Thus, I didn’t expect him to show up. I expected I’d end up sitting alone and forlorn at a table picking at turkey and wishing I’d stayed with Kanesha and the others.
Despite that, I put on a nice skirt and sweater, over a blouse in case it was hot in the grill. It was, and I tugged the sweater off. The waiter offered to take it for me.
The maitre d’hote checked her list. “Your party’s already here.”
At those words I wanted to flee right back out the door. I hadn’t expected him to show up, I’d wanted him to show up, but the fact that he had was abruptly terrifying. Why? Maybe because it said that my hope and fear was actually true. “Okay.” It came out as a slight squeak.
The woman didn’t ask what was going on. Instead, she guided me to a table towards the back of the room. And he was there.
I didn’t remember everything. That would be a cliche. I still recognized her the moment I saw her. That blonde hair was mine, so were the eyes. “Mother,” I whispered.
The hostess pulled out my chair and then made the kind of quick retreat you did in the service industry when you detected awkwardness between the customers. There were no menus – it was a set meal, and I sat down. Our eyes met.
“I could not stand to stay away much longer,” she said in a soft voice. “Completely away, anyway.”
I reached for my water glass, hid my emotions behind sipping it, proud of the fact that my hand was not, in fact, shaking. Much. “I…do understand.” I almost remembered. Little scenes, little flashes, but they had a peculiar brilliance to them.
“You understand this is all Odin’s fault, then.” Loki, resting an elbow on the table.
“I understand why he did it, though. Stupid prophecies. Who needs them, really?” I had to stop as the waiter showed up, with a bottle of wine. I had a feeling I’d end up with a glass and nobody would say anything.
“I’m paying for the wine,” he assured me.
Glancing at the label I flickered a grin. “You’d better be.” I wasn’t going to talk about the school bombing, but I realized I didn’t have too much too talk about other than that. “I’m getting money together, but…”
“He told me you’re modeling.” She didn’t sound as if she approved or disapproved. Neutral.
“It’s good money and anyone who confuses the profession of putting clothes on with that of taking them off will get his butt kicked.”
Loki smirked. “Unless you don’t want to.”
I gave him a clearly fake shocked look. But maybe we had more to talk about than we thought.