Eric’s phone rang late one humid summer night. He’d stayed at Fangtasia long after the club had shut down in order to deal with this month’s inventory lists. The cellphone jangled in the pocket of his black jeans and he ignored it until he felt a familiar pull in the center of his chest. It could only be one person calling.
“Godric,” he murmured into the receiver.
“Good evening child. I trust you are well?”
“Other than this shitpile of paperwork I’m staring at? Fantastico.”
“How’s my grandbaby?”
They both chuckled conspiratorially at the moniker. Pamela despised it.
“I’m letting her tackle some of the lower priority sheriff’s duties now. She excels at her work.”
Pride coursed through their supernatural bond. Maker and child had remained unusually devoted. Even after a thousand years, Godric chose to settle in Dallas, a short flight away from Eric’s home in Shreveport. The distance was ideal – nearby yet not so close that it was stifling to one another.
“I called to tell you that I will be traveling.”
“Okay,” Eric said, confused as to why his maker was telling him this. Godric often wandered. “Do you want me to go with you?” he wondered.
“No, I am afraid you cannot join me on this journey.”
Eric sat up in his office chair, alarmed. “What’s going on?”
“I only wanted to tell you that you mustn’t worry for me while I am away. Eric? As your maker, I command it.” The order struck shivers through Eric’s spine and he blinked several times in surprise. He had not felt a maker’s command in many decades. “I promise I will return. I only wanted to warn you in case you feel our bond sever temporarily. My travel plans may affect it. You do not need to be concerned. I will come back.”
This was truly one of the stranger commands Godric had ever given him.
“Where are you going?” he demanded.
“On an adventure,” Godric said, sounding unusually ebullient. “To another realm.”
“Vad?” Eric screeched, forgetting his English. “Where!?”
There was a momentary pause on the other end of the line.
“To Asgard,” Godric replied and promptly hung up.
Eric sat staring dumbfounded at his phone. The rest of the night he frantically tried calling his maker back, but true to form, Godric refused to answer. He would reveal exactly what he wanted in his own time. Unable to feel the concern for his maker that his head told him he should, Eric could only turn over the possibilities in his mind until the sun took him for the day.
Three days prior, the knock at the door in Dallas had been entirely unremarkable.
“Stan,” Godric had called. “Stan, door!” he’d repeated in aggravation. When his underling had not bothered to stop feeding from his donor, he had seen to it himself. It could have been anyone allowed to pass the security gate – a delivery man, one of the cleaning ladies, a subject needing his aid.
Instead, it was a god.
The scent of magic slammed into his senses the moment he pulled the door open. Godric stumbled back several steps. Somewhere in the back of his mind screamed the thought that he was being attacked by witches. Then a hand caught him by the wrist and roughly yanked him up upright. Godric first saw the glint of the gold vambrace, then the soaring gilded horns. His eyes snapped into focus.
“Loki,” he gasped.
The god grinned like a shark.
“Is everything alright, Godric?” Isabel called from her office.
“Leave, Isabel,” he ordered. “Immediately. Take everyone out the back. Do not return until I call for you.” He smoothed his cashmere sweater nervously and backed into the hallway. When he heard the last of his retinue exit, he invited the deity inside. Loki stepped across the threshold and his armor evaporated into a dark green asymmetrical tunic and leather pants. He looked around curiously and began to explore, first passing through the unused dining room and then into the living areas. Godric followed him, speechless.
“This is rather an upgrade, I should think, given where you lived last we spoke.” Loki’s fingertips traced the curved back of a Danish modern chair.
“Yes.” It certainly was more comfortable than a cave.
“A bit sterile, though.”
Godric shrugged. “It is just a house.”
Loki’s eyes glinted mischievously.
“Please, have a seat,” Godric offered.
The god sat and Godric took the place opposite him. They stared at each other in silence for tense minutes. Loki finally shifted in the chair and broke his gaze to inspect his glossy nails.
The god no longer looked like a young prince. His edges had hardened and there were faint creases around his eyes and mouth.
“You have aged,” Godric observed.
“So have you.” Before the vampire could protest, Loki continued. “It’s in the eyes.”
Godric swallowed and gave a slight nod. If he’d had a heartbeat, it would be racing. Out of exhilaration or fear, he wasn’t sure. Perhaps both. He hadn’t felt so alert in a century. He made a mental check on his bond with Eric and was reassured to find that it was still carefully muted.
“So you have returned to Midgard. We call it planet Earth now, you know.”
“It seemed as good a time as any. I am bored.”
“I’m afraid I am not as entertaining as I once was.”
“Hmm. So I hear. My scrying bowl has revealed much about you lately. Reformed and contrite, is it? No longer The Boy Death?”
“Something like that.”
Godric’s mouth twitched. “What trouble were you hoping to stir up here?”
Loki ignored the question. “I’ve never cared for this realm. It is the backwater of Yggdrasil. Undeveloped. Technology that barely counts as such. You don’t even have a ruler.”
“I would have thought you’d be pleased by that latter part. Or are you no longer the God of Chaos?”
Loki snorted and tossed his jet black hair. He wore it slightly past his shoulders now. “I was born to rule, vampire. Of course I am in favor of authority: my own. And you? This ‘job’ of yours certainly poses no challenges to you. Why bother?”
“My sheriffdom is merely for convenience. It requires very little effort on my part, as you say, and it affords me the autonomy I require.”
“But what is the point of freedom if you do nothing with it?” Loki countered. “How can you stand it here? What do you do to pass your eternal time?”
Godric smiled. “I believe you’re building me up for an argument. How about cut to the chase?”
“What’s the fun in that?” he said, raising an eyebrow. “Do you have any single malt Scotch? Or is it no longer customary to offer guests a drink?”
“The liquor cabinet is in that buffet. Help yourself. I haven’t the first clue what is in there.”
When the god returned, he pulled his chair closer to Godric. The vampire’s fangs begged to drop at his guest’s maddening scent. Strangely, it was worse than when he had first encountered him one thousand years ago. Godric was perturbed to find he had not mastered his hunger as fully as he had believed. Or perhaps it was that he had gone too long on synthetic blood. Either way, the proximity tested his restraint.
“I have a proposition.”
“I see. Let’s hear it, then.”
“Your Scotch is top quality – for mortal fare.”
“And you are dawdling.”
Loki hummed into the cut crystal glass and set it slowly on a side table.
“Come to Asgard with me.”
Godric laughed out loud.
“I’m not joking,” Loki said soberly.
It sent Godric into complete stitches. He held his sides, eyes misting red. “You,” he said between wheezy gasps, “you want me to go to another realm?!”
Where you have no idea how its environment will affect me?”
“Where there are no humans to feed upon?” He was laughing like a lunatic. “Without the means or knowledge to return?”
“Yes, damn you!” Loki shouted and stood.
Godric wiped his eyes. “Oh, dear god. That is a rich proposition indeed.”
Loki glared at him angrily. “Your hospitality is desperately wanting. Do you think I flit about making such offers to anyone?”
Godric touched the back of Loki’s arm and gestured for him to calm down. He was reminded of the words his child once spoke when he had been offered something equally absurd (by him, no less).
“What’s in it for me?” he asked.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I offer you the stars. A chance to see what no Midgardian has ever seen. Other worlds, Godrík, think of that.” Loki purred his name in the old tongue, as if this would somehow convince him to make a hasty decision. Godric sat impassively. Loki shifted tactics.
“I cannot teach you magic on this hunk of rock you call a realm. My library is incomparable, as are my labs, and neither are accessible here.”
“Then you want me as your apprentice? I’ve never taken direction well and, as you’ll recall, I was interested in your magic, not my own. I’ve no talent in the subject. Or have you forgotten that I’m dead?”
“Take it or leave it. I’m in no mood for gaming,” he spat, growing hostile.
Godric’s fangs dropped and within a flash he was inches from the god’s face. “You are in no position to bargain, godling,” he hissed.
Loki’s eyes grew slightly wide but he schooled his features seamlessly into a mocking sneer. “My, did you get this close to show off those pretty eyes?”
Godric was caught off guard. The momentary falter was a mistake. Loki pounced, morphing his teeth to mimic the vampire’s fangs and he bit into the flesh of his host’s forearm. Godric howled in pain and shock and struck Loki with a hard blow that sent him flying.
Godric growled as he clamped a hand over the wound while it healed.
Loki was splayed against the picture window overlooking the lawn, his pin-neat hair now mussed. He darted his tongue out to lap the wet blood smeared on his lips. “Mmm. Delicious. I’ve no idea why I hadn’t tried that earlier.”
“You fool! You barge into my home and attack me? Drink my blood without invitation? You do realize I can influence you now!?”
“Psssh. You cannot expect that your…”
Godric focused all his mental powers at the god.
“Oh! I believe I felt that,” A devious smile curled across his mouth. “Do it again.”
The vampire flared his nostrils, ready to rend the maddening man to pieces if need be. He unleashed his fury at the thin tendril of vampire blood he felt in the others’ system.
“Oooh,” Loki said in a low voice. “I am supposed to be terrified of you, but you’re sending me this impulse, yes? It’s like a roiling volcano about to explode. You do know I am also the God of Fire, right? I like this. Show me more.”
Godric balled his fists and fell into a defensive stance. Loki stalked toward him, unfazed.
“I see there is wildling in you yet.”
“Shut up,” Godric barked.
“Shhh now. Neither of us respond well to threats. I did not come to quarrel.”
“Stay back!” he threatened, crouching lower.
The flick of the sorcerer’s hand was as fast as Godric could move. The god had anticipated that he would fake right and then dart left towards the front door. All it took was a glancing touch across his chest. The magic raced through Godric’s torso, warming him from the inside out, spreading like wildfire all the way into the tips of his ears and his toes. He dropped to the floor like a felled tree. For nearly a minute he grasped at the carpet as he writhed and gasped for useless air.
When he finally came around, Loki had refilled his glass with a generous pour and was relaxing in his armchair.
“You…you bastard!” Godric choked out at his feet.
“No need to call names, dear boy.”
Godric rolled to his knees, disheveled and out of sorts. He smoothed down his sweater and ran his fingers through his hair. “What the hell was that?”
Loki shrugged. “Tit for tat. You give me volcanoes, I give you fire. I told you. I didn’t come here to hurt you.”
He hadn’t hurt him – technically. He’d only shot Godric with a shock of pleasure so strong it virtually paralyzed him.
“So you, you what? Seek to shame me? Steal my blood and force my gratification?”
“I think you look rather pleased.” His eyes flickered down to the damp bulge in his pants.
Godric’s teeth were still bared, but he clutched his own arms protectively – the reflex of someone whose body had been violated. “How dare you. Get out.” He turned his back to the god.
“Godric,” he replied silkily. “I meant no harm. Don’t you see how equally matched we are? In strength? In intellect? Imagine the possibilities. We have so much to learn from each other!”
“GET OUT!” Godric screamed, rattling the paintings on the walls.
Loki bristled in shock. The vampire was truly angry. He had made a grave misstep. Abandoning his drink, he strode smoothly toward the entryway. He paused to sneak in the last word, but Godric beat him to the punch.
“You may wear the horns of a devil, Loki Odinson, but you’ve shown yourself to be nothing more than a court jester.”
The god visibly shrunk at the insult, his regal carriage melting into something akin to a kicked dog. “Now get out of my home before I kill you for your trespasses and don’t you dare come back until you have something of consequence to offer.”
Loki left silently in a sudden breeze that slammed shut the heavy front door.
The next night, Godric sat perched on a stool in the breakfast nook of the kitchen. He pinched the bridge of his nose, having lost track of the passage he was reading yet again. His day rest had been filled with hazy, fitful dreams: of his past, of Loki, of worlds beyond his reach. If he didn’t currently have the mercurial god rumbling around in the back of his mind as proof positive of the previous evening, he might not actually believe that Loki had shown up unannounced after a millennium, forged a weak blood bond to him out of foolish impulse, and zapped him with orgasmic magic. He had such mixed feelings about the entire episode he did not even bother trying to disentangle them. At least Loki seemed to feel remorseful, if he was indeed reading the bond correctly. Being tied to a god was a novel experience. At times he could swear the being was in great pain, at others, full of loss. The deeply buried cruel streak in Godric hoped the jerk had been hit by a semi-truck on the beltway as he left. Alas, that was most likely not the case.
Godric finally managed to finish the page when a light thudding tap at the window broke his fragile concentration. “You have got to be kidding me,” he grumbled and glanced up.
‘May I?’ Loki mouthed.
“NO!” he yelled hoarsely and returned to his reading.
“Hear me out,” his smooth voice requested. The raven haired man was standing in the middle of the kitchen in a collared black tunic and a broad shouldered overcoat. So much for knocking.
Godric slammed his book shut, sending a puff of dust into the air. Loki could see the title. The Nine Worlds.
“I came to apologize for my beastly behavior.”
“You think I care…”
“…And to offer you this.” He opened his leather gloved hand to reveal a large blue stone. He set it on the table carefully and pulled off his gloves, one finger at a time.
“What do I want with a rock?”
Loki gave a guarded chuckle, then spoke in a barely audible whisper at Godric’s ear. “That is no rock, Sheriff. It is an Infinity Stone. One of a kind in the entire universe.”
“What does it do?”
“It is capable of every imaginable power of the mind.”
Godric slumped down to the edge of the table to get a better view of it. “It only smells very faintly of magic.”
“It works by touch, which is why you must never, ever make direct contact with it.”
The pebble seemed unremarkable.
“Never. It will destroy you.”
“Okay.” He straightened. “So why bring it here?”
“To apologize, as I said, and to renew my offer.”
Godric studied him. There was a faint dappling of sweat across his brow.
“What is wrong with you?”
Loki laughed outright. “Oh, where should I begin?”
“No. I mean something pains you. What is it?”
The gods’ eyes dropped, shielded behind long fringes of inky lashes. “You think I’ve come here like a cheap swindler and dropped a hokey contrivance before you. Trust me, this is no trick. If I could rewrite history and undo what it cost me to acquire this wretched thing, I would.”
“Right, well. Good luck. I think you’d best be on your way.” Godric reached over to toss the rock at Loki. The god caught his hand in mid-air before he could touch the stone with a swift, crushing grip and he held him there. His face was contorted with sheer panic and terror. The skin-to-skin contact intensified Godric’s weak blood tie to the deity and suddenly flashes of images crashed through his mind: a grotesque hooded creature, wickedly thin knives covered in gore, the sound of Loki’s screaming.
“Ah!” Godric gasped, wrenching away. He clasped his head between two hands. He was no stranger to such scenes. Many times over he’d been a deliverer of such vile injustice and a receiver of the same treatment. He had hoped never to witness such violence again – from any perspective.
A low guttural growl poured out of his throat. “You villain! You use this object to manipulate me!”
“No!” Loki gestured for him to wait. He stood and unclasped his overcoat and with a twist of his hand, it vanished. He turned towards the large window. He couldn’t look the vampire in the eyes and reveal himself. When he gestured again, his vest and tunic were gone, leaving him bare from the waist up.
Loki’s back was a catastrophe, striped in too many angry welting patterns to count. The god watched Godric’s reaction in the reflection of the glass. The younger man did not flinch.
“You are a shape shifter. You morphed last night. These could be more illusions.” The heady scent of god’s blood so near the surface of the skin contradicted that idea. Godric’s near inability to control himself last night now made more sense. He didn’t dare inhale.
Loki’s head dropped along with his shoulders. “Last night these were still raw. Your blood healed them. I didn’t know it would do that…” He turned to face Godric, hands upturned, pleading. His lean, muscled torso had fared no better. No inch of flesh had gone unattended by his torturer.
“A clever illusion, to be sure,” Godric accused.
Loki’s face darkened. “You think I would do this to myself voluntarily? I feel my illusions, vampire. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.” Droplets of sweat trickled down his temples. He reeked of fear and pain. Surely he didn’t understand that Godric could detect emotions through his pores.
The vampire touched a swollen cut across his shoulder. “Ye gods,” he swore. Even the lightest pressure would rip the fragile, puckered tissue open. Godric shivered. He had seen his own kind die quickly from half as many wounds.
Loki flinched at the contact and magicked his clothes back in place before the scrutiny could continue. “There is no lie about the disgrace you see before you, Godric. I once helped you when you were weak. May I call on you to return the favor?”
Godric bit his cheek. He knew Loki was capable of great deception. But great lies could only be born of the most sophisticated understanding of the truth. They were two sides of the same coin. A millennium ago, Loki had not deceived him. The healing potion he had given him renewed his strength and more. It had further enhanced his gifts. Not long after, he would need every last ounce of his powers. The very first vampires he and young Eric had encountered tried to kill them. The potion had likely saved both their lives.
“What do you want from me, truly? No more attempts at flattery. You saw how poorly that went last night.”
“Respite. I only ask for a bit of calm before the storm.”
“Come. Let’s talk about what ‘calm’ means to the God of Chaos. And put that thing away.” Loki nodded and tossing a glove over the stone, banished it to his magic closet.
The vampire popped a blood into the microwave, giving an apologetic look at his uninvited guest. “You know where the cabinet is.” Loki left to fix himself a drink.
They sat together in the living room, sipping their blood and whiskey. The only sound was the soothing tick of a clock. Neither ancient felt the need to fill the silence for some time.
“Explain,” Godric finally asked. “From the beginning,”
“Literally or figuratively?
“Must you interrupt me already?” Loki rasped.
“I literally fell during a battle from the bridge that connects Asgard to the other realms. I fell between space, between time…and I slipped into the abyss between the branches below Yggdrasil. That creature you saw was one of the ones who found me. You know what ensued. I have no idea how long I languished in their hands. I was given the mind stone and sent back to Midgard.”
“You were sent on a mission.”
Loki’s clenched his jaw. “You are too clever for your own good.”
“Takes one to know one,” he jested weakly.
“The task is to use it. Me, you, anyone foolish enough to activate it. It’s a lodestar, you see…” his voice faltered. “A beacon for the one who truly wields it.”
“I see. What is this leader after?”
“One thing and one thing only: death.”
Godric swallowed. He knew all too well what it was to be driven by death.
“I can only delay for so long. I need to heal, Godric. I need rest. I need an ally who can help me think through the most powerful magic I know to come up with some sort of escape. Some solution to this…this…”
“Clusterfuck,” Godric supplied. It was a term he’d often heard his grandprogeny use.
Loki flopped back in the chair, swiveling it in a circle. “Keep the cursed stone for me. Hide it. I need it as leverage to survive when their leader comes for me. You will hold my life in your hands as I will watch over yours if you come to Asgard. I already know you’d sooner die than give up a secret; not even I can say that of myself. It will ensure your safe return.”
Godric gave a little huffing laugh. “Silvertongue.”
Loki looked up at him, taking no pleasure in the title.
“You must have been given a way to control the stone, even temporarily. Last night you hinted at your disgust that Midgard lacks a leader. Is your plan to become ours?”
Loki sucked in a ragged breathe and gazed off into the distance. “It is to be my reward.”
Godric clucked his tongue and shook his head in disgust. “I cannot allow that.”
“Then help me stop this,” Loki pleaded in no more than a whisper. His knuckles turned white as he dug his fingernails into the leather of the seat.
“I don’t see how being at your side as you plot to take over my planet will help.”
“The Rainbow Bridge is still broken – destroyed by Thor during my fall. Your blood can heal me enough to ensure our safe transport through the forgotten paths of Yggdrasil. They are ancient and unmaintained.”
“Find another vampire to drain then.”
Loki eyed him. “There are no other vampires who owe me a debt. I know of none so clever as you, nor as ancient.”
Godric raised his eyebrows. “By all accounts I owe Frigga a debt, not you. She must have seen well into my future to know how necessary that potion would be.”
“Then do this for Frigga. Please. If only to save her son from a fate worse than death. She thinks I’m dead, Godric. Everyone does.”
Godric sighed. Was he actually considering going along with this insane plan?
“How many suns does Asgard have?” he asked quietly.
“Just one. Our day is slightly longer there, but our night is too. “
“And the night is totally dark?”
“Save for the best view of the universe you’ve ever seen? Yes.”
“What if the atmosphere does not blot out the rays of the stars…”
“Aesir do not get sunburns. In fact, I’ve never seen a creature from any Realm suffer the elements in Asgard. I believe it is safe. Perhaps more so than here.”
Godric contemplated this for a long moment.
“It won’t be any trouble to bring along human blood and anything else you might require. It would only be a matter of weeks – a month if you like it.”
“You have given me much to consider. Leave me now and return tomorrow.”
Loki rose with a regal elegance. He offered his hand. “I am forgiven, then?”
Godric snorted and made no move to reciprocate. “You violate the sanctity of my person again and I will hunt you down until the end of time.”
Loki frowned. “Fair enough. It was a mistake to think you’d be drawn to the charms desired by lesser beings.” Loki hesitated, then added, “I suspect you will feel at home in the Realm of the Gods, Godric.”
On the third night since Loki’s reappearance, the god showed up shortly after sunset on the front stoop of Godric’s home.
“Door is open!” Godric called from his office. “Not that it would stop you,” he added under his breath. The vampire was in the midst of prioritizing a set of files and transferring funds to his Second in Command in the event of his absence. At present, he was still very much on the fence about his final decision.
Loki swaggered in and glanced around the work space. He plopped in the seat in front of the desk where Godric stood working and kicked his feet up. “Hello.”
Godric glared at the boots on his furniture. “Libertine.”
Loki ignored him and continued to examine the room. A short sword was hung on a placard on the wall and a series of photographs and miniature portraits were lined up along a narrow table. A bell cloche near the end of the row of pictures caught his eye.
“A fan of The Thunderer are we?” Inside the glass display dome hung a brass Mjölnir, a symbol of his brother’s weapon of choice. It looked quite old.
“It was Eric’s,” Godric explained.
Subconsciously Loki’s hand went to his mouth, his fingers covering the tiny pinpoint scars that dotted the rim of his lips. They were invisible until one was up close, as Godric had been when he nearly throttled the god two nights ago. According to legend, Loki had acquired them when his mouth was sewn up as punishment for tricking the finest metalsmiths on Niðavellir out of their enchanted hammer. He had given it to his brother as a gift.
“Was it worth it?” Godric asked.
“What?” Loki replied, feigning ignorance.
Godric merely gave him a pointed look.
Loki scowled. “It did not happen like in your silly Midgardian book of lies.”
“No doubt.” He hesitated. “I can heal those scars too, you know.”
The god said nothing, though it was not lost on Godric that he removed his boots from the edge of the desk.
“Have you decided?” Loki pressed instead.
“No,” Godric replied and sat. “I want more details about our proposed ‘plan.'”
“Of course. It is straightforward. We’ll return quietly to the palace and spend our days reading and talking. There will be plenty of time to explore some of the finer parks and scenic places of Asgard.” Loki hummed, struck by a thought. “You’ll need a new name. Godmund perhaps?”
Godric laughed. “You’d have me go from ‘ruler of gods’ to ‘protected by a god’? I think not.”
“There’s not a single person in all of Asgard with such a preposterously blasphemous name. You might as well call yourself Odin Allfather…How about Kjell or Langley?”
The vampire shook off the suggestions. No one was calling him a ‘big pot’ and he most certainly did not look like a Langley, regardless of how ‘long lived’ he might be.
“What about Per? Rather fitting given that you’re watching over my stone.”
“You’re fixating on an inconsequential detail. Scale, Loki. Focus on the big picture.”
“I am, you insufferable leach,” he spat, then held up a hand. “Apologies – that was uncalled for. You speak to me as though you’re my equal. I am unused to it.”
Godric rolled his eyes. He’d never met a prince that wasn’t a primadonna in some form or another, his own child included. “This won’t work if you aren’t willing to concede that I am your equal in this venture.”
“Fine. No one can know you are Midgardian, dead or alive. Understand? Travel between our realms is forbidden. I’ll have to say we came from Alfheim. Any oddities about you can be explained by some sort of scandalous mixed parentage that will keep people from openly prying. Perhaps you are a bastard half dark elf, half Aesir. That ought to explain your affinity for evening shadows.” Loki laughed, apparently finding the idea hilarious.
“Col,” Godric decided. “Call me Col.”
“Perfect,” Loki purred in his refined accent.
“There is just one exception about my true identity. We will not lie to Frigga.”
“I was rather hoping to keep you contained to my apartments while on the royal grounds.”
“That is another deal breaker. I must be allowed my freedom – without exception – and I must be introduced to Frigga. I owe her my gratitude.”
“Those are two conditions.”
“I’m glad you’re keeping track.”
“Is that an affirmative?”
“Yes,” he ground out forcibly.
“Do I need to remind you that you are to keep your magic to yourself?”
An impish smile spread across Loki’s face. “I shan’t use magic or illusions on you, unless it is a most dire matter of our safety.”
“Don’t make me regret this. Give me the stone. I’ll put it somewhere safe when I go out to hunt.”
“Feeling peckish, are we?” Loki waggled his eyebrows.
“I need a real meal if I’m to give you another transfusion.”
“About that…” Loki rested his chin on steeped fingers and looked up at the ceiling. “You weren’t exactly forthcoming about the effects of your blood.”
One corner of Godric’s mouth curled into a smile. “Interesting dreams lately?”
“One might say that,” he replied, looking uncomfortable.
“They will wear off in time. Perhaps quickly since you are not mortal.”
Godric spun his pen in his fingers and reclined back. “I can sense your emotions. Determine your location. I knew when you showed up outside my kitchen window and when you were coming here tonight. We already discovered that you can feel me sending you impulses, but that you are not swayed by them, which could be used to communicate in a pinch.” He shrugged. “The tie will be helpful in a strange land. Plus, I’m curious to see just how big of a liar you actually are.”
Loki studied him. Without a word, he called forth the stone. Glancing at the Mjölnir necklace under the glass case, he conjured a square container. The outlines of it floated mid-air and Loki’s mouth moved rapidly, pouring secret words into it. The shape took on a more definite form, flashing bright green and then blue. Carefully, the god pried open one end and, using the loose glove under the stone, scooped the gem inside.
Loki passed the sealed box to Godric. “I believe we have a deal.”
“Don’t lose it,” he added nervously.
“I’ll be back shortly. Don’t rifle through my things – I’ll know.”
With a blur, the vampire took to the skies, stone safely tucked in the left pocket of his pants. When he landed, Godric was several hundred miles away. He pulled out his cell phone out and dialed his child. They spoke briefly and Eric, in typical fashion, demanded more than he had a right or reason to know. Godric hung up on him. Predictably, it infuriated him. Within minutes, the tall blond came storming out of his club and squealed off in his black sports car. No sooner than the taillights had disappeared down the road did Godric step out from the deep shadows cast by the live oaks that lined the parking lot. Pulling the stone from his pocket, he headed to the rear door of Fangtasia and let himself inside.
A/N: Please leave a comment and let me know what you thought!