I felt more than a little worried and uncomfortable about the fact that somebody was poking into my past. Would they find anything?
Was there something planted for them to find? I rather thought there should be. Something innocuous. Ordinary parents, dead in a crash on 66. But Agent Morrow was going to worry at it like a dog until he found the marrow in the bone.
I couldn’t do a thing about him, not really. I did hope, mostly, that he didn’t find whoever had killed Mr. Clem. I hadn’t been able to, but I wasn’t a trained detective.
I felt as if everything was on a knife’s edge. Winter, a worse winter than normal, had descended on the city and I felt that tension too. I was also fairly sure I caught a glimpse of Skadi in the blizzards, the goddess of winter, the giantess who had so impressed Odin he had granted her fair wergild.
Maybe. Maybe it was my own imagination, which wasn’t always tamed. I stood at the edge of the mall and watched the snow fall. Not far away, somebody’s puppy was playing, clearly bemused by this strange, cold white stuff falling from the sky. I managed a smile, but I also felt a presence.
I didn’t turn around. “You’re here.” Not my father. That other, much stronger presence. The Allfather was here. And that couldn’t just be something casual.
I turned slightly. He looked like any other old man. Trench coat. Patch over the missing eye. Straggly beard. I almost told him he looked like a bum.
He heard what I almost told him. “People tend not to notice the poor.”
I scowled a little. “You’re right, but…why are you here? If you wanted to watch snow…”
“I could find far more impressive snow. You’re right. And you know it’s not that much.”
I nodded. I did know. Not remember, exactly, but this really was rather pathetic snow, especially for the impact it was having. It fell, drifting, down from the grey sky. “People here don’t.” I found myself relaxing slightly. “You want something.”
“I want you to be careful.”
“I always am.” Now I turned to face him. He was toning down the presence that would intimidate even the gods. “Any particular reason? And please tell me we have something planted for that FBI guy to find.”
His lips quirked. “I think you can handle one nosy cop.”
Which was neither a yes nor a no. But he was…checking on me. That was all, but why would he do so personally? I sighed, finally, “What did my father do now?”
“He decided he would try and cool Surtur’s ardor for you. Don’t worry. He’s not badly hurt.”
I winced. “I’ll make him cayenne brownies. But I at least haven’t seen much in the way of fire giants lately.”
“It won’t last.”
“More likely to see frost giants in this weather, I suppose.” Which I knew to be true. Fire giants would like summer.
What did it say that I was wishing for more snow?