VALKYRIE is FINALLY live! I’m SO excited to share this book with you. This is Odin and Freyja’s love story… the greatest love story you’ve never heard… well, until now! This is the best thing I’ve EVER written and you are going to LOVE it… run, don’t walk to grab this!
You can read the first two chapters free at the bottom of this post!
On the day I met the witch, she prophesied my death.
She said it was fate and couldn’t be changed.
I’ve gathered my warriors. I’ve laid my traps. I’ve moved my pieces across the board.
She is the piece that unlocks everything, I know she is.
And she’s wrong. Everything can be changed.
A powerful god seeks to destroy my people unless I go live with him.
“You don’t have to marry him. You don’t even have to sleep with him. He just needs a witch.”
I’ve been told this multiple times, but I don’t trust this man.
He’s keeping something very important from me… and he’s such a charmer.
I may allow him into my bed, but I can never let him into my heart.
NOTE: This is a standalone with a guaranteed HEA. No cliffhangers. Full ending.
What Readers Are Saying…
Freyja and Odin are so complex. Freyja is a goddess, a Queen, a powerful witch and so much more. She rules firmly and fairly. But there is a depth to her that I’m not even sure she was completely aware of. Odin, on the other hand, is a god, a king and a warrior. And he is running out of time.” – K. M. Ernst, Amazon
Odin and Freyja are just the perfect couple.” -Denise DelFranco, Goodreads
If anyone could pull this off, could do Odin and Freya’s story justice, it’s Kitty.” -Cecile Smith, Goodreads
There is just something so engaging when a story, based on characters you know, is done so right! This is one of those stories, because while we ‘know’ Freyja and Odin, we don’t know them like this. These two have sizzling chemistry and explosive passion, and both those things make for some interesting encounters. They also connect on a cerebral level, they are both of the same ilk, and that causes some great clashes and some greater understanding.” – Dar, Goodreads
Valkyrie is Odin and Freyja’s story. Their attraction is so magnetic and electrically charged!” -Tanya Rae, Goodreads
…Freyja is not her typical heroine either. This is a strong heroine, an experienced woman who knows her worth and her strength. She’s powerful in her own right and can fight her own battles. To be honest, these types of heroines can be hit or miss for me, but I fell in love with Freyja. She is one of the more entertaining heroines I’ve read lately and I really enjoyed being in her head. Now Odin is on a completely different level. He’s a charmer and neither Freyja nor I seemed able to resist him for long. The level of heat between these too was outstanding. They were exceptionally well matched in every way. In addition to this enemies to lovers romance, there’s an intricate plot full of twists, turns, betrayals and redemption.” -Darkreads, Goodread
FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of VALKYRIE FREE!
Valkyrie (c) Copyright 2022. Kitty Thomas. All rights reserved.
A very long time ago in a realm next door to this one…
It’s day 333 of my captivity. I, Freyja, Queen of the Vanir, have been kept like an animal in this giant’s dark dungeon, kept even from the sunlight until I agree to be his. He’s a good and noble and decent man, you see—or so he wants me to believe. He regales me daily with his good deeds and the reasons why I will be lucky to be his bride.
He’s assured me that he won’t rape me—further proof of his wonderfulness. Such a high bar of honor he aspires to. He wants me to agree to be his queen, to bear his children, and gods forbid the consequence if I should bear him a son. He would turn that child against my people and launch a war against us, and I would be helpless to do anything to stop him.
He feeds me bread and water and keeps me in the dank empty darkness of this pit of a cell, kept far away from the conveniences of life… sunlight, fresh air, electricity, running water. Each day it’s the same question as this sick motherfucker mocks my free will.
There’s a drag in his step as he approaches and unlocks the door. I move back as far as I can from him. He’s far too large for me to overpower, so I wait and grit my teeth as I listen to what, to him, must pass as wooing.
“Today, my dear queen? Will you succumb to me, today? I can give you everything. Wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Beautiful jewels. You like jewels. I know you do. I know your greedy desires for riches. Deny your people and rule with me.”
His breath could remove the paint from a barn.
I can practically hear the quiet part out loud. I know he wanted to end that sentence with “you little slut.” He wouldn’t be the first god or giant who’d determined if I sleep with so many, then surely I must owe him access as well. The nerve on this guy. Sexual attraction and intimacy is all about fairness after all—I’m certain I read that somewhere in the user’s manual for life.
He says almost the same thing to me without deviation every day, as though he’s casting a spell upon me, attempting to break my will. The only consolation I have is that he has no actual magic of his own. Not real magic. The wards that guard and hide this place from detection are put in place and held there by his sister, Hyndla. I suspect if it weren’t for her magic, he’d have no power at all.
She is yet another of his captives, though with a greater illusion of freedom. It’s the same illusion I’ll be granted if I submit to him. Wearing fine clothes. Moving freely about the kingdom in her gilded cage. Eating only the best food. Sleeping in the most luxurious warm bed of fine silks.
She should be ruling this people. She was the first born after all. But it passed over her to her worthless brother instead. The only reason he hasn’t already outright killed her is so he can use her magic, but he’s heavily guarded and never allows himself to be alone with her. He’s smart enough for that at least—not quite the same level of stupid and oafish as most of his kind. He knows what would happen if he let her within chanting distance of him, and I wouldn’t blame her. It would definitely solve my problem.
I wonder if he plans to just keep me alive long enough to get his coveted heir produced by the Queen of the Vanir—his precious fuck trophy. What a prize to gloat over. He’d probably put my head on a pike as soon as he got what he wanted. As soon as the baby’s cry echoed my final scream of childbirth it would be off with my head.
Or maybe he’d keep me long enough to produce a backup heir. Lucky me.
“No,” I say to him, flatly. It’s my answer every day, and I will die before I submit to this piece of garbage. I won’t give him a single thing willingly. He’ll have to be the monster he is.
Saying this No each day is the singular power I possess and only because he’s allowed it which enrages me further—that I have no true agency here—just another illusion. I exist and live only as he desires, and at some point he may just end this farce of my free choice altogether. I’m sure he never thought it would take this long.
He could force me to say the vow and be his Queen. He could throw me down and impregnate me with his foul seed, and there wouldn’t be anything I could do to stop him. But he enjoys giving me the lie of power as the gatekeeper to sex and marriage. How magnanimous of him.
He removes a black velvet box from his vest and holds it out to me. “A courtship gift… my dove… my goddess…”
I want to claw this beast’s eyes out with my bare hands. I take a slow, measured breath. Soon, Freyja.
I take the bribe from his outstretched hand and open it to reveal yet another garishly horrific piece of jewelry. The stone is too large, as always.
“A rare ruby necklace, befitting my queen. Put it on.”
I feel as though I will spontaneously combust on the spot—as though flame could actually arise off my skin. I wish. I wish I could turn into living flame and burn this fuckhead to ash right in front of me.
But instead I do as he says, grit my teeth, and put it on.
His gaze roves over me, going far outside the scope of the necklace. “Lovely. Are you sure you won’t reconsider my offer? We could move you to better accommodations today. My servants will give you a fragrant hot bath in jasmine and roses. You’d like that.”
Gross. To prepare me for him to fuck? No, thanks. I’ve already been notified that the babymaking agenda is of paramount importance and that he’ll marry me once we get started on that—can’t waste fifteen minutes for a ceremony after all.
I’ll pass. I’ll just have to keep using the bucket to bathe. But of course I can’t say this out loud. I feel the edges of his pretend patience fraying.
He knows my reputation and love for fine things. He knows the abundance and luxury I’m used to. He thinks I’m such a spoiled brat that he can deprive me of the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed and break me. I will never break. He’ll have to force me.
I just stare blankly back at him.
He shrugs and goes to bring my food in—enough bread and water for the day and a little bit of meat. I get lamb once a week. I’m sure he’d prefer to keep me on the bread and water prisoner diet, but he doesn’t want me too weak to breed. To him I’m livestock that must be kept minimally fed and watered so a pregnancy will take when I finally decide I want to sleep in a bed like a real person.
He leaves my food on the ground and locks the door on his way out. I can’t let myself relax until the shuffling drag of his step disappears into the faint distance. I rip the necklace off and fling it to the far corner to land in a pile with the three hundred and thirty-two other useless baubles he’s bestowed upon me in my time here.
I’ve been marking the days of my captivity on the wall with a huge diamond from the first necklace he brought. I take the diamond now to scratch out the new line. I nearly fall into a trance staring at all these marks. I don’t know how long I stand here and stare at this fucking waste of time and life—the life he’s stealing from me.
I know my brother is looking for me. Freyr would never give up the search, but I also know how impossible his odds are, how well shielded with magic this place is.
Hours pass, and once again I hear footsteps, lighter and quicker this time—his sister. Hyndla unlocks the door and comes in, placing a plate with roasted duck and vegetables, and a goblet of water on the ground in front of me.
“Be sure to drink all the water. It’s been charged,” she says.
She charms all the food before she brings it. Every month, she charges the water she brings me each night in the light of the moon, from waxing to full—all of it meant to give me strength and power each night as she teaches me her magic so I can free myself and make her queen.
I’ve learned to meditate, to chant, to shift and move energy. I’ve learned to see the future, and I’m learning—at least the technique—of weaving new threads to change it when possible.
My time in the bowels of the giant’s castle may be unpleasant, but it’s also a cocoon from which I’ve been prepared to emerge with new wings and new powers. The quiet and privacy of my captivity has served as a school for me to learn the magic I never would have known had I not met Hyndla.
We both know how many days I’ve been here. We calculated it long ago. Hyndla says only the norns—they who control fate—could have given us this opportunity. Three hundred and thirty-three is a number of great power, and tonight is the full moon. The odds of this convergence are so unbelievably small. Synchronicity. A sign.
I will kill my captor tonight with the power of the magic I’ve learned under the giantess’s tutelage, and I will walk out of this place, free.
“Are you ready?” she asks after our final session with the spells.
“I’ll give word to the guards that you are ready to be his.”
I make a face at this, but I know these are the words that will get me within striking distance.
I take a deep breath as the guards open the doors for me, ushering me into the giant’s chambers. They give us privacy, and the king and I are alone. The smug bastard lounges with just a sheet covering his already prominent erection.
The room is filled with lit candles. Rose petals lead from the door to the bed. There’s mead and cakes on a nearby table. The full moon shines in through the window. I can’t believe he thinks he can switch from keeping me in a dungeon for nearly a year to standard romantic overtures.
Victory lights his eyes as he leans back on plush silk pillows, his hands interlaced behind his head, the picture of satisfaction. His gaze rakes over my body slowly from head to toe, causing my skin to crawl as if already violated. And truly his leer alone is a violation.
“I would have preferred you in white, but I guess none of my servants could bring themselves to pretend you are in any way pure. You’re lucky you come from such a prominent family and have such great beauty. I’ll overlook your whorish ways. I’m sure you’ll learn to conduct yourself in a more appropriate manner going forward once you’re carrying my heir.”
“When we’re married, you mean?”
“We’ll see. You did keep me waiting an unreasonably long time.”
I didn’t think I could feel more rage. It’s not as though I want to marry this brute, but with marriage comes at least a level of status. It seems as though he plans to use me to create an heir, and then just keep me as his concubine—assuming he doesn’t put my head on that pike.
I take a slow breath and offer him a strained smile. Yes, I have a reputation. My people don’t have the prudish ways of this kingdom. The Vanir don’t restrict our lovers and don’t expect or practice strict monogamy. I’ve been known to keep several active lovers at a time.
But he knew that when he took me. If he wanted a virgin kidnapped bride, he should have planned accordingly. No way does my kidnapper get to complain about my sexual appetites.
I stand naked except for the sheer red long-sleeved robe that flows to the ground and apparently isn’t to his taste. This wounds me. Truly.
He’s not done talking.
“I knew you’d come to me eventually, I just didn’t anticipate it so soon after our earlier conversation. And on the full moon, the time of your fertility. I’ll put my seed in you tonight. You’ll be swollen with my child by the harvest. What made you change your mind? Tired of the dungeon? Was it the beauty of my last gift? The hopelessness of your fate? Or maybe you realized you should be grateful to rule this kingdom with me. It’s a step up from the small tribes of the Vanir, wouldn’t you agree? We have far greater technology.”
I prefer being close to nature, but I keep that to myself. The worst part of my captivity has been the inability to lie naked on the bare earth under the moon.
I meet his gaze head on. “You need an heir—a son—growing inside me before the next lunar eclipse, do you not?”
The giant’s eyes widen, surprised I know about this.
“The prophecy,” I continue. “I understand why I’m here, and I’m ready to fulfill my duty. I’m ready to surrender fully to my purpose. I’m here to save the kingdom.”
A slow smile spreads over his face as he beckons me closer. As I walk toward him, I recite the prophecy Hyndla revealed when she came to me on the first full moon of my captivity, a week after my capture. I’ve recited it every day since, until it’s become a rote memory.
“The king shall fall to the blood of the moon and a queen will rise to rule, unless the one of renowned beauty produces a golden-haired heir before the blood of the moon consumes him.”
I’m unsure if I’m supposed to be flattered that I’m considered by him to be the one of renowned beauty. There is talk. I just didn’t realize it had reached the giant races.
Eclipses are far more rare in our realm than in the human world, and when they happen, they can be quite potent and fate changing.
“I had another three moons before the next eclipse. I’m glad I didn’t have to make things worse for you. You understand I cannot allow my witch of a sister to rule. I must keep the crown in my own direct line of descent. There cannot be magic in the direct blood line. It’s against our ways.”
And yet he was happy to use his sister’s magic for his convenience. I guess the rules only apply when he wants them to.
I nod. “I understand my role here, completely.”
His eyes fill with lust when I untie the robe, allowing the fabric to drift to the floor behind me as I move closer. I stand inside the moonlight at the foot of his enormous bed. I place my hand between my legs, causing his erection to grow harder.
“I’m afraid you can’t impregnate me tonight. Because, you see, I am the blood of the moon.”
He recoils—as some men do—when I show him my hand coated with menstrual blood. This is the final piece of my wild power. My blood. Hyndla told me the first full moon when she came to me and realized who I was, that women who bleed on the full moon instead of the dark are born volvas—the strongest type of witch. We are meant to wield great power. Three hundred thirty-three days, the full moon, and… my blood.
The lust leaves his eyes, replaced by anger and the tiniest shade of fear.
“Guards!” he shouts.
“No one will come. No one is brave enough to defy fate and the norns. This was prophesied. Your sister will rise to power tonight.”
He snorts. “What can you do to me? A small, weak woman? I can crush you with my bare hands. If you won’t breed for me, you’ll bleed for me.”
Technically I’m already bleeding for him. He just doesn’t appreciate it.
I raise my hand in a stopping motion. I feel the power rise within me as his ability to speak leaves him. He gasps, trying to make sound come out to no avail. He looks like a fish struggling and flopping around on the deck of a fisherman’s boat.
I begin to chant in the old language of my people, calling into me all the power I’ve prepared myself to hold as Hyndla and I have guarded the secret of my bleed from him all these moons. As my chanting grows louder and stronger he finds himself unable to move, pinned on his back to the bed in the position he no doubt expected to have me in soon.
I crawl onto the bed with him. Anyone watching from the outside might think this a seduction—a lithe nude woman moving to straddle a man surrounded by the romance of the moon, rose petals, and soft candlelight. But I’m not preparing to deliver the little death to him. This is the big one.
I smear the blood across his chest and hold my palm over it as I continue to chant. I hold his terrified gaze for the long minutes it takes until the light goes out, then I take the power of life and death into me.
Something I can’t name, terrifying and wild, rises up inside me. A moment later, I’ve shifted into a huge raven with shimmering purple-black iridescent wings. I have a moment of dizziness as I adjust to this new more compact form, as I stretch my wings and let out an experimental call. Then I fly out the open window to reclaim my life.
I don’t wait to watch the aftermath. I’m not staying for the coronation. I have my own people to return to, and Hyndla understands that. I had a role to perform, and now it’s over, and I carry new gifts with me in exchange for this harsh school of magic.
An hour of flight passes. I see the raging bonfire and smell the smoke well before I can see my people. It’s a feast night, but the merriment has been much subdued in my absence as though a prolonged funeral has been conducted each full moon instead of the orgy we usually have.
This makes me sad.
I spot Freyr sitting on a large log away from everything. My Father is also quite isolated, but standing off from the fire on the other side of the drums. I land next to my brother on the log. He looks over at me, thinking I’m just another raven. And possibly a bad omen. Ravens do tend to show up when things die. And I know exactly the death he thinks I might be portending.
“Go away!” he says, shooing me.
I shift back into my goddess form. “Is that any way to speak to the queen?”
He jumps nearly a foot off the log, and I feel a little bad about it. After all, I’ve been gone for so long. I could have been dead. But Freyr is my twin. He would have known. He would have felt the cord between us sever.
“Gods, Freyja, you nearly gave me a heart attack. How… how did you escape him? You must be freezing.”
I was naked when I shifted into the raven form. And so I’m naked now. Freyr takes the blanket that was wrapped around his shoulders and wraps it around me instead.
“You need shoes. We should get you closer to the fire.”
I sit on the log beside him, pulling my legs up with me, covering them and my feet with the blanket. “I’m fine. I can make my own heat now,” I say, recalling the fire balls I learned to create. I’m pretty sure I can just use them as little heaters. I might never be cold again.
He gives me an odd look but lets it drop. I’m not quite ready to be swarmed by the rest of the Vanir gods. I’ve been so isolated for so long, Freyr is about all I can take right now.
Finally, as if only fully realizing that I’m truly here and not a ghost, he wraps me in a long, tight hug. “I was afraid I’d never see you again.”
“I know.” I try unsuccessfully not to cry. I’ve missed my brother so much. I didn’t realize just how much a part of me he was until he was so far away. I don’t think before this we’ve ever spent more than a few days apart. There has never been a moment when I was not with him.
He pulls back, giving me some space, though I never need space from Freyr.
“How did you… how did you do that? The raven thing?”
“I’ve been learning magic,” I say as though I was off to witch school instead of living captive in a giant’s dungeon for nearly a year.
He lets it drop though. I know he’s not in the space yet to delve into all these details. And he knows I’ll tell him everything. I always tell him everything.
“How have things been in my absence?” I know he’s been ruling without me, and while Freyr is a good sovereign in his own right, he’s used to me being the one who gives the speeches and announces to the rest of the Vanir our next moves.
“It’s been hard.”
“Oh, come on, you know you liked getting to be the boss alone for once.”
He smiles softly because we both know he’d rather have me here than be the sole leader.
“We searched everywhere for you. We never gave up, but we couldn’t find and didn’t have a volva powerful enough to locate the giant’s cloaking wards.”
“You have one now.”
Need more? I can help you with that…
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