I was not, quite, too late. I would have been if it hadn’t been for Clara. And I could see kids pouring out of every door.
She had pulled the fire alarm or got somebody else to before the fire had started. Which had given time for people to get out.
And at least the giants had not thought to lock the doors. Or maybe that was the next step. They were trying to piss me off, after all.
I saw redhead, though, and he had his hand lifted, ready to add more fire. “Who warned them?”
“Who do you think?” I said from behind him, drawing my sword. “I’m not going to fight Surtur. You, on the other hand.”
The threat was clear, I made sure of that. But it was still a threat.
He laughed. “I’m not going to fight you.”
“What? Under orders not to engage? Is he worried you might mark me? Or, I know, is he worried I might kill you?”
While we were facing off he wasn’t starting any more fires and people were escaping. I didn’t particularly care about the building.
Heck, I’d let it burn.
“No, lady. I have no desire to harm you.”
“Because you don’t want to piss off Surtur’s intended. Even if she has no intent towards him.”
He wasn’t even drawing a weapon. “Lady…”
“I am not your queen. I am Loki’s daughter and yes, I carry fire. But I am not your queen.”
“You sound as if it is not me you are trying to convince.”
“It is Surtur I am trying to convince. The only thing I want from him is to be left alone.”
“And then you…”
“No. I would not have your lives on my conscience. I have no intention of letting anyone die that I can save.”
“Then you are already a queen.” And he stepped backwards and vanished.
“I think he likes you,” Kanesha said, out of breath.
“I think he’s trying to flatter me on Surtur’s behalf. I wonder who he is. One of Surtur’s bastards, maybe?”
“I don’t think they look much alike, but then…”
“Powerful giants shapeshift. So…but he’s somebody who has a lot of Surtur’s trust.”
It is not your task to kill him. Monica’s words.
I wished I could talk to her.