That didn’t mean I trusted him. Now the seeds of doubt had been sown, they were very hard to shake.
Which I had a feeling was part of the point. If he was a bad guy, then I had to be careful. If he was not, then the demons had gone a long way out of their way to make me suspect him.
Which meant that things could only get worse if his father showed up. So, I was absolutely certain that would be the next thing that happened.
It wasn’t. Because life could never actually be that predictable for somebody like me. No, the next person to show up was Angrboda.
Who was melting again. I let her in my new place.
“Somebody burned my old place down.”
“That was rude of them.” She sniffed. “You have better wards.”
“Should have done it before. I know enough witches.”
“Witches,” she pronounced as I found a cold soda for her, “Are very handy to know.”
“You know a bit yourself, as I recall.”
An evil grin. “Just a bit.” When I handed her the soda, ice appeared in the can.
I laughed. “That’s…”
“Easier than pouring it into a glass.” She let it cool a little further, then drank.
I opened a can for myself, but didn’t bother with the ice, deciding it was cool enough without. “So…”
“So. I promise, this is a social call.”
I laughed. “What happened?”
Her lips quirked. “There was this young man…”
“…you got dumped. You really should go to Thruor. She’s allowed to drink.”
Angrboda laughed. “That’s only a law on Midgaard, kid.”
“Point.” Did I want to go chasing off through the Nine Realms with her? Probably…yes. I knew there was something horribly awkward about developing a friendship with your father’s ex.
But I couldn’t help but like her.
“So…” She finished her soda. “Want to come paint a town red? That’s the saying, right?”
I laughed. “It is.” She took my hand and there was a faint rainbow swirl. We emerged in…a frost giant town.
“I’m going to stand out.”
“Oh, everyone knows who you are. Don’t worry. Nobody ever starts a fight in this bar.”
As soon as we stepped inside, I could see why. The bar keep was approximately the size of the bear I’d hunted with the dwarven sisters. Angrboda tugged me to the bar.
“So, what happened…” the bar keep started. Then fell silent as Angrboda glared at him. “Got it. Your usual.”
I decided, bravely, “And one for me too.”
He looked me up and down. “Well, huh. You’re slumming it.”
I snorted. “Not really. You can’t tell me you never see my dad here.”
He laughed. “Not never, no. But not your mother.”
I considered that. “My mother isn’t big on bars.”
He slid a tankard of something across to me. It was beer. Or beer-ish anyway. Very cold, but I expected that.
Very strong, which I also expected.