When last we left our heroes, Mia, Amaliaz, and Thor very nearly turned Adler into ashes after she made the mistake of almost eating Mia, or so everyone assumed, until Mia admitted that she attacked the vampire wench first! And perhaps more importantly to Amaliaz health, there was that bit about Sif, too...
I wanted to stay casual. I needed to be, or we’d give too much away. But I couldn’t stop myself from looking at Thor, and I was pretty sure my face had paled. He wasn’t looking back, his gaze locked on Mia instead. Locked and burning.Klikk for Episode IX point V.
“What of Sif?” he asked, his voice dangerously low. Adler smirked, and I didn’t miss the extra jolt of current that Thor sent through it. She yelped, her eyes narrowing. But the smirk was gone.
Mia was scratching her elbow again. “Just something Tyler heard while he and Adler were out. I’m sure it’s nothing. I mean, I’m sure it’s all just talk.”
“What. Of. Sif?” Thor demanded, thunder growling beneath each word.
“Um.” She shifted, looking distinctly uncomfortable. I didn’t blame her. Thor looked like he was going to burn her into the ground. “Tyler mentioned something about how she was looking for, ah, information. In exchange for Asgardian Gold, if it was good enough. And you know how valuable that is to people around about.”
Asgardian Gold never diminished. As long as it was whole when you started, you could shave pieces from it forever. One piece would wreak havoc on the price of precious metals – the entire gold market would collapse. The regulation of Asgardian Gold and Golden Apples was part of the Treaty of Nine Worlds. And if Sif had broken it…
I swallowed. Thor wouldn’t leave the world. Even if Asgard was closed, Thor wouldn’t leave. I had to believe it.
“What information?” he asked.
Mia shrugged, looking at Adler meaningfully.
Thor’s jaw tightened. In all of this, he hadn’t so much as glanced my way. But Mia did, now, smiling brightly.
“See? Now aren’t you glad I saved her for interrogation? I would have called you in for it, of course, but thing got a smidge out of hand, you know. What with me not having any restraints on hand, exactly. I think I left them in Adam’s pack.”
“Yes,” I said, my voice sounding hoarse. Mia frowned and I cleared my throat hastily. “Yes, of course. Baldur will want to know that Sif is intending to break the treaty.”
That was when Thor’s eyes met mine. My throat tightened, and I couldn’t breathe. Grief and longing and fear – it strangled my heart.
“It may be too late, already” he said softly. “I would have preferred her to send agents to do you harm but this – this is nothing I can fight.”
“No,” I said. But it was worthless. It didn’t matter if I objected or denied the truth, because the outcome would still be the same. If Asgardian Gold had come to Earth, exchanged hands and entered the market, it was over. I wouldn’t have to worry about our secret being whispered in Sif’s ear, or being referred to as Thorskona ever again. The embassy would be shut down, all traffic between Earth and Asgard prohibited.
Sif would finally have gotten her wish. Thor would be gone, unable to ever see me again.
My hands balled into fists, the pain and heart ache replaced with a slow, simmering fury. If that was how she wanted to play this game, I wasn’t going to be the only one who suffered.
“She must have had help,” I said. “From someone in the Embassy. And you and I both know it couldn’t have been Baldur or Forseti. Forget Adler. Crisp her and throw her in the dumpster for all I care. I want Bragi’s head!”
“Erhm.” Mia cleared her throat. “Perhaps we should take a moment to think, and ah, breathe deeply? Surely there is no cause for making with the murderous rages quite yet. This is all NEW, after all. And I could be entirely mistaken! Perhaps if we just ask Adler –”
“After Bragi, I am going for Sif’s throat,” I said, pulling one of Baldur’s battle axes off the wall. Thor had taught me a thing or two, and Baldur had good taste. The long handle of the axe fit perfectly in my hand. “You and your zombies can help, Admiral Hayson, or you can stay out of my way.”
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