Title: The Mortal Coil
Entry Nickname: Hero by Default
Word count: 80K
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Teamwork is torture for Aiden, but classmate Jessie Rivas is his only help in clearing his name. A crackpot conspiracist breaking into the world of journalism, Jessie drags Aiden into a mystifying investigation of mounting coma incidents around the city. When bloody symbols appear at the scene of the attacks, Aiden begins to believe Jessie’s theories about the mysterious Orphion Circle are true — they’re not an anarchist group but a coven of dangerous witches.
Stopping The Circle and clearing his name become one and the same for Aiden. Every move he makes jeopardizes his innocence, and with a detective all too eager to lock Aiden up, salvaging his reputation and his academic future may be impossible. But if he can't uncover the truth behind the mounting coma victims before The Circle silences him, he won't have a future at all.
Aiden Milligan was in the principal's office. Again. And, for once, he wasn't sure why.
He hadn't skipped any classes. This week, anyway. And Ms. Maynard seemed more resigned than mad when he corrected the electron assignment in her molecular formula during Chemistry yesterday.
He sighed and stared down at Covington Academy's infamous hot seat. He'd half-expected his name to be inscribed on it by now. He craned his neck to glimpse the back of the stiff wooden chair. Nope, no plaque. Shame, really.
Aiden straightened up as Principal Hadley entered the room and sat behind his impenetrable oak desk.
"Sir," he muttered.
After two years at Covington, Aiden and Principal Hadley had become very familiar with each other — in the way a lion becomes familiar with a straggling wildebeest. Aiden was a problem that didn't want to be solved, and Hadley took that as a challenge. The man was determined to churn out the future world changers for which the academy was renowned, like it or not.
Aiden begrudgingly admired that resolve. Or would, if it weren't laser-focused on him.
Hadley ran a hand through thinning, dirty-blonde hair. “Thank you for coming, Aiden."
Aiden raised an eyebrow. Like he had a choice?
Give me my slap on the wrist and hollow lecture and set me loose, 'cause you can't risk losing your highest GPA student. Rinse and repeat.
“To business.” Hadley folded his hands on his desk. "This morning, there was an incident.”
Incident? Oh, damn, not good...