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Spear Through Time
Another two months time and the construction will be completed, Dimitri’s message flashed across Aiden’s wallet, Are you quite sure you wish to remain in the city proper?

Aiden rolled his eyes as he took a drag from the cigarette dangling from his clenched jaw. Dimitri had been badgering him since he had returned to Moscow. That was not a negative trait in a personal assistant, but the repeated question had become tiring. Aiden had explained himself thoroughly in the few days that had passed since his return and Dimitri should have been professional enough to accept that.

I need to be here, Dim. I’ve told you already. Inspiration has hit me. I’ve got to start work on the sequel to ‘Russian Dolls’ while the idea is fresh, Aiden typed back on rote. Smoke streamed from his lips, the lights of Tverskaya emanating from the spaces between the blinds to illuminate the countless boxes that Dimitri had sent over.

But what if she comes back? She will look for you here, Dimitri sent back.

Aiden put his wallet down.

Gareth Rice, Rowan’s servant, had apparently been in contact with Dimitri during Aiden’s absence. It was not an unwelcome development, but Aiden would have preferred to facilitate it under normal circumstances. Gareth, before serving under Rowan, had been a family friend. Aiden had grown up with Gareth – he loved Gareth as his own brother. But Rowan had ensnared him. Not that that would have been hard for her to accomplish. Gareth was always pining after her during their teenage years; she was just too blind to give him a chance.

Rowan was gone and had wanted nothing to do with Aiden – despite him being the entire reason she had relocated to Moscow. Rowan was gone and had severed all ties – apparently – but Gareth could not accept that. He could not accept that and he could not find Aiden and so he had gotten into the head of Aiden’s personal assistant, Dimitri Alexeev; Dimitri had been all too eager.

Aiden was starting to think that Dimitri was taken with Gareth.

An unfortunate triangle that would be – Rowan had never been one to share.

Aiden finished his cigarette with a long, deep drag and snuffed it out into the glass ashtray to his side. He grabbed for his wallet, knowing full well that he should have left Dimitri on ‘read.’

I know you’ve given Gareth this address, Dim. What does it matter? Leave me to my books and my writings, Aiden responded before putting the wallet down once more and moving to the wet bar. Ice clinked and the whiskey flowed easily into his empty glass.

Aiden poured half a glass more than he should have – but who was there to judge him? He had told Sage that he needed a few days rest and relaxation and ‘no, don’t trouble yourself. I just need to sleep this out. I’ve never felt more exhausted.’ He had left Jaxen at the door to that condo with a half-hearted hug and a, ‘No, Jax. That is your prize to take. I have the spear; I don’t want your sword. Do what you will with it, just let me do my own thing with my own thing.’

The wallet vibrated and Aiden didn’t fight the urge to pick it back up. Dimitri again.

I’m sorry, Dimitri had replied. Aiden rolled his eyes. He expected the apology, but he didn’t need it. What Aiden needed now was time. Time to read and time to experiment with his new found treasure.

Don’t worry about it. Just make sure the manor is finished before the end of the year. I’m postponing my release tour btw. Call my legal team if Tor gives you problems. We can renegotiate for the spring, Aiden sent back. He drank half of the glass before moving into the back guest room. A stream of light passed over the cracked door, casting its brilliance upon Aiden’s foot as he moved to the opening. He paused as the wallet vibrated again.

Okay, now you’re talking crazy. I’m coming to see you. You don’t sound like yourself, Aiden, the screen read. Aiden rolled his eyes and tossed the wallet over his shoulder. It landed to the ground with a loud clatter as he opened the door.

The Spear revolved upon unseen hands in the middle of the room. All overhead lights had been switched off and the blinds had been thrown open to let in the evening glow of Tverskaya. Aiden felt a strange kinship with the weapon as he stared at the shinning black blade that capped its slender rod. The emanations of Fire and Spirit had grown weaker, but not its flame that Aiden could summon with the barest trickle of Light.

That was not to mention the dreams. The dreams of the man that blazed like the Sun. It was Lugh if the snake people were to be believed. Things had taken an even stranger turn since he had brought the Spear home and he was convinced that the answer was in the books the Dimitri had sent him.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
A knock sounded at the door. Aiden looked up from the book in his lap, dropping the highlighter into the spine before placing the book down onto the coffee table before him. He grabbed the green glass ashtray and snubbed out the butt that had been dangling from his lips. His bourbon glass was empty, but he ignored that. Earlier in the day, Cooper had gone back to Suzdal to fetch Dimitri from Aiden’s estate. He moved to the door and gazed through the peephole to confirm that it was his personal assistant on the other side and not some thug from the Atharim or the CCD.

“Take your time boss,” Dimitri called from the other side of the door, “I can’t promise that these beignets will be here by the time you open the door.”

Aiden felt his mouth water at the mention of the pastries. He pulled the door open quickly and smiled, “Should’ve said you were bringing me treats.”

Dimitri chuckled as he handed Aiden a rectangular, purple box. The smell of warm bread and sugar drifted up to Aiden’s nostrils as he looked down at the top of the cardboard, white, elegant letters flowed along the middle and Aiden grunted when he read them.

The Bottom of the Cup Café.

“Gareth sent those. I swear it was not my idea,” Dimitri said seriously, “I thought bringing Sage would have been preferable.”

“I’d get less work done with Sage here,” Aiden replied honestly. His sex drive had been through the roof since returning from Ireland, oddly enough. It was much simpler to satisify himself and get back to his research – although tumbling around with Sage was always more pleasurable. Another few days and Aiden would return to the estate; he would be sure to carry Sage off to the bedroom and keep the man thoroughly occupied for three days straight.

“I had assumed as much. Sage seems to be very much entrenched in his own project. Are you quite sure you want all that computer equipment taking up an entire room? Erm… May I?” Dimitri gestured to the space behind Aiden. He nodded to Dimitri as he stepped aside to admit him.

“And here I thought you’d be happy to see that I seem to be making a serious commitment,” Aiden retorted with a snort, closing the door and following Dimitri back into the living room.

“Edwina has been by almost every day with her swatches and mood boards. She’s in a terrible fury that you’ve taken the piano room away from her,” Dimitri said smartly as he removed his shoes and his light coat. Aiden set the pastries down on the coffee table, moving the ashtray to a side table.

“Well, I’ve made her job easier, haven’t I? Ask Sage if he wants her touch, but I doubt it. He doesn’t pay attention to much when he’s wired in, and that’s what that room is for. If she’s so restless, she can speak with our gardener and collaborate on the veranda,” Aiden said. He pulled out his pack of smokes and lit another one before asking, “Coffee?”

“Black,” Dimitri answered as he took to the easy chair near the electric fireplace.

Aiden disappeared into the kitchen and reappeared within moments, holding two steaming mugs, “I hope you don’t mind the chickory.”

“I’ve never asked for it, but you seem to have given me a taste for it nonetheless,” Dimitri replied as he took the mug greatfully.

“Whiskey?” Aiden asked as he poured a shot into his own cup. Dimitri shook his head.

“I do wish you wouldn’t do that so casually,” Dimitri said with a rasied eyebrow.

“Offer you booze? I know. I’m such a terrible employer.”

Dimitri grunted before taking a sip from his cup. His eyes fell on the purple cardboard box and Aiden nodded. The man gleefully took a pastry before reclining back into the chair.

“Did you find anything useful in the books I sent?” Dimitri asked before dipping his beignet into the coffee.

Aiden shook his head and sunk down into the leather couch opposite Dimitri, “Nothing I haven’t read before.”

“Well, they are the same books that you poured over for Russian Dolls. You’re using the same material for the sequel then? Must be some bit of lore or continuity, I take it?” Dimitri asked as he munched on the pastry, taking small sips of coffee regularly. A slash of light swept across the room, peaking out from the cracked door directly behind Dimitri. Aiden ignored it, hoping that Dimitri would do the same.

“Lore? Yes, you can say that. I needed a bit of a refresher on the Jewels of the Tuatha De – the sacred treasures of Ireland,” Aiden quickly answered before taking a drag of the cigarette held in his right hand.

“I’m familiar. Which one will be the focus of the next novel? You’ve done the spear. Is it the cauldron or the stone?” Dimitri asked in an inquisitive tone.

“The stone has certainly fascinated me recently, but I needed more information on the spear. It may not be the focus of the next novel, but I must know how it functioned.”

“You didn’t find that out in your initial readings? Are all the extra details in Russian Dolls made up?”

“No. I’ve read about all of that, but I couldn’t help but to wonder if it did more than fly and make fire,” Aiden answered seriously, puffing away on his menthol.

“Sounds like you need your boyfriend,” Dimitri mused.

“And why is that?” Aiden asked seriously as the last of his tobacco burned.

“He’s a hacker,” Dimitri said simply.

“I don’t see how that would help a scholarly inquiry,” Aiden answered.

“He is equipped with the necessary skills to harvest information. Surely he has a code or a program to comb through the world’s libraries?” Dimitri half asked.

“I don’t think that’s how it works. Still. He might be able to get me a few of the finer details called out in ancient texts,” Aiden all but mumbled to himself. If the Atharim knew of the Spear, Sage might be able to hack into their files and retrieve the right information. There was something more to the spear, something more than the flames it could conjure. For all Aiden had tried, he could not make it fly – not without filaments of Air.

“It was the key to Lugh’s reign. I need to know why,” Aiden went on before downing the rest of his coffee. Dimitri cocked an eyebrow as he reached into the pocket of his blazer and pulled out a worn, leather-bound book.

“Take a look at this then. Your father sent it over recently with a number of weathered texts to add to the library.”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Lasher barked and came padding out of the room with the spear as Aiden grabbed the book from Dimitri. Aiden forgot himself for an instant as Lasher came to lap his tongue against Aiden’s free hand. He looked down at his faithful hound and rubbed at Lasher’s neck, moving the short fur back and forth in a rhythmic motion. He barked gleefully at the attention as Aiden moved his gaze back to the worn leather book that now sat in his right hand.

Aiden opened the small book and immediately noticed that it was hand written in Old Gaelic. He had translated the language before; it was close enough to modern Gaelic, but old enough to give him problems when trying to read on the fly. Still, a few words at the top of the page stuck out to him enough to reasonably translate the line, “High King Lugh, The Spear, and the Gae Bulg.”

Dimitri cocked an eyebrow. Aiden looked up from the book and smiled widely. The story of the Gae Bulg was an old one, but he had never seen something like this. The earliest writings in Old Gaelic had dated back to the sixth century. Should the book in his hand prove authentic, it would predate any known writings of Lugh by four centuries. Aiden was sufficiently intrigued, “Father knew exactly what I was writing with Russian Dolls. Why did he send this now? I could have used this.”

A easy chair made a squeaking sound as Dimitri shifted uncomfortably. He took another sip from his coffee before clearing his throat and answering, “Yes, well, I had hoped to tell you of this later – but it seems that your parents have relocated.”

Aiden’s eyebrows shot up and his jaw all but dropped, “Re-relocated? Surely not here – not to the CCD?”

Dimitri shook his head quickly, “Oh no, far from it. They seem to be retaining their loyalty. La Jolla. California. They began the move at the end of last week. Your father seems to be clearing out his personal library. They said that they are downsizing.”

Aiden shut his mouth and moved up from the couch and over to the wet bar. He poured another glass of whiskey. He shook his head in disbelief, “Are they selling the manor then?”

“It seems so,” Dimitri replied warily.

A weight took hold of Aiden’s chest. He had grown up in that manor. His earliest memories had been in that manor – his home. How could they sell it? Aiden had always assumed that it would be left to him and that he would retire there, in the Garden District, when he was weary of the world and his career. He would host all the family gatherings there and Rowan would have the child she always wanted, and they would have renewed, healthy relationship, Aiden and her – of course. Aiden would be there with his husband – perhaps Sage – and they would have their own children and everything would be wonderful and…

“Who are they selling it to?” Aiden asked abruptly.

“Seamus didn’t say,” Dimitri replied.

“Call Susan, his personal assistant, and find out. I want you to do whatever you have to to ensure that I receive the deed to that manor,” Aiden said slowly before downing the whiskey he had just poured.

Dimitri’s eyebrows shot up, “You’ve been spending quite a bit lately. I-“

“Please, Dim,” Aiden interrupted him in a pleading tone, “This is important to me.”

Dimitri nodded quickly, his wallet appeared in his right hand almost imperceptibly. With a flurry of a fingers and a few vigorous nods of the head, Dimitri looked back up to Aiden and said, “I’ve placed an offer. I will let you know what they say as soon as they say it.”

Aiden nodded with satisfaction. Light swept across the room from the crack in the door. Aiden moved towards it and closed the door. Dimitri spun around and asked, “What? Have you set up a disco in the spare room?”

“Something like that,” Aiden chuckled, “You’ll have to take the couch if you’re staying here tonight.”

Dimitri shrugged, “I’m not making Cooper drive back to Suzdal tonight. The morning will do me just fine.”

“Well, if you’re planning on staying, you won’t mind if I take a whack at translating this then?” Aiden asked seriously. It was a thin little thing, and honestly, Dimitri could not have expected anything less.

“Oh no,” Dimitri chuckled as he pulled a laptop out from his side bag, “I have an MMORPG I have been neglecting. You take your time with the book so I can level my healer.”

Aiden nodded with a half groan; he would never get the appeal of online gaming. Player driven stories were the only thing that could catch his interest. Solo player driven stories. He grabbed a spiral notebook and a pen from his desk off in the corner of the living room and hunkered down with a freshly lit cigarette.

The wallet in his pocket vibrated and he pulled it free. Sage. He was running out, apparently. Aiden replied with a quick, "Have fun. I'll be home in a day or two. Just need a little more rest. I wanna pick your brain about our little... Epic."

“Upon being named High King of the Tuatha De Danann, Lugh, sought a worthy weapon to act as the symbol of his office. Three years into his rulership, and into his quest, a neighboring King declared war upon Lugh’s island domain,” Aiden read out as he worked through the words. Those two sentences alone had taken a good ninety minutes. He took a deep drag of his fifth cigarette and looked over his shoulder, checking on Dimitri. The man had donned a full headset and was furiously clicking away at the pad on his laptop – he had clearly forgotten where he was.

Aiden sighed with relief as he began to work out the next sentence, “Being a cunning individual, Lugh used the powers of Illusion and Compulsion to sneak into the other King’s castle.”

It was going to be a long night.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
“The Gae Bolg flew to the seat of the Tuatha De Danann kings, Lia Fail. There, it buried itself into the stone beneath the stone, burying the Spear deep beneath the ground, guarding it from the tamperings of any man who dared try to reclaim the mantle of King of the Isles,” Aiden said under his breath as he re-read his translation for the seventh time. It was as close to the original prose as he could tell, but it only left him with more questions.

Dawn started to break over the city, as the soft red glow spreading across the room evinced. Dimitri had passed out a few hours prior, his gaming laptop still running and his digital character idling on screen. Aiden had been kind enough to log him out and place the rig on the coffee table before Dimitri’s inevitable shifting knocked it to the ground. The man now snored quietly beneath a woven throw blanket that Aiden had draped over him.

With a yawn, Aiden threw his notes back onto the coffee table and lit the last cigarette in his pack. His throat felt raw and his chest felt heavy, but the combination of whiskey and writing had demanded smoke infusing his lungs on a constant basis. He would take a break from the stuff once he had finished his experiments with the spear. Maybe a day or two – perhaps a week – and he’d feel better. Then the cycle would start all over again when he finally started working on the next novel.

Aiden hadn’t started working on the sequel yet, of course, that was just a convenient lie he told to get Dimitri to send him all the books he could on Lugh and the Tuatha De. What else was he to tell the man?  That he had recovered an ancient, magical relic from snake people in another dimension?

Even Aiden had to chuckle at that. Reality really was stranger than fiction.

The book he had just translated surely was fiction; there were too many oddities in it. Lugh and the Spear took center stage, to be sure, but the snake people did not make the slightest appearance in the story. The closest connection he could find amongst the pages was the description of the Gae Bolg. In most myths, the Gae Bolg was the name of Cu Chulainn’s spear – the name itself was loosely translated into ‘belly spear.’  Cu Chulainn himself was said to have been Lugh’s son and also Lugh reborn.

In this book, the Gae Bolg was described as a dragon-like monster controlled by a metal collar clamped upon it by ‘the Usurpers.’ Celtic mythology was rarely consistent, but the Gae Bolg issue had been enough for Aiden to raise an eyebrow. The book looked old enough, but so had the Shroud of Turin. He had caught himself wondering how much a carbon dating session might cost him.

Then again, there were certain scenes inside of the little book that sounded a little too much like the magic Aiden now wielded. It had even said that the Spear had magnified Lugh’s ‘Light.’ The story never said how, of course. Perhaps all the other myths Aiden had learned were the false ones and the one he had just translated was the actual truth.

Aiden had to chuckle at that thought too, and his own vanity.

Dimitri had been right. Aiden needed Sage and his own technological form of magic. It was time to leave Tverskaya and return to Suzdal.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Six hours later…
On the road to Suzdal…

[Image: Vladimir-Ivanov.jpg?resize=224%2C300&ssl=1]
Dimitri Alexeev 

“It makes me uneasy,” Dimitri mumbled as he glanced over his shoulder and through the partition. His employer, Aiden Finnegan was stretched out on the black leather of the limo’s long back seat. He was cradling an eerie black spear with his arms crossed over his chest. The thing seemed to have its own aura and that feeling alone was enough to give Dimitri the shivers. It was a powerful enough feeling to make Dimitri almost forget to worry about Aiden slicing open his face with the blade resting so close to his skull.

Cooper shrugged for the third time, as Dimitri found himself repeating the same words he had first said when Aiden nodded off. The driver always had a smile on his face, but even Dimitri could see that he was trying Cooper’s patience. How could the man not get the same sense of foreboding when he looked at it? Dimitri felt his skin turn to gooseflesh at the mere thought of the spear.

Where had Aiden even gotten it from? Dimitri had not for one second believed the tale of antique shopping with Sage. Aiden hated antiques unless they were held in a glass case and adorned with a bronze placard proclaiming their incredible historical significance. And Sage? Dimitri did not completely know the boy yet, but he would have bet his last coin on the idea that Sage did not like shopping for antiques. Where had Aiden gotten it?

Dimitri was beginning to suspect that Aiden had fallen in with black marketeers during his trip to Ireland. He had gone off on an inspiration retreat, supposedly to see the ancient sites of the ‘Isles.’ No doubt Aiden had looked like an easy and wealthy mark to some back-alley scum. Perhaps they had sold him that thing, with promises that it had been an authentic treasure from one of the ancient kings of Ireland? Such sort had certainly taken advantage of well to do men during the height of the Egyptian tomb excavations at the turn of the twentieth century.

“I think you’re thinking about it too much, Dimitri,” Cooper offered up, snapping Dimitri’s thoughts back to the present.

“Of course I am! That thing is giving off… oh what word does Aiden always use… vibes!” Dimitri spluttered out as he made a concerted effort not to look back at his employeer.

Cooper chuckled with a good natured air, “Have you tried to stop… feeling the vibes?”

“Of course not. How does one not feel that? How do you not feel that?” Dimitri asked with a cocked eyebrow as he turned to look at the driver, “I mean it, Cooper. I feel it.”

“Are you a God? Y’know. Like Aiden?” Cooper asked seriously, his eyes darting to the side and connecting with Dimitri’s for an instant.

“I think if I was, I would have known by now,” Dimitri replied flatly.

Cooper shrugged his shoulders again and the smile faded from his face. His eyes went back to the road and he said simply, “Aiden didn’t know until he hit his thirties.”

Dimitri paused.

“How old did you say you were again?” Cooper asked.

“Younger than you,” Dimitri shot back acerbically.

“No need to be rude, young man,” Cooper replied evenly.

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m no God, Cooper. If I were, I doubt I’d be the assistant to one,” Dimitri said as he turned his head to look out the side window. Oh, he had fantasized constantly about what his life could have been if he had been born under different circumstances. As it was, he was an effective assistant – especially to Aiden Finnegan. It was a surprisingly easy job and it paid a better salary than any he could have hoped for after graduating from Moscow University.

Cooper shrugged again, “You haven’t read through your world mythologies then, have you?”

“I was never particularly taken with the subject, no. I know what I know because of my work for Aiden, and that has all been focused on the Tuatha De, the Aos Si, and the ever-changing mythos of the ‘Emerald Isles,’” Dimitri mumbled. He did not deign to move his head from the crook in his palm, his eyes still sightlessly staring out the fast-changing scenery outside the passenger side window.

“Really? They didn’t even teach you about the Olympians in school?” Cooper asked with an honest air of astonishment.

“No – and from what Aiden has told me, that seems to be a Western thing. The schools of Russia rarely touched on things that would’ve been common in American schools – save for the obvious,” Dimitri said.

“Well, maybe you should look at some of those old tales. The idea of a God serving another God is an old trope,” Cooper said seriously, his eyes all but glancing back to check Dimitri’s reaction.

“I don’t doubt you, Cooper – I just can’t understand why you won’t let this idea go?” Dimitri replied as he finally turned his head back to look at Cooper.

The driver had both eyes fixed on the road, but there was a seriousness in his eyes that Dimitri had rarely witnessed. The man coughed softly before going on, “Do you really feel something coming off of that spear?”

Dimitri nodded without thought.

“Well, I don’t. If you’ve ever paid attention to the way Aiden describes his ‘powers,’ well, I just think you might want to take another look in the mirror, Dimitri. There might be something there, deep down inside yourself that you haven’t acknowledged yet,” Cooper said in a no-bullshit tone. He then surprised Dimitri further and pulled a cigar out from the breast pocket of his driving coat.


“I know. Aiden would be beside himself if he knew how many cigars I have tasted in this limo. Let’s not tell him. The wife already says he’s a bad influence…”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
“If they want my life, they can have that too – It means nothing to me,” the man yelled – the man that blazed liked the Sun.

The men in the rough spun cloaks rushed forward with their scrolls of snakeskin. The seven men held their scrolls out like a ward against the Dark – pushing it towards the man and all but shielding their faces from his gaze.

“It has always been the Isles. It is for the people that I fight. If it is this signature that should mean that you get to live the rest of your days in security and happiness,” the man was saying as he waved his right hand in the air – a feather quill floating up into his grip.

“No!” a woman with flaming red hair cried out, leaping forward, and using her own Light to rip the contracts from the hands of the soldiers.

The man shone brighter and screamed, “You know not what you do! It has become the will of the people!”


 Aiden sat up from the limo’s back seat with a start and a beading of sweat along his brow. The man had come to him again, in his own dreams. It had been the fifth appearance of the man that shown like the Sun: Lugh. Those repeated dreams - Aiden was certain that they had been trying to tell him something. He never remembered his dreams. He had always assumed it was due to the amount of weed that he had smoked, but that theory had gone out the window as of late. Since returning from the Serpentine-dimension, Aiden had been smoking a new joint every four or five hours – when he had only been smoking once a day beforehand.

Despite the sudden increase in THC, Aiden had found himself remembering every dream of Lugh in excruciating detail. The only problem was that there was no discernible timeline being offered up. Every scene he had seen seemed to be disconnected from a larger story.

Until today.

“Brigid,” Aiden sighed as he yawned and stretched his limbs, tossing the spear from hand to hand.

“The Celtic goddess of wisdom, poetry, healing, protection, blacksmithing, and domesticated animals?” Dimitri quickly offered up, earning a cocked eyebrow from Cooper. The driver had clearly put the limousine in park, as he casually stared at Aiden’s assistant. “What? I told you I knew of the Tuatha De.”

“Yeah, but…” Cooper began in a confused voice, “You know what? Never mind, think about what I asked you.”

Dimitri glared back at Cooper and Aiden shifted in his seat, trying to sit up straighter.

“Now, now, boys,” Aiden began,”What in the hell were you two arguing about during nap time?”

“Nothing, Aiden,” Dimitri replied with a slow smile, “Cooper here was just telling me about Greco-Roman mythology.”

“Ganymede and Zeus, to be precise,” Cooper offered up uncharacteristically, “And of other Gods serving Gods.”

“Ah, but Ganymede was a Demi-God, Cooper,” Aiden said without thought.

“Demi-God,” Dimitri repeated.

“Read the stories and tell me you don’t feel a ‘vibe,’” Cooper said to Dimitri. Aiden sat up, his eyes focusing all the more quickly.

Aiden turned his head to Cooper and asked, “What in God’s name are you two talking about? What did I miss?”

“Your spear, sir,” Cooper said instantly, “It has given Dimitri pause – and I must admit – I too have wondered why you’re holding so tightly to a spear.”

Aiden felt the blood drain from his face. Cooper had always been a man of no questions – to be asked about the Spear so forwardly…

“I already told you it is an antique that Sage and I came across during our visit to the Giant’s Causeway,” Aiden repeated as if on rote.

“Yes, but your personal assistant here has gotten it into his head that its cursed and he can feel it-“ Cooper had explained lazily before Dimitri had leapt up in his seat and began to speak over Cooper.

“It’s got it’s own aura, Aiden,” Dimitri said as he shook his head in Aiden’s direction, “Tell me you don’t feel that. I will own up to that idea. It creeps me out – the spear creeps me out, ok?”

“And what if I told you it was the weapon with which a Celtic God waged war?” Aiden asked spontaneously.

“I could not say we’d be surprised,” Cooper answered.

Aiden laughed to himself.

“If you’re working for the Atharim, Cooper…” Aiden began.

Cooper held up both of his palms in defiance, “I would not have brought my whole family, if I was.”

“So then you know about them?” Aiden asked as he slumped back. Despite the evidence, he did not want to believe what Nox and Sage had said – the Atharim stretched far and wide.

“Only a whisper, Your words have only confirmed it, You really should….”

“Hold my tongue, yes, I know,” Aiden scoffed, “I’ll kill you if you’re lying – you do realize that, don’t you?”

“I am still standing here, aren’t I?” Cooper asked.

Dimitri opened the car door and exited the limo. Aiden simply smirked at Cooper. Cooper sighed.

“Might be a good time to revisit insurance plans, eh?” Cooper asked.

“Well, that entirely depends on who you are,” Aiden replied, “Kill the engine.”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
The engine went silent as Cooper turned the key with an audible sigh. His shoulders slumped slightly and he stared forward, his head not turning from the windshield. Aiden got out of the limo, completely ignoring Dimitri’s protests as Aiden opened the passenger side door and slid onto the leather seat – spear awkwardly thrust in between himself and Cooper.

“What do you know, Cooper? Are you Atharim?” Aiden asked at once. He didn’t seriously think that his driver would have been one of those snakes, but Nox had insisted they were everywhere. It could have been an off-handed comment, but Aiden had to be sure. What if the man was some sort of sleeper agent?

“Do you really want to do this right now, sir?” Cooper asked in an uncharacteristically crisp manner.

“So, you are!” Aiden exclaimed as he opened himself to the Light and let it flood his being. Filaments of fire began to snap into place around Aiden, ready for the command to consume Cooper.

Cooper’s head snapped to the right, his eyes locking onto Aiden’s own, “That’s not what I said and that is not what I was implying. Your breath reeks of Jack Daniels, you know that right?”

“Oh, don’t try to distract me with your witty sense of humor,” Aiden shot back, his eyes narrowing.

“You’re an alcoholic, Aiden,” Cooper said seriously, “And a fucking pothead.”

Aiden felt his torso pull away from Cooper instinctively, “Excuse me?”

“You’re a fucking addict, Aiden,” Cooper snapped back in the same tone, “That’s why I know what I know. You babble so much when you blackout – it’s a wonder the world doesn’t know about the Atharim and all those other details you think are known only to your kind.”

Aiden’s jaw dropped and the Light fled him with Cooper’s last syllable. The man was not wrong, of course, Aiden had always had an addictive personality. He used substances as a coping mechanism. It was just whiskey and weed – it was not as if he had been shooting up heroin or meth or whatever ghastly chemicals had made their way to the streets.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have cleaned your vomit and your piss out of the back seat. Look,” Cooper said with a sudden sigh, his eyes awkwardly darting away from Aiden’s shocked expression, “I didn’t mean to… You can kill with your mind, Aiden. I never meant to – I was nervous. You made me nervous, and I’ve been wanting to say something, but.”

Aiden let out his own sigh as he fumbled for his cigarettes. He had none, of course, the last one was burned away at sunrise, and he had not made Cooper stop for more before leaving the city. Aiden swore under his breath and his right leg began to bounce quickly. Movement. Some type of movement to help take the edge off and occupy his subconsciousness.

The limo grew extremely quiet and after a few moments Aiden guffawed at the absurdity of it all.

“I was seconds away from burning you to a cinder and you started a fucking intervention,” Aiden finally said with amused disbelief.

Cooper’s lip quirked and he nodded slightly to himself. After another long moment, he finally said, “That sounds about right. Funny. I never ever thought I’d the mature one in the room.”

“You’ve got two daughters, Cooper,” Aiden mumbled.

“Ah, my happy accidents,” Cooper said with an air of pride.

Aiden laughed again, the tension completely drained from the automobile. Dimitri knocked at the passenger side window and Aiden's laughter quickly turned to a good-natured groan.

"Why were you talking about Ganymede with Dimitri, Coop?" Aiden asked before he unlocked the car door.

Cooper considered Aiden for another long moment before saying, "I think he's like you, boss. Right now, though? He's just another Demi-God."

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Aiden exited the limo, playfully waving Dimitri away with the spear. The man leapt back almost immediately, a shriek barely escaping his lips before his right hand rose to cover his mouth. Aiden chuckled and closed the passenger side door.

“Oh, calm down,” Aiden said as he pulled the spear back and setting it to rest behind him, “You’re far too good a man to lose to carelessness. The spear was firmly in my grip the whole time.”

Cooper thought that Dimitri might be able to wield the Light?

Aiden leaned lightly onto his spear and considered the man for a moment.

Dimitri pulled himself up straight and puffed his chest out slightly, “Shall I look up the statistical likelihood of random death due to careless handling of a weapon?”

“I told you I had it in hand,” Aiden all but repeated himself.

“You could have killed me!” Dimitri exclaimed, “I could have been killed!”

Dimitri was more able-bodied than Aiden could ever hope to be – but he was infinitely more uptight in the same vein. If he was a God, he would either turn out to be spectacular or completely befuddled.

“Oh, must I be the mature one again?” Cooper called out as his head popped up from the other side of the limo.

“You already are!” Aiden and Dimitri both replied in unison.

Neither could suppress their laughter.

Aiden sat in a plush leather armchair inside his finished study. Edwina had done it up in traditional New Orleans style. His desk sat towards the back of the room, and floor-to-ceiling French windows behind the desk opened out onto a partial wrap-around porch. A number of darkly varnished wooden bookcases lined the walls to either side of the desk – each stocked with a number of leather-bound volumes. Another set of French doors sat opposite, opening out onto the main hallways of the first floor. Hell, she had even installed a chandelier of sorts at the center of the ceiling. It was a large wheel of – again – darkly varnished wood, topped with working gas lamps that cast the room in a warm haze.

The atmosphere perfectly mimicked that of Aiden’s father’s own study, and now that Aiden was the one sitting behind the desk, he felt he had become his father. Dimitri sat in one of the red leather easy chairs that had been haphazardly arrayed before Aiden’s desk. His assistant was intent upon an upscaled version of the wallet in his hands. It reminded Aiden of the iPad he had played with as a child.

“Well, that went better than I expected,” Dimitri finally said after he took a sip of his café au lait, setting the large wallet down on the side table nestled between his chair and the one to his right. Aiden swirled the iced whiskey in his glass and set the cigarette down to rest on the lip a crystal ashtray.

“Will they be suing for breach of contract?” Aiden asked seriously.

“Oh, quite the opposite,” Dimitri said gleefully, “They are most agreeable, but they want to set the release date of the book back to coincide with your tour – and we will have to compensate the contest winners to keep the good faith. The winners will still receive their prize, but it might be best to calm their eagerness with… a five-minute phone call?”

“Done,” Aiden said simply. He was happy to be done with the matter of his book-signing tour of the CDC. It would wait until spring, and he could focus on the secrets of the spear and the recurring dreams of Lugh. Something was coming to ahead here – it was all too much like the stories to be anything other than.

“Then there’s the matter of that ‘behind the music’ style documentary,” Dimitri quickly brought up as he picked the coffee back up, nestling it within the full grip of his two hands.

“Oh, absolutely not,” Aiden said without thought.

“Siobhan gave the same answer. Kyle Rice has been most emphatic,” Dimitri said before taking a sip from his porcelain cup.

“Kyle Rice can fuck off and say whatever he has to say. That part of my life is over. I will not be commenting on the past. If he wants to hang on to what we did in our twenties, well that’s on him,” Aiden spat back before draining half of the whiskey from his own glass, “It’s the only way he’s been supporting himself these past few years. Let him flap his gums.”

“I was about to suggest suing for defamation of character, should my sources prove correct on the footage they’ve been able to see,” Dimitri shot back as he gazed up from his cup.

“Dim, I really don’t have a mind for all of this right now,” Aiden sighed.

“Might I suggest replacing the Jack with some caffeine?” Dimitri asked innocently.

“What? Are you two on some unified front all of a sudden?” Aiden groaned before downing the last of his cup.

“Kyle and myself? Heavens no,” Dimitri replied flatly.

“No, you and Coop. Lord above, never mind,” Aiden groaned again before taking his cigarette back up from the ashtray, “I’d rather talk about other things. Like the spear and godhood.”

What? Are you two on some unified front all of a sudden?” Dimitri mockingly quoted back.

“What?” Aiden asked, confused.

“You and Cooper. Ganymede,” Dimitri said flatly.

“Well, you might be!” Aiden exclaimed, surprising himself. Dimitri’s spine straightened.

“How can you know?” Dimitri asked, genuinely curious – all but leaning forward in his chair.

“I don’t. I didn’t really realize that I was one until this past year. I told you about the fairy fire. It was a symptom. Have you had any odd reoccurrences?” Aiden went on in a gentle manner, despite the thoughts going through his head. The only thing he could think of was that night in Cruz’s basement with Nox. Aiden had exposed himself to the man in a twisted effort to discover whether or not Aiden could harness the Light. Oh, he had looked upon the memory in fondness – and he was only half saddened that it had not resulted in a three-way with Sage, but one never knew what the future held. Aiden hoped that Dimitri would not have to suffer the same tests. The lord only knew if he could handle such a display of his naked form.

“No. He only started suggesting it because of that,” Dimitri spat as a hand pulled away from his cup and shot out to point at the spot in the corner to Aiden’s right. The spear floated there on unseen hands made of Air. No matter how eccentric it made him look, Aiden was not going to keep it out of his reach for any length of time. He had learned that when he had been faced with the choice of locking it away in the limo’s trunk or taking it with him into the cabin. Cooper and Dimitri’s strange looks had been enough to reassure him that most would think it odd – if not mystical.

“Well, do you want to try picking it up?” Aiden asked Dimitri with total honesty. He had apparently been talking to Cooper about the weird vibes it had given off. Perhaps Dimitri really was feeling the Light, perhaps he was a God.

Dimitri did not answer, but he did not drag his gaze away from the spear either.

Aiden altered his weaving and the spear floated through the air and came to rest before Dimitri’s seat. The man seemed to scoot back into the easy chair as he thrust his coffee cup down onto the side table. Aiden did not alter his expression, nor did he break the silence.

An eternity seemed to pass before Dimitri reached out and took the spear. Aiden let the filaments dissipate but held onto the Light. Dimitri shivered visibly as he closed his other hand upon the shaft. Aiden smirked.

“Well?” Aiden finally asked after Dimitri said nothing, his eyes still fixed upon the black spear.

“I still feel revolted,” Dimitri replied after a moment's hesitation.

Aiden sighed.

“But I feel inexplicably warm at the same time. That’s different,” Dimitri offered up as Aiden dropped his head.

Aiden looked up and the smirk returned to his face, “Call the flame.”

Dimitri looked up from the spear and into Aiden’s eyes, “The what?”

“The flame. The spear can conjure a flame – a blaze – through your will. You just have to open to the Light. Do it. Light the flame of the Shinning One.”

Dimitri looked back to the spear and his eyes squinted, his jaw clenched and so did his grip.


“Open yourself, Dim. It is like a storm that will overtake you. You must let it. But when it takes hold, you must be ready to strike – as if with a ready hand. Strike the storm and take it for your own. You command the lightnings and the storm. You command the Power. Do that and everything else will fall into place,” Aiden went on encouragingly. He really wanted this to work for Dimitri, although he really wasn’t sure if the spark was there. This had all come about because of an off-handed conversation with Cooper – and Aiden could not honestly say that he had suspected Dimitri being anything other than what he had presented to the world.

Aiden did not mean to bring this up with Dimitri, he had honestly wanted to talk about the spear. But then, he had been – just not in the way that he had wanted. Still, perhaps this was meant to be. Perhaps Dimitri really was a God and Aiden was only holding him back. Perhaps Dimitri was nothing more than mortal and Aiden was only holding him back.

Aiden’s smile fractured slightly, but Dimitri did not seem to notice. His face was one of pure concentration. Aiden stared at him for a few moments before opening his mouth. Dimitri gasped suddenly, his eyes going wide. In, what seemed to be half a second, Dimitri’s wide eyes turned even wider as his mouth contorted into outrage, “Hey! Where did it go!?”

“Where did what go?” Aiden asked as he felt his own spine stiffen.

“That flash – that blue light!” Dimitri exclaimed, his head swiveling around the room.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
“You saw a flash of blue light?” Aiden asked seriously. Water had appeared in such a way; flowing ribbons of blue energy. Each of the five elements had an associated color. The first one that Aiden had been able to handle with any skill had been Fire. That one was obviously represented by the color red. He had thought that strange once he realized what he was doing. The fairy fire that used to appear above Aiden’s head had been blue. Neither he nor Nox could explain why that had been. Aiden just assumed it was due to his Irish heritage and the myths that came with it.

Dimitri was silent for a moment, his head still looking about the room. His shoulders slumped slightly and he all but dropped the Spear. Aiden wove filaments of Air and scooped the thing up from Dimitri’s loosening grip.

“Did you see that?” Aiden asked.

“See what? How you took the Spear? No. And there is no more blue light. I saw – I think I saw a flash of it in the corner of my eye,” Dimitri answered. A tinge of disappointment laced his tone, “It was probably light refreacting from the blasted gas lamps you insisted on installing.”

Aiden cocked an eyebrow, “The lamps are up high. The base of the gas flame might have some blue in it, yes, but-“

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore, Aiden,” Dimitri said flatly. He picked the cup back up and drank deeply. Aiden kept quiet as he moved the Spear back to its place in the corner of the room and tied off the filaments. He let his gaze linger on the weapon. Could the relic help discover whether or not one was a God? He really had no clue what it was capable of. For all he knew, it could have the potential to level a city block. That was ridiculous, of course. Still, one never did know the capabilities of a tool unless they practiced with it.

Dimitri cleared his throat before picking the over sized wallet back up, his index finger swiping away furiously. Aiden’s gaze returned to the man and he opened his mouth to speak, but was quickly over ridden, “Just what do you intend to do with your time if you insist on pushing back the tour? I needn’t remind you that you’ve been spending an awfully large portion of your fortune this last year. The residuals alone will not recover what you have lost and this manor house will only add so much to your networth. You need to keep working, Aiden.”

“Yes, I know that. Still. Three months won’t bleed me dry. If things get so dire, I can also take after my sister and turn my family home into a bed and breakfast,” Aiden replied casually. He took another sip of the iced whiskey, reclining back into his chair.

Dimitri scoffed, “The American economy is not doing nearly as well as the CCD’s. Tourists do not flock to New Orleans as they did in your childhood. Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival can only do so much to bolster the city. A bed and breakfast? The Garden District is full of them. Here? It’s a gimick your sister was wise to cash in on. Oh, it would help, but not enough to make a difference. Answer the question: what do you intend to do this winter?”

Aiden quietly looked over to the Spear.

Dimitri rolled his eyes so hard Aiden thought he could hear them. “Oh, do be serious. Weapon training?”

“There’s something about it, Dim,” Aiden said with a half smile, “I’ve been having these dreams about-“

“Dreams?” Dimitri asked flatly.

“Yeah. If you’d stop talking over me, I might be able to tell you about them,” Aiden replied with a glare. Dimitri buttoned his lip and sat staring at his employer.

“I was not in Ireland to research my book,” Aiden began before he found himself recounting the entirety of his adventure. Dimitri held the same placid expression throughout the entire tale. After about twenty minutes, Aiden finished and he lit another cigarette – the last having burnt out to ash in his fingers. “Since we got back, I’ve had these constant dreams of the Shinning One. It’s Lugh, Dim. I’m convinced of it. I think I’m him come again.”

Silence fell between them for what seemed to be an eternity. It was finally broken with peals of laughter from Dimitri. Aiden felt a little wounded at the reaction. He had not shared that with another soul – hell, he hadn’t even gotten to really talk about it with Sage since their return home. That had been Aiden’s fault, of course, but the point remained. Dimitri had been more than his assistant; he had been his first friend since transplanting here. If anyone was going to take this seriously…

“You’ve been taking DMT again, haven’t you?” Dimitri finally asked as the laughter subsided.

“What?” Aiden spluttered, “Hell no! I haven’t touched the stuff in years! I mean it, Dim! I am Lugh reborn! I am the King of Ireland come again!”

“Do you hear what you’re saying?” Dimitri asked as he wiped a tear from his eye, the laughter dying down to a soft chuckle. The man even had the audacity to clutch at his side. “Do you not hear the vanity and hubris of your words? I mean, man, I know they say you lot are Gods – but really? It’s a figure of speech. You are a human with a genetic gift that science has not yet fully come to understand. You are not a fictional king from the distant past any more than I am a mythological cup-bearer to the king of the Gods. You are Aiden Finnegan, an American rock star turned author. Surely you cannot believe this drivel?”

“I think our business is finished for the day,” Aiden replied grimly.

The chuckle died on Dimitri’s lips, “Aiden. Come now. Surely you do not believe this?”

“You are dismissed, Dimitri,” Aiden said as he downed the last of his whiskey and began to busy himself with the paperwork on his desk. 

He did not look back up as his assistant rose from the easy chair. Footsteps sounded as the man made his way to the French doors at the opposite end of the room.

“If you really were Lugh,” Dimitri called back to him before pausing. Aiden still refused to look up. “Then that would mean there are even more terrible forces out there in the universe. That thought is terrifying.”

The door closed loudly and Aiden released a sigh.

“That is exactly what I was trying to tell you…” Aiden mumbled under his breath before pouring himself another glass of whiskey.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
“The hill shall never submit!” the Shinning One screamed as he thrust the Spear forward, the Light surged forth from his being and into the weapon. A white-hot beam of light shot forth in stagnated beams, turning his foes to ash.

The world shook with each life taken.

The kilted king stood in defiance before the Shinning One, his hand thrust up and Light came down from the heavens as he screamed, “Bend your knee! We are the only ones who can save you from the Lisheen Cult! Bow to your new ruler!”

The world shifted as the crystal between his hands glowed green and yellow and red and blue and white. The Shinning One screeched as a beam of the five Lights struck him, his body was awash with pain as the weave settled upon his form. Still, he held fast to the Light that flowed from him and through the Spear.

The Shinning One screamed louder as he thrust the weapon into the stomach of the King and the Light surged forth, from him and into the Kilted King.

Aiden sat up in his bed, gasping and sweating. His right hand reached out and fumbled for the glass on his nightstand. He downed the contents, sighing loudly as the water took root. Since his conversation with Cooper, Aiden had been making an effort to drink less. In previous days, it would have been whiskey or vodka waiting to help lull hum back into darkened dreams – this last week had seen him drinking a glass of water for every half bottle of whiskey he had consumed. Oh, that would be nothing to brag about in an AA meeting, but it was a vast improvement from his previous habits. Since, he had come to rely more upon the hydroponics supplied by the ever-increasing dispensaries of the CDC.

If it grew from the ground, then smoke it down – as the old adage said.

Aiden laid back down and, after an hour, found that sleep would not take him. The sun rose slowly and pierced the slats between the blinds covering his windows. He sighed to himself and found his wallet charging next to the spot where he had left the now empty glass. Six thirty in the morning. With a groan, he tossed back the covers and swung his feet off of the mattress. His eyes found the Spear, still revolving next to the window where he had left it the night before.

The Light flowed through it? Aiden thought to himself as he stared upon the blackend, twisting blade.

The door to his room swung open, Dimitri standing within its frame as soft light flowed over his shoulders. Aiden grabbed for the blanket and started to cover himself. Dimitri laughed softly, “Oh please, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. Honestly, I’m more surprised you’re up this early.”

Aiden dropped the blanket and stood from his bed, naked as his birth. He stretched with a yawn, walking over to Dimitri and took the cup off the tray he was carrying. Chicory and coffee swam up into his nostrils as he brought the porcelain cup to his lips.

“Yeah, well, the dreams haven’t quit,” Aiden mumbled – trying to keep the sour tone from his voice. Their conversation from the previous day had still stung. It was a surprise that his assistant had still brought him breakfast. On the best of days, Aiden hadn’t woken before ten in the morning. The omelete and coffee had grown cold more often than not.

“And what was it last night?” Dimitri asked without a hint of mockery.

Aiden paused before taking the plate from the tray, “Oh, we care now, do we?”

“What happened in this dream of yours?” Dimitri asked, ignoring the barb.

Aiden sighed, “I used it to make the Light more powerful. I faced a Scottish warlord and tried to banish him with the Light, but…”

Dimitri didn’t look once at Aiden. He took the tray and set it down upon a small, circular table before the still blinded windows. Silence passed between them as Aiden’s assistant poured another cup of coffee into the spare cup that sat upon the silver-worked tray. He took it in both hands and sat down, pulling on the string that hung from the top of the blinds – opening Aiden’s room to the now rising Sun.

“And?” Dimitri asked after he took a sip from the steaming mug of black coffee.

“And what? I fought off a Scottish warlord in my dreams,” Aiden exclaimed – making an effort not to throw his hands about in gesticulation, and thus the hot coffee.

“Careful,” Dimitri replied smartly before taking another sip, taking every effort not to look at Aiden.

“Oh, shut up. I thought you’d have gone back to the Golden Ring,” Aiden spat as he searched about for his cigarettes. Dimitri pulled a pack from the pocket of his blazer and held one up for Aiden.

Aiden snatched it from his hands and opened himself to the Light, igniting the tip with a trickle of Fire.

“Rather cranky in the morning, aren’t you?”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!

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