Home > Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(14)

Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(14)
Author: Leia Stone

‘I’m Sera,’ the dagger told me. I felt her, like she was a person, an old friend. It was the weirdest and yet most comforting thing I’d ever experienced.

‘Brielle, but you can call me Bri.’ I felt stupid introducing myself to a knife, but hey, there were weirder things in the world.

“Incredible,” the professor breathed.

The wind had died down, and although my legs were shaky, I was able to stand. All I could do was stare at the dagger in my hands. It was about nine inches long, most of that the blade, with a short golden hilt that was engraved and encrusted with shimmery pearl-like stones.

“A seraph blade. I didn’t even know we had one in there,” Mr. Claymore gushed.

He walked over to the case I’d retrieved it from, grabbed a black leather scabbard and handed it to me. It looked only big enough to attach around my thigh, so that’s where I buckled it.

“Has anyone learned of the seraph blade in history class?” he asked.

My eyes widened. Oh my God, he’s going to make a lesson out of this.

A short brown-haired girl with freckles raised her hand. “Doesn’t it somehow magnify the user’s inner light, or something?”

Tiffany laughed, pointing at my wings. “That might be a problem in this case.”

Luke growled at her, an honest animal growl, and she shut up. He was totally my new friend.

Mr. Claymore nodded. “Partly right, but that is only one feature. If she were fighting to save someone she loved, the light would be extremely bright. If she were protecting herself or other acquaintances, it would be less harmful. The light of true love, coming through a seraph blade, is said to eviscerate a demon without making a single cut.”

And by the mercy of God, the bell rang then. With a relieved sigh, I turned to follow Luke outside so we could make our way to our final class before lunch—battle class.

“Stop!” the professor roared.

The entire class froze.

He held out his hands. “You must give your weapon a taste of your blood, to bind to it for eternity.”

I was glad to see my eyes weren’t the only ones that bugged out. Tiffany was the first to pierce her hand with her giant sword, as if the idea of feeding a weapon her blood didn’t bother her. Then everyone followed suit. Luke looked at me and shrugged, poking his palm with one of his arrows.

Pulling Sera out, I made a small slice across my palm. I wasn’t even sure I’d cut myself until the blood bubbled up. It didn’t even hurt, just felt weird, like I’d put a piece of cold ice on my palm. A blue light shot out of the hilt, and swirled around my torso, making gooseflesh break out on my arms.

That earned me a dozen more stares, including the professor.

“All right, go in peace,” he said to the group.

When I looked up, he was watching me with glowing silver eyes.

As Luke and I walked to battle class together, I tried to get my wings to go back in, but they weren’t cooperating. At one point my wing accidentally brushed against Tiffany—who I now lovingly referred to as Bitchany—and she shrieked, asking for holy water. When everyone laughed, I kept my chin up. I wasn’t going to let her get me down.

The Nightbloods had to travel the school in underground tunnels because they couldn’t be exposed to the sunlight, so they were waiting for us inside the gymnasium first. The same one I’d learned to fly in that morning.

The hour passed quickly with basic weapon holding positions. Before I knew it, I was eating lunch with Luke and his demon-gifted friends on the right half of the cafeteria. The left half was unofficially for the angel blessed. Arguably, I was angel blessed since I was a Celestial, but the red crescent moon on my forehead and black wings spoke otherwise. Besides, I wanted to get to know Luke better.

Luke had an older sister, Angela, who was a Necromancer and two grades above us. “Oh, man, I still remember the day I got my infinity weapon.” She was grinning, looking at Luke’s bow and arrow. “Mom will be real proud.”

He nodded. “And Dad?”

Her face fell. “Yeah, I meant Mom and Dad.”

Luke rolled his eyes. “Don’t bother, I know what you meant.”

I kept my eyeballs on my mashed potatoes.

“My mom and dad are both angel blessed,” he explained.

“Ah.” Some families had a weird thing where they wanted their kids to be like them. My mom had wanted me to be a Necromancer so we could work together, but we’d ended up working together anyway.

“No issue with my being gay, but he threw a fit when he found out I was a Beast and demon gifted,” he said to his broccoli.

Angela chewed her lip. She had long inky black hair, and was quite pretty with green eyes, and high cheekbones. “He’ll get over it.”

Then her eyes flicked up behind me, and her back went ramrod straight. “Oh my God, Lincoln Grey is walking over here.”

I froze, swallowing my mashed potatoes quickly, and turned my head just as he said my name.

“What’s with the wings?” he asked. Most of the Celestials kept them away unless fighting or showing off.

I rolled my eyes. “Is that what you came to ask me?” God, he was infuriating. Way to embarrass me, jackass.

He assessed me, then smirked. “They’re stuck again, aren’t they?”

Oh my God. I’m going to lie awake tonight and fantasize not about seeing him naked, but about how many ways I could kill him and hide the body.

I didn’t answer, and he snaked a hand out and stroked the top of my wings in one suave move. My wings snapped into my back, as warmth ran down my spine. Not gonna lie, my body liked his touch, but I could barely stand him. Sure, he may have been through some tragedy, but he was just… irritating. On all levels.

“You have to leave, right? I’ll walk you out,” he asked, looking at my friends.

Okay, that was a not-so-subtle way to kill my lunch. “Yeah, okay.” I grabbed my messenger bag, and turned to my new friends. “See you tomorrow.”

Luke frowned. “You only have half days?”

I chewed my lip and pointed to my forehead. “Yeah.”

Angela kicked him under the table, and they both put on fake plastic smiles. “Cool, see you tomorrow Bri,” she offered in an extra-chipper tone.

Bless her heart.

Lincoln tugged on my bag. “I need to speak with you.”

Ugh. This tall drink of water is nice to look at, but becoming a major thorn in my side.

We were making our way through the throngs of students, when Tiffany bolted into a standing position, blocking Lincoln’s way. “Hey, Linc.”

Linc. That must be something they all call him after they’ve slept with him.

“Hey, Tiffany.” Was that annoyance in his tone? He totally knew her!

“Sucks that Raphael has you babysitting the archdemon,” she spat, glowering at me.

Anger boiled throughout my entire body. How freaking dare she! I moved forward to do something impulsive and crazy, like rip her face off, when Lincoln’s hand came out to stop me.

“Don’t be a bully, Tiff. It’s unattractive.” He blasted past her with a firm grip on my upper arm.

The last thing I saw when leaving the cafeteria was Tiffany’s curled lip and a flame of jealousy in her gaze.

Ha. Take that.

The moment we were outside, he released my arm.

“You’re going to need a thicker skin if you want to survive here, or anywhere, for that matter. You can’t go fighting every person who name-calls you,” he said in a fatherly tone.

“Yeah, thanks, Dad, but I’m aware of that. She’s been at my throat all day,” I huffed.

Lincoln stopped walking halfway to the parking lot, and faced me. “Are you ever pleasant?”

I raised one eyebrow. “Are you?”

He rolled his eyes and kept walking, forcing me to run after him like an idiot.

“How do you know her, anyway? Ex-girlfriend?”

He made a disgusted face. “Ew, no. She’s a… family friend.” He didn’t sound too convincing.

“Well what did you need to talk to me about?” I needed to get going. Master Burdock would have my hide if I was late a second day in a row.

Lincoln spun and pointed to Sera on my right thigh. “That. That’s what I came to talk to you about.”

I recoiled a little, hurt by his tone. “What’s wrong?” I stroked Sera’s hilt.

‘Do we like him, or not? I can’t tell,’ she asked me.

I internally groaned. ‘I’m still trying to figure that out myself.’

“The problem is you can’t bring a seraph blade into Demon City. It’ll be sold or destroyed. Raphael has tasked me with fixing the issue!” He did not sound happy about that at all.

I wasn’t sure what to say, so for once in my life, I kept quiet.

Lincoln pulled a key from his jeans pocket. “This is a key to my trailer.” He pointed across the parking lot to the edge of the trees, where the cute little silver Airstream sat among the wildflowers. “Each morning you arrive, I’ll have the blade for you. Each day you leave, you’ll drop it off inside my trailer and lock my door. Do not snoop. Do not use my bathroom, or eat my food. Do you understand?”

I grinned. “Aw, sweetie, you’re giving me a key to your place already? Gosh, we just met.” I snatched the key from his hand greedily.

“Don’t lose that,” he barked.

I rolled my eyes, fixing it on my keyring. “Relax, I’m not a baby.”

“I can be gone for weeks at a time if things progress with the war, so I’m hoping you won’t set my place on fire or anything,” he added.

“What’s your problem with me? Honestly. Let’s get this all out there.” I’d decided that now, as I was running late to wash dead bodies, was as good a time as any to have a long, drawn-out argument.

He took a step closer to me, eating up the distance between us, and my breath hitched. He touched my forehead with his index finger. “That is my problem. I don’t trust you. I never will. One word from your master and you might strap a bomb to your chest and kill us all.”

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