She held his hand, with a hand that was icy cold. “You were given protection once. You were given the sun itself. But you lost it already. You gave it away. All I can give you is much weaker protection. The daughter, not the father. But all helps. Yes?” Her white hair blew about her face in the chilly wind.
“Do I have to fight you? Or play checkers?” he asked.
“You do not even have to kiss me,” she told him. “Just take the moon from me.”
“Take the moon.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Watch,” said Zorya Polunochnaya. She raised her left hand and held it in front of the moon, so that her forefinger and thumb seemed to be grasping it. Then, in one smooth movement, she plucked at it. For a moment, it looked like she had taken the moon from the sky, but then Shadow saw that the moon shone still, and Zorya Polunochnaya opened her hand to display a silver Liberty-head dollar resting between finger and thumb.
“That was beautifully done,” said Shadow. “I didn’t see you palm it. And I don’t know how you did that last bit.”
“I did not palm it,” she said. “I took it. And now I give it you, to keep safe. Here. Don’t give this one away.”
Silvered musk and lemon peel, white fir needle, frosted apple blossom, and mugwort.
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