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Fallen Academy: Year One
Author:Leia Stone

Raphael looked shocked. “Who told you that you might be an archdemon?”

I tried to clear my thoughts but I was too nervous. Lincoln popped into my head, and Raphael turned over his shoulder, pinning Lincoln to the wall with his gaze.

Lincoln squirmed. “I merely repeated a rumor.”

Michael stood taller. “I’ve seen rumors start wars.”

Lincoln stared at his own feet.

Shit, I got him in trouble. He’s going to hate me more than he already does.

“Brielle, let me tell you something.” Raphael cupped my hand, and warmth went through my arm. “No one, and I mean no one, is born evil. Even those who turn down the wrong path can always come back from it. No matter what.”

I swallowed hard, and my eyes flicked to Lincoln, who was still staring at his shoes. It wasn’t lost on me that he’d not answered my question about being an archdemon.

“Ready?” Raphael asked.

The moment my head bobbed in consent, the blade licked across my skin. I hissed as he squeezed a few droplets onto the hilt and then released my hand.

“Sorry, child.”

Lincoln was suddenly there, reaching for my arm. “Would you like me to heal it?”

He could do that? Of course he could; he was some hybrid healer-warrior poster child.

“I’m fine,” I told him, putting pressure on the cut with my other hand.

Lincoln frowned. “Come on, just let me heal it. You don’t have to be so stubborn about it.”

I glared at him, giving him my best ‘I will cut you’ look.

“Free will. She said no,” Michael reminded Lincoln.

Lincoln grumbled something under his breath, and walked away.

The other three archangels started to come forward then, pressing their collective power in on me. It felt like the air had charged with static electricity. The dagger was doing a crazy glowy thing.

Peeking forward, I saw a sword symbol light up. “Ahh, lovely. Michael, she’s one of yours,” Raphael said enthusiastically.

A thrill of excitement went through me and I looked over at the archangel with the powerful muscles and sword. Michael grinned, but then his face morphed into a mask of confusion. I followed his gaze just as another symbol lit up, glowing hands. That was the same symbol on Lincoln’s arm, Raphael’s. I was a dual Celestial hybrid like Lincoln?

I was about to say something when another symbol lit up, a pen, and another, a flame. Finally a fifth one began to light up, but Raphael covered the dagger with his palm, and shoved it back in the case before I could see what it was. His expression was complete and utter shock, but there was something else there.

Fear.

What on Earth would be so bad that it would scare an archangel?

“She is blessed by all of us,” he declared in a haunting tone.

The room started to sway. I didn’t know if it was from standing too close to the archangels, or finding out I had all of their powers, but it was too much.

I started falling backward and the blackness took me.





Chapter Four





The first thing that came back to me was sound. I could hear hushed voices talking over me.

“Do you think she’s the one from the prophecy?” I recognized Michael’s voice.

“I don’t know, but I do know she’s an innocent child in all of this, and we should do our best to protect and guide her.” That one was Raphael.

“Of course!” Michael sounded offended. “I’ll try to get word to Metatron, see if he can share any insight.”

Raphael sighed again, longer and deeper that time. “Do not bring our brothers into this. Metatron has firmly taken his side. We’ll deal with it.”

“She’s awake,” Gabriel said, and my eyes snapped open.

What the hell had they been talking about? I didn’t want to know, but the reason for my fainting had all come back to me. I moaned and sat up, feeling dizzy.

“Brielle, are you feeling all right?” Raphael swam into view.

I nodded. “I guess.”

“Of course she’s not all right. She’s scared.” Michael looked concerned.

I straightened my shoulders. “I’m fine.”

Michael grinned. “That’s my bravery.” He winked.

I blushed.

Raphael rolled his eyes. “Let’s not start taking credit for everything she does. Brielle, you have to be back in Demon City in five hours, but it’ll take that long to get your tattoos of light. Are you okay with proceeding?”

Ever since I’d seen all those symbols light up, something wild had unleashed within me. I figured it was my power, and it frightened me. If the tattoos would help contain that, harness them, or whatever, I wanted them sooner rather than later.

“I’m ready.” I stood, hands fisted at my side.

Michael was staring behind me, looking sad and longing at the same time. I spun around, expecting to see Lincoln, but he was nowhere in sight. Instead, I saw my wings. They must have come out as some defense mechanism.

I shifted uncomfortably.

The Archangel of Protection and Strength stepped forward, and placed a strong hand on my shoulder. “It was admirable what you did for your mother.” His eyes rested on the crescent moon tattoo on my forehead. “Not a wise choice, but admirable.”

That close to him, I could feel his power pressing in on me like a heavy blanket. He must’ve sensed it, because the moment I thought it, he pulled his hand back and stepped away, walking over to the desk where Raphael had four golden goblets set out.

I frowned, stepping closer. “You guys drink? I had no idea.” Maybe we were going to toast before getting my tattoo. This school already seemed more relaxed than what I’d heard.

“Blood of my blood,” Raphael said, and slashed the golden dagger across his wrist.

My hand flew to my throat as the goblet filled with the thick crimson fluid.

“Blood of my blood,” Michael stated and took the dagger from Raphael, doing the same thing.

I started to back up, fully intent on running the hell out of there and never coming back, but on my third step, I slammed into a warm, hard body that smelled familiar.

Strong hands came around my arms and spun me, and I came face-to-face with Lincoln. “You okay?” His voice held genuine concern, which shocked me.

“B-b-b-blood.” There was no way I was drinking angel blood. No. Way.

He peered past me and dawning shone on his face. “Raphael, you have to explain things, remember?” he scolded the archangel.

A human scolding an angel like a friend. What an odd thing to witness.

“Oh, right. I’m sorry. Brielle, our blood will be mixed with tattoo ink, and that will be what’s used to help you harness your power,” Raphael explained cheerily.

I’m getting angel blood tattoos? Umm, what the what?

Lincoln finally released my arms, looking down at me with pity. “This is the weird part. Tomorrow you’ll start your studies, and get your ass kicked like every other student here. Trust me, it’s best to just get this part over with.”

Four angel blood tattoos? Should I call my mom? I mean, I’m eighteen, but coming home with four tats is going to throw her into a frenzy. Should the blood be tested for diseases? That was probably a stupid question; they were angels, for crying out loud.

I was still standing there in shock when Michael approached me. “It’s been an honor meeting you, Brielle. Now I must go and… tend to some things.”

“Oh. Right. You too,” I answered nervously.

“Peace be with you, child.” Uriel offered with prayer-clasped hands, then exited after Michael.

“May we meet again.” Gabriel’s feathery voice came from behind me, and then he too was gone.

I wasn’t sure what to say in return, so I just stood there covering my arms. My stomach was eating itself after giving Bernie my breakfast and chucking my coffee at Lincoln.

“Is our escort assembled?” Raphael asked Lincoln.

He nodded. “And Marleen is waiting.”

“Brielle, dear, would you like something to eat for the road?” Raphael asked from behind me.

I spun around, no longer able to hold it in. “You totally read minds, don’t you?”

His cheeks reddened. “You’re a very loud thinker.”

Lincoln was giving me a smug grin. Ugh.