Grimnirs (Runes Series Book 3)

By: Ednah Walters

Eirik

I couldn’t move if I tried. I was stuffed and exhausted. Being the guest of honor wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. A week had passed since I arrived in Asgard, and the gods were still celebrating. I was flattered, but enough was enough. They used every excuse to keep the party going.

Day and night, the younger gods jousted and competed in every imaginable game. When not gaming, Immortals entertained us with dances, served endless supplies of food, and kept the drinks flowing. Since we were in my grandfather’s home, or hall as they called it, the older gods and their servants watched the games then went back to their own halls every night, only to return the next day. Their children didn’t seem to get tired or have duties. They partied, disappeared with different women every night, slept, got up, and partied some more.

Someone slapped my back hard. “Hey, Uncle Eirik.”

“Enough with that uncle crap,” I mumbled and glared at Viggo, son of Forseti—God of Justice. He’d been my shadow since I arrived in Asgard. His father and I were half-brothers, and he got a kick out of calling me uncle, even though we were around the same age.

Viggo laughed, sat, and slapped my shoulder again. It stung. He was a few inches shorter than I, but built like a bulldog.

“I told you to call me Eirik,” I added.

“Hey, I’m just giving you the same respect I give my other uncles.”

Except they were older and more powerful. Viggo didn’t slap their backs or force women on them. “Yeah, I’ve noticed.”

He grinned and ran his fingers through his hair, which was perfectly mussed as though he’d just woken up. He probably had. Last night, he’d disappeared with an Immortal after introducing me to her friend.

“So, did you hook up with Lei or what?” he asked.

“Nope.”

“Why not? She thought you were… beautiful. Heck, almost all the women want a piece of you. Maybe you’re into guys.” He hadn’t bothered to lower his voice, and several young gods turned to look at us.

Heat crawled up my face. “I’m all about chicks, dude. My quarters are down the hall from Alfadir,” I said, using Odin’s preferred name in Asgard. It meant “all father” since he was the oldest and leader of the gods. “I’m not comfortable making out with a girl while that close to him.”

I glanced at the table, where Odin calmly watched the hall’s occupants and the entertainers with his one good eye. His wife, or Grandmother Frigga, sat on his right, and Goddess Freya sat on his left.

“He won’t mind,” Viggo said. “He knows that making love is our favorite pastime.”

“I’m going to need more than a week to get into the game.” I missed Kayville, my friends, even my parents. No matter what everyone said, Earth would always be my home.

“You’re still pining for the Mortal you left behind.”

“Her name is Cora,” I said slowly, trying not to snap. I didn’t like the way he dismissed humans.

“Do you want to see her?”

“Sure, but I was told I can’t use Bifrost without permission from Heimdall, and he’s always busy.”

“I don’t mean visit.” Viggo’s eyes went the table where the twelve higher gods were busy having a heated discussion. “From Alfadir’s high seat in the throne hall, we can see all the realms,” Viggo said. “Since he’s here, he won’t know.”

Tempting idea. “That’s okay. I’ll see her when I go home.”

“Asgard is your home now, my friend. Follow me if you want to see her.” He got up, and I knew he was headed to the throne hall.

I glanced around then jumped up and followed him. No one would think it odd that we were leaving together. Viggo had been my tour guide since I got here. When I glanced at the high table, Odin’s good eye was on me. He stroked his long beard and nodded. I had no idea what that meant so I nodded back and hurried out of the hall, where Viggo waited with a smirk.

“I knew you’d not resist,” he said. He led the way down a broad hallway.

“What if the ravens are back?” I asked. Odin’s ravens were smart and observant and never missed a thing.

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