Damn him. Persuasive little bastard.
You still wake naked in his bed the next morning, your leg thrown over his hips and his face in your neck like the two of you fell asleep mid-coitus.
And you may have.
In addition to being a persuasive little bastard, he's a tenacious little bastard too and you (once again) have more pride than sense answering everyone of his challenges, complicit--eager even--in your own manipulation.
“Is that all you have?” He asks nibbling on your pulse, fingers teasing your soaking cunt as you stare glassy eyed at his ceiling, a fresh climax just squeezed out of you.
“If you haven't the stamina well…” He withdraws his hands from you, and you shout at the indignity...no the sin of it!
“Get back here!” You reach for his wrist, intent on moving those long, fine boned, and strong digits back where you want them.
But Loki...no...it takes him another hour drawing those fingers down and across and circling and pinching and scratching before he's dipping…dipping…
“Loki, yes, please!”
“Is that all you have?” He asks again, voice sloughing off sleep.
You try to wriggle from him but he laughs into your neck and holds that leg thrown over his hip. And with a little push.
You moan for him, so thick he could swallow it, and hot enough for it to burn through him. He slides his erection against you, hitting those sweet spots that ache from the night before.
You try to think of the soldiers and the training you have to do, of Cephalus, he needs to get back into peak condition. “I have to…”
“You have to do nothing your prince doesn’t command.”
“Loki…” Your protest is half-hearted and half-muffled as your traitorous mouth latches to his earlobe.
“You would begrudge me this.” He teases. “And they say I’m the cruel one.”
“No,” Your traitorous mouth works against you again. “Not anymore.”
That’s enough to dissuade him from his plans for you, the heaviness he felt before returns. He sighs and withdraws earnestly. “So you’re intent on this...whatever ‘this’ is because you haven’t quite told me anything about you’re planning on doing.”
“That’s because I don’t quite know either. I’ve got nothing to recommend me except a name and that’s not going as far as it used to. But I’m good with a halberd and better with a horse. And I do know that being idle isn’t helping me. I’m serious because I have to be.”
“Well,” He rises from his bed, throwing a robe over him, frost in his eyes and his voice. “I will not impede you.”
He spins around and levels at you a hateful glare. “What?”
You harden your face against it, responding in kind. “Look, I’m not going to apologize for doing what I feel needs to be done for my own survival and Se’risa’s. But no matter what, that doesn’t change how I feel about you.”
Until it does, whispers a traitorous voice, one he lets fester like a corpse rotting in the sun instead of burying it like he does with the rest of the whispers.
“I know.” He answers, convincing the only one he has to: you.
“So you admit then, to being a brat because I won’t sleep in with you?”
“I’m well within my rights.” He grins, his full mouth doesn’t move, but the motions work well enough for you. He watches you relax, mollified for the moment.
He enjoys change, it’s chaotic, he enjoys witnessing upheaval and the mischief such change creates. The status quo is boring, and he will always champion it’s slow and subtle destruction.
You were change, you slowly and subtly upset his status quo. Changed his life into something more than tolerable but enjoyable. Men like his brother and especially his father resist change, hate it.
He can sympathise now.
He’s not listening as you chatter, slipping on your robe, rebraiding your hair flat against your head after he spent a night relishing in undoing every knot. He watches you fearfully, feeling a change coming. That he will somehow lose moments like this, this beautiful status quo.
She’ll leave you behind. She has to. You said yourself you’re not enough…And she knows it too, Loki...
“Loki...aren’t you gonna answer that?”
You’re dressed again, in the leathers you wore yesterday. You look ready to ride for war and he hates it suddenly.
“It’s only a servant,” he ignores the insistent knocking.
“Might be important.” You head to answer the call but Loki cuts you off rudely, interposing himself between you and the door before the servant can see you.
“What!” He shouts, but this is no regular palace page, this is one of his mother’s personal attendants who remains serene in the face of Loki’s ire, well inured to it by now.
“My lady summons you to tea.”
“I will be there shortly,” He sniffs. “I know she must be impatient about planning father’s jubilee.”
“No my lord, I don’t mean you.” Duncan pokes his head to the side and points.
“I mean you Princess.”
A summons from the queen shouldn't put you out of sorts. You know this woman, she's helped you on more than one occasion. But you still fidget with your armor, tightening straps and fastening ties as Se’risa and Niti work to buff your iron greaves into a shine.
“Y’all stop that. You’re gonna blind her.”
Niti snorts at you. “‘Y’all’? I hope you remember proper speech when you’re in front of the Queen.”
Se’risa, ever your staunchest protector, whacks Niti in the shoulder. “Leave her alone. Or I’ll tell her what I caught you doing with Samina’s mom.”
Niti’s eyes widen in horror. “You wouldn’t dare! You promised! I bribed you and everything!”
Se’risa giggles before she cools her bright smiling face, imitating Lord Loki’s tone from the day before. “Now apologize.”
“I’m sorry.” Niti corrects, grumbling.
Se’risa giggles again harder. “Not to me.”
“I’m sorry Princess.”
You sigh with a soft laugh, shaking your head at these two ducks. The way they carry on, it’s tiring, but you prefer their incessant bickering to any silence. Their happy laughter reminds you of your duty to them. To protect them. With whatever much or little you have. Se’risa is a child, she needs you, having no one else. Niti though, maybe you can protect at least one of them from a distance.
“Se’risa, can you give me and Niti a moment please?”
“But if you’re gonna murder her I wanna be there to see it.”
You don’t press any further, you just tilt your head to the side and wait patiently. Se’risa snatches a book and retreats to her room, leaving you both behind with a little huff and a teasing tongue poked at Niti.
“Kids, I’ll never see the appeal.” Niti laughs but when you don’t, she stops. She puts her greave to the side, polished into a mirror like shine. “What’s wrong boss?”
“Are you okay?” You ask her, she’s done so much for you and you feel like with all that’s happened you haven’t quite upheld your end of this bargain. Niti serves you, and you lift her as you climb. But you haven’t done any climbing, you’ve only fallen. “Do you need anything?”
“Well yeah, if you’re asking, I could do with a raise.”
“It’s yours then, name whatever price.”
“Princess.” The teasing evaporates from her tone. “I wasn’t serious. I’m well paid, thank you.”
“But you could use more, right?”
“We could all use more, but what’s this about? Really?”
“Niti when you came to me, you came to ‘help me help you.’ You tried, and then I failed. There was first the disaster of meeting Astrid and the rest of the women. Then the disaster of the feast. Then disaster of that damn duel, and now with my new reputation...You’ve helped me navigate all that and I have not helped you in the slightest. I’m the Bloody damn Princess. I can’t imagine then what that makes you.”
“I’m Niti,” She flips her hair for added flourish. “What you are doesn’t change me.”
“I understand that but you said--”
“I know, I know. ‘Your honor is my honor’ and right now in the court of public opinion you’re running on a deficit. And I won’t say this meeting with the Queen doesn’t scare me too. The rumors I hear. Those that put asses on gold thrones may not like you associating with Princes anymore.”
“What are they saying?” You ask in a small voice.
“Shit what are they not saying. They might marry you off, exile you, Frigga might ‘politely’ ask you to never darken her son’s doorway again. Odin may do the same ‘cept not so politely if you catch my meaning.”
“But I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Nope. And more intelligent minds know that. Doesn’t stop you from being social poison though.”
“Do you want to leave then? Before I poison you?”
Niti nods. “Ahh, I see. That’s why you’re asking.”
Her long black hair is swept into a side braid, a crystal jewel adorning the part in her hair. Her robes mimic the style of other servants in her station, but with the way she arranges them, drapes them across her body, they don’t make her look like servant at all. If anything, to your eyes, she looks like the princess and you--to look at you in the mirror---Nevermind, you washed those bloodstains out even if you still think you can still see them. Thank the stars the leather is black.
“Princess. I know that, if I wanted to, I could at any time leave.”
“And you would be right to.”
Niti sighs and nods, trying to soften the blow but she promised you honesty. “You’re right. But... Damn.”
“What? If you have to go, I understand.”
“It’s not that Princess. I always thought that whoever I managed to stick myself to, whoever I picked to help them help me, I figured I wouldn’t get attached. I’m not supposed to. How the Hel am I supposed to get attached to someone whose moon cloths I wash every month?”
“Niti…” You groan and turn your whole body away in embarrassment.
“Hey, brutal remember? Painful, gut wrenchingly…”
“Okay! I get it.” You fight the laugh, the laughs wins, and Niti smiles at you, her objective met.
“See that’s it. The problem with you Princess is you're so damned honorable and earnest and funny and utterly, bleedingly, pathetically in love with that damn Prince even after I told you you were gonna have a bad time and it looks like not only you’re not having a bad time but having a good time and… ugh!”
Niti throws her hands and groans. “You’re like this helpless but not helpless cute thing that I can’t help but want to keep helping. You’re a good person, and those aren’t that hard to find around here but you’re different. I like you. You make me like you enough to not mind washing your moon cloths. And don’t get me started on that damn kid of yours. I said I’d never see the appeal but she makes me want to.”
She holds up her hand. “Don’t, please. No hugging. You smell like leather, I hate it.”
“You helped stitch half of this you know!”
“I know, still hate it. You should be wearing silk. What did I tell you? Helpless.”
You sniff and you figure being of rank you can do whatever the Hel you want, so you trap Niti in a hug anyway.
“Ugh! Fine. Hug me. But don’t start crying, you have to see the Queen, and I worked very hard on your battle chic makeup okay?”
You pull away from her, your smile drooping, remembering you still have a summons. “Do you think she’ll send me away?”
“I don’t know, I don’t think so. But if she does, I’ll go with you.”