Brander took Gytha as his slave and loved her with passion. She, in turn, loved him. When he discovered she was to die, alongside his mother in a Viking burial, he cut her throat to spare her an agonising death. Imagine his astonishment when Gytha rose from her grave as a Valkyrie who craved sex. When Kyvelira gave an order, no mortal dared refuse for she bore the power of the gods. However, when that power was rescinded by Freya, Kyvelira was left vulnerable and weak. That was when she needed Brander the most.
“Mighty Thor, we are looking at a Valkyrie!” Einar cried.
“Which is why you must kneel,” Kyvelira repeated. “So, kneel, mortals!” she ordered, pointing her left hand at Brander.
“I shall not kneel to you,” Brander declared.
Her eyes flashed. “Mortal, you should fear me.”
“I do not fear you.” His words clearly displeased her. Brander watched as she raised her left hand and clenched the fist. With a flick of her wrist a ball of fire flew from her palm, hitting him in the chest and sending him crashing to the ground. Groaning, he held his singed chest. Brander saw that Wyborn received the same treatment, and ended up on his side, gasping.
She stared at Brander only. “That was just a small taste of what I can do. The hairs on your chest are merely singed. Had I desired I could have consumed you both in a ball of fire that would leave nothing but ashes.”
Einar began to very slowly back away on his knees. Wyborn could still not move.
Kyvelira gave a snort. “Aye, go, you pathetic weakling. I do not desire your company. I desire his.”
Brander saw that long finger pointed at him again.
“Did you hear me? I desire you!”
“I heard you, but I do not desire you,” Brander replied.
“Your words surprise me, mortal. You loved this body. You mated with this body. You caressed it, and you explored it. We watched you with interest. Freya thought you the most handsome Viking in the world. I was forced to agree.”
Brander raised an eyebrow. “Some things in life should be left private. The bedchamber is a private place.”
“The gods see all. It has always been thus. You adored this body before. You shall adore it again.”
He sat up. “Do you think ’tis so simple? ‘Twas not just the body I adored. I loved the soul inside, and that has gone. Tell me, where is the Gytha I loved?”
“She wandered off with some angel and seemed quite happy to go. She will enjoy her Heaven.”
So, he had been right in his belief. Both the gods and the Christian angels existed. “Tell me this, did she know you were about to steal her body?”
“Steal! I did not steal it. I preserve it. I keep it from rotting in the earth, for that surely would have been a waste. I thought this body,” she said gesturing to herself, “would please you.”
“Gytha pleased me. You are not Gytha.” She strode towards him, holding his father’s sword. She had a stubborn set to her angular jaw.