You are really dischuffed, they don't have your favourite apples today. The merchant mournfully squawks and fusses around you, but you feel irritated. Let's face it, you had a bit of a row with your husband at the brekkie, and now everything gets your knickers in a twist. You are giving a red apple in your hand a death glare, and the merchant blabbers away.
"Take it, my lady, try it. You will never to go back to your old preferences."
"I am rather constant in my tastes, dear sir." You give him your best snooty stare. You still have the skills from the goddess times. "If I like a thing, I never want another."
Nonetheless, you take a bite from the fruit and turn around to walk on. You bump into someone, and the apple falls out of your hand. Bollocks, pity, it wasn't that bad, perhaps a bit too tangy for your taste. And then with a shock you stare at the red apple with a white where you bit, now on the palm of the person you bumped into. It is a man, tall and lanky, he has knelt with a mental speed to catch it. Your eyes slide from the narrow elegant hand, with strong long fingers, to a masculine wrist, along a forearm clad in a barbarian clobber, to the wide shoulders, and finally you meet a pair of the most astonishing green eyes you have seen in your life. He has a pale face, narrow, striking cheekbones. He gives you a wide smile, all his even white teeth are on display, and then he straightens up. Gee, that's a hell of a lanky streak of piss!
"My lady," he bows slightly and stretches the open palm to you with your apple on it. Blimey, your knees literally buckle. Fucking fuck, that voice has to be sodding illegal! He slightly tilts his head, a strand of black hair falls on his eyes, and he smiles even wider, as if it were possible. Seriously, he is bloody mesmerizing! OK, Phro, repeat after yourself, you are a married woman, you are a married woman! And he technically isn't even attractive, it's just the intensity of the stare and the fucking voice! Take the bloody apple and go home, Phro. "Your fruit, darling."
You grab the bleeding apple and give him a very unnatural smile. What is fucking wrong with you, Phro? In the last twelve years you haven't even looked at a single bloke besides the one you shag every night. Seriously, you can count the nights when you didn't on the fingers of one hand. Well, maybe two hands. OK, you are exaggerating, but you get the picture. And all of a bloody sudden you are ogling a skinny git in black leather trousers. Seriously, is he not chafing there? Bloody fuck, not thinking about the content of his trousers!
"Thank you, kind sir." You swirl on your heels and are pretty much ready to sprint home, when the skinny git's voice behind you makes you freeze.
"Astonishing. It has only been twelve years, and you managed to have forgotten everything. Do you have no remnants of your powers, Aphrodite?"
You slowly turn around. Breathe, Phro, breathe… The tosser is standing, studying you, and you gulp. Fuck, it's like being under a stare of a poisonous snake. And also you are slightly randy. It's the sodding voice. And the cheekbones. Fuck…
"Who are you?" He gives you a benevolent smile and makes a wide step towards you. Suddenly his chest, and my oh my, there are muscles on this lean body, is right in front of your eyes, fuck, not looking, not looking, and he picks up your hand. He lifts it to his lips. They are thin. Aha, concentrate on the flaws, Phro. Damn, he is all one big flaw, why is it working then? Bugger. He has very long fingers, and your hand is fully enveloped in his. Seriously, does he need to be so slow?! It feels like he is bloody fondling it!
"I am Loki of Asgard. And I'm burdened with glorious purpose." You gulp. Damn Norse barbarians! How come you didn't feel any power in him?! You might be mortal these days, but you still have your barmy ESP most of the time.
"Which is?" You give him a stern stare. You are good at it, you have four sprogs.
"I came to steal you away, Aphrodite." His lips are finally pressed to your knuckles, and your body jolts. Alrighty, you are in trouble. You don't know what the fuck is going on, but your now former goddess ESP is ringing. You gently pull your hand out of his, not without noticing his fingers twitch in a gentle caress, the pulps brushing your palm, bugger, bugger, bugger, and you smile to him pleasantly.
"You must have been misinformed, Maker of Mischief." A wee bit of flattery never harmed anyone, especially when dealing with men. And especially with male gods. And especially the Northerners, they are all bonkers there. You are also slowly backing off from him. "I am no Aphrodite. She rules the love of the world from her golden palace on Mount Olympus." He gives you a sly smile, and you remember why he is called Serpent Tongued. OK, you are officially bricking it.
"Do not think me dim, darling. I know who you are." He makes a step and turns out behind you, and you shiver. Bollocks, where are your multiple neighbours and chatty merchants when you need them? You are quite obviously assaulted by some barbarian in leather kecks and a dark green tunic. Hello, Phro really would appreciate some help here! "Do not hope for any assistance, Aphrodite. The world has forgotten about you as soon as you took this apple from my hand." You stare at the fruit on your palm, and you hear a soft chuckle behind your back. You shortly wonder how corporeal he is. If you knee him, will it hurt at least a wee bit? You sincerely hope so.
"Are you considering violence, darling?" Damn, can he read minds? "Worry not, I can't read minds." Fuck. "But you are clenching your charming little fist. Are you imagining how it meets my face?" He is in front of you again and slightly turns his face, as if inviting you to sock him. Bloody tempting if you ask Aphrodite here. And damn his cheekbones! The corner of his thin lips lifts, and he gives you a look from under his lashes. "Well, darling?"
You make another step back, and realize that indeed no one is looking at you. As if you are bloody invisible. You look at him again. Alright, you need to think here. He is obviously slightly off the trolley, you are no goddess anymore. He's got the wrong girl. As you already said, them Northerners are a barmy lot. You have dealt with them before, much less than the other gods though. You know that there were some exchange programs and shite, but they don't have a goddess of love. They have Freyja, but she is also in charge of war and death there, you mean, how mental is that? The union should interfere! Do they bloody expect one chick to do all the work? Apollo had some business with their Bragi, but it ended tits up. The temperaments of the two gangs obviously don't mix well.
"What do you want from me, Silver Tongue?" Gods, that is a hell of a creepy smirk!
"I came to give you new life, goddess." He stretches his hand towards you. "As I can see, you have given up your divinity, and your memories with it, but I will grant them back to you. I come with glad tidings, of a world made free. Come with me, and you will be the queen you were destined to be." Right… The bloke is a nutter. You square your shoulders and give him the stare.
"Are you out of your frozen mind?" For a second his smug face wavers. Oh, that got to him? Does he have some aggro with their weather? Duh, it sucks. "I am mortal these days. I am married as well, I have children." He smirks, and you really don't like this expression on his face.
"But you are not, Aphrodite. You are not married, at least not to the man who waits for you at your mortal home." What the fuck?.. "As far as I know your people do not accept polyandre."
"OK, A. Lacedaemonians do. And B., I would remember if I were married before marrying Heph. What the fuck are you talking about?" His eyes widen.
"You truly do not remember." His voice is low and disbelieving. Seriously, it really didn't need to become more… enthralling. Shite, it is fit. "Amazing..." Alrighty, you are done with the bollocks.
"I am going home now, Loki of Asgard. Take off whatever sodding spell you put on me, and let me go. I am not a goddess anymore, and I am happy about it. I have a lunch to make, otherwise my oldest one will snack on sarnies again, so… Toodlepip!" You turn around, stride ahead and walk face flat into an invisible wall. You yelp and rub your nose.
"There's not many people who can walk away from me, goddess. You are obviously not one of them."
"Let me go, you wanker!" Yeah, you lost your bottle. "I am going home. Right now. I have known men like you, gods and mortals, who thought that they could tell me what to do. That didn't end well for them!" You step closer to him, the top of your head hardly reach his clavicles and point your finger to his long bony nose. "Let me go this instant!"
"Here you are wrong, goddess. There are no men like me." He is still smiling, tosser. You grind your teeth.
"Zeus Almighty didn't manage me, Trickster. What makes you think you will?" He smiles wider, his arm suddenly snakes around your waist, he pulls you up, flush along his body, and to his lips.
There are two things to say here. Firstly, you start to fight right away. No sudden weakness overcoming you like a daft bint in a trashy poem by Sappho, no heaving bosom, you don't have any, no treacherous moan escaping your lips. No, you start a gods honest punch up right away. You are kicking, scratching, and even try to butt head him.
Secondly, it feels bloody familiar. Although you could swear a second before his lips touched yours, you had never seen the tosser before in all your bloody eternal life. His lips are firm and cold, demanding, he somehow manages to block all your blows at the same time, seriously, how many arms does he have? Considering two of them are wrapped around you, one cold palm on the back of your neck, another on your waist. His chest is rock hard under this tunic of his, you know for sure, you tried to punch it. You might have bleeding bruised your knuckles. His eyes are closed, he has surprisingly long lashes, and then he moves away from you and opens his green eyes. They are mischievous, but there is also something else there. Bloody hell, what did you get yourself into?
He puts you on the ground, and you consider kicking him in the shin. You decide against it. You are wearing sandals and will break your toes for sure. "You have to stop fighting me, darling. It will be much easier if you just give in and accept me."
"It would be much easier if you did me a great favour and jumped under a drove of running bulls, Snake Hearted." You wipe your mouth with the back of your hand, and he chuckles.
"Tell me, darling, who is that man you are so much in a hurry to return to? Surely, no mortal."
"Hephaestus, the god of smithery, and he will whoop your arse before you can say 'I once gave a birth to an eight-legged horse.'"
You are hoping to piss him off, but instead he starts laughing. It is an open, sincere laughter, wrinkles in the corners of his eye, and blimey, the tip of his tongue sticks out between the rows of white teeth. It also sounds odd, somehow like "ehehehehe."
"Oh, darling, I have missed you!" He chuckles couple more times. And then he cups your chin with his large palm and leans close to your face. He really needs to bend to do it, and it's barmy. With his tall frame he is like those zigzag rulers Heph uses when he dabbles in carpentry. Oh Heph, where are you when the shite like this happens?! The trickster looks into your eyes almost tenderly, what the fuck… And murmurs under his breath. And it really shouldn't work, but it does. "C'mon, darling, let us go home. Do not fight me, love." You open your mouth to protest, but he leans in closer, his lips brush your cheek, then cheekbone, and he whispers in your ear, "Come back to me, Sigyn."
The story is technically a sequel to my fic "Stop, Hammer Time!" currently available on fanfiction.net. The story will be taken off in November to be turned into a Kindle book, for which you'll be able to vote in a publishing contest to win a FREE copy. I'll keep you posted. You can also keep track of the process on my Writer's Facebook page, or on my Blog.
Illustrations to the story are soon to be posted on my DevianArt Page.