Home > Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(5)

Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(5)
Author: Leia Stone

With a resigned sigh, he nodded. I could sense that he was torn between my safety and the safety of this city, but in reality, if one fell, the other wouldn’t survive.

I needed to kill Lucifer. Like yesterday. It was my destiny.

I knew that now. There was no other way around it.

The night passed torturously slow, with each toss and turn, leaving me restless, and then I had to leave early the next morning for my training with Emberly. I’d had to move our session to eight, in order to be able to make the nine o’clock archangel meeting with Lincoln and the captains after, which didn’t make me any happier about what I was about to endure.

“Hey, girl. It’s early as hell. I should up your price,” Emberly called out as I walked into our training gym.

A grin tugged at the corners of my mouth. I loved this chick, and she’d fast become like a little sister to me. “No way, you’ll bankrupt me. What does a fifteen-year-old need with four hundred a month, anyway?”

The teenager cocked a hand on her hip, giving me a playful scowl. Her hair was in a messy top knot, and she wore baggy sweats and a loose T-shirt. She’d literally rolled out of bed and come here.

“I’ll be sixteen in a month, and I’m saving for an old Mustang. My dad’s going to help me restore it.”

A pang of jealousy pinched my heart for the slightest moment, before it turned into happiness for Emberly. I missed my dad, missed working on projects with him. I’d never have that again.

“Won’t he buy one for you?” The archangels were rich. The heavy taxes the Angel City citizens paid all went into their banks to use for the war, of course, but I was sure they took some type of salary.

“Hah!” she barked. “Any extra money we have goes to buying slaves from San Francisco. If I want a car, I need to buy it myself.”

The situation with San Francisco wasn’t right. It made me sick to think about it. And of course, Michael put all his extra money there; he was an angel, after all, not tempted by mortal materialism, I guessed. I should have known.

“Well, I’m glad my hard-earned money is going into getting you a car. Just promise me a ride when it’s up and running.”

Emberly grinned. “You got it.”

I was about to get into my training stance when she spoke again.

“Oh, and your mom is so cool. Man, that apple crumble thingy she cooks is yum.”

The color drained from my face as I processed her words. “What? When did you meet my mom?”

Emberly hesitated, the look on her face said maybe she wasn’t sure she should have told me anything.


“Raph has been bringing her to weekly dinners to our house.” She chewed a nail. “I thought you knew.”

What the hell did she just say?

“Like, as friends?” Why wouldn’t my mom tell me about that? Or Raphael? Oh my God, are they… dating? A warm feeling spread throughout my limbs at the thought. I loved Raph, so that might be kind of awesome, but also very weird.

“Umm, I dunno. They look friendly… when they’re holding hands and stuff.”

“Holding hands!” I jumped into the air to release the energy building in my body. “For how long?”

Emberly busted up laughing. “Dude, you’re totally freaking out over this. What’s the big deal? It’s been like maybe three weeks.”

Three weeks! What was the big deal? I didn’t know. My father had been gone almost ten years now, and obviously I wanted my mom to be happy, but… it was Raph. I just couldn’t see them together romantically. It was too weird.

Emberly checked her phone. “Didn’t you drag me out of bed at the ass crack of dawn because you were on a time crunch?”

Oh shit!

Shaking my head, to clear it of all thoughts of my mom and Raphael, I nodded. “You’re right. Okay, so I’ve been working on this shield thingy.”

Emberly raised an eyebrow. “Shield thingy?”

I nodded. I’d done some weird-ass magic juju in San Francisco when the Succubus came at Lincoln and me, shooting out some kind of plasma that cemented the demons in place. I’d also erected a shield when the men in the tunnel were shooting at Noah and me, so I’d been working to sort of combine the two. The idea was to create a thin plasma-type dome over myself, to protect me from a physical attack, but I needed to know if it would guard me from thought intrusion too.

“Step back,” I warned her.

She took two steps away, looking impressed. “Let’s see what you got.”

I could tell she was having a good day, her wings seemed relaxed, as though they weren’t bothering her as much, and she wasn’t wearing what I now recognized as her “pain face”.

Nodding, I took a deep, focusing breath, before calling up my magic. Lincoln had taught me not to think of it as Celestial magic or dark magic, or Michael/Raphael magic, and all of that separately. Instead, I should just think of it as my magic. That had been a key turning point in my training. I called forth the silvery mixture of all of my inherited abilities. Yes, I had Lucifer’s powers inside of me, there was no doubt about that, but I also had the power of four archangels running through my veins.

It was time I found a way to put it all to good use.

“Whoa,” Emberly gasped, when the pearlescent mist flowed from my palms and started to surround me.

I beamed. I’d been practicing in the trailer for hours each day, but it was still nice to see it working. Lincoln had thrown an apple at my shield last week to test it, and it bounced right off the shield, falling to the floor. However, we still weren’t sure about the mind control thing. It hadn’t been ready to test until now.

“It’s totally like a little bubble!” Emberly started to walk around me as the shield erected itself, thin enough that I could see and hear what was going on outside of it, but thick enough that it was visible.

“Touch it,” I urged her.

Without hesitation she reached out and flicked it, then popped her mouth open in surprise. “It’s solid. That’s legit!”

A grin pulled at my lips. “Now, try to make me do something.”

My almost-sixteen-year-old mentor nodded, standing before me. “All right.”

Suddenly, I felt my right arm moving against my will, toward my face. It was slow, like it was moving through quicksand, but moving, nonetheless.

“No!” I cried out, as it eventually came up to smack my forehead.

“I’m sorry, girl. I totally thought that would work,” Emberly shared. “Didn’t you, Dad?”

I gasped and spun to follow her line of sight. My shield popped.

Michael was standing in the doorway, looking like a freaking Adonis with low-slung jeans and a silver armor chest plate. I shook my head to force my thoughts away from where they were going. I loved Lincoln, but damn, Michael was nice to look at and drool over.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to break your concentration. Nice shield. It’ll serve you well in battle against physical forces, but not mental ones.” His voice boomed as if it were everywhere at once, yet he held no microphone.

“Oh, bummer.” I wasn’t sure what else to say. Michael and I had worked together before—he’d taught me how to call Sera to me from across the room—but I still felt super self-conscious in his presence.

“I would offer to train you, Brielle, but as an angel, I’m forbidden to use my mind control over humans, celestials included, even to practice,” he confessed.

I’d kind of been wondering why he hadn’t offered. That made sense.

“But Emberly can?” I asked.

Emberly shrugged beside me. “I can do anything because I’m half human.”

Michael gave his daughter a pointed look. “You can, but I hope you’ll always make the best moral decision.”

Emberly just gave him a little eye roll.

“I can still advise you,” Michael looked at me. “And I have some time before the meeting, so I thought I would offer my two cents.”

Yes! I needed all the advice I could get.

I nodded enthusiastically.

Michael approached us and Emberly crossed her arms, cocking one eyebrow at her father as if annoyed that he was jumping in on her job.

“Brielle, I imagine it took a lot of mental fortitude to get through your time in Hell,” Michael sympathized.

I tried not to remember those mornings where Raksha fed me drugged oatmeal, and I was wheeled around the place like a zombie. Left to think that everyone had given up on me, and taken me for dead.

“It did.” My voice cracked.

Michael’s gaze filled with compassion. “That mental fortitude is what can make your mind impenetrable to outside commands. It’s the resilience you have from surviving the loss of your father, watching your mother become a demon slave, and then becoming one yourself. Most people wouldn’t fare so well, my dear. Their spirits would have broken long ago, leaving them cynical about the world. Your heart is still soft toward love, and you have a generally positive outlook on life. That’s what you need to use in order to fight the mental commands from Lucifer. It’s something a human could do.”

Shock ripped through me at his declaration that a human could do this. I’d been trying for weeks! I didn’t know at what point the tears started to fall down my face, but it must have been a while, because Emberly slipped her hand into mine and squeezed. What he’d said was basically a mini review of how hard my life had been, and the emotion overwhelmed me.

“Geez, Dad. Did you have to be so hardcore?” Emberly glared at her father.

Michael lifted both hands in surrender. “I’m sorry, just trying to help. I want Brielle to know she’s had this ability inside of her all along.”

Giving Emberly’s hand a squeeze before releasing it, I wiped away my tears. “How? How do I withstand the mental commands?”

A pensive look entered Michael's eyes and he nodded, starting to walk in a circle around us both. “Let go of the Fear. It’s like candy to Lucifer. It weakens the mind, and allows mental commands to flow right in.”

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