Chapter 31: Power hungry
I sat with the warriors three in the same secret room we had been in yesterday.
Yesterday. I still couldn’t get over how much had happened in a span of 24 hours. Maybe I was making a big deal out of it all, but I couldn’t help but think more time had passed. I kept thinking Thor was going to walk in the door with Loki, laughing. Saying they had pulled a prank on all of us, that he wasn’t truly banished, and Loki would say he wasn’t actually adopted. Not that that changed how I felt about him, I just wished it wasn’t true to Loki wouldn’t suffer so much.
But I knew that wasn’t realistic, as the five of us sat on the lounges, gazing into the fire. Fandral had called us all here after dinner to discuss Thor’s predicament. “Honestly, I can’t see us being able to do much.”
“There must be something we can do.” Fandral persisted. “Perhaps we can ask Loki to make a trip to Earth-”
“The Allfather will certainly suspect something if we send his brother to him.” Sif said bitterly. She hadn’t gotten over Loki’s reaction yesterday.
“Surely Loki could conceal himself.”
“I doubt he would want to-”
“People.” I interrupted their bickering. “Arguing about what Loki will and won’t do isn’t important. Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything we can do.” I wasn’t trying to pull everyone’s mood down, but I was also trying to be realistic. We had talked about this for hours, and we weren’t getting any closer to a solution.
I heard Hogun sigh. “Then we must ask the Allfather to lift Thor’s banishment.” No one said anything. I gazed into the fire, wondering if there was anything we could do.
“And if he says no?” I put in. Might as well have a backup plan.
“Then we must await until Thor’s banishment ends.” Hogun said sadly. It was the most he’d said all day.
“But that could take years!” Sif said shrilly.
“What are years to Asgardians? It’s not like he’ll be there for centuries.”
I stood up. I was hungry, and needed a snack. “I’m going to get something to eat.” I doubt they heard me, because they started arguing again. I pushed the heavy door open and then closed it behind me, leaning on it slightly. They didn’t know the Allfather wouldn’t be able to end Thor’s banishment for a few days. I didn’t know if Frigga would be presiding over the throne until then, so maybe they would have some luck with her.
I walked to the great hall, wondering if Loki was around somewhere. I hoped he was behaving himself. I continued to the hall, finding fresh fruit, cheese and wine set on the tables to snack on. I piled my plate high, and poured a small goblet of red wine. Taking a bite of cheese and a sip of the fruity wine, I watched the people around me, chatting and laughing. I wonder if they knew what was really happening here. Or if they even cared that the monarchy was basically thrown out of balance at the moment. I found because I was seeing Loki, I knew more about the political situations in the realms. And right now, I was sure that Asgard was the talk of all the monarchies. The secret should be out by now.
I got up after finishing my snack, just because I knew I would keep eating the delicious cheese in front of me. I was about to leave when I realized that my friends hadn’t really eaten all day. I decided to pile some of the cheese and fruits on a plate. Using my magic to lift 5 goblets, I balanced the plate on my hand, grabbed 2 bottles of wine with the other and slowly made my way out the door and to the secret lounge room again. I watched people scurry past me, going around me and giving me looks. I’m sure I looked silly.
When I got to the secret room, my friends were gone. Their swords were left here, so they must have gone to see Frigga or something. I sat back down, and began munching on the fruit and cheeses. I might as well not let the food go stale.
I was comfortable in the golden throne. I was also very comfortable with the staff in my hand. I liked the view I had from the raised dais. I could see why Odin would never want to leave the chair. It was empowering.
‘This is where you were always meant to be. A king.’
Yes. I thought, giving in to the satisfaction I felt.
‘This is what was kept from you. It is yours now.’
This is mine. The throne is mine. For now. I added in the last part. Odin would wake sooner or later, and he will be king. But perhaps I will be able to prove what an excellent ruler I am. Perhaps better suited for the throne than Thor ever was. I tried to chastise myself for these thoughts, but they came to me anyways.
‘He made his own choices. You must not pay for them.’
Yes. I thought. That’s right. It was unfortunate that Thor was banished. And I missed him so. But I couldn’t let that cloud my judgement.
His thoughts were interrupted by four figures walking into the hall, their heads bowed, right hands clasped over their chests. A female voice led them. “Allfather, we must speak with you urgently.” The four warriors lifted their heads to address their king. He watched their expressions, wondering what they would say once they saw it wasn’t Odin sitting on the throne, but their friend’s younger brother.
Silent surprise as what he observed. Almost shock. ‘They were not expecting you.’
I tried to ignore the voice, wondering why I was so inclined to listen to it. Of course they are. No one knows I have taken over the throne yet. Not even Noelle.
‘She will be impressed. You know she had always desired a king as a husband.’ I wondered if that was true. Noelle told me she didn’t want to be queen. She didn’t care what my position was. ‘Fool. All women want to be queen. To rule. To have power. If not her, then her father will want a suitable husband for her.’
I thoughts were interrupted, noticing they were waiting for me to speak. “My…friends.” I knew what they had come to ask.
Fandral was the first to recover, questioning me with a suspicious tone. “Where’s Odin?” They descended the steps.
“Father has fallen into the Odin sleep. Mother fears he will never awaken.” My voice was measured, with slight concern, and a touch of emotion. I had to hide the happiness I felt, though it made me feel guilty as well.
“We would speak with her?” Sif asked, her tone indignant. I didn’t like it; Sif and I never really got along, not since I found she harbored feeling for Thor, and not I.
“She has refused to leave my father’s bedside. You can bring your urgent matter to me.” I sounded slightly nervous, and I was. I was about to confront them. I knew what they wanted, what they were going to ask. But I had to do the right thing and follow Odin’s orders. “Your king.”
The four looked at each other, confused and unsure of what to do. Volstag was the first to clasp his right arm across his breast again. I smiled. I always knew Volstag had some sense. The others followed, kneeling in front of me. Sif did so with a bit of attitude.
“My king.” She began. I almost wanted to refuse her request right away, with her tone the way it was. “We would ask that you end Thor’s banishment.” There it was. The question. The one I so wanted to give in to. The one I couldn’t give in to. Mother clearly wanted Odin’s wishes carried out. I had to obey, as a good son. As a good king.
I huffed. “My first command cannot be to undo the Allfather’s last.” I sighed mentally. I had to do this. Make them see why I couldn’t simply bring Thor back. For political reasons. For Odin’s reasons. “We’re on the brink of war with Jotunheim. Our people need a sense of continuity in order to feel safe during these difficult times. All of us must stand together.” I watched as Sif’s expression turned sour. The other men might have been able to control their emotions. Sif could not. “For the good of Asgard”
Sif stood, her movement quick, but not quick enough for Hogun and Fandral to restrain her. I couldn’t help but smile. Did she really think she intimidated me? I was the king. I had to do this. ‘She does not understand your position. She is incapable to understand.’ Yes, I reasoned with the voice. She simply cannot comprehend.
“Yes of course.” Fandral said quickly.
“Good. Then you will wait for my word.” I needed to have these four on my side. They would be the ones to vouch for my good will and capability as a king.
“If I may.” Volstag spoke up, catching my attention. “Beg the…indulgence of your majesty…to reconsider-”
“We’re done.” I would discuss this no more. If they could not understand why I was doing this, then I would not explain it again. I watched as they slowly left with shocked expressions. Sif was the last to leave, staring me down until I returned the stare. I sighed, sitting back down.
‘They were never your friends. You were only the little brother of Thor. They cannot understand you, your predicament. They know not your power.’ It was true. They knew not my predicament. “I am finished for today.” I addressed the guards, who nodded, leaving my presence. I sighed, teleporting myself to my room in the blink of an eye.
I took off my helmet, rubbing my temples. I had never had to wear the ceremonial garb for so long. I looked around the room, loneliness engulfing me. I needed company. I needed my love. I pulled at the connection to her, feeling her. I could sense where she was. My love. Come see me. I felt her acknowledge my request.
I sighed. If she were to walk here it would take much too long. I was impatient today. I felt for her again before imagining her appearing before me. I waited, feeling the air shimmer around me. I heard a gasp for air, and opened my eyes to my beautiful Noelle, standing before me, a bottle of wine in her hand, poised over a cup, ready to pour.
“Lovely. You brought wine.” I smirked, taking the glass from her hand. She shook her hand at me.
“You scared me. I didn’t know what was happening.” She handed me the bottle before stretched her back. I poured myself a glass of wine, before leaning against my desk. I watched her walk around the room, running her hands over the textures of the furniture, the drapes on the bed.
“Sit.” I motioned to her. “I have incredible news.”
She continued to stand. “You look better. Happier. Did the queen shed light on things for you?” She sounded hopeful.
“She did. But that is not the only thing she did.” I glanced at my love, looking at me with a strange expression. I wondered if she noticed I was wearing my breastplate and cape. I waited, watching her think. Her lovely mouth turned down in puzzlement.
“I give up.” She finally said. “Tell me.” She sat down on the bed, her arms out behind her to hold her up. I watched as she stretched back slightly, her breasts emphasized. I watched hungrily as she breathed in and out, the movement driving me insane.
I had never really let myself linger on thoughts of Noelle and her tempting body. I always desired her, but something held me back more now than anything. Perhaps it was the knowledge that I was different from her. Perhaps it was because I felt I was not good enough to have her. “Do you not notice what I am wearing?” I wanted her to guess.
“You’re wearing your formal clothes.”
“And when do I wear them?” I took a sip of the wine, before setting the cup down, and walking over to where she sat.
“Stop it Loki. Just tell me.” She pleaded.
I smiled, before turning and facing the walls, looking at the patterns and scrolls. “Odin is caught in the Odinsleep. No one is certain when he will awaken and there has never been a female on the throne. Mother does not wish to leave Odin’s side. Someone must preside over the throne. Thor is banished, and therefore cannot rule-”
I was cut off. “So you’re the king until Odin is well again.” She finished for me. I turned to look at her, gauge her reaction. “I was not prepared for this.” I watched her fall back onto the bed, her feet dangling.
“For what? To potentially be queen one day?” It wasn’t entirely out of the question.
“No. I just didn’t expect this all to happen in two days!” She covered her face with her hands.
I sat down next to her. “What is it? I thought you would be happy?”
She sighed. I went to delve into her mind, find out what she was feeling, when she uncovered her face. She glared at me. “Don’t. If you have a question, ask me.”
“Why are you unhappy?” I got up and began to take my armor off. “I thought you would be glad for me. This is my chance to prove myself worthy of Asgard. To show I am meant to be here. And I can offer you more now as well.”
I felt the side ties and clasps on my breast plate being undone before I could touch them. “I am happy for you. I know you’re struggling right now. But you don’t need to prove you belong here.” She finished with my left side, continuing to my right. “I love you the way you are Loki. You don’t have to offer me more.”
“Then why are you so unhappy?” I would never understand women. I felt the last clasp undo, and lifted the breastplate over my head, taking my cape off. I turned to see Noelle was back laying on my bed. She looked to delicious there.
“I’m just overwhelmed Loki. Things are changing so fast. Thor is gone, Odin is gone, you’re king, and war is coming. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Aren’t you stressed at all?”
I stood in front of her. “Yes. But I can handle it. As long as I have you.”
She smiled. “What can I do?”
“Support me.” I suggested.
I stepped closer. “Thank you.” I walked next to her slowly, still watching her breathing. I sat down next to her. I hesitated, before running a finger down her stomach. I watched her shiver, and unable to control myself any longer, I lean over to kiss her irresistible lips. I haven’t kissed her in hours, and already I missed her. The feel of her lips on mine drives me crazy with need. With want.
I felt amazing in this moment. I had everything I wanted. I had the throne, I had Noelle. I felt alive, daring and capable to do anything. “Loki.” She breathed as we separated for air. “What are we doing?”
I smiled, laying down, nearly over her. “What do you think?”
She laughed. “I mean, isn’t it a bad time?”
I pressed my lips to her forehead. “Love, with all that’s going to come to pass, I believe it is the perfect time.”
She giggled. “I never thought I’d be adding sex to the list of things that happened these past two days.”