Chapter 20: Desire
I felt the panic slowly rising to my chest as Garrick started walking backwards, dragging me along with him. I struggled, trying to desperately get away, to move, to do something! He chuckled in my ear, bringing chills to my spine. I felt my heart constrict with fear when I saw the three men closing in on Loki. One of the pulled out a switchblade, while the other two proceeded to grab him.
“Loki, run!” I told him. I saw his eyes flick up at me, then away again. “Go!” I urged him. I didn’t want him to get hurt. Just when it looked like he was going to run, I saw something shoot from his hand. A throwing knife. The guy with the knife doubled over, his hand grasping his side. The other two guys advanced on him, a blur of fists.
“You know, your boyfriend is kind of familiar.” Garrick whispered. His hand hitched tighter around my waist, traveling up to my stomach. I flinched, before kicking his shin with the back of my heel. Dammit girl, think! You have battle training for Odin’s sake! Use it! Garrick swore, turned me around and grabbed my hair, pulling my head back and making me look at him.
I swung my fist in an arc, catching him off guard and punching him in the side of the head. He let go of me and I ran to try and help Loki, who was jabbing a throwing knife into the one guy’s chest while the other pulled him to the ground. Loki stabbed the guy’s leg, who in retaliation went to kick his face into the curb. I dropped my shoulder and tackled him before he could.
We landed on the hard concrete, luckily the guy was there to break some of my fall. I got up and turned to see how Loki was when I felt my hair being pulled again. Garrick pulled me towards him, wrapping an arm around my neck and another around my arms and chest, pulling me into a side alley. “Put your knives down dude. Or I’ll kill her.” Garrick said. His voice was chilling. He sounded like he was talking about the weather, or talking to someone in a coffee shop. He was so casual about murder.
I heard a few clinks. I looked up to see Loki dropping the knives, white hot anger on his face. And even though I was in serious trouble right now, I had to admit it turned me on. “Let her go. You do not need her.” Loki said.
Garrick threw his head back and laughed, his voice sickening. “You’re right. I don’t need this whore. But I feel owed. You see, she’s a liar. She lied to me about who she was, didn’t you baby? And she made fun of my power. You see,” He looked Loki dead in the eye. “My father is Odin. And I know she went to where he was. And she’s going to take me there, won’t you?”
I shook my head. Loki narrowed his eyes at the poor man who was holding me captive.
“You won’t take me?” Ha asked again. I shook my head vigorously. “Well then. I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way. Maybe after a little fun you’ll be convinced. If that doesn’t work, we can go again.” Garrick pulled me by the hair, pushing me down to the ground, to my knees. I saw Loki dart forward, only to stop. Garrick had pulled out a knife and was pointing it to the side of my neck. “You move, she dies instantly.” He pushed me forward, and got down on his knees. My mind clicked and suddenly all common sense fled from my body. I began to scramble forward, not caring about the knife tip pressing into my flesh. I screamed, and Garrick fought me. Loki began to try to fight Garrick, landing a few punches in here and there. He couldn’t totally get into the fight, since Garrick kept a steady hand to my neck, ready to kill me.
Finally, Loki lunged at him, when something pulled him back by the collar of his jacket. I cried out as the guy I had tackled held Loki by the arms. Loki fought him, throwing punches, throwing his head back and breaking the guy’s nose.
I felt Garrick grab my waist and pull me to him as Loki fought and struggled with the guy. “Did you get a chance to have a piece of this?” He asked Loki, who’s spine stiffened. I saw him shaking with pure rage. “I guess not. Well, I’ll break her in. You can have her when I’m done.” He sheathed his knife. “If there’s anything left, that is.” He leaned forward and kissed the back of my neck.
In a heartbeat, Loki had the guy he was fighting by the throat. He threw him against the wall, and a sickening crack was heard as the guy’s neck broke. Then Loki turned, and in a flash grabbed Garrick by the throat. Garrick, who had put his knife away, tried to reach for it. Loki was too quick and used his other hand to grab it. “You pathetic, worthless, coward.” His voice was dead, ghostly. It didn’t sound like Loki at all. “You wish to have a little fun? Fine. We shall have fun.” He slammed him against the wall. I saw his head fall back and crash. “Again?” Loki did it again, and again. “You will never touch her again. You will never lay another filthy hand on her. Your voice will never touch her ears after tonight. And you shall never, ever, in this life of the next, harm her!” Loki yelled, slamming Garrick with so much force that part of the wall caved in, an impression around Garrick’s body. He let him go, and he fell to the ground with a thud.
Loki turned to look at me and for a second I was scared of him. Scared of the person who had saved my life. I noticed his face was calm, unreadable. His eyes were elsewhere though, as if he was listening to something. Then I saw it: they were blue. His eyes had turned a bright luminous blue. I blinked and they were green again. But I had no time to ponder this.
Suddenly, I sob escaped my throat. I brought a hand to my throat, and brushed something wet. Blood. My blood. I looked at my hand, and saw there wasn’t much, so I was okay. “We need to get out of here. It isn’t safe for us.” Loki said, pulling me up from the ground. I leaned against him, trying to keep it together. Loki took my hand gently, pulling me along. He was right; we had to get out of here. There were four dead bodies littering the ground. Someone was bound to find them soon enough, and then the police would be over here looking for witnesses. As we left the alley and got to the spot where we had planned to cross before the fight, I saw the box of Frosted Flakes on the ground, still in the shopping bag.
I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. I reached down and grabbed the box. I didn’t want the police tracing anything back to me or my mom. I paid with cash, but who knew? Someone could have remembered us buying the stuff, or give them a lead. Any fingerprints of Loki’s wouldn’t match to anyone, so he was fairly safe. I didn’t think I would be in their database, so I should be fine too.
Loki literally ran me the whole way home, dragging me along. When we got to the building, he had to carry me up the stairs to get me to go faster. I was physically and mentally ready to break; and he definitely knew it.
We got into the apartment, and Loki told me to holler a ‘hello’, like I usually did when I got home. I did before he ushered me to my room, setting me down on my bed. He left to put the Frosted Flakes in the kitchen, and came back.
He stood across from me, and we stared at each other for several seconds. “What time is it?” He asked me. It was a bizarre question to ask.
“Twenty to four.” I said, my voice not sounding like my own.
He nodded. “Then you have exactly twenty minutes to do what you need to do to be calm. Your mother is expecting us to meet the man she’s courting. No one can know of what transpired tonight. It will further incriminate us, and I believe your mother and her suitor do not want to deal with our little altercation.” I stared at him for a good minute before I broke out laughing. The laughing turned into sobbing after a few minutes.
I tried to control myself somewhat, because Loki was present. But that wasn’t happening. I bawled my eyes out, all the fear and confusion pooling out. I felt the bed sag and felt a cool hand on my shoulder. That made me cry harder. Loki sat with me during the fifteen minute blubbering, loud and annoying cry fest I had. He rubbed my shoulder as I babbled on, saying nonsense, waiting patiently for me to get a hold of myself.
After that ugly episode, it turned to whimpering. I had silent tears streaming down my cheeks, and I had stopped babbling. I felt Loki squeeze my shoulder. “I’m going to surround your body with illusion. Your mother and her guest will suspect something if you were to greet them this way.” I nodded, not moving my body where I lay. I was probably a mess. “Once they leave, we can talk about this or forget it happened. You decide.” I nodded again. He got up, and grabbed the hoodie I had hanging on the back of my door. He opened it up and held it out so I could get my arms in the holes. Then he let me zip it up. “You need to do it up all the way. It will cover the marks on your neck.”
I turned to my mirror I took my hair out of the high ponytail to further cover my neck. Pushing the hair aside, I peered at it, seeing a few red lines. They were turning a puckering pink before my eyes. I was healing already. I sniffed and Loki patted my back once more. “He’s here.” He whispered, and the doorbell rang two seconds later. Loki murmured something and my vision blurred for a second before going back to normal again. He had shrouded my face with illusion.
We walked out to the living room just as my mom was talking to the tall man with blond hair and lively blue eyes. He was probably my mom’s age. He turned to look at me, then at Loki, who was standing a little behind me. My mom noticed and smiled. The illusion was doing its work.
“James, this is my daughter, Noelle, and her friend, Loki.” My mom introduced us. “Noelle, this is James Price.” I shook her hand.
“Beth has told me quite a lot about you.” He said, smiling. He had a calm relaxing tone. Which was good, since my mom tended to be a higher strung person.
“I’ve heard quite a lot about you too.” I said politely. He shook Loki’s hand as well.
“I hope all good reports.” He joked. We all laughed. My mom told me she would be late, since they were seeing a late show and then going out after. I nodded, wished them a good time and that was it.
When the front door shut, I turned to Loki. I felt the illusion shimmer and then my face was back. “Well. He seems nice.” I said.
Loki nodded. Then he went to the kitchen and began riffling through cupboards again. “What are you looking for?”
“Something strong to drink.” Loki said, finding the one where we kept the rum and vodka. He pulled the rum out. “You need one as well.” He said.
I was about to protest, when I realized that if Loki and I were going to talk about this, I would need a good drink. I got out two glasses, and a bottle of coke. I made myself a rum and coke, and offered to make one for Loki. He declined, preferring to drink it straight. I ordered a pizza, since I figured many more drinks would be consumed and didn’t feel like cooking. Then we sat in the living room, myself on the couch, Loki on the loveseat, waiting for one of us to speak first.
Loki was the one who broke the silence. “How are you feeling?” He asked tentatively. I shrugged and sipped my drink. “Tell me Noelle. Please.” He pleaded.
“I…I don’t know.” I hadn’t thought about it. Loki nodded. “How do you feel?” I asked him.
He looked into his drink, before draining it. I had to admit, I was impressed. I couldn’t do that. “I do not know myself. I am glad we are alive, and glad you are safe… And I feel little remorse for what I did. Which frightens me.” He was so cool, collected.
I nodded. “I wanted to do more to him.” Loki continued. “I wanted to make him suffer, just as he had made you suffer. But I decided a quicker death was easier. And you were also watching.” Loki looked at me. “What do you think of me?”
“What?” I was confused. “What do you mean? You saved my life Loki. If you hadn’t been there…” I shuddered at the thought of what may have happened. Loki nodded. “I guess I don’t feel much remorse either.” It was wrong of me not to feel any. But I didn’t. In a way, I thought Garrick dug his own grave. And that somewhat bothered me. Was I cruel?
“I need another drink.” Loki got up and helped himself. He stood in front of me. “Drink that.” He ordered me. “It will help.” I didn’t see how, but I took another sip. “Drink all of it.” He said. I glared at him, but downed the drink, feeling the alcohol burn my throat. He got me another, this time straight rum.
I sighed. “Loki, I can’t drink as much as you, and I can’t drink it as fast.”
He shrugged, downing another drink. “I did not say you needed to keep up with me. But trust me. After a battle, it will help to loosen up.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well, I won’t drink anymore after this till I eat.” I didn’t fancy a hangover.
“Suit yourself.” He said. After twenty minutes Loki managed to convince me to not only down the drink I had, but to have another. By the time the pizza got here, he had to answer the door, since the alcohol was running its way through my head.
He brought the steaming box in and put it on the coffee table. I made a beeline for it, opening it and grabbing a slice. “Eat.” I pointed to the pizza. I didn’t know how much it would take for Loki to throw up, but I didn’t want to find out. It was safer to just force him to eat something that would soak it up. He didn’t move to take one. I huffed impatiently. “Loki, eat it.”
“I am not sure I will enjoy this Midgardian food.”
“Fine then. Here, take a bite and try it.” I shoved my piece at Loki’s face. The single shot rum and coke plus the two half glasses of straight rum had made me bolder. He took a tentative bite. Then he devoured my piece from my hand. He laughed when I made a sour expression. The alcohol was finally getting to Loki, which made sense; he had had more than triple of what I had.
“I hope you enjoyed that.” I said, grabbing another piece and devouring it.
“It was quite entertaining.” He winked. Did he just wink at me? Then he laughed, grabbed another slice and dug in. Loki turned out to be very funny and extroverted once he was drunk. He made jokes about Asgardians, told racist jokes about Jotun’s and other races of the nine realms. It was like it wasn’t even Loki. Now, when I got drunk, the same thing kind of happened. Except I became even more touchy feely, and I was basically everyone’s friend. And this happened to entertain Loki quite a bit.
We spent three hours laughing, play fighting, telling jokes and eating pizza.
“It is mine!” Loki claimed as we argued over the last piece. “I am much bigger than you and require more sustenance.”
“I paid for the pizza!”
“I am your guest!”
“You invited yourself over!” Loki grabbed the box of pizza, shut the lid and held it.
“I am taking what’s mine!” I laughed and reached for it. He held it over his head. I crossed my arms over my chest and pouted.
He laughed again and I sat down on the couch to continue pouting. “Oh, stop. You may have the last piece.” He gave in, giving me the box. I was touched.
“Here, let’s share it.” I took a bite and held out the piece to Loki, who sat down next to me and took a bite. When ate the last piece slowly, each of us lost in our own thoughts. It was weird sitting here drunk with Loki. I got to get closer to Loki without him being fully aware of it. Which I thought was fair, since Loki read me like a book. It was weird doing the things we were doing: sharing pizza, sitting close to each other, laughing at stupid things. It was definitely something we never did together.
“I want something else to drink.” I looked over at Loki, who was so close to me at the moment. I nodded, getting an idea.
“I know!” I ran to the kitchen, tripping over my own feet, then getting up again. I grabbed seven shot glasses, two or three for me, four or five for him. I stacked them, then grabbed the bottle of vodka. It was a miracle that the shot glasses didn’t fall out of my hand and break. I set them out, pouring alcohol into each one. “Let’s do shots!” I shouted.
“What do we do?” I was sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, and Loki slid off the couch to sit next to me.
“We drink these.” I motioned to the shot glasses. “As fast as we can!” He nodded, and I pushed five towards him. I was going to stick with two. Shots could really mess you up, even if you were half Asgardian. “Go!”
I drank my two and beat Loki, but he happened to down four by the time I finished, so I guess he technically won. He smiled at me, grabbed the bottle that I left in front of us, and filled them up again. “Go!” He said and we went at it again.
He filled his again, and went to fill mine when I shook my head. “No more for me, Loki.” I started to feel funny, which was usually my cue to stop and drink water and maybe eat something. He pouted, which looked cute, since his lower lip jutted out a bit, and his eyes turned puppy dogish.
“No. No, no, no.” I shook my finger at him. “I’m going to be sick if I keep drinking Loki. Then you’ll have to hold my hair while I puke.”
“It was your idea.” He said. Then I watched him down each shot, which looked incredibly good. “And though it is a disgusting task, I shall do it if the need arises.” He pledged.
“Thanks Loki!” I hugged his shoulders, then froze, realizing what I was doing. I pulled away quickly. Loki stared at me, stunned. Then he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me close to him and hugging me to his chest. My heart skipped a beat of two, before realizing this wasn’t a dream. Then, wondering why not, I rested my head on his shoulder and wrapped my arms around his waist.
“Your heart is beating quite fast. Are you alright?” He asked me, his chest vibrating, and his breath on my ear. I shivered.
“I’m fine.” We were silent. Anyone in my situation would have felt it was an awkward silence. But it didn’t feel like it. It was a comfortable silence. “It’s been a long time since I was held like this.” I pointed out randomly.
“It has been quite some time for myself as well.” Loki’s voice held a lot of emotion, and I couldn’t pin point which one it was. I went to ask, before he interrupted me. “Was that disgusting creature that last person who held you?”
“Yes.” I answered quietly and truthfully, knowing he meant Garrick.
“Did you love him?” He asked quickly.
“No. I think I told you that a while ago though.” We were quiet.
Loki pulled me impossibly closer to him. “He will never hurt you again.” I nodded, a weird feeling forming in the pit of my stomach. “I will let no one hurt you again.” He whispered.
My heart did a flip, and it felt like it grew a bit. “I’m glad you killed him.” I finally said it. I was glad Garrick was dead. I was relieved. “And I am cruel for being glad.”
Loki shook his head. “Do not be ashamed of your emotions. They are what I adore about you.” My head whipped up, wondering how much of this was coming from the alcohol. Then again, isn’t it said that people’s true selves are revealed when they are under the influence?
“You adore my emotions.” It was more of a statement than a question. I was hoping he said something like ‘I adore you’.
He nodded and I looked at him. “You are unafraid, unashamed to feel what you do. It is so mortal of you.” He chuckled at the last part. “Yet you are still strong, and weather so much, like an Asgardian, though you let your emotions through. It is remarkable.”
I shrugged. “I happen to be both those things, Loki. I am Midgardian and Asgardian. Though I feel more Asgardian some days. It’s why I am who I am. It is why I feel so much.” I sighed. “Asgard is so…proper. There is little time for emotion. Especially in public. I was never told to restrict my emotions.”
Loki closed his eyes. I wanted to trace his eyebrows, his lips, his cheek bones. “I have been urged to conceal my emotions my entire existence.”
“You don’t have to around me, Loki. I accept you for who you are.” He opened his eyes and stared into mine. “Don’t hide what you feel from me, Loki.” I whispered. “Do not be ashamed of your emotions.” I quoted him.
Our faces were suddenly closer. A lot closer. I saw conflict in his eyes, then it faded, resolved. He leaned in closer to me, his breath hitching a bit. I inched in closer, my heart pounding out of control. His eyelids fluttered closed, and I copied the motion. I waited for half a second, and thought he was going to pull back. He wasn’t going to do it.
But then I felt his soft lips press against mine gently, and all anxiety I felt over this melted away. I responded to the kiss with pressure of my own, my hands moving up to caress his face. Our lips moved in sync, we were lost in our own world. And nothing mattered. Asgard didn’t matter, Midgard didn’t matter, no one mattered, but Loki and I.
I felt Loki lean back and lay down on the ground, his arms still wrapped around me, moving to my waist, tracing my shape as his hands descended my body. My hands stayed cradling his face, occasionally straying to tangle themselves in his hair. I felt Loki’s hand move back up my body, and he ran a hand through my hair, before tucking it in between our bodies, almost cupping my breast.
Then, he stopped. He stopped kissing me, he took his hands back. We stared at each other, out of breath. Disbelief was on his face, as well as lust and surprise. I smiled at him, fully intending on continuing what we were doing. He must have had other ideas, because he lifted himself back into sitting position. I sat in front of him, confused. I thought we were having a moment. I mean, we were making out on the floor, and he was feeling me up. Was I a bad kisser?
“Your mother is home.” Loki brushed himself off and busied himself with putting the alcohol and glasses back in the kitchen. I threw out the pizza box and decided to go get my pjs on. I didn’t want my mom to know I had been drinking yet. And I was probably disheveled from Loki running his hand through my hair. I went to my room, changed and sat on the bed, waiting for Loki. Maybe we were continuing when he got back.
He opened the door and I smiled at him again. He gave me a tight smile, before shutting the lights off, stripping down to his jeans. He saw me staring at him still, so he crawled under the covers of his cot, finished stripping and turned away from me. “Goodnight.”
I was stunned. “Um. Goodnight then.”
It was safe to say I didn’t sleep much that night.