Rolling over from my place on the floor, I let out a huff. He looked at me and I put everything I had into maintaining a blank expression to keep from showing my irritation, though my captor made it difficult. He infuriated me on so many levels.
Usually I did what I wanted when I wanted, and I wanted to go outside. In Vanaheim, I’m a Princess. I was a Princess. Under his “care”, that was not the case.
It didn’t matter if ten guards accompanied me. It didn’t matter if Loki himself accompanied me. I just wanted out. A week had passed since he finally deemed me tame enough to remove my chains and truly I tried to be grateful for that small freedom. However, my initial days of meekly mourning my lost home and status were over. I was no longer a melancholy waif. I was bolder and I wanted more.
“Please may I go outside?” The over-the-top sweetness in my own voice made me queasy.
The bastard refused to look up at me from the thick tome in his hands. Instead, he distractedly motioned at his overflowing bookshelves. “If you’re bored, read something.”
Propping my chin on my palm, I released a dramatic breath. If I read another word, I’d go cross-eyed. “I read them all.”
Without looking up, he raised a brow.
“You read Heimskringla?”
I pushed up from my spot at the hearth and crossed my arms over my bare chest. “I did.”
“Twice. The modern movement on Midgard is most disturbing.”
The King finally deemed me deserving of eye contact as he snapped his book closed. “You read that anthology on ancient Nordic—?”
“Warfare tactics, yes. And I alphabetized your collection.”
“Well, aren’t you useful?”
I scowled and lifted my chin, fighting the twitch in my lip that threatened to make it curl. “You’re just annoyed because you’ve run out of things for me to do in your rooms. I want to go outside.”
Loki’s lazily rolled his eyes.
I slapped my hand against the stone floor, which I immediately regretted when a stinging pain bloomed through my fingers, but the sound my palm made against the granite was quite satisfactory. “You didn’t even consider it!”
He blinked at me and reclined in his chair, propping his feet up on the ottoman and clasping his hands in his lap. “And why would I consider it, Brynja?”
My shoulders drooped and I scrubbed my face with my hand. I’ve never been overly fond of wine or ale, but this man would drive me to drink, I just knew it. He was absolutely impossible. Technically, he should consider my request as his peer and fellow royal. However, I knew that once we had crossed through that awful Bifrost he had relieved me of my status, at least when alone with him.
I realized he was looking at me expectantly and cleared my throat, squaring my shoulders. Using my most diplomatic tone, I attempted to reason with him. “You should consider it because I’m a guest in this realm and it’s your duty to cater to my needs. And I need to go outside. Please.”
His grin enraged me because I knew he wasn’t taking what I had to say seriously. He steepled his fingers against his lips and hummed, his eyes raking over my nude body. I fought to stay still, reluctant to reveal how uncomfortable I felt under his gaze. I failed. Despite my desire to stay strong, I wrapped my arms around myself and squeezed my legs shut.
“Do not hide yourself from me, pet.”
The tender, still-red skin of my behind throbbed as I vividly recollected the punishment I had received for my disobedience the day prior. I dropped my arms to my sides, exposing my breasts to him and he rewarded me with a satisfied smile.
“There’s a good girl.” He sat up and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Come here,” he pointed to his feet.
I knew better than to baulk. Baulking at his commands had earned me several forced orgasms that morning. My experience with orgasms hasn’t been lengthy, I had never had one before Loki took me into his bed. I’ll give him credit for that. But after that punishment, I knew I preferred my orgasms one at a time and with a few minutes between for recovery. So, I complied. My cheeks still glowed in shame as I rose onto all fours, the manner in which I’d been getting from place to place for days, and crawled across the room. Mortified at having been reduced to a makeshift quadruped, I couldn’t meet his gaze once I settled next to his booted feet. A low laugh rumbled in his chest and he hooked a finger beneath my chin, forcing me to look up.
“Now, do you know why I don’t cater to your needs, little Brynja?”
I wilted. He wasn’t going to humor me even a little.
Of their own accord, my lips scrunched shut as I tried to force the words from my mouth.
The cruel gleam in his eye indicated he knew exactly how much using the title in a sexual manner made me squirm. He casually ran his fingers through my hair and titled his head.
“You know if that makes you uncomfortable, you can always call me Master.”
The look of distaste that spread across my face must have been telling because the corner of his mouth twitched again. I narrowed my eyes at him but kept my damn mouth shut so I didn’t give him a reason to slap those chains back on my wrists. Being kept naked was humiliating enough. Naked with manacales felt unbearable.
Pleased with my silence, he ran a cool fingertip along my lower lip. “Now, why don’t I meet your self-decreed needs?”
“Because I no longer know what’s best for me,” I mumbled so badly that even I could barely understand myself.
“Good girl,” he purred. “Who does know what’s best for you?”
My posture would’ve horrified my mother, but I couldn’t keep my shoulders from slumping. Loki was defeating me and I am a very sore loser. I squeezed my eyes shut, momentarily removing myself from the King of Asgard’s bedroom and imagined being at home with my sisters instead. I immediately realized this was a mistake when my throat grew tight and my nose stung, so I bit the inside of my cheek to keep my tears at bay.
Opening my eyes, I looked at his chin. Meeting his gaze was too humiliating.
“You know best.”
“Very, very good, Brynja.”
He pet me like one of those wild wolves of his that ran around the outskirts of the city. He doesn’t know that I saw him with them, but I did. I’ve grown sneaky over the past two weeks. From his balconies there are countless happenings in the courtyard to spy on and conversations to overhear from the hallways, and the Nornir knew I had time for refining that particular skill these days.
His fingers tangled in my hair when I didn’t preen at his praise. I yelped and grabbed at his hand, which I knew was a mistake but couldn’t suppress the urge.
Loki hissed at me and I froze. “What do you think you’re doing, Brynja?”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” tumbled from my mouth before I could snap it shut. His grip on my hair relaxed and, once again, he stroked my dark hair. “Much better.” In bowing to him, a little part of me shriveled up, but it was better than being beaten.
“There you are,” he traced my collarbone. “You’re learning quickly, little one.”
I forced my mouth into a miniscule smile, which appeared to please him. He leaned forward, grasped me under my arms and hauled me into his lap.
“You’ve had a busy day, Brynja. Your delicious spree of orgasms this morning,” I shuddered at the memory and clenched my hands to keep from covering my sore pussy, “and all your book organizing this afternoon. How about a nice bath to wind down?”
He phrased it as a question, but it wasn’t a question. A bath did sound lovely. Just not with him.
“Will you be joining me?” I tried not to flinch.
“No, darling. I’m meeting with several of my generals to discuss our final plans before pulling out of Vanaheim. Your father has been most cooperative in drawing up this peace treaty now that you’re mine. You should be grateful.”
Grateful for being cast out of my realm like an unwanted stone and forced to live with a megalomaniac of a King. Right. I gave him a tight smile.
It wasn’t my father’s fault I was taken. That was my own stupidity. The act of ushering my handmaidens out the servant’s entrance so they could be with their families in the city when Loki’s forces attacked hadn’t provided me with an ounce of good fortune. Or, if it did, it had yet to make itself known. Regardless, one of his commanders caught us and it didn’t take long for them to recognize who I was. Immediately, I’d been handed over to Loki and have been his charge ever since.
“Are you grateful, little girl?”
A sarcastic “very” slithered out of my mouth before I could stop it. My tongue was going to be the death of me.
He leaned forward, wrapping his arm around my middle and pulling me closer. “Careful, dear,” he murmured into my ear. His lips brushed against my neck and he slowly sucked a mark on the side of my throat, then soothed it with his tongue. “You want to keep me happy, don’t you?”
Considering the scathing regard I had for him, I decided it smartest to keep my lips sealed, so I merely nodded. His eyes glittered with one of those mad smiles that sent shivers creeping up my spine. It was terrifying and reassuring at the same time. He was the one person I had exposure to. He kept me cloistered in his rooms and it was taking a toll on my mind. A growing portion of me itched to please him, to engage in a positive interaction, while intellectually, I knew he was unstable and I should keep my distance from him. But keeping distance from an unbalanced King is impossible when he forces you into his bed at night. Especially when he then coaxes reactions from you that merely thinking about make you blush and pulse with need.
I started when his fingers traced over my nipples, which instantly hardened under his attentions. That awful, traitorous throbbing began between my legs and I squeezed my thighs shut with a whimper. Somehow, my nipples seemed wired directly to my center and each of his touches resulted in a flood of moisture. I could feel his breath puff against my cheek as he snickered at me.
His eyes were on my chest, and in my daze, I had a rare opportunity to watch his face while he touched me. Loki ran his tongue along his lower lip, like an animal salivating before feeding. His hauntingly beautiful green eyes grew dark as his pupils expanded while he stared at my breasts reacting to his touch. Loki gave my nipple a firm pinch and I squeaked, my hands shaking with the effort it took to not shove his hands away… or to pull them closer, I wasn’t sure. He chuckled and nuzzled my hair away from my face, ghosting his lips against the shell of my ear.
“I can feel that divine little pussy of yours dribbling onto my pant leg, Brynja. Did you know that?”
My thoughts were cloudy and I couldn’t stop rhythmically pressing my thighs together, it felt too good. Ever since he unveiled this carnal side of me, it usurped my brain whenever he put his hands on my body. I knew he was evil, I knew he was slightly unhinged, but Norns did the man know how to touch a woman. Once again he squeezed my tender nipple harder than was comfortable, knocking me out of my haze.
“I asked you a question, darling.”
Desperately I tried to replay the last few moments in my head, searching for the question he wanted answered. Something about how wet I was. I vaguely registered the trickle of moisture seeping from my cunt. It only made sense that it would leak onto him.
“I can feel it,” I breathed, shivering as he laughed against my jaw.
“Such a good little whore,” Loki purred. He massaged my breasts for a moment longer before lifting me off his lap.
“It’s time for you to bathe, little one.”
I stumbled, my brain not yet connecting with my legs as he pushed me off his lap. I whined and bent my knees, forcing my thighs together until I felt pressure on my clit, desperately seeking relief for the pulsing need. Loki grabbed my arm and yanked me up until I stood straight.
“None of that. You know the rules.” He took my hand and drew me closer, positioning me between his legs and trailing a hand down my side. When I gasped, he smirked and dragged his fingers along my pelvis until he cupped my pussy. “Only I am allowed to touch that lovely little cunt of yours. You may play with your breasts in the bath if you’d like, but if I hear that you’ve come, little bird, you won’t orgasm for a week.” He stroked my cheek with his finger and, overwhelmed with embarrassment, I looked at the floor. “You know you’re not sufficiently disciplined to stay quiet in the midst of such intense pleasure, Brynja. You can’t help it, can you?” He tutted me and ran the length of his middle finger against my weeping slit, which made me shudder and close my eyes. “Your handmaids will tell me if they hear your moans, so be a good girl.”
He was right. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep quiet when I came. He fed off my screams and moans in bed; he seemed to interpret them as a cheering audience, which only earned me a harder fucking and him louder cries. It was an endless cycle that made me want to be beneath him and vomit at the same time.
Swallowing hard, I nodded. “Yes, Sire.”
The King grunted and pressed his finger between my lips, seeking out my pearl and rewarding my obedience by circling it, causing me to drop my head back and moan. My hips stuttered forward in an eager search for more attention. He laughed and removed his hand, gently pushing me in the direction of the washroom.
“Bathe now. I expect you on my arm at dinner.”
When the doors to his chambers opened, I let out a breath of mild dread. This was the first night I’d be leaving his rooms since I arrived in Asgard. I wasn’t sure which terrified me more: Being on his arm and at his mercy in public, or the rumors that had likely surfaced about my being his new toy. The King of Asgard apparently held an infamous record of mistresses. Which I was not, nor would I be. Or so I kept insisting to myself.
My bath had been lovely and I was thoroughly refreshed. Spending time away from my captor was exactly what I needed to snap back into my normal self. Unfortunately, this meant that my temper had reset and I had quite a lot to say about his treatment of me. The most, and possibly only, wondrous aspect of tonight that almost had me clapping my hands like a child was that I was permitted to wear clothing. I felt a sense of confidence resurface that I had lost in the past few weeks under his care. The dress was revealing; that was to be expected. Tonight wasn’t the first night I’d been paraded around. Celebrations at home often dictated that I dress with mild scandal to attract the eyes of potential suitors. The thought alone made me want to gag.
Loki entered his rooms already sporting that diabolical smile that promised trouble. I set down whatever book I had been re-reading. In my anxiety I’d paid so little attention to the words that I didn’t comprehend anything anyway. Standing as confidently and regally as possible, I tossed my hair over my shoulder and raised my chin.
He stalked forward until our noses were almost touching. It was obvious he was trying to cow me, but I stood rigidly and refused to shrink away. My behavior earned me a pleased smirk and I fought the urge to roll my eyes. He stepped back and took a full minute to look me over from feet to head.
“Aren’t you a spectacle.”
My cheeks flushed. I couldn’t help myself. Maniacal ruler or no, the man was attractive and ruthlessly charming. Not even I was immune to his complements.
“Thank you.” I aimed for haughty and disinterested, but when I spoke it came out more breathless than anything.
He offered his arm. “Shall we?”
I inhaled deeply, pushing down my nerves and nodded. This was another one of those questions-that-isn’t-really-a-question. I slipped my hand into the crook of his arm and fell into step beside him.
The Great Hall was already in a wild rumpus when we arrived, and as the ten foot doors opened to reveal a grand display of affluence and festivities I couldn’t help but gasp, even though I felt naïve for doing so. Despite being royalty and having seen my fair share of opulence, this space was a work of art. I recognized Loki’s emblem from his war flags—two snakes intertwined to form an ‘S’ shape—etched into the marble flooring. The vision of that symbol alone made me ill when I thought about the destruction he had brought on my home realm.
I forgot about my nausea when Loki yanked me forward and wrapped his arm around my waist. He walked us to the daises at the head table and stood me in front of one of the two ornate chairs. I thought it odd, firstly because I highly doubted a sliver of him still considered me royalty, and secondly because I wasn’t a monarch in Asgard. His smile grew wicked as I searched his face for some kind of clue and my stomach rolled. Like an animal intent on escape, my eyes darted around the area in search of exits as I grew even more uneasy.
Loki held up his hands and the crowd quieted, though the echo of excited whispers bounced off the vaulted ceilings.
“My guests. I thank you all for attending tonight, you know what a special occasion this is.”
‘Special occasion’ caused my pulse to beat a little faster and a light sweat to form along my hairline. I squeezed his hand with all the might I could conjure, but he ignored me.
“It is with great honor that I introduce to you Princess Brynja of Vanaheim. She is an esteemed guest in our realm, though that won’t be the case for much longer.”
He looked at me straight on, his eyes gleaming with ill intent. He cleared his throat and turned back to his audience, crushing my hand with the same vigor in which I gripped his.
“Soon, she’ll take up permanent residency in Asgard as your Queen.”