“I have a surprise for you.”
I fished a strawberry from my yogurt parfait and brought it to my mouth. “A good surprise or a bad surprise?”
Loki rolled his eyes and set down his muffin. “If it were a bad surprise, do you think I’d tell you beforehand?”
He had me there. “I suppose not.” I set my silverware on the table and resynched the tie of my dressing gown. He’d given me the robe several weeks ago. When his expression turned expectant, I sighed and studied his face. “Are you going to tell me what it is?”
I threw my napkin on the table and stood to abandon our brunch. “It’s too early for your games. I’m going back inside.”
He called after me as I stomped from the terrace to his rooms.
“Ring for your servants, they’ll dress you today.”
His command was enough to make me stop and turn around. I had grown so accustomed to trudging around his quarters nude or in my robe that the prospect of wearing an actual dress surprised me. “What’s the occasion?”
His smug smile earned a huff as I plodded back inside. I called for my handmaidens and they swiftly dressed me in a moss colored gown with obnoxious decorative sleeves that reached the floor. A servant was pulling a brush through my hair while I sat at my vanity when Loki came to find me.
“Are you ready?”
Wary, but intrigued by the prospect of this surprise, I nodded and rose. He offered his arm and proceeded to lead me on a jaunt about the castle, guiding me through a maze of passageways until I was thoroughly turned around.
“In here.” He opened a set of paneled doors and ushered me inside. Candles gave the room a soft glow, and as we traveled deeper, natural light lit the quarters. As visibility increased, I realized there was someone standing at one of the windows. Loki cleared his throat and the form turned. Immediately her face brightened with a smile. Gyda let out a delighted laugh and ran to me, slinging her arms around my waist in a hug. I held her, closing my eyes and savoring the moment in case it never repeated itself.
“Gyda,” I sighed as I stroked her back. She gave me a final squeeze before pulling away, gasping when she realized I wasn’t alone.
“Your Grace!” She curtsied before launching herself at him with a giant smile.
I reached for her in confusion, horrified that she was committing such an atrocious faux pas, “Gyda, no!”
Loki caught my sister, holding her at arm’s length and staring at her in mild surprise. Then, as I gawked like a scandalized old maid witnessing a particularly lewd act, he smiled and sat Gyda on his hip. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned forward to kiss his cheek. When she pulled away, he looked mildly wary, unsure if her affection would stop at the kiss. But, charming Gyda simply grinned, causing his lips to curve into their own hesitant expression of joy. However, their matching smiles didn’t fix the vastly improper situation my sister had put herself in.
"Gyda! Forgive her, Sire. Gyda, get down, he’s the King, and you’re too old—.”
He looked at her for a moment, studying her radiant face. “Nonsense,” Loki chided.
I sputtered and reached for my sister, but he turned her away from me.
He smirked and belatedly kissed her cheek, “What’s the point of my towering height if I can’t pick up my darling sister-in-law to say hello?”
Things were growing stranger by the second. My stomach rolled and I narrowed my eyes, waiting for Loki to snap back to his petulant self. He stared me down, stubbornly embracing his new role as… brother-in-law? with a cocky smile. Fine. Let him have his exploratory fun. In the meantime, I needed to know what Gyda was doing in Asgard.
“Why is she here? I haven’t—,” I stopped and glanced at my sister. I almost griped that I hadn’t done anything wrong in weeks; that I’d given him no reason to pull Gyda from Vanaheim. But, it wouldn’t do for her to hear me groveling in front of this man. In her eyes, I was her stronger older sister and I was determined to remain so. I cleared my throat and raised my chin. “I mean, I have given you no reason to reconsider me as your queen, Sire.”
Loki smirked at my carefully constructed sentence. Evidently, he realized I wanted to avoid looking powerless in front of Gyda.
“Of course not, dear. Gyda is here as my guest. As our guest. Isn’t that right, sweet girl?”
Gyda nodded, “Father even let me come by myself because King Loki met me at the bridge just to make sure I got here safe,” she chirped.
I blinked and shifted my weight, unsure if I should snatch Gyda and run or pinch myself. “But-That’s where you were early this morning?”
“Yes, I rode out to fetch her while you slept,” he nodded as he released my sister. As enamored as she apparently was with Loki, Gyda returned to my side and laced her fingers with mine. Fighting the urge to push her behind me to shield, I settled for squeezing her hand. “She’s really here as a guest?”
“Yes, darling. Why else would she be here? To marry me?” he teased as he grinned at her.
“Ewww!” Gyda giggled, crinkling her nose and hiding her face in my skirts. I laughed uncomfortably, considering that several months ago his marrying Gyda had been a threat.
“Exactly, Gyda. Eww,” he mimicked her face, which earned him a smile.
As they interacted, I looked between the pair in utter disbelief. They had... rapport? Did Loki and I even have that? The King’s smooth voice broke my train of thought, “Would you like to see the stables now, Gyda? I believe there are two foals from Midgard that would love to meet you.”
She abandoned me in favor of Loki once more, slipping her hand from mine to his. “Is Brynja coming too?” she asked.
“Of course Brynja will come, won’t you, darling?” His question wasn’t a question. Still shaken, I plastered a smile on my face and nodded. I fell into step with them, watching in awe as Loki listened to Gyda chatter the entire way to the stables. She was obsessed with everything equine and was elated to be seeing the array of breeds Loki kept at the stables. I resigned myself to enjoying the odd spectacle that was Loki entertaining my sister. This day was growing stranger by the minute.
After a long day touring the palace grounds, the three of us and our accompanying einherjar returned to the castle for a wash before dinner. I was sore from sitting sidesaddle all day, but Gyda was still flitting about speaking a hundred words a minute, delighted to be dining with Loki. She premiered a stunning olive dress he’d had made especially for her and positively preened when he commented on it.
Over the course of the day, I had adjusted to Loki interacting with my sister. He was completely different from the man I’d experienced. Though a little awkward, he was warm and inviting with her whereas when it was just the two of us… or anyone else, really, he was cantankerous and calculating. What confused me most was how easy it seemed to come to him. When together, I often wrote him off as simply immune to the feelings of others. However, while we ate, I watched as he demonstrated a thorough understanding and execution of appropriate facial expressions and emotions with Gyda.
After dinner, both Loki and Gyda disappeared. As it grew late, I became irritated that Loki presumed to determine Gyda’s nighttime routine. When I checked, neither were in the solars or library and the stables were empty. Flummoxed, I stopped a guard on patrol.
"Where is His Grace?”
He bowed his head in greeting, “With the Princess Gyda, I believe. In her quarters.”
I struggled to keep a neutral face, but could feel my brows furrowing. “Thank you,” I clipped and trotted off in the direction of Gyda’s rooms. I heard a shriek as I entered her chambers and immediately broke into a run. I couldn’t picture Loki harming her, but anything was possible. Panting, I slowed as they came into view.
Loki sat next to her bed in a plush arm chair, his hands spread to project a tiny version of himself flying haphazardly out of a Nidavellir airship. “And then Thor pushed me out of the aircraft, can you believe that? My own brother!”
“But you were okay?” Gyda asked.
“Yes, sweet girl. I was okay. Thor and Jane jumped out soon after and I showed them a secret passage into Svartálfheim. Have you ever been there?”
She propped her chin on her hand and shook her head. “Will you take me?”I’d seen enough. I knew Loki had heard me arrive, and he surely heard me gasping for breath a hundred feet away. He was just ignoring me.
“You will do no such thing,” I interrupted.
Loki glanced up at me with a sly smile. “Why, Brynja, are you truly considering going against the will of a king?”
“I am,” I snapped.
Gyda’s lip stuck out in a pout that I ignored and he fell victim to. He stroked her cheek and leaned towards her, “Of course I’ll take you, little dove. It’ll be our secret,” he whispered loudly.
With a sleepy smile, Gyda brought her fingers to her lips and mimed locking them, then tossed an imaginary key over her shoulder. I was ready to drag Loki back to his rooms by his hair, but settled myself with a harsh exhale.
“It’s time for Gyda to sleep now,” I said.
Loki bent forward and kissed her cheek, then pointed to his own. With a giggle, she mimicked the act.
“Goodnight, little Gyda.”
Vacillating between stunned and incredulous at the familiarity between them, I elbowed Loki out of the way as I crept to my sister’s side. Stroking her hair, I pressed a kiss to her forehead.
"We’ll see you in the morning. Sweet dreams,” I murmured.
Gyda made a sleepy noise that I assumed meant we were dismissed. Glaring at Loki, I snatched his hand and dragged him from the rooms. Maintaining silence in the hallway was difficult, but I had no interest in giving the castle staff something to gossip about, despite having a lot to say to my captor. It would just have to wait until we were behind closed doors again.
We were almost at his chambers when Loki spoke, “Goodnight, my dear.”
A hiss of wind sounded and I whirled in confusion, only to find myself alone.
After my initial disbelief, I scrubbed my face with my hand and sighed. I didn’t have the stamina to play his games tonight. Abandoning him and his antics, I strode through the doors to his quarters to ready myself for bed. My servants came and went, working efficiently to rid me of my clothing. With a resigned sigh, I shrugged back into my dressing gown and dismissed them.
I jumped when a door I’d never paid attention to swung open, revealing a dirty Loki wiping his hands with a towel. Spinning, I glared, irritated at him for disappearing earlier.
"What were you doing in there?” I demanded.
“Tampering with the locks on the blasted Eye of Atammato. I’ve picked it every way I know how to no avail. I have a feeling it’s charmed specifically to keep me out,” he grumbled.
I cocked my head. I’d seen him only minutes ago and he was clean. “You look like you’ve been in there for ages.”
“Mhm,” he nodded and rang for a flock of servants.
I bit my tongue as they filed in, not wanting to continue our discussion in front of them. Loki sent them to fill the bath. Once they set to task, he returned to the mystery room without a second glance. I followed him, pushing the door open as he tried to close it on me. He raised a brow and flashed a warning glare as he looked back, then continued into the room.
The contents of the space were overwhelming. Dusty leather-bound tomes filled the shelves; phials, open books and beakers littered the tabletops. The walls were stacked with jars of… everything. Herbs, potions, powders and… parts, whether animal or Aesir, I was unsure. Possibly both, each labeled in Loki’s elegant script. An ornate, seemingly wooden box sat propped on a table in the middle of the room, glowing a faint orange shade. The intricate lock that sealed it shut caught my eye and drew me in until Loki interrupted my train of thought.
“This my room. My work room. It’s one of the most volatile places in Asgard. You should not be in here.” He ran his fingers over a row of glass bottles. “Merely inhaling some of these substances could kill you. Or worse. Have you ever seen a man suffocate on his own blood?”
Wincing, I shook my head.
“No? It’s not pleasant.”
I felt my brows furrow in distaste and distractedly gazed at the disarray of the room.
“Is it always like this in here?” I motioned at the menagerie of ingredients and ancient books strewn across and the table.
He shrugged and gathered a few loose papers. “When I’m in here all day, yes, it’s often untidy.”
I tilted my head in confusion. “All day?”
“Yes, all day. Are you deaf?”
“What are you talking about, you were with Gyda and I for hours.”
A smug smile curled on his lips. “Ah, yes. How is the little sprite? She’s quite darling, you know, but Norns does she have a mouth on her. No, I haven’t seen her since I sent my duplicate to retrieve her from the bridge this morning.”
My cheeks flushed in embarrassed realization. “A duplicate? Like… the one—?”
“That I fucked you with? Yes, darling.”
While I drowned in humiliation remembering that night, he fiddled with a beaker full of a tar-like substance, emptying the thick matter into a slender tube. I supposed I really should’ve known better. Of course he wouldn’t sacrifice his valuable time to meet my sister.
As I watched him work, I shook my head. He was completely immersed in his task. My reaction didn’t interest him in the least. I angrily swallowed down the lump of emotion that formed in my throat. I hated to admit it, but I’d genuinely enjoyed spending time with him today. He’d been so decent to both of us, humoring her chatty manner and making sure she enjoyed herself. It had been odd, but the spectacle had given me hope. To learn of his trickery disappointed me more than it should have.
“You were in here. All day,” I confirmed, running my fingers through my hair in exasperation.
He didn’t bother looking up. “Isn’t that what I’ve just said?”
“You used a clone to entertain Gyda. None of it was real.”
“Oh, it was real. Just not me.”
I sighed, irritated with semantics. “Why didn’t you just do it yourself? Why make a twin?”
He ceased tampering with his potion to look at me pointedly. “Surely, you’re joking. Do you have any idea the amount of energy it takes to be kind? And children are absolutely exhausting. They want to talk and show you things and on and on. Little beasts.”
I suppressed the urge to swipe my arm across the table to knock his entire lab to the floor. Instead, I bit my cheek and stalked to the door. Children meant well. Usually. Gyda had given Loki no reason to dislike her. Fuming, I glared at him one last time before storming out. He was still bottling up his creations. He hadn’t even heard me leave.
I heard him exit and lock the door shortly after as I hung up my robe and crawled under the sheets, and then the sloshing of water indicated he’d started his bath. Good. I needed time to think.
I lay on my side, my hand resting beneath my cheek as I sighed. Yes, Loki had deceived me by using double. I’ve lived with him long enough that I should’ve known something was off. But, the longer I sat on it, the more I concluded that the twin wasn’t as out of character as he’d claimed. He was still intrinsically Loki. Distrusting, mischievous, proud; but he was born of the same person. The clone had been those things as well… Just a little softer.
When Loki revealed the use of his clone, I had truly been hurt. It had been silly of me to let my guard down, but watching him interact with Gyda had lowered my defenses. It had given me hope that I had a future with him other than as his conquest and broodmare.
I didn’t realize how much time I’d spent pondering until Loki returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist. My face remained blank as I surveyed him, but he interpreted my expression differently.
"Pouting, are we?”
I squinted and looked away. I didn’t so. Mostly just reflecting.
Not waiting for a response, he dropped his towel to the floor and climbed into bed. As I watched his cocky smile, it was hard to remind myself that Loki was deserving of any affection I had to offer. He was spoiled and entitled, but I wanted to express gratitude for how his duplicate had treated me. It wasn’t that I felt obligated—I wanted to communicate my thanks to him, and with Loki, that was done best without words. Verbal appreciation was lost on him.
He made to crawl on top of me and I stopped him with a hand on his chest. “No.”
His eyes darkened with desire, “You want to play this game tonight, darling? You know I love taking you against your will.” I pushed at him as his mouth neared my ear, “I’ll never tire of making you come while you fight me.”
“No, get off.” My voice was strong; authoritative and that caught his attention. He raised a brow as his hands circled my wrists to pin on either side of my face. I shook my head as he began to shift his body onto mine, “No, I’m not resisting. Just wait for a minute.”
He backed off. “I don’t know why I humor you. I’ve grown too lenient”
Loki lay on his side and I pulled my legs beneath me, then pressed my hand against his hip, “On your back.” His eyes widened at my absurd request and I grit my teeth. It wasn’t easy to remain patient with him. “Please, roll onto your back?”
Eyeing me suspicously, he acquiesced. My stomach fluttered as I crawled between his legs, nervously glancing at his face before taking his soft cock in my hand. He hissed, his eyes closing halfway as he propped his arms behind his head. Our eyes locked and I briefly lost my nerve.
“Go on. Show me what you’ve learned,” he smirked.
I disregarded him completely and stared at his length, then leaned forward and pressed my lips against the tip. I heard him inhale sharply when my tongue darted out to taste him, which strengthened my shaky resolve. My hand tightened around him and I stroked, watching in fascination as he grew harder. I’d pleasured him orally before, but only as he grunted orders at me. I’d never had free reign.
As moisture began to seep from the tip, I lapped at it. His legs flexed on either side of me and I hid a smile as I licked along his cock. I’d never felt more powerful. Loki always had the upper hand; he knew how to touch me, to drive me crazy and to make me come. I’d learned some things through experience, but I wasn’t proficient at pleasuring him myself. At least I didn’t think I was. My opinion was changing as I slipped my lips over his length. He groaned and a shiver ran through me, which I know he picked up on because his eyes flashed as I glanced up at him.
“My personal slut,” he crooned. “My little whore queen that can’t help but submit to her king. Do you like serving me, Brynja?”
I glared up at him. This was about me communicating my thanks, not him belittling me. My mouth was full of his cock so I didn’t verbally respond, but he laughed when he saw my expression. What I couldn’t fit between my lips I wrapped my fingers around and pumped in time as I took him in my mouth. He started to speak again and I sucked especially hard on the tip and I was pleased when he grunted instead of spewing words at me.
The next part was far more nerve racking that I’d like to admit. Once he was sufficiently hard, I got to my knees and crawled over his lap, fumbling for his cock as I centered myself over him. He offered me absolutely no aid in my task, he merely watched me with a grin as I groped beneath me. It didn’t help that he was slick with my saliva, but I managed to line him up with my entrance and shakily lowered myself. His jaw went slack, erasing his glee as I sank over him. I couldn’t hold back a moan. I’d never been in this position before, and his thick, long cock filled me differently than when I was on my back or all fours.
I tentatively rocked my hips, but the movement was unsteady, so I leaned forward and braced my palms against his chest. That gave me much more stability and I undulated my hips a few more times. With each swing of my hips his cock dragged sensuously against my swollen walls, making my brain short circuit. Breathing grew difficult as I developed a rhythm, but I pushed through it and ignored the pleased smile that curled across Loki’s lips. He remained relatively stoic as I rode him. He emitted several grunts as I thrust, but mainly he watched me.
Determined to garner more reaction than that, I shifted my hands to his shoulders. He cocked a brow at me and I couldn’t meet his gaze, but I did manage to pump my hips with more power. His smile went lax and his eyes glazed over, and I finally felt triumphant. Pumping my hips quickly grew to be second nature, aided by the hand he squeezed my hip with. He guided me as I grew winded, encouraging me to continue. After a moment of rest, I resumed, my fingers digging into his shoulder as I let my head drop forward in bliss.
“Look at me,” he rasped.
I ignored the blush that spread across my cheeks as I obeyed. I had no interest in examining it any further. What I wanted was an orgasm, and I was close. My breasts swung in time as I started snapping my hips and I felt my mouth part in ecstasy.
“Norns,” I gasped as the spring inside me wound unbearably tight. My hips stuttered and I lost rhythm, pumping mindlessly as my walls pulsed around his cock. Riding out my orgasm on my own terms left me panting for air harder than normal. It seemed to go on longer, and though the muscles of my stomach smarted, I couldn’t stop.
Dazed, I peered down at him. Though I had clearly done all the work, he looked quite pleased with himself. I started drooping forward and he stopped me with a hand on my hip and the other grasping the cheek of my rear.
“You’re not finished yet. You wanted to fuck me, so fuck me,” he ordered.
I pursed my lips as I tried to achieve organized thought. I mostly failed, but not so much that I couldn’t restart my thrusting. This time he groaned and I smirked, working my hips over him as he began to throb inside me. With a growl, he took a tightened his grip and relentlessly rocked me, causing me to cry out as his cock rubbed against the spot that made me see stars.
He took over most of the manual labor, though I weakly pumped my hips as he guided me. I arched my back, moving my hands from his shoulders to his thighs as my hips rocketed forward, my clit grinding against his pelvic bone with each thrust. This time I let out a scream, the orgasm catching me off guard with its intensity. I saw white as my entire body locked, save for my hips which pumped mindlessly. My toes curled as I came, and though I vaguely registered him crying out, I mostly focused on the pleasure shooting through my body. Again, it felt like I my orgasm extended longer than normal, and when it finally ceased, I fell forward.
As I gained awareness, a layer of embarrassment settled over me. I’d certainly acted wanton with him before, but never had I specifically taken pleasure from him like that. He’d never allowed me an iota of control. I hid my face against his neck as I caught my breath. To my surprise, his arms wrapped around my body as I felt him soften inside me.
“That was very good, my dear. But, if you think you can use sex to manipulate me, you’re sorely outnumbered. If only you knew how easily controlled you are by orgasms,” he sighed as he brushed his fingers through my hair.
With a growl, I bit his shoulder. Not hard, but enough so that it was unmistakably a bite. He chuckled and rolled us over, settling his weight over me. To my surprise, he kissed me. It was far less aggressive than normal; almost chaste. Evidently my orgasms provided me with shoddy judgement and I cupped the back of his neck, pressing my lips firmly against his. I felt him smile against my mouth, and though it was likely a demeaning expression, I disregarded it. He let me control the kiss for a few moments before pulling away.
“Sleep now. You only have two days until I send Gyda home. You’ll want to be rested.”
He pulled out of me and I sighed at the loss, but nodded as he lay back against the pillows. I still blame my orgasm-addled brain for allowing me to burrow against his side. Had I been able to pay proper attention, the act would’ve horrified me. But I was sleepy and sated and he felt good. With a sigh, I closed my eyes to sleep.