Being a reasonably civilized goddess, I let him live anyway. I tied him up, put him in the back of his car and drove towards Hampton Roads. Not really by choice – there wasn’t really anywhere else to go where I might be able to find backup.
I couldn’t hand him over to the cops, who would never believe me. But I rather thought there would be some decent witches there who could deal with this kind of thing in an appropriate way.
I wish I was sure what an appropriate way was. Killing him in cold blood and playing jury and executioner might have been justice of a sort, but it wasn’t something my mother would approve of.
It wasn’t something my father would approve of. Odin, maybe, but Odin was a king. He had the right to do things like that. I wasn’t a queen and didn’t want to be. So, I didn’t.
The police had jurisdiction, but they were useless. So? I drove to Hampton Roads, not really seeing the beautiful scenery, and being very careful not to be pulled over. True, I had my license, but it wasn’t my car and I was…
I was carjacking the guy. But I didn’t quite make it to Hampton Roads before two motorcycles peeled out onto the road next to me.
Thruor and Kara.
Thank Odin – or whoever had tipped them off. I’d never been so glad to see valkyries in my life.
I pulled over with them flanking me.
“What do we have here?”
“Oh, he beat his wife and joined up with a black coven to sacrifice their unborn child for power.”
Thruor rolled his eyes. “The witches?”
“I hope they’re a good distance away. They tried to throw stuff at me through projections, but I sent them home.”
“Good work. How about we take him from here?”
“What will you do to him?”
“If I was going to kill him, I would have. I’m rather thinking…”
Kara suggested, blithely, “Turn him into a toad?”
I laughed. “Don’t insult toads.”
“I don’t know. They’re ugly and toxic.”
“And eat biting flies,” I pointed out. “Toads are too useful to insult in this way.” Even if I wouldn’t want to mess with one. “But I was rather hoping to find a coven in Hampton Roads with a good idea.”
“Honestly, what we probably want for him is a magical restraining order,” Thruor mused. “Then we’ll go after the coven.”
She grinned. “A geas not to get within X miles of his ex or her child until or unless it’s released. And there probably is a witch in Hampton Roads who could do it.”
I wished I’d thought of that. “I thought of the mundane variety.”
“Oh, she should get one of those as well. But…”
“But he can’t ignore magic.”
And the poor kid, I thought. With that for a father. No, with no father, he’d be better off. “As for the witches,” I added.
“Those I don’t think we should hesitate about sending right to Hell or wherever.”
Probably Hell, I thought. They were probably actual devil worshippers or something.
Or just, I couldn’t help but think, power-hungry fools.