And the gateway opened. The rainbow bridge in full force, not just the slight shimmer I had seen before. On it rode an old man on a grey horse, a horse that made the steeds of the valkyrie look like the ancient nags a riding barn might keep around to teach the beginners.
I did not need to count his legs to know who he was.
For what might well have been the first time, Sleipnir’s hooves touched the soil of Muspelheim. They sent up sparks, sparks in multiple colors. Odin dismounted. He came alone, or perhaps trusting that he had enough of an escort here. The two valkyries that had come with Sigyn dismounted and moved to flank him.
I was not sure anybody breathed.
“I come in peace,” he said.
“Then be welcome.” I was not sure what I should do. This was the king of the gods, this was the most powerful being in the Nine Realms, and he came here openly.
Not in disguise, not this time.
I did realize the other figure that had been behind Sigyn on foot was my father. He gave me a sardonic salute.
Odin stepped towards me. “Siglaugr Lokisdottir. A moment?”
“Give her to me.”
Did I trust him? I had no idea what to do. “Alright.”
I smiled. “I trust you as much as I trust my father.”
He laughed. “Which is to say that you trust within the confidence of our respective natures. Good.”
And then he reached out and took her from me. I sensed energies twist a little. And I knew I could have done this myself.
If I had known how. I did not.
But a moment later, Kanesha stood there. She looked around for a moment, and then turned around and hugged me.
And kissed me. I might have been embarrassed, but feeling her, warm in my arms. “Oh…oh….”
“I’m sorry. I was…too far away.”
“It hurt so much. What did he do?”
“Grabbed your amulet as he went down.” Removed her protection. But she was here now…here in the way Mike was.
Except that the connection between us was still solid. “Thank you.”
“A lesson,” he said.
And I knew why he said that. If something like this happened again, I would know, remember what to do. I held her a moment longer. Then I released her to face the giants.