Last time I trusted him, I thought. I kept my gaze on her. “You could start Ragnarok,” I said, quietly. “Everyone would blame Loki, because they always do.”
And because it sort of was his fault. He hadn’t wanted to get it close to Surtur, and I understood that, but Angrboda might be…
No, she was not just as bad. There was something in her eyes.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t?”
My reason was so personal. “Because they haven’t completely messed things up yet and deserve a chance to put them right.”
“Eh. You aren’t telling all of the truth, Lokisdottir.” An emphasis on his name.
“I went and fell in love with one of them.”
“Ha. Always foolish, that. Sure, you think right now you can cherish his soul forever, but he changes, you don’t. You’ll tire of him before the end of his mortal life.”
I considered that. “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, and I’m well aware it’s stupid.” And I felt I had to add. “And it isn’t a he.”
“Ha. As bad as your sire, you are.”
I grinned. “That implies there’s something wrong with it. And I don’t bed hop.” I grinned again, right at Loki this time.
Did he blush? Nah. Had to be an effect of the light.
“Like I said.” Angrboda studied me. “So, you think they haven’t messed things up beyond repair? What if they have?”
“And if they do?”
I looked away. If they did…and if it was the only way to fix it. Or if, what if Ragnarok actually was that, what if it was a way of saying there would be disasters if people pushed too hard at the boundaries of the cycle? If they didn’t remember how to live with the world and as part of it?
“You understand, then. I was worried you didn’t.” Pause. “Why do you not use the artifact against your enemies?”
“Because I don’t trust myself with it any more than I trust anyone else.”
“Your mother had much hand with you, I see.” Angrboda smiled slightly. “I hear her echoes in your words.”
“Don’t we all echo our mothers?” And I thought of my meeting with Hel. “Your daughter certainly echoes you.”
She tossed the artifact from one hand to the other. “Maybe I’ll take over Jotunheim.”
Then she tossed it at me. “Nah. I think you’re the only person who can be trusted with this. Use it or destroy it.”
The temptation grew within me. “Destroy it,” I said, perhaps too quickly.
I really didn’t trust myself with it.