Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2)

Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2)

Leia Stone

Chapter One

“Hustle, Atwater!” Lincoln screamed in my ear as I ran along a track behind the school.

I shot him a death glare and took off, making it to the front of the line where Tiffany was running like a freaking gazelle, not a drop of sweat to be seen. I side-glanced at my fellow blonde nemesis. One foot stuck out and she would trip—and at this speed, she’d probably break her nose. Maybe even a tooth.

“Stop and drop!” Lincoln shouted.

I growled and skidded to a halt. All plans of rearranging Tiffany’s face were ruined, as our group of twenty boot camp cadets dropped to the ground, and started to do pushups. The gravel ate into the palms of my hands, but I knew better than to complain.

Shea had dropped a few feet behind me. “Your boyfriend is a psycho,” she whispered.

I didn’t have the extra breath to reply.

We’d been at boot camp for a month. The eighty-seven students who passed the gauntlet had been separated into four groups, with either Lincoln, Noah, Blake, or Darren as their drill sergeant.

Guess which group I got?

“Faster!” Lincoln barked.

Boot camp was supposed to prepare us for joining the Fallen Army. The paychecks had started to come in, and I wasn’t going to lie, it was nice. We were kind of like reserve army members. We would still finish school here at Fallen Academy, but one weekend a month we’d go out into the war zone and help flush out the demons that were ravaging the humans there. And of course, in an emergency, we’d be called out too.

I was just settling into the summer nicely. It took a few weeks for the stares at the devil mark on my chest to die down. Tiffany now called me Princess of Darkness as well as Archie. Her payback was coming—Shea was brewing a gnarly potion that would hopefully make her intestines fall out.

“Up!” Lincoln roared, and I sank to the ground, letting my burning arms take a moment of rest.

Lincoln’s boots stopped two inches from my face. “Brielle Atwater, you are dismissed for the rest of the day.” His voice was layered with concern.

What the…?

Jumping up, I got ready to defend myself regarding whatever I was in trouble for, when I looked just beyond him and saw my mom. She was standing there with my little brother, Mikey, who was hunched over. It looked like his face was bleeding.

Oh shit.

“Preferential treatment,” Tiffany mumbled next to me, causing Lincoln to shoot a sharp glare at her.

“Give me two laps for speaking out of turn, Woods,” he growled.

With a huff, she took off.

I looked up at my man with a thankful expression. “Thank you, sir!” I shouted, then started running to meet my family.

My mind was going through a thousand thoughts. Did Grim—Shea’s boss, who I’d almost killed and was now my mom’s boss—attack Mikey? Did he just get jumped by demon thugs?

As I neared, I saw two duffel bags behind them.

“What happened?” I skidded to a stop and took in the scene.

My mom looked fine. Tired, but normal. My brother, however, looked like he’d been beaten badly. His right eye was swollen, nose broken, lip split, and he was probably clutching broken ribs.

My mom chewed her lip. “He can’t go back to Demon City. Some Tainted Academy kids roughed him up.”

Those assholes! I would kill them.

“Mikey,” I breathed, reaching out to touch his shoulder, but he recoiled.

“They said if I came back, they’d kill me,” he grumbled.

My eyes widened. What the hell? Are they somehow targeting him because he’s my brother?

My mom was staring at my chest and the mark that lay there in shock. I’d spoken to her on the phone several times after the gauntlet, told her what happened and explained the mark, but to see her staring at my chest now with tears in her eyes made my stomach hurt.

“Okay, we’ll figure it out,” I said to Mikey. The demons were clearly after my family.

Mikey swayed a little on his feet. He needed medical attention.

“Come on, let’s get him to the clinic,” I told my mom.

Mikey was eighteen now, which meant he’d be attending the Awakening ceremony in August. As a free soul, he’d be admitted to Fallen Academy. Maybe I could get him in a little earlier than planned.

While my mom helped Mikey limp to the healing clinic, I trailed after them with his duffel bags. After introducing Mrs. Greely to them, I paced while she scanned him for injuries. I hadn’t yet learned the energetic scanning that could tell a healer if someone had internal wounds, such as bleeding or tumors, as it was a third-year thing. I was eager to learn though.

Mrs. Greely winced. “Three broken ribs, but no internal bleeding. I’ll need Noah to heal the nose and ribs, but I can get started on the rest.”

Relief mixed with anger poured through me. How dare these bastards jump my little bro. Was it because they wanted to get to me? Was that their motive?

“I’ll get Noah,” I told her and bolted from the room, pulling my cell from my pocket.

He was out on the field screaming obscenities at his boot camp group no doubt, so I didn’t expect him to pick up, but he did.

“Hey, Lincoln told me. I’m on my way” was all he said before he hung up.

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