewed on my bottom lip, thinking it over. ’’But if she only exaggerated, then there\s still a risk, right?’’

Eli waved a dismissive hand. ’’Not enough to worry about. We\ll be careful.’’

I didn\ answer.

’’Oh, come on, Dusty,’’ said Eli, his blue eyes fixed on my face in a way that made me want to squirm. ’’Together, we\ e unstoppable. Besides, what else have we got to dream about now that we found the killer?’’

I began to fiddle with my hair, dropping my gaze off Eli. ’’Nothing, I guess.’’ Well, not until the Red Warlock comes back.

’’If you two are starting a detective agency, I want in,’’ said Selene, adjusting her ball cap.

’’Well, duh,’’ said Eli, beaming at her.

’’And we\ e going to need a name,’’ Selene said. ’’Something good and catchy.’’

’’You\ e right.’’ Eli scratched his chin. ’’How about the Arkwell Detective Agency. The A.D.A.’’

Selene wrinkled her nose. ’’Sounds too much like a chemical or something.’’

’’What about Booker and Associates?’’

I rolled my eyes. ’’It\s not all about you, you know?’’

Eli grinned. ’’Says who?’’

’’I think we should call it Selene Investigations.’’

’’No, Nightmare Investigations.’’

’’Dreamer Investigations.’’

’’The Dream Team.’’

’’How about Magic Eyes? You know, like private eyes, only for magic.’’

’’Corny much?’’

On and on it went, everybody arguing and trying to one-up the other. But it was all in good fun. After a while, I realized I was even having fun. Despite the terror we\d faced down in the tunnels, death and blood and all things horrible, we were okay. Funny how having friends beside you could do that. With friends, you could survive just about anything.

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