Home > Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(14)

Fallen Academy: Year Four (Fallen Academy #4)(14)
Author: Leia Stone

“Attagirl. Come on.” My mom pulled the rope, and Chloe’s spirit form floated closer to her body with ease.

“Get those feet ready. We’re going to have to stitch her in inch by inch,” Mom told Angela, who had created her own lasso of orange and purple magic that was tied around Chloe’s ankles.

Chloe’s soul allowed herself to be pulled by my mom, but she kept looking over her shoulder longingly at the now diminishing light.

“That’s it, baby. Come back to your body,” Mom coaxed her, the muscles in her forearms flexing as she pulled on the energy rope around Chloe’s soul.

Fanning more sage smoke, my mom finally got the apparition close enough to Chloe’s body for Angela to reach out and grab her feet.

Chloe froze, looking back at the light, which was barely glowing now.

“You need to talk her into this, Donnie,” my mom warned Chloe’s brother.

Oh God.

What have I done?

“Chlo.” Donnie’s voice shook. “I can’t imagine life without you. Mom and Dad don’t even know what happened. It would kill them. You’re the reason they live. You have to come back. I need you. I can’t stand seeing you like this,” he told her in shaky tones.

Finally, she nodded, then fell onto the table and back into her body, overlaying perfectly.

Every single person in the room took in a giant breath and held it.

“Quick! We’re almost out of time. At this point, she’ll be a lost soul, so it’s important we do this right.” My mom turned to Angela and instructed her in terms I didn’t understand.

Lost soul. I didn’t want that for Chloe. Whatever it was, it sounded bad.

We watched in a mixture of fascination and horror, while they wove magic around Chloe’s body like they were stitching her soul to her human form. It was like watching two people sew the stuffing inside of a pillowcase.

“Brielle, fetch my frankincense.” My mother pointed to the expensive bottle of the essential oil on the counter.

I’d been so enthralled with watching the process that her voice startled me a little . I was familiar with this part. Stepping into the kitchen, I quickly washed my hands and grabbed the oil, spinning off the cap.

“How many drops?” I asked.

She thought for a moment. “Ten should do. Seven for me, and three for Angela to anoint Chloe’s feet.”

Although the practice of Necromancy was demonic in nature, I found it ironic that they used an oil from the Bible. Frankincense was needed to awaken the body again. Coupled with my mother’s magic, Chloe would reanimate. Without the oil, it didn’t work, though I’d never questioned why.

I dropped seven drops into my mother’s palm and then three in Angela’s. The smell hit my nose instantly, and I couldn’t help but smile. The scent of sage and frankincense was my childhood. It had a sharp yet sweet smell, and it reminded me so much of Demon City.

Beginning to unwrap Chloe, I positioned parts of the towel to cover her modesty—her brother was watching, after all. Once she was free of the binds, my mother started to massage the oil on Chloe’s temples while Angela massaged the balls of Chloe’s feet. Orange and purple magic wove her into a colorful cocoon of light.

Luke walked a bit closer with Donnie, one hand intertwined with his boyfriend’s as he slipped the other in mine.

We waited as one, holding our breaths.

Shea was at the front door standing guard, but she kept sneaking anxious glances in our direction.

We waited some more.

Finally, just when I thought it wasn’t going to work, Chloe took in a huge gasping breath. My knees gave out, and I yanked Luke and Donnie down with me. We all burst into tears. I didn’t have the strength to stand—I barely had the strength to be awake right now—but none of that mattered. Chloe was alive!

Her eyelids popped open, and my mom peeked over her, smiling. “Hey, sweetie. Welcome back.”

This was the test. If she talked like a robot or paused too long, and didn’t know who my mom was, then I’d officially created a zombie.

“The light,” Chloe said in a dreamy voice. “It was so… Donnie?” She searched the room.

Donnie shot up off the floor and went to her, grasping her face. “Tell me you’re okay. Tell me you’re you,” he begged her.

She grinned. “I’m me, but I died, didn’t I? I remember everything.”

My mom’s gaze met mine, and I mouthed, “Thank you.”

“You did,” Donnie told her the truth.

She looked up at my mom. “Kate?”

Mom leaned over her. “Yes, dear?”

“Can you make me some of your yummy waffles? I’m starved.”

The collective burst of laughter that filled the room reached down into my very soul.

Chloe was going to be just fine.

Ten

“Hey. How can I help?” I asked Lincoln as he stood over a male patient in the healing clinic.

He turned back to face me, looking tired but alert. “How’s Chloe?”

I nodded. “She’s back. Like fully back.”

The look of relief that crossed his face pinched my heart. I loved that he never questioned me; he always just went along with my crazy plans.

“Catia is in room three, with a broken collarbone, and in a lot of pain. You could help her,” he instructed.

“Of course.” I nodded and left the room. Could I fix a broken collarbone? Hell no. But I could take the pain until Noah could heal her.

For some reason, Sera popped into my head in that moment. It was the perfect timing for one of her ill-placed comments. My heart ached without her, and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could go on without her with me.

“Knock-knock.” I peeked into the room, pushing thoughts of Sera away.

Scarlet was at Catia’s side, who lay in bed moaning and sweaty. “Brielle, don’t worry about me. Tend to the others first. This isn’t life threatening.”

Pulling up a chair, I sat before her. “I know, that’s why they sent me in here. I have no idea what I’m doing.”

That caused the Light Mage to smile. “Great, so they’re letting you train on me?” she joked.

I nodded, firing up the buttery orange glow that always seemed to flow in endless supply, even when I was dead tired. “You’re screwed,” I confirmed, giving her a wink.

She laughed, instantly wincing.

Scarlet was smiling too. “Glad to see you’re all right.”

A heavy sigh left me. “You too, girl. Thanks for all your help.”

What would I have done without her meat cleaver? I honestly had no idea. She nodded and something passed between us. We were no longer random acquaintances; we’d gone through war together, which made us lifelong friends.

“Thanks for keeping her safe,” Catia huffed between ragged breaths.

“Ha! Is that what she told you? She saved me.” I placed my hands on Catia’s neck, and let the healing go where it needed.

The relief in her face was immediate, her cheeks slackening as the sweat stopped dripping.

“I seem to remember hiding behind your shield,” Scarlet offered.

We talked easily for the next twenty or so minutes, until Lincoln came to pull me into another room. Room after room I moved through the clinic, staunching blood, and taking pain where I could.

For the first time ever, I worked alongside Raphael. It was incredible to see the Archangel of Healing at work. The entire room lit up when he healed someone, and just being near him gave me more energy.

When I was finally done for the night, Lincoln and I made our way out of the clinic, tired as hell and dragging our feet. The moment we stepped outside, I heard Grace’s angry voice off to the side, in the atrium, as she argued with Raphael. Lincoln pulled me into the shadows so we could listen and watch without being seen.

“The time is now! After tonight, it’s become abundantly clear that we can’t wait,” Grace told the archangel.

Raphael sighed. “I’m inclined to agree with you, but—”

“But nothing. When the new school year starts in a few weeks, I’m going to bring in human recruits, and start training them. We can work alongside each other. Angel blessed and demon gifted students working with human demon hunters. It’s the way of the future.”

Raphael rubbed his temples. “You can’t just start up a school in two weeks. There are rules, parental consent, funding and teaching staff to take care of first. So many things to figure out. In a year’s time would be better.”

Grace shrugged. “Watch me.”

Raphael smiled. “You are the most passionate woman I have ever met.”

Grace’s lips stretched into a perfect grin. “’Passionate’ is a kind way of calling me stubborn.”

He nodded. “Indeed, it is.”

“So, two weeks? I’ll start tomorrow. Got room in your office for a desk for me?” she asked.

Raphael belly laughed, a genuine chuckle I had never heard from him before. “Oh, Grace. I’ll always make room for you. See you tomorrow.”

After a warm embrace, they went in separate directions, Raph back to his office and Grace to the dorms, presumably to check on Emberly. When they were gone, Lincoln pulled me out of the shadows, and we walked hand in hand.

“Humans learning to fight demons alongside us next year?” I frowned. I mean, I was all for the idea, but what if they got hurt? I couldn’t imagine having a human in my battle class. It would be better in a couple year’s time, like Raphael said, when the last cohort of the first years had gone through the program. Then we could focus solely on training the humans with no powers, and not worry about them being hit by friendly fire in the process.

Lincoln shrugged. “Grace seems to know what she’s doing, and I can’t deny that we need them. Tonight, was an ambush through and through.”

His tone was clipped, eyes red-ringed and tired, but I wanted to hear more.

“What happened on your side of things?” I asked, crossing the parking lot to our trailer.

   
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