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The Culling Trials 3 (Shadowspell Academy #3)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Shannon Mayer

K.F. Breene

Book Information:

You Don’t Choose The Academy. The Academy Chooses You.

The last of the Culling Trials is here. I foolishly thought I’d survived the worst.

My team is falling to pieces around me and my heart is shattered for the losses I’ve endured. But I can’t stop when I’m so close to the end. There are too many people depending on me.

I foolishly thought there wasn’t much more I could lose…until the nature of my bloodline comes to light.

I’m not what I thought I was. Not what anyone thought I was.
But to tell people the truth would be to kill us all.

To fail the trials will mean death, but to succeed might damn me for life.

Books in Series:

Shadowspell Academy Series by Shannon Mayer

Books by Author:

Shannon Mayer Books

K.F. Breene Books

Chapter 1

Being caught kissing a boy in a forest by Rory shouldn’t have bothered me. After all, I’d seen him kissing Missy—a bleach blonde I know for a fact stuffed her bra with her socks—behind the five and dime—twice. The first time, I’d run back the way I’d come, embarrassed and not sure why. The second time, he’d seen me before I could react. Rather than stop, he’d turned so his back was to me, then continued to kiss pretty, girly, hair always perfect, makeup always on straight, stuffed boobs Missy.

I pulled back from Colt, just enough so that I could turn and arch an eyebrow at Rory even though my face was about to combust if the heat rushing to my cheeks was any indication. Before I could form an answer with my tingling, kiss-stung lips, Colt did a very dumb, very male thing.

He stepped between me and Rory.

“Who the hell do you think—”

And that’s where the question ended.

I stepped to the side to avoid the sharp right hook I saw coming about three miles off, in time to see Rory’s fist connect with the side of Colt’s head. Colt’s eyes rolled back, and his body went limp like Rory had pulled every pin in every joint of a marionette.

“I told you to stay safe.” Rory stepped around the still falling Colt and clamped a hand on my wrist.

My jaw dropped, and heat snapped through me again, although this time it was purely anger. “I am safe, you idiot. You said to stay in groups. Two is a group. Or was, until you knocked him out. What’s wrong with you?”

I yanked my arm, but his strength topped mine and then some. His fingers didn’t budge and the dark glower in his eyes deepened until I wasn’t sure if I was looking at the boy I’d grown up with, or a man I didn’t know at all.

Excited anticipation fluttered in my stomach and electricity sizzled across my skin, but I didn’t have time to wonder at the strange reaction.

He leaned closer and lowered his voice, rough with a warning. “You’ve never been a stupid girl, Belle, don’t start now. He’s not the sort that’ll keep you safe from what’s hunting you. You know that.”

A memory of the other night flashed through my head. Uncomfortable heat wormed under my collar.

I shook it off. Sure, it would have been dangerous to be out here alone, or with Colt, in the middle of the night. But it was broad daylight, and Rory was just being an overprotective douche. The man needed to be reminded of boundaries.

I drove my forehead forward, intent on a headbutt. He jerked to the side, missing it. I twisted my arm and yanked at the weak part of his grip, the break between his fingers and thumb. My arm slipped, but he bore down, keeping hold of me. I used his distraction to quickly step to the side and upper cut with my other hand, connecting with his jaw, hard.

He grunted and his head snapped back. His weight followed, forcing him to stagger backward. His hand tightened on my arm for a moment, as if he planned to use me to brace himself. It surely would’ve worked, dragging me with him, but I was banking on the fact that he didn’t want to hurt me. Sure enough, he released his grip, putting him at the mercy of his momentum. First one heel caught on the grass, then the other. He couldn’t get his footing and went down hard, his butt slamming into the grass.

I didn’t hide my grin, standing over both downed guys. Rory’s eyes came up, slowly, and a sparkle of fire lit in their depths. The strange surge and sizzle from a moment ago blasted through me again.

Not surprisingly, given our history, a smile flitted across Rory’s full lips. “I see you haven’t changed one bit. Same old fire. Same hard head.”

I snorted and rolled my eyes. “Like you can talk.” I stalked past him, leaving Colt alone in the grass. He could take care of himself and he was already groaning, sitting up, as I took off.

I hit the double door of the mansion hard enough that both sides flung open and banged against the back wall, startling several of the kids, making them leap back, raise their hands and wands lifted in defense. I ignored them, taking the stairs to my dorm.

Wally and Pete startled when I pushed inside, Pete sitting on his bed and Wally leaning against the wall. Her dark brown hair spilled over her shoulder as she tilted her head to the side. “Where are the others? Did you find out anything?”

I pushed past her, out of breath from the stairs, and headed into the bathroom.

“Well, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go,” Wally said. “You know, your chances of damaging your kidneys and colon go up by one-point-five percent every time you hold it in.”