Many hours later, Sif, Gil and Mist lay basking in the afterglow of their bondmaking, a union that occurred only when all souls involved were in tune with one another. The twins, as ravenous as they’d been, had left some time ago, not wanting to be missed at their posts as Rihmsjalier woke for the day.
“By the Gods, what was that last night?” Gil asked, rubbing his fingers up and down their delicate arms as they lay positioned perfectly between them.
“What?” Sif asked, sleepily dragging her leg up his naked thigh.
“When you…” He blushed and Sif giggled. “It was like my head was gonna explode. It was bloody amazing.”
Sif laughed softly and kissed his chest. “What?” He blurted out, thinking of that very moment, and all those moments that followed later with those twins.
“Perhaps it’s time we taught you some of the finer points of being a Valkyrie.” Mist sat up, letting out a little yawn as she stared down at him. “We are empathic, all of us, and since you are one of us…” Her lips grew silent, but her voice echoed in his mind. ’What we feel, you feel.’ He shuddered as her hand slid beneath the sheets, to her own sex.
“So…” He started to ask, but the sensations he was feeling now made it hard to concentrate, among other things. “So, when Sif…” He groaned “… that was her orgasm… running through me?” The more Mist pleasured herself, the closer Gil’s eyes got to rolling all the way back into his skull. “All those tingles… like little explosions…” He shuddered, unable to control his own cock and it too erupted in a round of explosions.
They laughed with a nod and kissed him on the cheek. Then Mist looked at him more seriously as she pulled her hand away from the pleasure and slid her slick fingers across his lips.
“Do you know how we choose men to be an Einherjar?” She hissed.
“No.” Gil sat up as Mist pulled herself to the side of the bed and let her legs dangle over.
“Young warriors, like yourself, attract us like an aphrodisiac. The stronger their worth, the stronger the attraction.” She teased, running her hand up and down his leg. “I had not seen you since that day in the church when you were nine. Twelve years filled you out quite nicely, in both looks and worth, and let me tell you there were almost several fist fights over who would get to claim you. Of course, we did not know then what we know now, or there would have been thousands more.”
“Seems I was causing trouble even then.” Gil grinned.
“It got so bad, I had to declare that you belonged to Mist by way of her previous contact with you.” Sif chimed in as she lay back in the bed once more. “It helped to drive all the vultures away.”
“Vultures, like Skuld?” He laughed, then shook his head. “I’m sorry, but while my Valkyrie senses tell me I can trust her, my Human side cannot stand her.”
Both of his wives nodded and Mist’s eyes turned a steely-gray color, her voice bearing an aggravated tone when she spoke again. “She has always been full of envy and spite. Even when we were young, she always tried to worm her way into Odin’s favor. Games. Challenges. She always had to be the best, or her wrath would be fierce.”
“There have always been people who blame others for their own failures.” Gil rubbed his fingers up and down the side of her arm to ease her tensions.
“Jealousy is something that I cannot abide, she is going to go too far one day and end up in a situation that she cannot get out of. She did not come to your ascension, or the wedding feast. She has been sulking in her room this entire time….” Mist hung her head and sat forward, rolling her shoulders. “…I just get this feeling.”
“That is another thing we must warn you of. Extreme negative emotions are another aphrodisiac, though it attracts us for all the wrong reasons.” Sif closed her eyes. “We will help where we can, but it can only go so far for some...” Her words dropped off as the mood in the room turned. “Mass murders attract our attention almost immediately, often bringing out our vengeful side.”
“The worst of all are men who abuse their wives, or harm children. The innocent should never suffer, and when they do, we too feel their pain and it overwhelms us.” Mist growled, but Gil’s hand on her shoulder took the edge off.
“So, that’s why gentle Senna, killed all but one of those insurgents?”
“Genocide is an act we cannot forgive.”
“I can’t say that I blame her, I was hunting down those murderers too, but I guess she found them first and I stumbled upon what was left.” Gil said in a somber tone then let out a sigh.
He’d been quite peeved when he found that someone else had beaten him to those men, that he had been deprived of his vengeance. It wasn’t so bad now, knowing it had been Senna who’d accomplished the deed.
Mist turned back to him. “Your revenge was justified, but we had no idea where it would have ended. You were planning on working your way up the chain of command to find the man who had given the order.” She hung her head. “We feared it may have ended badly had we not intervened. We had to help you.”
“Help me?” He was well aware of their traditions, his traditions.
They lived their lives, never interfering with mortals, save in extreme cases. Had that been one of them? That tradition was so ingrained in the Valkyries existence, it was stronger than any law. He felt it in their memories, in his very being.
“That’s why Freya was so upset when you warned me.” He replied, only to see the surprise on her face. “Rob told me the day we got here and now I am curious. I know of three times you have helped me, and I am thankful that you did, but, what else did you save me from?”
“The mere presence of a Valkyrie twists chance. Bullets miss, bombs lay dormant, unable to go off. When you feel a cold chill or the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, that is not a Ghost, but one of us touching you, guiding you.”
“If your hands are stained with the blood of the innocent, we tend to bend chance in the opposite direction. It is our way of dealing with the monsters of the word.”
“Like Hitler.” He growled and shook his head. “Bloody bastard.”
“Twisting one’s chances of victory to eliminate a heinous war, is but one way of dealing with the likes of him.” Mist finished with a grin.
“We also make very good spies.” Sif giggled and Gil felt the mood change again, this time filling the room with a peace of mind he so rarely had the chance to experience.
Even now they were here to save him, if only from his own thoughts and memories of the past. Like a gem they bent the rays of his fate and kept him from being swallowed into a P.T.S.D induced rage.
“I bet you were.” He laughed. “I can see you both now, standing in front of all those generals, revealing everything you’d heard. Their faces, oh to be a fly on the wall in that tent.”
“I told them not to trust the weasel to the east, or the one that lurked to their north. The only difference between the two were not the words they used, but the way they used them. You must read between the lines of such great praise. Look past their words unto their actions, only then will you learn the truth of the matter.”
Gil couldn’t help but wonder how history would have been different had the Valkyries not given influence to said generals in a time of great need. What would it have been like to speak nothing but German, or Japanese for that matter? At that thought, Mist laughed.
“Tomoe did not mind the language, but she detested the emperor and all of his brutality.” She sighed. “It was a tough call though. Your America was dealing just as devilishly in their schemes.”
“I trust Tomoe made her displeasure known, as did many Americans? I can’t imagine her keeping quiet.”
In his mind’s eye he could see her standing before the emperor demanding that he would turn the criminals over to her. He would, of course, deny her request and that elegant sword of her’s would see his head from his shoulders. Surely, they knew who they were dealing with.
“Tomoe’s situation was difficult as she had sworn to protect the emperor. What angered her was the brutality he instilled on not only the world, but his own people. Her Valkyrie self was at odds with oaths spoken long ago, and the morals that kept her alive then. She realized once they started murdering innocents, her oaths where nullified. Needless to say, she came to stay here permanently.
“War was war and Tomoe did what she needed to do.” He chuckled, reminded of another war that he was dying to know more about; but was this the right time to ask?
Biting the bullet, he opened his mouth and let the words roll out. “What happened during the Valkyrie Wars, Mist?” He felt the guilt rise almost instantly and needed to assure her it was alright, that she could speak of such things without being judged. “I felt your anger, my love. I only wish to know it all, so I can prepare for our future. I need to keep you safe, as you have kept me safe.”
Mist shifted uneasy.
“I love you, and from what I’ve heard, you’ve carried this burden long enough.” He smiled. “Talk to me.”
Mist’s eyes clouded over as the emotions hit her. “The story of Malice has been going on over more than five thousand years. No one knew what she was planning, though I had my suspicions. She had fallen for a male that none of us knew, yet with him she claimed she felt safe. The day her lover was taken from her was the day darkness opened the door and her beloved Marena seduced her over the threshold.” Mist let the tears fall down her face as the memories once kept hidden, flooding her mind. “She promised to return her lover, she promised lots of things, and Malice began to change.”
“She began hating those she once loved, began questioning everything. She could see the hate and the greed sweeping across the land, and how our mother would let it slide for the good of the Realm. She sank further into darkness, attacking villages and embarking on hunts, not even her own Petals could control her. They lost count of her altercations and soon enough, lost track of her.” Sif cut in as Mist caught her breath. “It was a troubling time for us all. Many had heard to her words and began to rebel; others used the civil wars for their own profit and greed. The realms fell into chaos as Valkyries began to choose sides…”
“And your mother created a veil so all would forget.” Gil closed his eyes and held Mist close.
“In all of it, Mist found herself in an endless battle with her own emotions. She wanted so badly to find her sister, she’d venture into the Shadowlands and those most loyal to her would follow…”
“I put dozens of our warriors at risk.” Mist whimpered.
“You did not order them to follow, my love.” Sif replied.
“I also did not stop to think of the war I would be starting. It was the fear of that war that caused my mother and her allies to do what they did to end the civil war and reunite the factions. Everyone forgot about her… all because I could not live without her.”
When the words stopped, the tears fell again and Mist laid her head on Gil’s shoulder. Sif laid her head on the Valkyrie’s back, offering what little comfort she could as they shared in Mist’s despair.
This was no longer a quest to destroy the Dark Queen, but the darkness within her. Malice had been nothing more than a female with a broken heart, and the beast within her, the one Mist’s people called her Host…
“I should have been smarter. I should have seen what she was going through, but I was too determined to prove I was the better sister, and I failed not only my mission, but also my sister.” She sobbed into his chest. “Oh Gods, Gil, we have to get her back.”
“We’ll get her, Mist.” He repeated the words he’d said a hundred times in moments just like this, though now, he was promising to get her back, not kill her. “We will help her escape the darkness; I promise.” He couldn’t believe he was saying it, for it made matters a whole lot harder, but he had to try.
Now that Mist and her closest friends could remember Malice, any mention of her death could lead to a mass panic attack. She was no longer the Goddess of Death, but a Valkyrie fallen into the clutches of darkness; and that darkness had a name, he was sure of it.
The storm of emotion slowly ebbed as Mist calmed down, still snuggling into his chest. Gil wiped her tears away and kissed her cheek.
“You once told me to tell you when something was bothering me, I think the same should go for you, too. We can’t help if you keep it a secret.” He smiled and kissed her again.
Mist answered in a soft, almost childlike voice, with her eyes a soft, sky-blue, “Alright.”
All that Gil could do was look at Sif with the same determined look on his face that he found on hers. This was a more vulnerable version of their Valkyrie; one they would try to bring out more often. Even the biggest, baddest assholes needed some time to regroup, and a total release of emotions was by far, the best way to go. Right now, their big baddass was laying in their arms and Gil continued to stroke her hair until her eyes closed. It was a different kind of feeling, a role reversal where he was now the one protecting her. It filled him with warmth and sent all sorts of tingles through his body. It felt good to be needed this way.
‘You must believe me, my love, I knew that she bore pain, but I had no idea she had let it go this far. She has lost more than just warriors, she has lost friends, she has lost her sister.’ Sif’s mind connected with his and he felt the weight of it all on his shoulders.
Malice was an innocent in all of this and Mist blamed herself for not seeing her sister’s pain before it was too late. Swallowed by grief, her judgment clouded, things had not gone well at all.
‘We must speak with Hippolyte, she may have seen something that will help us not only find Malice, but release her from the madness that consumes her.’