He didn’t come back out. The police blotter indicated he’d been killed, in his apartment, but no killer was found.
They didn’t include the gory details, of which I was quite glad. I knew I’d killed him, though. I almost wished I felt worse about it.
Zaid seemed relieved, but was also planning on leaving town. I had mixed feelings about that. I rather liked him…her…them.
Eh. Pronouns. He didn’t seem to mind he, even though it wasn’t strictly accurate. But then, at times, Loki danced at the edge of that odd ambiguity. Or maybe it’s because I knew about his shapeshifting shenanigans.
Which included me having a half sibling that was a horse, so I tended not to want to think about his shapeshifting shenanigans too much. Thor in a dress, though, was rather more amusing. More so now I’d met Thor. I couldn’t imagine anyone mistaking him for a woman.
Of course, Loki was quite good at illusions. So was I, I realized, even if I only normally used it to make myself all non-descript.
And I’d just used a really nasty prank to get somebody killed. Yeah. That was what was bothering me, that was why I was walking along the gravel along the mall, by the reflecting pool, kind of scuffing my toes. It was a warm day, heading rapidly from spring to summer. But I didn’t really feel it any more than I had felt the cold.
Which kind of felt like not feeling anything, for all that Thruor said we felt everything more. I had to face it.
I didn’t feel bad about killing Derek Barton. I felt bad about not feeling bad about it. It felt more like I’d put down an animal than killed a man. Using my father’s methods.
I was afraid of what I was becoming; I was even afraid right now of what I might do to Kanesha. Then I shook my head. Nothing could turn me into somebody capable of hurting the woman I loved. Nothing.
Not even myself. But how did I stop myself from turning into some kind of monster or assassin? Did I even want to?
He had only been some loser worshipping an evil god, somebody who’d screwed up. He’d still been human.
But at the same time, he’d made his own choice. “Grargh,” I murmured.
“Not easy, is it.”
It wasn’t Loki. It was a much softer, feminine voice.
“Mother?” I turned towards her. “I don’t know who I am.”
She laughed. “That’s because it hasn’t quite been decided yet. We make ourselves who we are.”
“I don’t want to be Loki.” A pause. “I respect him. I like him. Maybe I even love him, but I don’t want to be him.”
Sigyn nodded, looking out across the water. “But there’s something of him in you. Perhaps more of him than of me.”
“I don’t know. I think I manage fidelity reasonably well.” I thought of Kanesha.
“Definitely. But you also manage trickery.”
“I think fidelity’s harder.”