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Pretty Pink, Baby Blue

Chapter Text

Miss lady, it looks to me you need a little juice in your life

Call me when that big ole house gets lonelified

And I'll teleport from here to there

You show me how it's supposed to be done

I'll make sure you have young fun

Pretty pink, baby blue

Why don't, why don't you teach me something new?

-"Pink & Blue" by Andre 3000


There was a Norse god standing at my front door when I opened it.

It took me a few seconds to truly register the size and scope of the man; he was so damned tall that he blotted out the sun from where it slanted through my neighbor's trees, projecting golden sunlight around the man in a weirdly Jesus-eque aura. My pupils contracted and I squinted into it, holding up one hand until the shadows gave me my sight back.

And it became all I could do to not gawk at him.

He was around 6'5'' with light brown hair and sunny blue eyes, and he had a body that Crossfit nuts would kill themselves for. Broad shoulders, a wide chest, sculpted abs, a proportionate waist, thick thighs, and long, lean legs. His hands had long, strong fingers, and one of them held a manila folder. He wore a pale yellow polo shirt and blue jeans and brown dress shoes with a navy suit jacket over them. His smile was just as bright as the sun behind him.

"Hello," he said brightly, offering his hand. "Thor Odinson."

I stood there, baffled, but politely shook the god-man's hand anyway. He had a nice, firm grip but didn't squeeze too hard. "Hi. Um, if you're looking for Becky's studio, it's next door."

He blinked at me. "Excuse me?"

"Sunset Photography," I clarified. "If you're one of her models, she's one house down."

"Oh, no," he said with a small chuckle. "I am here to see you."

Again, I blinked at him. "What for?"

His smile dimmed a bit. "Oh, dear. Pepper said she would call ahead and tell you. You're looking for a new nanny, right?"

"Yeah," I said, eyeing him. "Do you...know someone?"

"I am someone," he told me. "I'd like to interview for the position, please."

My jaw dropped before I could stop it. "You're a nanny?"

"Aye," he said.

At first, I wanted to laugh and turn his gorgeous ass right around and send him home. Who in their right mind would hire a GQ model like him and invite him into their house day and night? Especially a married woman. No husband could compete.

But I didn't have a husband.

"Look, I'm very flattered, but it's probably not the best idea," I told him, raking my hair back. "I mean, I just interviewed ten of them in a week and I still have to deliberate."

"I understand," he said gently. "It's a very intense process and you must take it seriously. However, I think I might be of great help to you if you were to give me a chance. Not even a whole interview. Just a few minutes of your time."

I chewed my lip. Damn him. He had come all this way and it was so hard to say no to someone so handsome. He could probably negotiate nuclear arms deals by simply smiling. In the end, I couldn't resist my polite upbringing. "Okay, come on in."

I stepped to one side and he brushed past me. Cologne followed in his wake; just enough to give me a small whiff, not to linger. Mm. He was definitely dangerous.

I led him into the den, which I had spent the last half hour cleaning after what I thought had been my final interview, since it soothed me somewhat to organize. Thor waited for me to sit before he sat, which was kind of cute, and he handed me the folder. I flipped it open and scanned his experience. He'd been working with an agency for a long time, about twelve years. "Just moved here?" I asked.

"Yes," he said brightly. "A little scary, but I like this city so far."

"Why did you move?"

"Better opportunities. I have had a few long stretches as a nanny with families over the years. It's always a bit heartbreaking to leave once the children are old enough to look after themselves, or their parents' careers change so that they have more time for the little ones. But I enjoy getting to meet new families each time. It's enriching. And fun, most of all."

I arched an eyebrow. He was one of the first men I'd ever met who considered babysitting and child-rearing to be fun. Even I had my doubts. "What were the ages of the children in the last two homes you've worked at?"

"The most recent was a two-year-old boy. Before that, there was a six month old girl."

I nodded. "Why did you move on?"

"The two year old and his family relocated. The six month year old's was a temporary assignment; her mother finished maternity leave and wanted to catch up on work. I was there for seven months."

"How much do you know about infant care?"

"I have all my certifications and I have a degree in childcare development. Two of my past assignments were with infants and toddlers, and my longest assignment was three years."

I smiled a bit. "I bet it was hard to say goodbye."

"Yes," he said softly, and a bit sadly. "It was indeed."

"Do you still keep in touch with the families?"

"Of course, as long as they feel comfortable."

I nodded again and perused the rest of his resume, and noted his references. "What interested you in childcare?"

"I have a younger brother. I always look back fondly on coming up together with him, and I wanted to do something that mattered to me, and to others. I felt this was the best way to go."

Thor paused and grinned. "My mother often jokes that it's why my shoulders are so broad; to support as many families as humanly possibly during my time on this earth."

I couldn't help it. I giggled. "That's corny."

"It is," he agreed. "But I like to use it to break the ice, so to speak."

"Have you ever turned down any assignments?"

"A couple here and there, if I felt I was not a good fit for a family."

I crossed my legs and leaned in a bit. "What do you feel is not a good fit?"

Thor fell silent, appearing to think it over for a while. "If there is trouble in a home, it's like fog creeping beneath the door. You feel a chill first, and then it seeps in and turns the whole house into an entirely different climate. I find that if there is tension between the parents, it is best not to become involved, even if I like the children. The fastest way to make things worse is to accidentally become an enemy or an ally with a couple."

He gestured to me. "I'm sure you of all people know this."

I cocked my head slightly. "How?"

"It must be that way with your husband."

I winced. "I, uh. I'm a single mom."

His eyes widened. Genuine sympathy flooded his expression. "My dear, I apologize. I did not mean to assume."

"It's okay," I told him. "It happens."

"I am sorry anyway," he said sincerely. "It was foolish of me."

I chuckled. "Do you always talk like that?"

"Like what?"

I gave him a little teasing smile. "Like a Disney prince."

He visibly relaxed. "It is my way, I'm afraid."

"Right. Well, let's have a little test drive, so to speak. Come on." I led him upstairs to my daughter's room and opened the door as softly as possible. We crept across the carpet to her crib where she slumbered.

"This is Piper," I told him. "She's a light sleeper and a picky eater. She likes David Bowie songs as her lullabies and she never misses a chance to ralph onto my neck when I burp her."

Thor chuckled slightly. "She sounds charming."

As predicted, at the sound of Thor's rumbling voice, Piper squirmed and opened her eyes, staring at him in wonder.

Then she burst into tears.

She's friendly, in case you couldn't tell.

"Piper," I said in exasperation, reaching for her. "Oh, come on. You've met like ten people this week. You think you'd be better behaved by now."

She buried her face underneath my chin and babbled defiantly, gripping my collar. I bounced and rocked her gently until she calmed. "Piper, this is Thor. Can you say hi after you so rudely yelled at him?"

Piper gave him a cautious look with one eye and hid her face again. Thor laughed gently. "Hello, little one. Sorry I scared you."

This time, Piper wiped her cheeks and eyed him carefully. She glanced up at me and said, "Ba!"

"Yes, I know he's tall," I admonished, and Thor chuckled again. "But you're just going to have to get over it and try again."

She squirmed a bit, but then waved her fingers at him in the hello gesture I'd taught her. Thor beamed at the baby. "Excellent work, princess. I'm honored to meet you."

He gave her a formal bow. Piper burst into giggles. I almost did a double-take. She'd never done that before. Interesting.

"She is a beautiful child," Thor told me, and I could tell he meant it. Some of the other nannies had fawned and cooed, and Piper had pooped her pants while they held her in order to inform me that they were not acceptable. The real test would be how she handled Tall, Light, and Handsome.

"You say that now," I said mildly. "Wait until you're arm deep in yesterday's peas and carrots. She's a lethal child."

Thor winked. "Well, if it were easy, everyone would have kids."

He had a point. Piper apparently agreed. She belted out, "Ya!" and then stuck her arms out for him, making her "gimme" hand movements. Again, my eyebrows rose.

"Behave yourself," I told the baby, and then glanced at Thor. "Would you like to hold her?"

"Please," he said eagerly.

I handed Piper over. The child shrieked happily upon being lifted a whole foot higher than I could hold her and slammed her tiny fists against his collarbones. Thor, in turn, held her amazingly carefully in those big hands. He didn't coo or make faces. He just smiled at her and watched her fidget and make gurgling noises.

Most notably, she did not crap her diaper. Hmm...

"Da!" Piper proclaimed, glancing over at me. "Daaaaaaaaa!"

"He's not going to feed you," I told the baby seriously. "Don't be a suck up."

She turned back to him and poked him in the chest. "Da!"

"Oh, no, she is the queen of the castle," Thor replied. "I am but her knight. I cannot feed you, princess."

"Na!" Piper said with a pout, and then dropped her head onto his neck. She snuggled in the spot and stuck her hand in her mouth, slurping. I shook my head at her. She had a way with men that I would never understand.

"Okay, short stuff, I think that's enough." I nodded towards the crib. Thor gently placed her inside and she drifted off not too long afterward, drooling to her heart's content. So classy.

Thor and I returned downstairs. "She has spirit, that one."

"Tell me about it."

"She gets it from you," he said, a playful smirk on his lips. "I can always tell which ones are going to be trouble."

I scowled at him. "Kids?"

"No," he said, and his blue eyes gleamed. "Mothers."

I scoffed as I opened the door for him. "You know nothing about me, Odinson."

"I am getting there," he insisted. "In fact, I shall guess your profession without you telling me. Ready?"

I crossed my arms and leaned against the doorjamb. "Shock me."

Thor swept his gaze over me, but it was non-sexual, only scrutinizing. "You are a chef."

I squinted at him. "Pepper told you."

"No," he said. "I got a glance at your kitchen. It is twice the size of the den, and it has gadgets in it that I have never seen before. It is also spotless."

He tugged my arm forward. "And you have flour stains beneath your biceps and armpits. I would say you just finished setting some dough to rise."

Thor Odinson was shockingly observant. He'd only passed by the kitchen, after all. Curiouser and curiouser. "Cute trick."

"Thank you."

I nibbled my lower lip as he stepped out into the sunset. "One last question, but this one is off the record, if you don't mind."

"Not at all," he said. "What is it?"

I cleared my throat and didn't quite meet his gaze, again raking a hand through my hair. "Do you have a significant other?"

He studied me. Well, he wasn't shocked, so maybe it was a good thing. "Yes."

I almost sighed in relief. Thank God. "Good. I'll give you a call with my decision by Monday. Thanks for coming by. It was a pleasure."

I offered my hand again. He shook it just as gently as before and gave me another wink. "The pleasure was all mine, my queen."

Then Thor turned and strolled back to his Mustang, leaving me there blushing up a storm.

“I see you, villain.”

Pepper’s strawberry blonde eyebrows rose at my words when she walked into my restaurant for lunch. “Excuse me?”

I sent her a sarcastic look. “Really? You sent a British male model to be my nanny?”

Pepper frowned. “I did not. Thor is lovely.”

“Yes, he is lovely,” I said, still exasperated. “And he’s also a walking wet dream. You think I don’t know what you’re up to? Because I promise you I do.”

“I’m not up to anything,” Pepper protested. “He comes highly recommended. I’ve gotten glowing reviews from friends and associates and I honestly thought he’d be a good fit for you.”

She paused and then added, “And Piper.”

“See?” I said, glaring. “Admit it. You have ulterior motives, don’t you?”

She sighed. “Oh, please. You’re as rigid as an oak tree. You’d never hook up with your nanny. It would be unprofessional and would make things complicated with Piper. And isn’t he seeing someone anyway?”

“Yes.” Oops. My tone came out a little sharp and disappointed. Better watch that.

“Right, and you’d never help him cheat on someone, so I don’t see the problem.”

“Of course you don’t, married lady,” I said, rolling my eyes. “It’s like you go blind once you’re taken.”

“Whatever,” she sniffed. “And it’s not all about you. How did Piper react to him?”

I scowled. “That doesn’t count. Piper loves guys.”

“Come on,” she pressed. “Did Piper like him?”

“Yes,” I growled through my teeth finally.

“And did all of his references check out?”


“See?” She spread her hands. “Problem solved. Besides, you’re the one who told me you didn’t like any of the candidates from the agency.”

“I know,” I grumbled, crossing my arms.

“He’s educated, polite, and great with kids. Do you have a solid reason for not wanting to hire him?”

I worked my jaw for a moment. “No.”

Pepper’s eyes shone in victory. “Then I think you’ve got a phone call to make.”

She made shooing motions with her hands and then picked up her menu to peruse her choices. I stomped back behind the counter and grabbed my cell, muttering the whole way. She had a point. On paper, Thor was great. In person, he was flawless. I couldn’t move forward with any of the other nannies since Piper didn’t like them, and I didn’t have time to spend another week searching. He at least deserved a trial run.

I took a deep breath and dialed his number. It rang a few times and then he answered. “Good morning, milady. How are you?”

I couldn’t help but smile a bit. That accent worked wonders. Anyone else would sound so ridiculous calling a grown woman in 2019 “milady.” “I’m good, Thor. How are you?”

“Fantastic. So you have news for me, then?”

“Yes. I’d like to give it a go. Just a trial run. Can you start as soon as tomorrow morning?”

“I would be delighted,” he said cheerfully. “What time shall I come over?”

“Six o’clock. I need to be at the restaurant by seven on weekdays.”

“Perfect. Is there anything I need to bring with me?”

“Whatever you need so that you’re comfortable. We can discuss it when you arrive.”

“Very well. You have a lovely day, my queen. Try not to work too hard.”

Again, I fought a dopey smile off of my mouth. Thor was too charming for his own good, and he probably knew it. “Thanks. You too.”

I hung up and shook my head. “And so it begins.”

The next morning, Thor arrived promptly at six o’clock on the dot. When I opened the door, he had a backpack over one shoulder, a small white paper bag, and a drink carrier with four things on it. He wore casual clothes this time: a leather jacket, a white V-neck t-shirt, light-wash jeans, and Chucks. He also wore that same sunny smile despite the early hour. “Good morning, milady.”

“Milord,” I drawled back, and he chuckled. “Come on in.”

I shut the door behind him and gestured to what he carried. “Breakfast?”

“Yes,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what you’d like, so I got both coffee and tea. There are croissants, muffins, and cheese Danishes.”

“Trying to butter me up, are you?”

“Can’t hurt my chances,” he admitted as he set them on the island counter.

“Shame on you for bribing your employer,” I fussed as I dug into the bag and withdrew a blueberry muffin. I fixed my coffee and showed him where the sugar and creamer were, and then took him on a grand tour of the house. He asked various questions related to how child-proofed everything was and then about emergency contacts and Piper’s Do’s and Don’ts. I still had some doubts about him, but the fact that he was so thorough helped calm me down a bit.

Once we finished the tour, I took him up to the little lady herself. Just as before, she was utterly delighted to see him again and immediately indicated for him to pick her up. He carried her around as I showed him her belongings and her learning materials. Piper babbled excitedly and climbed all over his shoulders until she eventually perched on them, holding on with two tiny fistfuls of his honey-blond hair. Thor didn’t mind it one bit, and I had to admit he looked great with a baby.

“I try to work a 7am to 3pm shift, but sometimes people call out and I get stuck working late,” I told him as I gathered my purse. “I’ll call if that happens. There is a credit card on the foyer that’s just for food and supplies, so if you get hungry or run out of something that Piper needs, feel free to use it; just write down how much it costs on the little pad next to it.”

“That is quite generous of you, thank you,” he said. “I can tell you are very particular about your kitchen. Would you mind if I cooked on occasion?”

That threw me for a loop. “Oh. No, not at all, as long as you clean up and put things back where they came from. Piper’s diet is stuck to the fridge if you want to make her something.”

He nodded. “Excellent. Anything else?”

“No, I think we’re good. I always have my phone on me, so don’t hesitate to call or text.”

“Again, much appreciated.” Thor opened the front door for me. “We’ll be just fine, right, princess?”

“Ba!” Piper said, throwing both arms up in emphasis. I shook my head. She really was such a flirt with men, honestly. It would be hell when she got older.

“Bye, baby boo,” I told Piper, kissing her forehead. “Try not to run him too ragged, will you?”

“Ba-ba!” she told me.

“Have a wonderful day, milady,” Thor said warmly. “We’ll be here when you get back.”

For a second, my breath caught. It was such a simple, friendly thing to say, and yet I wasn’t sure that I’d ever heard anyone say it to me before. Thor had probably said it without thinking, as if it were a normal thing for him, and it spoke volumes to his character. I’d never had any sort of stability before. I found myself both terrified and slightly relieved at the same time.

“Right,” I said, once I recovered. “Bye, guys.”

I stepped off the porch, still a bit shaken as I headed for my car. He was still in the doorway when I backed down the driveway and he looked completely at home as he waved goodbye.

Oh, boy.

The entire morning I caught myself checking my phone for texts or calls, but there were none. It was a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it could mean Thor knew what he was doing and there were no problems. On the other hand, maybe he’d stolen my child and ran off, never to be seen again, as the entire thing had been a façade and he was really a criminal mastermind who would raise my child to become a supervillain.

Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.

Around ten o’clock, my nerves got the better of me and I called Thor. He picked up quickly. Thank God, since I was frazzled enough already. “Good morning, milady. How is work?”

“Work is fine,” I said, chewing the edge of my lip. “How’s Piper?”

“Energetic,” he said with a laugh. “We have already rough-housed a bit in the yard and gone through her alphabet lessons. She has eaten her breakfast and been changed. We are constructing a castle at the moment. Would you like to speak to her?”

Again, I forced a grin off my face. Damn him. He was adorable. “No, I’m fine. Thanks. Sorry, didn’t mean to bother you, but I just—”

“You are never a bother,” he assured me. “And it is perfectly natural to want to make sure I am treating your little one with the utmost care on my first day. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything or check in as often as you like.”

“Thanks, Thor. I’d better get back to work.”

“As should I.” I heard movement. “Say bye-bye to Mum, Piper.”

“Ba-baaaaaa!” Piper exclaimed. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Bye.”

I hung up, and felt immeasurably better. I further calmed after Thor took a few selfies with Piper and sent them to me. Apparently, he was just a giant goofball, as he made funny faces in each one rather than trying to look dignified. By the time my shift ended, I understood why he had such glowing recommendations. It was next to impossible not to like the man some way or other.

“I’m home!” I called out as I unlocked the front door. Footsteps. Thor appeared from the den with Piper in his arms. My daughter squealed and wriggled eagerly for me. I gave her a hug and several kisses on her fat cheeks until she’d had enough. I tried to be subtle about it, but I did glance around for evidence of chaos, but there was little to be had. The rug in the den had toys strewn about, but there were no spills or stains.

The most surprising thing was the smell.

I blinked at Thor. “Did you cook?”

“Yes,” Thor said, beaming at me. “I was unsure if you had eaten already. I didn’t know if chefs like to eat their own food while they work.”

“I try not to,” I admitted as I strode into the den. “That’s exactly how you gain fifty pounds in a month.”

I lifted the lid to the large silver pot on the stove. “Chicken noodle soup?”

“Yes,” he said, stooping to open the oven. “The rolls should be finishing up now.”

I resisted the very tempting urge to look at his ass and instead grabbed a spoon. I sampled a bit of the soup, and it was delicious.

“Wait,” I said as my palate identified different flavors in the soup. “You made this from scratch?

“Aye,” Thor said, putting on an oven mitt and withdrawing the rolls. “I happen to prefer it over the canned soups. It’s cold out, so soup is always a good choice.”

Thank God he had a significant other. I’d almost proposed to him on the spot. I’d known and dated men who could cook, but a nanny who could cook was worth their weight in gold, for God’s sake. “Still bribing me, huh?”

Thor grinned and started brushing butter onto the rolls. “Well, I do like your home and your daughter. I’d like to stick around, so I must show off all my skills to convince milady to keep me.”

I peered up at him. “Did you take lessons to become this charming or is it just natural?”

He waggled his eyebrows. “Au naturel, my queen.”

I shook my head and handed him Piper. “I’m gonna go change. Be right back.”

I changed into comfortable house clothing, but not quite too comfortable. He was still a handsome man walking around my home. I went with a large t-shirt and jeans, no socks. Thank God I’d gotten a pedicure recently.

We ate lunch and he asked me about the restaurant. I’d had it up and running for the past six years, so I had a lot of its daily processes downpat, but there were always anomalies and difficulties. We had struggled a lot for the first three years, but by now we had regular customers and frequent visitors from out of town. He told me about some of the children he’d taken care of before and things he’d learned from them that helped out. I took a few mental notes since it was helpful to know as Piper continued to grow like a little excitable weed.

Before I knew it, we’d been talking two hours past when I had intended to send him home. I didn’t notice until I glanced at the window and saw the sun setting. “Oh, God, Thor, I’ve been keeping you too long. Off with you. Go home. I don’t need to take up anymore of your time.”

“Nonsense,” he said as he slid on his jacket. “I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

“Yes, well, I don’t need a surly significant other kicking my door down to demand you back,” I said wryly as I opened the door for him.

He shook his head at me. “I can tell you talk to strangers for a living. I have never heard the phrase ‘significant other’ so many times. I am straight, so you may simply call her my girlfriend.”

I blushed crimson upon being caught. “Right. Sorry. I try not to assume.”

“Noted and appreciated,” he said, raking a hand through his hair before shouldering his bookbag. Piper made protesting noises and threatened to cry as she noticed he was about to leave.

“Oh, don’t fuss, princess,” he said, tickling her side. “Your knight shall return in the morning. I promise.”

“Da!” Piper whined.

“I know, but I have to go. Be a good girl for your mum. She works hard to provide for you, you know.”

I rolled my eyes. “Suck up.”

“Maybe,” he said slyly. “Is it working?”

“No,” I sniffed.

“I guess I’ll just have to try harder then,” he said with a smirk. “My queen.”

“Go home, Odinson.”

He flashed me that million dollar smile again. “Good night, my ladies. See you in the morning.”

Thor headed for his car, and as I stood there and watched him drive off, I got the feeling Piper wasn’t the only one who had wanted him to stay.


Chapter Text

Time melted off the calendar. Thor’s first week felt like it had only been a couple of days, it went so smoothly. I had to stay late twice, but he didn’t seem to mind, and I made sure to pay him overtime for his trouble. After a month, I felt comfortable enough to let him bathe Piper if I happened to stay late at work and wouldn’t be able to do it myself. At three months, we pretty much established a rhythm and a rapport with each other.

And it was at three months when things started to get complicated.

Every morning, I did the usual: ran Piper’s bath, changed her, and then made us all breakfast. Thor kept my spare key after we passed ninety-days of employment and I felt I could trust him with it, so he let himself in at six o’clock and ate breakfast with us. Sometimes he brought new toys he’d seen while out and about and other times he brought me things he’d gotten from the marketplace near where he lived. He asked often for new recipes and I showed him different foods that I prepared regularly for the restaurant, and he picked up on things quickly.

Thor was quite artistic, it turned out, in his free time. He liked to paint and sketch for fun. He occasionally submitted things to small art galleries just to see the kind of response he’d get. Unsurprisingly, he was also a fitness nut, though I’d seen him put away junk food like nobody’s business. He offered to take me running with him, but my hectic schedule would make it too complicated, so instead I had him give me some tips to stay in shape.

“Do you need to stay late tonight?” Thor asked as he handed me my thermos, having fixed my coffee the way I liked it.

“No, God-willing,” I sighed after thanking him. “It’s Friday night, so who knows what’ll happen.”

“Indeed. Speaking of which…” He eyed me. “You have not gone on a single date since I have begun working here. I believe we should amend it.”

I stared at him. “What?”

“You need to have some fun, dear,” he insisted. “Have a night on the town. Go on a blind date.”

“I don’t like blind dates,” I protested. “They’re so awkward and no one is ever who they say they are half the damn time. I’m fine.”

“You need an outlet for your stress,” Thor said gently. “And you need someone to take care of you, to a certain extent. At the very least, go have drinks with your lady friends.”

I groaned. “Oh, come on, Thor—”

“Ah, ah,” he chided, nudging me towards the front door. “You will text Pepper and ask her to go out tonight. Doctor’s orders.”

I wrenched the door open. “You’re not the boss of me, you know.”

“A knight protects his queen,” he said severely. “I am protecting your mental health, in this case. No excuses. Make plans or I shall be very cross with you.”

“Fine,” I grumbled. “You big bully.”

I kissed Piper’s forehead. “Bye.”

Then I got up on my tiptoes and kissed Thor.

I froze in place a second later as I realized what I’d done.

Oh, shit.

He stood there, his blue eyes a little wide. My mouth fell open, but no sound came out. I’d just kissed him on the mouth. Like he were my husband.

I shut my eyes and cringed hard, covering my face with one hand. “Shit. I am so sorry, Thor. Oh God. Really, I didn’t mean to do that.”

“It’s alright,” he said softly. “Really.”

“It was an accident. It used to be like this with my ex and I think my brain just—”

Thor touched my shoulder. I risked a glance at him from between my fingers. He had a sympathetic look instead of being offended or upset. “It’s okay. Do you realize how many times this has happened to me by now? I’ve been in the childcare industry for twelve years, my dear. Wives do it all the time without thinking. It’s a reflex. Nothing more.”

I wished that made me feel better, but I still wanted to dig myself a grave and climb into it. “Still, though. I feel awful. I’m gonna bring you something back from tonight just to avail my guilt for molesting you.”

He laughed then. “You did nothing of the sort, and you need not give me anything, but if you feel so inclined, I won’t protest. Even the God of Thunder likes presents.”

I gave him a small, relieved smile. “Great. Again, I’m so sorry.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake.” He pulled me into him with one arm and rubbed my back as he hugged me. He was very warm and very firm and he smelled very nice. I stupidly wanted the hug to go on longer. “Stop being so bloody hard on yourself. You’re only human.”

He kissed my temple. “Now, go on and have a good day at work, milady.”

“Okay,” I mumbled meekly, and then scurried to my car. I made sure to drive a few blocks before slamming my forehead into the steering wheel. “Idiot.”

I didn’t know what was worse: accidentally kissing the nanny or being slightly upset that the kiss hadn’t fazed him one bit.

He was right. I really needed to blow off some steam.

And that’s how I ended up at a strip club with Pepper and the girls.

After she’d stopped by for her usual lunch, I’d told her of Thor’s insistent prescription for a night out, and she’d eagerly gathered a flock of mutual friends in a group text. They’d deliberated and decided upon the destination for the evening. Most of them had men woes or were overworked like me, so they’d voted a strip club since it had free drinks all night as long as you came with at least fifty bucks in cash. I wasn’t enthused, but it was too late to back out now. I’d only been to a strip club once, for Pepper’s bachelorette party, and it had been downright classy compared to the greasy spoon joint we ended up at.

That being said, the male strippers were freaking gorgeous.

And the free drink thing wasn’t half bad.

However, what was a bad thing was that I had a drink every time my mind flashed back on my kiss with Thor. It had only been a second of sensation, but my brain didn’t want to let me forget it. His lips were so soft. I’d found myself liking the contrast of his beard scratching lightly against my skin when I’d kissed him. He’d been so lovely to me. He rightfully could have walked out on me and Piper after that, but he’d gone out of his way to assure me everything would be fine. I hadn’t been treated so nicely in a long time, since my rotten ex bailed on me the second he found out I was pregnant. I’d won the child support case, naturally, but his money didn’t fill the hole he’d left behind. Not wanting to be a part of her life created a scar that would probably never heal, and the last thing I needed was a guy who literally called me a queen and swore an oath to protect me as my knight.

Thus, I was properly sloshed by the time the Uber pulled up in front of my driveway and I bid good night to the remaining girls sharing it with me. We were all pretty twisted, but I’d indulged far too much by this point. Thor had texted me a few times to see how things were coming along. One of the girls very helpfully said I should text him a picture of my boobs, but I’d had just enough sense left to realize that was an awful idea.

I wobbled on my heels all the way up the porch and fumbled with my keys. By the grace of God, I got the door open and bellowed out, “Honey, I’m home!”

I spotted Thor on the couch, watching television, looking worried for some reason. He glanced at his watch as he stood and sighed heavily as he walked towards me. “Thank heaven.”

“Look what I got!” I sang cheerily, brandishing the crumpled cloth in my hand. “Free t-shirt. I won the Jello shot drinking contest.”

Thor’s dark gold eyebrows shot up. “Wait, what?”

“Here,” I said, handing it to him. “For you. If it fits, anyway, gosh, you’re enormous.”

I flopped onto the couch ungracefully. The room spun a bit, but then stabilized. “Milady, how many shots did you take?”

I shrugged. “Dunno. Like eight?”

Thor gave a start. “Eight?”

“Uh-huh. Maybe nine? I get fuzzy around ten.”

He hurried away and returned with a glass of water. “Drink this, please.”

“I’m fine,” I told him after the first mouthful. “You can go home now.”

“I am not going home,” he said. “It is almost eleven o’clock at night and you are absolutely three-sheets-to-the-wind drunk. I very much doubt you can make it to the bed on your own.”

“I totally can,” I insisted once the glass was empty. “Watch.”

I stood, took two steps, tripped on one heel, and nearly hit the rug in a face-plant. Thor caught me before I made it to the floor. Fast reflexes, I noted.

“It wasn’t me,” I whined as I righted myself in his arms. “The rug has it out for me, Thor. Can you beat it up?”

His chest shook with suppressed laughter. “Perhaps in the morning. Come along now, milady. Let’s put you to bed.”

He lifted me as if I weighed nothing at all, bridal-style, and proceeded to carry me upstairs. I thought about protesting, but his arms were so nice and strong, as was his chest, so I just let my head rest under his chin and enjoyed the short ride.

Once we made it to my bedroom, he gently deposited me on the edge of the bed and knelt to take off my shoes. “I take it you had a good time?” he asked.

“Yup,” I said. “You were right. I needed to blow off some steam. Sticking your hands down some hot guy’s pants does wonders for your mood.”

Thor chuckled as he placed my heels back in the closet. “A strip club, was it? Good. Those can be quite fun if you go to the right one.”

He returned and squatted again to be at eye level with me. “You have a very nice dress on and I am not sure you should sleep in it. Do you feel well enough to change, my dear?”

I thought about it. My limbs felt rather liquid at the moment, but I didn’t want him to know that. “Yeah. Second drawer on that dresser.”

I gestured to behind him. He walked over and sifted through my clothes. I did allow myself a few seconds to gaze upon his glorious ass. The man wore the hell out of some jeans.

“Why’re you doing this?” I asked, suppressing a hiccup. “I mean, most guys would just dump me on the bed and go home to their girlfriend.”

“Because I am not sure you will not roll onto the floor in your state,” he said frankly. “And I have nowhere else to be tonight.”

He handed me a t-shirt and boy shorts. “Off you go. Change.”

I shuffled into the master bathroom, changed, and brushed my teeth. When I returned, Thor had turned down the bed and put my dress away. Dammit. The entire scenario reminded me way too much of my ex. I’d missed this a lot; someone waiting up for me. Someone caring enough to check on me.

Instead of getting in bed, I wandered close enough to give him a hug. He hugged me back, asking gently, “Milady?”

“Sorry about this morning,” I muttered into his shoulder.

“You already said that. Several times, in fact.”

“Still sorry.”

Thor’s chin settled on the crown of my head. “Be sorry for nothing, milady. You have been alone for a great deal of time, and you have a little one who depends on you. It is natural to feel lonely sometimes. Even someone as strong as you.”

“M’not strong.”

“You are,” he said. “You have raised a wonderful little girl all by yourself. If that is not strength, then I don’t know what is.”

I stood there for a few seconds, and then abruptly dissolved into tears. Thor held me tighter in his arms and rubbed my back, his voice soft and soothing as he told me everything would be alright. I felt so stupid and weak and pathetic. I’d been holding my head high and raising my daughter to the best of my ability, but it was hard. The days were long and the nights were longer. I wanted to be a good mother for her—the best—but not having someone to support me was difficult. Sometimes all I needed was a little assurance that I’d make it.

Was that too much to ask?

“He doesn’t want me,” I cried hoarsely. “He doesn’t want us. What the hell am I going to tell her when she gets older?”

Thor shifted me in his arms. “Look at me, milady.”

I shook my head stubbornly, so he gripped my chin and made me lift my head enough to see his face. His features were set in something fiercely determined. “You will tell her that your love is enough for two. He is a fool to miss out on her life, and it is not a reflection of you or her that he is not here. He is a selfish bastard and does not deserve another second of your thoughts, worries, and attention. Give me the word and I will find him and break his legs for hurting the two of you.”

A shaky laugh went through me then as I pictured Thor with a baseball bat and a scary grin standing over my stupid ex-boyfriend. Brutal, but amusing nonetheless.

Thor wiped my tears away with his thumbs. “You have nothing to fear. Piper will grow up loved, and that is all that matters.”

“I know,” I said quietly. “It’s just…what if there’s never anyone else after him? What if I’m doing this alone for the rest of my life? I mean, you’ve been so good to me, but you can’t always be here.”

He smiled. “If you believe nothing else, my queen, then believe this: I am not going anywhere. You are stuck with me for good.”

Foolishly, it made me so happy to hear him say it, regardless of if he meant it or not. It had been exactly what I needed to hear.

“Thank you,” I whispered, resting my forehead against his. “Couldn’t have gotten this far without you.”

“You could have,” he whispered back. “But I am grateful that you accepted my help.”

I bit my lower lip and shivered at his words. He was solid and unyielding, yet so soft. I wanted to kiss him. I wanted to steal that warmth he provided for myself.

But I couldn’t.

“Thor, I—”

He tilted his face just enough to kiss me.

I melted.

He ran his thumb over my cheekbone and then slipped his hand into my hair, brushing it away from my face. It wandered down to the nape of my neck and caressed the spot until I released a small moan into his mouth. He groaned hungrily in reply and drew my bottom lip between his lips before letting go.

“Bed,” he panted out, though his hand still stroked my spine like one would a cat. “To bed, milady.”

Without another word, he scooped me up and placed me in bed. I snuggled against my pillow, but I didn’t let him go. I caught his big hand in mine and asked, “Can you stay tonight?”

Thor stared down at me, and with the light from the window at his back, I couldn’t quite read his expression. He nodded slowly and toed off his shoes. He crawled in next to me underneath the covers and settled against my back. After a hesitant moment, he ran his hand down my arm soothingly, and I fell asleep in minutes, safe and cared for at long last.

I woke up to a massive headache and Piper crying to be fed breakfast.

It took me a second to think straight with the headache that felt like a gorilla attempting to smash my skull sideways with its paws. I registered that I was in my bed at home and that I was unnaturally warm and comfy in spite of the headache.

To my surprise, the bed shifted behind me. Someone was in bed with me?

Had I gotten lucky with one of the strippers?

“I’ll get it,” Thor’s sleepy voice murmured in my ear, and then to my utter shock, he shuffled out of bed and into Piper’s room. Thor had slept over? In my bed?  Why the hell didn’t I remember that either?

I licked my lips and tasted an unnaturally sweet flavor. Ah. Jello shots. That’s why I couldn’t remember anything. I tried not to overthink it. My head hurt when I thought, so I just let my body go loose and did some deep breathing to try and reduce the pain.

Sometime later, the carpet creaked and I opened my eyes to see Thor crouching in front of me. He brushed my messy hair off my forehead and asked, “How are we this morning, milady?”

“Hungover,” I muttered.

“Aye,” he said, humor in his tone. “I can see that. Hang on.”

He disappeared into the bathroom and returned with some ibuprofen and a glass of water. I took both and sunk into the squishy pillow again. “Thanks, Thor.”

“You’re welcome. Rest. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

I drifted back to sleep almost instantly, somehow knowing Thor would take care of everything. I woke up a couple hours later when Thor rubbed my shoulder. The headache was gone. Hunger replaced it.

“Any better?” he asked.

I sat up and slid my legs over the side of the bed, nodding. “Mostly. Do I even wanna know what happened last night?”

Thor’s face arranged itself into something carefully neutral. It worried me. “You do not remember?”

I shook my head. “Some bare chests and baby oil. That’s all I’ve got.”

“Ah. I imagine it would be thanks to the Jello shots.”

I frowned at him. “Are you okay?”

He smiled. “Never better, milady. I made pancakes. Get cleaned up and come eat.”

Before I could say anything else, he’d already headed for the door. I scratched my head, still frowning, but obeyed him nonetheless.

Piper greeted me with her usual cheer, her round cheeks covered in what appeared to be strawberry jam, as he’d given her a few tiny pieces of a pancake and some organic jam since it had less sugar than syrup. I found the least sticky part of her face to kiss and accepted the coffee that Thor gave me. I ate at the island counter while he hummed and washed dishes. It was so domestic that my stomach tightened painfully. Thor looked like he belonged here with us. Shit.

“Thor,” I said softly. “Why did you spend the night?”

He hesitated slightly as he rinsed off the Teflon pan in his hand. “You came home rather late and you’d had a lot to drink. I worried you might get sick in the middle of the night. And if Piper woke up, you wouldn’t be in the proper state to take care of her.”

I winced. Point taken. I hadn’t intended to get drunk at all, but I’d been stressed out and overindulged. “Thank you. It was beyond kind of you. I’m sorry. Was your girlfriend mad?”

Thor shut off the faucet and leaned against it, not facing me, his voice careful. “I…am no longer seeing her.”

“Oh,” I said, crestfallen. “I’m so sorry, Thor. Do you want to talk about it? Are you alright?”

“I’ll be alright,” he assured me. “But that is why I spent the night here. No one waiting up for me anymore.”

God, what a miserable thought. He was so sweet. How could anyone break up with him? “Shit. I hope it’s not because of me and Piper.”

“Never,” he said, facing me with a fierce look. “Absolutely not. I want to be here. I would be elsewhere if I did not, and that is the truth.”

I set my coffee aside and walked over to him, studying him. “Thor, talk to me. Did something happen last night?”

It was almost imperceptible, but he winced. “No, milady.”

My heart sped up. Something about being this close to him triggered a memory; me in his arms, his chin on my head. The rough brush of his fingers on my face. Warmth. Softness.

“Thor,” I whispered, my throat tight. “Did I kiss you last night?”

He took a deep breath. “No. I kissed you.”

I shut my eyes. “Dammit.”

“I understand if you want me to leave,” he said quietly.

“No, no, it’s not your fault. I…I shouldn’t have come home drunk, and I’m already a mess and single as fuck anyway, and you’re ridiculously handsome. Knowing me, I threw myself at you. Or cried. And most guys don’t know what to with crying women except kiss them.”

“Even so, I have no excuse, milady.”

“Thor, you’ve been beyond wonderful to me. I would be an asshole if I tried to throw you out for something like that.” And I probably liked it, I added silently in my head.

I sighed. “All I can do is promise I won’t do something that reckless again. It’s your life, not our life, and I have no right to intrude on yours with my bullshit. Don’t be afraid to say no to me. You’re so generous. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, not just me and Piper. Okay?”

He nodded. “I shall.”

“And take the day off,” I said firmly. “You need a break. You pretty much pulled an all-nighter yesterday having spent the night. I’m gonna stay with Piper today instead of going in to work. And I’m paying you overtime.”


“Don’t even try it,” I said sternly. “You’d do the same thing in my position and you know it.”

He smirked. “You know me well, my queen.”

Thor stooped and kissed my forehead, then Piper’s, gathered his stuff, and left. I spent the rest of the day with Piper, happy for the distraction, because it killed me that I couldn’t remember what Thor’s kiss had felt like, and there was a chance I’d never get to feel it again.

My guilt over the accidental bender got the better of me. By the time I put Piper in bed that night, I called Thor to try and make amends.

“Missed me that much, did you?” he said when he answered the phone.

“Come off it, Odinson,” I growled, blushing madly and happy he wasn’t here to see it.

He gave me that lovely chuckle before continuing. “What can I do for you, my queen?”

I kept my voice as level as humanly possible. “I want to make up for last night. Can I cook you some dinner tomorrow night?”

Silence. I nearly chewed a hole in my lip. When he finally answered, his deep voice had a smooth quality to it that made my pulse skyrocket. “Milady…are you asking me out?”

“No,” I said quickly. “I just wanted to thank you for this morning. That’s all. I swear.”

“I’m only teasing,” he said. “Yes, I would love to have dinner with you. Shall I bring something?”

“No, I’ve got everything covered. Piper’s going to my best friend’s place, so you don’t have to worry about babysitting either.”

“I look forward to it, milady. Good night.”

“Good night, Thor.” I flopped back on my pillow, mentally exhausted from remaining calm. I hadn’t asked him out. Really. It was just a friendly dinner between two friends, who would remain just friends until the end of time.

Yeah, my brain said dryly. You’re just friends. That’s exactly why you shaved your—

“SHUT UP,” I hissed at myself, and then got up to take a shower.

Chapter Text

Thor was the quintessential big eater, so I made an enormous pizza piled high with six different meats and way too much cheese, handmade pasta and red sauce that could feed a high school football team as well as salad, breadsticks, wine, and tiramisu for dessert. He’d once confessed to eating an entire bin of tiramisu once after someone dared him to do it, so I knew he’d love it.

Since this was not a date, I didn’t dress up. Just jeans and the MILF shirt Thor had bought me because he thought my reaction would be hysterical. He was right. I’d chased him all around the house and finally pummeled him with throw pillows while Piper cackled in the background.

The doorbell rang as I was letting the wine breathe, and I almost jumped out of my flats. I hadn’t realized it had been so long since I’d had a gentleman over and even though it was just Thor, my nerves were pretty awful. It would be our first time alone, actually. He is my nanny, I reminded myself firmly.

“You’re the boss and he’s the nanny,” I said in Fran Drescher’s voice while walking to the front door. Then my evil brain decided to finish the hilarious quote: “You give me a raise and I’ll give you one!”

I opened the door, and nearly fell over from weak knees. Thor had on a black suit, white dress shirt, and no tie. He had a bouquet of tulips under one arm, and his smile warmed me through and through. “Evening, milady.”

“You…dressed up,” I said dumbly, staring at his pecs and resisting the urge to aggressively stroke them with both hands. ZZ Top wasn’t kidding—women go crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.

Thor shrugged. “I figured you might want this to be a nice evening.”

Then he smirked at my MILF t-shirt. “I was wrong.”

“I can change!” I exclaimed, whirling around to run for the stairs, but he laughed and looped his arm around me so I couldn’t go anywhere.

“Relax. You owe me nothing at all. Do not change. You are adorable in anything anyway.”

A blush painted my cheeks. “F-Fine. What’s with the flowers?”

“They’re not real,” he told me as he handed them over. “I’d noticed your dining table lacked decoration, so it couldn’t hurt to add some color.”

“Thanks,” I said, touching the petals. They were silk and had a light perfume to them. “Dinner’s ready, so come this way.”

“Oh, it smells amazing already,” he groaned, his eyes lighting up as he spotted the pizza. “You’re spoiling me, milady.”

“No,” I said as I handed him a plate. “I just want you to get fat so I look better by comparison.”

I squeaked as he pinched my side and gave me a playful glare. “There is nothing wrong with the way you look, for the hundredth time.”

“Says the Norse god,” I replied, unconvinced. “You can say anything you want, looking like a double-scoop of perfection with sprinkles on top.”

“Suck up,” he said, and I rolled my eyes. He piled three slices of pizza and a metric ton of pasta onto his plate before heading to the dining room. I didn’t do the whole nine yards with candles and soft music since it would seem way too much like a date. I made my own plate and then joined him. We got caught up on each other’s days since we’d last parted. Thor had gotten three more art pieces done to submit to a local gallery and did a self-portrait for one of his online courses. After we ate, we relocated to the couch and he showed me a few pictures. They were lovely. He was insanely talented.

A natural silence fell and I debated on risking the good time we’d already had. “Are you sure you don’t want to talk about Jane?”

Thor exhaled into his wine glass. “You are not going to let it go unless I do, will you?”

“Probably not,” I admitted.

He drained the glass and set it on the coffee table, stretching out. He’d taken off his shoes and suit jacket at my urging, just because I needed him to look as normal as possible tonight. “It was about several different things. She and I are very busy people and the time we spent together kept dwindling. Finally, she wanted to pull the plug because she got a job offer in another town.”

I nodded. “And you wanted to stay?”

“Yes,” he said, his brow darkening. “Because she is the reason I moved here to begin with.”

I shut my eyes. “Oh, no.”

“Oh, yes,” he said darkly. “I am not a nomad or a ronin. I want to stay somewhere that I belong and can be happy. Have my own family someday, perhaps. It was too much to move somewhere else when I had just gotten settled, and so we decided to end things.”

I touched his hand as gently as possible. His tone hadn’t changed, but I could see the exhaustion and sadness hidden in his words. “I’m sorry. Really.”

“I will get over it,” he said. “But until then…it is a terrible feeling.”

He tilted his head towards me and gave me a faint smile. “But I appreciate your sympathy, however transparent it is.”

“What can I say? I’m a subtle as a tank.”

“I like that about you.” He lifted my hand and kissed the back of it. Heat flooded my entire person from head to toe. Oh, no. No hand kisses or I’d definitely do something stupid.

“Speaking of subtle,” I said, hopping up from the couch. I went into the kitchen and returned with the tiramisu.

Thor growled. Actually growled. I couldn’t tell if it was sexy or just funny as hell.

“You are a naughty woman,” he said seriously as he popped off the plastic top and inhaled. “Good thing this is my cheat day.”

“You’re welcome,” I said, smug as he dug into the first bite and made little happy puppy noises. He eyed me when he noticed I didn’t have my own fork. “Aren’t you going to join me?”

I lifted an eyebrow. “It’s not my cheat day. I had to starve myself to fit that pizza into my calorie count for the day."

“I will feel unbelievably guilty eating this alone.”

“I made it specifically for you.”

“Too bad. Either we share it or I won’t eat another bite.”

I groaned. “You are so impossible, Odinson.”

“You know you want to,” he teased, hovering the forkful of decadence near my lips. “Just one bite, come on. Pretty please?”

I giggled. The God of Thunder was not meant to say phrases like “pretty please” with that great big rumbling voice. “If it will get you to knock it off, fine.”

I parted my lips and he slid the fork between them. The chocolate, cream, and cookie were sublime. I sighed happily and shut my eyes for a second. “You are pure evil.”

“At last, you have finally seen the truth.” The couch dipped a bit, and then I felt Thor’s thumb brush against my lower lip. I opened my eyes enough to see him suck the mascarpone from his thumb, staring directly into my eyes as he did it. My heart thundered inside my chest. I couldn’t look away for a handful of tense seconds. Had he done that on purpose or did I just imagine the sexual nature of that one little movement?

“Thank you for dinner, milady,” he whispered. “It was very kind of you.”

“It’s nothing,” I said absently, and my voice came out husky for some reason. “Thank you for yesterday. And pretty much every day since we met. You’ve really helped me out and I appreciate it more than you know. Piper adores you.”

Thor smirked. “And what about you?”

I rolled my eyes. “Someone’s needy.”

He nudged my leg. “Come on, admit it. You’ve warmed up to me, haven’t you?”

“Well, I don’t let any old guy sleep in bed with me, so I guess I’ve come to moderately tolerate you.”

Thor grinned as he brought another forkful of tiramisu to his lips. “Alas, your sweet words have melted my heart.”

I tried not to laugh as some of the mascarpone smeared on his beard. “If you drop any of that on my couch, I’m making you buy me a new one.”

I wiped it off without thinking, but before I could draw my hand back, Thor caught my wrist and licked the remaining bit of the sweet treat from my finger. A hot shudder spilled down my spine then. There was nothing to contemplate this time. It had been entirely intentional.

The question was now what I was going to do in reaction.

Exit stage left, my brain pleaded with me. Tell him you have to go clean up the kitchen.

A perfectly rational, grownup solution.

Which was probably why my stupid ass didn’t choose it.

“Thor,” I whispered, unable to look away from his lips hovering near my hand. “Why did you kiss me last night?”

“Is that not obvious?” he asked quietly.

“I need to hear it. For all I know, you felt sorry for me.”

He set the tiramisu down, still holding onto my arm, and pulled me closer. “I do not feel sorry for you. Of all the things I feel for you, pity is not one of them.”

I swallowed hard and tried my best to hold his gaze, but I could feel myself trembling slightly from being so close to him, alone, in the dark. “What things?”

He held my hand in his, running his thumb over my knuckles. “I do not call you a queen to simply flatter you. You have a commanding presence and a poise that I find fascinating, as I do your wit and charm and endless strength. I am unworthy of you, and yet I still feel compelled to try anyway. It is a truly bad idea to make things personal between us. It is unprofessional. If my feelings are not returned, I certainly understand—”

I kissed him.

I’m an idiot, in case you can’t tell.

Holy mother of God. Thor tasted wonderful. Not just from the tiramisu, but in general. His lips immediately melded with mine. Divine heat rushed down my neck and spilled over my spine to explode between my thighs. He sighed gently and brought his other hand up to cup my jaw, brushing his fingertips over my neck as he opened his mouth to me. His tongue flicked out across my lower lip and I sought after it, claiming it for my own.

"This is such a bad idea," I groaned.

"The worst," Thor agreed, and yet neither of us had the will nor the desire to stop our foolishness.

Thor’s sinewy arms coiled around me and lifted me into his lap, and then it was as if he’d hit some sort of switch. I sunk into him without thinking, my brain too liquefied to think straight as he ran those big hands up my back to my shoulder blades and then down to my waist. He nipped playfully at my lips between kisses and then eased his hands beneath my t-shirt. The bare contact of skin on skin made me purr before I could stop myself, and he hummed in delight in reply. I slipped my hands across his pecs, letting my palms glide over them, and wanted to faint from sheer lust. I’d never felt anything like it.

Thor tugged my MILF shirt off and scooted me higher in his lap, breaking from my lips to kiss my throat. His scruff tickled and scraped the delicate skin. I let my hands wander lower to his six pack abs and dug my nails in, drawing a moan from him. He bit my pulse lightly and painted wet, open-mouthed kisses along my throat until he reached my cleavage. I couldn’t help mumbling his name helplessly as he traced the exposed curves of each breast and then kissed between them. I shuddered as he ground his pelvis up into me. Mm, he was already hard, and even through the suit pants, I could tell he was hung. I pressed my ass down on him and he growled, placing a kiss mark on the soft flesh over my heart.

He rolled over and flattened me underneath him on the couch, nudging my legs apart with his knees as he sunk down on top of me. Oh, God. It felt even better with him on top, his hard cock creating delicious waves of pleasure between my legs. He pushed my arms above my head and held my wrists together as he moved carefully, thrusting against me, kissing me all the while. I drowned in his scent and warmth, nearly overwhelmed after going without for so long.

“You are so beautiful, my queen,” he murmured in my ear. “I would serve you a thousand years if I could.”

Was it possible to come just from a man’s words alone? I got pretty damn close. It was difficult to even form words after such a declaration. “Thor, I…it’s been so long since I…I don’t want to disappoint you.”

“You could never,” he whispered. “But I understand. It can be overwhelming. I don’t want to rush you. I can take it slow with you. I can be gentle.”

I shivered again. The thought of Thor slowly, gently making love to me was almost too much for my imagination to bear. He always managed to surprise me with how thoughtful he could be. “I want to be good for you.”

He smiled. “You are good for me. You have been since I met you.”

His lips claimed mine again, but with such tenderness and care that I couldn't help but melt. Even the best days I'd had with my ex were nothing compared to the last few minutes of kissing Thor. After all this loneliness and misery, I'd finally get something good, something for myself. It was selfish, but it filled me with so much satisfaction that I thought I was going to--

Thor's cell phone lit up and vibrated loudly, nearly frantically, on my coffee table.

Bless him, Thor either didn't notice it at all or simply ignored it in favor of me, because his slow, intimate kisses never stopped. The phone went silent, and then five seconds later, lit up again. And again. And again.

Once it started up a fifth time, I sighed and drew away from him. "Are you gonna get that? It might be important?"

Thor offered an offended look. "More important than this?"

I tried not to blush. Damn him. That was a good line. It nearly worked, but being a mother made me too paranoid to ignore a constantly ringing phone. "It could be an emergency. I can wait."

"You have waited long enough."

"I know. But still."

He sighed and lifted off of me, plopping down with a disappointed look and grabbing the phone. "Yes?"

I pushed up onto my palms and had to take a moment to avoid a headrush. He'd definitely kissed the living daylights out of me; I was mostly dizzy now.

"Are...are you drunk?" he asked the person on the front incredulously. Thor listened intently, and with every second, his countenance darkened and worry lines creased his forehead.

"Slow down. Did you just say someone stole your purse?"

I jumped slightly, alarmed. Thor shut his eyes and ran one hand through his hair. "No, I am not at the apartment. Is that where you are? You are a few blocks away. Then can you not simply call a ride there?"

He fell silent for a bit and then sighed quietly, rubbing his sinuses. "Do not move. I will be there soon."

He hung up without saying goodbye and stared in stony silence at his phone. I licked my lips. "Is...everything okay?"

"No," Thor said with a resonating, quiet anger. "It is not. I am sorry, my dear, but I must cut our evening short. I am needed elsewhere."

Disappointment jerked hard in my gut. But it sounded like a genuine emergency, so I just swallowed the bitter taste in my mouth and touched his forearm in reassurance. "Go. I hope your friend is okay."

Thor exhaled through his nose. "You are too kind to me, milady. If I can, I will return to you and make up for all of this nonsense."

He cupped my chin in his hand and kissed me, touching our foreheads together again. "Thank you for dinner, my queen."

"You're welcome." He stood, put his shoes back on, and scooped up his suit jacket, his stride long and hurried, and he locked the door behind him as he left.

I sunk into the couch and covered my face with both hands, the taste of his lips still on mine. I'd been so close. "Idiot."

I cleaned the house up, washed dishes, and took a shower. Thor hadn't texted by the time an hour passed. I tried my hardest not to give up, but after a couple hours with no word from him, I changed into my PJs and flopped into bed. Then I spent the next hour convincing myself not to cry out of sheer frustration at what a moron I'd been.

The front door opened the next morning while I was arranging some Cheerios on Piper's high chair. She squealed at Thor's appearance and babbled enthusiastically. I put the Cheerios back in the cabinet.

"Hello, my little one," Thor cooed. "I missed you!"

I went to the sink and heard his heavy footsteps behind me. "Good morning, milady."

His voice flowed out at me like a river of sweet honey in my ears. My knees almost buckled. Normal Thor was bad enough. Charming Thor could knock over a building with the slightest bit of effort.

But I'd had a very long night that involved a lot of thinking.

"Morning, Thor," I said in a neutral tone as I rinsed out Piper's sippy cup.

I heard him hesitate slightly when I didn't turn to hug him or let him give me a forehead kiss like usual. "I brought you some breakfast."

"Thanks, but I already ate."

"Oh." He set the items on the island counter. "Quiet morning so far?"

"Yeah," I said. "Pretty much."

An awkward pause filled the space, aside from Piper crunching on her cereal. I could tell he expected me to ask how last night went, but I didn't. I continued washing dishes, ignoring the increasingly tense air building up between us.

"Milady?" he asked.


"Are you upset with me?"


"Milady," he said again.


"You have been honest with me thus far in our relationship," he continued. "I would hate for that to end. Please do not hold back. Tell me if I have upset you."

My eyes stung for a split second. Stupid things. "I'm not upset with you, Thor. I'm upset with myself."


"Because last night shouldn't have happened at all."

In a flash, he appeared in front of me, distraught. "Milady, please, if I hurt you in any way--if I was too forward--"

I shook my head. "It wasn't you. I told you. It was me."

"Why are you to blame?"

"I shouldn't have invited you over. I shouldn't have kissed you. You were right. We shouldn't let things get too personal. That's how you get messy. You told me during your interview about homes where there is tension and you can't stay when there's tension."

I glanced up at him finally. "So that will never happen again. I'm sorry that it did in the first place."

His mouth opened, and for a second, he seemed helpless. But a moment later, he shut his mouth and then closed his eyes, swallowing before he spoke. "I am sorry as well, milady. If that is what you want, then I swear it will come to pass."

Again, my gut jerked. Some stupid, romantic part of me wanted him to protest and sweep me into his arms and tell me he was crazy about me. But he didn't.

"Thank you," I said quietly. "Now, how is Jane? Is she okay after last night?"

Thor flinched. He hadn't told me it was her, but I'd known from his facial expressions alone that it had been her. "She is likely nursing one hell of a hangover, but she is fine. I helped her file a police report afterward, and that is why I could not return to you last night."

"It's okay," I said. "I'm glad she's not hurt."

I checked my watch. "I have to get going."

"Yes, milady. I just--" He reached towards me, but stopped himself. "Again, I offer my apologies for last night. I hope that we can still be friends, if nothing else."

I smiled up at him. I'd practiced this smile in the mirror when I'd gotten up this morning. No cracks at all. Just a perfect, serene smile. "Of course."

I brushed past him and went upstairs. Hopefully it wasn't bad luck to start the day off with a lie.

Chapter Text

"Alright, what's wrong with you?"

I blinked at Pepper after placing her roasted pepper chicken sandwich on the table. "Huh?"

"What is it?" she said, narrowing her eyes at me. "You've been sulking for two weeks and I've had enough. Tell me what's bothering you or I'm going to puncture one of your lungs with my stilettos."

I choked on a laugh. "Well, that's graphic."

She yanked me down into the seat across from her. "I mean it. I haven't seen you like this since the last time you saw your ex. Did he stop by or something?"

I made a face. "God, no. Then I'd be in jail for suspected murder."

She lifted an eyebrow and I clarified, "They'd never prove it was me. I'm too careful."

"Atta girl," she said. "But really. Did something happen with Piper?"

"No, Peps, I'm fine."

She scowled. "Did something happen with Thor?"

I tried to school my face into staying the same. "No."

"I knew it," she said, heaving a sigh. "It is Thor. What's wrong? Are you two not getting along?"

"We're fine," I insisted. She kicked me in the shin. "Ow!"

"Spill it!"

"Fine!" I growled, rubbing the sore spot. "You know that night we went to the strip club?"


"Well, Thor waited up for me. And there were some...complications."

Pepper eyed me. "What kind of complications?"

"Nothing major," I muttered, crossing my arms. "Just some drunken crying and maybe a little kissing."

Her jaw dropped. "You kissed him?"

"No," I said, flushing pink. "He kissed me. But I reciprocated. And I felt so bad I invited him over for dinner the next night and--"

"You rode his hammer, didn't you?"

"No!" I hissed. "No, it didn't get past second base, okay? His ex was stinking drunk and got mugged, so he left to go take care of her."

"And?" Pepper asked impatiently.

"And nothing. That's it. I told him we crossed a line that we shouldn't have and we're fine now."

"Fine, my ass," she said. "I know you. You can hold a grudge damn well better than Tony. You've been giving him the cold shoulder, haven't you?"

"No," I said. "Just...I've been setting more boundaries so that it doesn't happen again, that's all." Well, that was mostly all. I had cut down on as much physical contact with Thor as possible. There were touches, accidental brushes, and the like, but he'd sensed almost immediately that I needed some space.

Truth be told, I didn't realize how used to his friendly gestures I'd gotten until I had to be without them again. Thor touched me easily, and it was surprising how comfortable it had felt when he would kiss my forehead or rub my shoulders briefly if he noticed I was tense about a deadline at the restaurant. Normally, I wasn't someone who liked to be touched, and it took a while for me to not get tense around a man in my life, but Thor had made me feel at home almost immediately.

But now...I wasn't sure where we stood any longer.

We were still polite and cordial, and we worked together well with Piper. I could lie to myself and pretend everything was fine, but I already missed the way we had been before. Even if it had gotten too personal, it was a vast boon to have a sweet person like Thor to come home to most nights.

But Piper deserved better.

I couldn't jeopardize her care just because of my feelings. I couldn't be irrational. After all, that was how I'd ended up knocked up with no father to help me raise her. I needed to be mature. I needed to be strong and weather the storm. For her.

No matter what the cost.

I had a long shift at the restaurant, a full 12-hour one in fact, and I'd come home and sat on the couch to read through the mail and apparently nodded off. Thor's strong but gentle hand stroked my shoulder. It was so damned soothing I didn't want to wake at all, but I peeled my eyelids back enough to look up at him. I smiled faintly. "Hey. What are you still doing here?"

"Wanted to check on you before I left," he said, nudging the hair off my forehead. "You shouldn't sleep on the couch. It's bad for your back."

"I know," I said, not stifling a yawn. "I'm gonna go upstairs."

He lifted an eyebrow. "Somehow I do not believe you."

"Hey," I said, offended. "I'm a woman of my word."

"Yes," he said, a bit sadly. "I know it all too well. Still, I must insist. Will you at least head upstairs before I go? I want you properly rested."

I whined. "But it's so faaaaaaar!"

Thor rolled his eyes. "Fussy, fussy, fussy."

In one amazingly smooth movement, he scooped me off the couch and stood to his full height with me in his arms like Princess Buttercup in Westley's arms in the fire-swamp. "Thor!"

"You cannot be trusted when you are this tired," he sniffed, and then carried me upstairs. I fought off a smile the entire time and did my best not to snuggle against the wall of warmth against my side.

He deposited me on the bed and I told him "Thank you, Jeeves" in a fake, wheezy British accent and he laughed. "I am off tomorrow, as discussed, so please get some rest and behave yourself in my absence."

"I make no such promises," I told him tartly. "It's a lady's prerogative if she wants to be naughty."

The second it left my mouth, I wanted to slap my forehead. Good job being professional, woman.

Thor eyed me and then relaxed into a lazy, teasing grin. I hadn't seen it in a while. It was very, very effective, and the temperature in the room shot into the nineties all of the sudden. "I suppose it is. Forgive me if I did not recognize that you had that side to you, my queen."

My heart almost ricocheted right out of my upper body entirely. I wanted to flirt with him so badly. Hell, I wanted to slowly unbutton my blouse just to see those cornflower blue eyes slide down to look at my breasts and stomach. I wanted him to push me down on the bed and kiss me with ravenous hunger and tear off my skirt and fuck me into the mattress.

Instead, I just cleared my throat and nodded to him. "I forgive you, my knight."

Thor smiled at me and then winked. "Good night, milady."

"Good night, Thor."

He shut the door on his way out. I collapsed onto the bed and covered my face with both hands, grumbling insults about myself before sleep sucker-punched me unconscious.

Well, maybe I had to be professional with Thor in real life.

But in my dreams...all bets were off.

"Mm...oh God, Thor!"

I clutched the damp, hopelessly wrinkled sheets underneath me in a desperate attempt to ground myself as Thor hovered over me deliciously close, his lips closed over my pulse, his hips pounding out a succulent rhythm against mine. He had my legs in those big hands, each one underneath the bend of my knees, simultaneously holding them apart and keeping me from sliding onto the floor in a blissful heap. He towered over me on his feet, his dress shirt completely unbuttoned and framing that magnificent tanned chest, his muscles rippling with every movement. I mewled and shivered with total abandonment as he fucked me faster and faster with every passing moment, his cock a beacon of heat inside me. I hadn't felt this good, not once, ever. I wanted him to go on forever. I never wanted this wondrous feeling to end.

"How sweet you are, my queen," he murmured in my ear. "Will you come for your knight?"

I wanted nothing more than to come. I wanted him to make me come. I wanted to make him come. "Yes, yes, Thor, please."

He planted his knees on either side of me, spreading me completely open, driving his cock deeper still until I screamed piteously. He rose up enough to find my lips with his just as he drove into me again, so close, so deep, so intimate.

"You are mine, milady," he whispered, his blue eyes aglow with lust and affection. "Now and forevermore, you are mine."

I woke up in tangled sheets; sweaty, irritated, and full of longing. Damn him. Damn us both.

There was nothing I wanted to do less than to interrupt one of Thor's precious days off, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

I slammed my fist against the thick metal door with enough force to be mistaken for a police officer. My brain didn't care. I needed him. I needed to confide in someone or I'd burst.

I heard the latch groan and slide free. Before I even caught sight of him, my mouth flew open. "God, I'm so sorry to bother you, Thor, but it's an emergency and I--"

"Milady?" Thor said, surprised.

Well, he wasn't the only one.

Because he was standing there in just a freaking towel.

Words died on my tongue. Holy Mother of God and all her wacky nephews. Dripping wet, naked Thor was a sight to behold. No one was worthy of it. I was now convinced his parents had a vision and knew he'd grow up to be the most attractive man alive and thus decided to name him after a god. Time slowed as I hungrily watched a droplet slide from his collarbone to his navel, down inches and inches of perfect, smooth skin tightly pulled over deep, defined muscles. My fingers itched to touch him again. I wanted to tear into him like a loaf of freshly baked bread, for God's sake.

"You're naked," I said, in all my articulate cleverness. Yep. Nice and professional as always.

"Forgive me," he said. "I thought you were simply one of my neighbors. They pester me all the time to borrow things."

"Like what?" I demanded. "Your clothes? Who answers the door naked, Thor? That's weird."

He gave me a sheepish look. "Sorry. Didn't think about it that way."

Thor swung the door the rest of the way open. "Please, come in."

I stepped inside to find a loft style apartment. He'd been on the top floor, so there were very high ceilings and the walls were all brick. He had hardwood floors and a lot of open space with windows facing the downtown area with a nice view. I had always suspected Thor had done very well for himself in this profession, but also that he likely had some kind of trust fund. The Odinson family wasn't well known, but it was rather rich with blue blood, from what my Google searches had told me when I did his background check.

"If you give me a moment, I'll get changed," he said, gesturing to his burgundy suede couch in the center of the loft.

"Don't go changing on my account," I muttered, and then mentally kicked myself. It had slipped out yet again. I was developing a bad habit around this man. Thankfully, he didn't seem to have heard me so I spoke up. "It's okay. This should only take a minute. I need a favor."

He nodded. "You have but to ask it, my dear."

I took a deep breath and sunk down against the top of the couch, needing it to steady myself. "My ex called. He wants to see Piper on Friday."

Thor stilled. "Oh my."

"Yeah," I said weakly, crossing my arms. "I'm not...taking it well."

He crossed his arms as well, his expression slipping into something neutral. "And what was your response?"

I winced. "I...said yes."

Thor frowned. "You agreed?"

"Yes," I mumbled, staring at my tennis shoes. "I'm not sure of the legal ramifications if I'd have refused."

"And exactly what prompted this visit? Did he tell you?"


"Do you think this is some kind of attempt to woo you?"

I frowned up at him. "No. What makes you say that?"

Thor heaved a sigh. "Milady, your modesty is quaint, but you are naive. Men are foul creatures. It is very likely he has had time to reflect on his selfish, reprehensible behavior and is returning to try and avail himself of his guilt, and he may want to rekindle your relationship."

"Bullshit," I said. "He knows I hate his guts."

"Now you do," Thor said. "But you didn't always."

That stung. "I'm not a sucker, Thor. I'd never fall for that."

"Aye, you would not, for you are a smart and reasonable woman," he agreed. "But that does not mean he will not still try. Had I a woman as wonderful as you, there is nothing on heaven and earth that could stop me from winning her back."

I winced. "Nice thought, but you're wrong about him. He just wants to see Piper. I agree it is some kind of guilt, maybe. I just..."

I raked my hands through my hair. "I want you there. For support. You don't have to say anything or even be in the same room as us, but I'd like you to be with me. I'm not strong enough to let that jackass into my house without a friend nearby."

"As if you could keep me away," he said fiercely. "But be warned. If he says a single cross word to you, or if he at all is anything but a perfect gentleman to Piper, I will snap him in half. Without hesitation."

I snorted. "Get in line, Odinson. You can have what's left of him after I'm through if he tries anything at all with me or Piper."

Thor nodded. "Very good, my queen. Tell me when and where. I'll be there."

"Thank you." I paused. "I'd hug you, but you know. Naked."

"I am not naked," he said, exasperated, gesturing to the towel.

"Oh, close enough," I said, rolling my eyes. "Nice place, by the way. It's a bachelor pad alright, but not as bad as I pictured."

Thor lifted an eyebrow and smirked at me. "And just how many times have you pictured my apartment, milady?"

Damn him. I forgot how quick-witted and perceptive he could be. "A girl gets curious sometimes, okay? Sue me."

"Curiosity killed the cat," he chided.

"Satisfaction brought it back," I challenged with a grin.

He chuckled. "So it did. And yet I imagine you are not easily satisfied in anything, my queen."

My brain took that in a completely different direction than he probably meant it. I struggled to say something that wasn't flirtatious. "Maybe."

My gaze wandered to those wide shoulders and I cursed myself and returned it to his face. He watched me from underneath his dark gold lashes as if considering something. "Milady, may I ask you something?"

No, no, no, no! my brain shrieked. Leave! The door is right there! Just bail!



"You could have called to ask me," he said, and something of a baritone purr crept into his voice. I nearly shuddered upon hearing it. Something instinctual inside me wanted to leap at him after hearing that tone. "And yet here you are in my home at a late hour. Why is that exactly?"

"I...thought it might be a little impersonal to call and ask a favor," I said, licking my lips as the room seemed to heat up a bit. "And Piper's at my parents' place, so I had the time to make the trip anyway."

"I appreciate the gesture," Thor said. "But still, I feel as if you are not telling me the truth."

"What do you think is the truth?" I asked, my voice a bit hoarse.

He took a few, slow steps towards me. "I do believe you meant what you said about remaining professional with me in the future."

Thor stopped just short of touching me, standing between my open legs where I had perched on the couch, and his intense stare sucked all the air out of my lungs. "And yet your eyes tell me a different story."

"What are they telling you?"

He brushed my hair behind my ear. "That you would like me to kiss you right now because your ex is a repugnant bastard and you need to be reassured that you are a desirable woman."

He unzipped the front of my jacket, slowly, without breaking my gaze. "That you would like me to gather you up in my arms and take you to my bed and make fierce, sweaty, hot love to you tonight and into the morning. That you no longer care about our professional relationship, for you know by now how absolutely crazy I am about you and that I have no intention of letting you slip through my fingers again."

Thor gave me a heart-stopping little smirk. "Well, not through them, anyway. Perhaps let them slip into you instead."

I forgot how to breathe. Thus, my next words came out a bare whisper. "Nothing's changed, Thor. It's still a bad idea. It's still dangerous if things go wrong. Piper needs you."

"Yes, she does," he whispered. "And so do you. Do not run from me again, my queen. Stay. Stay with me. Stay with your knight tonight."

Well, who the hell could say no to that?

Chapter Text

"How long has it been for you?"

Thor's room was swathed in warm colors--reds, oranges, yellows, burgundies, browns--and his comforter was amazingly thick and soft against my back. That being said, I was beyond nervous, and his question only intensified the feeling.

"N-Not since maybe two months into my pregnancy," I told him. "Shortly before I found out I was having Piper."

Thor nodded once from where he stood by the doorway, dimming the lights until just a faint glow illuminated parts of the room. "And when you were alone?"

I flushed, glad he couldn't see it. "Um, yeah, I do that sometimes."

"Good. It is a healthy thing for a woman."

He loomed fully into my sight and I swallowed hard. As much as I'd wanted this, all the familiar insecurities flooded my brain. I mean, God, look at him. He was perfection. Was I really about to take my clothes off in front of someone who had seen me cry like a grieving widow in his arms? Was I really going to make love to someone so handsome and kind? I must have lost it.

"Thor, I--"

"Please," he said in a hushed tone. "Just relax."

He placed one knee on the bed and leaned over me, running his thumb across my cheekbone. "You have been hurt, deeply, and I cannot undo what he did to you. But I want to be good to you, for you have been good to me. I want you to show me what you like. I want you to tell me what you like. I will do or not do whatever you desire this night. You only need to ask."

He traced his thumb across my lower lip and then kissed me lightly. "Is that alright with you, milady?"

I nodded too many times. "Y-Yeah."

Thor pushed up enough to remove my shoes and socks and then reached for the hem of my shirt. He peeled it off inside out and then unbuckled my jeans. I wiggled my way out of them, left in a relatively decent looking pair of panties and bra. Hell, at least they matched. Half the time I dressed in the dark, too sleepy to give a damn.

"Mm," Thor sighed, his gaze roving over my bared skin. "You are so very lovely, milady."

My skin flushed at the attention. "Thank you."

He leaned against my knees and I reluctantly let my legs fall open on either side of him. He rested his weight on one powerful forearm and kissed me, still so patient and fulfilling. Heat ate at different points of my body in overwhelming proportions: my breasts, my belly, my lips, my sex. I wanted to wrap every inch of myself around him all at once just to stop the burning. I didn't realize Thor was waiting for me until I looped my calves over his and then he rested on top of me. I gasped and shuddered at the sudden pressure of his cock against my stomach through the thick towel.

"Easy," Thor murmured in my ear, dripping kisses down one side of my neck. "Easy, milady. Breathe."

He dragged his large hand up my bare stomach and I moaned, arching into the touch. God, his skin felt on fire and I wanted to burn to death in his flames. I pressed up into his chest, his abs, rocking against his solid frame in helpless wonder. His hand reached my bra and pushed the cup to one side, his fingers finding my nipple immediately. He captured the sensitive bud between his lips and swirled his tongue around it, his beard scratching and tickling pleasantly along my chest. He pushed the other cup of the bra aside as well and languished attention on my left breast before my impatience took over. I reached underneath me and unsnapped it. Thor rumbled with approval and turned his full attention to each breast one at a time, licking and sucking until I moaned his name.

He kissed my sternum and then trailed his way down the center of my stomach. I blushed as I noticed the little imperfections of stretch marks and the extra baby fat I hadn't enough time to shed yet, but Thor didn't seem to mind one bit. He stopped when he reached the hem of my panties and flattened his palm against my pelvis. His fingers were so long they nearly touched either side of my hips. I felt tiny by comparison, and I wasn't even a small woman to begin with.

By now, he was breathing hard and there was a dangerous, exciting light glinting in those blue eyes that made me tingle sharply between my legs. He licked his lips as he stared at me, somehow so serious that I almost felt a little alarmed.

"May I taste you?" he whispered. "May I taste you, milady?"

I swallowed hard. "Yes. Yes, please, Thor."

He shuddered and exhaled. "Thank you. I have wanted to do that since I first laid eyes on you. Every day I thought about shoving you up against the front door and pulling your skirt up and bringing you again and again on my tongue."

I covered my face with both hands, overwhelmed by the sheer power in his voice. "Thor."

He rumbled with a laugh that was very much like I imagined a Viking would have done as he slid my panties off. "Forgive me, my queen. I don't mean to embarrass you. But it is the truth. You have no idea what the sight of you does to me."

Thor nudged my thighs further apart and a growl vibrated up from where his hands rested on my knees. "You are exquisite."

I tried not to scream when he lowered his mouth to my inner thighs, kissing and caressing them in turn, even going so far as to place a kiss mark on each one. I could hardly hear anything over my panicked, anticipatory breaths from underneath my hands. I couldn't bear to watch him do this to me. It would be too much.

Thor's tongue was wet and warm and soft yet textured as he dragged it across my opening in one slow, almost searching motion. I pressed my hands down over my mouth to mask an outright scream of need and passion as pleasure ripped through my senses. A second later, he reached up and pulled my hands from my face, his voice rough. "No. Let me hear it. Moan for me, sweetheart."

He licked me once, twice, and the third time he let his lips wrap around my clit as his tongue buried itself deep at my slippery center. "Fuck! Thor! Oh, God, Thor!"

I slipped my hands into his honey-blond hair before I could stop myself, already overheated. "I-I won't last like this, please. Go slow."

Thor withdrew his tongue in a languid motion. "Then do not last. Fall apart for me. I will catch you, milady."

I cried out as he returned to his good work enthusiastically, his tongue exploring me, surging into me and then sliding away to lap at my outer walls and to circle my clit. Those wide shoulders kept my legs open and those enormous hands trapped me in place. I could do nothing but feel him. And he was glorious.

"Thor," I whimpered. "Thor, please, I-I can't, I'm going to come."

"Yes," he sighed wistfully. "Come for me. Come for your knight."

He hooked one thick finger inside me and curled it just as his lips closed over my clit again. I couldn't fight it any longer. I came with a scream of his name and melted into the bed.

I roused when the bed shifted under his weight as he climbed up to meet me. He kissed me with clean lips, which I appreciated. "Are you alright?"

"Fucking great," I mumbled hoarsely, and he laughed. "Are you sure you aren't the God of Oral Sex?"

"Not as far as I know, but thank you for the compliment." I smirked up at him and lowered my hands towards the hem of his towel.

"Well, since the title's up for grabs, then..."

Thor inhaled a bit sharply, but didn't resist as I undid the knot at his hip and the towel fell in half.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

What a gorgeous cock.

Long and straight and perfectly matching his overall golden-toned skin, which mean it wasn't a tan, just his natural coloring. He was thick, too, but not so much that I couldn't get my fingers around him. He would be a challenge, alright, but the good kind, not the impossible kind. Besides, that was jumping ahead a bit anyway.

"Roll over," I told him.

He hesitated. "Milady, you certainly don't have to feel obligated to--"

"Thor," I said in my mildest tone. "The second I opened my front door, I wanted to suck your soul out through your cock. Now are you going to roll over or am I going to have to make you?"

He blinked at me, totally surprised, and then chuckled as he shifted his weight. "As you wish, my queen."

Thor rolled and carefully balanced me over him. I settled in a spot along his thighs that felt comfortable and took a deep breath as I reached for him. Thor let out a throaty groan as my fingers encircled his cock and slowly traversed the length of his shaft. I bit my lip. Oh, it felt so nice and silky. I had missed this part of sex, having a handsome man in the palm of my hand literally and figuratively.

I tossed my hair to one side and lowered my lips enough to bring the head into my mouth. He tasted divine; a little sweet, a little salty. Thor writhed on the bed and exhaled my name, gripping my shoulder hard. Maybe it had been a while for him. If he and Jane had been having problems for so long, perhaps he'd been without pleasure for months. Sympathy rushed through me then. He needed to be taken care of too.

I let him fall free of my mouth and stroked him patiently, my voice soft. "Relax. You've been good to me. Let me return the favor."

He licked his lips, his pupils dilated to the max, shivering a bit as he nodded. "Yes, milady."

I carefully maneuvered his cock and licked the underside, from base to tip, and then relaxed my jaw until I could fit nearly all of him in my mouth. He moaned. It was a beautiful sound. I kept my eyes open to watch his reactions as I worked him in and out, increasing the pressure of my fingers gradually. Thor was absolutely stunning in the storm of his pleasure, like a king of some kind, so regal and handsome and yet vulnerable. Part of me wanted to send him over the edge into his climax the way he had with me, but by the time my other hand had worked its magic on his balls, he begged me to stop. I respected his boundaries and released him at his urging.

He shoved me down to the bed beneath him and kissed me passionately, sliding his hand up into my hair to tilt my head back as his lips chased after mine. His knees spread my legs wide and he broke from my mouth long enough to ask me, "May I have you, my queen?"

I wrapped my arms around his neck. "Yes, my knight."

He kissed me just as he slid inside me.

Everything wrong with the world righted itself in that one moment.

My body arched off of the mattress in a shivering bow. Sharp, consuming electricity popped over my naked skin from head to toe. It was as if he'd run a current straight through me and every nerve buzzed with the pleasurable shocks. My inner walls trembled and stretched to fit him, but it didn't hurt, it just excited me even more to take him all in at once. He'd made me so wet my body didn't even fight him.

"Oh, my lady," he whispered reverently against my lips. "You are heaven."

He planted his hands above me on the bed and rocked into me in slow, purposeful strokes. Every one made me keen and moan and cry out for him as my tight pussy fought to keep him inside me, gripping him with a force that made my toes curl. I didn't want him to leave me. I wanted him so close, so deep, touching every part of me until I went mad. He settled into a strong, sensual rhythm, and through it all, I knew he couldn't take his eyes off me. The thought alone touched me in a way I'd never felt before.

"God, Thor," I whimpered. "You feel so good."

"I want it," he groaned back, his hips pounding and scraping against mine. "I want to make you feel good, milady. So good. Give me more. Do not hold back."

He slipped his forearms beneath my knees, spreading me open entirely, thrusting wildly, hitting my spot. I cried out and grabbed his shoulders. "Oh, fuck, Thor, God, please! Ah, ah, ah!"

"Yes," he urged gently. "Yes, please, my lady. Please come for me."

I couldn't resist him any longer. I convulsed on the bed, surrounded by his warmth, his voice, his scent, his touch, and climaxed. He exhaled my name as he felt me surrender and sunk on top of me, our bodies flush to one another, trembling as he followed me into the heavenly abyss. I bit my lip to stop another scream as I felt him come inside me. It had been too long since I'd felt this overwhelming bliss. It had been too long since I'd truly let go of everything and just allowed myself to be selfish and feel something amazing and real.

And somehow I knew it had been the same for him as well.

And maybe, just maybe, it meant we could make this work.