"I've always wanted to know how to use all these," Annabelle said excitedly, swinging the small axe around with both hands. Valkyrie had agreed to her request for weapons training because, hey, if she was going to be fighting mythological villains now she really needed to know how to do more than poke their feet with a sharpened trowel. Useful for motivating lazy undergrads, perhaps, but not so useful against the superpowered undead. If only Annabelle's old adviser could see her now, she would so rub it in his face about the proper way to handle Nordic weapons.
Valkyrie's hand shot out to stop the axe before Annabelle could knock over a rack of swords, a faintly amused expression on her face. "Calm yourself, Annabelle. Save some enthusiasm for training.”
“Sorry, sorry,” Annabelle breathed, not bothering to hide her smile. Learning to use the weapons was only part of the appeal, spending time with a literal blonde and blue-eyed goddess was higher on the list.
“Shall we?” Valkyrie let go of the axe and gestured to the adjacent training room. Asgardia was full of such conveniences, and Annabelle had marveled as they walked through the streets on their way to visit the All-Mother.
Misty was off exploring on her own, likely on purpose to leave Annabelle an opening to have some private flirting time. “Yes, ma’am,” Annabelle answered with a sloppy salute.
The room was plain, but an elegantly carved Asgardian design wound around the marble walls, and Annabelle was glad to discover they would be completely alone. The sun streamed down from several skylights, giving the room a natural warm glow and gleaming on Valkyrie’s brilliant hair. Annabelle watched her walk a circuit around the room, hands on her hips, before she gave a satisfied nod. “I have not used this room before, it is too small for my sparring sessions, but it will be perfect for you.”
Valkyrie came to stand behind Annabelle, reaching her arms around her to place her hands properly on the hilt of the axe. “Like this, not too tight. Do not lock your arms.”
Annabelle could feel the firmness of Valkyrie’s muscles through her clothes, and it was extremely distracting. “Right, not too tight, don’t lock up. Got it.”
“A proper swing is like this.” Valkyrie’s melodic voice was right in her ear, her hands slowly and deliberately guiding Annabelle’s arms back and around in a slow arc. “Don’t lock your arms.”
“Sorry,” Annabelle mumbled. Oh boy, was she in trouble. Every hormone was screaming at her to turn her head and mash their mouths together. Instead Annabelle tried to focus harder on her movements. “Is this better?”
“Yes, very good. Now, you can also move like this.” Valkyrie switched her grip and guided Annabelle’s arms again. This time, she also used her body to prompt Annabelle to shift her weight with the swing. “Good. Now I will show you how to block.”
If Valkyrie took any notice Annabelle’s discomfort, she did not let on. Valkyrie moved to face her, picking up the sword she had brought in with her. Annabelle mimicked her stance, but kept her hands in their proper positions on the axe, admiring the fluidity and controlled power of Valkyrie’s movements. When she swung her sword slowly forward Annabelle brought her axe up to meet it a little too fast and it bounced back with a clang, throwing her off balance. Valkyrie hadn’t moved at all, she was like stone. That was so hot.
“Whoops, that didn’t go well.” Annabelle regained her balance and grinned uncertainly. “You’re crazy strong. And I’m, well, not. So why are you letting me help you? Even if you train me, I still don’t stand a chance against anyone that’s a match for you.”
“I seem to recall that I wasn’t the one insisting you accompany me,” Valkyrie answered easily. “Raise your weapon, we have much to cover.”
“No, wait a minute. That’s not an answer,” Annabelle said. She left the axe at her side, hoping for some answer to her curiosity. “I really do want to know why you’re letting me tag along. I’m not going to end up a human sacrifice or something, am I?” The last bit was a joke, mostly. She really hoped it wasn’t a possibility, anyway.
Valkyrie sighed and lowered her sword. “Great courage doesn’t follow great strength. It is usually the other way around. The Valkyrior require great courage, strength can be gained, as I am teaching you now.”
“Oh,” was all Annabelle could think to say. Of course, what Valkyrie said made perfect sense philosophically, but it still felt like the greatest compliment in the universe. And she let her desire win out, stepped forward and planted her lips right on Valkyrie’s. Annabelle had never been a shy woman when it came to people she liked, and that apparently extended to goddesses as well. Valkyrie didn’t pull away, but responded positively by kissing back, with tongue. Annabelle’s brain short-circuited and she might have moaned a little bit.
Annabelle peeled herself away from Valkyrie, trying to decide if she should be embarrassed or not. She could feel her cheeks were already warm and flushed. Valkyrie didn’t look at all surprised, but there was a ghost of a smile on her face. “You’re making a habit of this, my friend.”
“Yeah, get used to it?” Annabelle laughed nervously as she stepped back and raised her axe.