Born Immortal Chapter 33

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The night was quiet as Tyr moved slowly over the rough ground in the clear space beside the driveway. He was keeping Loki in front of him as they circled around in the small clearing bounded by the dark forest on one side and the driveway on the other. The smooth pavement of the road surface was littered with the remains of the large group of Nithavellir who had set up the ambush of the Aesir guards patrolling the Falkor's mansion.

Something about that didn't sit well in Tyr's mind but he couldn't stop to think about it now.

Right now he had to focus on his ancient enemy. Loki had been the cause of too much trouble and strife in Tyr's life and Tyr wasn't ready to let him get to Astyr as well. She was, at this point, all he had left. Tyr was ready to fight to the death to protect her, and he wasn't planning on it being his death, either.

Tyr wasn't about to take victory for granted, though. What Loki lacked in power, he made up for in strength; and while Tyr was experienced, Loki was cunning.

Even now, Loki was carefully sizing Tyr up, looking for ways to gain an advantage. The darkness was going to be both an ally and a foe in this fight; a lot of surprises could be hidden until they were delivered with devastating results. But that worked both ways.

Both were wearing dark clothes: Loki in black leather pants with a black T-shirt and army boots; Tyr in casual, yet finely tailored slacks with a dark navy cashmere sweater and leather shoes that had been made for him. Only Tyr's shocking mane of white hair stood out from the heavy shadows that enveloped them.

Tyr stepped carefully, keeping his eyes on Loki's shoulders. He knew from his many previous bouts of hand-to-hand combat that any move that the enemy attempted would be given away by the set of the shoulders first.

Sure enough, Loki's right shoulder dipped down and back just a second before he charged at Tyr. Loki, being half Jotnar, knew he couldn't hope to beat Tyr with power so he was starting with a physical assault.

Tyr held his ground until the last moment before stepping lightly to his left and grabbing Loki's arm as it slipped through the air where Tyr's head had just been. Tyr wrapped his fingers around Loki's wrist and brought his left arm around to smash it into Loki's elbow, popping it out of its joint and driving Loki down into the dirt.

Tyr wanted to end this quickly and get back to Astyr; he felt no obligation to give Loki a sporting chance. Loki had been given thousands of years to put a stop to this and had brought himself to this place to be handed his final judgment. Tyr couldn't even begin to count all the lives that had been destroyed by the foul creature in front of him and he felt a brief stab of guilt for not doing more to rein him in, despite the council's long-standing policy of non-interference. That policy was coming to an end here and now.

As Tyr twisted Loki's arm around to subdue him, Loki loosed a jolt of energy into Tyr's hand that caused him to lose his grip enough for Loki to wrench his arm free. Loki quickly used his freedom to brace his good arm on the ground and sweep his legs around in an attempt to bring Tyr down, but Tyr easily jumped over his legs.

Loki was well-aware that this fight could only end in his death if he failed and his moves were fueled by desperate fear as much as by the powerful muscles of his large frame. He also knew that Tyr would be able to recuperate from almost any injury in so short a time as to make it seem instantaneous. Loki couldn't waste his energy or time by inflicting less than serious wounds on his skilled opponent. But knowing that and being able to do it were two different things.

The two of them fought furiously to get a hold on the other, to bring their opponent down or to cause pain severe enough to stop the other long enough to give them the upper hand but despite the differences in their statures and natures, they were evenly matched on the physical level. The only way Tyr was going to be able to end this quickly was through the use of his power. He had to get a hand on Loki's skin so that he could shock his heart and stop it from beating.

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