Chapter 7: Home
I was right. The healers were not happy about me going to the library.
“Prince Loki will be there.” I lied. I had no clue if he would actually be there, but there was a chance, so why not? “And I am perfectly healed. The head healer said so herself, I am fine.” I huffed impatiently, acting like a child. I was going nuts in this room.
“I suppose if there was someone with you, whom you are familiar with, you may go…”The healer said hesitantly.
I jumped up from my bed. “Thank you!” I wanted to hug her, but refrained. They weren’t so touchy-feely here on Asgard like I was. Must be the human in me. I then practically ran from the room before she could change her mind.
It was a good thing I paid attention when Loki was showing me around. I remembered the way to the library: past the kitchens, black double doors on the right. I wanted to run there, but if someone caught me they’d probably think I was being ridiculous.
I could hear loud banging and bustling through the kitchens doors, and a succulent smell. I inhaled the savoury scent, feeling hungry again, even though I had already eaten my fill. I’d been getting broth since I woke up four days ago, and then moving on to solid food such as bread and cheese. I could go for an actual meal, and was hoping to get one soon. Suddenly, my stomach churned and I felt queasy. I put an arm up, bracing myself against the wall. I was not going to throw up in the hallway.
“Do you require assistance my lady?” A male voice behind me asked with concern. I straightened up, feeling a little better. I guess a normal meal would have to wait a bit longer.
“No, thank you. I am fine now.” I turned to see a tall guy with shoulder length blonde hair and blue eyes looking at me. Recognition appeared in his eyes. I recognised him too. Prince Thor. I curtseyed, trying to be polite. “I apologise for my lack of manners, Prince Thor.”
“You may call me Thor. Please, do not bow to me.” He grinned. These princes are awfully humble. I stood up. “Should you not be in the healing room, my lady? I shall escort you there.”
I shook my head. “I have been deemed healed. I was simply going to the library to entertain myself.”
“I shall escort you to the library then, my lady.” Thor held out the crook of him arm, and I slipped my hand into it. I had seen this in a movie, and hoped I was doing it right. Thor said nothing, so I assumed so. “Have you seen much of Asgard, my lady?” he asked me.
“I have seen the palace and some of the gardens.” I said, blushing. I couldn’t help it. Thor was pretty hot.
“Have you seen the training grounds? My father has said you have received some informal battle training from your father.”
I shook my head. Loki and I didn’t have time to see them. “I have not seen them, but I have been told they are impressive.”
“Would it interest you, my lady, perhaps after completing some basic training, to learn arms?” He looked down on me, making me realize how short I was. So far, I was the shortest person here, at 5ft3.
But I was excited over his offer. I had always thought learning weapons would be cool. It would definitely give me something to do in my spare time. “I would like to learn.” I smiled.
We had reached the library. I let go of his arm. “Thank you for escorting me…”I didn’t know what to call him.
“Thor.” He said, smiling.
“Thank you, Thor.”
“I hope to see you soon, my lady.” He took my hand and kissed my knuckles.
“You may call me Noelle.” I said to him. He smiled and left, turning down the hall. I pushed a black door open and looked into the library. It seemed empty. I ran my finger along the shelves, looking over the leather bound books and wondering where to start.
It seemed half of the books were impossible for me to read. I didn’t even recognise what language they could potentially be in. Guess those are off the list. For now.
I smiled, up for the challenge. I loved language. Maybe I could learn a few here?
I turned down another aisle of books, looking at the titles: Asgard and Midgard; a godsend. Another one, Jotunheim: the war. It seemed like a history section. I turned left, to another aisle, the titles giving it away to be lore. I loved Asgardian lore. I picked out a volume, flipping through the first few pages.
Most kids grew up hearing Snow White, Cinderella, Jack and the bean stalk. Those were the stories my mom told me when she tucked me in at night. My father, however, told me the stories of his childhood: Asgardian stories. They were a lot like the stories on earth, with mystery, magic, fighting. The only difference was that some of the stories involved multiple realms, had female warriors, and had been rumoured to have been true.
I kept walking until I found the middle of the library, Loki’s desk still covered in books. He must have still been eating, or whatever he usually did after he met up with me. I saw a cushioned seat by the large fireplace and sat down, curling my legs under me to read. I was quickly absorbed in a story my father had told me: Sigurd and the dragon.
I must have read for hours, because my legs began cramping up. I yawned. It must be late.
I kicked my legs out from underneath me, putting the book down on the ground. I went to lift me arms up to stretch, when I jumped out of my skin, nearly screaming. I wasn’t alone in the library anymore. Loki was sitting in a chair at his desk looking over a book, with two others also open on the desk. How long as he been sitting here? I thought, my hand to my mouth to keep me from crying out.
I stared at him for a good few minutes, calming my breathing. Was this his normal behaviour? Was he trying to give me a heart attack?
If he noticed my staring, he didn’t say anything. He seemed to be busy, his eyes going over the pages rapidly, then pulling a different book before him, flipping a few pages and doing the same. I couldn’t help but notice how good looking Loki and Thor were. They were polar opposites in looks, you couldn’t tell they were related. One was dark haired, the other blonde. One had green eyes, the other had blue. One was fair, the other slightly tanned. I thought about both of them for a second, going off into la-la land. The lucky girls that would get them one day…
“What are you doing here?” I found my voice.
“My studies.” He answered, not taking his eyes from his books. He got up, walked away. I got up, stretched. He came back with another book.
“When did you get here?” Was he sitting here long? How did I not even notice him walk in? I could hear footsteps echo in the halls!
“A long time ago.” He sat down again. He kept reading, not even looking at me. Guess he isn’t in the mood for conversation.
“How come I didn’t hear you come in?” I sat down again, putting my hands out to the fire. Being a city girl on earth, I didn’t get much experience with bonfires. This wasn’t exactly a bonfire, but it was still warm and pretty to look at.
“I am very skilled at being silent.” He said, closing a book and putting it in a pile on the corner of the desk.
“You mean sneaky.” I smirked. He was funny.
“Words mean no matter. Either way, you did not hear me.”
I got up, walking over to his desk. “What are you studying?” I asked, clasping by hands behind my back.
“Magic.” He snapped another book shut. “Would you do me a favour and put those away?” He pointed to the books he piled at the corner of his desk.
“I’d rather not.” I rolled my eyes. Wow. Did he really just ask me that? I wasn’t the maid.
“I could order you to do it, but that would be rude.” He looked up at me for the first time since I found out he was here. “Please, could you put them away? I need to finish this to stay on track, and the servants never clean up in here.” He pleaded.
“Why not? I thought the servants tidied up every room at the end of the day? Why is this room an exception?”
He had returned to his reading. “Because my studies do not finish when the day ends. They finish when I finish. I could be here at any hour. And I make quite a mess, as you can see.” He was right. There were books everywhere.
“How about I put the books away and you teach me how to keep you from reading my mind?” I bartered. If I was going to be cleaning up his mess, I might as well get something out of it.
“But your thoughts are so entertaining.” He teased. “I will teach you if you put the books away. Tomorrow.”
I pouted. “Why not now?”