In which we learn the fate of the lightning-struck Mia! (It was TOTES an accident, we swear!)
This was not our first electrocution rodeo.
Thor was beside me already, fingers pressed to the pulse in her throat and his other hand hovering over her heart. He glanced at me across her body, his eyes hazing, blue to white and back again, and I knew he was remembering the day my heart had stopped, too. But timing was everything, and he set his jaw, focusing on Mia. If she did not need the shock to steady her heartbeat, Thor risked cooking her alive instead. But the wait, while Mia gasped like a fish, with the zombies wailing and moaning at our backs, was endless. Adam and Tyler at least had the sense to keep them back. To let Thor work. He might not like them, might find Mia a trial to his patience, but he was not cruel.
Her heart faltered and Thor jolted her. He may not have been precise with lightning bolts, but this, for my sake, he had turned into an art. Mia gasped again, her back arching, and her eyes flashed open, searching, unfocused, and then caught.
I glanced over my shoulder to see what had captured her attention, but it was only Bragi, leaning heavily on Adler for support as he rose, barely any worse for the wear. He brushed the soot from his suit, still chuckling to himself.
A golden apple and he’d be good as new. That was the difference between gods and mortals – electrocution was no more nuisance than a particularly irritating case of the hiccups, whereas for Mia and me, it was a bit more unsettling, to say the least. But I wouldn’t think about that. Not now, with Bragi just waiting for some proof to validate every kenning he’d dreamed up in place of my name.
“Ow,” Mia mumbled, rubbing her chest where a burn the shape of Thor’s hand was blistering. I had to resist the urge to rub the matching scar on my own chest.
“I’ve got a cream for that, too,” I promised her. “And I’m sure under the circumstances, Thor will be willing to part with a few Golden Apples, to speed your recovery, which, I’m sorry to say, will be slow.”
Mia refocused on me, and I could see the question forming in her eyes. The curiosity. “How do you –?”
“Bragi,” Thor bellowed over her, before she could finish the question and I had to decide if I would lie. “Stop harassing that Vampire witch and go fetch Idunn and a half dozen apples for Ms, ah, Admiral Hayson. Quickly.”
Mia’s eyes narrowed, and I gave her my best innocent look, as if Thor’s request wasn’t a complete reversal of his previous stance on the sharing of apples. As if he hadn’t just changed his mind without even a cursory rumble of thunder when there should have been an argument at the very least. But the last thing we needed was for Bragi to hear Mia ask how I knew what the recovery was going to be for electrocution by Thor. That was not a story it was safe for me to tell anyone if I wanted to live to see my next birthday. But Mia was distractible, and she was already looking over my shoulder again, frowning at something else.
I sighed with relief at escaping her scrutiny. But Mia knew when a person wasn’t being entirely honest with her. She had an uncanny knack for finding out things she shouldn’t, and knowing when secrets were being kept. It was only a matter of time really. Especially if she was staying at the Embassy. And if Sif ever found out what had happened… well, let’s just say, I’d be lucky if I wound up UNdead.
“So!” I said, a little too brightly. “Now is probably a good time to get you all settled in your rooms. Ha. I’m sure you’d be glad to see a bed right now, yeah? But um – maybe you shouldn’t get up. Thor will carry you to your suite.”
“Indeed,” he agreed at once, not even glowering at the zombies who were invading his personal space now that Mia was awake. I cleared my throat pointedly, and he flushed. “That is to say, no. The zombies do little enough to make themselves useful. Let them carry her.”
Thunder gods do not make good liars. At all.
Klikk for Episode VII Point V at Mia's blog!