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Supernatural Academy- Year One - Chapter One

**This is unedited and may change in the final copy. Supernatural Academy age recommendation is 17/18+ due to swearing and sex scenes (it will be the same level as Supernatural Prison series). :)

Chapter 1

Somewhere close by a loud, raucous countdown was on. Cheers echoing as the new year was rung in. There was no laughter or friendships in the dirty truck stop bathroom, as I stared into the cracked and marked mirror, washing out the last of the hair color.

I had very few rituals in my life, there was not enough stability for a ritual, but there was one thing I’d been doing for the past five of my twenty-two years. Every New Years Eve—my birthday of all days—I changed my hair color. It was my way of saying “fuck you” to the last sucktastic 365 days; I would not be defined by my circumstances. Each new color was a new beginning, a new age … a new chance at getting it right.

And this year, for the first time, I didn’t stick with the darker tones.

Nope.

This was going to be my year. The year of pink hair.

After I was done drying it under the shitty old hand dryer, I started sweeping all the boxes, peroxide and color tubes, into a nearby trash can. My new color caught my eye under the low lights and I had to smile. It turned out better than I’d expected, a shimmery pastel pink. Lucky the one skill my mother had left me with was the ability to work magic in the art of hair transformations. She had been a beautician and hairdresser, before she got sucked into the darkness of drugs, alcohol, and men who were no good for her.

The year she died was the first year I turned my blond locks into an orange mess of waves. Felt like something she would approve of. I’d been on my own since then, moving towns and changing hair every twelve months—was probably lucky I still had hair on my head from all the colors, but somehow it continued to be long and thick and healthy. I was hair blessed … life blessed, not so much.

It was time again. To jump on the first bus out of here and start my new life.

This year it was going to be better. This year there would be light, because I’d had my damned share of darkness. I was so fucking done.

“Pink wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I have to say you do wear it well.” I spun around, eyes searching for the person that voice belonged to.

I knew I’d been alone in the bathroom. I had shut and locked the door, because this was not a great area of Detroit. There was nothing in the small circle of light, but I sensed she was back in the darkness. Just out of sight. I did have pretty amazing night vision, when I forced myself to focus –one of my many unexplained abilities– but tapping into that always caused me problems, so I just reached out for my bag and the switchblade that was inside.

“What the hell do you want?” I bit out, making my voice as harsh as I could. I was no shrinking violet at 5’10 but my voice was sweet and innocent sounding. It was so far from matching my insides, it wasn’t even funny.

Maybe pink hair hadn’t been such a good idea. I was really gonna give off the wrong vibe now.

There was no answer, but there was movement as a chick stepped into the light. I blinked a few times, swallowing down my next insult. She was nothing like I expected. Even taller than me, her skin was very dark, shining in the low lights. Her hair was a mass of curls, not like mine though, tighter to her head in a corkscrew fashion, and it was a vibrant red. She was stunningly beautiful, and not in a mere supermodel way. Nope. She was gorgeous in a dropped-from-the-heavens-by-the-gods way. Full cherry lips, huge green eyes, high cheek bones and aristocratic features. If I wasn’t firmly on the team-into-dudes, I’d already be half in love with her.

She took another step closer, and I pressed myself back against the dirty sink. Just because she was hot, didn’t mean she wasn’t dangerous. “We’ve been looking for you for a long time,” she said as she halted her forward motion, her long leather clad legs in a strong stance. “You’re very good at moving and covering your tracks, but … your powers are growing stronger. You can’t hide any longer.”

Panic bloomed within me. Strong waves that almost crushed me. I knew I was wanted by many government agencies. Not only did I run away at seventeen, I’d fled a crime scene leaving my mother’s body behind. Looked like they had finally caught up to me.

I immediately catalogued the room, trying to figure out an escape route.

“Are you not even going to ask my name before you disappear?” she asked, amusement in her tone. “Seems kinda rude, don’t you think.” I closed my hand around the blade, ready to flick it open at any sign of an attack.

“Do I really care?” I shook my head at her. “I don’t know you. I don’t want to know you. I’m leaving now.” It was worth a try, the false bravado. Maybe she would back off. But judging by her “we’ve been looking for you for a long time” comment, I doubted it.

“It’s eye-leah,” she continued, like I hadn’t just basically told her to go fuck herself. “My name. It’s spelled I-l-i-a but you say it like eye…” she paused. “…Leah.”

I was so astonished by how she remained so calm and conversational. Like we had known each other for twenty years and were old friends.

“What do you want with me, Ilia?” I dragged her name out like she had. “What did you mean when you said my powers were growing stronger? Like … powers? Really? Are you insane?”

She laughed, throwing her head back and letting the husky tones fill the space. It sent a tingle down my spine and I was pretty sure it wasn’t just because her laugh was a sexy as she was. Something drifted along with the sound, something … extra.

“The insane thing is really going to depend on who you ask,” she finally replied, once she got herself under control. “And on what day you catch me. But to answer your other question. You, my friend, are no ordinary supe.”

I blinked at her, my hand sweaty on my blade handle. “Soup?” What in the hell did she mean by soup? Like the food? Or was that some sort of derogatory term I hadn’t heard? Or maybe it was a gang? I hadn’t been involved with any gangs lately. That was a life I’d learned quickly was not for me, but sometimes their members showed up in the oddest places. Like … Detroit bathrooms.

“You’re really into the drug scene, right?” I burst out with before she could reply. “Seeing the flying dragons and all that jazz. That’s why you’re all up in here talking about powers and soup. See, I don’t do the drugs. They’re not for me. My life is crazy enough as it is, so you can take your weird talk and fly away now.” I shooed her with my free hand, making little whooshing sounds.

She laughed again. “Dragons. How do you know about dragons?” She winked, like we were both in on the joke. “There’s actually quite a few in Faerie. Where I’m guessing you come from.” For the first time since stepping from the shadows, she moved closer to me. Trapping me against the sink, blocking the only exit.

My blade flicked out before I even thought about it, but she never gave the sharp edge a second glance.

“See, I never expected you would have zero idea of who you are,” Ilia continued, her face suddenly serious. “I should have guessed it, because we aren’t even quite sure what you are … but you definitely have a lot of power hidden away. The few times you’ve touched your energy, you’ve sent ripples across the world. Mostly though, you have your power locked down. How?”

Touched my what the fuck now? “If you’re talking about all the weird shit that happens to me. Like … animals speaking to me … then yes, I sure as shit locked it down. That’s just the crazy side of my brain, no doubt from having a crackhead of a mother.”

Ilia shook her head. “Wrong. There’s no way your mother was a crackhead. Crack doesn’t effect supes, and you my dear, are one hundred percent supernatural.”

Supernatural … oh, supe? Jesus. 

I choked, coughing. “Did you just say supernatural.” It felt a little warm in the room all of a sudden, despite the chilly weather tonight.

“You’re not human,” Ilia said bluntly. “I’m not sure exactly what you are though.” She regarded me carefully. “I thought I would know when I got closer to you, but … it’s the weirdest thing.” She held a finger up. “Not a vampire, for sure, you couldn’t have hidden that part of your nature.” Second finger went up. “Could be a shifter, if you had your power locked down, but I … doubt it.” Third finger. “Magic user is definitely a strong possibility, as is fey. But I don’t think we’re going to find out until I get you back to the Academy.” She dropped her hand then and smiled brightly. “I’m your supernatural collection agent. Here to whisk you off to the Academy. Seems they’d like to have a word with you about … whatever the heck you are. No one likes a mystery in our world. Mysteries usually end badly for everyone. So, you, my little supe, are going back to school.”

If I’d been the fainting type, this would be the point I swooned and cracked my head on the sink. But I’d seen and done crazy stuff in my life, and while this might be the craziest, it wasn’t fainting worthy. Hells no. Had she really said vampire and shifter though? Like as a legit thing?

My voice was flat. “I’m going to need you to step away from me, Ilia. Right. The fuck. Now!” She didn’t move, just grinned as she continued to watch me with those glittering eyes of hers.

“I like you,” she said as her grin broadened. “I think we’re going to be great friends.”

Not likely. I didn’t have friends, I’d been alone and running for years. Friends were liabilities I could not afford. I was also dangerous, as per previous reference to crazy shit happening to me.

Ilia held a hand out to me. “Maddison James, you need to listen to me closely.” The bitch knew my name! “You’re a supernatural. You’re not human, and if you don’t come with me and receive your training, you will lose control one day. You will hurt a human, and when that happens, it won’t be the academy coming for you. It’ll be the supernatural enforcers. Those who hunt down our criminals and lock them in the prisons. Trust me, you don’t want to end up in the prison system.”

I felt like my brain was going to explode and I was already regretting the pink hair. This kinda felt a little bit like it was the pretty colors fault. And how the hell in all hells did she know my name?

I decided to play along, and then run as soon as her guard was down. “I’m not saying I believe you.” I pretended to relax, closing my blade and slipping it back into my bag. “But I also don’t want to hurt anyone. The strange shit in my life has been ramping up lately, so … maybe I do need some help.”

Ilia’s full lips pursed as she examined me. I fought to keep my expression open and neutral, but I realized my mistake a moment later when she lunged for me. Before I could get out of the way, her hands wrapped around mine and she murmured something. Something not in English. I felt a hot surge against my skin and with a shriek, I tried to yank myself free from her, but she was surprisingly strong.

“Let me go, bitch!” I shouted, fighting to get free. I was surprised when a moment later, the pressure on my hands released, and I was again standing on my own. That was until I looked down to see crisscrossing beams of light wrapping all the way around my wrists and hands, binding them together.

Ilia dropped her head slightly to stare me in the eye. “You were going to run, Maddison. Don’t play stupid with me. I can see now that for you to believe what I’m telling you, you’re going to have to see it in person.”

Panic swirled inside of me, making my gut and chest ache as I struggled for each breath. I hated to be restrained, it had happened too many times when my mom’s “boyfriends” had decided an annoying as hell kid should not be seen or heard.

“Please release my hands,” I asked, trying to keep the tremble from the words.

Ilia shook her head. “I’m sorry, but no one can remove this but the Academy Princeps. He gave me the binding spell and it is specifically linked to him. Insurance that you would have to follow me back.”

My heart was hammering in my chest, and it felt like my blood roared in my ears as everything went a little pear-shaped. Ilia looked at me with concern for the first time, perfect eyebrows bunching as she leaned closer. “I have a problem being restrained,” I admitted through gritted teeth. “It’s a trigger for me.” Before she could stop me, I spun around and smashed my hands against the edge of the sink, trying to loosen the binds. Nothing happened though, except a pain the ricocheted up my arms. I didn’t give up though, tapping the binds again, over and over, hoping to loosen them. I even ran them under hot water, but nothing shifted the glowing strands that held me immobile. 

Body shaking, I faced her, and found sympathetic eyes on me. “I’m so sorry, girl,” she said gently. “I wish I could remove them, but all I can do is promise we’ll get to the Academy as soon as possible.”

Closing my eyes, I tried not to flinch as she reached down and grabbed the bag I’d dropped earlier. She then wrapped an arm around me, hauling me closer as we walked out of the bathroom. Outside the temperatures seemed to have dropped even further, wind was howling, bringing small particles of ice and snow with it. My jacket was in my bag, and I couldn’t get to it as I was, but luckily I’d always had a pretty high tolerance for temperatures.

“How are we getting to the Academy,” I asked, somewhat resigning myself to the fact that I was not getting out of this. Not yet anyway. I couldn’t even move my fingers –there was no way I could stay bound like this forever; I’d lose my mind. So I had to play along with her for a little while longer.

Truth be told, whatever held me captive was so weird, and teaming that with all the weirdness in my own life … well, part of me was actually starting to believe what she was saying. Vampire, shifter, fey, and magic user … supernaturals. Academies and prisons.

What the fuck had I gotten myself into?

 

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