Episode Eight: Bloodlines: Scene 2

“I think he really cares about me,” I said to Kanesha. It was lunch time, and we’d found a corner table so close to the banging kitchen door nobody else had joined us. Or could hear us.

“I think he…” Kanesha tailed off. “There’s nothing to say Loki couldn’t decide to like somebody, right?”

“No, I think there’s more to it than that. I mean, sure, he could just think I’m cool. And I think he does. But he implied I’d have been better off going with Tyz’vel and trying to avoid Ragnarok.”

“Then he thinks it’s inevitable. Now that he’s out, maybe it is.” Kanesha frowned. “The…”

“It’s not time for the world to end. Let’s change the subject? I’m starting to get depressed.” I didn’t want to think of everyone dying, and I didn’t care if there’d be an entire new world afterwards.

Or maybe Ragnarok was actually just climate change. There was a theory. Or any way the world ended. If humanity wrecked things enough, they might make it necessary.

Changing the subject of the conversation was possible. The subject in my head was more resistant. It stuck around through class, and it stuck around after class. It was nice not to have to worry about Martin at the school gate, though.

Well, except I almost missed him. Even an annoyance can become routine, almost comfortable. Maybe that was why so many women stayed with their abusers. That comfort could easily become Stockholm Syndrome.

But he was gone for now, although that didn’t mean there weren’t other threats out there. I didn’t see DC the same way I had. Now I saw the city as a potential nest of all sorts of things. There wouldn’t be vampires out in daylight, but was that very Goth girl a demon? No. I rolled my eyes at myself for stereotyping and headed home to finish homework and then maybe hit the club.

I should have known trying for a bit of normality was a bad idea, but it seemed like I had a rare opportunity to do so and I intended to take it. While it lasted, I could appreciate being just a girl.

One day I wouldn’t be able to be that any more, and maybe I thought, Odin had done me a favor after all. He’d given me a chance to experience that.

Just like other girls. With a sword under my bed and armed when I went to the club. That was starting to become routine. So was getting home as quickly as possible so I wouldn’t be out on the street without it. School had metal detectors, and I couldn’t risk it.

No.

It was already impossible to be just a girl for me, and I’d dragged Kanesha into it, but if we could stop the world from ending, it would be worth it.

Talk Loki into working against Ragnarok instead of for it?

And I knew that I had made the right decision. If I’d gone with Tyz’vel, then that would have been one less reason for the chaos god to put it off.

Why did he care about me so much? If I asked him, I’d get a lie. I knew that for sure. He was the silver tongued one, and the rare honesty had always been about me pushing my own capabilities.

Learning to protect myself. He didn’t want me hurt. Gods, I thought, but it wasn’t really, quite a swear word.

I’d never understand them.

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