That lasted until the weekend. The pretending to be normal, that was. It lasted, in fact, until I saw Angrboda under a tree on the Mall. Fanning herself.
“Not good weather for you?”
“I don’t…no, wait, I do know how you take it.” She mock-glared at me.
“How about we go somewhere air-conditioned?” I suggested. “Before you melt?”
She very definitely looked as if she was in imminent danger of doing just that. We headed to the Natural History museum, to the cafeteria.
“I was told to seek allies in Jotunheim.”
“And you think I count?” Her tone was amused.
“I think you like me. I know I like you.”
She considered that. “I suppose, maybe.” There was a twinkle in her eyes, though. “But allies in what cause?”
“Keeping Surtur from starting Ragnarok.”
Maybe killing him was her job, but what would happen if a frost giant killed him. Then again, that might be a loophole.
They were enemies by nature, well, opposites. A frost giant couldn’t rule Muspelheim, everyone would know that.
So, maybe that was a solution to the dilemma. Get Angrboda to do it. She might well be capable, from what I’d seen. More than I, certainly.
“You want me to kill him for you?”
“The thought just crossed my mind.”
“Because, of course, they would never accept me as ruler of Muspelheim. You’d start a civil war, though. Succession wars. Nasty stuff.”
“Would keep them out of trouble for a while,” I mused. Then I thought of the fire giant teenager. “But you have a point.”
“A lot of your mother in you. Never did work out what he sees in her.” A toothed grin.
“I don’t mind war and fighting. I enjoy it. I just…” A pause. “I kind of like to have a purpose to it.”
“But you enjoy a spar.”
She laughed. “What, gotten a lot of challenges lately?”
“A few,” I admitted. “Maybe everyone’s bored and antsy.”
“There’s a lot of tension in the air. In, as far as I can tell, all of the realms. Everyone’s worried somebody…not necessarily Surtur…will start Ragnarok just to have something to do.”
I laughed at that. “Don’t worry. But I have considered going further afield to look for vampires.”
“Ah, fun to beat on, but you’ve cleaned them all out?”
“I think I have an idea.” Again that toothy grin. “We could both use something to do, right?”
“As long as it doesn’t involve any bears.”
She laughed. “Now, that story I have to hear.”