Home > Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(15)

Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1)(15)
Author: Leia Stone

I gasped as tears filled my eyes, unprepared for such a hateful answer. His face fell as my bottom lip quivered, but I wasn’t going to give the prick the satisfaction of seeing me cry.

Ripping Sera from my leg sheath, I handed it to him, and took off running through the parking lot. He called something out, but it was too low and muffled for me to hear it.

By the time I made it to the reanimation clinic, I’d cried off all my mascara, but I was five minutes early, so there was that.

I put the car into Park and then stepped out, but instead of heading for the doors like I normally would, I froze as a strong scent of sulfur and oil hit me. A demon was close, one I didn’t recognize by smell.

I swallowed hard, taking wide steps across the parking lot. Just before I reached the double doors, an honest-to-God Abrus demon jumped out from behind the pillar, making my heart lurch into my throat, and my wings snap out in defense. Abrus demons were second to Lucifer himself. They looked mostly human, with only two small red horns on their forehead, and searing yellow eyes. They were all insanely gorgeous males as well, seductive and dangerous. I’d only met one before in my lifetime.

“Brielle, I presume?” he asked, in a smooth whisky-coated voice, his eyes gazing lustily at my wings.

“Yeah. I gotta get to work or Master Burdock will kill me.” I giggled nervously, and tried to pass him.

“Oh, I don’t think he’ll mind. I’ve been waiting for you to arrive.” He grinned, showing every single one of his pearl-white straight teeth. He looked hungry, and I felt like the main course.

“Waiting for me?” I ran a nervous hand through my hair to keep it from shaking.

He nodded, glancing from my tattoos to my messenger bag. “Did you get your infinity weapon today?”

My face must’ve registered complete shock because he smiled. “You know about that?” I rubbed my arms anxiously.

He nodded and eyed my bag. “Is it with you?”

My heart was hammering so loud, I was pretty sure he could hear it. “No, gotta leave them in Angel City.” I hoped to Heaven he wasn’t one of those demons who could smell a lie. He didn’t seem to, because he nodded.

“What did you choose?” he asked indifferently. His eyes held anything but indifference.

I knew in my gut that I shouldn’t say what I really chose, so I told him the first thing that came to mind. “Arrows of truth.”

He looked a bit surprised but then seemed pleased. “That could be useful.”

I shifted on my feet nervously. “Sir, I, uh, really gotta get to work.”

He nodded. “See you at the full moon.”

Anyone living in Demon City knew what the current moon cycle was, because it was posted everywhere there was a clock or calendar. Full moon was in six days.

“Oh?” I almost didn’t want to ask.

He grinned. Reaching out, he stroked my feathered wing, and sent a repulsive shiver down my spine.

“That’s when I’ll be buying your contract, and you will then be working for me. Be sure to bring your arrows of truth to the contract signing. You won’t be going back to Fallen Academy.” His words hung in the air menacingly.

Leaning forward, he brought the pungent stench of sulfur and tar with him. “I know what you are,” he whispered in my ear, as I internally revolted. With that, he left.

I know what you are. I know what you are. I know what you are. That sentence replayed in my head over and over. I stood there for a full three minutes trying to talk myself out of panicking.

What am I?

I decided to email Lincoln before going in to start my shift.

To: [email protected]

My master just sold my contract to an Abrus demon. It’s final by this full moon. He’s taking me out of the academy. Maybe I shouldn’t bother coming in the morning.

Sincerely,

Girl you don’t trust, who definitely does yoga all the time.

I didn’t see his reply until after my shift.

From: [email protected]

Come tomorrow. 6 am. Pack your personal belongings.

Sincerely,

Someone who has actually done yoga.

I was so bent out of shape, I barely remembered eating dinner or talking to Shea.

I know what you are.

Pack your personal belongings.

That night I laid in bed facing Shea’s back. We’d both been pretty silent at dinner, each in our own drama, but when she flipped over and I saw the tears lining her eyes, my gut clenched.

“I can’t do this much longer. I’m going dark, I feel it,” she confessed, each word sending agony into my heart.

Then she turned back around, and faced the wall.

It was a long time before sleep took me.

Chapter Eight

That morning when I got to school, Lincoln wasn’t there, and Noah, Blake and Darren were acting really weird at my training. Noah brought Sera, and they’d done basic drills with me on how to hold her, lunges, and other things I already knew from growing up in Demon City with a bunch of Hell spawn.

When I’d asked where Lincoln was, they just said an important meeting. Now, I was in weapons class with Mr. Claymore, and he was having Luke and me practice with each other. The Mage came up behind me and I tightened my grip on Sera.

“She speaks to you, doesn’t she?” he asked, eyeing the gold and crystalline hilt. I simply nodded as Luke’s eyes bugged out of his head. “She’ll be a wise teacher if you can learn to open yourself to her.”

Right. Open myself to a knife. Shall I take her on a date?

‘I’ve never been fond of human sarcasm.’ Sera announced, quite sarcastically.

“And how would I do that?” I asked Mr. Claymore, ignoring her comment.

The professor stepped before me and placed both hands on my shoulders, peering down at me with wise, cloudy white eyes. “A seraph blade is no regular infinity weapon. It’s a soul weapon. Open yourself to her. Show her your fears, hopes, and dreams, and she’ll fight for them. She contains extremely rare magic.”

Nerves churned in my gut at his words.

‘You hear that, Sera? I’m afraid of being an archdemon, and I want to win the lottery. Can you make that happen?’ I asked her.

Before she could reply, the professor’s voice rose up. “All right now, I want you all to practice protection drills. We’ll split off into groups of three. One person is the protector, one is the victim and one is the attacker. These drills will prepare you for the final test of the year, when you’ll go into The Gauntlet in an effort to graduate.”

The Gauntlet. Sounded scary. Good thing I wouldn’t be there to go through it.

I didn’t have the heart to tell Luke yet. He was fast becoming a good friend, and I didn’t want that to end when he heard my time was limited.

The back door opened and Noah stepped in, much to the pleasure of every female in the class. Tiffany absolutely purred.

“I want this to feel real,” the professor stated. “It’s the only way to activate your weapons. Don’t try to hurt anyone seriously, but if a small cut or something happens, we have a healer on hand.” He gestured to Noah, who winked. Of course.

Mr. Claymore rapidly grouped us together, and when I saw who our third wheel was, I tried to hold in my groan.

Bitchany.

“Hey, Archie,” she whispered to me. “Archdemon, Archie. Get it?” She grinned.

‘We should cut her,’ Sera said, making me smile, and causing Tiffany to look at me confused.

‘You can’t just go around cutting students,’ I enlightened my talking blade.

‘I’ll make it look like an accident.’

I actually laughed out loud at that point. Luke raised an eyebrow, and I tried too late to turn my laugh into a cough. I probably looked like a lunatic.

“Okay, for our first group, let’s have Brielle be the protector. I want to see what that seraph blade can do.” He told me. “Tiffany, you be the attacker, and Luke will be the victim.”

And just like that, my worst-case scenario of how this class could play out came to life. Not only was I chosen first for this little charade, but I was pitted against the class bully. I missed Shea. She would have some foulmouthed, witty comeback for every time Tiffany opened her mouth.

The professor reached into his coat, and pulled out a jar of salt. Going around the room, he poured out a big circle.

“If the attacker can get the victim out of the circle, they win,” he declared, then gently nudged Luke and me inside it.

Pulling Sera out, I took my defensive stance in front of Luke. To make the odds of her being able to reach Luke even harder, I brought out my wings. Just that morning, with Blake’s gentle guidance and help, I’d mastered pulling them out and putting them back in.

Take that, Lincoln.

Tiffany’s jaw popped open as my black wings formed a barrier in front of Luke. “Can she do that?” she asked the professor.

He shrugged. “Don’t see why not.”

With a growl, she unsheathed her blade.

“Please protect me. I’m legit scared of her,” Luke confessed loudly behind me, making the entire class bust up laughing.

I just kept my eyes pinned on her face, her arms in my peripheral vision. The boys had told me that morning that I had tons of magic at my disposal, but we would ease into my powers one by one. So for the time being, my wings and dagger were my magic.

“Lux,” Tiffany breathed, and her weapon flared to life, emitting a bright white light.

Mr. Claymore circled us. “Ah, I see someone has been practicing at home with her parents.”

Tiffany’s cheeks reddened, but when she lunged for me, I was ready. Squinting to avoid being blinded by the light, I dodged her thrust, and smacked her gigantic sword down with my dagger. When the two weapons crashed together, her light went out and mine sent beams of blue lasers into her face. She recoiled, shrieking, her arm flying up to cover her eyes, and I grinned.

‘Take that, you bully,’ Sera gloated.

Tiffany gave me a death glare, and charged with a battle cry. Shit. She was going to cut my head off at that speed.

   
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