I nearly locked myself in my room for the next three and a half days. Which, essentially, didn’t give me a ton of time to learn the spell.
People kept coming in to check on me. It seemed like just when I started to make some progress, there would be a knock on the door, and I’d receive an hour long visit from someone, asking me what I was doing. I just said I was practicing magic, which was true, in a sense. It was believable too. I’d neglected my lessons for a few months while I fought alongside Thor for the Peace.
Just this morning a maid knocked on my door to tell me she had been sent to sit with me and keep me company! It was annoying, but it also put into perspective how much my friends were worried for me. I dismissed the maid, before making my way down to breakfast to see my friends and ease their minds. I had been having meals sent to my chambers so I could spend more time mastering this spell.
This was one of the more complicated of spells and required a lot of practice. And the pressure was on. I didn’t have weeks to practice this spell. If I knew Loki, he was probably thinking of a plan to escape. Loki had spent enough time locked up to figure something out. It was only a matter of time before Loki came up with something.
There was also the issue of our relationship. I didn’t want to wait weeks to talk about this with Loki. I had waited long enough. I had to do this now, or I would lose my backbone so generously lent to me by Thor.
As I sat down at the breakfast table after two days of being a no show, I could see relief on my friend’s features. They were clearly glad to see me out and about again. I buttered some bread in silence and grabbed some fruit to munch on.
“Are you faring better, Noelle?” Volstag asked me. I chewed a strawberry before answering.
“I was never ill.” I stated, glancing around at all of them. “I was practicing, as I told you. I’ve been away from my lessons for months now. I figured it was time to pick it up again.”
“But a break is necessary, of course.” Fandral put in. I nodded.
“But I did not need visitors every hour. Nor did I need a maid to be sent to keep me company.” Sif opened her mouth to add her concerns in, but I put a hand up to stop her. “I know.” I smiled politely, glad they cared. But I was being crowded. And I didn’t want them to know I was going to speak with Loki. They would never leave me alone if they knew. “You’re worried. And I am grateful. But please, I’m not going to do anything drastic. I just want a little alone time to catch up and practice my magic again. It clears my mind.”
They all nodded, but I could still see apprehension in their eyes. So I changed the subject. “Where’s Thor this morning?”
“Off to find some doppelganger, apparently.” Fandral answered, leaning in. We all leaned in closer to hear. This must be top secret. “Three nights ago, Thor was reported as going into the library. But at the time, Thor was meeting with the King. He only found out when he saw himself fleeing the library, and running down a hall!”
My eyes widened. Uh oh…Thor saw me…as him…This was not good. “Well, I hope they catch this…person. Whoever they are.”
“Yes, this could be very dangerous.” Sif put in, concerned. “And why would anyone impersonate Thor going into the library? We all know Thor doesn’t go in there.”
“But Loki did.” Volstag whispered. Anyone who knew about Loki was told to keep it quiet. His name wasn’t mentioned much anymore, which made me sad. It was like Odin was trying to erase the fact that Loki lived here once. That he was considered to be his son, a crown prince of Asgard.
“What are you saying?” Was Volstag implying that Loki had already escaped? Was I too late?
“That perhaps it was a trick employed by Loki.” Volstag whispered even softer now, making us strain to hear more.
“That’s preposterous. He’s been in his cell every day, as reported. Nothing magical has gone on inside her cell either.” Fandral countered. “I’ve checked the reports myself.” I made a mental note that Frigga must have been ensuring no magical residue was traceable after her visits.
“Why have you been checking the reports?” I asked, curious. Fandral wasn’t posted in the dungeons. He was a warrior, not a guard. He would be going out of his way to check the reports.
He shrugged. “I wanted to ensure we were truly rid of him. That there was no chance of his escape. And if he has been thinking of escaping, I wanted to ensure it was traceable by magic. It is his only weapon.” He rose with those words. “I’m off to train. Anyone else care to join?” The others rose to leave with him, but I stayed put.
“I’ve got a bit more catching up to do. I should be done by tomorrow.” I assured them. “Don’t worry, if I need any of you, you’ll know.” With that we went our separate ways, them going outside and me going back to my chambers to practice. The whole way back I kept thinking about what Fandral had said. About magic being Loki’s only weapon.
I chuckled, thinking about how little they all knew Loki. You’re wrong, Fandral. I thought to myself. Loki doesn’t just rely on magic. He relies on his wit.
If they thought Loki would hesitate to escape by magic in a magic sensitive cell, they underestimating him.
I locked my bedroom door and windows, like I did any other night. But this time I wasn’t going to sleep. It was time for me to make my move. With Thor and the guards busy around the castle looking for his impersonator, it was the perfect opportunity.
Tugging on my necklace lightly, I shut off the lights to further convince anyone walking by my door that I was asleep. I had kept checking my appearance in the mirror, though it didn’t really matter what I looked like.
I took a few deep breaths to steady myself. I truly did not know what I was to expect. But I had to just do it. Closing my eyes, and reciting the incantation in my head, I concentrated. I put all my worries about Loki out of my mind. I put the fear of getting caught and messing up out of my head. I focused on the task at hand and accomplishing it.
I felt the magic flowing in the air, and the shift. And then I felt as if I was being swallowed by a wormhole, suffocating me. It only happened for half a second, but when you can’t breathe it feels like minutes.
And then I felt myself breathe again, relieved. I peeked an eye open, and was met with white walls. On my right there was a transparent golden wall, keep the prisoner in. There was furniture all about the room, a desk, a chair. At one end of the room there was a bed. Books were strewn about.
And looking out towards the other prisoners who were fast asleep in their own cells was a man with black hair, elegantly styled and running to his shoulders. His leather vest and green shirt were of quality material. His pale hands were clasped behind his back, and he still hadn’t acknowledged me. But I knew he knew I was here.
No one snuck up on Loki. Not even me. He would have sensed me coming. And he would have felt me here. Even with the wall he kept between us, I saw him tense. I felt the goose bumps on my skin, and the longing.
This was going to be the hardest part: resisting the urge to run to him, kiss him. Because after two years of barely being in each other’s company, I knew the pull would be strong. Our souls yearned to be together. They yearned to reunite, so much that it hurt.
“I didn’t expect you to come.” I nearly collapsed when I heard his cool, musical voice speak to me.
“I needed time.” I found my voice, and was glad it didn’t shake like the rest of me was.
“You took you time. Why now?” I could hear the malice in his voice. “I assumed you had forgotten me.”
“How could I forget you Loki?” I saw an involuntary shudder come from him. “You’re all I’ve thought about all this time.” Silence. It stretched from seconds to minutes. “I’ve come to talk.”
“About?” Loki still hadn’t even glanced my way. He kept his eyes on the world outside of this cage.
“That seems rather vague.” I saw the corners of his mouth pull up into a smile, and his tone mocked me.
“About what you did, Loki. And about us.” I was starting to lose my calm.
“Us? You wanted to talk about us? What is there to talk about?”
“There is much to talk about.” I answered vehemently.
“I figured when you ignored me at our last encounter, you were…dissatisfied…with the idea of us.”
“Will you please look at me? I didn’t come here to be treated with contempt.”
“Then what did you come for?” Loki still hadn’t turned.
“For us! For you!” I spat. “So look at me when I talk to you! I didn’t have to come here. I could have denied your very existence like everybody else does, but no! I decided to talk to you. To find out your side of the story.”
“No, you came to see if I still loved you!” He finally turned around to look at me, and I could hear my heart pounding wildly in my chest. He looked so good. His eyes were hard, angry. I could see the curve of muscle in his arms. He was dangerous right now. He may not have control. But my body didn’t listen to my mind, and took a step towards him. Then another. And another.
“Don’t come any closer.” He couldn’t back up without hitting his head when the ceiling dipped to guard the golden wall. “Stop, or I will stop you.”
I wasn’t afraid of Loki. If he wanted to hurt me, so be it. I came here at my own risk. And Loki had already hurt me emotionally. I was going to put it all out there. Cards on the table. If he hurt me, that was my answer. And if he hurt me, than the Loki I knew was gone.
I was inches from him now, and if I extended my hand I would be able to place it on his chest. “I will hurt you.” He threatened. “I’ve killed much in these last few years. Back away.” He gritted his teeth.
I shook my head. “There isn’t much you can do. You’ve already hurt me.” He avoid my gaze. “You left me. You decided instead of facing me after attempting to kill Thor and take the throne, you would let go.” I took one more step, so close now. “I waited for you. I searched for you. I went through the questioning you should have faced. How do you think that made me feel? It was a slap in the face, Loki.”
He squeezed his eyes shut. “Stop.”
“You killed a lot of people, Loki. Innocent people. You took their lives for protecting their home. My home. That was another poke at me, to find out after all these years, you were hiding from me. What were you going to do, present me with a throne on Earth? That was an insult to me.”
“You are not-” He began to argue but I continued speaking, going louder than him.
“And then, you come home, in chains. And you ignore me. You have put up a wall between us, kept me out. You’ve kept me guessing this entire time. And you’ve destroyed any thought of the future for us. Because as long as I am bound to you, I might as well be in here with you.” I had forgotten how tall Loki was, but his size didn’t intimidate me. His threats had been empty so far.
“I think I’m thoroughly done with seeing you today.” I watched him slowly lift his arm, and watched the surprised in his face as he roughly brushed his hand across my shoulder. I shuddered, holding back the urge to grab him and hold him. It took all of my will.
I smiled. “líkamlega flutninga á styttri vegalengdum.” (Bodily transport for short distances). “I’ve been practicing.” I wasn’t an illusion. I had transported my whole being here, and successfully, since I didn’t leave parts of me behind or end up somewhere else.
I barely got that sentence out when I felt myself being pulled towards Loki. I braced myself when his hands grabbed my wrists roughly. When my face landed gently on his chest and his arms squeezed me. My arms acted on accord and wrapped around him, inhaling the scent of him, the feel of being so close after so long. I felt his hand tear through my hair, feeling its texture. It was longer since he last did that, and I relished in the feeling. Loki was running his hands along my back, my waist, and my thighs. His breathing was erratic, like he was hyperventilating.
I felt the wall go down between us and was bombarded by his thoughts, his emotions. I was so caught off guard and overwhelmed with the sensation that my vision seemed to go blank and I saw no more.
‘It’s been so long.’ His mind was tangled, so much going on.
‘I’ve missed you.’ I couldn’t help but admit it.
‘I thought of you each and every day. I wanted to come home.’
‘Why didn’t you? I looked for you, I waited.’
‘I-’ Loki didn’t finish his answer. In that moment, I felt the wall he had put between us back up again.
‘Loki, don’t do this again. Stay with me.’ I pleaded, not wanting him to separate us again.
I felt our connection shut down, and when my vision flooded back Loki and I were leaning against the wall, using it as support. We must have lost our footing from being so overwhelmed. I looked up, wondering what had changed his mind. Loki had been so open for me these last few minutes. Why turn away now? What had I done?
“Loki?” I put a hand to his face.
He seemed reluctant in his movements, but he moved my hand away. Taking my forearms he pushed me off and away from him. Then he straightened up and walked away. “You need to go.”
“Did you not hear me? I said go!” His eyes were furious. “How dare you trick me? You are only here so Odin can watch me suffer!”
“Odin doesn’t even know I’m here! I came on my own accord.” What had come over him? Did he really think I would spy on him for Odin? Did he really think Odin trusted me that much?
“Then why didn’t you see me before? Why did you walk away from me?” He kicked a book on the floor. “You are just like him, and the rest of them. You want only to laugh at me, to mock me, for my failure. Have I always been the joke to you?”
“You know that isn’t true!” I wasn’t going to have him accuse me falsely. Not when I came this far. “You would have known if those were my thoughts and true intentions since we were bound!”
“You have hidden your true thoughts from me!”
“When was I ever able to do that, Loki? You read my like an open book! You always have! You would have known if I had hidden anything!” He didn’t reply. “What has gotten into you Loki? What has convinced you to think these things?” He kicked another book. “Thor told me you led an army. That someone prepared you for taking over Earth. Was it that person who told you I was spying for Odin?”
“You are going too far.” He looked murderous now, and I watched a flash of blue light enter his eyes.
“Did they tell you I didn’t love you?” He took a step towards me. “Did they tell you to take over Earth? To kill Thor? Are they telling you I don’t love you?”
“ENOUGH!” In an instant Loki had me by the arm and had pushed me into the wall. His hand ghosted over my throat. I watched his eyes go blue once more. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? I had seen his eyes go blue on multiple occasions.
“Go ahead.” I looked into his eyes. “Do it, Loki.” His eyes didn’t falter. His hand was loosely around my throat now, tickling my skin.
As his hand tightened, I felt a few stray tears slip from my eyes, down my cheeks. “I won’t beg for my life. I won’t tell you to fight whatever has taken you from me.” Tighter now. I felt his fingers dig into my flesh. It didn’t matter. I couldn’t fight Loki, even if I tried. I could never fight back against Loki. If he was going to kill me, he would do it looking into my eyes.
“Because it’s my fault, Loki.” It was. I shouldn’t have brushed off the ‘blue eyes’ thing as the lighting. I should have known something was wrong. I should have pushed harder when I felt locked out of certain parts of his mind. I began to feel the air escape from me, and seeing black dots in my vision. If he really killed me, then he was gone. Whatever had taken him had too good of a hold on him.
“I should have saved you.”