Home > Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(10)

Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(10)
Author: Leia Stone

“Lux sancta,” she whispered, and a white beam shot out of the tattoo gun and into my arm. The needle came down, and a searing pain like I’d never experienced before, slammed into me.

“Mother fuahhhhhh!” I screamed.

It hurt everywhere! Every cell in my body was on fire.

Lincoln extended his hand, which began to glow orange, and I whipped my head in his direction. “Don’t touch me. I don’t want a healing from someone who thinks I’m the scum of the Earth,” I spat. I knew the moment the hurt crossed his face that I might have gone too far. What scrap of kindness was left within him for me had vanished.

His jaw clenched and he stood taller, crossing his arms. “I’m going to walk the perimeter,” he stated with barely restrained anger.

When the pain ramped up a notch, I considered crying out his name but bit my lip instead. I’d been through worse; I could handle this. Besides, the guy was a total dick to me, and I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of letting him know I needed him.

An hour later I had my first wave of nausea.

“I’m gonna be sick!” I shouted, and Mar pulled up the tattoo gun just as I lunged forward and puked into the trashcan near her desk.

“Call Lincoln,” she instructed Darren, who’d been standing near me, trying to chat with me, and keep my mind off things.

“No,” I shouted in between heaving into the trashcan. We’d only just finished the first tattoo. I had three more to go and I wanted to die, but my pride held on strong.

Marleen handed me a towel and sighed. “Look, babe, I get it. You and Linc have something going on, but you’re not going to be able to sit for the other three without his help.”

Dammit.

“What if I came back tomorrow?” I asked hopefully.

She shook her head. “Aside from the magic leaving the blood, you wouldn’t make it that long without the tats. These tattoos harness your powers so they don’t shatter your earthly body as they come alive.”

My eyes bugged out. I’d heard a story about a Celestial who ran off after the Awakening, and they didn’t find him in time. He exploded into a ball of light. I’d always thought it was just a crazy rumor.

Lincoln arrived then, towering over me and looking gorgeous as I wiped the puke from my mouth. His eyes fell on the blue Michael tattoo on my forearm, the same one as him. It was outlined in angry red swelling.

He didn’t speak, which was a first, and probably the smartest thing he’d done all day. Instead he just extended his hand to help me up.

I could refuse it and be an asshole, but I was too tired to tend to my pride anymore. Reaching out with my good arm, I clasped my hand in his. When we touched, an electric jolt ran through me and I almost pulled away. Then his hand glowed orange, and like a balm on my wound, the pain was chased away.

I sighed in pleasure, as I crawled back onto the table. “You’re like a Vicodin,” I mumbled in exhausted pain.

He didn’t say anything, but the corner of his lips twitched. “And you’re like a third-degree burn.”

I scoffed. “Oh please. I’m not that bad. Second-degree burn. Maybe.”

The corners of his lips twitched higher and I decided to make it my mission to see him smile. I bet he had a good smile. The gorgeous assholes always did.

The tattoo gun started again and my entire nervous system jumped into action. Tightening my grip on his palm, I flinched as the light and needle hit my skin. The moment the pain tore into me, it was chased away, and a numbing sensation lay over it. The pain was still there, just on the surface, but nothing compared to what it was before. Lincoln’s hand gripped mine, and I flicked my eyes up to see his dark brows pulled together. A chunk of hair stuck to his forehead, which was starting to sweat.

Interesting.

After being in such extreme pain for over an hour, this was a welcome relief and was actually making me quite sleepy. Not enough to fall asleep, but enough to where I could lay my head down and close my eyes, rest my frayed nervous system.

Before I knew it, she was done with the second tattoo. “Okay, I’ve never done more than two, so where are we putting the others?”

“The backs of her calves?” Darren offered.

My eyes sprang open. “Oh my God, no. Calf tattoos are for overweight men in biker gangs.”

Marleen cracked up laughing.

Lincoln and I realized at the same time that we were still holding hands. He pulled his away and the pain came rushing back. Wiping it on his jeans, he looked at Marleen. “Does the placement matter?”

She shrugged. “Not at all.”

My eyes flicked up to a picture on the wall of a girl in a bikini top with a heart tattoo on her rib cage that said ‘Mom’ inside.

“Rib cage?” I asked.

Her eyes widened a little. “That’s a painful spot.”

My mouth popped open. “Is that a joke? There are actual spots that are more or less painful? You’re shoving a burning needle of light into my skin. I think it’s all the same.”

She chuckled. “Your call, kiddo.”

I laid back and peeled up my tank top, tucking it into the bottom of my bra. Every single pair of male eyes flicked to my abdomen for a brief second, even Lincoln’s, and then they turned their backs, a few of them clearing their throats uncomfortably.

“Oh come on, it’s just a belly button. Turn back around.” They did as told, keeping their eyes on my face that time.

“It’s a pretty cute belly button,” Darren offered.

That brought a smile to my lips. “I was thinking that when I start school tomorrow, it might be nice to hide some of my freakiness. I have the black wings, and it would be nice not to parade the four tattoos everywhere.”

Marleen frowned. “I want to tell you that college is better than high school, and bullying doesn’t exist, but I’d be lying. Fallen Academy is like high school on steroids.”

Nervousness ripped through me at her comment, but I tried to play it off. “I grew up in the hood with a bunch of demons. I’m sure I can handle some rich Barbies, who think they’re better than me.”

I’d done it. I’d succeeded in making Lincoln smile, and damn, he had dimples. The second he caught me looking, he expertly turned his smile into a scowl, trying to cover it up. But I saw it. He thought I was funny.

Score.

Oh wait, no, I hate him. I’d forgotten how mean he was because he’d spent the last hour healing me. It was messing with my mind, playing tricks on my emotions.

The tattoo gun turned on again and I braced myself. My mom was going to have a major hissy fit over the tattoos, but I was hoping the knowledge that I would’ve exploded without them would ease her pain. Agony flared to life on my side and I muttered a curse word.

“Why!” I shouted and gripped the edge of the massage table. “Isn’t angel blood holy or something? Couldn’t it have Novocain in it?” From my toes, up my tailbone and into my scalp, red-hot needles drilled pain into the very corners of my soul.

Marleen smirked. “You’re not the first to ask.”

Lincoln’s hand slipped over mine again, warm, soft, and gentle. I swallowed hard as heat built in my gut. Orange light covered my palm and then the pain lessened.

Sigh.

Shea wasn’t going to believe my day. I wasn’t even sure how to describe to her what had happened. The fact that I’d had about five hours of sleep and still had an entire work day ahead of me was starting to hit me. Right after my tattoos, I needed to report to my new boss. My mom’s boss. He ran a business of reanimating the dead, and I wasn’t a Necro, which meant I would probably be given the shitty jobs at his ‘clinic’ until I graduated Fallen Academy and learned to use my powers.

Then what? Fight against the Fallen Army? Fly into battle and kill one of the people in this room?

Oh God, what have I gotten myself into?

When Marleen was halfway through my third tattoo, I fainted.

“What’s wrong?” Lincoln asked, worried, as I’d regained consciousness.

“It’s a lot of power, magic, tying itself to her soul. I’ve never done four before,” Marleen explained.

“Finish. Then food,” I’d managed to say.

Lincoln frowned. “Order her a pizza,” he barked at Noah, who’d been reading magazines in the corner of the room and regrowing his shoulder flesh the entire time.

Marleen was now drawing the last line of the last tattoo, and Darren was feeding me small bites of pizza.

“It’s 11:14 a.m,” Lincoln informed, as Marleen finished and pulled the gun away.

The room spun as I sat up too quickly. “I gotta get back. Today’s my first day with my mom’s boss. He’ll make her life hell if I’m not there.” I pulled my shirt down and tried to stand, but the room did a somersault and then I was falling.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Lincoln caught me. “You can’t drive or go to work like this.”

My eyes found his. “I have to. Nothing about my life is a choice.”

He flinched at my words. “Okay… then let me do one more healing on you before you go. I’ve had my first officer bring your car out front. There’s GPS inside. It’ll guide you back.”

I nodded. “Okay.”

“Be back tomorrow at six. You’ll study with the four of us until your first class at eight.”

I frowned. “Six is kind of painful. Can we do seven thirty?” I gave him my best sweet girl smile.

“No,” he barked with a glare.

I groaned. “Fine.”

Lincoln nodded.

Noah had come from his place in the corner of the room, and was watching Lincoln keenly. “Are you sure about this last healing?”

I was clutching my rib cage and swaying like a drunken chick at prom.

“Yeah, bro, I got it,” Lincoln told him.

Suddenly, both of his hands lit up a glowing deep carroty color, and I stared at the light, mesmerized. He took one step closer to me and placed his hands on my head. The moment the light touched my skull, I felt my pain and fatigue lift. A jolt of energy zipped through my body, like I’d just chugged two cups of coffee. Looking up, I saw Lincoln wincing in pain, and sweat bead his brow. His knees suddenly gave out, and he collapsed to the floor as his hands ceased their glowing.

   
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