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In These Gilded Halls

Chapter Text

Thor fidgets on his throne, ignoring the looks Frigga is throwing at him. Her lips are pursed and her eyes disapproving, silently chiding him for his display of impatience. But there is nothing to be done, for the day is turning out to be much less exciting than he had expected—he can only look at so many pretty maidens before he grow bored. They are all dull and uninteresting beyond their looks, and they have nothing that Thor wants, perhaps except what lies between their legs. But even the idea of that cannot make him remotely enthusiastic when he is itching to leave—he would much rather be sparring with his friends.

He burns with jealousy for them. Volstagg, already happily married with four wives, does not need to go through this gruelling process of picking out women he isn’t even interested in. Fandral can charm his way into the beds of any maiden who catches his fancy, and has no need to be subjected to such an onerous process. Hogun, well, he speaks little of his private life, but he is not tied down by the duties that Thor must perform. And Sif, brilliant, valiant Sif, the only woman amongst the ranks of men, is known to sneer and teach a painful lesson to anyone who dares suggest that she should marry.

The ambassador from Alfheim has finished introducing the maiden currently standing beneath the dais. She is pretty enough to look at—they all are, as the finest women from the Nine Realms—but with the way she is holding herself, she looks as though she must be wedded to a Jotun. Thor can already imagine what she would be like: she would lie there on the bed, frozen and rigid, head turned to the side and lips quivering while Thor spread her legs and entered her. She would stay like that, unresponsive, and Thor is certain even the lowest whore in Asgard would provide a better lay.

Thor reaches towards the tray of flowers on his left, ready to pass one to the servant girl who will adorn the maiden’s hair with it, thereby dismissing her from his court. But Frigga clears her throat and looks pointedly at him.

“Perhaps you had not heard, my dear. Ingrid was handpicked by King Freyr himself for you,” she says under her breath. “Surely, you would not turn down such a generous gift from one of our closest allies?”

He may be King, but Thor cannot find it in himself to disobey her, especially when what she said is sensible. “No, of course not, Mother,” he says, and moves his hand forwards to the other tray, picking up a medallion and handing it over to the servant girl.

The girl scurries down the steps and presents it to Ingrid, who takes it reverently between her small palms, blushes a deep red and says, “Thank you, my King. I am most honoured to be yours.”

Her words are intoned softly but her voice carries through the entire hall. She has a beautiful, musical voice, reminding Thor of chiming bells, and suddenly her shyness and timidness become a thousandfold more attractive. But before Thor can rake his eyes over her body and truly consider her again, she has curtsied and is swiftly led away.

No matter. He will have her soon enough.

Then, the official in charge calls out the next maiden to be introduced: “Loki Laufeyson of Jotunheim!”

At once, everyone opens their mouths and starts babbling. Monster, some whisper; Laufeyson, some exclaim; Jotun, all marvel.

Thor is not immune to being shocked himself. He immediately straightens from his slouch, eager to see what this mysterious realm is presenting to him—surely, not an ugly, brutish thing that dares tower over himself?

He glances towards Frigga, and as he has expected, she is calm as usual, her expression betraying nothing.

Thor turns back to the doors as the noise in the hall rises towards uncontrollable levels, the citizens ignoring the guards’ demands for respect and quiet, and just as chaos is about to break loose—

The golden doors edge open.

Silence instantly consumes the large hall, everyone holding their breath as they await Thor’s potential concubine.

A collective gasp sweeps through the crowds as the silhouette of a Frost Giant appears. Once the doors are open wide enough, however, another wave of cacophony crashes through the throne room—for the Frost Giant has stepped aside, allowing another creature with the same blue skin to be seen—but it is built like an Aesir.

When the doors are fully open, the pair step into the hall, allowing themselves to be scrutinised by the thousands of pairs of eyes.

Thor himself pays the Frost Giant no mind—it is no doubt a high-ranking official, given the multitude of lines overlying its body, but seeing a real Jotun in the flesh is nowhere as intriguing as assessing the curious specimen next to it.

The other Jotun cannot be called a giant, for it only just reaches the shoulders of the other. Its blue skin is very heavily decorated and its horns—almost as tall as those of the other—are draped in multiple golden chains, and Thor knows that this is no normal Jotun. Its features are strong, but not coarse, and one might even call the tall bridge of its nose and the curve of its eyebrows elegant. Its eyes are cast downwards, but Thor can see that they are a dark red, as is usual for its race. Its thin lips are set in a firm line, haughty and defiant.

Thor looks down, away from its face, and through the half-transparent fabric draped artfully around its body, sees that this creature is very definitely female. Thor frowns. It is known throughout the realms that all Jotnar are of dual sexes, though they appear to be male. But this creature, it—she, Thor corrects himself—has full breasts and the curved figure only women possess.

She and her companion have reached the based of the dais from which Thor’s throne is erected. While the larger Jotun holds his fist to his chest and bows, the smaller female crosses her feet and lowers herself to perch on them in an elaborate half-kneel. There is a slit over her skirts running from ankle to hip, and in that position the fabrics fall open, exposing her long, lean legs. Thor swallows at the sight, and he is already imagining how he would tear her flimsy clothes away and bare her exotic body to his hungry gaze. He would throw her onto his bed, wrench her head back with a hand around one of her horns and he would fuck her Jotun cunt until she screamed.

He yearns to present a medallion to her, but standing in his way is the people’s commentary: monster, child, freak, and not even the threats of the guards can stop their yelling.

But then the large Jotun speaks. “Your Majesty,” he rumbles, voice deep and loud and reverberating throughout the room, stilling the citizens’ tongues. “I present to you Princess Loki, the Jewel of Jotunheim.”

There is the beginning of whispers, but they quickly die down when the Jotun continues.

“May I assure all present that Princess Loki is fully grown and merely takes a rare form amongst our people, one that is seen once in ten thousand years and is capable of producing children who will become most powerful—provided that the sire, too, possesses a certain amount of strength.” He respectfully inclines his head in Thor’s direction. “It is for this reason that King Laufey is presenting Jotunheim’s most prized daughter, so that this union between our two realms may produce peace and a suitable heir to the throne of Asgard.”

His bold claims make the people shout and jeer and even Thor is stunned by his presumption, but the Jotun remains calm. “I speak only the truth, Your Majesty. The healers of this realm have thoroughly examined Princess Loki and will agree with what I have said.”

“Is that so, Eir?” Frigga speaks up.

“Indeed, Your Grace,” the chief healer replies.

“Hmm.” Frigga turns to Thor. “What do you think, my son?”

Asgard’s relationship with Jotunheim has improved since the war, but is still strained at best. It is too early to tell whether it would be prudent for a half-Jotun to be his heir and let Jotunheim have so much sway over the throne, but one of the most important things that Odin had stressed to Thor is that the broken bonds between Asgard and Jotunheim must be mended, for true peace can only be achieved if all the Nine Realms are in harmony. And so, accepting Laufey’s proposal is a gesture of goodwill he must make.

That the Jotun princess looks so delicious is just a very fortunate boon.

“This is most gracious of King Laufey; I will gladly accept. Do send him my regards.”

With that, Thor picks up a medallion and gives it over to the servant girl by his side. She goes down the steps and reaches Loki, who stretches out her hands, fine-boned and slender, above her head to receive it.

“My king,” she purrs, her voice carrying over the chatter of the crowd. Those two words are all that escape from her pretty lips, but it is as if she has spun rich honey from thin air, and Thor is absolutely enthralled. She collects the medallion to her ample bosom, and then rises gracefully to her feet. Thor mourns the loss of the sight of her bare legs, but as Loki turns, he finds the gentle sway of her full hips equally pleasing, if not more. He cannot wait to bed her.

It is announced that there are no more candidates, and concluded that seventeen maidens have been chosen to form the beginnings of Thor’s harem. The crowd slowly dissipates while Thor tears his mind away from all those ripe bodies waiting for him, and turns his attention to the woman who matters most and stands above all.

“Are you pleased with the selection, Mother?” he asks, reaching for her hand.

Frigga allows her knuckles to be kissed. “They are all very fine ladies. I hope that they will bring you happiness.”

Though she smiles lovingly at Thor, he can tell that her thoughts are far away to where his father rests in the unreachable halls of Valhalla. She was the first and only woman Odin had loved, and their marriage was one that defied both tradition and nature—for all Asgardian kings ever known to live had halls upon halls filled with consorts and concubines and mistresses, and it is almost unheard of that an heir could be produced through a man’s union with one woman alone.

Frigga had not objected when Thor made the decision to form a harem: it is politically sound, for Thor is at the beginning of his reign and needs to strengthen bonds with the other realms and marriage is one of the most convenient means. Thor’s vast appetite is another important reason—better that he sate himself with proper women than be seen frequenting whorehouses in the outskirts of Asgard, for such behaviour might be excused in a prince, but unbecoming of a king.

Nevertheless, Thor knows she does not approve entirely. She has taught him since he was a child that women are not playthings, not broodmares; she has impressed upon him that carnal desires cloud the mind, that the overindulgence of a king unerringly leads to the downfall of an entire dynasty. Thor recognises the value of her advice, and he holds dear to his heart Odin’s teachings to him that a king must put the good of his realm above all else. But he is a man before he is a king; should he not be rewarded for his efforts?

He should. He should be made happy. And the seventeen fine maidens lined up for him are going to do just that.

“I know they shall,” he assures Frigga, while already looking forward to claim his prize.