The Whitlock Academy

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Chapter Thirty-Four

Emery’s POV.

“I could ask you the same question,” I deflect.

I step properly into the room and close the door behind me. Sal visibly swallows. He looks nervous, he knows he’s been caught out.

“You ditched alchemy to read a book on the one weapon that can kill our kind?” I ask him quietly.

His eyes go wide, and he opens and closes his mouth. Spluttering for a good excuse, no doubt.

“Don’t lie to me, Sal,” I continue before he can make something up.

I walk up to him and put my arms over my chest.

“What is going on?”

He sighs and his shoulders drop. He sits down on the floor defeatedly. I take a seat next to him.

“It’s to do with your prophecy, isn’t it?” I ask softly.

Silence hangs between us before he finally nods. “Yeah.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No.”

“Okay.”

Neither of us says anything for a few minutes. I reach over and slip my hand into his on his lap, lacing our fingers together.

“If you ever want to talk, you know I’m here for you whenever, right?”

He gives me a small but grateful smile. “Yeah, I know.”

We sit in a comfortable silence together for a few more minutes, until Sal breaks it.

“How did you find me?”

“Oro showed me this room the other day and he spotted that the Lamia blade book was missing. I’d looked everywhere else, and I suspected that you might have it because of your prophecy.”

I tell a white lie. I don’t tell him that I peaked at the book in his bag.

Am I bad a friend?

“Oh, right. This is another place that your mates have invaded.”

“Another place? Invaded? What are you on about?”

“They came to my spot on the roof before and now, they’re coming into this room. They’re everywhere. Why did you have to have four of them? So greedy.”

I scoff at his accusation. “I didn’t choose to have four mates. But now that I’ve met them, I wouldn’t change anything.”

He rolls his eyes. “I bet you wouldn’t. You’re so loved-up, it’s sickening. Anyway, tell your orgy-crew to stay away from my spots.”

“Don’t call them that. Besides, why did they go up to your roof spot anyway?”

“They were checking up on me. They asked me to watch over you before you got your prophecy confirming what they already suspected; that you are their mate.”

I frown at this revelation. I don’t know how I feel about that.

“They asked you to be friends with me?”

“No!’ Sal replies quickly. “I’m friends with you cause, believe it or not, you’re usually quite fun to be around. The Four sensed an opportunity for me to keep you safe whilst being around you.”

“Right…”

“You know how protective they are of you, Emmie. That didn’t come out of nowhere. They all had their suspicions that you were their mate, that’s why they stared at you all of the time. They wanted you safe before they could step in.”

I guess that is quite sweet. At least they care about me.

The bell goes, letting us know that it is the end of the day.

“We should probably get out of this dingy room,” Sal says and gets to his feet.

He puts the Lamia blade book back and we exit the room. I let him lock it up and we walk back to the dorms together. When we get to the junction, he breaks off to the male dorms. I keep going down the corridor to the mated ones.

I let myself in and follow the sounds of my mate’s voices down the short corridor which opens into the living room and kitchen. The Four of them are sitting at the table but instantly stop talking when I enter.

I narrow my eyes suspiciously.

“What’s going on?” I ask and drop my bag onto the sofa.

I approach the table and pull Esteban’s key from my pocket. I slide it back to him and take a seat. They all look at me with expectant, excited gazes.

“What is it?” I ask again.

Lucio leans forward, barely restraining his smile.

“We have a surprise for you on Friday,” he says happily.

My eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “Oh! Okay. What is it? Do I get to know, or is it a secret?”

“It’s a surprise,” Esteban drawls. “You’re not supposed to know what it is.”

I shrug at him. “A clue?”

“Not a clue, just half of it,” Oro says. “We are taking you out on Friday to make up for Sunday.”

“You don’t need to do that, but I’m definitely up for it.”

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Friday is a great day. It starts off with Oro and waffles, which is always a good combo. Maths isn’t so great, but we do a fun practical in alchemy and Sal actually works with Esteban and me. We work as a three and don’t kill each other, it’s amazing.

Lucio and I have our presentation in business studies, and we smash it. We get the highest grade in our class, and everyone actually laughs at our jokes. I’m relieved by that because I was worried it was only Lucio and I that found them funny.

My last period is independent study with Sal. We don’t study, we chat, and I get bored and paint his nails. He might be moody and sarcastic, but he rocks red nail polish.

When I get back to the flat, The Four insist on going for a walk. Our little group takes a walk around the academy grounds for about half an hour, enjoying the last of the sunshine before the Sun sets.

I get changed when we get back to the flat. They told me that they’re taking me to a restaurant in town. It’s getting colder in the evenings. I wear tights with my dress and bring a warm jacket.

The guys come out from the bedroom as I finish checking my reflection in my pocket mirror. I slip it back into my handbag and turn to face them. I’m not prepared. I’m not ready. I’m not sure what could have prepared me for how good they look.

All four of them.

My mouth drops open in awe.

Oro is furthest on the left. He is wearing smart Oxfords, slacks, a white shirt and a blazer. The top few buttons of the shirt are undone, revealing the tanned skin underneath. His blonde hair is slicked back.

Lucio is next. He has chosen a black shirt, black trousers and shiny, smart shoes. There is only one button undone on his shirt and he is wearing a silver chain, which, on closer inspection, has a coin pendant with the letter E engraved onto it.

“It’s for Esteban, obviously,” Es jokes.

Lucio playfully punches his arm. “Is it fuck! It’s for our girl and you know it.”

Esteban is next to Lucio, smirking widely. As usual, he is wearing the most relaxed clothes out of the four of them. He is in dark navy jeans that hug his thick thighs. He is wearing a white t-shirt and a zip up black hoodie.

Mal is at the end. Wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt and a black leather jacket, he looks like a sexy-ass bad-boy. There is a thin silver chain around his neck, too. It seems my mates are partial to jewellery.

“You look incredible, angel,” Oro speaks first.

“Beautiful,” Lucio murmurs in agreement.

“Sexy,” Es adds, grinning cheekily.

Mal looks me up and down and gives me the smirk of approval. “Hot.”

I feel shy at their attention and duck my head to pick up my handbag, making my hair fall in front of my face and hide my blush.

The four lead me downstairs, keeping me in the middle of their square of protection. Lucio uses his keys to unlock the garage and presses the unlock on his car key. The sleek red car at the end of row flashes its lights in response.

“Wow, this is nice.” I slide my fingers over the shiny surface. “Very flash.”

“It was a gift from Daddy,” Es drawls and Lucio punches his arm again.

“It was my eighteenth birthday present,” Lucio explains. “Get in.”

Lucio gets into the driver’s seat with Mal in the passenger seat. I’m sandwiched between Esteban and Oro in the back.

It’s only a twenty-minute drive to the restaurant they’ve chosen. I can already see how posh it is from the car. The building looks like some old manor house or hotel.

Oro gets out first and holds out his hand to help me out. I take it gratefully and step out.

“Welcome to the Serrano Manor,” Oro says proudly. “Owned by my parents, opened by my grandparents.”

“Whoa, your family owns this? Lucky,” I breathe, looking up at the tall building.

Beautiful piano music is playing as we enter the manor. Most of the tables are filled with people dining.

Oro walks confidently up to the manager who is wearing a different coloured shirt to the other staff. The manager recognises him instantly and gestures upstairs.

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