Well, it became a mixed thing. We got back to DC, where it was hotter than it had been further south, thanks to the city being in a swamp and further from the cooling influence of the sea.
It was unpleasant for me and even more so for those without my blood. Kanesha hid in the air conditioning to study.
I forced myself to go out into the city, planning on meeting her for dinner after it had cooled off a bit. Looking for trouble.
Watching the people I was protecting. If I was honest, making sure nothing bad had moved in while I was away. I thought I smelled a vampire nest and headed that way, to clean them out before sunset.
If all I could do was keep those vermin out of the city, then I was achieving something. Something important.
A single life saved was worth it.
But there was the brooding threat of Surtur, of the war, of the possibility that all of this might come to an end. I found the vampires in a basement, killed them before they could wake up. Came back up into the sunlight.
Maybe what I needed…no. I had plenty of reminders of why I did this. I just needed to know how to stop it.
Surtur was going to come after me, as soon as he worked out a good way to do it. I had to stay alert.
I had to not relax like I had on the beach, except sometimes I needed to. Which is why I had friends to watch my back.
And I wasn’t going to let any more of them die, not without fighting pretty hard for them. And I wasn’t going to let the world end.
The sunset was beautiful over the city. The air was clear. I’d had a small workout.
I felt pretty good, and of course?
Of course that was when Derek called. It had to be Derek, too, not somebody I actually wanted to talk to.
“Not exactly. I found something.”
“If it’s a magic item, take it to Clara or Seb, they can identify it better than I can.”
“They’re not picking up.”
Which made me suspect Clara and Seb were, shall we say, busy. “Is it urgent?”
“Given it’s glowing.”
“I’ll call that urgent. Where are you?”
Derek was probably being trapped again. I was already moving halfway through him giving the address. His home.
He’d taken a glowing artifact home.