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Flash Fiction – A Solstice Gift December 24, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
Tags: , ,

This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

Today’s episode is the annual holiday special – this one is set 20 years before the current story, and introduces Loki’s father.  Happy Holidays!

Kyrios stood out like a sore thumb in the cool, marble halls of the House of Ice. The Lord of the House of Fire was not a huge man, but he had booming laugh and personality so big he seemed to fill up any room he was in.  Add to that the wavy, reddish hair worn long in the fashion of the time, and a thick curling beard that came down to a point below his chin, and there was no way to miss him in a room where white hair and clean-shaven faces were the norm.


Lucien sat down next to Serenna in a window seat.  They had set their annual Wintertide party in the solarium out of deference to their friend, as it was the warmest room in the mansion.  Kyrios sat in a wing-backed chair, making faces at the baby in his lap.

“This one can’t be yours, Luc.  She smiles too much! You never smile like that,” he said, blowing a raspberry that made the baby giggle.

Lucien set down the drinks he had brought for them. “I am Ice. My face would crack.”

Kyrios laughed and winked at Serenna.  “It’s true. He keeps a bottle of glue in his pocket at all times, just in case.”

She smiled indulgently at their old friend.  “I am surprised that Eva let you come, what with her expecting again.”

“She all but threw me out! She told me, quite tartly mind you, that she has done this before and my hovering was driving her mad,” he said, with an amused snort. “Eva is the sweetest woman in the world, except when she’s pregnant.  I figured that out after the first time, it’s best to say yes dear, and stay out of her way.”

Serenna frowned at him. “Eva is never anything but sweet.  I was never like that either; you men are just too sensitive.”

Lucien murmured, “Yes dear,” and Kyrios roared with laughter.

Serenna scowled at her husband, and he got up out of his seat. “I had better check on the supply of wine,” he said, making Kyrios laugh even harder.  She grabbed her husbands’ hand and pulled him back to his seat, joining in the laughter.

“All right you two jokers.  You are making Nox laugh so hard she is getting the hiccups.”

Kyrios patted the baby on the back.  “You are a champion straight-man Luc.  We should toss the whole Lord thing and go on tour as a comedy act.”

“If you can convince our wives, I will go saddle the horses.”

Serenna twined her fingers in her husbands’ hand to keep him from going anywhere. “Do you know if the baby is a boy or a girl yet?”

“A boy, if you ask Cole. I think if he could will a baby brother into existence, he would do it.”  He bent down to tickle the baby with his beard.  “I wouldn’t mind a little girl though.  I know Eva wants one.”  He looked up at Serenna, mischief in his eyes. “You need to corner Luc a little more often if you’re going to keep up with us.”

“Ky!  You are terrible!” she said, taking a sip of her drink to cover her discomfiture.

Lucien gave his wife a slight smile. “Maybe in a few years.”

“Hmm, that’s what Eva said after the first one. Give me a few years to recover my girlish figure before you go ruining it again,” he said, with a roguish smile.

A rise in the conversation at the far end of the room caught Lucien’s attention. “More guests. If you will excuse me?”

Serenna got up too. “I had better get the baby’s bottle. Do you mind holding her for a minute, Ky?”

“Not at all. I need to get back in practice for when mine arrives.”  The baby had latched onto his beard, and was trying to pull herself upright.  “Oof, you might swing a sword like your daddy yet!”

“Not if I can help it. She will be a little lady.”

“And a lovely one too, Serenna. Go on, before she eats my nose. Although, it’s so crooked from all those bar fights, I doubt anyone would notice.”

Once Serenna was gone, he gave the baby a conspiratorial smile.  “I have a gift for you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone.” She gurgled and bounced in his lap. “It’s a deal then.  Gifts like this are usually given on the day you are born, but I think we can bend the rules a bit to give you a belated solstice gift, hmm?”  He brushed a hand over her downy soft hair.  “I give you a warm heart, so that you never lose that big smile.  It would be all too easy to do, surrounded by all this ice. Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I love your father like a brother, but he can be a bit of a hard case. I’ll need all the help I can get to remind him to unbend every so often.”

Points of light, like a field of stars lit in the depths of her dark blue eyes, and faded again. “Merry Solstice, little Nox.”  He chuckled and rescued his beard from her grasp. “Oopsy daisy, here’s your mom.  I had better give you back before we get into any more trouble together.  Remember though, no telling,” he joked, and the baby gave him a big, happy smile.

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1. TEC4 - December 24, 2010

That’s so nice! I’d love to get a solstice gift, too! Well done.

techtigger - January 3, 2011

thank you! and belated happy solstice to you 😀

2. Deanna Schrayer - December 26, 2010

This is beautiful Angie. You set the scene so well I felt I was there, watching unseen from a corner.

Happy holidays!

techtigger - January 3, 2011

Happy Holidays! I always love pulling out bits of back story, and turning them into shorts. Lets me fill in a bit of the scenery around the main story line 🙂

3. marijun - December 31, 2010

I love Kyrios! More of him, please! I wonder how would it be a certain son of his telling family stories, heheh.

Excellent early portrait of Lucien and Serenna, Angie, and the solstice gift warms my heart too. Cool idea! 🙂

techtigger - January 3, 2011

thank you! 🙂

I plan on doing a few more one-shots with him, loki’s father was quite a character 😉 Have one started, when he and lucien were very young, and first met serenna. I may post it once the current story arc with the firethorns is done.

marijun - January 4, 2011

Wheee! Can’t wait for it! 😀

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