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Flash Fiction – Venus and Mars November 11, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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The Nine Pins was a favorite watering hole for merchants.  It was situated on the crossroads of two major caravan routes, had easy access to several different territories and boasted a selection of beer that was second to none. Loki sat at the bar, sampling a nutty stout while watching a willowy blond Water kindred bury dart after dart in the center of a target.  He waited till she was done destroying her latest challenger before buying her a drink.

Chandra lifted the glass in a small salute and downed the shot.  “So, what brings you all the way out here, Red?”

“Business.  Nox and Grimm are busy rebuilding that waypost out on the border of Winds, and they need supplies.”

She pulled up a seat and leaned against the bar. “Yes, but why are you here? Do you speak for Winds now?”

“I, dear lady, am here because I volunteered.  And I was hoping to run into you,” he admitted, taking a sip of his own drink. “I need some advice.”

She gave him a flat glare. “No.”

“I haven’t even asked the question yet.”

“No, I am not going to tell you how to get that sweet young woman into bed with you.”

“Whatever gave you the idea I was after that?”

She gave him a skeptical look. “Oh, I don’t know, maybe it’s because you spent the past ten years doing your best impression of a gigolo?”

“Hey now, I never charged for it,” he said, with a roguish grin.

Chandra rolled her eyes. “I rest my case.”

“Oh come on, CC, be a sport,” he said, trying to look pathetic. “I know how to catch a woman’s attention, but I never actually wanted to keep it before. You’ve got to help me.”

She let out a heavy sigh.  “I am going to regret this.  All right, just stop with the puppy dog eyes, will you?”

“Deal.”

Chandra ordered another drink, and downed it as quickly as the first. “So, what seems to be the problem?”

Loki only sipped at his own, to be sociable. He knew better than to try and out-drink a Water kin. “The woman I love is the bravest person I have ever met. Nox will stare down a charging chimaera, take a minute to aim and then wait another second or two just to be sure of the shot. And yet,” he said, with more than a bit of chagrin, “if I so much as put an arm around her she nearly jumps out of her skin. I’d swear she was terrified of going on a date with me.”

Chandra chuckled.  “If she’s afraid to go home with you I’d say she’s got an uncommon amount of sense.”

“Very funny,” he said, sourly.

“I thought so.”

Loki swirled the ale around in his half-empty tankard, staring into it without really seeing it. “I don’t want her to be scared of me. I would never hurt her. I’d sooner rip my own heart out.”

Chandra leaned back a little. “You’re serious.”

“She’s the one,” he said, with a little half-smile. “I bet you never thought you’d hear me say that.”

“Wow. I think I need another drink.”  She ordered a tankard of summer ale and they both sat, nursing their beers in silence for a while.  Chandra finally put hers down. “Okay Red.  Let’s start with the basics. Have you talked to her?”

He made a rude noise.  “We talk all the time.”

“About yourself?  Your family? Your foster parents?  How about me and my brothers, does she even know we’re friends?”  Chandra hauled back and slugged him in the arm, hard enough to get a startled ‘ouch’ out of him. “That’s from Dylan, by the way. He says you’re a sneaky lying prat, for not telling us you were a Lord and making him buy all the beer.”

Loki laughed and rubbed at his arm. “I’ll make it up to you all, I promise.”

“So, have you told her anything?”

“She never asked.”

“Because she’s too polite and well bred to pry,” Chandra said. “Look, I know why you didn’t tell us your real identity. But you’re not ten years old and hiding from your uncle’s assassins anymore. If you love her as much as you say, then you had damned well better let her in.”

Loki looked a bit pained.  “Guys don’t really do the whole talking about feelings thing. Are you sure I can’t just buy her flowers?”

Chandra threw her hands up in disgust. “That’s it, I’m done.”

He laughed and pulled her back down onto her bar stool. “I was joking CC, please, sit.”

“You are going to have to be more than just a charming rogue to keep her, you know that?”

“That’s why I’m here talking to you.  I wouldn’t trust anyone else’s advice.”

Chandra looked somewhat mollified. “Well, I am practically your big sister. Goodness knows you spent enough time in our house.  I still remember when you first moved in with your foster parents. You were so quiet, and I already had four brothers. I figured, how much noisier could it get with one more boy hanging around?”

They shared a laugh at that. “Blame your brothers. They made sure I came out of my shell,” Loki said, but his smile faded a little. “Do you really think talking will make a difference?”

“It’s a good place to start. At least she won’t be dating a stranger.”

“Hmm. I never thought about it that way. Thank you.”

“Any time, Red.”

He tossed back the last of his beer. “So, can I challenge you to a game of darts?”

She went back to glaring at him. “First you ply me with drinks, and then you want a game?”

Loki was the soul of innocence. “You always think the worst of me. Barkeep, another round for the lady.”


<–Previous   –Beginning–  Next->

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.

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Comments»

1. John Wiswell - November 11, 2011

This feels like a holiday party for serial characters. Just keep Loki from the mistletoe.

techtigger - November 11, 2011

*lol* thank goodness they haven’t got copy machines in this world, or they’d be scanning their buts and emailing it after a few more drinks 😀

2. ~Tim - November 12, 2011

“I know how to catch a woman’s attention, but I never actually wanted to keep it before.” Now, that is a dilemma.

techtigger - November 14, 2011

glad you liked the line *lol* I based Loki on errol flynn from the movie don juan, so much fun to write outrageous lines like that! 😀


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