I watched, rather I attempted to watch, but my focus was gone. I relieved the moment over and over. I thought of different things to say. I sure thought about different things to do. Yet, behind them all was the look I had seen in her eyes. Then I got to thinking about Night. I realized that perhaps my going off to find Carol's kid might not go over really well.
Then I just began to get angry. Angry at myself. Angry at how complicated everything had to be. Angry at Carol. "Why the relief in her eyes? Was I that unappealing? Was something hanging out of my nose?" The night went fast. Far too fast. I was feeling as reluctant to face the dawn as I once did when I was coming off a night spent getting wasted. "Oh well" I told myself "Shit happens."
I reached out mentally for Freya, half hoping I wouldn't get her. Of course I did. Nice and clear too. They had rolled since the last time we had talked. As usual she appeared in a window inside my head, my webcam goddess. She was in a good mood too. As usual we dispensed with formalities.
"My! My! I liked the artwork. Couldn't you have cut off some heads?" She flashed me an image of what the main Horde had done earlier to a village. Heads on poles and burning houses.
"Yeah, well, I was in a bit of a hurry." I sent her my images.
"Too clean G. I understand the rush but you need to find the time to leave our trademark."
"I got it Freya. Heads on poles and Freya written in blood."
"Yes. I like the blood part especially. So what's up? You want to talk to Max and Night?" I could hear the amusement in her voice "Or just Night?"
I realized that I had better lock away the images of last nights unveiling. This was going to be complicated enough as it was. "No. I need all three of you on. Can you do that right now?"
"Sure! Hang on." Damn she was chipper. I guess getting your name written in blood was a good thing when you were a goddess. I was going to have to check her teeth next time. Maybe she had vampire in her. My musing was interrupted as Night and Max came on line, The blast of affection, hell love, from Night was so focused that it literally rocked me back a step.
"Hi Night. Hey Max."
Night knew right away "What's wrong?"
"Well this was going to fun for Max too" I thought. I saw his eyes narrow, Damn, he must have caught that. Then I started sending images. As soon as Carol flashed by I felt Night mentally stiffen and become more guarded. Max, that asshole, didn't act like it was a big deal. All he added was "Nice work." Night knew something. I have no clue how she did as I didn't send the part where Carol had asked me to find her kid. I wanted to do that "Live" so to speak.
So I explained what Carol had asked of me and how I had agreed to look for her son. Then I waited for storm. It didn't come like I expected. Freya was unreadable which she could do. An unfair advantage I always thought. Max was amused. Underneath that was anger. He was doing a good job of masking it, but I still felt and heard it. Night wasn't angry. She was livid. "That worthless, cheating, no good bitch. I am going to cut her fucking throat and pull her tongue out through the slit. She fucking played you but she sure as hell isn't going to play me." All this was as cold as steel and as empty of anything but the desire to do exactly what she said she was going to do. Then she switched to Chinese. I really wished I had a mute button then.
Then she flipped back to English and I could feel her eyes bore into me. "Did you fuck her?"
I opened up. I hoped I was doing it just for her. It wasn't where I had wanted to go but I realized if I didn't I would lose her. It stopped her dead. I heard her whisper "Oh G..." I waited. I knew there was going to be more. "Keep her out of my sight Max!" Then she was gone. Everyone was silent for a couple beats. Then I said "Well, that went over nicely." Only Max laughed and that wasn't for very long or very loud. Freya stayed silent. After about 40 beats she said "Fine. This can work to our benefit. I see possibilities forming already." I felt her attention focus on me. I mean really focus.
She said "Do you two realize yet what I expect of you?" I'm glad it was a rhetorical question and she kept going because I was getting ready to say "Good personal hygiene?"
"Max. You will be a General and you will lead the Horde in battle. Such a battle it will be too. One that will be spoken of for a thousand years. You Gardener. You will never lead an army. Yet you too will be known." She paused, then said "As my Champion." You are Fire and Steel." She paused, then said "I would expect nothing less of you Gardener. You would no longer be you if you had answered her in any other way."
Her words rang in the space between us. My first thought was to say "Thanks Coach." Instead I said "Send me the dogs Freya. I want Woof."
Her reply was what I wanted to hear "It will be done."