“Unhand the princess.” The guard’s deep voice made me jump.
Landvik pulled away, dropping me to the floor quickly as if I’d burned him. “She-We—I didn’t—.”
Immediately I dashed away from him, leaning heavily on the armored form of an einherjar for support. My assailant shook his head, staring as if seeing me for the first time. He was genuinely surprised at what he’d done.
As the small herd of einherjar gathered around us parted, armor clinked. Loki emerged, stalking rigidly towards Landvik. I’d never seen his eyes so cold. They were spheres of green ice and if glares had the ability to decimate, Lord Landvik would have been obliterated in seconds.
“See this vermin to the dungeons until I decide what to do with him,” Loki said, his voice barely above a whisper. It was a raspy hiss that made me shudder at the malice behind it.
Loki’s lip curled in disgust as he looked away from Landvik and strode towards me. My knees threatened to wobble. I couldn’t look him in the eye and my pulse pounded in my ears. What if he accused me of leading the lord on? Or worse, coming on to him myself? The punishment would be unimaginable and I was just barely hanging on to coherency as it was.
Loki grasped my wrist and held me at arm’s length while his eyes flicked over my body. He took my chin between his fingers, forcing my eyes on his.
“Are you alright?”
My throat constricted as I tried to speak, so I managed a nod.
“Good. Leave us.”
The soldiers escorted Lord Landvik, who was still blubbering, down the hall.
“Can you walk?”
I nodded and took a step, only to feel my knee buckle. With a placid expression, Loki scooped me up off my feet and began carrying me.
“Put your arms around my neck,” he ordered softly.
I obeyed, still too stunned to argue or fight. I was in shock. With each step he took, emotion bubbled up in my chest, a tight sensation that hindered my ability to take in air. I wanted to scream and cry and hurt someone, but my vision was fading to gray. A sob tore from me and Loki readjusted his grip so our eyes met. His widened in alarm when he saw my face.
“Breathe, Brynja. Breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth.”
I inhaled raggedly, my shoulders relaxing and much-needed oxygen flooded my lungs. I did as he said and the dark circle closing in on my vision lessoned, though my body was still taut. I didn’t realize I was shivering until my teeth chattered. The sound didn’t go unnoticed by Loki.
“Just a little further, darling,” he murmured against my hair.
His tenderness should’ve made me double check whose arms I was in, but I didn’t have proper control over my body. I moved jerkily, as if the lord’s grasp was still wielding me.
Tears prickled at my eyes when I saw the doors to our chambers, the relief of having somewhere safe to fall apart overwhelming me. I could still feel Landvik’s greedy hands tearing at my dress and hauling my thighs apart. My shoulders trembled in Loki’s arms and he pressed my face against his neck. I closed my eyes, letting my tears soak his skin as I breathed him in. I was too shaken to be disturbed by the fact that his scent comforted me.
Loki had been my single source of solace for months, and that isolation had amplified the connection between us. In many ways, the dysfunctional bond I had with him surpassed the relationships I had with my family, and in that moment, he was all that could soothe me.
The sole of his boot kicked the doors open and I jerked away from the noise. He shushed me, apologizing for the sound as he knocked the door shut with his foot, this time with less force. Once he crossed the threshold, he stilled, looking from our bed to a chaise by the fireplace and back.
“I don’t care. Just with you,” I hiccupped.
He slowed as we neared the bed and gingerly laid me on my back. I pulled my knees to my chest, rolling to my side and pressing against him. He peered down, his mouth twisted and brows furrowed as our eyes locked. I don’t think he knew how to soothe me. I didn’t even know how to soothe me. I couldn’t process, half-formed thoughts flitted through my head but I couldn’t latch on to anything. My nose stung as a fresh wave of tears hit, trickling down my face and into my hair as I lay on the bed. Loki’s thumb brushed against my cheek, swiping away a droplet of moisture. He licked his lip, desperate to speak but unable to find his voice.
When words failed him, he went to stroke my arm and I winced in pain. His face clouded as he examined my skin, already blue where Lord Landvik’s fingers had dug into my upper arm.
“Bastard,” he growled under his breath.
Despite his anger, I released a tiny sigh of relief. He didn’t blame me for the altercation. He lifted my shoulder so he could undo the clasps that held the back of my dress together. My pulse raced as he undressed me, pulling at my gown and underclothes until I was naked before him. In my stupefied state, I didn’t even want to fight him. My limbs twitched, instinctually ready to retract to cover myself, but I stilled as his face iced over. Loki ran his hands over my bruised thighs and the bite mark on my breast.
“I’ll end him. He doesn’t deserve to breath the same air as you,” Loki muttered to himself, his body radiating rage. He pushed up from the bed, leaving me cold and alone on the mattress. He was on the verge of storming to the dungeons to order an execution, one that he’d likely carry out himself. And not quickly.
I didn’t object to his ruling. That man was going to do unspeakable things to me. But, I needed Loki here, in the room to keep me from dissolving into tiny pieces that may never properly fit back together again.
“Don’t go,” I whispered.
He hesitated, his fingers wrapping around the door handle, shaking with fury and adrenaline.
“Please,” I repeated.
His gaze was distant, as if already imagining the horrors he was going to inflict. He shook his head, “You deserve justice. I’ll bring you his head.”
“Loki,” my voice broke.
Retracting his hand, he turned and balled it into a fist, letting it drop to his side. His eyes swept over the pained expression on my face and he sighed. “Alright.”
I went boneless on the bed, overwhelmed with relief as another round of tears streamed down my face. Loki made his way back to me, planting himself at my side. He gazed down, his eyes searching my face. He continued to stare at me and I kept my eyes locked on his. He brushed away a few errant tears and I leaned into his hand as my thoughts slowed.
I felt filthy. I could still smell the stale stench of alcohol from Lord Landvik’s breath and I felt like he’d smeared caustic mud everywhere he’d touched me. My skin crawled, but I knew no amount of scrubbing would make me feel clean. Only Loki could. I bit my lip, uncomfortable asking him for what I wanted, but I needed it, so I braved voicing my desire.
“Will you kiss me?”
His lips formed a thin line and he stared down at me, slowly shaking his head. “I… I don’t think—,” he started.
“Please?” I hugged my knees, the duality of feeling horribly vulnerable and wanting to be bulletproof making me squirm. My defenses were shattered. I needed his reassurance. He looked down at me, face marred with worry.
“Touch me. Please.”
Eying me warily, he leaned forward, his mouth inches from mine when he paused. I could feel the puff of his breath as he spoke, breaking my gaze.
“You are not in a place to make such requests.”
“Touch me.” My whine was pitiful. I dragged his hand from my cheek to my bare chest.
“Brynja, you were just assaulted—.”
I squeezed his hand, urging his fingers to grasp my breast. “I know, but I need you to make me remember. I need you to show me that I’m yours.” The corners of my mouth turned down. “I… am still yours, aren’t I?” My voice was tiny and uncertain, which was not how it was supposed to sound. I just wanted confirmation that he still desired me as his wife. Beneath that was an additional desperation for him to lay his claim once more. To ensure that I was his, that I wasn’t just anyone’s for the taking.
He stared as his thumb brushed against my nipple and the dusky bud hardened, prompting me to arch against his palm. He looked genuinely torn, as if trying to do the right thing, which was nice. But right now, the right thing was keeping me from coming completely unhinged, and I needed him to ground me.
Pushing up from the bed, I settled on my knees. I draped my arms around his neck, burrowing my face against his chest.
“All I can feel are his hands on me,” I mumbled against his shirt. “Make me forget? I mean,” I pulled away and stared at my hands, overcome with insecurities. “If you still want me? I would understand—.”
Loki breathed heavily as he watched me. I blinked at him and he made a noise akin to a growl. Faster than I could follow, he buried his hand in my hair, using his grip to tilt my head back. He silenced me with a kiss, one that reminded me of how he acted at the beginning of our… relationship. He was rough and unapologetic, and as his teeth scraped my lower lip, I squeezed my thighs together with a moan. That warm sensation of feeling completely possessed settled in my belly.
“Like that,” I breathed against his mouth. I could feel him smile and I kissed him harder. Our teeth knocked and as he bit my lip again, I tasted the tang of blood, but I didn’t care.
He held my face in his palms, his giant hands cupping my jaw with such care that tears leaked from my closed eyes. He’d never kissed me like that before. It had warmth, but it was hungry and controlling and everything I needed in that minute. His lips migrated to my neck and he nibbled at my earlobe before trailing down to my shoulder. Loki frowned at the mark Landvik’s teeth left and I squeezed my eyes shut in shame. I should’ve been able to defend myself better.
My lids fluttered open when Loki pressed his mouth against the purple bruise. I was so stunned at the delicate act that I didn’t feel pain. I ran my fingers through his hair, gently scraping my nails against his scalp and he groaned. He licked the mark once more before pulling back and looking at me.
“You’re mine, Brynja. All of you. You may not always like it, but you will always be mine. That will never change. Not ever.”
Fighting tears of relief and gratitude, I buried my fingers in his hair and tugged, bringing our mouths together again. He rumbled against my lips and I moaned in response, pulling at his shirt. He lifted me off him and set me back so he could remove his clothes. He stripped his shirt off and despite him having moved me away, I crawled back to him to run my hands over his chest. I was greedy to feel him, to ground myself with my fingers digging into his flesh.
“Insolent girl,” he murmured with a small smile, fighting with his trousers until they fell around his ankles, allowing his half hard cock to spring free. When I took him in my hand and pumped my fist, I didn’t necessarily feel confidence. I just felt the need to touch him, to connect. His head fell back and he let out a tortured groan as my thumb smeared precome over his swollen tip. I blinked up at him and leaned forward to take him in my mouth, but he stopped me. Gently he pressed me onto my back and spread my legs, slipping his hands between the bed and my thighs to yank me towards him. I wanted his mouth on mine when he entered me, so I tried to pull him forward, but he stopped.
“Be a good girl. Lay back.”
With an uncertain nod, I did as I was told and shut my eyes, yearning for him to fill me. I bolted upright when something wet and warm and not a cock prodded my folds. Loki’s face gazed up at me from between my legs, his eyes narrowing in warning. I swallowed hard as his fingers grazed my mound and lower belly before he firmly pushed me back down. I struggled to prop myself up on my elbows, determined to figure out what he was doing. His glare turned devious as his eyes stayed on mine. With a wicked grin, he lowered his mouth and pressed an open-mouthed kiss against my folds. I cried out in surprise, despite having watched his descent. I tried to sit up and his palms bore down on my pelvis, pinning me in place as his tongue traveled up my slit.
The sound that left my mouth was feral as his lips suctioned around my clit. He used the tip of his tongue to massage it with little licks as he suckled, and I’m positive my eyes crossed in pleasure. The burning sensation radiating from my center made me cry out as my walls contracted, seeking a cock to thrust between them. My hips canted upwards but didn’t make it far due to his firm grasp, and I could feel his lips curl into a smile against my pussy.
When he slipped two fingers inside me my hands shot between my legs, delving into his hair as he sucked my folds into his mouth. My fingers were so anchored in his hair that I kept waiting for him to complain or remove them, but he seemed spurred on by the act. When he nibbled at my slit, a weak whimper slipped from me and normally the pitiful noise would’ve made me blush, but my entire body was already flushed with heat, so it made no difference.
With a few brisk pumps of his hand, heat rapidly curled in my belly and I arched my back.
“Come for me, Brynja,” he murmured against my cunt.
As his tongue lashed my clit, my muscles clamped down around his fingers and I exploded. He crooked the pads of his fingers against a spot inside me that made me see stars. I’m fairly certain I screamed, which only made Loki’s fingers thrust faster, forcing another orgasm in quick succession.
Dazed, I laid limp, sprawled on my back with my chest heaving as I fought to take in air. Loki crawled up my body, settling some of his weight on me as his face neared mine. He licked his lips and it dawned on me that he was licking me off his mouth. I leaned up for a kiss but he pulled away, framing my face with his hands and holding me still.
“You understand, don’t you? That you belong to me? That I’m never going to let you go? You won’t escape me.”
A small alarm blared faintly in my mind as I vaguely recalled Loki was my captor. A captor with the immaculate talent of bringing a woman to orgasm, but my captor nonetheless. I could feel a tiny pit develop in my stomach, but I ignored it. I had changed since Loki had taken me, for better and for worse. I’d grown bolder, yet more submissive. I knew more about myself from living under dire circumstances. And I had I’d gone from loathing this man to… not. In some weird way, I think I felt affection for him. He still royally pissed me off and wielded more control over me than what was healthy or helpful, but a fondness for him had developed. And, I think in his own skewed way, he cared for me too. Our relationship wasn’t safe or sane, but I couldn’t imagine being beneath anyone else.
I did realize that answering yes would change things, though I wasn’t quite sure how. But I knew it would. Broken and battered, I still had confidence in my ability to handle Loki. Of that I had no doubt.
My lips pursed and I studied his face. After a moment, I nodded, “I understand.”
A small, but genuine smile spread across his lips, “Good girl.”
My eyes fluttered shut at the praise and he kissed my cheeks before lowering his lips to my mouth. I was so wrapped up in our kiss that I didn’t feel him prepare to enter me, and I grunted when he finally did. Immediately my inner muscles clenched around him, grateful for his presence. My thighs ached where Lord Landvik had bruised them, but I disregarded the pain for the pleasure of having Loki in me. He relished in the feeling of my tight heat, resting for a moment with is forehead pressed to mine. It wasn’t until I bucked my hips that he smirked and started moving again. I was swollen, and it didn’t take much movement on his part to send me into a blissful state of existence.
I parted my legs wider in invitation for him to take me with more vigor and nuzzled my nose against his neck. As vile as he sometimes was, I felt safe beneath him. The horrors of the day were over. Loki had protected me. I was dirtier than before Landvik had touched me; I was sweaty and was covered in Loki, but I felt as content could be expected in such a situation. Not necessarily clean, but not filthy either.
He grunted as he thrust especially hard, coaxing a delirious moan from me and my hands traced over his shoulders and back until my fingertips dug into his rear. He groaned and sank his teeth into the curve where my neck met my shoulder. I yelped in surprise, and he pulled back, a cool expression casting over his face as he continued pumping his hips.
“Mine,” he grunted.
I stared at him, his eyes dilated black and sweat beading on his brow. He looked like an animal and the thought made the fire in my belly burn hotter.
“Yours,” I repeated.
He jerked his head, giving a quick nod of affirmation before settling with his arms on either side of my face. His elbows bore down into the mattress and with a whimper I wrapped my legs around his waist. His hips pistoned into me, tearing a scream from between my lips as he coaxed the heat in my center to explode. I arched against him, my nails digging into his shoulders as my cunt rhythmically pulsed around his thrusting cock. My vision blackened and the feeling of almost painful bliss lasted forever. It was one of the most intense orgasms I’d ever had.
My gasps for air were cut off when he sealed his mouth over mine with a snarl. He released a guttural groan and I felt him bathe my insides with his hot come with each ragged thrust of his hips.
My head fell back against a pillow while my chest heaved, desperately taking in air. Loki rested his forehead against my shoulder and I buried my face against his neck. He hissed when my teeth bit into his skin, leaving my own mark. I laved at it with my tongue, nibbling at the indentations left by my teeth.
He laughed on an exhale, chuckling at my antics.
With a groan, he pulled out of me and slid off the bed. I shrieked when he picked me up, clutching around his neck as he carried me to the bathroom. I clung to him as he used one hand to prepare the bath, turning a knob that started a steady flow of hot water into the stone tub. With a sigh of satisfaction, he waded into the water, settling me on his lap. Loki grabbed a sponge and snuck a kiss against the mark he’d left on my shoulder before he started washing the day from my skin.