COMING JUNE 20, 2017
Both of them glared at me. Good, I’d given them a common ground to stand on. “I know you’re both ready to shove me in a snow bank but really, you need to talk. We don’t have time or energy to deal with strained feelings here.”
With that, I dropped back, not giving them a chance to yell. I made my way over to Tam, who was walking with Hans and Greta. Montran and Tymbur were back of us, and Laren was walking with Shevron and Leonard.
“You stirring up trouble again?” Tam’s eyes twinkled.
“Always. If I don’t, who will?”
“Good point.” He shaded his face as the sun slanted down to strike us full on. “We’re making good time.”
A thought struck me. I turned to Greta. “Didn’t you miss your flying up ceremony?”
“Yes, I did.” She scuffed the snow. “I was supposed to become a full Valkyrie this week but then the shit hit the fan. I could have stayed at the temple when the Peninsula of the Gods closed their borders, but I didn’t want to leave Hans. And the ceremony…Well…it wouldn’t have felt right. Not with all of you out here. I’m not worried, though. I completed all my lessons and the only thing left is the actual ritual. Though it would have been handy to have my wings now.”
“Wings? You actually get wings?” I studied her face, trying to figure out if she was joking. But her expression stayed steady as a rock.
She laughed. “Feathers and all. Yes.”
I started to answer but at that moment, a shouting match erupted between Shevron and her son.
“I told you to shut your mouth, son. You’re only fifteen and you don’t know half the crap you think you do.” Shevron’s hands were on her hips. She was far more pale than Jason, who looked like he should be right out of Bifrost. She was platinum blonde with gleaming blue eyes. She usually wore dark eye makeup and a rich blackberry lipstick, but for the past few days she’d gone without, and she looked as pale as the backdrop of snow.
Leonard was sulking, scuffing the ground. He was at that age where everything was a challenge. He kicked a pile of snow as Jason headed over to them. I forced myself to stay out of things, even though I was an honorary member of the family. They were blood and if Shevron wanted Jason to back off, she would tell him.
“Are you backtalking your mother again?” Jason towered over his nephew, who was still lean, lanky and short. Crossing his arms over his chest, Jason glared him down. “Well, are you?”
“You’re not my father,” Leonard mumbled just loud enough for everybody to hear.
“Apologize to your uncle,” Shevron leaned in, hands on her hips. “And then you apologize to me.”
Leonard was struggling. He crossed his arms against what they were saying and for a moment, refused to answer. Another moment and he mumbled something that sounded like an apology, then stalked off to the side of the trail where he walked alone.
Shevron gave Jason an exasperated look and then, after a moment, she headed over to talk to Len. Jason returned to us.
“Damned kid. He knows better than treat his mother like that. If we were back in Seattle, the Cast would knock some sense into him.”