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Hans felt like a little boy told to clean his room. It would have served her right to have gotten nice static shock just then. But that only seemed to happen when it could most embarrass him, not someone else.
"So it's my duty is it?" Hans stepped back to sheath his sword and looked Gná in the eye. "The only duty I feel is to my father, at the very least to let him know I'm alive and well, and to the woman I love. I feel none to you or your cause."
She reached out to take his right hand in both of hers, looking him back in the eye. "Consider a hero's reward then, good Madison. Loki has plundered my land. Slain my people. Great riches lie in his inner sanctum. If all you left my realm with was but what little you could carry, you would still be accorded a wealthy man, and even here we know that wealth buys power in your realm."
Hans shook his hand free, gently. Trying to sound wise, he said, "Riches are of no use to a dead man."
Gná fumed for a moment, hands on her hips. "I would not have made the effort of bringing you to my realm were you not up to the task."
Hans kept his cool. "The task being to help you defeat Loki. I don't for a moment imagine that my survival is critical to your plans."
Gná put both hands to her breast as though speared through the heart. She looked up at him through her long lashes, fluttering pale blue eyes at him. "And if I said your life was important to me, what then? I knew you for what you were immediately, Madison. You are Thor's heir, with all of his power, and now, I see, his strength as well." She swept an arm out. "Look about you. Do you see any children? Do you see any men? I could take you out among my people, and across this world and you will find none. My race is all but extinct, thanks to the depredations of Loki."
Gná untied her sash and bared one, then the other shoulder. Her gown fell to ground. She stood naked before Hans. "Is this not the reward I first offered you? There will be no more Aelfkind after we are gone. But you could sire a new race, halflings, but mighty, to take our place and lead this and other realms to a new golden age. I would even welcome Seidr and her child to that destiny."
Hans' back went up straight. "Child? I didn't know Seidr had any children."
She stepped close to him again. "Do you even know what she really is?"
More statement than question, Hans asked, "Dark elf necromancer, outcast by her own people?"
That set Gná back a step, for a moment. "Yes. Well, she likely has a child now. By you, or did she forget to mention that? And now that she has what she wanted of you, she perhaps let me take you. You could be inconvenient to the manner in which she may want to raise your son."
Hans shook his head. "I . . . I find that hard to believe."
She placed her hand on his chest again. "That she would use you and set you aside? All you know of her is the few hours you spent in her care. I have known her for nearly two centuries. She has aided me and hindered me many times, all to her own whim."
Hans frowned at that. "No. I don't believe she meant to deceive me. But that doesn't matter. If she's pregnant by me, I have to go back to her."
Gná raised a hand to wipe a tear. "Do you not see, you are my last and only hope, to defeat Loki, save my people, and, even if I must share you with that witch. Beloved."
Sobbing, and still naked, Gná threw herself into Hans' arms. Her head fitting under his chin as Seidr's did. "She's good," he thought as he surreptitiously rolled his eyes. He patted her on the back, not quite knowing why.