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Managing to make shoveling food into her mouth seem delicate, she continued. "She didn't explain anything at all to you before she sent you to face Jormungand?"
"No. The first guy, thing, I met was some sort of wolfman. He flipped out and attacked me."
Seidr stopped eating and straightened. She asked, incredulously, "Fenrir? You escaped from Fenrir's lair? I'm impressed."
Hans shook his head sadly. "Actually, I killed him. I didn't want to, but he didn't give me any choice."
≪He WHAT?!≫
Seidr's jaw dropped, "ARE YOU SHITTING ME? Who . . . No. What are you?"
≪Set's bouncing balls! What have you gotten us into this time?≫
"I keep getting asked that. I'm just plain, old Hans Madison. And I need to get home. My father is probably worried sick about me."
Hans heard a new music, Seidr's laughter.
"Silly Man, you defeated Loki's most powerful son in battle. Not even Thor was able to do that. There's nothing plain about you."
Hans asked, only a little crossly, "And why do you keep calling me, 'Silly Man?' My name is Hans."
Seidr took on a rare, serious tone, but Hans could still hear the tease. "Don't you know? 'Hans' is an ancient word for 'man.' It's your true name and a strong one at that. Names have power here, and you shouldn't give yours away so easily."
"OK, so why am I 'Silly?'"
"At first I thought you were some sort of fool for trying to take on that wurm unarmed, but now, well, you make me feel, giddy."
≪Giddy? Hello! He's a god slayer! And you're treating him like some sort of schoolboy.≫
The cat growled at him for some reason.
"Be nice, Bast," she said to the cat. "I'm sure he won't be that much trouble."
Seidr snapped her fingers.
"Of course, your name! 'Madison' could mean you're a descendant of Modi, one of the two sons of Thor that survived Ragnarok. He lived out a mortal life on Midgard, your world."
Hans nodded, "That creature, Fenrir, said pretty much the same thing, just before he jumped me."
Seidr rubbed her hands together, "Oh, Gná's going to throw a fit when she finds out you've fallen into my wicked hands." She muttered softly, "I wonder if I should tell her myself."
≪You can't mean to keep him! He isn't some tomcat to keep around for company.≫
Seidr got up from her chair, pushed the table aside and sat in Hans' lap, peeling the robe off of his shoulders.
"Now, how about showing some appreciation to the simple dark elf that saved your life?"
≪Again? What is it with you hominids, anyway? Oops! Guess who wants to drop in?≫
Hans felt his interest rising, but before he could answer, Seidr looked up, at nothing.
In a faraway tone she said, "She's found you." Then with false cheer, looking back at Hans, commented, "Well no sense in putting her off. She might try something foolish and embarrass herself trying to overcome my wards."