What did we do now?
Two of them came forward. “That one killed the king. The mortal. By our laws she is our queen…”
“I will not accept that!” Another voice.
And then a clamor of voices. Some of them were calling my name.
They wanted me. Of course they did. I could keep the peace for now. Perhaps for a very long time indeed.
Their worst enemy was here in peace. They had just seen him help me restore the one who had stabbed Surtur in the back…which might be dishonorable, but they understood why. That she had done it to save me.
That made it okay. Some of them, somehow, were calling hers.
This was all falling apart. “Silence!” I yelled.
It was backed up by the valkyries – without that I doubt it would have been at all effective, but silence happened nonetheless.
“This is Kanesha.” I did not use her last name. Her father deserved no mention in this time and place. “She is a true hero. I will not have you place me above her.”
“She is the one who did what I could not, and she did it for me and for all of you. And I will not be the cause of conflict against her!”
I was angry. “We will not fight. I will leave before letting that happen.”
“Siglaugr.” Her voice.
“No. You deserve this, and you’re the smart one here.”
“Siglaugr. Shut up.”
She might well be the only person other than Odin who could talk to me like that. There were small pieces of fire catching in her braids and then going out again. She was more beautiful than she had ever been.
“Shut up and let me fix this because you, clearly, have lost so much blood you aren’t thinking straight.”
I didn’t really have that excuse.
Then, she knelt. Not on both knees, but on one. There was another noise from the crowd.
From people who thought. “You have…”
“I said. Shut up.”
Her eyes looked up at me. Full of fire. She had not forgiven me, not entirely, but the love was there. The love and the trust.
She knew what I had done. I stood there for a long moment, not even daring to offer her a hand up.
“Siglaugr Lokisdottir. Will you marry me?”