The day they met he pretended to be Shiva. It was an insulting lie and the story fell apart the moment their lips touched, the instant her teeth scraped against his skin and she tasted foreign blood.

The next time he claimed his name was Loki and she laughed at him. She'd lost count of how many little godlings and tricksters had tried to pass themselves off as Loki over the centuries and this one didn't even bother looking the part. He held to the story, though, his lips curling into a grin as he told her about a demon that needed killing. When she asked him why he'd decided to bother her with this he said he'd always wanted to watch her dance.

Of all the Lokis Kali met he was the only one she'd ever believed could have both birthed a horse and sired a snake.

He came to her a third time as she danced on bodies of the slain, her mouth full of Raktabija's blood and this time she didn't care what he called himself; his fingers traced designs in the blood coating her skin as they learned her body and his liar's tongue made her shudder until the ground under them shook with her climax. By the time they were finished she hardly remembered her own name, let alone his and he could call himself anything he liked.

He liked to watch her. Liked to watch her dance, to fight, to devour and destroy until she'd driven herself to the brink of that knife edge madness that let her claim the title goddess. Then he liked her to take him hard, throw him down to the battlefield with her teeth sharp and bared. There was never fear in him, his eyes so bright with secrets he look fevered (and how she wished she'd asked some of those secrets, after) but oh, the sounds he made when she pinned him to the ground and took him inside her, when she rocked her hips and drew cries from him as helpless as those from any defeated foe. Only she saw him unbound so, reduced to whimpers and gasped words in a language she didn't know, and Kali knew many. And he alone could unmake her, bringing her to the edge of a madness much sweeter than the one from battle. This was deeper than the touch of a consort or the kiss of lover, a lust of blood calling to blood, a raw union that made the earth scream with them. Each time at parting she kissed him as she had the first time, tasting his blood and binding him to a future dance.

Someday she was going to have a long, violent talk with Fate. Not today though; today Kali found herself in a sidewalk cafe in Cairo drinking subpar tea on a lunch date with Isis and promising a favor in exchange for a map. The path to the Underworld Isis took while fetching Osiris is still marked, the lines worn with time. "The things we do, hmm?" Isis said, and well, it's not as if Kali really thought she could hide her purpose. "How do you know he'll be there? You know now he wasn't really..." Kali silenced her with a look and Isis raised her hands. "Fine, fine. I wish you all the good fortune. Just remember that Osiris was changed by the journey and Ga-yours may well be too."

"I've never feared change."

"I suppose not. And it should be easier, now that you know his real name."

"I've always known his real name." Or at least the only that had ever counted. She traced the path with one manicured fingernail. "This should do."/p

Isis leaned forward, her fingers laced under her chin. "What's your plan? Which layer of the Underworld will you search first? I at least had body parts to fish out of the river."
She'd always found Isis enjoyably morbid. "I don't intend to search."

"Do you have a spell? "

"No." Kali ran her tongue over her lips, tasting a hint of phantom blood and for a moment felt hands against hips, hot breath against her skin. She had enough. "He'll come to watch me dance."