Episode Twenty-Three: Politics: Scene 24

The succubus was holding court. She wasn’t surrounded by war demons, though. She was surrounded by thugs.

Of course.

She knew we’d hesitate to kill mortals, especially as they might well be enthralled. She sat on a throne in a currently empty office. The imps were herding me.

I let them.

“Where’s Mike?”

“I’ll give him back when you agree to get out of my way. You and the valkyrie both.”

“He wouldn’t go for that.”

She smiled. “Ah, but they don’t get a say, do they?”

What she didn’t know was that my phone was turned on with a line open to Kanesha. I faintly heard a snort.

“They get every say. Wasn’t your rebellion all about free will?”

“Not their free will. Ours. Or are you going to try and tell me you have all the freedom you want?”

“I do.”

“Trickster’s daughter, bound to her own nature. I see the fire in you. Did you choose that?”

“I don’t know.” I smiled at her, suspecting it was at least as genuine as the one she was showing to me. That is to say, not genuine at all. “It doesn’t matter.”

“You’re nothing more than one of Odin’s ravens, a pawn in his games.”

That was supposed to insult me? I wondered where Loki was.

Right outside, my thoughts told me. Watching with amusement. I relaxed. If I really needed his help, he’d come rescue me. If I didn’t, he’d give me the dignity of handling her myself. “Where is Mike?”

“I need your word first.”

“The word of a trickster’s daughter? Given under duress?” I moved closer to her. “Do you really think that would be enough?”

“Against the life of your best friend’s boy toy?”

Boy toy? Well, I supposed they all were. “You said it yourself. They aren’t that important.”

Another snort from the phone.

Come on, backup. Then again, maybe I didn’t need it.

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