Nox and Grimm – Foxy Lady July 20, 2013Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
Tags: #fridayflash, flash fiction, Nox and Grimm, paranormal, serial fiction, serials
Loki rode through the cobblestone streets of town, whistling cheerfully all the while. There was a note in his pocket, one of Nox’s paper messenger birds. It said simply, ‘bring dinner for three to the workshop’. He had a picnic basket tied across the back of his saddle, the smell of warm bread wafted out from it. “Just like old times,” he thought.
It had been a long time since he was last at the workshop, but of all the places they’d been together, it was his favorite. It was where he’d first fallen for Nox. Literally and figuratively. He’d collapsed on her doorstep, wounded, and she’d taken him in without question and healed him. He could still remember that moment, the surprise when he saw who had saved him. Ice kindreds normally had harsh, chiseled features but Nox was soft and sweet, with those big blue eyes. It was like a finding a rose in the wilderness, where no garden had ever been.
He reined in his horse and dismounted in front of a plain brown stone building, which had a curious door with no doorknob. He took the basket in one hand and pressed the other to a small panel set into the frame. Casting marks lit up and crawled across its metal surface, followed by three loud clunks as the wards disengaged the locks.
“Hey honey, I’m home! And I brought…dinner?”
Grimm was sprawled out across the couch upstairs, as usual. The hound was arguing with a small, white fox that sat on the coffee table in front of him. He looked up as the door clanged shut. “Oh, it’s you, fireborn. Come on upstairs.”
“You should have told me you were bringing a date,” Loki said. “I would have gotten dinner for four.”
Grimm flattened his ears. “Very funny.”
The fox laughed so hard it fell over. “It’s hilarious!”
It was only then that Loki noticed the fox had big blue eyes. “Oh no,” he groaned. “What did you do?!”
The hound heaved a sigh. “We were trying to give me some control over my shape-shifting. Unfortunately Nox changed with me the first time we tried it – ”
“ – and now you can’t change her back,” Loki finished for him. “This is damned inconvenient.”
“That’s an understatement. I seem to be stuck this way as well now. I’m almost afraid to see what will happen if we try it a third time.”
“I told you, that casting mark needs to be more curved.”
Grimm growled at the fox. “Air doesn’t work like that.”
Nox tapped a stack of papers with her paw. “I got this from Galen’s notes on the key to Winds. I guarantee you, it does.”
“I should think after two thousand years I know a bit more about Air than you.”
“But you don’t know everything.”
Loki plunked the basket of food down between them. “All right, calm down you two. If I remember right shapeshifting takes a lot out of you. You’ll think better on a full stomach.”
Nox’s ears perked up and her nose twitched, but she gave the basket an uncertain look. “How do I eat like this?”
“Same way I always do,” Grimm replied. “Face first. Oh, but watch the nose. If you get sauce up there you will regret it.”
After several minutes, and a failed attempt by Loki not to laugh at Nox’s efforts, they started dissecting the casting. Loki pointed to the offending mark. “You said this was one of Galen’s making. Are you sure you know what it was meant for?”
“It was from the enchantments he was using to try and reverse the curse put on Grimm.”
“But are you sure that was all it did?” Loki said. He poured himself another glass of fire wine while he waited for her to mull that over.
It was Grimm that finally answered him. “It would have been very like Galen to try and take the curse on himself, to free me.”
“Oh, crud,” Nox said, her tail twitching fitfully. “You’re right. This would have transferred the enchantments to me. No wonder we’re stuck. Galen would have made sure the enchantments couldn’t snap back to you. I don’t think he counted on you willingly changing shape again though.”
“Or being soul-bound to you. We share our fates.”
“All right, we know what happened now,” Loki said. “Can you fix it?”
Nox and Grimm exchanged a long look.
“Well, hurry up and find a way to make that a Yes, luv,” Loki said. “This puts a serious crimp in my amorous intentions toward you. My morals are sketchy at best, but I draw the line at fluffy.”
He hadn’t realized a fox could blush, but somehow Nox managed it. Grimm let out howl of laughter. “Leave it to a fire kin to think with his hormones.”
“At least I’m honest!” Loki said, with an unrepentant grin.
Nox hopped off the table and scooted downstairs. “All right, let’s try it again. I think I know how to fix this.”
“Wow, you must be in a hurry to get some of those amorous intentions,” Grimm teased.
“Grimm!” she wailed, her cheeks glowing beneath the white fur.
Loki leaned against the railing of the loft and chuckled to himself. “Yep. Just like old times.”