He did not come right away. Likely he was still catching his horse.
But I was happy to wait. This might be the end of everything, or at least the end of my everything. No anticipation this time.
Just enjoying every second of existence. Wishing she was here, yes.
Wishing that that last time, her walking away with Loki, had not been the last time. Which it had to be.
She could not be here.
I could not leave.
That was why gods did not love mortals, and I had been warned. She had been warned. We had both known it was a bad idea and done it anyway. Then again, perhaps that was the entire history of women who love women.
That right there, because when had it ever been a good idea by any definition other than the one which was woven all in with the way we loved each other.
I could have chosen otherwise.
She could not, she was born to be as she was. Or her soul had chosen it before her birth. Maybe one day I would understand.
The stars were unborn gods.
Not the real stars, though, and perhaps I only saw them as stars because of something in my own mind. What was real?
The tree was.
The power that echoed across the land was. The tree was still dead.
When it bloomed I would know I had won. It was still dead, so things were still undecided. Uncertain.
I did not know whether I was going to win. I cared.
Win or lose, though, that was the last I had seen of her, walking away.
Never to come back into my life. I would find somebody else, I would release her soul.
Which I could do, but I did not. Not yet.
Thruor would take care of her if I could not. Or Hel would. I trusted my sister.
So I did not release her.
It would have been too much like breaking up, letting go, moving on, when what I so dearly wanted was the opposite.
“I love you, Kanesha,” I murmured to the tree, as if in that way she could hear it.
Hear it and know it to be true.