Episode Seventeen: Taken: Scene 1

Sometimes a horrible thought was delayed. Kanesha was sleeping. I sat with my hands curled around something, frankly, I wasn’t legally allowed to drink. “It is…”

“If it was Tyz’vel or another shapeshifter, at that range, they’d have been destroyed.”

I peered down into the glass. “What have I done to her?”

Thruor sighed. “She’s absorbed some of your energy, that’s all. It won’t hurt her…”

“But what aren’t you saying?”

The valkyrie hesitated, then… “It won’t hurt her, but it might change her a little.”

I nodded. “Maybe it will help keep her safe.”

“But it also means she is very definitely carrying your mark.” Thruor looked at me. “I suspect you’ve been thinking that you would have your relationship, but…”

I sighed. “I was hoping to be with her for the rest of her life.”

“And after that?”

After that. “I know I probably have obligations.”

“Maybe. I don’t think anything’s been decided yet, and with Surtur on the move it may all be a moot point. But what happens when she dies?”

“I guess…” I tailed off. “When you said she was mine…”

“You’re a goddess. That does carry certain responsibilities.”

I digested this. “I…”

“You don’t need to ask her about it. You know that.”

And I knew I didn’t. But…

“You’ll get your mind around it in time. For now, though…take care of her.”

And she slipped out, leaving me with more questions and a fairly strong desire to get drunk.

Instead, I turned to look back at the room. She meant that Kanesha’s soul now belonged to me, that when she died…what happened to her was in my hands. And I didn’t want that responsibility.

I wasn’t ready to be a goddess. I didn’t want it. And I didn’t want Kanesha to be some kind of handmaiden or concubine, waiting in the wings while I dealt with whoever I ended up marrying.

I couldn’t do that to her.

Could I?

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