Born Immortal Chapter 8

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"We should start getting ready," Grima told her. "Frey Falkor has invited us over for dinner tonight."

"You mean Hakon and Gunnar's father?" Astyr asked in surprise.

"Of course." Grima said "They are old family friends, you know," adding a laugh.

That reminded Astyr about her revelation and she couldn't help but ask Grima just how old she was, remembering the primitive hut she had seen in Grima's memory.

"Oh!" Grima started with surprise, "Let's see now, I was born just after the war with the Vanir so I guess that would make me about 13,000 years old now."

Astyr didn't even bother trying to make that make sense. She went to her room and tried to decide what might be the appropriate thing to wear to a casual dinner with people who had been around when cloth was invented. Then she remembered that she would be meeting Hakon's and Gunnar's parents and chose a simple silk dress in a deep navy blue color. She added her silver bead necklace and silver flats and slicked a little pink gloss onto her lips.

Grima didn't try to engage her in conversation as they drove to the Falkor's house so they sat in silence as Grima passed through town and turned left onto the road leading north out of town. This was a slightly better two-lane road than the one near their house but that wasn't saying a lot, country roads being what they are. After ten minutes, she turned off onto a small paved road that led between wide hay fields that were bounded by woods. This road led for a couple of miles without any trace of another house when they came up to a large brick home that looked like it had been placed there for a photo shoot. It had mature oak trees providing a splash of color along the road on each side and when they were clear of the canopy, they had a clear view of the giant structure. It was a Georgian mansion with tall Corinthian columns supporting the wide porch that spanned the entire front of the house. All of the rooms facing the porch had wide French doors and the upper story balcony had wrought iron railings. The roof had three gables and two tall chimneys rising towards the sky. The driveway cut through the landscaped grounds in front of the house and continued on around the left side of the house, but Grima stopped in front and they both got out and walked up the wide steps that led to the porch.

Gunnar opened the door before they could knock and welcomed them into the foyer. He took their jackets and hung them up on a polished wooden hat rack behind the door. They passed through from the entryway into a large rotunda. A wide staircase swept up to the second floor and above them was an elaborate stained-glass dome. They walked further and came to an elegant living room with a large stone fireplace topped by a carved marble mantle piece taking up most of one wall. Hakon and his father rose from the antique French chairs to greet Grima, and Astyr was introduced to Frey and his wife Gerda.

Gerda was almost as tall as her husband and her long thick hair was as black as her sons'. Her eyes were a slightly lighter shade of sapphire blue than Gunnar's but were just as intense. She appeared to be in her late twenties but Astyr didn't put much stock in her appearance as a reliable indicator based on what she had just learned that afternoon. She was well dressed in a pale blue silk suit that couldn't have been bought anywhere but in Paris and she wore a string of enormous, perfectly round freshwater pearls at her neck. She gave a warm welcome to Astyr and suggested that the boys take her on a tour of the house, so the three of them left the adults sitting and headed off through the kitchen.

The kitchen itself was large and well appointed with modern appliances and shared the space with a cozy-looking family room and a small casual dining table. French doors at the opposite end led out to a covered loggia that had a barbecue area at one end and was semi-enclosed by the garage. They sat in the chairs and Astyr told them all that she had learned that afternoon. They were concerned and asked if she was having trouble with her new view of her life.

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