She was waiting for me on the other side of the counter just as old and tired looking as the last time. I stood there and stared at her, her eyes were brown, her breasts pendulous, and her smile stained. No, this wasn't Freya. This was just a woman stuck in a little town in the middle of nowhere trying to make it through another day. A description that fit almost every woman I had met in the past few decades.
"The old man giving you a hard time?"
"No. You got my boots?"
"You got your ticket?"
"You never gave me a ticket."
She squinted at me for a couple of beats and her face changed. A raspy chuckle, a wheeze, and she said "Oh yeah. The magic boots man. My sister took care of that. Hold on."
She shuffled off into the back and I took a look out the window. The old man was gone and the morning was giving way to afternoon. Nobody else was out in the street and the town was quiet. Too quiet. I didn't like it.
I turned around and she was there. Freya.
"Who was the old lady?"
"Damn, she's ugly."
Freya laughed and sis's voice came from somewhere in the back, "I heard that."
"Yes. She didn't want believers so she is stuck for now in her old shell."
"That has to suck."
Freya didn't laugh. Not even a smile. "It does."
We stared at each other. I blinked first. She was the only person, and the person part was wrong which didn't make it feel any better, who could do that to me. Her eyes, they led places I wasn't willing to go. For the first time I wondered if Max looked away too. I doubted it.
"I would love to kill you." I told her.
I thought I detected a trace of sadness in her voice. I ignored it.
"You deserve to die."
She shrugged. "By your standards I do. I wish I could tell you what I know but instead I am going to help you learn it yourself."
I just stared at her. I really wanted to shoot her right between those pretty blue eyes but I had tried that before. It didn't work then and I doubted if it would now. Instead I asked her, "How so, and whats the price?"
"Blood and my name."