Curiosity (Lughnasadh Elite Academy 2) – Layla Heart

One stolen prophecy, four sexy princes to protect her.

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One stolen prophecy, four sexy princes to protect her.

As if being sent to a magical world she has no knowledge of wasn’t bad enough for Litha, she finds out that her parents have gone into hiding and that all the documents about her prophecy have been stolen.

The four princes, Bane, Kit, Rune and Finn, have sworn to protect her at all costs, but it seems that those costs may be higher than they expected, especially when some of them have their own battles to fight.

A trip to the headmaster’s office in the dead of night, followed by a very special breakfast is only the start of their new adventure together.

 

This is the second novella in the Lughnasadh Elite Academy serial, a reverse harem #WhyChoose story. This novella may include any of these elements: steamy scenes, ‘I need tissues NOW’ moments, cries of ‘why, oh, why’ and cliffhangers that make you bite your nails (and curse the author).
This story includes MF, MM and also FF scenes, but everyone is primarily focused on Litha and there are no sexy scenes between the guys and the other girl.

 

Read the first chapter below!

Chapter 1 – Bane

It’s not every day I get a message from Rune with three very specific but alarming instructions:

– We need to talk to your dad

– Come to the back entrance of Litha’s halls

– Bring the others

Rune isn’t one for dramatics, so when I get the message, I immediately follow it. I got Finn and Kit from their rooms and right now, I’m trying to call Dad, as we’re racing over to Litha’s halls.

Every time I call, Dad doesn’t pick up, which isn’t so strange, the man tends to be busy, but, of course, today isn’t one of those days I can let it be. So, when we’re near Litha’s place, I try Mum instead, she tends to know where he hangs out when he’s got his phone off.

“Hi, dear, how are you doing?” Of course, she picks up immediately, that’s her.

“We’re having a bit of a situation, apparently. Where is Dad?” I catch sight of Rune and Litha, and one of the girls from our year, Aideen. They look upset, but otherwise safe and unharmed. My heart slows down a little, not racing as much anymore.

“He said that he’d be at the academy, doing some… research. Why? Can I help?” Research? Where he doesn’t have his phone on? Not likely. But my own information is a little on the limited side too.

“No clue, Rune said that we needed to talk to Dad.” I lag behind Finn and Kit, waiting until the end of my conversation, as they race over to Litha, taking her in their arms. They’re speaking quietly, but I’m too far away to listen in on them. The way Litha talks to them, she seems serious, nervous.

“I’ll see if I can get a hold of your dad. I’ll call you back, or have him call you back, when I find him.” And she disconnects the line. I know that she tried to sound normal, but there was an edge to her voice, she wasn’t as calm as she pretended to be. I guess that in the years living in our family, she’s gotten used to having to take control, short conversations and keeping elements moving. So she won’t try to dawdle when things go sideways, gotta thank her for that. I’ll have to get her something nice when I see her next, to make up for always calling on her like this.

I take a deep breath, putting it out of my mind, Mum or Dad will call me soon enough, now I need to be there for someone else first. I walk over to the others and keep my eyes on Litha, trying to read her better. Her eyes are red from crying and her breathing is still a little uneven, but she seems in control.

I don’t know what to say to her, so I reach out and she steps into my embrace, her scorched rosemary scent immediately surrounding me, it almost makes me feel safe, holding her like this. Then I meet Rune’s eyes, before pointedly glancing at Aideen.

He shrugs, his eyes solemn. “She was there when Litha… When she found a few things.” The steady look he gives me means that he’s not going to send Aideen away, and to be honest, with her friendship with Litha, I’m not going to doubt that she can be trusted. She comes from a family who has worked for Rune’s family for centuries, they almost grew up together, outside of school anyway.

“What did Litha find? What’s all the panic about?” Finn’s voice is low, on edge, his hand slipping to Litha’s shoulder, slowly moving and I’m not even sure he realises it.

Rune looks at each of us like he’s trying to figure out what to say. “She got a note from her parents, it said that she was sent here because she was in danger in the human world and that this was the safest place for her to be right now.”

Litha finally moves, looking up at me. “And to tell your father, the headmaster, that they’ve gone into hiding. That they’ll contact him when they can.”

“Tell my father? It said that?” Litha’s parents were desperate enough to do that? They would out themselves, and Dad too? They really must have been scared.

Litha nods, stepping back, her shoulders straightening. “I’ve got the…” She takes a piece of paper from her pocket and I read the note. It starts off innocent enough, but when I get to the end of it, I understand their alarm. Okay, we really really need to get my dad involved, fast.

I look around, trying to figure out where Dad could be hiding if he’s supposed to be on campus. The library would be an option, or at his place in the teacher housing, or even his office. “Kit, can you check the teacher housing? Rune, his office in the main building? We’re going to the library. Even if he’s not there, we may be able to find something.” Then my eyes fall on Aideen, right. She’s still here.

But she takes the choice away as she quietly nods. “I’ll keep an eye on things here. I won’t get in your way.” She holds up her phone. “Rune has my number, if you need to reach me, and so does Litha.” Then she slips back into the building, quietly closing the door behind her. Fuck, she must be so used to taking a step back, even when she’s so close to the royal family of the dragons, but never part of it.

“Okay, let’s get moving.” I take Litha’s hand, her slightly trembling hand. She keeps herself strong, but she’s still scared.

Rune and Kit take their shirts off, and I catch the way Litha glances at them, her eyes growing, filling with lust, before they fly off, seemingly unaware of her eyes on them.

After they’ve left, Finn lets out a long breath. “I guess this is the start of a very interesting year…” He looks towards the main buildings. “The library it is.”

Litha straightens her spine, a determined look in her eyes. “Whoever is messing with my parents, with anyone… They won’t be doing it for long.” Then she smiles, sheepishly. “As soon as I figure out this whole ‘being a witch’ thing and actually know what my powers are, or how to use them.” She lets out a slow and long breath, her jaw setting.

I can’t help the laugh that bubbles out of me, and next to me, Finn laughs too.

“What?” She raises an eyebrow and then quickly glides a knife from her pocket, opening it with a flick of her wrist. A knife I hadn’t even realised she carried. Finn’s eyes go wide in appreciation, not sure if it’s from the knife itself or the fact Litha actually carries one on her and seems to know how to use it. “I’m not defenceless without magic, though. City girl, you gotta know how to protect yourself. We’ve not always lived in the best neighbourhoods.” She shrugs, like it’s a normal response.

Fury flashes through me. She’s been in danger? Having to worry about her own safety enough to consider this? To carry knives around? Thinking of how to protect herself?

“Glad you have a fighting spirit.” Finn reaches out to her, touching her cheek with a smile, seemingly unphased, and then he raises an eyebrow at me. “We should find your father.”

Right. That was the plan.

What other things has she had to worry about, in the human word, cut off from her powers? How often has she been in danger and we weren’t there to protect her?

***

When we enter the library building, it’s quiet. Most people don’t hang out here in their free time, especially not in the first week back, when the classes haven’t even started. I look around, my eyes falling on the guy behind the desk at the front of the library and I go over to him.

“My father, the headmaster, have you seen him here today?”

The guy jolts up, but shakes his head. “Not today. Yesterday, but not today.” He pauses a moment. “My prince.” He looks down at his hands, moving them nervously.

I ignore the title he’s giving me. “Yesterday? Why?”

He nods, not looking up. “Searching books for a new student, I think. I don’t know. He asked about the availability of some first year’s books. That’s all I know. He went over to the section with books for the first year classes and took some with him.”

“Thanks.” I look in the direction the guy is pointing, and motion for Finn and Litha to follow me. As we walk through the library, Litha puts her hand on my back.

“I know this section. I was here with Aideen.” She frowns. “She was showing me some first-year books, trying to figure out what classes I should take.”

“When?”

“This morning. Before… Everything.” Her cheeks flush a deep pink. Before the making out in the forest this afternoon. Right. Dad was here yesterday and Litha was here today. There may be a connection there, even a slight one.

Then my phone buzzes, and it’s a message from Dad. ‘Mum said that you’ve been trying to reach me?’

My fingers fly over the small keyboard. ‘We need to talk. Litha needs to talk to you about something.’

‘I’m a little busy right now. Can it wait for tomorrow? I’ll have more time then.’

‘Litha’s parents want for her to talk to you. She’s got a message from them.’ I can’t really send him the actual message, that they’re in danger and have gone into hiding, since we never know who is listening or reading to our messages, but I gotta give him something so he knows it’s serious.

It takes a little longer for a reply to come this time. ‘Meet me at my office. I’ll be there soon.’

Well, that’s something. Though I have no idea where he could be right now, if he’s not already on campus. I glance to the side, to where I know the stairs to the next level are, to the tower with the prophecy documents. “My dad will meet us at his office.” I look to Finn and Litha. “I need to check something first. I’ll be right back.”

Finn blinks, then frowns. “Where are you going?”

“I just need to make sure of something.” I dash off, to the back of the library, and then I turn the corner into a hallway. I know that there is a hidden doorway to the outside staircase here, I found it as we were walking back down yesterday, felt the draught.

I try the wall with my hand, only finding rough stone, centuries-old walls, until I find a smooth surface behind a tapestry. As I look behind the curtain depicting the historical scene of this academy being built, I find the door.

I carefully push it open, the hinges silent and effortless, glancing around the hallway behind it. There isn’t anyone here, and when I try to scent who has been here lately, I don’t smell any recent scents. Nobody has come up here in the last six or so hours, nobody… So my dad isn’t here. He’s not hiding in the prophecy room…

Then where the hell is he? What’s keeping him so busy?

 

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