Elf vs. elf.

≪Quit worrying! I’m sure he can’t have gotten into trouble already.≫

Seidr sat at the table of her kitchen, picking at her meal. In the back of her mind she heard Gná’s request to enter the cave. A simple spell closed the rough door separating the kitchen from the rest of the small set of caverns she called home.

She sighed. “Enter of your own free will. Not that I can stop you.”

≪Lemme at her! Hey, you closed the door!≫

Gná’s portal formed and she stepped through. “Trust me, Seidr, your wards are yet proof against intrusion.”

≪I’ll show you intrusion! I’ll intrude my teeth on your pretty ankle, elf-bitch. C’mon Seidr, let me in.≫

Seidr didn’t even look up. “Couldn’t your plans have allowed me even a full day with him?”

Seidr heard Bast’s muffled yowl but knew better than to let her in. She knew what would happen. Gná was looking about with concern at the sound, so maybe she did too.

Gná almost managed to sound sincere. “Sadly, no. Loki’s forces are on the march. I fear all we have done is stir the hornet’s nest. I had to remove him from here to protect you as much as he, Seidr Dear. You’ve already done much that would incur Loki’s wrath. Had he found Madison in your care it would have been the end of you both. We both know your wards would be as paper to him. Better that you and Urd’s Well remain absent from his knowledge, as well as your child.”

≪What a line of dog drool.≫

“You know?”

“Did we not once conspire so? Yes, I know, old friend.”

Seidr started to rise, but Gná raised her hand. “Tut tut. Yes, we’ve had our differences. To a degree I have even enjoyed your teasing. You have provided aid to me many times and when you opposed me it was in good conscience. I have to respect that. It has been many decades since we had harsh words. It is long past time that I should call you ‘Friend’ once more, if you will accede.”

≪Oh please. You aren’t going to buy into that are you?≫

Seidr sank back into her chair. “As I feared, you’ve simply taken the one I love away. All I’m left with is hope that you’ll let me have him back when you’re done with him.”

Gná frowned momentarily, “You really care for him? That surprises me. I thought you would have wanted but his child and little else. Have you grown so lonely that you fall for the first man you take into your arms?”

Seidr wiped a tear. “Silly, isn’t it? But when he told me he loved me, I felt it. Something in my heart changed and it leapt and soared like never before. Now it’s sunk to the depths of the underworld. No one had to tell me that love hurts, but no one could have made me believe it could hurt so much.”

≪I’ll be good. I’ll . . .≫

“Oh, Seidr Dear. It hurts me to say this, but you must know. He is but a boy. And his kind has ever been fickle. Already he has held me in his arms and told me I’m beautiful.”

Gná held a hand out and a window appeared, showing Hans being shaved.

≪I’ll . . . I’ll only claw one of her eyes out!≫

“Even now he settles into life outside my hall.”

Barely audible, Seidr whispered, “No.”

“You could join us. I am sure with you close he will not look to others.”

Claws raked heavily at the door as it rattled in its frame.

“I can’t leave here. You know that. I cannot use the bulk of my magic beyond these caverns. And I must stay here to protect Urd’s Well, and, now, my child.”

≪No, you twit, go with her! After you let me lacerate a calf.≫

Gná sighed sadly. “I would say we could protect you there, but you know the truth of it. I have been unable to protect anyone since Loki appeared within my realm.” She let forth even heavier sigh. “Seidr, Dear, I have come to ask for the last shard of my mirror. I who have just robbed you, now come begging.”

Seidr gestured toward a wooden box on the table. “It’s right there. Have a care when you look to the future, Gná. You’ll likely only see what anyone ever does; what they want to be true. Or cause to smash it, as did your mother.”

Gná all but seized the box. “Oh thank you so, Dear Seidr. With this shard my mirror will be whole once more. I shall take your advice as well. And I promise, I will send him back to you when all this is done, if that is his wish.”

“Tell him I love him and why I can’t come to him, please.”

“I will, Seidr Dear, I will,” Gná promised sweetly.

Gná stepped back through her portal. It and the window closed. Seidr quietly set her head to the table.

≪Wuss!≫

Next: CHAPTER 10–DISTRACTION

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This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead is coincidental.