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Flash Fiction – Split Decision September 3, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
Tags: , ,

WeSeWriMo is done, and won!  Hray!  But now it is time to get back to my regular friday schedule for the series.

If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

The Marche Warden had come out of the mansion to stand by Mikael.  “I will repeat my son’s question; who, exactly, are you?”

Loki quirked up an eyebrow at that.  “I am Lucien’s choice of suitor for the Lady Nox.”

As the Warden looked between Loki and Serenna, a slow smile spread across his face.  “Oh ho, I see what game you are playing at here, Lady Ambassador.  But it won’t work, you will get no more concessions from me.  My youngest son and my word that I will sway the votes of the neutral Houses in the Convocation. Not a jot more!”

Serenna looked like she has swallowed something sour, but did not reply.

The Warden walked over to look Loki in the eye. “I’ve heard rumors of a duelist from the south.  Loki, is it? ” He hooked his thumbs in his belt.  “So what are you, hmm?  Some by-blow of old Kyrios?  Leave it to Lucien to find you, just when he needs someone to rattle that puffed up Morning Lord.  I tell you what boy, forget the girl, and I’ll give you a vote when the time comes to challenge your ‘uncle.’  You are going to need the support of men like me.  Think hard on that.”

Loki smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes.  “When I challenge my uncle, it will be at the point of a sword.  I will control the entire voting block of the south, and the Convocation along with it.  You are going to need the support of a man like me.  Think hard on that.”

The Warden stared at him for a long moment, then threw back his head and roared with laughter. “Hah!  Now I see why Lucien chose you, the clever bastard!  So, what did he offer to you?”

“Nothing that was not already mine.  The Dragon throne, and a chance to win the Lady’s heart,” he said.

Nox glared furiously at them. “I will not stand here and be bargained over like a horse at a fair. What next, will you check my teeth? I assure you, they are all there,” she said, and pushed past them to storm into the mansion. “I am not for sale!”

Loki tried to catch her hand. “Nox, wait!”

The Warden tossed an arm around Loki’s shoulders. “Leave her, boy. Women never see the sense in a business transaction like this.”  He steered Loki away from Serenna, who was silently fuming at being ignored.  He lowered his voice.  “Speaking of business, let’s get down to some real horse trading.  If you and I play our cards right, we can squeeze Lucien but good over this whole mess.”

Loki looked back over his shoulder for Nox, but all he saw was Mikael hurrying to follow her inside.

Nox stopped inside the great hall, near the weatherscope.  “Thanks for the help, Grimm. I needed it!”

“My pleasure.  If you cannot talk, Serenna won’t either.  She should know better than to battle at telepathy with me.” The hound did not materialize, preferring to keep the element of surprise if Serenna tried anything else.

Nox turned as she heard footsteps behind her.  “Loki, I…oh, Mikael.”

“Hi.  I want to apologize for all that out there.”  Mikail rubbed the back of his head, causing some of his hair to stick up.  He had always been the bookish sort; glasses, sandy hair and clothes perpetually rumpled because he was too busy thinking to bother with them.  He gave her an earnest look.  “I swear, I thought you knew all about this. The Ambassador assured us you were pleased at the match.”

“I’m sure she said a lot of things,” Nox said tartly. “I’m sorry you got pulled into this.”

“It’s okay. I’m not upset. Well, maybe a little disappointed.  I always knew I’d marry for politics, but it would have been nice to have someone I could talk to.  What did you used to call the other girls?”

“Vapid?” she said, with a wry grin.

“That’s the word. You can’t hold an intelligent conversation with any of them. Although I suppose they’re pretty.”  He got a panicked look on his face.  “You are too.  I mean that.  Pretty, not vapid.”

Nox had a hard time keeping a straight face.  “You haven’t changed a bit, Mika.”

He gave her a sheepish look.  “Did I at least sound like a bruiser out there, demanding to know what was going on? Father would expect that.”

“You were the perfect outraged suitor,” she assured him.

He pushed his glasses up on his nose, and thrust a hand out to her.  “No matter what happens, I want us to still be friends.  Shake on it?”

“Of course, Mika.”

“Great!  Oh, hey,” he said, his face lighting up. “Before I forget, some of the Maestro’s old students have started getting together for drinks down at the Brickhouse café.  You’d be welcome to join us.”

“I’d like that.”

“Good. That’s great! Well, I had better go, before father starts roaring for me. You know how he is.”  He hurried out, then ran back to kiss her hand. “I have to do that. Sorry, he’ll ask.”

Nox couldn’t hold back her laughter anymore. “Go on, I’ll be there in a minute.”

Grimm’s voice rumbled in her mind. “That was more congenial than I was expecting.”

“Mika is a sweetheart.  And completely clueless. He had no idea all the girls at school were dying to fix his hair.”

“All the girls?” Grimm asked archly.

“The vapid ones. I prefer guys that need a bit less mothering.”

I don’t know, Loki may need a little mothering after that harangue you gave him.”

Nox made a face at him.  “You enjoy winding me up, don’t you?”

Grimm snickered.  “We had better get back out there as well, before your mother tries to sell you as a time-share deal.”

“Thanks, Grimm, I was just starting to relax.  Now I’m properly paranoid again.”

“What are friends for?”

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1. Gracie - September 3, 2010

Aw, Mika’s sweet, but he’s not Loki. I can’t wait for someone to slap Serenna, though. The nerve.

Just keeps on getting better, this.

techtigger - September 5, 2010

I think anyone would pale in comparison to Loki 😉 He’s a hard act to follow!

2. Laura Eno - September 3, 2010

Grimm to the rescue! I second Gracie…when is someone going to slap Serenna?

techtigger - September 5, 2010

*lol* but don’t you just love to hate her? 😀

3. Marisa Birns - September 4, 2010

“We had better get back out there as well, before your mother tries to sell you as a time-share deal.” Especially laughed at that!

Agree with Gracie. Mika is wonderful – for someone else.

techtigger - September 5, 2010

😀 Mika is getting no love at all *lol*

If serenna keeps this up, Nox will have a whole harem of men from various political deals. Hmmm…. (just kidding!)

4. ganymeder - September 4, 2010

I don’t really trust Mika. He’s a little *TOO* sweet and clueless. I’m thinking he needed to touch her hand for some sort of magical trick…

techtigger - September 5, 2010

*muhhhwaahahaahaa!* I have them paranoid, yes! (oh wait, did I type that out loud? 😉

5. Mari Juniper - September 5, 2010

Ohh, Mika is very nice! Too bad Loki is irresistible, eh? lol

Can’t wait to see Loki’s plans put into action. 😉

6. Maria Kelly - September 7, 2010

Agree with all the other comments. Loki is surely meant for Nox and Serenna definitely is in the need of some serious slapping. Another great installment!

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