What happens to gods when their worshipers are gone? Some try to cope.
| Bars like this are filled with the same kind of scum. Why I still come here is beyond me. Maybe it is because I am trying to relive the old days of mead halls and all the fun that happened there. There is nothing majestic about this place. It is dark hole with scented air of lust, smoke, vomit and something else that comes off as bitter. Perhaps that bitterness is coming from me. The only thing I am enjoying is the music coming from the stereo, drowning out must of the conversation in the bar.
"Excuse me, can I buy you a drink?"
I don't turn to look at the owner of the male voice. I just continue to sip on my mead and stare down into it as if crying for something. Normally this deters most drunks, but he pulls out the stool next to mine and continues to wait for my answer. Huffing a breath, I looked over to him. I feel my eyebrows go up as I look him over. He doesn't belong in a dingy place like this with his well-kept clothes and clean shaven face. Bright blue eyes under midnight black brows and close-cropped hair practically twinkle intelligence at me behind the small frames of his glasses. A nervous smile pulls at the corners of his lips as I continue to eye him. I notice the solidness of his frame and the veins on his arms and calloused hands.
"It's your money."
Relief is evident on his face and he motions for the bartender. "Two more of what she's having."
The bartender gives him a pitying look, but does so and takes the three fives from him in trade. Sliding one of the fresh cups to me, he looks down at the second. "So what are you drinking?"
"Mead," I say.
His eyebrows go up and grin at him. It's a good look for him. A boyish look that only a man can wear. "Odin's drink."
It's my turn for my eyebrows to go, but they quickly lower as I glare seriously at the man. "What do you want?"
He blinks a little-taken aback. "What do you mean?"
"You don't belong here. You're like some wolf in a den of rats here. You must have had a reason to come in here, otherwise, you would have gone somewhere else for a drink. So what do you want?"
"I can't get all jacked up with a pretty lady?"
I can't help the laugh, coming out short and harsh even to my ears. "Don't flatter yourself."
"Can I flatter you instead?" He asks, leaning against the bar with a grin.
Rolling my eyes, I finish my drink and set the empty container upside down and pull the fresh cup to me. Shifting in my seat, to turn to face him. "This isn't real mead. It is just pissed flavored honey water."
"Yeah, where can a man find real mead then."
"Asgard," I say without hesitation.
"Ah, so I am out of luck then."
"In more than one way. Are you going to tell me what you want or are we going to dance around the subject all night?"
"You don't belong here either. You're like some bright gem sitting in the trash."
Rolling my eyes, I take a sip. He is right, though. I may dress like a rancher when I come here, but that doesn't hide my face and hair. My skin has a slight glow to it that most consider healthy and some enchanting. My sandy brown has that "Because of your worth it" shin to it, but I don't use products for it and I keep it in a tight braid at the back of my head.
"I don't even know your name. What do I call you? Mr. Persistent?"
"Actually, I have a doctorate, so it would be Dr. Persistent."
"A doctorate?" I look him up and down again. "What's your study?"
"Ha, that's a waste of money. Mythology trivia degrees are the same as getting degrees in under water basket weaving. They sound good, but completely worthless."
"You wound me." He placed a hand to his heart, the action shifting his shirt and I noticed a leather cord peeking out. I reach forward and hook a finger into it to pull it out from its place. He doesn't move as I inspect the pendent in my hands, a simple shield with Celtic knot work along the edges and three golden crescent moons intertwined with each other in its center. I don't ask him what it means because I already know.
"You really are a nerd." I let the pendent go and he tucks it back into his shirt. I note with some satisfaction that his ears are red.
"I am working on a thesis and I was told you were the expert to talk to in regards to it." He says.
Thesis. Right. That's a new one. "Am I?" I ask.
"Why... I think so."
"You don't even know my name. You could be completely buttering up the wrong person."
He makes a face. "To be honest, I didn't get a name. I was told to come to this bar and sit with the person that caught my attention."
"That is the worse lead ever." I have a sense of uneasiness tickling the back of my neck. Turning a bit, I take a look around the bar but don't spot anything that puts my nerves on end. I bend over to make it look like I am tying my boots, but taking let my sense expand a bit more. What it is, it's outside. Sitting back up, I finish the rest of the mead and set it the empty container on the table.
"Well, the person that gave me the information seemed creditable enough. Her name was Calista..."
Calista. Lovely. Nosy little bitch. "That's nice. Look, I would love to chat with you, but I am going to be heading home now."
He blinks at me. "You've been drinking and now you are going to drive?"
I roll my eyes. "No, Dr. Dumbshit, I am going to walk home."
"Well, let me walk you home. It's dark out."
He gets to his feet and holds a hand to me, but pauses as I do the same. Dr. Persistent be at least 6'2, but I am just a bit taller than him, something hidden well by my seated position. "I think I have it handled. Thanks."
"I really do insist."
Shaking my head, I make my way to the door. "I think it would be better if you just stayed and got all jacked up on your own."
He doesn't follow my suggestion. Figures. Passing the door leading outside, I see one of the long sweep brooms. I grab the handle and place my foot on the bottom part to pull the wooden handle free. It's not the best wood, but it will hurt will enough if I have to use it.
"What are you doing?" He asks.
"Poor man's bo staff."
"Look, maybe we are getting off on the wrong foot. My name is James."
"We are on a good foot," I say while giving the broom handle an experimental twirl, "James. I just need to go."
We walk a good distance from the bar in silence, to a place where the artificial lights die and the moon takes over. I stop moving, my every sense on end. James pauses and looks at me. He opens his mouth to ask what is wrong, but keeps silent, seeming to pick up on the same thing I am. He turns to face a shape coming out of the shadows on the other side of the parking lot. I let out a faint sigh and spread out my feet.
"I just wanted a drink..." I mutter while watching the group move in closer.