toward his children, mimicking Grimm’s behavior and driving his children away.

None of them had seen, not one of them had realized, what was really going on, except Loki. And Grimm had tried to kill him too.

Only Loki had been immune to Grimm’s power. He’d saved Baldur’s life, taking Baldur’s place, and his pain, within the Thing, when Grimm would have seen Baldur slain. Loki had saved Baldur’s life that day, almost at the cost of his own.

Changing their names to Logan and Kir, they’d gone on the run, eventually becoming lovers. They’d been hunted and terrorized by Grimm, with the help of all the gods, including Magni and Modi, who now called themselves Magnus and Morgan Grimm.

They’d all believed Grimm’s lies, that Loki had caused Baldur’s death and that he was using some look-alike to taunt them. His fake grief, combined with his powers of persuasion and the mind-altering apples, had kept them in line. They’d been obedient little drones until Logan and Kir managed to cut off Grimm’s supply of apples, causing them all to realize how far Grimm was willing to go to avoid the prophecy of Ragnarrok.

He’d tried to kill one son to avoid death, and had succeeded in killing the other.

Oh, gods. He was going to miss his father.

Speaking of family, he needed to know. “Where’s Jeanne?”

“Here. She’s with Jordan, trying to deal with Dad’s death and Jordan’s weird pineapple thing.”

Morgan groaned. Jordan had become pregnant with fraternal twins, one from Kir, one from Logan, and ever since she’d been obsessed with, of all things, pineapples. The scent, the taste, even the look of them. If he stumbled over one more pineapple he was going to lose it. It was driving them all crazy. She’d even tried to buy yellow paint, a color that normally made her shudder, over the Internet. She’d bought pineapple-scented candles, pineapple-scented room deodorizers, and insisted on canned pineapple on everything, even beans. Hell, she’d even put pineapples on the holiday tree, for fuck’s sake. Her kids were going to be even freakier than their fathers.

Dad would have loved it. Jordan might not have been his flesh and blood, but the moment he’d married Jeanne, Jordan had been his. The pang of grief that went through Morgan nearly dropped him to his knees.

“Dad’s funeral is in a couple of days. We got word to Gra—” Jeff winced. “I mean, to Frederica, and she requested that we not be there.” He smiled viciously. Morgan blinked in shock as his brother grew fangs. Fenris gave off a low growl, responding to his mate’s anger. “We told her to go to hell. We even offered to provide the hand basket.”

Of course Frigg wouldn’t want her exiled family to come to her son’s funeral. Morgan cursed under his breath. Their grandmother had become just as much of a problem as Grimm in her own way. But if she thought she could stop them from saying good-bye to their father she was sadly mistaken. Enough of the younger gods followed Kir now that she’d have a battle on her hands if she tried to enforce her rule.

“Tell us exactly what happened.” Magnus settled himself on Jordan’s pristine white sofa and clasped his hands between his knees. The others might not realize it, but Magnus was far more shaken by their father’s death than he was willing to let on.

Fenris escorted Jeff to the sofa and settled him next to Magnus. Jeff allowed it, oddly enough. He, too, must be far more hurt than he was willing to admit if he was allowing Fenris to pamper him. Jeff took hold of his mate’s hand before speaking. “Dad was calling me, wanting to work things out.”

“That’s good.” At least Morgan knew his father had tried to make things right with the twins before he died.

Died. Gods. Not a word he’d ever thought he’d associate with his father. Ragnarrok had been a fairy tale, the death of the gods so far in the future he thought it would never come. Now the first had fallen, and the rest would soon follow.

“It would have been better if he’d lived.” Jeff huffed out a breath when Fenris stroked his hair, but the gesture seemed to calm his brother. “Anyway, he came to visit, and we had…words.”

And that would hurt Jeff more than anything else, that his final words to their father had been said in anger. Morgan needed to make sure his brother understood he had nothing to be ashamed of. “He knew you loved him, Jeff.”

“Yeah.” Jeff’s voice broke. He cleared his throat. “Dad, he was… I…” He turned his face into Fenris’s chest. “I can’t.”

“Hush, elskede. I will tell them.”

“I swore I wouldn’t cry until that fucker was dead.” The vicious tone was thick with tears.

“A vow none of us will fault you for breaking, min kj?rlighet.” Fenris buried his face in Jeff’s thick curls as Jeff sobbed on his chest. “Your father, he came to make peace, but a hole in the defenses allowed Grimm through.”

Part of him wanted to snatch his brother from Fenris, to give him comfort himself, but the very fact that Jeff was crying on Fenris told him exactly how his little brother felt about the wolf. Jeff loved Fenris with everything in him, and would probably fight to the death to stay by his side.

“How did the hole get there? Logan’s been pretty good about keeping the shields up.” With Jordan’s pregnancy and Kir’s safety on the line, the Trickster would have done everything in his power to keep his lovers safe.

“They made a mistake. They thought they needed to get to you two quickly, so they traveled through the veil to the Bifrost Bridge quick and dirty instead of carefully. It meant tearing a hole in the defenses around our homes.” Fenris continued stroking Jeff’s hair as Jeff’s sobs quieted. “Because of the urgency of their message, they felt it best. But it didn’t allow time to gently part the protections. They relied on Jordan and Tyr—I mean, Travis— to put them back up.”

“Why? Why were they coming for us? They should have been here.” Magnus snarled what Morgan was thinking. They would have returned eventually. What was so important that it couldn’t wait, that they’d risk Jordan?

Fenris sighed as Jeff shivered. “Skuld is here.”

Morgan let loose a string of curses that would have done his brother proud. Of course. As soon as they realized Morgan and Magnus had been on a fools’ errand they would have done their best to fetch them home, fearing some sort of trap. “How did she wind up here? Was she delivering a message?”

“We don’t know, and neither does she. She has no memory of her life beneath Yggdrasil, or of what she truly is. She calls herself Skylar Kincade, and believes she’s a photographer.” Fenris tilted his head, his expression confused. “Heimdall was supposed to tell you all of this. Did you not meet him on the Bifrost Bridge?”

Magnus and Morgan exchanged a quick, confused glance. “No. Heimdall wasn’t there.”

Fenris sighed wearily as Jeff sniffled. “Damn. This is troubling. We still do not know whose side the Guardian will come down on. If Heimdall chooses to follow the Old Man he will be a powerful enemy.”

“Where is he?”

Jeff, his eyes tear stained, lifted his head from Fenris’s chest. “Who? Grimm, or Dad?”

“Dad.” Morgan would deal with Grimm later. The fucker would pay, and pay dearly, for killing Thor and hurting Jeff.

“John Kline Funeral Home.”

That was only a few blocks away from Kir’s home. “Frederica let Kir make the arrangements?”

“Nope. Mom made them and then told Frederica after the fact.”

Go Jeanne. His stepmother was a feisty woman, and would make a bad enemy. A lot of Jeff and Jamie’s temperament came from their seemingly sweet-natured mother, even if neither of them could see it. They adored their mother and thought her a saint. “Is Jeanne all right? Nothing happened to her, did it?”

Both Jeff and Fenris shook their heads. “She was kept safe.”

“And we’ll continue to do so, no matter how much she argues with us.” Kir, his blond hair gleaming, his blue eyes full of sorrow, came into the room. He was quickly followed by Logan, who was rarely far from his lover’s side. “She’s staying with us while Jordan is pregnant.”

“Hey, the M&M’s are back.” Logan grinned, but there was a shadow over it. Thor’s death had apparently struck the Trickster harder than Morgan would have guessed. Either that or Jordan’s grief was weighing on his mind. “Have a nice stroll, boys?”

Magnus flipped him off. “Why isn’t Grimm dead?”

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