She knows his name, she knows what he really is, and it breaks her heart because his kind is trying to wipe out her kind, has mostly succeeded over the centuries. But Gabriel is still Loki to her, and the skim of his fingers over her body is still the Trickster’s touch, so decadent it can’t possibly be the work of the sanctimonious noveau divine she looks down on so much. He speaks her language – he understands the inherent irony in a powerless goddess, in a dead religion, and he has taught her that the greatest of pleasures can sometimes be the shortest-lasting. No, Gabriel’s not like the others, and when she clings to him at night, human body coated with sweat and head thrown back as he maps her body with his lips and nimble hands, she can’t help thinking he belongs here with her, not far away in a heaven she hopes she’ll never see.
“I love you,” she whisper-moans, and “I will always love you,” and though they both know that everything that begins must end someday, it’s a comfort to repeat the lie.