We emerged in a swamp. I suppose I should have predicted that, as a swamp is exactly what Washington was before it was drained and a city put there. Some kind of bird was calling in the distance.
“So…where are we going?”
“Loki’s in real trouble.”
“And Odin didn’t put him…”
Coyote lifted a hand. “He didn’t. No. This has nothing to do with that.”
“So even the best of us can mess up.”
“Do you know where he is?”
A spindly black being, not truly male or female, came into view. By black I mean African, but the figure was so African as to make Kanesha look almost white.
“Okay. Where is he?”
And I knew it wasn’t meant as a swear word. “Tyz’vel. I’m going to…”
“I wouldn’t recommend it on your own,” Coyote said. “But Tyz’vel…that’s…”
“Tyz’vel wants me to marry him so he can use my power to help him challenge Lucifer.”
Both tricksters…I had to assume the dark figure was of a similar bent…rolled their eyes.
“But if Tyz’vel can…”
“Then he’s challenging Lucifer anyway,” Coyote says grimly. “And using Loki as bait…and possibly a power source.”
Odin wouldn’t help. I knew that instinctively. Or at least not right away. “So…I can’t ask you to help me.”
The black figured laughed. “Anansi will help.”
“And so will I, because we haven’t finished our prank war yet.” Coyote grinned at me.
“Then…first of all, I’m what Tyz’vel wants. So I’m bait. No arguments.”
“You can’t shapeshift, right?”
“I can…uh…I can do glamors if I really concentrate. Usually I just make myself less noticeable, though.” I didn’t mention that Loki had refused to teach me to shapeshift.
Coyote shapeshifted. Into me. “Not saying you aren’t bait,” he said in my voice. “But…”
“Tyz’vel won’t be fooled, I wouldn’t think. Demons look at spirits not…not what people look like.”
“You’d be surprised.” He grinned as he changed back into the form he was wearing before. “Some of us shapeshift very deeply.”
“It still has to be me.” Because I knew Tyz’vel wouldn’t be fooled for five seconds. “Besides, I can’t pretend to be a minor demon.”
“I like how you think.” Coyote grinned again. “I very much like how you think.”