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

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

Her words sent a thrill through me, though I couldn’t say why. It was shocking to hear that the next year would be the last of the first years. The generations to come after us would be mere humans. Yet, there would still be demons for them to fight, and no new students to replenish the numbers we lost in the war.

“You’re right.”

The door opened behind me suddenly, and I jumped slightly before turning.

Emberly poked her head out then. “Oh my God, Mom, don’t be so embarrassing. Brielle doesn’t care about your Demon Hunter Academy idea.”

Did she have super hearing or something? This was the second time she’d done something like this.

Grace raised one eyebrow at her daughter. “Well, I hope she cares, because I hope to convince her to become a teacher after she graduates.”

My heart knocked against my chest. A teacher? For humans? Something clicked inside of me, a knowing, like I’d been waiting my whole life to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Was I a healer because I had Raphael powers, or a fighter because of Michael? Should I slay demons or heal the wounded? How could I make the most impact in the war with the demons?

There had always been this confliction in me, but now… now joy spread through my limbs at the thought of teaching others. Like I did today.

“I’d love to,” I answered immediately.

Grace poked her tongue out at her daughter. “See?”

Emberly just groaned in response, but I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.

A teacher. I wanted to be a teacher.

Maybe Raphael had seen this coming and was preparing me for my future. I wouldn’t put it past him.


“What happened?” I screamed at Lincoln, who’d just walked into our trailer, cradling a bloodied and bandaged arm.

He was sweating, probably from the pain. “The war zone has intensified. Lucifer is putting out a new breed of demon every week. Today I got mauled by some animalistic-looking thing. Like a zebra and a Brimstone demon had a baby.”

I cringed. Lincoln had only been back at work for two months, and already he’d been injured three times. He came to sit at the dining table and just like that I had a flashback—being in Hell, helping Lucy create a demon. That cold sterile table, all of his jars. It was the same office where Sera was being held.

Before I realized it, a sob formed in my throat and my hands started to shake. Adrenaline rushed through my body, making me feel dizzy as nausea rolled into me.

I was having a panic attack.

“Oh shit, Bri. I’m sorry.” Lincoln shot up from the table and came around to comfort me, pulling me to him with his good arm.

The moment he tucked me into his side, I felt the symptoms subside a little. My heart slowed, and I tried to control my breathing. I felt so stupid for reacting that way; it was always the little things that brought my time down there rushing back—a smell of sulfur, talk about Lucy. I’d been okay with it when I first got back, but the attacks were starting to get worse.

Lincoln’s warm lips pressed to my forehead. “Maybe you should talk to someone. Maybe keeping it in is doing something to you, making it worse.”

I swallowed hard. It wasn’t that I had PTSD, or that I was holding anything back. It was that each time I was reminded of Sera and Raksha down there, I had a physical response. My fight-or-flight system kicked in, and I just couldn’t comprehend why I hadn’t gone down there to search for them yet. Yet, the answer was right in front of me.


He still had nightmares every now and then where he would toss and turn, whimpering my name. My leaving had nearly broken him, and I couldn’t risk that again.

Sera would understand. Wouldn’t she? But Raksha… there was no excuse for leaving her behind down there. She had a child waiting for her to come home.


Crap. Lincoln was talking to me and I’d totally spaced. His deep blue eyes bored into mine and my heart picked up again.

“You can tell me anything,” he declared.

I need to go after Sera! I need to break Raksha out, and reunite her with her wife and son! I wanted to scream.

“I’ll be fine. Let me look at your shoulder.” Averting my eyes from his intense gaze, I started to pull the bandage back.

He watched me for a few minutes, and I thought he would bring it up again, but thankfully, he didn’t. Lincoln was good like that; he didn’t press me when he knew I was on the edge. The wound on his shoulder had been nicely stitched together, but it didn’t look like a healer had looked at it yet.

“Have Noah or Raph worked on this?” I asked, forcing him back to the table to sit.

He waved me off as he took a seat. “There were too many injured. I figured I would work on it when I got home. Or have my wifey do it for me.”

I grinned. I was so stupid in love with this man that when he called me “wifey", my knees went weak. “Your wifey will work on it if you do her a favor.” The caramel light ignited the second I called forth my healing powers, letting it leak from my palms, and drip onto his wound.

“Hey, isn’t that blackmail or something?” Lincoln raised an eyebrow.

Shaking my head, I chuckled. “My pathetic little summer class isn’t so pathetic anymore, but I only have four more weeks to prep them for the gauntlet.”

Lincoln nodded. “And you want my help. Of course.”

I recoiled a bit. “Not exactly. Shea and I got this, but I need access to a demon. It can be something low-grade though, like a Yew demon or a Snakeroot.”

Lincoln raised an eyebrow. “I can’t bring a demon on campus. It’ll set off the alarm.”

“I’ve thought about that.” I nodded. “We could go to the apartment parking lot, where my mom lives. Raphael spelled it to be safe from Lucy’s eye, but there’s no alarm.”

I’d been over to my mom’s a handful of times with Lincoln for dinner, so I knew he was okay with me going there.

Lincoln was silent a moment, staring at the table salt like it might sprout wings and fly.

“Come on, please? I want them to pass, and they can’t do that by sparing with each other. They need to fight the real thing,” I pressed him. Overprotective didn’t cover what Lincoln was; he was the next-level shit, and I knew this was asking a lot of him. Even a lower-level demon being in my presence would set him on edge. The fact that I could kill them with one hand tied behind my back, wouldn’t matter to him in the slightest.

“I’ll clear it with Michael,” Lincoln answered, sighing resignedly.

I squealed, leaning forward and placing a kiss on his cheek.

“But.” He stopped and caught my gaze. “I want you to speak to someone about the panic attacks.”

Dammit. He’d trapped me. The panic attacks were random, and I didn’t think they were a big deal, but I also trusted Lincoln and that he wanted what was best for me.

“Fine,” I growled. I wasn’t really sure there was a shrink on Earth who would know what the hell I was dealing with, but it was worth a shot.

“Tell me about the war.” I continued to heal his shoulder, letting the golden light wrap around his arm, bringing healing where it was most needed. I felt so helpless here inside the safety of Angel City, while my friends were doing shifts in the war zones, pushing the demons back to keep us all safe.

Lincoln sighed, pushing his fingers through his hair, which had started to grow back out. Instead of speaking, he pulled me into his lap and rested his face on my back. I shifted my position so I could still heal his shoulder.

“Come on, Linc, I’m not fragile. Tell me what’s going on out there, or Luke and Chloe will.” Luke and Chloe had been assigned to Lincoln’s team, and Shea was working directly with Archangel Michael—when she wasn’t helping me train my summer class. My friends would spill the beans eventually.

“It’s bad,” he spoke against my back, his breath tickling my spine. “Every week there seems to be a hundred more demons. I don’t know how he’s making them so fast, but we won’t last at this rate.”

My heart hammered inside my chest at his words. Had things really become so dire in the past month? I’d heard they closed the border to and from Demon City. You now needed special security clearance to get through, and even then, it was only at certain times of the day that they opened it. How the hell was Lucy creating a hundred new demons a week? Probably with magic, that bastard. He was trying to overtake Angel City, weaken our defenses, and then what? Would we fall? Would we flee? Would we—

I shook my head against the defeating thoughts. “What do the archangels say? What are we going to do about it?” Perk of being married to a captain was that I got all the good high-level clearance gossip.

Lincoln shifted me to face him, wincing when he tried to use his bad arm. “They’re thinking of putting out a call to the sister schools, pulling in everyone who’s willing and able to fight.” His eyes held worry, but there was also something else darkening there, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on right then.

Wow. Putting out a call to the sister schools meant things were bad. Or on the verge of being bad, at least. A realization hit me then. Los Angeles was the only large city left standing. If we fell, the demons would rule the world.

“Linc, we have to stop them. Stop him.” Lucifer was cranking out demons on a factory line, and it took us four years to train a hundred Fallen Army soldiers. The math would never add up in our favor.

Lincoln peppered my shoulder with kisses. “No one knows what to do. We’re all surviving day to day out there. The archangels are having a meeting tomorrow with all the captains. I’ll try to help come up with—”

“I want to be there!” The words flew from my mouth before he even finished.

Lincoln gave me a look that said, ‘You are not a captain in the Fallen Army.’

“I’m going,” I declared. “I saw Lucifer create those things. I know his process. I can be of value,” I urged.

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