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Lih made to take off the lenses.

The thin albino was puzzled, and wanted to give them back, until Sage quickly explained their purpose and why he wanted Lih to have his lenses.

An odd smile flickered across his face as Lih put them on again. More than ever, with the dark gleaming lenses masking his pale eyes, Lih looked out of place.

“It’s your property,” Lih turned to Sage and held out his hand. “Thanks.” He smiled.

Lih didn’t like this gift horse at all, but he found himself admiring Sage. And not for the first time. He was a stupidly attractive man. Fully loaded, that would have been Costa’s description. Sage’s clinging shirt accentuated his chest as he strode toward Lih with the other three pairs.

Sage came right up to him, face to face. He swallowed hard. He could smell his natural clean scent. Sage’s mouth curled in a generous smile.

Lih realized he was staring at him. Again. This was wrong. He knew it. He couldn’t be trusted. That hacking ability. That… partner of Aiden Finnegan. He tried to curb his libido by thinking about that sickening power inside Aiden, and maybe Sage. That did the trick. Channeling...

Lih was at a loss to know why Dorian hadn’t just reported the intruders. They were dangerous. For a while now, Lih knew Cruz had picked up on something strange, old enmities at the front door maybe, and since then Lih wanted no part in Dorian’s private affairs, lest he be played off against anyone. Was Sage trying to build an alliance that Lih wanted to side with?

Sage Parker would never, ever be Vitya Lih’s friend, but for the good of his mission, there was no way he’d let this go—

He glanced up and their eyes locked. Sage’s bright gaze was full of simmering heat, hotter than the sun itself. A promise of something taboo. Light, Sage was really nice to look at, Lih thought.

Shocked by his own desires, he looked away. He was a detective, damn it! Not the purest, he’d be the first to admit. But he was an officer of the CCDPD. And Sage had a man of his own. For Ascendency’s sake, Aiden was back where they came from in the same house!

What was wrong with him? According to Alex, lack of sleep was affecting his hormonal balance, his emotions, self-control. Was that it? Was he beginning to lose it, at last?

“Really? Do you look after your own? How did you and Dorian meet? Was it through Nox? Did you also help out the police department?”

Sage was quite definite about Lih helping Dorian in future. In return for that, Sage had given Lih a pair of his augmented lenses. Well, Lih wasn’t going away… he’d make Dorian understand that when he talk to older domovoi officer again.

That, finally, snapped him out. He felt a new emotion, as primal as lust. Lih tore his eyes way from Sage’s considerable appeal and started playing with his new toy. He wore his new shades from Sage like a trophy. “Infrared’s on.” He hesitated, “Uhh… you mentioned biometrics? How do it work?"
Viktor Lih
Officer of CCDPD
Siobhan sipped at her wine, eyes lingering on the door that Sage and Lih had just exited through. Her gaze swung back to Aiden and her eyebrows cocked as she began tapping a fingernail against the countertop. The wineglass came down to reveal pursed lips.

                “What?” Aiden asked although he knew exactly what was going through her mind.

                “Well, for starters, I didn’t realize that my little Moon King had a thing for dick. Secondly, you don’t think those two are off to do some canoodling?”

                Aiden rolled his eyes with a sigh. Honestly, ever since Kyle, Rowan and Siobhan had acted as if he was the one that had cheated, not Aiden. It grated on his nerves rather quickly, but he fought the annoyance down. He finished his own glass of wine, pouring another, and went on to reassure her.

                “I trust Sage, Sio. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” and then in the smallest voice he added, “Besides, it’s not as if he’s going down there with Nox…”

                That made Siobhan’s eyebrows shoot up, “What!?”

                “Oh, right, I forgot about your freakish hearing…”

                “It is not freakish.”

                “Look, forget I said that last bit.”

                “I will not, Aiden Finnegan. Are you sharing your Sage with this mystery man!? Aiden Finnegan, the most jealous man I’ve ever met, is sharing?!”

                “I am not sharing him and I am not the man I once was, Siobhan West! You’re jumping to conclusions. Calm your tits.”

                Aiden didn’t even pretend to sip at his wine. He downed the entire glass right there. His buzz had worn off on the way home and he was suddenly kicking himself for letting that happen. He’d need some bourbon if Siobhan was going to keep on with this whole ‘protective big sister’ thing. It wasn’t unwelcome, but for all her preternatural hearing, she really only heard what she wanted to hear. Siobhan just kept on as he got up from the kitchen island, searching out an open bottle of the brown liquor and a glass.

                “Oh fuck off, Aiden. Don’t tell me what to do with my tits,” she spat as she downed the rest of her wine, pouring another. This could get messy. “You know I’m just worried about you. I haven’t seen in you in Lord knows how long? You can play tough, but we both know another heartache is bound to wreck you again. Now, for real, what about this Nox?”

                There we are, Aiden thought to himself as he pulled a bottle from the freezer. It was a honey-flavored whiskey. Aiden always preferred it chilled. He filled half a glass before dropping a spherical ice cube in after the liquid. Another gulp and calmness seemed to ebb back into his body. Aiden was back on his stool within moments, ignoring Siobhan’s penetrating gaze.

                “Seriously, Sio, it’s nothing. Nox is a closet case and he doesn’t seem to want to come to terms with that part of himself, and even if he did, I think the three of us might have a little fun,” Siobhan began glaring at him over that last line and Aiden erupted into laughter, “Don’t worry your pretty face, Sio. Sage is a trustworthy gentleman and you needn’t worry about anything. He makes me happy… And my stomach does flip flops when I’m around him… Really… I haven’t felt this good about a relationship since Kyle…”

                “Well, don’t fuck it up then, Aiden.”

                “I was starting to think you forgot that I was the one at fault.”

                “Never! But Kyle is a fucktard. You’re like the brother I never wanted. I just want you to be happy.”

                “Well, I am glad to hear that…. So… Dragons?”

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Siobhan really wasn’t sure what to make of any of this. That vision in the Wolf-dream could have literally been anything. She had never really had many visions while traversing that realm, she still wasn’t even sure if the Dream was anything to take seriously, or if that realm was even real. She certainly wouldn’t have paid it any mind if it weren’t for Ebony and the rest of the pack…

                It was all too esoteric for her. Astral projection, lucid dreaming, all of that sounded like mumbo jumbo to her… But then again, she talked to wolves. It was too hard to discount the arcane when she shared a telepathic link with animals. And then her best friend was over here, wielding the power of the elements… Life sure was strange. If someone had told her, when she was younger, that this would have been her lot in life, she would have laughed hysterically and brushed them off… But here she was; wolves and all.

                Still. She had seen it in that strange, ethereal sky… And she knew whatever that vision represented, it would come to pass. The trouble was that neither she nor her wolves knew if it was a literal viewing of the future or a figurative viewing. What if that dragon wasn’t actually a monster to be battled but perhaps a person? Who was this Nox? Clearly, there was a link between him and Sage. Was Nox the Dragon? Aiden had to be on guard. Siobhan didn’t know what she would do with herself if Aiden was hurt, or worse, killed.

                She downed the wine in her hand for the third time and grabbed at the bottle of honey whiskey. These were the nights she had missed. Just chilling with her best friend, Aiden, and drinking the time away, divulging their souls to one another, getting’ sassy with one another, and discovering things about themselves that they wouldn’t normally discover without the help of the other.

                Taking a large swig of the whiskey, goosebumps covered her body, and Siobhan shook it off. She looked Aiden in the eye and went on in a serious tone, “Aiden, it’s the strangest thing. You know I can talk to them… But this… When I sleep, sometimes, I walk in the world of dreams. Apparently, it’s a wolf thing, but I usually just hunt ‘dream-prey.’ It’s all so animalistic. It’s never been… Prophetic. I don’t like it… You’re leaving the country aren’t you?”

                “Well, yeah. Sage and I are going back to Ireland with Jaxen. He’s a Channeler too. A bit of a dissident, so far as the CCD is concerned, but he’s got a lead on some research that I would kill for.”

                “You sure about that, boo?”

                “If it helps my novels? Yeah. I mean, there are some other benefits I might reap from this endeavor, but ultimately it speaks to the scholar in me. I can’t pass this up… It’s an adventure. It’ll be like a book or a video game… I can’t wait to get on that boat-“

                “Be careful what you wish for, Aiden.”

                “You don’t really think there will be a dragon or some gargantuan beast we’ll have to square off against, do you?”

                Siobhan was silent. She took another sip of the whiskey and turned her eyes onto Aiden, an imploring expression on her face.

                “Oh, come off it, Sio. You can’t be serious.”

                “I told you about my own experiences.”

                Aiden’s brow furrowed, “Nox did say there were monsters out there…”

                “So he’s not a dumbass. Aiden, you better watch yourself. I’d rethink this whole venture if I were you.”

                “That’s easy for you to say, Sio. You don’t take anything seriously. Why, I’m half convinced you’re only a pop-star because Ebony told you to do it.”

                That hurt.

                “Ouch, Aiden.”

                “What? You didn’t even wanna join Blarney Stoned. I had to pester your ass for a good four months before you started playing with us. Imagine my shock once you started a solo career.”

                “Yeah, but I’m a different woman now, Aiden. Didn’t you just say the same thing about yourself?”

                “I’m an extrovert. You’ve always hated the spotlight. Why now? It was Ebony and the rest. I know it.”

                “Shut it, dude. Just. Shut it. We’re not talking about my personal life. We’re talking about your mortality and the future.”

                Aiden gave an exasperated sigh before taking another drink of his whiskey. Siobhan followed suit before grabbing his right hand in hers. She stared intently in his eyes, summoning every bit of seriousness that she could muster.

                “I fucking mean it, Aiden. Don’t worry, I won’t try to influence your decisions, lord knows I can’t, but I will sure as shit make sure you know my thoughts on the matter. Danger awaits you. The vision could be literal or figurative, but it still stands. Your life is in danger and so is Sage’s. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re sure of it. If you fail… I may never see you again.”

                Aiden squeezed her hand hard and offered up a loving gaze.

                “I appreciate the warning, mon Dieu. Really. But I already decided. We’re doing this. Do you want to come with to make sure that I’m not in over my head?”

                “Not a fucking chance. I have a music video to film and a Moon King to convert to the path of Heterosexual.”

                Aiden began to laugh.

                “You know it’s not a choice, right?”

                “I know, but he hasn’t sampled my delights, now has he?”

                Aiden shook his head as Siobhan took another swig of her drink.

                “Whatever are we going to do with you, Sio?”

                “Humor me… At the very least…”She murmured.

"We are the sisters of the Moon." - Siobhan's hit single, 'Silver Skans'
Sage loved the thought that he was making this strong detective flustered. He wasn't even really trying to hide that fact. And maybe Sage was pushing it a little to hard. It felt good to be wanted. But he was with Aiden so when the pale man looked away and started yammering again Sage nodded for him to head for the door and didn't hesitate himself. Aiden was upstairs.

“Really? Do you look after your own? How did you and Dorian meet? Was it through Nox? Did you also help out the police department?”

Sage didn't really look after his own. But he took care of the ones who gave him the most pleasure. "I met Dorian through Nox, and Nox through his sister - sorta. Nox Aurora and I met when they were in Alexandria as wee teenagers. I took Aurora to prom." It wasn't his prom, it wasn't Aurora's prom but no one really needed to know that either. She hadn't been and Sage had fulfilled the fantasy. "Aurora and I shared an intimate moment before the annoying shit that was her little brother came looking for her and they had to go. Aurora and I had been friends since. Nox is just a by product of that, but when Aurora died we had a sort of connection." And that was about as far as Sage was willing to go with that story. Though if Vitya Lih were Aiden he'd have gone on. Aiden deserved to know why he and Nox were close - closer than Nox was with anyone else.

He obviously switched gears and Sage chuckled as he asked more questions. “Uhh… you mentioned biometrics? How do it work?"

"They are always working. You need flick your eyes to the left then quickly to the right along the top of the hud, and it'll pull them up for you to see. I'll get sent them real time, and monitor for any unusual signals. My system will alert me to any impending danger and I can have reinforcements or the paramedics sent your way directly." They wouldn't know it came from Sage, but they'd get the officer down or whatever code he sent them and they'd relay as they would normally. "It's not a manual process, so I'm not like watching you every second, This is normally a task I'd off load to a worker on my server, but right now I'm still building one in Moscow."

Sage was relaying all the information as he walked back through Nox's dojo and up the stairs. Just in time to catch Siohban's comment. "Humor me... At the very least..."

"Why are we humoring your wolfy friend here?" Sage grinned as he put his arms around his boyfriend.

convert binary | biography
Sage waved Lih on and they dashed across, out of the gym and up towards the kitchen. “Sweet,” said Lih, pointing to the biometrics function the way Sage told him. The new lenses responded quickly, running the incredible visuals with all the feed data ready.

A huge smile split Lih’s face. “Sage,
this is the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me...”

Lih was about to ask about 100x zoom when he “saw” a figure came up behind them. He wheeled around, his silenced pistol aimed.

It was Ebony.

Lih frowned, not comprehending. Clearly the wolf’s bond was with Siobhan specially, not with Aiden’s party in general. Siobhan “owned” Ebony, and therefore Ebony would go wherever Siobhan West went.

That was all right. There were several sounds Lih didn’t want to hear, and foremost amongst them was the curious sniffing of a wolf. He never wanted to hear that noise again. Sage’s lenses flagged all the vitals on a wolf’s body... cool...

He ignored the familiarity “hey, Ebony... uh...” Lih began. But he couldn’t talk to wolves like Siobhan. “... Ah, screw it. Come on! Detective Vega awaits.”

He hurried up the stairs. He didn’t bother to say “be quiet” to Ebony. The prowling wolf seemed incapable of being anything else. As Lih passed the kitchen, he peered in and saw Sage put his arms around Aiden.

“I’d love to stay and watch,” Lih muttered. “But we should go. Running would help.”

He ran over to the drawing room and tried the door. It was unlocked— evidently, this was the entertainment quarter of the estate.

“Sir, you all right?” he asked sweetly. “Sorry I’m late. Sage fixed me up with new gear.”

Lih circled the room touching furniture and bolts of material as if assessing the value. He settled on the couch made of a thick, velvet fabric.

Lih nursed the feed trigger of Sage’s lenses so that data spilled out of the top left and dribbled info across his peripheral. Almost daintily, he dabbed at the public files he got from Dorian’s—or maybe Sage’s system—and trailed it down.


(Ooc: Feel free to join or not, Ebony.)
Viktor Lih
Officer of CCDPD
Dorian looked up and smiled. Viktor probably didn't really understand what Sage had given him. Anything from the hacker came with strings. "Sit. Help yourself." Dorian pointed to the drinks sitting on the table with unused glasses of all sizes. Mostly wine was on the table, but the bar was fully exposed behind the pale officer.

"I will impress upon you now, before you become enamored with the technology beyond the cursory, but accepting gifts from the young Mr. Parker comes with some strings." Dorian chuckled. "He beefed up the security system here. No one can hack it unless he lets them. But now he controls the cameras, receives all the feeds, and he stores it all. To be used later. Not maliciously in most cases, unless you pissed him or someone he cares about off. Just be wary. But also know that the boy is extremely good at taking care of his own. You'll never be alone."

Dorian knew that from experience. "After I had been taken, and I was making deals to free my life. I counted on Sage's excessive voyeurism to find me, my car and suss out my plans based on what he knew of me and my location. He's a good friend to have in our line of work if you can look the other way at times."

Dorian took a drink of his watered down win and handed Lih a very confidential file. "This doesn't leave my house." It was Atharim files - most specifically the files on the creatures Nox was hunting and the information he found on the scientist in the tunnels. Landwarrior footage of the fights minus the magic employed by Nox. But there were good closeups in the file of the creatures. Hideous things. "This man, is part of that." Dorian tapped the scientists badge on the table. "He's dead. I put three bullets in his brain. And when we went back, the body was gone, nothing was left." Whether the creatures ate him, or death was no obstical, Dorian didn't know.
Lih himself was tired, but he was edgy too and he couldn’t sleep. His head ached like a bastard. Dorian offered a drink to Lih, who took the nearest glass of wine and sat down on the edge of a seat.

“Good stuff,” he said, smacking his lips and putting it down. “Surely that’s vintage?"

He closed his eyes. In the last few nights, he had started to dream again, for the first time since his arrival in Moscow. These recent dreams had been so vivid; they played back now across his mind. The Furia, always beckoning him, although sometimes she looked like Alex. That was fine. As long as the Furia was with him, it didn’t matter what guise she took.

But there were noticeable additions in these renewed dreams. Some of his long-lost friends and family were coming to him during slumber. Mother was still there, though faint and transparent. Lih had seen father too, and the wizened sailor had been laughing. Lih couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen their faces in person.

Worst of all, Costa appeared to him. Lih hadn’t seen Costa since their run-in with the Rougarou. But, and this made him uneasy, made him reach for Alex’s pills, there was always the screaming. The man screaming in the void. Who the hell was that? He was quite certain he knew the voice.

Viktor Lih took dreams seriously. He believed they were the only conduit through which the Creator could make his purpose understood to the common man. He hadn’t always thought that way, but the visions that had led him to Moscow had been so real, like Siobhan with her wolf dreams—he now regarded every single dream as a message. He was glad his dreams of the Furia had come back at last, no matter how disquieting they seemed.

Because his dreams had been where it had started. Then, he’d known—simply known—that if he joined the police academy one day he’d meet the Furia. And that had just been the start. Since then, the dreams had been coming more and more frequently.

Light, but he never wanted them to stop.

Still, he knew what Costa’s wife meant when they joined the domovoi. Don’t push it. Costa wasn’t a young man anymore— neither was Dorian for that matter— and one injury too many would spell the end of his career. Neither of them wanted that. But still...

He wanted to prove he was young still, young and fit. Even if the shooty-shooty life wasn’t known for its mercy... Lih hated hospitals. They reminded him too much of the consequences of his profession… the reek of antiseptic, which was so strong and sharp it almost but not quite masked the underlying aroma of blood and human waste...

Lih took another swig.


Dorian called him over to a massive file he was leafing through. What is this? This was what Dorian wanted him to see?

“Of course I’ll be discreet,” whispered Lih, sitting up, wondering what the hell Dorian was going to tell him. Speaking, Dorian handed the photos to Lih.

Lih looked at the closeups. The scientists’ badge… he read it: “Vaia Plus."

Lih stopped dead and slowly looked around. Something… something nagged him. Something he didn’t even have to open Dorian's files to know…

He blinked his new Sage-lens-eyes at Dorian. Taken? And deals to save Dorian’s life? Maybe he should tell Dorian about—

Injured, at the hospital, Lih had suffered some kind of transformation. He couldn’t say what exactly, and he’d kept his dreams quiet. But it was like something inside him had woken up. Something he knew he had to keep secret from his friends and comrades. There had been twitches of superstition in his family line, though never enough of anything to cause trouble. He’d believe the trait had passed him by, until now...

He looked away and stopped himself. What would he tell anyone anyway? That he’d got a feeling? A bad feeling? From his dreams? More like a hand-written note from the good doctor Alex saying Lih was a madman who needed to be watched at all times?

According to Dorian, Sage would be watching them all…

Lih shook his head. “Sorry, sir. I don’t know this man or the organization. I could check the public records…but, well what does that mean?” Lih asked. The youngest domovoi officer had spread the files out on the table and was taking snaps with his new lenses.“I have absolutely no idea where the man you shot 3 times went, but I’d love to find out what happened to his body.”

“I'm sorry for my breakdown earlier. Can’t sleep without Alex’s meds. Got the itch.” He shrugged, “Not something I picked up from one of Cafe Mio’s girls, I assure you. The combat itch. Seems like I’ve been out of it for too long. Too, too long. Oh, I saw some shooty-shooty earlier on, but it wasn’t much. I feel like I need to get my head back in the game, sir.”

Lih smiled proudly at him. “I’m an officer of the finest regiment in the CCD, Sir… and it’s a place I want to be for a long time. Don’t worry about me. Me, I’m gonna live forever.”
Viktor Lih
Officer of CCDPD
Aiden smiled warmly as Sage reappeared, wrapping him in a comfortable embrace. Siobhan smiled as well. That was a good sign. Perhaps he had gotten through to her a little bit on the matter… Not that any of that mattered. Aiden wanted Sage and he was happy with him. That was that. Siobhan could either support the pair or fuck off.

                In truth, he cared more about her warnings of the future. He didn’t think Nox was the ‘Dragon’ in her dream, but it could have been a person nonetheless. There were monsters out there, but they rarely seemed to be anything out of a storybook… At least in the literal sense.

                With another swig of his whiskey, Aiden titled his head, looking into Sage’s eyes, “Sio is convinced she can turn Vitya straight… She’s also operating on the assumption that he’s gay,” he said that all with a shrug, barely concealing a smirk behind his glass of honey-colored liquid.

                Siobhan literally spat her’s out, eyes bulging.

                “Shut your god damn mouth, Aiden!” She spluttered, quickly looking to Sage, “He’s lying. Don’t listen to him. I want you two to be careful when you go on this god damn journey. That’s all. Lies. All lies.”

                Aiden broke out into a gale of laughter as Siobhan tried to smooth the situation over. He shook his head at Sage.

                “What’d you give the ‘Moon King’ anyway? I hope it wasn’t a new Wallet because I seem to remember you talking about getting me a new one…” Aiden pulled out the device and waved it at his boyfriend, “Not that there’s anything wrong with this one, but I’m sure whatever you gave me would be 100 years more advanced than this thing…”

                There was a slight risk in that statement. Aiden didn’t want to come off as a brat, but he couldn’t help but feel a little jealous that his boyfriend was giving away toys to other boys.

Russian Dolls and Broken Gods, a new Fantasy novel by best-selling author, Aiden Finnegan, out this December! Preorder online and instore today!
Ebony stalked into the kitchen and Siobhan all but jumped in her seat. The embarrassment that Aiden had brought on was an afterthought at the sight of the wolf. She hadn’t felt her wolf-friend return to the property, but then again, Ebony sometimes did that. The pair had been bonded in a way, but the wolf still longed for her freedom at times.

                When the hell did you get back?! Siobhan sent to the wolf.

                I come and go as I please.

                That isn’t an answer.

                The two-legged servant let me back in.

                I thought you were roaming.

                I was.


                Another two-leg called your law enforcers when she saw me. A shame. Her cat smelled delicious.

                Eb… Tell me you didn’t.

                I didn’t.

                Siobhan sighed audibly as the wolf wandered over to her and laid down beside the stool she was sitting on. Ebony began dozing within seconds. Sio got up from her spot, fetching a towel, and mopped up the whiskey she had spat out across the counter. Aiden and Sage did make a cute couple, although Siobhan always envisioned her best friend dating someone shorter than he was. Although Aiden was more muscled where Sage was lithe, so at least that was in line with what Sio would have assumed for him.

                “Wait, you’re giving Wallets away, Sage? What other kinds of tech are you giving out to your friends… Cause you know, we’re friends now…”

"We are the sisters of the Moon." - Siobhan's hit single, 'Silver Skans'
Sage giggled. "He was tongue tied meeting Aiden. And I think he might have gotten close to kissing me." Sage tightened his arms around Aiden. "But I have better control than that." Sage whispered in Aiden's ear nipping at his ear lobe.

Aiden reminded Sage about the wallet. "I have one running around here somewhere." Though he wasn't sure that Aiden wanted him to follow his friend around. "I wouldn't say I was giving them away to my friends." He smirked and whispered in Aiden's ear. "Do you want me to have unfetted access to your friend? Her life, her streams, her camera. I won't be able to help myself." The information came from everywhere and Sage knew he was just as much an addict as anyone else on a drug. His could be helpful or harmful, but it was a violation of others privacy. Sage knew it. Knew he was being unlawful, but it didn't matter. He had access to the world at a thought.

convert binary | biography

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