Home > Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2)(17)

Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2)(17)
Author: Leia Stone

I swear to God, if he challenged me, I would somehow breathe fire into his face, I was that livid.

His face fell. “What about me? Am I your family?”

And just like that, the wind fell from my sails and I was falling. Tears pricked my vision as I stepped closer to him. “Of course you are. You’re… I love you so much it hurts,” I told him.

He looked off at a blank wall. “And if you had gone into Hell tonight and hadn’t come back, do you know what that would have done to me? Knowing I couldn’t go after you? It would have killed me. I’d be dead.”

A huge gaping hole opened in my chest as his words slammed into me. I was his family. His only family.

“I’m sorry.” Okay, fine, I probably should have started with that.

He nodded and pulled me into his arms. His chin came over the top of my head, and I felt his warm breath coat my hair. “I can’t go through loss again. You understand?”

I did. I did it once with my father and I couldn’t do it again either.

I nodded. “I’m exhausted.” Pulling back, I met his eyes.

He glanced at the couch. “I’m just gonna watch some TV and crash out here. I need to shake this off.”

With a frown, I shook my head and shuffled into the bedroom to run a bath. Careful not to get my healing skin wet, I washed up quickly and brushed my teeth, slipping into bed. Lying there, lonely and unsure, I couldn’t fall asleep until 12:36 am. That was the moment Lincoln crept in, and slipped beside me, tucking me into his body.

The second my back rested against his warm chest, a contented sigh escaped me.

“I have plans for us, Brielle, and in order to enjoy them, you need to be alive,” he whispered into my hair.

I was too tired to respond, so I just nodded and drifted off into sleep.

Once I picked up my mother from Demon City, I drove us both out to Clark’s land. It was far, like almost into the war zone far, but still within Angel City. We’d been instructed to wear bright-colored clothing, and stay in our vehicle until Clark came out to greet us. I didn’t want to know why, I just wanted to see my brother. We’d also been instructed not to hug or touch Mikey unless he initiated physical contact. He was still fighting his urge to hunt, apparently. Another thing I really didn’t want to know about.

“My poor baby, living out in the woods like an animal,” my mother bemoaned as I drove up the long dirt driveway to Clark’s property.

“Well, he is an animal, Mom, and Clark was able to help him, so I think this is the best place for him,” I told her.

My brother was a wolf, my mom raised the dead, and I was Lucifer’s abomination. My family was messed up, but I’d just learned to accept it—unlike my mother.

She sighed. “Don’t hug him. That alpha man said not to hug my own son!”

That ‘alpha man’ is trying to save you from getting your head chewed off, I wanted to say, but thought better of it.

“It’s temporary, Mom. Once he gets full control, he’ll be at school with me, and then recruited into the army, making a good living.”

She nodded but was rubbing her palms against her jeans, which was her nervous gesture.

We passed a thicket of trees and then a house came into view. A group of houses, actually, all a mere ten feet apart.

“They live like a little cult,” my mom said, already judging the place.

I rolled my eyes. “Mom,” I warned in my big girl voice.

She shooed me away with one hand. “Fine. I’ll be open-minded.”

I nodded. That was all I’d asked of her before embarking on this trip.

I pulled up to the biggest house, assuming the alpha would take that, and put the car in park. Within seconds, the front door opened and Clark walked out, my brother was right behind him, next to some pretty black-haired girl. She looked my age but had a maturity about her.

As my brother came closer, I noticed he looked like he’d been on steroids or something. He was a beefcake now, and I really wanted to tease him about it but wouldn’t. At least not right away.

“All right, let’s get out.” I opened the door.

We stepped out gingerly, awkwardly standing before my brother as he stared at us with a pained smile.

“Hey, Mikey. Glad to see you not so furry,” I joked.

That caused him to smile, which showcased two large canine teeth pressing down on his bottom lip.

My mom gasped a little and covered it into an awkward cough. Mikey made no move to hug us, which hurt, but I understood he was dealing with some demons.

“I missed you,” Mom murmured.

He nodded. “Me too, Mom.”

Clark looked at the black-haired girl and nodded, before walking away without a word.

Weirdo.

“Doing okay?” the black-haired girl asked.

Mikey gave her a short nod. “This is Elise.”

She stepped forward and extended her hand. “I’m Michael’s sponsor. I help him… get acquainted.” She shook my mother’s hand, then mine.

My mom gave me one raised eyebrow. I knew the word ‘sponsor’ had her thinking of an alcoholic.

“Let’s sit.” Elise pointed at a picnic table that was off to the side of Clark’s house.

“Do you like it here?” Mom asked him, looking at Elise as if she didn’t trust her.

Mikey smiled, once again shocking me with those big teeth. “Yeah. It was a rough time at first, but now that I’m able to hold my human form, we play a lot of games. I’m really good at foosball.”

Elise smiled. “You’re okay.”

He gave her a sheepish look. Yeah, they were totally into each other.

“How old are you?” I blurted out to her.

Her eyes met mine, and for the slightest second, they flashed orange. “Twenty.”

Hmm, same age as me. I decided to be civil and change the subject. “So, I heard you’ll be starting classes in the fall?”

Just then, a twig snapped, and Mikey’s head shot to the thick woods that lined the property. He took a slow, deep inhale, flexing his nostrils, as his eyes turned the color of honey. My hand went to the blade on my thigh and my mother leaned into me.

Elise’s entire body was clenched, as if she were ready to take Mikey to the ground if need be.

“There’s a rabbit nearby,” Mikey said.

Elise nodded. “Do you want to go hunting?”

Mikey shook his head. “I think my mom and sister should leave.”

Without another word, Elise burst from the table and rushed my mom and me into our car, telling us to lock the doors. I was in total shock that my shithead little brother, whom I’d always teased and thought of as a punk, was some dangerous beast now.

“It’ll be okay,” I lied to my mom.

She didn’t say a word, just cried the whole way home.

Maybe this was Mikey’s life now, only able to live with his pack to control his beast. If that was the case, then I had to be okay with it. It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned for our family, but he seemed happy-ish.

At least he was adjusting. That was all we could ask for.

Chapter Fourteen

“Alright! This is the winning race and will determine this year’s victor of The Beach Games!” Noah roared through his bullhorn.

Lincoln and I were on the same team with Noah and Shea. We had totally made them do a couples’ thing, and we were tied for first place.

I gave Tiffany a side glare. Shea nearly killed Noah for inviting her, but I guess she was considered family because of her stupid parents who I’d never even met. These alleged amazing parents were BFFs of Noah’s and Lincoln’s parents, so we had to include Tiffany, and to top it all off, the bitch was tied with us for first. She’d brought some brute of a guy to be the final member of her group, a Celestial who’d graduated years ago and must have been pushing thirty.

“Pick one representative to swim the obstacle course!” Noah shouted into the bullhorn.

My eyes flicked to Tiffany, who rolled out her shoulders. “I was first place at the national swim team meet, three years in a row,” she cooed. “I’ll do it.”

Her two lackeys and old Celestial dude nodded.

“I’m doing it!” I shouted to my group.

Lincoln frowned, lowering his voice. “Babe, no offense, but I’m a better swimmer.”

I glared at him. “It’s Tiffany” was all I said.

He threw his arms up in defeat and Shea grinned. “Okay, now if you have a chance to drown her—”

“Ladies, please. Good vibes,” Noah intervened.

Now it was Shea’s turn to glare, and Noah stepped back two paces. When would these boys learn not to intervene in our feud?

I nodded to Shea. I obviously wasn’t going to drown her, but if she caught an elbow to the eye, oopsie.

Noah got on the bullhorn again. “Okay, racers, take your marks.”

Tiffany and I walked up to the line that had been drawn in the sand. Because we were in first and second place, we were the first heat. At the line was Blake with a stopwatch.

“There are obstacles in the water, so in order to win, you need to swim through the four hula hoops, grab the toy seal floaty, and make it back here. Anything goes.”

Tiffany zipped up her wetsuit and grinned. “Sounds fun.”

I was having trouble getting my bubble butt into my wet suit. Finally, with a little help from Shea, I zipped mine up and stood next to Bitchany.

“Ready, Archie?” she sneered.

‘May you die one hundred deaths,’ Sera cursed at Tiffany from her spot in Shea’s hands.

I chuckled and then the whistle blew.

Tiffany took off like her ass was on fire and I scrambled after her, my feet sinking into the sand. The small crowd cheered as Tiffany hit the water and started to kick like a freaking fish. She had perfect form.

I exploded from my place at the edge of the water and dove into the sea. The moment the cold October water hit my face, I had to force myself not to suck in liquid. Tiffany’s foot was right in front of my face and I reached out, grabbing it and yanking. Yeah, it was a dirty trick, but Noah said anything goes. She was pulled toward me and I crawled over her, making it to the first ring. I swam through the purple glittering hula hoop right before she socked me in the back.

I shouted underwater, releasing all my air, and then came up for a fresh breath. Tiffany was ahead of me now, but my legs were kicking like crazy. I needed that freaking floating seal. I could see it in the water bopping with the surf.

‘Take her down!’ Sera cheered from the shoreline.

I often wondered how far Sera and I could be from one another and still have a mental conversation.

With renewed strength, I burst through the next hoop and caught Tiffany just as she was going through the third one. I repeated the same move, yanking her skinny-ass leg and dragging her behind me, then swam through the third hoop with ease. But that time I was prepared for her back punch, and instead I flipped around underwater, her fist inches away from my back, and kicked out with my foot, connecting with her crotch.

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