“Traitor.” It didn’t sound that malicious.
I didn’t even have to turn my head. “Go away, Martin.”
“Brilliant. How the heck did you rope in the Catholic Church? Their God isn’t that fond of you.”
“I didn’t get that impression, actually. Just because he’s not that fond of you.” I turned to flicker the demon a grin. “You really want to stay away from me.”
“Because you’re not the only person stalking me and while I could probably sell tickets to the resulting fight, I actually almost like you.”
He hesitated, then stepped back. “Got it. You’re serious…I can tell.”
“If you leave me alone and don’t bring any more monsters, I might leave you alone,” I added, more gently. “I meant it about not beating up people who don’t deserve it. You don’t seem to fit.”
“I’m a demon. We’re all different. That’s half of the point.”
I nodded. “Still. Stay away. For your own sake.” Because if not I would have to find a way to send him back to hell. Surtur could probably do worse to him. The fire giant king. He was practically a god…no, he was a god. What was the real difference between gods and demons? Politics? Power?
Martin was probably more powerful than I was, but I wasn’t a goddess. Or was I? I wasn’t sure what I really counted as. Demi-god, maybe.
“Besides, how do I know you aren’t interested in me for the same reason he is?”
“Touche.” Martin touched over his heart, then turned and walked away. I watched him go, unable to keep entirely from admiring the view. Maybe dating a demon would be safer than…
“Well handled.” Loki fell in next to me. “He’s cute.”
I laughed. “He is, isn’t he. Cute little demon…”
“Oh, he’s at least a Duke of Hell, maybe a Prince. And you might even be right.”
“After me for my bloodlines. I’d rather think he just wants a roll in the hay.” I felt my lips quirk. “I don’t. At least not with him.”
“Oh, I know who you’d rather go with.” A pause. “Don’t worry. I won’t hurt her. I won’t even let her get hurt if I’m around.”
“Just because she likes cayenne brownies.”
He made a wounded expression. “Oh, please.”
“Is that a test you make your worshippers pass?” I found the words coming out of me.
I laughed. “Got it. But…”
“Oh, I know. I can’t have her.” He looked thoughtful. “Then again…”
“If you hurt her I’ll push you in the tidal basin. And possibly hold you down.”
“I’d just change into a fish.”
“Point. Did you show up to rescue me from him?” Not that I thought he did.
“Did you need me to?” He offered me a sealed chocolate chip cookie.
I took it, fully expecting to find cayenne in it. Ah well.