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Taming The Ice Prince

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  “Three more weeks,” Helblindi joked, wrapping an arm around Loki’s shoulders.

  He and Byleistr burst into laughter.  Loki only frowned as he stared at the book in his hands.

  “Ha,” Loki said dryly.

  “Oh, come on,” Byleistr said.  “We’re only joking.”

  “Boys!” Laufey shouted as he stepped into the library.

  Helblindi and Byleistr straightened their backs before they bowed to him.

  “Father,” they both said.  Laufey glanced at Loki.

  “Hmph,” Loki murmured, pushing his attention further into his book.

  Laufey huffed.  Helblindi and Byleistr glanced at their brother.

  “Don’t be too upset,” Laufey ordered.  “It’s tradition.”

  Loki slammed his book shut.

  “Tradition?!” Loki shouted.  “Giving away your child is perfectly okay for you?”

  “Here we go again,” Byleistr grumbled.

  “Having to give away a prince of Jötunheim to some stablehand would be perfectly okay for you?”

  Laufey scoffed.

  “He would not be some stablehand,” Laufey replied.

  “You sound certain of that,” Loki snapped back.

  Laufey huffed again, closing his eyes.  He opened his eyes again after a moment.

  “I expect you to be ready,” Laufey commanded firmly.

  Loki frowned even harder.

  “As if I’d walk gleefully down the path of a whore,” Loki spat.

  “You won’t be a whore,” Helblindi said, reaching for him.

  Loki pulled away from him.

  “As if you’ve ever told me that I’d have any other life,” Loki grumbled, keeping his back turned towards the others.  He crossed his arms over his chest.

  Byleistr exhaled sharply as Helblindi glanced at their father.  Laufey remained stern.

  “I expect you to be ready,” Laufey repeated, stepping forward again.  “Alphas are starting to arrive.  It would be wise for you to associate yourself with them.”  Loki didn’t look at him.  “Did you hear me?”

  “I heard you,” Loki said, not turning to him.

  “Do you understand?” Laufey asked.

  Loki huffed.

  “I understand,” Loki snapped.

  “Good,” Laufey replied before he turned and hurried out of the room.

  The sound of the door closing echoed throughout the entire library.

  Byleistr exhaled again.  He and Helblindi turned back to Loki.

  Loki kept his back towards them.

  “What?” Loki asked.

  “Nothing, nothing,” Helblindi said, holding up his hands.

  “You should listen to Father,” Byleistr added.

  Loki remained quiet, only turning his head slightly.

  “Fine,” Loki complained after a moment.  He turned and grabbed hold of his book.  “It beats staying here and listening to you two.”

  “Yeah,” Byleistr said.  “I mean, we’re not—.  Hey.”

  Loki chuckled to himself as he left the library.  The door closed gently behind him.

  His weak smile vanished from his face and was replaced with a deep frown.  He sighed heavily.

  Loki turned and walked down the hallway to the throne room in order to greet all the alphas that would arrive.

 

  “When will you two be leaving?” Frigga asked.  Her gaze remained on the book in her hands.

  “When Thor is done packing,” Odin replied, glancing at his wife.

  “So, another three weeks?” Frigga asked, glancing up from her book.

  They both laughed out loud before a trunk came thudding down a flight of stairs.  Both of them turned.

  The trunk came to a stop onto one of its sides.  The lid fell open, and several thick hardcovered books fell onto the floor.

  Odin and Frigga watched as Thor hurried down the stairs.

  “Ah, shit,” Thor complained before he began scooping the book back into the trunk.

  “Why are you bringing books?” Frigga asked.  “You don’t read.”

  “They’re not for me,” Thor replied, not looking at her.

  “Well, obviously,” Frigga muttered with a roll of her eyes.

  “I plan on giving them to Prince Loki,” Thor explained.

  “Flattery won’t get you very far,” Odin reminded.  “Rumor has it that Loki is an awfully cold person.  It’s difficult for him to open up to people.”

  “I know,” Thor said.  “I know, but I want to impress him.”

  “You do realize that there’s possibly thousands of alphas vying for his attention?” Frigga asked.

  “There cant be that many,” Thor replied with a sly grin.  “Besides, I’m prince of Asgard, soon to be king.  They’re farmers and stable boys.  I’m the best thing that’s going to be there.”

  “Don't be overly confident,” Odin warned.

  “Those farmers and stable boys might defeat you in the tournament,” Frigga said.

  The sly grin returned to Thor’s face.

  “Nonsense, mother,” Thor replied.  “No one’s beating me.  Not when I have Mjolnir.”

  Frigga raised a brow at him.

  “The others are waiting for you outside,” Odin explained.  “They’re already finished packing.”

  “Oh good,” Thor said, closing the lid of the trunk before he lifted it into his arms.  “I don’t have to wait.”

  “Is that your last piece of luggage?” Frigga asked as Thor walked past her.

  “Yes, mother,” Thor replied with a roll of his eyes.

  “Finally,” Odin huffed underneath his breath.

  “Have fun,” Frigga said, turning to Odin.  She planted a kiss on his lips before he followed after his son.  “Good luck!  Don’t die.  Don’t come back injured.”

  “I won’t,” Thor shouted over his shoulder.  “When I come back, you’ll have the Ice Prince as a son-in-law, and he’ll be with child within a few months.”

  Frigga only smiled and shook her head before she turned back to her book.

 

  It had been quite a few long hours.

  The greeting of hundreds of alphas, all of whom brought gifts to woo the Ice Prince, has truly put a damper of Loki’s spirits and made him physically exhausted.

  There was a pile of gifts off to the left of Loki’s throne that grew larger and larger with each alpha that was presented.

  Loki huffed, staring at the pile of trinkets beside him.

  “Be happy,” Laufey ordered harshly.  “If you can’t, at least pretend to be.”

  Loki only rolled his eyes.

  Gasps and scoffs begin to echo throughout the throne room.  The people stepped aside for a group of Asgardians that made their way through the throne room.

  “What’s going on?” Loki asked, looking at his father.

  Laufey barely glanced at him.

  Loki gasped when he saw Odin and Thor right behind him.  He stood.

  “What are they doing here?” Loki asked.  He looked at Laufey.  “How did they get in here?”

  Laufey didn’t meet his gaze.

Chapter Text

  Loki gritted his teeth when he saw Thor and the stupid grin that was splayed across his face.  He hated his stupid blonde hair, his stupid ocean blue eyes, his stupid muscular body, his stupid beard, and especially that stupid pillowy red cape that was pinned to Thor’s shoulders.

  “Why are they here?” Loki demanded, glancing at his father.  Without waiting for an answer, he turned to Odin and the rest of the Asgardians.  “Why are you here?”

  “Tsk tsk tsk,” Hela murmured, shaking her head.

  “Is that any way to greet your guests?” Fandral asked in a joking manner.  He, Hogun, Volstagg, and Thor all chuckled softly.

  “Sit down, Loki,” Laufey ordered, remaining seated on his throne.

  “But—,” Loki pleaded, turning to his father.

  “Now,” Laufey interrupted firmly.

  Loki inhaled softly.  He bit his tongue before he did as his father told him.

  “Answer him,” Laufey ordered, looking directly at Thor.

  A condescending smirk ran across Thor’s face.

  “Well, isn’t it obvious?” Thor asked.  “I’m here for the alpha’s tournament.”

  The room was silent for a minute before the other alphas burst into boisterous laughter.  Laufey himself managed to squeeze out a chuckle behind his hand.  Loki stared stonefaced at the Asgardians.

  “Why did you really come here?” Laufey asked.

  “He came here to compete,” Odin assured.

  Laufey blinked.  His jaw hardened as he came to realize that Thor was quite serious in his statement.

  “And I have an excellent prize in mind,” Thor said.  He glanced at Loki.

  Laufey followed his gaze to his son as Loki’s face grew a purplish-blue.

  “What makes you think you can even compete?” Laufey demanded.  “Nobody outside of Jötunheim has ever competed in the alpha tournament.”

  “True,” Odin replied, “but the requirement is only an alpha competing.  The rules never mentioned that they had to be from Jötunheim.”

  Loki’s eyes widened.  Laufey gritted his teeth.  He gripped his septor even tighter.

  “I’ve brought you something,” Thor said.  He stepped closer to Loki.

  “Thor,” Odin whispered.

  Laufey raised one of his brows.

  Loki quickly glanced at his father, who remained still and firm on his throne.

  “I heard you’re fond of reading,” Thor said.  He placed the trunk at Loki’s feet and opened the lid.

  “Stop it,” Odin whispered.

  Laufey’s eyes widened.

  Loki remained stoic, staring down at him.  Loki turned and drifted his attention to the eight leaning stacks of hardcovered books.  Thor followed his gaze.

  “Oh,” Thor muttered, growing red.

  Loki looked back at him.  Thor reached inside and grabbed hold of one of the books on top.

  “Ah.  This one,” Thor said, stepping closer to Loki.  “It’s my favorite.”

  Loki leaned back in his chair as much as he could and tensed.  His soft honeyed scent filled the air around him.

  Thor stopped in front of Loki and held out the book.

  Laufey bolted from his chair.  He was by Loki’s side in a second.  Laufey snatched the book from Thor with one hand as he slammed his septor against Thor’s chest.

  A burst of icy blue light filled the room.  Thor was thrown back before he landed on his back on the floor.

  The icy blue light fizzled from sight.

  Laufey turned, squaring his shoulders, as he slammed the septor down by his foot.

  Fandral snickered behind his hand.  Odin flashed him a look.

  “S-sorry,” Fandral said, dropping his hand and growing bright red.

  Thor groaned before he managed to find him footing.  Odin made his way over to his son and grabbed hold of his arm.

  “Apologize,” Odin ordered.

  They turned and glanced at Laufey.

  “I’m— uh,” Thor stammered.  “I apologize for my actions.  It won’t happen again.”

  “See to it that it doesn’t,” Laufey barked.  He held out the book to Loki before his son took the book.  Laufey made his way back over to his throne.

  Thor exhaled heavily as Odin released his arm.

  “You’re lucky,” Odin whispered.  “He had every right to throw you out of the castle and disqualify you from the competition.”

  “I know,” Thor whispered back.  He stepped around his father and stood in front of Loki again.  He glanced at Laufey before he turned his attention back to Loki.  “Have you heard of it?  It’s about—.”

  “About the forbidden romance between a Jötunn and an Asgardian prince,” Loki interrutped, glaring at Thor over the top of the book.  “Not only have I heard of it, I’ve read this book.  In fact, I own this book.”

  Thor stares blankly at him.  His face grew brighter.

  “This would be my thirty-eighth copy,” Loki continued, running his fingertips over the pages.  He turned and placed the book on a stack of novels.

  Fandral and Hogun choked back some laughter.

  “We should’ve brought something else,” Fandral whispered into Volstagg’s ear.

  Without turning and looking at him, Volstagg raised his arm and slammed his elbow into Fandral’s face.

  Fandral had to cover his mouth with both of his hands to prevent from crying out.  Blood trickled from his nose and leaked between his fingers.

  Thor glanced back at Laufey.  He ran his tongue over his dry lips.

  “I have other courting gifts,” Thor said.

  Loki rolled his eyes and huffed as Thor turned his back towards him.  Loki and Laufey watched as Thor went back to the group of Asgardians.

  “Remember,” Odin said.  “Present the gifts to Laufey, not Loki.”

  “Yes, Father,” Thor replied.

 

  Helblindi raised the spear in his hand above his head.  He threw it as hard as he could at the target that sat over fifty feet away from him.

  The spear flew through the air before it landed firmly in the middle of the target.

  Ivyrri smiled wide and clapped his hands together.

  “Good job, brother,” Byleistr said, slapping his older brother on his shoulder.

  “Thanks,” Helblindi replied.

  Ivyrri gasped when he felt one of his babies kicked his stomach.  He rubbed his hand over his rounded stomach.  He was only in his sixth month into his pregnancy but carrying three children caused him appear as though he was in his ninth month.

  Helblindi turned and smiled at his mate.

  “Go get that,” Helblindi ordered, not looking at his brother.

  Byleistr frowned.

  “But why?” Byleistr asked.

  “Because I’m older, and you have to do what I say.”

  Byleistr frowned even harder.  He turned and grumbled as he walked off.

  Helblindi made his way over to his husband.

  “How are my pups doing?” Helblindi asked.

  “They’re active today,” Ivyrri answered, grabbing hold of his husband’s hand and placing it onto his large, rounded stomach. “Do you feel them?”

  Helblindi only smiled when he felt one of his babies kicking.

  “In few more weeks, we’ll find out which dynamic they are,” Ivyrri said.

  Helblindi looked up at him.

  “What do you wish them to be?” Ivyrri asked.  “All alphas?”  Ivyrri cover Helblindi’s hand with his own.

  “Maybe an omega or two,” Helblindi replied.

  Though he tried to hide, Helblindi caught the smile forming on Ivyrri’s lips.

  “I’d like that,” Ivyrri replied.  Helblindi lowered his head and captured his husband’s lips.

  “Ugh.  Get a room,” a voice behind them complained.

  Helblindi pulled away from Ivyrri.  They turned to the petite young woman standing behind them with her hands crossed over her chest.

  “We did get a room,” Helblindi retorted.  “How else do you think we got into this predicament?”

  Ivyrri chuckled softly.  Kö rolled her eyes.

  “Hey, love,” Byleistr said, coming up behind them, holding Helblindi’s spear.  “How are you?”

  “I’m fine,” Kö replied, not looking at him.  She frowned as she stared at Ivyrri’s growing stomach.

  They knew where her mind was wandering to.

  Five years ago, before Byleistr competed in the alpha tournament, Kö was the only omega born to a tavern owner and a barmaid who lived in small city a few days walk away from the castle.

  Byleistr and a few of his friends, alpha sons of commanding officers in the Jotunn army, went out for nice, long camping trip before the tournament.  They stopped at her father’s tavern and drank until they were all shitfaced drunk.

  Kö joined them after some fierce insistence from a couple of Byleistr’s friends.

  A whole mess of instincts later, Byleistr laid over top of Kö in one of the rooms upstairs in the tavern.  He was still hard deep inside of her as they both waited for his knot to deflate.

  Kö had covered her face as she burst into tears.  She sobbed loudly into her hands as Byleistr tried to calm her.  Kö went on and on about how her parents and older siblings would be upset with her and yell at her.  She cried about how no alpha would want her hand in marriage since she mated with someone.

  Byleistr only sat back and listened to every word she said.

  Kö ranted about how stupid she was, giving herself away like candy to the first random nobody that came by and whispered sweet nothings in her ear.

  Byleistr narrowed his eyes at her.  Clearly, she remained oblivious to who he really was.

  When Byleistr’s knot deflated fully, Kö shouted at him and ordered him to leave, which he did.

  What Byleistr remained unknown to was when Kö went downstairs, her parents and her older siblings did as she claimed they would.  They screamed and yelled and said everything Kö said about herself.

  Despite everything, her parents brought her to the alpha tournament, and just as Kö predicted, alphas refused to offer courting-gifts or talk or even look at her.  It was there she learned that Byleistr was the second prince of Jötunheim and that Laufey had been pushing a wealthy high born noble lady named Dennle.

  Kö knew no alpha would ask for her hand.

  She watched the tournament despite that fact.  She watched as Byleistr defeated each and every alpha that was in his way.  She watched as Byleistr, like Helblindi, came in first, meaning he was the first to pick an omega.

  The obvious decision was Dennle.  Everyone knew Byleistr would pick Dennle.

  Kö didn’t need to see his choice;  she didn’t need to know his future mate.

  Kö only stopped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

  Laufey was more than furious when he saw that Byleistr chose a barmaid for a wife rather than the high born noble lady he had chosen for him.

  Over the past five years, many whispered behind her back.

  “She only did it, because she wanted to live in the castle.”

  “No way in Hel would Byleistr chose her if he was in his right mind.  Clearly she must’ve drugged him.”

  “Laufey must’ve forced him to take her as his bride.  He only acted like that to cover himself.”

  Nonetheless, Kö remained Byleistr’s mate.

  Kö sighed as she looked away from the three other men.

  “I’m fine,” Kö assured, not meeting any of their gazes.

  “We should head inside,” Ivyrri suggested.

  Helblindi nodded his head before he lead his mate inside the castle.

  “Are you alright?” Byleistr asked, placing his hand onto her shoulder.

  “Yeah,” Kö answered with a fake smile.  “I’m fine.”

  “Okay.”  Byleistr lead her back into the throne room.

  Helblindi and Ivyrri took their seats.  Kö sat down beside Loki.

  “Ah,” Byleistr said as he took his seat.  “I was wondering when they would arrive.”

  Loki’s ears perked at his words.

  Laufey’s eyes widened.  He and Helblindi both looked at Byleistr.

  His face grew a purplish-blue, knowing full well of his mistake.

  Loki bolted from his seat.

  “Oops,” Byleistr murmured.

  “Father, we need to speak,” Loki ordered.

  “Loki,” Laufey warned.

  “Now!” Loki growled.

  Laufey huffed as Loki made his way out of the throne room.  Laufey huffed.

  “Time to clean up your mess,” Laufey muttered as he stood.  “Again.”

  Laufey followed Loki out of the throne room and down the hall.

Chapter Text

  Loki threw open the door.

  Laufey followed close behind him before he grabbed hold of the door.

  “What the fuck was that?” Loki shouted as he gritted his teeth.

  Laufey remained quiet as he closed the door.

  “You were not supposed to know,” Laufey said after a moment before he faced his son.

  “So, you would’ve kept my in the dark?” Loki asked.

  “Yes.  Because I didn’t want this to happen.”

  Loki inhaled deeply before he released it.

  “Well.  It.  Is.”  Loki frowned hard at his father.

  “Thor is a good man, despite what you think of him.  He’s honest.  He doesn’t sugarcoat things, and he doesn’t take any shit from anyone.”  Laufey turned away from Loki as he spoke.

  “He's an idiot at best and boorish at worst.  All he knows is fighting.”

  “That’s where you come in.”  Laufey faced him.

  “Wha—?”  Loki’s eyes widened.

  “When you’re married, you’ll manage him.  Rein him in.  He’s a fighter, but he can’t run a kingdom.  Not by himself.  With you by his, you two will be a pair to reckoned with.”

  Loki looked away from him.

  “Child.  I know that this is a lot to take in, but you must’ve realized by now that you would’ve never received Jötunheim’s throne.”  Laufey wrapped his arms around Loki.

  They both remained still before Loki nodded his head.

  “When you marry Thor, you’ll have a kingdom.  A kingdom that you deserve.”

  Laufey framed Loki’s face, forcing the young man to look at him.

  “My only regret about you is not having you first.  You are more qualified to run Jötunheim than either one of your brothers, but since you were born last...”

  “I know,” Loki said, pushing away from his father.

  “Do you understand?” Laufey asked as Loki turned away from him.

  Loki remained quiet, unsure if he should shout at his father or if he should curl up into a ball and cry.

  “I’m gonna talk to mother,” Loki said after a couple of moments.

  Laufey frowned before he nodded his head.

  “Alright then,” Laufey said as Loki left the room.

  Loki’s steps were quick and quiet as he always did whenever he walked.

  He was at a large fifty foot tree that were surrounded by several stone benches in a few minutes.

  Loki sighed before he sat down on one of the benches.

  “Hey, Mom,” Loki murmured.  He fumbled with the skirt of his dark green dress.  “It’s me, Loki.  You know it’s me.  Of course you do.  Um.”

  Loki cleared his throat as he shifted uncomfortably.  Tears streamed down his face.

  “I’m sorry.”  Loki rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.  “I’m just really confused right now.  I understand why Father did this, but at the same time, I don’t.  Why didn’t he tell me?”  Loki covered his face with both of his hands.  “I think I would’ve been okay with it if he had just told me.”

  Loki wiped his nose.

  He looked up towards the tree’s branches.

  “I bet you had to go through the same thing, didn’t you, Mom?”

  Thor was only a foot behind him before Loki noticed his pungent sandlewood scent.

  Loki’s eyes widened as he fell from the stone bench.  He pressed his back against the tree trunk.

  His honeyed scent quickly filled the air.

  “I’m sorry,” Thor said.  He stepped forward and held out his hand.  “I’m not going to hurt you.”

  Loki’s fell onto the three other men behind him.

  The red headed man was four or five inches taller than Thor and had fifty pounds on him.  The blonde man was the shortest and thinnest out of all the men.  The black haired man was just as big as Thor but was an inch or two shorter.

  “You’re not supposed to be out here,” Loki said, turning back to Thor.  “None of you are.  I’m not supposed to be alone with any alpha.”

  “I know,” Thor said, retreating his hand.  “That’s why I brought Fandral and Hogun.  Volstagg came on his own accord.”

  Loki’s gaze fell back onto the large red headed man behind Thor.  The man reeked of raw leather.

  Loki’s gaze drifted to the two smaller men.  Neither one of them smelled like an alpha or an omega.

  “They’re betas,” Thor said, not turning around.  “I know you don’t have them in Jötunheim.”

  “Yes,” Loki said.  “We don’t.”

  Thor sat down in front of Loki on the stone bench.  He smiled at Loki as he patted the seat next to him.

  Loki frowned hard before he stood, brushed off his dress, and sat down beside him.  His cheeks grew a dark purplish-blue.

  “What are you doing out here?” Thor asked.

  “I was talking to my mother,” Loki answered.

  “You’re mother is a tree?” Fandral asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

  Everyone slowly turned towards him before staring at him.

  Volstagg brought his hand against the back of Fandral’s head.

  “Ow!” Fandral cried, rubbing the back of his head.

  “His mother is dead,” Hogun snapped.

  Loki turned back to the tree, frowning.

  “How did she die?” Thor asked, turning back to Loki.

  “He got sick,” Loki answered, not meeting any of their gazes.  “He died when I was a baby.  My father had him cremated and spread his ashes here.  As long as this tree is alive, Mother’s still with us.”

  “Aww,” Hogun cooed, placing his hands over his heart.  “It’s like it was ripped right from a romance novel.”

  Everyone slowly turned towards him before staring at him.

  “Oh,” Hogun said.  “No one else has read any romance novels?”

  “Yeah.  It does sound like it was ripped from a romance novel,” Loki agreed.  He closed his eyes to prevent tears from falling again.

  Thor frowned as he stared at Loki.  He reached up and uncliped his red cape.

  Loki tensed when Thor wrapped it around his shoulders.  He pulled the cape tighter.

  Hogun stepped forward and sat down on the either side of Loki.

  Thor sighed softly as he looked up at the growing night sky.

  Loki turned his nose into Thor’s cape.  The sandlewood scent was strong, almost to the point of being harsh.

  It was similar from Laufey’s burnt redwood scent and Helblindi’s strong oak scent.

  Loki should be almost offended by Thor’s scent, but since his scent was so similar to his father’s and older brother’s, it soothed him.

  Volstagg grabbed hold of Fandral before he gestured for them to leave.

  Loki further leaned into Thor’s cape.

  Thor smiled down at him before he wrapped an arm around Loki’s shoulders.

  Loki pulled from him.

  “No,” Loki said.  “You’re not allowed to touch me.”

  “I’m sorry,” Thor replied, frowning.

  “Is there a rule book?” Hogun asked, looking at the both of them.

  “There is,” Loki answered without looking at him.  He glanced at Thor.  “Perhaps you should read it.”

  Thor chuckled softly.

  “I’m going to go get changed,” Loki said mindlessly as he stood.  “Supper will be ready soon.”

  “Aright,” Thor murmured, standing as well.  “Should I escort you back?”

  Loki paused for a moment before he shook his head.

  “No thank you,” Loki said.  “I’ll be fine.”

  “Alright,” Thor replied.

  Loki hurried off, clutching onto Thor’s cape.

  Hogun and Thor smiled at one another.

  The hallways were filled with scents of the woods, metal, leather, the ocean, flowers, honey, among other scents.

  Loki felt lightheaded from the intense mixture of the scents.

  He only shook his head.  With one hand keeping Thor’s cape around his shoulders and the other one the skirt of his dress, Loki hurried as fast as he could to his room.

  All the scents of the people he passed were muddled with the others that lingered in the air.

  He never noticed someone following close behind him until he felt a hand on his shoulder.

  The alpha slammed Loki against the wall.  He hand went to Loki’s throat, squeezing tightly.  The alpha lifted Loki into the air.

  “Oh, look at you,” the alpha sneered.

  Loki’s eyes widened as he gripped the alpha’s wrist.  He flailed his feet.

  “Those beautiful green eyes,” the alpha continued.  A wicked smile danced across his lips.

  “Let me go,” Loki pleaded.

  The alpha shook his head.  His gaze fell to Thor’s cape pinned between Loki’s body and the wall.

  “So, you enjoy that boy’s company?” the alpha asked.

  Loki’s hands trembled as he gripped the alpha’s wrist.

  The cold bit the alpha’s bare skin.

  “Ow!” the alpha cried, switching hands.  “Fucking bastard!”

  The alpha opened the nearby bedroom door before he forced Loki inside.

  Thor’s cape pooled on the floor.

  The alpha closed the door behind them before he threw Loki onto the bed.

  The alpha was on him within a second.  He pinned Loki’s hands above his head and positioned himself in between Loki’s legs.

  “No,” Loki begged.  “Stop.”

  The room filled with Loki’s soft honeyed scent.

  “I wonder how he’ll want you when he finds out that you’ve been claimed?”

  Loki’s eyes widened even more as he stared up at the alpha.

  “No!” Loki shouted as he kicked his legs.

  The alpha ran his hand up one of Loki’s long, elegant legs.

  “Stop!” Loki cried.  Tears fell from his eyes.

  “Don’t worry,” the alpha said.  “I’ll be gentle.”

  “No!” Loki cried.  He squeezed his eyes shut.

  The alpha removed his hands.

  Loki opened his eyes.

  Thor had his arm wrapped around the alpha’s neck, squeezing his throat tightly.  The alpha’s hands went to Thor’s arm, trying to pry him off.

  “Are you okay?” Thor asked.

  Loki only managed to shake his head.

  Thor turned towards to Hogun.

  “Go fetch Laufey and his brothers,” Thor ordered.

  Hogun nodded his head before he hurried out of the room.

  Thor turned back to Loki.

  Loki pulled his knees tight against his chest.

  The other alpha’s hand fell limp to his sides.

  Thor looked at the alpha.  His face was a bright purplish-blue colour.

  Thor tossed him to the floor before he crawled into the bed beside Loki.

  “Hey,” Thor said.  “It’s okay.  I’m here.”

  Loki gripped Thor’s shirt, burying his face into Thor’s chest.

  Thor wrapped his arms around Loki’s body.

  “I’m here,” Thor murmured into Loki’s ear.  “I’m here.”

  Laufey, Hogun, Helblindi, and Byleistr as well as several guards burst into the room.

  Thor glanced at them before he looked at the alpha that laid unconscious on the floor.

  Laufey’s gaze followed Thor’s before his eyes widened.

  “Get him outta here,” Laufey ordered.  “Put in the dungeon.”

  A couple of guards grabbed hold of the alpha’s arms before dragging him out of the room.

  “Loki,” Helblindi said, moving to his brother’s side.  “Give him here.”

  Thor handed Loki off to him.

  Helblindi placed one underneath Loki’s knees and the other around his shoulders.

  “Take him to his room,” Laufey ordered.  “I’ll have a servant send up a tray for food.”  He turned to Thor.  “Thank you.  I’m glad you were able to stop this.”

  “Me too,” Thor murmured as Helblindi carried Loki out of the room.

Chapter Text

  Thor and Hogun followed Laufey out of the room.  Laufey turned to the commander-in-chief, Bimr, one of his most trusted friends and advisors.

  “I want two guards with Loki at all times,” Laufey ordered.  “I want someone by Loki’s side every possible moment.”

  “Yes, your majesty,” Bimr replied before he hurried off.

  “I didn’t think this would happen so soon,” Laufey muttered, rubbing his eyes.

  “Unfortunately it did,” Thor said.

  Laufey frowned harder.  He turned as Thor grabbed hold of his cape.  Laufey grabbed hold of Thor’s arm and pulled him close.

  “I know I agreed Loki to you,” Laufey warned, “but you will follow all the rules presented.”

  “Yes, sir,” Thor replied, growing red in his face.  “Just so you know, I didn’t have any ill intentions against him.”

  “I know,” Laufey said, releasing Thor’s arm.  “You would be an idiot if you ruin this deal.”

  “I would.”

  Laufey turned away from him and walked to Loki’s room, only a couple of rooms down the hall.  Thor followed close behind.

  “How is he?” Laufey asked as he stepped into the room.

  Loki remained in Helblindi’s arms, snuggling close to his chest and trembling slightly.  Tears still ran down his cheeks.

  “Not good,” Helblindi answered.

  Laufey stepped closer, touching Loki’s shoulder.

  “Hey.  It’s over now.”  Laufey stroked Loki’s hair.

  Thor stepped closer.

  “Here,” Thor said, holding out his cape.

  Loki looked up at him before he reached out and took it.  He wrapped his arms around the bold red fabric and held it close.  He proceeded to bury his face into the cape.

  Laufey kept his gaze down on Loki.

  “You’ll have two guards with you at all times,” Laufey whispered into Loki’s ear.  “I promise you that this won’t happen again.”

  Loki leaned against his older brother even more.

  Laufey stood from the bed and lead Thor out of the room.

  “I want to thank you again,” Laufey said as Hogun followed after them.

  Thor only glanced at him.

  Two guards hurried past them before standing in front of Loki’s bedroom door.

  Thor lowered his head before they stepped into the reception hall where everyone stood.  They whispered amongst themselves as they turned and looked at them.

  Fandral and Volstagg hurried to Thor’s side.

  “We heard what happened,” Fandral said.

  “Is Loki okay?” Volstagg asked.

  “How did you hear so quickly?” Thor asked.  “It happened only like ten minutes ago.”

  “Lady Sif may have been nearby when I fetched King Laufey,” Hogun murmured.

  Thor groaned as he rubbed his face with his hand.

  “Some things need to be kept secret,” Thor complained.

  Laufey stepped forward before Bimr hurried to him.

  “I sent up two of the best soldiers,” Bimr said.

  “Yes, I saw,” Laufey replied.  “Helblindi is still with him.”

  “I’ll fetch the executioner,” Bimr said.  “If you wish, your majesty.”

  “Yes.  I do wish.”

  Bimr smiled wide to meet Laufey’s.

  “Excellent,” Bimr said.

  Odin, Sif, and Hela made their way to Thor.

  “What happened?” Hela asked.

  “Is Loki alright?” Odin asked.

  “He’s not hurt, is he?” Sif asked.

  They all leaned forward in anxiety.

  “Look Loki’s alright,” Thor said, holding up his hands.  “I was able to stop it in time.”

  “At least you’re good at something,” Hela murmured.

  “Hela, this is not the time to make jokes,” Odin scolded.

  The night followed as such: people whispered and ate the food that was provided.

  It was late in the night before everyone had went to bed.

  Thor laid onto his back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling.

  Loki stood by his window, staring outward over the courtyard.

Chapter Text

  Thor sat up in his bed.  The sky was still dark outside the window, and thunder rolled in the distance.

  He sighed heavily.

  He inhaled a vanilla scent overwhelmed his senses.  An omega was in distress, and his instincts told him to help.

  Thor threw off the blankets and hurried out of his room.

  Thunder crashed overhead, followed behind some more whimpering.

  Thor stepped from his room.  Several other alphas and omegas hurried down the hallway.

  He followed after the vanilla scent down a flight of stairs and down another hallway.

  The whimpering came from inside.  The soft and elegant vanilla scent seeped through the cracks in the door.

  Thor glanced around at the other alphas and omegas.

  Two guards held them back.

  “What happened?” an omega asked, clasping his hands together.

  “What’s going on?” an alpha demanded to know.

  “Go back to your rooms,” one of the guards ordered.  “We will settle this.”

  Several alphas and omegas groaned before they turned and walked off.

  Thor stepped towards the guards.

  “What happened?” Thor asked.

  The guard turned to him and forced him to stop.

  “Go back to your room,” the guard ordered.

  Thor stared at him for a moment before he turned and went back to his room.

  The vanilla scent lingered in the air throughout the castle like a heavy cloud well into the wee hours in the morning when the thunder stopped and the rain slowed to a steady drizzle that remained until the morning.

  Everyone talked and gossiped amongst themselves.

  Thor quickly found Loki in the library looking at the books on the shelves with two guards close behind.

  “Loki!” Thor said with a smile, coming close behind him.

  The two guards blocked Thor from coming any closer.

  “You need to address him properly or not at all,” one of the guards ordered.

  Loki turned towards them.

  “It’s alright,” Loki said.

  “No, no,” Thor interrupted.  “It’s fine.  Prince Loki.”  Thor bowed his head.

  “It’s okay,” Loki said, stepping in between the two guards.

  They looked down at him before they stepped backwards.  Thor stepped closer to Loki.

  “Is there something you want?” Loki asked, staring up at him.

  “Do you know what happened last night?”

  Loki frowned softly.

  “Some omega that didn’t like thunder had a panic attack.”  He shrugged his shoulders as he spoke.

  Thor raised his brows at him.

  “Wow.  Now, I see why you’re called ‘the Ice Prince.’”

  Loki shook his head.

  “No.  That’s not why they call me that.”

  Thor looked at him.

  Loki huffed before he placed his hand onto Thor’s bare cheek.  The cold flowed from Loki’s palm to Thor’s skin, sending chills throughout his entire body.

  The skin started to turn a light blue shade.

  Thor struck Loki’s arm, forcing his hand off of him.

  “Fuck, that’s cold,” Thor complained, rubbing his cheek.

  “That’s why people call me ‘the Ice Prince.’  Not because I’m distant.”

  “How?  I didn’t think seidrs still existed.”

  “Maybe not in Asgard or other realms, but it’s pretty prevalent throughout Jötunheim.  Though, it’s still rather uncommon.”  Loki fiddled with his hands nervously as he spoke.

  “How common is it?”  Thor stared at him.

  “It is more common in omegas.  Alphas are carriers.  Only about five percent of alphas are seidrs while about eighteen percent of omegas are seidrs.”

  “Who did you get it from?”

  “My father.  He is a seidr as well.  I’m the only one who inherited it.”

  “How did your parents meet?” Thor asked, stepping closer to Loki.

  One of the guards, the one on the right, stepped closer

  “At the alpha’s tournament.  My grandparents agreed to the arrangement.  From the stories my father told me, my mother didn’t like him at first.  The only time they had sex for the first five years of their marriage was during my mother’s heats.”

  Thor frowned as he stared at him.

  Loki averted his gaze, staring down at the floor.

  “How did he die?”

  “I told you.  He got sick.”

  “From what?”

  “Mollima.”

  “Omega sickness?”

  “Yeah.  I caught when I was baby.  The doctors didn’t think I would survive.”

  “But you did.  Obviously, since you’re here.”

  Loki stared at him.

  “Yes.  Obviously.”  He sighed softly as he turned and stopped at a bookshelf.  He pulled a book off the shelf.

  It was a black leather novel with a worn spine and worn down corners from the constant use.

  “What's that?”

  “A book.”

  Loki stepped around him and sat down on a nearby sofa.  The guards followed close behind.

  Thor frowned before he joined him.

  “I meant, what is it about?”

  “You should know, it was the book that I know have thirty-eight copies of.”

  “Oh, um—.”  Thor rubbed the back of his head.

  “It’s my favorite too.”  Loki flashed him a smile.

  Thor dropped his hand and smiled back, blushing softly.

  “It was also my mother’s favorite.  So what my father says.”

  “I suppose you’re just like your mother.”

  Loki frowned, lowering the book.

  “That’s what my father says, but it would’ve been nice it know for myself.”

  Thor only stared at him as Loki turned back to the book in his hands.

  “Are you okay?” Thor asked, leaning closer to the smaller man.

  Loki’s pupils dilated as he inhaled some of Thor’s heavy sandalwood scent.  It enveloped Loki completely, like a warm blanket that he was growing more accustomed to wear.

  “I’m fine,” Loki answered, not looking at him.

  Thor frowned even more.

  “I’m trying to help you.”

  “Well, I don’t need your help.”  Loki buried his nose further into the book.  “I said that I was fine.”

  His voice broke just enough for Thor to notice.

  Loki trembled slightly as tears brimmed his eyes.

  Thor leaned even closer, raising his arm to place around Loki’s shoulders, but the smaller moved away.

  “No,” Loki said, shaking his head.  “You’re not allowed to touch me.”

  “Oh, yeah,” Thor replied, drawing back his hand.  “I forgot.”

  “Do you wish to refresh your memory by reading the rule book?” one of the guards sneered.

  Loki and Thor turned towards the guard.

  The guard was much younger than the other mated alpha that stood near Loki.  He was only a couple of inches shorter than Thor but was around the same build.  He had short black hair and dark hazel brown eyes.  His scent was a hot melted iron, and he remained unmated.

  “Nirn!” the older guard scolded.

  “What?!” Nirn replied, turning to the older man.

  “That is no way to address royalty,” the older guard barked, stepping closer to the younger man.

  Thor stared at Nirn before he chuckled softly, shaking his head.

  The two guards and Loki looked at him.

  “What?” Loki asked.

  “Oh, nothing,” Thor replied.  He turned and looked back at Nirn.  “You’re jealous, aren’t you?”

  Nirn scoffed, rolling his eyes.

  Loki stared at him.  His cheeks grew a deep purple.

  “No,” Nirn denied.

  “Yeah,” Thor replied.  “Yeah.  You are.”

  Nirn turned away his head as if he was a child that had just been punished for a cookie when he shouldn’t have.

  Thor turned back to Loki.

  The younger man had a soft smile across his face.  He crossed his legs at his ankles.

  Nirn frowned as he stared at the two of them.

Chapter Text

  Loki quickly read his book before he left with his nose stuck in another book while the two guards and Thor following close behind.

  He didn’t bother to listen to Thor as he rambled on and on and on.

  More alphas and omegas arrived at the castle before they all settled in.

  Thor continued to ramble as they stepped out into the garden where the other alphas and omegas talked to one another.  Several alphas turned and smiled at Loki, but their smiles quickly turned to scowls as they glanced at Thor.

  Thor could, and did, easily ignore those glares, but Loki couldn’t easily do so.  Loki buried his face further into his book;  his cheeks growing a deep purple colour.

  “You okay?” Thor asked, leaning closer to him.

  “I’m fine,” Loki scolded.  His cheeks grew even hotter.

  “Okay.  I’m only asking.”

  “Well, don’t.”  Loki turned away from Thor as he sat down on a stone bench.

  Thor frowned as he stared at him.

  “I’ll leave you alone if you wish,” Thor murmured.

  “I do wish,” Loki replied, not looking up at him.

  Thor frowned before he turned and walked off.

  Nirn smiled wide to himself as Thor disappeared from his sight.

  Hogun hurried over to Thor’s side with a plate overflowing with food.

  “Have you tried this tuna fish?” Hogun asked, holding out the plate of food.  “It’s delicious.”

  “Fuck off,” Thor ordered, throwing up his hand.  The movement caused Hogun to spill his plate, and it fell to the floor before it shattered when the plate struck the ground.

  Hogun frowned as he stared at the mess of destroyed glass plate and now ruined food.

  “I understand that you’re angry,” Hogun muttered, staring at him, “but that doesn’t mean you should take that angry out on some innocent food.”

  Thor remained quiet as he leaned against a stone railing.

  “Okay,” Hogun said with a huff.  “What's the issue?”

  “It’s nothing,” Thor replied.  “I’m fine.”

  Hogun rolled his eyes.  He spotted Fandral and Volstagg a few yards away.

  “Guys, guys,” Hogun whispered as he hurried over to them.

  “What is it?” Fandral asked, turning towards him.

  “We need to cheer Thor up,” Hogun replied.

  “How?” Volstagg asked.

  “We need to find out what’s bothering him,” Hogun said.

  “Well, leave that to me,” Fandral said with a large grin and a tug on the front of his jacket.  He made his way over to Thor’s side, throwing an arm around Thor’s shoulder.  “How’s my little golden bear?”

  “Piss off,” Thor ordered.

  Fandral immediately frowned, removing his arm.

  “Okay then,” Fandral muttered, leaning on his forearms.

  “What's been bothering you?” Volstagg asked when he and Hogun stepped closer.

  “It’s nothing,” Thor muttered into the palm of his hand.

  “It’s Loki, isn’t it?” Volstagg asked.

  Thor only frowned.  He slowly shrugged his shoulders.

  “Okay,” Fandral said as a smile returned to his face.  “What’s the issue with him?”

  “I’m trying to strike up a conversation with him,” Thor explained, “but he doesn’t seem interested.”

  “What's the worst that could happen?” Hogun asked.

  “He says ‘no’ when I ask for his hand in marriage,” Thor answered.  “Or I lose the tournament and he gets taken by someone else.”

  “I guess that does suck,” Fandral said with a frown.  “Well, we should at least get drunk.”

  Fandral began to walk away before Volstagg stopped him.  They turned back to Thor.

  “I don’t know what to do,” Thor muttered.  “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

  “Maybe your coming on too strong,” Hogun suggested.

  Thor shrugged his shoulders again.

  “What should I do?” Thor asked, turning to Fandral.

  “Why is everyone looking at me?!” Fandral nearly screamed.

  “Well, you know how to get girls,” Volstagg replied.

  “Yeah, girls!” Fandral retorted.

  “What's the difference?” Hogun asked, shrugging his shoulders.

  “Not much,” Thor muttered, leaning the small of his back onto the stone railing.

  “So, treat him like a girl,” Volstagg suggested.

  “How do I do that?” Thor asked meekly, lowering his head.

  “Dude, if you don’t know how to treat a girl right,” Fandral said, shaking his head, “then you have more problems than I thought.”

  Volstagg and Hogun chuckled as Thor stared down at Fandral.

  “Compliment him,” Fandral said.  “Talk about his feelings.  You know, things girls like.”

Chapter Text

  “Girls like flowers,” Fandral explained.

  Thor frowned looking over the many different types of flowers.  He frowned hard.

  “I’m making this more difficult than it needs to be,” Thor grumbled to himself.  His brow furrowed, and a vein bulged at his temples.  “I need a book.”

  Thor wandered back to the library, finding himself stopping at the garden section.

  He looked over the leather bound books.

  “Useless, not needed, boring, stupid.”  His gaze fell onto a red leather bound book.  Black ink was on the spine that read Common and Rare Flowers In Jötunheim and Their Meanings.

  “Perfect!”  Thor tore the book off of the shelf and opened it.  “Don’t care.  Don’t care.”  He flipped through the pages, skimming quickly.  “Stupid.  Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Friendship.  Brotherly love.  Friendship.  Ending of relationship.  Undying love.”

  Thor’s eyes widened as he stopped.

  “Three-leaved wild blue rose.”

  A simple drawing of a trio of blue roses each with three deep purple leaves on a long deep purple stem.  In the middle of the blue petals were pistils and stamens of gold.

  “‘Due to its rarity, it is often associated with undying love between an alpha and omega.”

  Thor smiled wide.

  “I need this flower.  Where is it?  ‘If an alpha wishes to gain the heart of a preferred omega, they can retrieve this from moist underground caves with large pools and a decent amount of moonlight as they only bloom in such light.’  Perfect.”

  Thor closed the book before he threw the book back onto the shelf.  He continued to smile wide.

  “This is gonna be perfect.”  Thor stopped and frowned.  “Where the fuck do I find underground caves in Jötunheim?”

  Thor looked around.

  His gaze fell onto Loki, who still was reading and walking around.

  Thor ran up to him before pulling the book from his grasp and holding it above his reach.

  “Hey!” Loki cried, reaching for his book.

  “You wouldn’t happen to know where some underground caves, do you?”  Thor flashed him a smile.

  “There’s one at the base of that mountain.”  Loki pointed at the snow covered blue mountain that peaked into the sky.  “There’s several caves around the base, so you need to be careful.  Trolls have been known to seek shelter in caves.”

  The mountain seemed to be nearly ten miles away.

  “Oh, that’s gonna be a walk,” Thor complained.  “Well, thanks.”  He dropped Loki’s book before the smaller man caught the book and pulled it against his chest.

  “Wait,” Loki said.  “Why do you wanna know?”

  “It’s a surprise!” Thor shouted back as he sprinted off.

  “What an idiot,” Loki murmured.  He shook his head as his cheeks grew hot.  “Such an idiot.”

  Thor smiled as he hurried towards the stables.

  A group of alphas kept their gazes on the young Asgardian prince.

  “Where you going, princess?!” the alpha in the middle asked.

  Thor frowned as he turned towards them, remaining quiet.

  The alpha stood from the stone benches and stepped in front of Thor.

  He was taller and bigger than Thor, standing around seven feet and weighing about three hundred and fifty pounds.  The alpha had a deep scar running down the length of his jawline, leaving a nasty colouring in his dark blue skin.  He wore only a pair of trousers, showing off his chiseled stomach and chest and finely toned arms.

  Even Thor knew that many alphas showed off their bodies to omegas in order to attract them, like flowers attracting bees.

  The alpha had dark brown hair cut short around his ears, and he had light amber eyes that shined brightly in the sunlight.

  “Hmm?” the alpha asked, lowering himself to look at Thor in his eyes.  “S’matter?  Cat got your tongue?”

  Thor tried to step around the alpha, but he stepped in front of him again.

  “So, you’re the Asgardian prince,” the alpha said with a laugh.

  They were surrounded by the other alphas.

  “I asked you a question,” the alpha scolded, pushing Thor in his shoulder.  “I expect an answer.”  He pushed Thor again.

  Thor remained quiet.

  “I know you heard me, bitch,” the alpha snarled.

  Thor frowned hard.  He gripped Mjolnir even tighter.

  The alpha turned and looked at the few other alphas standing behind him.

  “Didn’t realize Odin raised a coward,” the alpha joked.

  Thor allowed the handle of Mjolnir slide through his hand.

  The alpha turned back towards Thor.

  He swung Mjolnir upward.

  The alpha groaned as he was flung into the air.  The alpha crashed onto a table full of food before the table broke, and the food fell onto the alpha as he fell even further onto the floor.

  The group of alphas gasped, and all their eyes widened.

  Thor slung Mjolnir over his shoulder before he pushed through the group of alphas and headed towards the flight of stairs.

  He only turned when the alpha growled.

  The alpha sprinted towards him before slamming his entire weight into Thor’s stomach.

  Thor stumbled backwards.

  They struck and broke through the stone railing.

  Others cried when they struck the ground again.  Mjolnir was knocked out from Thor’s hand and spun out of reach.

  “Argh!” Thor cried.  The wind was knocked out of him.

  The alpha held Thor’s throat and pulled back his fist.

  Loki looked up from his book when he heard someone scream.

  “What's going on?” Loki asked, staring up at the older guard.

  The guard stared at him for a moment before he turned and hurried to find the commotion.

  Loki and the other guard followed after him.

  “Stop!” the elder guard shouted.

  Thor called for Mjolnir and brought it against the alpha’s head.

  “Stop it!” the elder guard repeated.  He hurried down the stairwell.

  Thor straddled the alpha’s waist, tossing aside Mjolnir and bringing his fist against the alpha’s face.

  “Stop!” the elder guard shouted, grabbing hold of Thor’s arm and pulling him off of the alpha.

  Thor glared at him before his face softened when he saw Loki standing on the stairwell.  Thor huffed and turned away, calling Mjolnir to his hand.

  The alpha groaned as he sat up.

  Both men had bruises forming on their eyes and cheeks.  The alpha that remained on the ground had a split lip.

  The alpha rubbed the back of his head.

  “Gærn?” Loki asked, stepping closer.

  The alpha stood and smiled faintly.

  Thor turned.

  “Surprise,” the alpha said.

  Loki gasped loudly as his face brightened.  He dropped the book in his hands.

  “Gærn!” Loki shouted, running up and leaping into the alpha’s arms.

  Gærn swung Loki in his arms as he hugged the smaller man tightly with a large smile on his face.

  Thor frowned as he turned away.

  “It’s been so long,” Loki said with a smile.

  “About seven months,” Gærn replied, setting Loki onto his feet.

  “It’s so good to see you again,” Loki said, wrapping his arms around Gærn’s waist.

  “I’m glad as well.”  Gærn ran his hand over Loki’s hair.

  Thor scowled even harder before he stormed off.

  Loki turned but frowned when he didn’t see Thor standing behind him.

  “Thor?” Loki asked quietly.

  Gærn groaned, cupping his ribs.

  Loki turned back towards him.

  “C’mon,” Loki pleaded.  “Let’s get you some help.”

  Thor remained scowling as he stormed towards the barn.

  Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg hurried to his side.

  “Whoa, whoa,” Hogun said.  “What the hell was all that about?”

  “It’s nothing,” Thor denied, not looking at his friends.

  “Are you upset that he kicked you ass?” Volstagg asked, leaning in close.

  Thor frowned as he turned and looked at him.

  “How’s the flower hunting going?” Fandral asked, changing the subject.

  “It’s fine,” Thor snapped.

  “Did you find any that you liked?” Hogun asked.

  “Yeah,” Thor answered.  “Three leaved wild blue rose.  It may be in a cave near that mountain over there.”  Thor pointed towards the mountain.

  “I never heard of that,” Volstagg said, shaking his head.

  “Well, it’s native to Jötunheim,” Thor retorted.

  “Do you want us to come with you?” Hogun asked.

  “Please let us come,” Fandral pleaded, clasping his hands together.

  “Fine,” Thor groaned.

  “Yea!” Fandral cheered, clapping his hands.

 

~~~~

 

  A near hour passed.

  “‘Gærn!’” Thor grumbled, mocking Loki’s voice.  “‘It’s been so long.’  Yeah.  When I get back, Loki will have no choice but to ignore that guy and run right into my arms.”

  “Are still upset about that?” Hogun asked.

  Thor remained quiet.

  “How much further?” Fandral complained.

  They pulled on their reins on their horses before they dismounted.

  They all stopped at the open mouth of a cave, leading down to steep slanting hill.

  After a few yards down, the hill began to get darker and darker until the bottom was completely blackened.

  “Seems like it goes down pretty far,” Thor said.

  “I wonder how far down it goes,” Fandral added.

  “Well, go see,” Volstagg ordered.

  “What?” Fandral asked, looking over his shoulder.

  Volstagg raised his foot and slammed it into the small of his back.

  “Hey!” Fandral shouted before he fell down into the opening of the cave.

  Hogun, Thor, and Volstagg all flinched when they heard Fandral struck the bottom of the hill.

  “Ow!” Fandral cried.

  “You’re not dead, right?” Volstagg asked.

  “I’m in pain,” Fandral complained.

  “Do you see anything?” Hogun shouted down the cave.

  “I think I broke my arm,” Fandral informed.

  “Not important,” Thor said.  “Do you see three leaved wild blue rose?”

  “It’s dark down here,” Fandral shouted back.

  Hogun, Thor, and Volstagg all frowned.

  “Maybe we should go down there and help,” Hogun suggested.

  “Yeah!” Fandral agreed.  “That sounds like a really good idea.  Ah-ha!  There’s spiders down here!”

  “C’mon,” Thor said.  “Let’s go help him.”  He jumped down into the cave opening.

  Hogun followed then Volstagg.

  A stalagmite was formed near the based of the hill.

  Thor leaned towards the right and jumped over Fandral when he reached the bottom and landed onto his feet.

  Hogun turned towards the left and managed to slow himself down enough to stand from the hill.

  Volstagg was neither quick like Thor nor intelligent like Hogun to do either, sliding right off the hill and landing right on top of Fandral’s back.

  “Ahh!” Fandral cried.  His spine cracked and popped in several places.  “Get off me, you big stupid ox!”

  “Sorry,” Volstagg replied, standing up.

  “I think my back is broken now,” Fandral complained.

  “It’s so dark,” Hogun said.  He held his arms out in front of him as he stepped forward.

  “Is no one concerned about me?” Fandral asked, gingerly rubbing his left arm.

  “I’ll carry you if you want,” Volstagg offered.

  “No thanks,” Fandral replied.  “I’m good.”

  “We need a light,” Thor said.  “Or at least enough equipment to make one.”

  “Why can’t you use Mjolnir and summon lightning?” Volstagg asked.

  “Lightning doesn’t provide light,” Thor reminded.  “It provides heat, and besides, if there’s water down here, I might zap us by mistake.”

  “Yeah, I guess that makes sense,” Volstagg replied.

  “Let’s hold hands,” Hogun suggested.  “So, we don’t get separated.”

  “Good idea,” Thor said, grabbing hold of Hogun’s hand.

  Hogun turned and grabbed hold of another hand.

  Volstagg grabbed hold of Fandral.

  They all began to walk forward.

  “I never noticed how cold your hands were, Volstagg,” Hogun said, looking over his shoulder.

  “Speak for yourself!” Volstagg scolded.  “Your hands are like ice cubes right out of the freezer!”

  Thor struck something with his toe.

  It was wooden and rolled away.

  Thor released Hogun’s hand and searched for the wooden object.

  A hot moist breath showered over Hogun’s head.

  “Would you stop breathing so hard?” Hogun scolded.  “It’s disgusting.”

  Thor grabbed of the wooden object.  It was ten inches long and was carved so it was thinner at the bottom than it was at the top, which was wrapped in a burnt cloth.  A torch.

  Thor smiled.  He turned Mjolnir towards the top of the torch.

  “I’m not breathing hard,” Volstagg said.  “I thought that was you.”

  Lightning burst from Mjolnir and lit the torch.

  Thor stood and turned.

  Light illuminated a small area where they all stood.

  A troll stood in between Hogun and Volstagg, holding both of their hands.  It stood over nine feet tall and weighed over five hundred pounds.  Its skin was a dark grey with a protruding lower jaw and sharp teeth poking up over his upper lip.

  All their faces fell.

  “Oh, fuck,” Fandral muttered.

Chapter Text

  The troll threw back its head, releasing a mighty roar that shook the entire cave.

  The four men covered their ears.

  The troll brought the back of his hand against Hogun’s chest.

  He struck the damp cave wall.

  “Ahh!” Hogun cried.

  The troll turned towards Volstagg and Fandral, both of whom drew their battle axe and sword, respectively.  They raised their weapons.

  Thor readied Mjolnir.

  The troll swung its arm again.

  Volstagg grabbed hold of Fandral’s arm and jerked him out of the way.

  The troll’s arm struck a cave wall.

  The cave rumbled, and stalactites broke from the ceiling.

  “Oh, shit!” Thor shouted, diving out of the way of the falling rocks.  He dropped the torch.

  The flames slowly died down, and the cave dimmed.

  Stalactites struck the stagnant water with a loud splash.

  Thor’s eyes widened with a small gasp being released from his lips.

  “Volstagg, Fandral!” Thor shouted.  “Get it into the water!”

  Fandral nodded at him.

  Thor rushed to Hogun’s side.

  The troll slammed its fist down.

  “Wake up!” Thor yelled, slapping Hogun’s face.

  Fandral smiled wide as he leapt onto the troll’s arm and ran upward.

  Hogun’s eyes fluttered opened.

  The troll slapped its arm.

  “C’mon!” Thor shouted, slapping Hogun again.

  Fandral gripped the hilt of his sword even tighter.

  “Ow,” Hogun grumbled.

  Fandral brought his blade back and slashed it along the troll’s face, slicing through the troll’s eye.

  Blood and yellowish-green pus burst from the wound.

  Fandral leapt from the troll’s shoulder.  He straightened his legs.

  The troll roared with pain, cupping its eye.  Blood oozed from in between the troll’s fingers as it stumbled backwards.

  Fandral struck the ground.  Pain shot through his body.  His clothes grew heavy with water.

  Tears filled Fandral’s eyes.

  The fire from the torch dimmed even more.  The cave grew darker.

  “Fandral!” Volstagg shouted, sprinting towards him.  He dropped his battle axe.

  “Hogun, the light,” Thor ordered, standing.  He gripped Mjolnir.

  “On it,” Hogun said with a nod of his head.

  “Are you okay?” Volstagg asked, wrapping an arm around Fandral’s shoulders and the other underneath Fandral’s knees.  “Where does it hurt?”

  Thor ducked underneath the troll’s swinging arm.

  “My ankles,” Fandral groaned, pressing his forehead to Volstagg’s shoulder.  “I thought the water was deeper.”

  The fire from the torch died.

  The cave fell into darkness.

  “No, no, no,” Hogun pleaded.

  He grabbed hold of a rock and pulled out his pocket knife, bringing the blade against the rock.

  A spark flew out from the rock.

  Hogun cupped the spark and placed it onto the torch.  He blew softly.

  The flame grew with every blow of air before it consumed the entire top of the torch.

  Hogun turned.

  The troll kept a hand over its still bleeding eye.  It turned to Thor.

  “C’mon,” Volstagg muttered.  He hurried out of the water.

  Hogun lit another torch that was attached to the wall.

  Volstagg placed Fandral onto a rock before he turned and gathered up his battle axe.

  Thor swung Mjolnir before he flew into the sky.

  The troll turned and brought the back of its hand against Thor, swatting him out of the air.

  Thor tumbled on the ground.

  Fandral groaned, covering his eyes with his hand.

  Hogun lit a third torch.

  The cave grew even brighter.

  Hogun placed the torch in his hand in a holder.  He turned and hurried over to Volstagg and Thor.

  The troll swung out its arm again, slamming his fist down.

  Hogun and Volstagg leapt out of the way.

  Thor swung Mjolnir outward, jumping into the air.  He slammed Mjolnir against the troll’s jaw.  Again and again.

  The troll stumbled backwards, raising its hand.  The troll grabbed hold of Thor’s legs and threw him onto the ground.

  Thor gasped for air.  Mjolnir spun out of reach.

  The troll swung its arm.

  “Look out!” Fandral screamed.  He reached outward.  He fell onto his stomach.

  Volstagg turned.

  The troll slammed its hand down, and the ground rumbled.

  “I know!” Volstagg shouted back.  “I have eyes.”

  Volstagg turned, raising his battle axe and bringing it down onto the troll’s wrist.

  Blood spurt out as the troll screamed in agony.

  The troll’s wrist was cleaved in half.  Its hand was only connected by ulna, skin, and some veins.

  The troll stumbled backwards again, stepping into the water.

  “Volstagg!” Hogun cried, pulling out his mace.

  Thor coughed softly as he tried to stand.  His legs trembled.

  Volstagg dropped his battle axe.

  Hogun sprinted towards Volstagg.

  He caught hold of Hogun and swung.  Volstagg turned and released his hold.

  Hogun pulled back his mace, pressing a button to release the spikes.  He brought his mace against the troll’s jaw.

  The troll fell backwards into the water.

  Hogun grabbed hold of one of the ledges on the cave wall.

  “Thor!” Volstagg shouted, turning towards him.

  Thor jumped up and grabbed hold of a stalagmite.  He thrusted Mjolnir.  Lightning shot from the end of the hammer.

  The troll cried out as electricity ran over the surface of the water and through its body.

  Fandral closed his eyes, and Volstagg covered his face with an arm.

  The troll fell silent before it collapsed into the water.

  Thor sighed in relief, lowering his arm.

  “Yea!” Fandral cheered with a wide smile.  “We did it.”

  Volstagg smiled down at him.

  Fandral grew more and more pale with each passing minute as he trembled, and sweat grew on his brow.

  “I don’t feel good,” Fandral complained, shaking his head.

  “Ah, shit,” Volstagg mumbled.  He hurried to Fandral’s side.  He kneeled and pulled up Fandral’s pants legs.

  Fandral’s ankles were bright red and three times their normal sizes.

  “Ah, shit,” Volstagg repeated.  He quickly gathered Fandral into his arms and turned towards Thor.  “He needs a medic.”

  “Dammit,” Hogun complained, lowering his head.

  “Take him back!” Thor ordered.  “Hogun and I will finish up here.”

  Volstagg stared at him for a moment before he turned and hurried out of the cave.

  Thor turned to Hogun.

  “Do you see anything?” Thor asked.

  “No,” Hogun answered, shaking his head.

  “Dammit,” Thor complained.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki lightly dabbed Gærn’s lip with an alcohol cotton swab.

  Gærn winced softly.

  “Is this hurting?” Loki asked.

  “Not really,” Gærn answered with a small grin.

  “Why did you fight him?”

  Gærn frowned at him as Loki stopped and stared down back.

  “I dunno.”  Gærn pulled his gaze off of Loki.  “Just because, I guess.”

  Loki frowned at him and shook his head.

  “I’m sorry,” Gærn admitted.  “He doesn’t deserve you.”

  “Father believes so.”  Loki lowered his hands.

  “Laufey’s an idiot.”  Loki looked at him.  “To waste you on some Asgardian man.”  Gærn shook his head.

  “Beats any farmer or stableboy here in Jötunheim.”

  Gærn frowned for a moment before grabbing hold of Loki’s hand.

  “What if I win your hand?”  Gærn pressed Loki’s hand to his chest, over his beating heart.

  Loki’s eyes widened.  He stepped backwards, pulling his hand away.  His cheeks burned.

  “But we can’t.”

  Gærn stood.

  “Why can’t we?  I’ve known you since your birth;  We’re both royalty.  I can convince Laufey.”  He paused.  “The only thing I don’t have is a kingdom.”

  Loki looked away.

  “Is that this is about?”  Gærn looked at him.  “Thor has a throne?  Is that why Laufey promised him to you?”

  Loki remained still.  After a moment, Loki nodded his head.

  “Ah.”  Gærn nodded his head.  “I see.”

  Loki looked up at him.

  “I’m sorry,” Loki said, touching Gærn’s forearm.

  Gærn frowned and shook his head.  He sat back down.

  “Your happiness means the most to me.  If you don’t want Thor, I’ll convince Laufey.”

  Loki stared at him, remaining quiet.

  “If you want,” Gærn repeated.

  Loki remained quiet.

  “Your eye is still a little bit swollen,” Loki muttered.

  “Take care of it if you like.”  Gærn placed his arms on either side of the back of the couch.

  Loki frowned slightly before he stepped forward and placed a hand on Gærn’s eye.

 

~~~~

 

  “Do you see anything?” Thor asked.  His voice carried throughout the cave.

  “Not really!” Hogun shouted.

  Thor huffed.

  They both carried a torch as they wandered throughout the cave.

  “Wait!” Hogun shouted.

  Thor gasped as his face brightened.

  “No, no, nevermind,” Hogun continued.

  Thor huffed again.  He glanced into a small cave.

  He didn’t realize night had come, and a little bit of moonlight peered into the cave.

  Blue flowers opened, revealing pure gold pistils and stamens.  Three leaves were on the dark purple stem.

  Thor smiled wide.

  “Yes, finally!” he cheered.  He lowered himself to the ground and squeezed himself through the opening in the cave.

  He smiled wide as he kneeled in front of the flowers.

  “Oh, look at these beauties.”

  Thor pulled out his knife and sliced through the three stems.

  Dark purple liquid burst from the stem.

  “Ugh.”  He looked down at the liquid on his forearms.  “Ew.  Was that supposed to happen?”

  He put away his knife before he touched the liquid and rubbed it into his skin.

  “It doesn’t look bad.  It’s kinda like lotion.”

  The liquid disappeared into his skin.

  Thor stared at the flowers.

  “They’re not dangerous.”

  Thor turned and hurried off to find Hogun.

  “I’ve got them,” Thor said, showing off the three flowers in his hand.

  Hogun looked at them and smiled.

  “They’re beautiful,” Hogun muttered.

  “Let’s go back,” Thor suggested.  He scratched his forearm.

 

~~~~

 

  “Where’s Grandpa?” Loki asked.

  “He should be coming soon,” Gærn answered.

  The door was thrown open.

  Both Loki and Gærn turned as Volstagg, holding Fandral, rushed inside.

  “He needs a medic,” Volstagg cried.

  Loki went to them as Gærn stood.

  “What happened?” Loki asked.

  “He— fell,” Volstagg answered, glancing at Fandral.  “I think his ankles are broken.”

  “Oh, shit,” Gærn said.

  “Lay him down over here,” Loki ordered, gesturing to the couch.  “Gærn, get the medic.”

  Gærn turned and rushed out the room as Volstagg laid Fandral on the couch.

  Loki removed Fandral’s shoes.

  Fandral groaned, arching his back.  More tears streamed down his face.

  His ankles were bright red with a deep blue bruising.

  “Ouch,” Loki groaned.

  Gærn returned with a couple of medics.

  “Please help him,” Volstagg pleaded, turning to the medics.

  Volstagg’s scent grew bitter and mixed with Fandral’s sweet strawberry scent that filled the entire room.

  The medics asked various questions as they tended to Fandral’s injuries.

  Volstagg remained at Fandral’s side, holding tightly onto his hand.

  Fandral’s ankles were, indeed, sprained.  The left moreso than the right.

  He was told to remain off of his feet for the next couple of weeks.

  Fandral fell fast asleep on the couch, mostly due to the pain relievers the medics gave him.  Volstagg sat on the floor beside him, still holding onto Fandral’s hand.

  Loki had left to find small pillows to place underneath Fandral’s head and ankles.

  Gærn stared at the two of them.

  “You love him, don’t you?” Gærn asked, crossing his arms.

  Volstagg remained quiet, not looking at him.

  “You love Loki, don’t you?” Volstagg retorted after a moment.

  “Of course I do.”  Gærn stepped closer and sat down beside Volstagg.  “Is that a ‘yes’ for you too?”

  Volstagg shrugged his shoulders.

  “But he’s a beta,” Gærn continued.

  Volstagg returned to being quiet.

  Loki stepped into the room.

  “Bonding, are we?” Loki asked as he made his way over to the couch and placed the larger pillow underneath Fandral’s feet.

  “I guess we are,” Gærn answered.

  Loki lifted Fandral’s head before stuffing a pillow underneath.

  The door opened again.

  They all turned as Hogun and Thor stepped inside.

  Thor’s face, neck, and arms were covered in bold red scratch mark from scratching too hard and too frequently.

  Thor glared at Gærn.

  “Thor!” Loki cried, going to his side.

  Thor smiled at him, holding out the flowers.

  Loki’s eyes widened as he stared down at them.

  “Three leaved wild blue rose,” Loki said.  He looked up at him.  “You do realize that these are poisonous flowers right?”

  Thor’s face fell as he stared down at the flowers in his hands.

  “Oh, fuck,” Thor grumbled.

Chapter Text

  Thor frowned as he stared down at the flowers in his hand.

  Gærn chuckled behind his hand.

  Thor flashed him a look.

  “How poisonous are they?” Hogun asked.

  “Well, they’re not gonna kill you,” Loki said with a shrug of his shoulders.  “Just make you really itchy.”

  Thor continued to scratch at his neck and face.

  “I’ll go get a medic,” Hogun grumbled as he started to turn away.

  “I know how to cure this,” Loki explained.

  “You do?” Thor asked, arching his brows.

  “Yes,” Loki said.  “Give me the flowers.”

  Thor handed the flowers off to him.

  “Could you possibly get me a teapot, a burner, and some teacups?” Loki asked, looking at Hogun.  “Would you also bring it down to the baths?”

  Hogun nodded his head before he left them.

  Thor turned back to Loki.  His eyebrows still arched.

  “So, alphas are not allowed to touch omegas, but they’re allowed to see them naked?” Thor asked.

  “It’s a communal bath,” Loki answered.

  “Yeah,” Gærn said.  He stepped closer to Loki, wrapping an arm around Loki’s shoulders.  “Nudity isn’t a big deal here in Jötunheim like it is in Asgard.  Bathing is a way alphas and omegas to really bond with each other.”

  Thor frowned as he stared at them.

  Loki huffed.

  “Thor, this is my cousin, Gærn, from my mother’s side.”

  Thor’s cheeks grew bright red.

  “Oh,” he said.

  “C’mon,” Loki said, grabbing hold of Thor’s wrist and dragging him out of the room.

  Gærn stepped out of the room.

  “My offer still stands!” Gærn called out.

  Loki and Thor stopped, but only Thor turned and looked at him.

  “Just say the word,” Gærn continued.  “I’ll do it.”

  Gærn stepped back into the room.

  Thor turned back to Loki.

  “What was that about?” Thor asked.

  Loki shook his head before he continued to drag Thor behind him.

  “It’s nothing,” Loki explained.  “He can be such an idiot sometimes.”

  Thor frowned.

  Loki didn’t look back at him until they reached the bathhouse.

  Steam was the first thing that hit them.

  Several alphas and omegas bathed themselves and each other.  Most of those walking around were completely naked though there were a few more modest people wearing a towel around their waists.

  “Shit, it’s hot,” Thor complained, tugging at his shirt.

  “Well,” Loki said, pulling off his dress.  “I suggest you get naked then.”  Loki dropped his undergarments.

  Thor’s cheeks grew a pink hue as his gaze fell downward.

  Loki set the flowers aside before he placed his hands on Thor’s chest.

  “Are we allowed to do this?” Thor asked, being backed into a seat.

  “I’m allowed to touch you, but you’re not allowed to touch me.”

  Thor’s trousers grew tight.

  Loki’s knee brushed against Thor’s crotch.

  “Oh, my,” Loki gasped, stepping back from Thor.

  Both of heir cheeks coloured.

  Thor tried to hide his face as he covered himself.

  Loki turned away before Thor undressed and covered himself with a towel.

  Hogun stepped into the bathhouse, giving Loki the things he asked for, before he left.

  “How exactly are you going to cure me?” Thor asked as Loki plucked the pistils and stamens from the flowers.

  Loki opened the top of the teapot before he dropped them inside.  He turned the burner on.

  “What are you doing?” Thor asked.

  “Three leaved wild blue rose tea is just beautiful.  You have to boil them down, because they can be toxic.  But you shouldn’t boil it too long, because it get bitter.”

  “Awesome.”  Thor remained expressionless.  “How are you gonna cure me?”

  Loki peeled the sepals and stems before he set them into a bowl.

  “Pull your hair into a bun.”

  Thor frowned as Loki began to grind the parts of the flower into a paste.

  Loki turned when Thor groaned.

  Thor’s fingers were caught in between his hair and the hair tie.

  “Okay.  I’ll show you how.”  Loki set aside the bowl.  He removed the hair tie, pulling Thor’s hair back, before tying it into a neat bun.  “There.  Better.”

  Loki smiled softly at him.

  Thor could of sworn he grew even harder.

  Loki returned to grinding the flowers stems.

  Only when the stems and sepals turned into a thick, dark purple paste, Loki rubbed it onto Thor’s arms, neck, and face.

  “I feel like I’m getting a facial.”

  Both of them chuckled softly.

  “Leave that on until it dries.”  Loki washed his hands as he spoke.  “Try not mess with it.”

  Thor frowned at him.

  Loki stepped beside him.  He grabbed the bandages.  Loki quickly wrapped Thor’s fingertips in the bandages.

  Others stole peeks at them with some alphas openly admiring Loki’s naked body.

  Thor glared at all of them.

  A few alphas backed off.

  Loki turned the burner off before he poured the tea into the two teacups.

  “Here,” Loki said, handing Thor a teacup.

  They both sipped their drinks.

  “It’s nice,” Thor admitted.

  “It’s one of the best teas in Jötunheim.”  Loki sipped his tea again.  “It’s my favorite.”

  “It’s really good.”

  Loki leaned back onto the wall.

  “What are we gonna do about the flower petals?” Thor asked.

  “We put them in the bath water.”  Loki smiled up at him.  “They have a nice aroma.”

  “That sounds nice.”

  “It does.”

  Silence fell over them again as they continued to sip their teas.

  The paste on Thor dried quickly.

  “Here, it’s ready,” Loki said.  He began to peel the paste off Thor’s skin.

  Loki tossed the little flakes into a trash can.

  Thor’s skin returned to its normal beige skin.

  “There,” Loki said.  “Do you feel better?”

  Thor looked up at him.

  “Yea—.  Actually, no.”

  Loki arched an eyebrow.

  “My lips hurt.  Could you kiss them to make them feel better?”

  Loki chuckled softly as he shook his head.

  “C’mon.”  Loki fitted all the rose petals in one of his hands while holding his teacup with the other.

  “Well, I tried.”  Thor shrugged his shoulders.  He stood as well, grabbing the teapot and following close behind Loki.

  They stopped at an empty and secluded sunken bath, and Loki sprinkled the rose petals into the water.

  A rich aroma filled the air.

  “The hot water opens the pores,” Loki explained.

  Thor inhaled some more air.

  Loki was the first to step into the water and moaned softly.

  Thor’s mouth watered as he stared at Loki’s naked body in the water.

  “You coming?” Loki asked, turning and staring at him.

  “Uh— Yeah.”  Thor dropped the towel from around his waist.

  Loki’s eyes dilated as his gaze dropped.

  Thor stepped inside the water.  His eyes rolled to the back of his head.

  “Oh, this feels good,” Thor said.

  Loki smiled softly at him.

  They both finished their drinks before Loki poured them another cup.

  Loki moaned softly.

  Thor stared at him as Loki turned towards him.  Thor set aside his teacup, leaning closer.  Loki leaned closer as well, wrapping his arms loosely around Thor’s neck.

  Loki’s lips parted a little.

  Thor placed a hand on Loki’s waist.  He felt Loki’s breath against his lips.

  Heavy footsteps approached quickly.

  Loki sprang back from Thor.  Both of their faces grew hot.

  Gærn sprinted into their area.  He froze when he saw their faces.  He frowned hard.

  “Grandfather’s here,” Gærn growled.

  Loki’s face brightened as he gasped.  He smiled wide.

  “Really?!” Loki asked, climbing out of the tub.

  Thor frowned.

  “Where is he?” Loki asked, stepping closer to Gærn.

  Thor drank the tea like a shot before pouring himself a third drink and drinking it like a shot as well.

  “He’s in the observatory,” Gærn answered.

  Loki smiled even wider.  He finished the rest of his tea.

  “You can have the last glass,” Loki said to Gærn before he hurried off.

  Thor’s gaze dropped to watch Loki’s small tight ass.

  Gærn frowned as he stared at him.

  Thor stepped out of the tub, wrapping a towel around his waist.

  “I suppose you’d like a glass,” Thor said, gesturing to the tea kettle.

  Gærn spun around on his heels.  His eyes were wide.

  He grabbed hold of Thor’s throat and slammed him against the wall.

  Thor’s hands went to Gærn’s wrist as he flailed his feet.  His towel fell from his waist.

  Gærn’s eyes burned with rage.

Chapter Text

  Thor eyes widened.

  Gærn raised his free hand.

  “These hands were made to break bones,” Gærn warned.  “Specifically necks, and if you hurt Loki, in anyway.  If he comes to me and says that you hit him or you raped him or anything that isn’t good news, you best pray Laufey gets his hands on you before I do.  Cause if he doesn’t, Laufey wouldn’t have anything left to beat.”

  Thor swallowed hard as Gærn lowered Thor to the floor.  Gærn released Thor before he stepped back and left the room.

  Thor cleared his throat, bringing a hand to his neck.

 

~~~~

 

  “Grandpa!” Loki shouted as he hurried, fully dressed, towards his grandfather.

  The man was much older, nearing his late eighties, despite having a body identical to the one he had back when he was thirty.  He had pure white hair and sage green eyes, whom Loki inherited his own eye colour from.  He was Farbauti’s father, whom was blessed with all four of his children being omegas.

  “Loki!” Yrbe said, wrapping his arms around Loki.  “How’s my favorite grand baby?”

  “I’m doing just fine.”  Loki smiled wide.

  Yrbe ran a hand down Loki’s cheek.  Yrbe tried to hide his sad fading smile, but Loki noticed.

  “Did Ma’amma come with you or is she still feeling unwell?”

  “She came, but she’s resting in our room.”

  “Okay.  Is she going to be eating with us?”

  “Yes.  Along with everyone else?”

  “Everyone else?”  Loki raised his brows.

  “Yes.  Allistr and Jy have been here for awhile.”

  “I didn’t think they came.”

  “Well, they did.”  Yrbe smiled.  “So did Ustr, Gjeinn, Sei, and Nálau and Bleytle, Örri, Den, Mÿt, Ly, and Ri.”

  “How’s Den doing?  Is her baby doing well?”

  “Yes.  He’s doing fine.  Vurtr is staying at their house to care for him.  Den didn’t want to miss your big day.”

  Loki smiled softly.

  “I’m glad.  I haven’t seen her in ages.”

  “Three years is a long time.”  Silence fell over them.

  Gærn stepped in the room with a large smile, but it disappeared when Thor walked in close behind.

  Yrbe smiled wide as his gaze fell on the Asgardian.

  “Thor!” Yrbe cried, throwing out his arms and hugging him tightly.

  Gærn glared at Thor, all while the other men focused on each other.

  “My grandfather,” Loki mouthed, pointing at Yrbe.

  “Oh,” Thor murmured as Yrbe placed him on the floor.

  Yrbe turned towards Gærn and Loki.

  Gærn faked a smile.

  “Why don’t you two see Heitt?  She’s eager to see you both, and I’d like to speak with Thor alone.”

  Loki nodded his head before he and Gærn left the room.

  Thor watched as Loki walked past him and out the room.  He smiled.

  “Oh, yeah,” Thor murmured.  He turned back to Yrbe.

  “So, Laufey told me about the little deal he made with Odin.”

  Thor’s face fell as he paled.

  “Oh, really?” Thor asked, rubbing the back of his head.

  “Yes, and I want to know what exactly are your intentions with my grandson?”

  Thor was quiet for a moment.

  “I love him.  I’ve loved him for quite some time, but I knew that I just couldn’t ask for his hand.  I knew I had to of won his hand in order to marry him.”

  “So you read the rules and found the one and only loophole.”  Yrbe leaned back onto a desk and crossed his arms.

  “Yeah.  It wasn’t that difficult.”

  “Walk with me.”  Yrbe stood and wrapped an arm around Thor’s shoulders.  They stepped out into the hallway as silence fell over them before Yrbe lead Thor into room lined with painting after painting.

  “What is all this?” Thor asked, looking at the paintings.

  They stopped at a painting filled with six people, four of which were children.

  The man appeared to be in his late forties.  He was standing beside a sitting woman, presumably his wife with a hand on her shoulder.  He other hand was holding the hand of the youngest standing child.  In the lap of the woman was the youngest child who was sleeping soundly.  Another child stood in between the man and woman, holding a stuffed giraffe in the crook of his arm.

  The last child, and the eldest, stood beside Heitt.  He had a long raven black braid that came down past his bottom, and, aside from his deep amber brown eyes, looked identical to Loki.

  “Who are they?” Thor asked, looking at him.

  “The man is me.  That’s my wife, Heitt.”  He pointed at the woman.  He moved his hand to the youngest child.  “This is Örri. She was six when this painting was made.”  He moved his hand to the child clinging to his hand.  “This is Gjeinn.  She was seven.”  He moved to the child holding the giraffe.  “Allistr.  Nine.  He loved that damn giraffe.”

  Yrbe paused for a moment before he placed his hand over the eldest child.

  “This is Farbauti.”

  Thor blinked at the painting.

  “He was ten when this painting was made.”

  Thor heard his voice broke.

  “You miss him, don’t you?” Thor asked.

  “Yes.  I do.  He was a good person.  He shouldn’t have died the way he did.”  Yrbe sighed.

  “How did Farbauti marry Laufey?  Why did he?”

  “I was surprised as well when Laufey’s parents, Byrn and Skyra, came to me and asked me for Farbauti’s hand.  I’m not sure why they asked for Farbauti.  We weren’t that high in the palace ranking nor were we that rich.  I never dared to ask.”

  Thor smiled softly as he looked back at the painting.

  “I’m not going to be here much longer.”

  Thor frowned and looked at him.

  Yrbe didn’t face him.

  “I’m old.  My body may not look it, but it’s weak.  It’s worn, tired.  One day it’s not gonna work anymore.”  Yrbe finally turned and looked at him.  “I just want to know if you’d be able to take care of him.”

  “I can, and I will.”

  Yrbe smiled wide.

  “Good,” he said.  “If you don’t, I’ll haunt you for the rest of your life.”

  Both of them chuckled.

  Thor turned to the painting.

  “Loki looks just like Farbauti,” Thor said.

  “He does.  On top of that, he’s just like him.  You should hear Loki sing or watch him dance.”

  “I’d like to see that.”

  “Oh, you will.  After the competition, some omegas put on a song and dance for everyone.”  Yrbe placed a hand around Thor’s shoulders and lead him out of the castle.

  “Why is there a competition?”

  “You don’t like history, do you?”

  “I never liked school.”

  Yrbe chuckled as they sat down on a bench.

  “Well, over a thousand years ago, mollima spread throughout Jötunheim.  There were cases beforehand, but never an epidemic.  Anyway, many omegas caught it, and many of them died.  Very few survived.  The omega population dropped dramatically, from forty five percent down below eight percent.  For every omega, there were over a thousand alphas.”

  “Whoa.”

  “The king at the time wanted to ensure that only the strongest alphas got to mate with the omegas.  Only those who were worthy of them.  Thousand years later, mollima has a vaccine;  most omegas don’t die from it, and omegas back up to over thirty five percent.”

  “That’s good.”

  “Could be better.”

  “Everything could be better.”

  Yrbe nodded his head.

  Thor leaned his elbows on his knees, folding his hands together.

  “Has Gærn talked to you yet?  Privately?”  Yrbe raised a brow.

  “Yeah.  He did.  It wasn’t pleasant.”

  “Well, he’s always had a soft spot for Loki.”

  Thor smiled softly.

  “It seems like everyone does,” Thor muttered.

  Yrbe nodded his head.

  “C’mon,” Yrbe said, standing.  “If you’re gonna marry into this family, you’d need to know everyone.”

  They paused when they caught a whiff of hot melted iron.

  Yrbe held out his hand, sniffing the air.

  The scent was coming from behind a tree a couple of yards in front of them.

  Thor frowned, clenching his fist, as they stepped closer.

  Yrbe stepped around the tree.

  Nirn gasped as he stepped backwards.  His eyes widened.  His back struck Thor’s chest.  Nirn spun around on his heels.

  “What are you doing?” Yrbe scolded.

  “Nothing,” Nirn said, paling in his face.  “I—.”

  Yrbe narrowed his eyes.  He looked at Thor.

  “Why don’t you go inside?” Yrbe suggested.  “I can handle this.”

  “You sure?” Thor asked.

  Yrbe nodded.

  Thor frowned, releasing his fist.  He turned and went inside the castle.

  Yrbe stared down at Nirn.

  “Why are you eavesdropping?” Yrbe asked.

  “I wasn’t!”  Sweat grew on his brow.

  Yrbe frowned at him.

  “Really?”  Yrbe stepped closer with Nirn stepping backwards.

  His back struck the tree.

  “Cause it seemed like you were,” Yrbe continued.

  “Why are you wasting Loki on a guy like him?”

  Yrbe raised his brows.

  “So, giving Loki to someone like you is a better option?”

  “Yes!  I’m at least Jotunn.  Thor’s nothing compared to me.”

  Yrbe raised his hand and slapped Nirn across his cheek.

  Nirn cupped his cheek.

  “Thor is ten times the alpha you are.”

  “I’m better than him!  I’m stronger than him, faster than him, smarter than him.  I’m Jotunn.”

  “No.  You’re a weak, sniveling little bitch that constantly complains and doesn’t take responsibility for his mistakes.  If Loki was wasted on anyone, it’ll be you.”

  Nirn snarled.  He clenched his fist, aiming for Yrbe’s jaw, only for Yrbe to catch his fist and squeezed.

  “Ow,” Nirn complained.

  “How do you expect to beat Thor when you can’t even punch an old man in his face?”

  Nirn gritted his teeth.

  Yrbe slammed Nirn back on the tree before he fell to the ground.

  Yrbe turned and stepped around him, heading towards the castle, but stopped midway.

  “Oh by the way,” Yrbe said, not looking at him, “I’m informing Bimr of what you said.”

  Nirn’s eyes widened.

  “No,” Nirn cried.  “Please don’t say anything to him.”

  “Then, maybe you shouldn't have said anything to me.”

  Nirn’s eyes widened as Yrbe stepped inside the castle.

  “How did it go?” Thor asked as they walked together.

  “It went well,” Yrbe said with a wide smile.

  Thor stared at him as they stepped into the reception hall that was filled with alphas and omegas just now arriving as well as their friends and families.

  “Grandpa!” someone cried from behind with arms out wide.

  The young mated omega hugged Yrbe tightly.  She had a deep black pixie haircut with dark brown amber eyes.  She smelled like a mixture of deep caramel and rustic chestnut wood.

  “Oh, Den,” Yrbe said as he released her.  “How are you?  How’s the baby?”

  “I’m fine.  He’s doing great.  Growing like a weed.”

  “Most babies do.”

  Thor cleared his throat.

  “Oh, Den,” Yrbe said.  “This is Thor.  This is my eldest granddaughter, Den.”

  “Nice to meet you,” Den said.

  Yrbe looked around the crowd.

  “Bimr!” Yrbe shouted, waving his hand above his head.

  Den frowned, turning away, as Bimr stepped towards them.

  “Yes, m’lord?” Bimr asked, bowing his head.

  Thor glanced at Den.

  She kept her back to Bimr as she lowered her head.

  “I’d like to speak with you in private,” Yrbe said.  “It is important.”

  “Of course, m’lord,” Bimr replied, bowing his head.

  “You two can mingle while I talk to him,” Yrbe said before he and Bimr walked off.

  Thor turned to Den.

  “Why did you avoid him?” Thor asked.  “Is it because you don’t like him?”

  “No,” Den said, turning to him.  “It’s not that.  It’s because he doesn’t like me or my husband.”

  “Why doesn’t he like you or your husband?”

  “They had a falling out when Vurtr was younger.  They constantly argued.  Sometimes I wished they just put their prides aside enough so Várn would know his grandfather.”

  Thor blinked.

  “Bimr is your father-in-law?”

  Den looked at him.

  “Of course he is.  What else would he be?”

  Thor remained quiet as he averted his gaze.  His cheeks grew a pink hue.

  Den folded her arms over her chest and chuckled softly.

  “You’re so cute,” Den said.  “I can see why Loki likes you.”

  Thor looks at her.

  Den’s face grew a dark purple as she covered her mouth with her hand.

  “Oh, shit,” she said.  “I wasn’t supposed to say that.”

  Thor smiled wide.

  “So Loki likes me?” Thor asked.  “Well, I’m not surprised seeing how he almost kissed me in the bathhouse.”

  “What?!  He almost kissed you.  How sweet.”

  Den clasped her hands together as Thor rubbed the back of his neck with his hand.

  “Loki really likes me?”

  “Oh, yeah.”  Den nodded her head.  “So much.  I kinda snuck into his room and read a bit of his diary.”

  “He has a diary?”

  “Yeah.  He talked a lot about you.”

  Thor smiled wide.

  “At least, he talked about a ‘handsome blonde alpha Asgardian prince with strong arms.’  I’m just assuming it’s you.”

  “There’s no other handsome blonde alpha Asgardian prince.  Just me.”

  Den smiled softly.

  “What else did he write in his diary?” Thor asked.

  “Do you want to read it?” Den asked, leaning close.

  “Oh, yes please.”

  “Then, follow me.”  Den flashed a wicked smile.

Chapter Text

  “C’mon,” Den said, grabbing hold of Thor’s wrist.  “It’s this way.”

  “Okay, okay,” Thor said with a smile.  “No need to drag me.”

  Den lead Thor through the crowd.

  Nirn frowned hard as he pushed past people to follow after them.

  “Where is it?” Thor asked.

  “It’s upstairs,” Den said, flashing a smile over her shoulder.

  Nirn followed after them, keeping his distance.

  They hurried by a flight of stairs and down a hall.

  Nirn followed after them before he hid behind a wall, peering around the corner.

  “You sure about this?” Thor asked as he and Den stopped at a room.

  “C’mon,” Den urged.  “It’ll be fun.”

  She opened the door and backed into the room as she spoke.

  “You coming?” Den asked.

  Thor paused before he stepped into the room.

  Den closed the door quietly behind them.

  A twisted smile tugged at Nirn’s mouth as he turned and hurried off.

  Thor smiled wide as he looked about the room.

  “This is nice,” Thor said.

  The room was just as large as he own room back in Asgard.  There was a large window about the same size of the wall opposite of the door.  The bed could easily fit four alpha Jotuns, much too large for a single omega.  The bed was covered with green and yellow blankets and pillows.  A pure white wooden desk sat caddy cornered near the window with similar designed chair.

  “Loki always keeps his diary in the same place,” Den said as she began to rummage through the desk’s drawers.  “Here it is.”  She pulled out a brown leather bound book and turned towards him, flipping through the pages.

  Thor glanced down at the book in her hands.

  “Here’s one about you,” Den said, handing the diary over to him.

  Dear diary,

  I saw him again.  We were in Alfheim, and there he was.  I tried to talk to him, but Father said that we had to leave.  I didn’t want to.

  Thor flipped through the pages some more.

  Dear diary,

  I had my first heat last week.  It hurt so much that I couldn’t do anything else.  Father locked me in my room, and Bimr stood guard.  Father said that he was always glad he had an omega child.  He said that at least one of his child was an omega.  I dunno though.  Helblindi and Byleistr keep giving a hard time because of it.  Most of the unmated guards and others the castle keep looking at me.  I try to ignore their looks and stares and whispers, but it’s hard.

  Thor flipped some more pages.

  Dear diary,

  That Asgardian prince came to Jötunheim with his friends.  His bigger than the last time I saw him.  He’s taller, and his muscles are larger.  I nearly went into heat just by watching him fight Helblindi.

  Thor cleared his throat as his cheeks coloured.  The front of his trouser started to grow tight.

  Den smiled as she studied his face.

  “Do you like it?” Den asked.

  “It’s interesting,” Thor answered, not looking at her.

 

~~~~

 

  Nirn hurried to Laufey’s side.

  “My king!” Nirn cried.

  Laufey turned as Nirn bowed in front of him.

  “I’m afraid I bring bad news,” Nirn said.  “I saw Prince Thor and your niece, Den, go into the same room together.”

  Laufey frowned as he stared down at him.

  “A bedroom, sir,” Nirn continued, bowing his head even more.

  Laufey continued to stare at him, narrowing his eyes.

  “That’s real fascinating,” Laufey said, stepping around Nirn.  “Seeing how my father-in-law and my closest friend both came to me and told me everything that you said back in the garden.”

  Nirn tensed as a layer of sweat formed on his forehead.

  “You want to drag, not only Thor’s name, but my niece’s name through the mud.  Den has always been married for three years, and she has an eight month old baby boy.  And you want to sit there and try to convince me that would throw all that away for simple thrill?”

  “I swear, your majesty.”  Nirn looked up at Laufey.

  “Nirn!”

  Nirn closed his mouth.

  “Your services are no longer needed,” Laufey said.  “After the tournament, I want you to leave.”

  Nirn frowned as Laufey turned and walked off.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki smiled wide as he and his cousins, Gærn, Ly, and Ri, all walked down a hallway.

  “Is that alpha prince here?” Ri asked.

  “Yeah,” Loki answered.  “He is.”

  “Do you want him to win your hand?” Ly asked with a smile.

  Gærn frowned softly.

  “I—,” Loki started, but he stopped to find the right words.  “I wouldn’t mind it.”

  “Really?!” Ly asked, clasping her hand together.  “I always thought you two looked good together.”

  Gærn glanced down at his young cousin.

  Loki smiled to himself.  His cheeks grew hot.

  “Yes,” Loki agreed.  “I suppose we do.”

  They stopped where Fandral and Volstagg was and went inside the room.

  Fandral was awake but still drowsy from the medications.

  “Hey,” Loki said.  “How are you feeling?”

  “I’m in pain,” Fandral said.  “But I’m okay for now.”  He glanced at Volstagg.

  “You’re Thor’s friends, right?” Ri asked, looking between the two men.  “You look like Asgardians.”

  “We’re Thor’s friends,” Volstagg answered with a smile.

  Ri stared at him.

  “I wish I had red hair,” Ri said.  “Our cousin, Sei, has red hair, and our nephew, Várn, has red hair, but I don’t.”  She tugged on her dark chestnut brown bangs.  “I want to dye my hair, but Mother says that I’m too young.”

  “It’s because you are,” Ly said.

  Ri frowned and stuck her tongue out her older sister.

  “Now, now,” Loki scolded, placing a hand on each of their heads.

  “Sorry,” Ri murmured.

  “These are my cousins,” Loki said.  “Ri and Ly.”  He lifted his hand off of their heads as he introduced them.

  Ly was taller than Ri, standing around five and half feet.  She was rather plump with thick arms and legs as well as having large breasts and bottom.  Her medium chestnut brown hair was thinly braided in cornrows that ended a little past her shoulders.  Her bluish-grey eyes were large and round.

  Ri, on the other hand, was the complete opposite.  She was short in stature, standing around four feet and eight inches, and was as flat as a board.  Her hair was long and ended midway down her back with her bangs covering half of her face.  Her eyes, at least her left eye, like Loki, was green, albeit a dark forest green rather than a light sage green.

  Both of them were too young to be mated or claimed.

  “Why don’t you two go get the rest of your family?” Gærn asked.  “I’m sure they’ll gladly meet everyone.”

  “Okay!” Ri said.  “I bet I can beat you.”

  “Yeah right,” Ly retorted.

  They both stepped around Loki before they rushed out of the room.

  A cloud of strawberries lingered in the air.

  The three of them turned to Fandral.

  “I forgot to take my pills this morning,” Fandral admitted, embarrassingly.

  Volstagg’s eyes widened and quickly stood.

  “I’ll go get them,” Volstagg said.  “I know where you keep them.”

  “Okay,” Fandral muttered.  His eyes were glazed over.

  Volstagg swallowed hard before he hurried out of the room.

  Gærn stared down at Fandral before he blinked.

  “You’re an omega?” Gærn asked.

  “Biologically,” Fandral answered.  He shifted on the couch.  “But I take pills to change my dynamic.”

  “Does it hurt?” Loki asked.

  “The pills are big, and I don’t like them,” Fandral said.

  “No, I mean.  Does it hurt now?” Loki corrected.

  “Oh,” Fandral replied.  “Not really.  I feel fine.”  He smiled up at him.

  The cloud of strawberry scent grew heavier and sweeter.

  Fandral’s chest heaved with every breath.

  Volstagg burst back into the room with a vile of pills in hand.

  “I’m here,” Volstagg said, hurrying to Fandral’s side.  “I’m here.  Don’t worry.”  Volstagg fumbled with the lid of the bottle.

  Fandral chuckled softly as he raised his hands over his head.

  Loki raised a hand to his head as he rocked his weight from his toes back onto his heels.

  “Easy, now,” Gærn cried, catching Loki in his arms.

  Loki moaned softly in his arms.

  “I need to get him out of here,” Gærn said.  He didn’t wait for a reply.

  By the time Volstagg turned and looked up, Gærn was already out the door with Loki in tow.

  Volstagg turned back to Fandral.  He twisted the bottle’s lid again.

  Fandral placed his hand on Volstagg’s wrist.

  Volstagg looked at him.

  Fandral moved his hand to the back of Volstagg’s head and pulled his mouth down onto his own.

  Volstagg’s eyes widened.

  Fandral pushed his tongue past Volstagg’s lips.

  Volstagg’s bread scratched and tickled Fandral’s smooth skin.

  Fandral pulled away from him.

  Volstagg groaned softly.

  “The door’s still opened,” Fandral muttered.

  Volstagg’s cheeks grew red.

  Fandral laid back onto the couch.  With one hand, he lifted his shirt and ran his fingertips along his hardening nipple.  With his other hand, he unclasped the front of his trousers and freed his erection.

  Volstagg shuddered hard, dropping the bottle of pills.  The front of his trousers grew tight around his own erection.  He frowned and stood, making his way over to the door.

  Volstagg closed the door before he locked it and turned back to Fandral.

  The smaller man bit his bottom lip.

 

~~~~

 

  Thor flipped through the pages of Loki’s diary some more, reading through more and more of the entries.  He turned away from Den to hide his growing erection.

  “You can rest in here,” they both heard Gærn said.

  They tensed.  Thor closed the diary before he threw it onto the desk.

  Gærn threw open the door.

  He froze when he saw Den and Thor.  He frowned hard as his gaze fell down to Thor’s erection.

  Loki squirmed out of Gærn’s arms.

  “Den!” Loki cried, hugging her tightly.  “How are you?”

  “I’m doing great,” Den said with a smile.

  “What are you doing here?” Gærn demanded, staring at Thor.

  Thor tensed as he glanced at Den.  His face grew bright red.

Chapter Text

  Volstagg stepped back to Fandral.

  Raw leather blended into the strawberry scent.

  Volstagg’s eyes grew dark with desire as he kneeled beside the other man.

  Fandral smiled at the older and larger man.

  Volstagg lowered his mouth and kissed the head of Fandral’s cock.  With one hand, he held the base of Fandral’s cock while he reached up Fandral’s chest, running his fingertips over Fandral’s growth sensitive nipples.

  Fandral gasped, arching his back off of the couch.

  Volstagg took all of Fandral’s cock into his mouth.

  Fandral gasped again.

  Volstagg ran his tongue along the length of Fandral’s cock, causing the younger man to groan out loud.

  Fandral curled his toes as Volstagg continued to move his mouth, sucking hard and tenderly licking.

  Fandral’s chest heaved with every breath, arching more into Volstagg’s mouth.

  Slick leak out of Fandral and stained his trousers and the couch underneath him.

  Volstagg removed his mouth just as quickly as he removed Fandral’s trousers and small clothes.

  “Ow!” Fandral cried when his left ankle smacked against the arm of the couch.

  “I’m so sorry!” Volstagg shouted, checking on his ankles.

  Fandral smiled gently.

  “It’s okay,” he said.  “I forgive you.”

  Volstagg smiled back at him.  He lowered his head and captured Fandral’s lips.

  Fandral opened his mouth, allowing Volstagg’s tongue to touch his own.  Electricity shot through their bodies.

  Volstagg moved in between Fandral’s legs, pushing his shirt further up.  They broke their kiss only long enough for Volstagg to remove Fandral’s shirt.

  Fandral tugged at Volstagg’s shirt, bringing his mouth against the older man’s.

  Fandral bit Volstagg’s bottom lip as Volstagg growled through his teeth.

  He pulled back before he ripped his shirt off of his body.  His hands went down to the front of his trousers, unhooking his belt and freeing his erection.

  “You sure?” Volstagg asked, looking at Fandral.  “You’re not asking me to do this just because you’re in heat?”

  Fandral frowned, narrowing his eyes at Volstagg.

  “If you don’t start fucking me, I swear that I’ll crawl outta here stark naked and find another al—.”

  Volstagg didn’t need to hear the rest of Fandral’s sentence.  He pushed himself fully into the smaller man.

  Fandral’s breath caught in his throat as he squeezed his eyes shut and curled his toes.

  Volstagg smiled to himself.

  “Like any other alpha would make you feel like this,” Volstagg growled, pulling out then slamming back into Fandral, causing him to cry out again.

  Volstagg held onto Fandral’s legs, a little above his ankles, and pulled his legs apart, continuously pounding into the smaller man.

  Fandral groaned softly with every thrust.  He placed his hands onto Volstagg’s stomach.

  Volstagg lowered his mouth and capturing Fandral’s mouth again.  He wrapped his arms around Fandral’s back and lifted him off of the couch.

  Fandral wrapped his arms around Volstagg’s neck.

  Volstagg stood.  He moved his hands to cup Fandral’s ass.

  Fandral tilted his head, allowing Volstagg to have an easier access to his neck.  The older man paused for a moment.

  “You sure?” Volstagg asked.  “Cause if I do it, there’s no going back.”

  “Yes.  I’m sure.  I don’t want any other alpha.”  Fandral framed Volstagg’s face with his hands and pecked his lips.

  Volstagg chuckled softly.

  “Except for the time you wanted me to fuck you without question.”

  Fandral smiled as well.

  “Yeah.  I suppose.”

  Volstagg pushed a little further into the smaller man.  He lowered his head, catching Fandral’s skin in between his teeth, sucking hard.

  Fandral’s skin bruised and turned bright red.

  “M-more!” Fandral whispered as he tightened his legs around Volstagg’s hips.  “Please.”

  Volstagg didn’t need to say anything, just recapturing Fandral’s mouth and began picking up speed.  His belt clinked with every thrust.

  His trousers and small clothes fell around midway down his thighs.

  “Ah, ahh!” Fandral cried as loud as he could.

  Sweat ran their backs and stained their skin.  Slick fell down onto the floor.

  Fandral placed his hands on Volstagg’s shoulders, returning his lips back to Volstagg’s.  Their tongues touched again.

  Volstagg thrusted harder, hooking his arms underneath Fandral’s thighs.

  Heat pooled in their stomachs.

  Fandral grew tighter around Volstagg.

  The older man turned them to a table before he pulled out of Fandral, soliciting a groan from the smaller man.  Volstagg flipped him onto his stomach.

  Volstagg grabbed a fistful of Fandral’s hair and yanked his head back just as he pushed himself fully back inside him.

  “Oh, fuck yeah,” Fandral moaned.

  Volstagg growled in return, thrusting harder into Fandral.

  The sound of flesh smacking flesh and their gasps and groans filled the entire room.  Raw leather clung to the scent of strawberries in the air.

  Volstagg pushed Fandral’s head down onto the table before he latched onto the back of his neck.

  Fandral’s eyes widened as Volstagg broke his skin.  Volstagg ran his tongue over the open wound.

  Fandral arched his back as Volstagg bit down onto the other side of Fandral’s neck.

  Volstagg continued to grow harder inside Fandral.

  “Volstagg!”  Fandral groaned as he came on the table and his stomach.

  Volstagg’s face twisted.

  “I’m close.  Whaddaya want me to do?”  He gripped Fandral’s hips even more.

  Fandral pushed himself off of the table, turning towards him.  He wrapped an arm around Volstagg’s shoulders, placing a kiss onto his lips.

  “Inside me,” Fandral muttered.  “Please.”

  Volstagg stared at him for a moment before he began to push inside him, bringing his mouth against Fandral’s.

  His knot began to swell, and it caught inside him.

  Volstagg tensed as he exploded inside Fandral.  Volstagg planted his hands on either side of the smaller man.  He continued to spill his seed inside him.

  Fandral smiled wide as he felt himself being filled completely.

  Volstagg shuddered, clinging tight to Fandral.

  “That was nice,” Fandral said.

  “Yeah,” Volstagg agreed.  “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to do this.”

  Fandral smiled at him.

  “I’ve been waiting for quite some time too.”

 

~~~~

 

  “Well?” Gærn asked, staring at Thor.

  “I brought him here,” Den said quickly.

  Both Thor and Gærn looked at her.

  “Thor asked me if could see all of the castle,” Den explained quickly.  “I thought he’d like a look in the rooms.”

  Gærn frowned harder as he looked away.

  Loki stepped closer to Den.

  “I think that’s a wonderful idea,” Loki said.  He flashed a smile at Gærn.  “Isn’t it?”

  Gærn only grumbled in response.

  Loki turned back to Den and Thor.

  “Perhaps we can go look about the gardens or possibly take the path to the lake?”

  Gærn frowned as he turned away.

  “That sounds like a great idea,” Den said.  “We can pack a picnic and some lemonade.”

  “Yes!” Thor shouted quickly.  The three of them turned and looked at him.  “That’ll be great.  A dinner picnic by the lake.”

  Gærn continued to frown as they prepare for their last minute picnic with chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches, macaroni salad, sliced fruit, cubed cheese, and iced strawberry lemonade.

  “I’m gonna tell Father where we’ll be going,” Loki said before he turned and hurried out of the room.

  Thor helped Den pack the basket with the food, pitcher, and whatever dishes they needed as Gærn sulked in the background with arms crossed.

  “Stop sulking,” Den scolded without looking at him.

  “I’m not sulking,” Gærn complained.

  “Yeah,” Thor grumbled.  “Sure you aren’t.”

  Den chuckled softly as Gærn rolled his eyes.

 

~~~~

 

  Fandral slept soundly in Volstagg’s arms.

  Their scents still laid thick in the air.

  Volstagg had cleaned the both of them and dressed himself.  He wrapped Fandral in a thick blanket.

  Several other alphas stood outside of the locked door, shouting at one another.

  None of the voices he recognized.

  “Move!” a voice boomed.  Fast, heavy footsteps thudded down the hallway.  “Move!”  Odin.

  Volstagg frowned.

  “What's going on?” Odin demanded.

  “An alpha mated with an omega,” one of the voices said.

  A pause.

  “I know these two,” Odin said.

  “With all due respect, sir,” the voice said, “but I doubt that you do.”

  Without needing to see him, Volstagg knew Odin frowned hard.

  “I’ve known these boys since they were babes.  I think I would know their scents.”  Odin turned to the door and slammed his fist down onto the door.  “Volstagg, open the damn door!”

  Volstagg frowned.  He stood and placed Fandral back onto he couch.

  Fandral moaned softly from the absence of Volstagg’s heat.  He turned his head but remained asleep.

  Odin pounded his fist down onto the door again.

  “Dammit, Volstagg!” Odin shouted.  “I know you’re in there.”

  “I’m coming.  I’m coming,” Volstagg murmured.

  He unlocked the door and opened the door slightly.  Several alphas pushed the doors open fully.

  Volstagg stumbled backwards with Odin stepping inside the room.

  The other alphas’ eyes widened as they stared down Fandral.  Their faces grew darker before they all turned and left the room.  One of them stayed behind, keeping his head down.

  “Take him back to your room,” the alpha ordered before he, too, left the room.

  “It’s about a fucking time,” Odin said as he turned away.

  “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Volstagg asked as he lifted Fandral into his arms.

  “It means that you’ve been sitting back, twiddling your thumbs, for so fucking long, I thought Fandral was gonna find another alpha to fuck him.”

  Volstagg frowned as Odin stepped out of the room.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki smiled to himself as he continued down a hallway.  He rounded a corner.

  Someone slammed into him.

  “Oh, I’m so so—,” Loki started, but he stopped when he looked up at Nirn.  “Sorry.”  Loki’s cheeks turned a dark purple colour.

  “Prince Loki.”  Nirn bowed his head.  “I thought King Laufey ordered two guards by your side at all times.”

  “He did.”  Loki lowered his gaze.  “Excuse me.”

  Loki tried to step around him, but Nirn caught his wrist.

  “Please, wait!” Nirn cried.  “There’s something I need to tell you.”

  Loki frowned, swallowing hard, as he stared at him.

Chapter Text

  Loki’s heart pounded in his chest as Nirn stepped closer.

  Nirn pulled Loki’s entrapped hand against his chest, wrapping his free arm around the small of Loki’s back.

  “Please,” Nirn said.  “You must believe me.”  He pulled Loki tight against his chest.

  “Stop,” Loki gritted, trying to push away.  His stomach turned as Nirn’s scent grew stronger.

  Nirn only held him tighter.

  “Thor doesn’t love you.  I know he doesn’t.”

  “Let go.”  Loki turned his head as Nirn pressed his face into Loki’s neck, scenting him softly.

  “I saw him with Den— going into your bedroom.  Please believe me.”

  Loki tried to push him away.

  Nirn pushed his forehead further into Loki’s nape.

  “I can help you.”  Nirn wrapped both of his arms around Loki’s back, pinning the smaller man to his chest.

  Loki’s soft honeyed scent surrounded them.

  “Let me go,” Loki repeated.

  “I can be your mate.”  Nirn ran his hand over the curves of Loki’s ass.

  Loki’s eyes widened.  He felt his stomach churn and twist.  He wanted to throw up.

  “I can take care of you.”  Nirn squeezed the taunt, round piece of flesh.  He opened his mouth and ran the tip of his tongue along Loki’s delicate skin.

  Loki’s eyes widened as his vision blurred.

  “Get off!  Please.”

  Nirn grazed his teeth on Loki’s skin.

  “Let go!”  Loki brought his leg up in between Nirn’s thighs.

  Nirn groaned as tears sprang from his eyes.

  Loki pulled out from Nirn’s grip as the other man fell to his knees, gripping himself in between his thighs.

  Loki turned and sprinted down the hallway before he turned down another hallway, slamming into another person.

  Bimr frowned as he stared down at Loki.

  Neither he nor Loki nor the two other guards said anything as Loki stepped closer and hugged him tightly.  His breathing was heavy.

  Bimr turned towards the two other guards and gestured with his head.  The two guards quickly hurried around the corner as Bimr stepped back from Loki, placing his hands on Loki’s shoulders.

  “Who?” Bimr asked.

  “Nirn.  He grabbed me— and-.”  Loki felt the blood drain from his face.

  “Are you hurt?”

  “No.  No, but he did scent me.  He even tried to—.”  Tears filled Loki’s eyes again.

  Bimr’s eyes widened.  His cedarwood scent grew bitter as he buried his face into Loki’s neck.

  He was mostly like a second father to Loki and his brothers and was a dear friend to Laufey.  Bimr is nearly family, technically he was family.

  Loki closed his eyes.

  Yes, this is fine.  Everyone, Loki included, would have him smell like an older widowed alpha who’s was a second father than some young unmated alpha who’s proven numerous times of being untrustworthy.

  Bimr rubbed his forehead against Loki’s neck.

  Loki’s heart slowed its beating as his breathing returned to normal.

  “C’mon,” Bimr said, wrapping an arm around Loki’s shoulders.  “Let’s find your father.”

  “Okay,” Loki murmured.

  Bimr tucked Loki underneath his arm as he lead him to where Laufey and his two older brothers were at the training grounds where several alphas practiced with each other.

  “King Laufey,” Bimr said.

  All three of them turned and looked at them.

  “What happened?” Helblindi asked as he stood from his seat.

  “It was Nirn,” Bimr answered.  “He tried to bond—.”

  “Find him!” Laufey ordered, bolting out of his seat.

  “I’ve already sent two of my men,” Bimr replied.

  “That won’t be enough,” Byleistr said, shaking his head.

  “I agree,” Laufey said.  “Get all the mated guards to search for him.”

  “Of course, your majesty,” Bimr asked.

  Helblindi turned to Loki.

  “Are you alright?” he asked.  “You’re shaking.”

  “Am I?” Loki replied.  “I haven’t realized.”

  Helblindi pulled Loki into his arms, rubbing Loki’s wrists, neck, and forehead.

  “Where’s Gærn?  Or Thor?” Laufey asked.  “Why weren’t they with you?”

  “They were in the kitchen,” Loki said, dropping his gaze and playing with his fingers.  “I was coming to tell you where we were going.  So you didn’t worry.”

  Laufey frowned softly.

  “Go on,” Laufey said.  “Bimr, lead him back.”

  “Yes, your majesty,” Bimr replied.  He tucked Loki underneath his arm again before they walked off.

  “Find him,” Laufey ordered, not looking at his two older sons.

  Helblindi and Byleistr glanced at each other with a smug look upon their faces before they both hurried off.

  Bimr quickly lead Loki back to the kitchen.

  Gærn, Den, and Thor all turned to them.

  “Are you okay?” Gærn asked, stepping closer.

  “Yeah,” Loki answered, waving his hand dismissively.  “Yeah.  I’m fine.”

  Loki pulled away from Bimr and stepped closer to Den.

  Gærn frowned as he stared at Bimr but said nothing.

  Bimr glanced towards Den who glanced away from him.  He sighed softly before he turned.

  “I’ll leave you to it,” Bimr murmured under his breath, leaving the room.

  Thor placed a hand onto Loki’s shoulder.

  “Are you okay?” Thor asked softly.

  Loki stared at him.

  “Yeah,” Loki said after a moment.

  “You wanna carry this?” Den asked Gærn, handing him the basket.

  She grabbed hold of Loki’s wrist and lead him out of the kitchen.  Gærn followed close behind.  Thor frowned, huffing harshly, before he went after them.

  Den and Loki lead Thor and Gærn out to the castle lake a good ways out behind the castle.

  Thor and Gærn both stared at Loki as they ate and talked and drank their lemonade.

  Loki remained eerily quiet, but he tried to remain to appear happy and content.

  It was a simple conversation, mostly about Den’s time being in the alpha’s tournament, how she met her husband, Vurtr, and how romantic them falling in love was.  Den was a true hopeless romantic.  Thor tried to remain in the conversation, but his attention was mostly on Loki’s lack of interest and attention on the conversation.  Their food slowly dwindled down, and their pitcher was fully drained.

  “We should start heading back,” Den suggested, packing up the basket.

  “I agree,” Gærn muttered, standing.

  Den stood as well, gripping the basket handle tightly.

  She and Gærn began to walk off as Thor grabbed hold of Loki’s wrist.

  Loki stared at him.

  “Tell me what happened earlier,” Thor said.  His sandalwood scent grew stronger.

  “Nothing,” Loki replied, shaking his head.

  Thor frowned softly.

  Loki sighed.  He stood on his toes, pecking a kiss on Thor’s lips.

  Thor grew bright red.

  “I promise,” Loki said.  “Nothing happened.”

  Thor cleared his throat.  He wrapped an arm around Loki’s waist and pulled him against his chest.

  Loki gasped when Thor covered his mouth with his own.

  Loki’s eyes widened.

  Thor pushed his tongue past Loki’s lips and touched his tongue.

  Loki ran his hands up Thor’s broad chest.

  Thor lowered his hand, cupping Loki’s ass.

  “You fucking bastard,” a voice behind them nearly shouted.

  Thor and Loki jumped back away from each other.  Their faces grew hot with embarrassment.

Chapter Text

  Loki and Thor turned to see Gærn standing a few yards behind them.

  “Gærn!” Loki cried.

  “I turn my back for a few minutes, and you just had to make your move, didn’t you?!”  Gærn kept his gaze firmly on Thor as he made his way over to him.

  “Gærn, stop it,” Loki ordered.

  “You should listen to your cousin,” Thor warned, clenching Mjolnir’s handle even tighter.

  “You should keep your hands off of him,” Gærn spat back.

  “Gærn, please!” Loki shouted, reaching out to him.

  Gærn stepped towards Thor, raising his fists.

  Thor was the one to throw the first punch.

  “Thor, please!” Loki cried.

  Gærn quickly returned the hit.

  “Stop it!”  Loki turned to his cousin and grabbed hold of Gærn’s arms.

  Gærn shoved Loki backwards.

  Loki groaned when he struck the ground.

  Thor lunged at Gærn, grabbing hold of his shirt collar.

  Gærn gritted his teeth when they fall to the ground.

  Thor straddled him.  He slammed his fist down onto Gærn’s face.

  “Stop it!”  Loki jumped to his feet.  “Thor, please!”

  His words fell on deaf ears.

  Gærn raised his knee, striking Thor in between his thighs.

  “Argh!” Thor cried.

  Gærn grabbed a fistful of Thor’s blonde hair and yanked Thor off of him.  He brought his fist against Thor’s jaw.

  Loki’s heart pounded in his head.

  The sound of the two alphas growling at one another, trying to get the other to submit.

  Burnt sandlewood and burnt birch lingered in the air like a heavy cloud.  Honey bled into the cloud.

  “Stop it!” Loki cried again.  Tears fell from his eyes.

  Thor raised his legs in between his and Gærn’s bodies.  Thor kicked Gærn off of him.

  Gærn stumbled backwards as he and Thor found their footing.

  Loki grabbed hold of Thor’s arm.

  “Thor, please,” Loki begged.

  Thor barely glanced at him as he removed his arm from Loki’s grip, pushing Loki back only slightly.

  Gærn went for Thor.  He threw out his fist.

  “No!” Loki shouted, stepping in between Gærn and Thor.  He raised his hands.

  Gærn’s eyes widened as he tried to stop himself, but not quick enough.

  Though not with his entire force, Gærn struck Loki in his nose.

  Thor’s eyes widened as Loki fell backwards.  Thor caught Loki in his arms.

  Loki held his nose.  Tears filled his eyes.

  Gærn dropped his fist.

  “Are you okay?!” Gærn asked.  “I’m so sorry!”

  Loki remained quiet.

  “”Are you hurt?” Thor asked.

  Loki lifted his hand.  Bright red blood smeared on his fingers and dripped from his nostrils.

  “Oh, geez,” Gærn muttered.

  Loki turned and stepped around Thor.

  “Loki!” Thor cried as he and Gærn followed after him.

  “Loki, please,” Gærn pleaded.

  Thor frowned as they heard Loki sobbing in his hand.

  Hoof beats approached quickly.

  They all paused.  Gærn and Thor held their breaths as Laufey, Bimr, and a few other guards came up.

  Laufey’s gaze went directly to his child.  Laufey’s eyes widened when Loki wiped his nose with the back of his hand, smearing blood over his skin.

  Laufey clenched his jaw as he dismounted his horse.  He made his way over to Loki before he pulled out a handkerchief.

  “Let me see,” Laufey said.

  Loki said nothing as he dropped his hand.

  His nose wasn’t broken or crooked.  Blood continued to trickle out of his nose.

  Laufey gently pressed the handkerchief on Loki’s nose.

  Loki replaced Laufey’s hand with his own.

  “Who did this?” Laufey asked, turning to Thor and Gærn.

  “I did,” Gærn quickly admitted.  “We got into a fight and—.”

  “Oh, I know that,” Laufey said.  He folded his arms over his chest.

  Gærn cleared his throat as he and Thor lowered their gaze.

  “Well,” Laufey murmured as he glanced at Bimr.  “I suppose a couple of days in the dungeons should teach you two how to play fair.”

  Thor and Gærn snapped towards him.

  Loki’s eyes widened.

  “What?” Thor asked.

  “No!” Gærn cried.

  Bimr chuckled softly.

  “Perhaps you should’ve thought of that before you decided to fight one another,” Laufey replied.

  Thor lowered his head again.  Gærn felt his face grow hot.

  “Father, please,” Loki said.

  “Don’t,” Laufey warned, turning towards him.  “I know what you’re going to say, but don’t.  What you said or did doesn’t excuse you being struck in the face.”  Laufey glanced at Gærn as he spoke.

  Gærn lowered his head as Thor raised his.

  “King Laufey, I apologize for what happened,” Thor said.  “Especially for what happened to Loki.”  Bimr narrowed his eyes at him.  Thor turned bright red under his gaze.  “Uh— Prince Loki.  I am truly sorry.”

  Laufey frowned at him.

  “Get them to the dungeons,” Laufey ordered, turning to Loki.  Laufey placed a hand on Loki’s shoulder.  “Put them in solitary confinement.”  Laufey turned away, bringing Loki along with him.  “Bad enough I have to look for Nirn, now I have to babysit you two to make sure you don’t rip each other’s head off.”  Laufey flashed a glare at Thor and Gærn.

  “Follow us,” Bimr ordered.

  “Kiss ass,” Gærn murmured as he brushed past Thor.

  Thor huffed before he followed after the others.

  Everyone remained quiet as they made their way back to the castle.

  Laufey led Loki away as Bimr and two other guards led Thor and Gærn down to the dungeons.

  It was much different from what Thor had thought it looked like, imaging his own dungeon back in Asgard.

  The dungeons was made from expertly carved stone.  There weren’t any bars or chains.  Only a cot with a simple blanket and pillow was in the corner as well as a small bucket.

  Only a few alphas were in their ‘cells’ that were only made up of four stone pillars.

  Bimr lead them further underground to an area with long hallways and isolated ‘cells.’

  The two guards took Gærn away down a hallway while Bimr took Thor down another.

  “Why aren’t there any bars?” Thor asked when they came to a stop.

  “We have our reasons,” Bimr answered, pulling a small gunlike item from his pocket.  “Expose your neck.”

  Thor obeyed.

  Bimr pushed away the strands of hair that laid on Thor’s neck.  He pressed the barrel of gunlike item against Thor’s skin.

  “I’m not gonna lie,” Bimr said.  “This’ll hurt like a bitch.”

  “What?”  Thor’s brow furrowed.

  Bimr didn’t give a response, only pressing a button.

  There was a soft whirling sound then sharp stinging pain.

  “Aw, fuck!” Thor cried, jumping back from him.  He scratched at his neck.

  Quick jolts of electricity shot into his fingertips.

  Bimr pulled out another item from his pocket, this time it being more of a remote.

  “It’ll shock you eveytime you touch it,” Bimr explained.

  “I realize that.”  Thor frowned hard.

  “Step inside the cell.”

  Thor did as he was told.

  Bimr fiddled with the remote in his hand.  The small light on the end of the remote began to glow.

  “There.  All done.”  Bimr turned away.

  “Wait.”  Bimr turned back.  “So, you’re just leaving?”

  “I don’t see why I won’t.”

  Thor chuckled.

  “I could just walk away.”  Thor stepped forward.

  Bimr arched his brow.

  “Can you?”

  “Of course I can.”  Thor stepped even closer.  “After you leave, I can just walk outta here.”  He stepped out past the stone pillars.

  The light and the device on Thor’s neck turned bright red, sending a large shock into Thor’s neck.

  Thor’ eyes widened.  His entire body trembled tremendously, so much so that he collapsed to the ground.

  Bimr stared down at Thor’s twitching body.

  “Are you gonna start walking or what?” Bimr asked.  He chuckled to himself.  “Oh, that’s right.”

  He reached down and grabbed hold of Thor’s ankle before he dragged Thor back into the cell.

  “There, there,” Bimr said as Thor began to cough and gasp for air.  “All better now.”

  Thor cleared his throat as he stood.

  “I can use this button here.”  Bimr pointed to a small blue button on the remote before pressing it.

  Another jolt of electricity shot through Thor’s neck.

  “Argh, fuck!”  Thor placed a hand on a wall to prevent himself from falling again.

  “If don’t want to feel that, I suggest you stay in line.”

  Thor stood up straighter, rubbing his neck with his hand.

  “I can tell why your son hates you now.”  Thor chuckled to himself.

  Bimr’s eyes widened before he slammed his fist against Thor’s cheek.

  Thor stumbled backwards, cupping his cheek.

  The blood drained from Bimr’s face as his eyes widened.  Bimr dropped his head.

  “I’m sorry,” Bimr grumbled.

  Before Thor had the chance to say anything, Bimr turned and hurried off.

  Thor groaned softly as he sat on the cot.

  “Fuck.”

  He laid back.

 

~~~~

 

  Laufey paced back and forth as Loki continued to hold the handkerchief to his nose.

  Den remained quiet, sitting in an armchair.

  “How can you say that it’s not a big deal?” Laufey scolded.

  “Because it’s not?” Loki replied.

  “You were hurt!” Laufey shouted, turning fully towards his child.

  “It’s just a bloody nose.”

  Laufey huffed as he rolled his eyes.

  “No injury to an omega is ‘just’ an injury.  It’s disrespectful.  Disgraceful.  Disgusting.  Other ‘dis-‘ words!”

  Loki and Den chuckled softly.

  “What would’ve happened if Den wasn’t there?  What would’ve happened if she didn’t come and get us?”

  Silence fell over them.

  “Can you—?” Loki started before he stopped and turned away.

  “What?” Laufey asked.  He stopped at Loki, staring at him.  “Can I what?”

  Loki hesitated for a moment before he looked up at his father.

  “Would it be too much to ask if you could possibly give them nicer pillows and blankets?  They are royalty after all.”

  Laufey frowned for a moment.

  “He’s right, you know,” Den added.

  “Yes,” Laufey grumbled.  “I know he is.”  He huffed again before he left the room.

 

~~~~

 

  Thor turned on the cot, rubbing his eyes.

  “Why did I say that to him?”

  Thor sat up, running his fingers through his hair.

  “Oh, I’m such a fucking idiot.”

  “I agree with that statement.”

  Thor looked up to see Laufey standing at the edge of his cell.  Underneath his arm was a thick cotton blanket and a fluffy goose feather pillow.

  “What are those for?” Thor asked.

  “They’re for you.”  Thor raised his brows.  “Don’t think I’m doing this.  It was your betrothed.  He wanted you two to be comfortable.  I suggest you thank him the next time you see him.”

  Laufey handed Thor the pillow and blanket.

  “I will.”

  Laufey continued to frown at Thor.

  “What?” Thor asked.

  “Don’t make me regret giving him to you.”

  Thor lowered his head.

  “Yes, sir.  I won’t.”

  “You better not.”

  Thor remained quiet as Laufey turned and left the cell.

Chapter Text

  Laufey banned Loki from seeing both Thor and Gærn, and Loki obeyed, mostly due to the fact that he was constantly watch over by not only his father but his brothers and Bimr as well.

  Loki kept himself busy reading, needleworking with Ivyrri and Kö, and talking to his cousins.

  Laufey kept his word and released Thor and Gærn from their cells.

  Loki eagerly waited for them, but so did Gærn’s parents, Allistr and Jy, though they were less eager.

  “Oh, fuck,” Gærn complained when he saw his parents.

  Thor raised his brows, staring at the alpha and omega pair.

  The woman, the alpha, was significantly taller than her mate, though it might have been because of her heels.  Her dark chestnut brown hair flowed down past her bottom like a horse’s mane.  Her blue eyes were small for her long face.  Her mate, the omega male, had soft dirty blonde hair and wide amber brown eyes.

  They smelled like a mixture of deep oak and sweet bread.

  “Who are they?” Thor asked.

  “They’re my parents,” Gærn answered.

  “What the Hel is this talk about you hitting Loki?!” Jy scolded.

  Gærn frowned as the blood drained from his face.

  “It’s because it did happen,” Gærn admitted, rubbing the back of his head.

  Jy frowned.  Allistr’s eyes widened.

  “I’m sorry that an omega got in the way of your precious alpha ego!” Jy shouted, grabbing hold and twisted Gærn’s ear.

  “Aunt Jy,” Loki pleaded.

  “No, Loki,” Allistr said, placing a hand on Loki’s shoulder.

  Thor chuckled behind his hand.

  Jy snapped towards him.

  “Like you’re any better.”  Jy grabbed hold of Thor’s ear.  “You two are poor excuses for alphas.  Hurting an omega.”  She flashed a look at Loki, who averted his gaze, before she turned back to Thor and Gærn.  “No alpha would ever do that!”

  “That’s enough, Jy!” Laufey screamed, coming up from behind.

  Jy narrowed her eyes at him.

  “Let them go,” Laufey ordered.

  Jy frowned before she released the both of them.

  They both groaned and covered their ears.

  “I’ve already put them in a jail cell for a couple of days,” Laufey explained.

  “Oh, I know,” Jy replied, stepping closer.  “You don’t seem to have the spine to punish them personally.”

  Laufey remained quiet as he stared down at her.  He turned to Thor and Gærn.

  “The arena is open if you two wish to fight,” Laufey said.  “Don’t worry.  There’s no omegas that could get in your way.”  Laufey frowned at the both of them.

  Thor and Gærn lowered their heads.

  “It’ll be quite some time before either one of you could be alone with my son,” Laufey said, wrapping an arm around Loki’s shoulders.  He and the others turned and walked down the hallway.

  Thor frowned as he stared at Laufey’s back.

  Gærn began to walk off before Thor grabbed hold of his shoulder.

  “What?” Gærn snapped.  His brow furrowed.

  “Do you remember what King Laufey said the other day when he found us fighting?”

  Gærn frowned at him, thinking hard.

  “Bad enough I have to find Nirn, now I have to babysit you two to make sure you don’t rip each other’s heads off.”

  Gærn’s face relaxed, looking back at Thor.

  “Yeah,” Gærn answered.  “Why?”

  “Why would he say that?”  Thor released Gærn’s shoulder.

  “I dunno.  Why don’t you ask him?”  Gærn waved him off and began walking off again.

  “Don’t you find it odd?”

  Gærn paused.

  “Loki becomes eerily quiet, and now King Laufey is looking for one of his guards.  Coincidence much?”

  Gærn frowned as he thought about it.

  “What are you suggesting?  That Nirn attacked Loki, and he wouldn’t say anything about it?”  He whipped around as he spoke.

  “Perhaps.  What else could’ve happened?”  Thor shrugged his shoulders.

  Gærn fell quiet.  He stepped backwards before he turned and sprinted down the hallway.

  Loki turned at the sound of Gærn’s heavy footsteps.

  Gærn grabbed Loki’s shoulder before he pinned his cousin against the wall.

  “What happened that night?!” Gærn yelled.

  “Gærn!” Jy shouted.

  “Let him go!” Laufey ordered.

  “Stop it,” Allistr cried.

  “Tell me now!” Gærn demanded.

  “I-I—,” Loki choked.  A cloud of honey filled the air around him.

  “I said, let him go!” Laufey shouted again.  He stepped closer before forcing Gærn away from Loki.

  Gærn’s gaze remained fixated on Loki.  His face softened.

  “So, he did attack you?” Gærn asked.

  Loki gasped loudly as he turned back to him.  Tears fell from his eyes.

  Laufey wrapped his arms around his son.  He rubbed his chin against Loki’s forehead.

  “It really did happen?” Gærn repeated.

  “What did?” Allistr asked.

  “We’ll talk about this later,” Laufey said, narrowing his eyes at Gærn.  He turned, pulling Loki along with him.

  Gærn frowned as his heart sank into his stomach.

Chapter Text

  Loki continued to sob even as he sat with his brothers, Ivyrri, and Kö.  They all comforted him and hugged him and kissed him, though he still refused to explain what happened.

  Yrbe and Heitt came up to him.

  “What's going on?” Yrbe asked.

  “We don’t know,” Helblindi said.  “He won’t tell us.”

  Heitt frowned as she stepped closer to Loki and kneeled in front of him.

  “Darling, please,” Heitt said.  “Don’t cry.  There’s lots of things that you can be happy for.”

  Loki glanced at her.

  “Like you’ll be marrying a prince,” Heitt continued, “and not some barmaid.”  She glanced at Kö as she spoke before turning back to her grandson.

  Kö lowered her head.  Her face burned with embarrassment.

  Byleistr stepped closer.

  “Ma’amma, stop it,” Byleistr ordered.

  Heitt scoffed as she turned towards him.

  “Why are you getting so defensive?” Heitt asked.  “She’s nothing compared to us.”

  Kö stepped backwards.

  Ivyrri and Helblindi stepped closer to her.

  Loki glanced up at her.

  Bitter apricots and burnt mahogany blended in the air.

  “She is my wife!” Byleistr declared.  “I will continue to stand by her side regardless of who stands against us.”

  Heitt frowned at him.

  “Need I remind you of where your grandparents came from,” Yrbe reminded.

  “Well, I wasn’t royalty when you married me,” Heitt retorted.  “There’s no way Byleistr would’ve married her without having put his knot inside her first!”

  Kö burst into tears.

  “Heitt!” Yrbe scolded.

  Byleistr turned to his wife, for her to only push him away and run off.  He turned back to his grandmother.

  “How could you?!” Byleistr cried.  “It’s been taking me five years to convince her that she belongs here, and you destroy it.  You destroyed it within a few minutes.  Do you understand how hard that is?”

  Heitt opened her mouth to say something.

  “No!” Byleistr cried.  “I’ve tried to keep the rumors and the backtalk and the whispers at a minimum, and you talk so openly about this that it makes me sick.  I’m just so done with you.”

  He turned and hurried after Kö.

  Ivyrri groaned as the three babies inside him twisted and turned uncomfortably.

  Helblindi placed a hand on Ivyrri’s stomach.  He pressed his face against Ivyrri’s neck, smoothing him with his scent.  The babies soon stopped squirming and relaxed.

  “I—,” Heitt began.

  “Don’t,” Yrbe ordered.  “You caused this.  Now you have to clean the mess up.”

  “I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong,” Heitt replied, shaking her head.

  “Please just go,” Loki asked, not looking up at her.

  Heitt huffed, looking down at him.  She turned to the others.

  They all avoid her gaze.

  “Fine!” she cried before she stormed out of the room.

  Yrbe stepped towards Ivyrri and Helblindi.

  “I’m sorry about that,” Yrbe said.  “I wish she wasn’t like this.”

  Ivyrri and Helblindi remained quiet as they stared at him.

 

~~~~

 

  “Stop,” Byleistr cried, chasing after Kö down a hallway.  “Stop!”  He grabbed hold of her arm.

  “She’s right.”  Kö lowered her head as the tears continued to flow down.

  “No.  She’s not.”

  “She is!”  Kö looked at him.  “They’re all right.  I don’t deserve this.  I don’t deserve any of this— you.”

  Byleistr pulled her against his chest.  He stroked her head.

  “No, no.  You deserve everything in this world.”

  Kö shook her head.

  “You are beautiful.  You are special, and I love you.”  Byleistr rubbed his lips against the side of her head.  “Do you want me to show you how much I love you?”

  Kö remained quiet as Byleistr wrapped his arms around her thighs and lifted her into his arms.

  She wrapped her arms around his neck.

  He carried her to their bedroom before he locked the door behind them.

  Kö moaned softly as Byleistr laid her on the oversized bed.  His hands gingerly ran down her body.  He gripped the bottom of her dress and pushed it up her long, elegant legs, his second favorite part of her.  The first being her eyes: a soft and gently sea foam blue.

  She reached up to free her platinum blonde hair from her short ponytail.

  Byleistr grabbed her undergarments and shimmied them down her legs before tossing them onto the floor.  He ran kisses up the length of her leg.

  Kö gasped, trying to keep quiet.

  “No,” Byleistr said, lifting his head.  “Don’t be quiet.  I love the little sounds you make, and I want everyone to know how well I please you.”  He smiled at her.

  Kö’s cheeks grew hot.

  Byleistr lowered his head again.

  Kö gasped as he kissed her in between her thighs.  Her eyes rolled to the back of her head.

  Over the past five years, Kö learned how skilled Byleistr was with his mouth.  She lost the amount of times she came by only his mouth.

  Kö threw back her head, arching her back, as she gripped the blanket underneath her.

  Byleistr pushed a finger inside her as well as his tongue.

  Kö cried out.

  Byleistr pushed his tongue as deep as he could inside her, adding an additional finger.

  Kö moved her legs onto his shoulders as she ran a hand up underneath her dress and bra and the other down to the back of Byleistr’s head.  She ran her fingers through his hair, running her nails along his scalp.

  With the other hand, she pinched her hardening nipple, caressing and messaging her breast.  She moaned and mewled softly.

  Byleistr removed his mouth.

  Kö groaned, looking up at him.

  “You’re not gonna finish like that,” he said with a wicked smile.  He helped her remove the rest of her clothing.

  Her chest heaved.

  Byleistr ran the tip of his tongue over her nipple, illiciting a soft moan from his wife.  His remained inside her, pushing, stretching, caressing her insides.

  Her toes curled into bedsheet.

  Byleistr brought her nipple in between his teeth.  He removed his mouth and smiled down at her.

  “What?” Kö asked.  Her cheeks began to burn again.

  “I was just thinking.”  He glanced away from her.

  “About what?”

  “Just about Helblindi and Ivyrri.”  He paused.  “And their pups.”  He ran a hand over her stomach.  “Perhaps you’d like to have one of our own?”

  Kö’s eyes widened.  If she did have a pup with him, she would be definitely his.  No one would talk about her;  no one would be stupid enough to continue to spread rumors about her.

  If anyone thought that Byleistr was protective of her, they would be stupid if they tried to verbally attack her, especially their possible pups.

  Kö smiled at him.

  “Okay,” she said.  “We can try.”

  If she had his pup, then no one would say anything about her.

  She smiled even wider at the thought.

  Byleistr smiled as he sat back on his ankles, pulling off his shirt.  He stood from the bed and took his trousers off.

  Kö’s mouth watered when she saw her husband’s erect cock.

  “Please,” Kö pleaded, spreading her legs.  “I want you.”

  Byleistr quickly found himself in between her legs, pushing himself inside to her all the way to his hilt.

  Kö cried out at the intrusion, squeezing her eyes shut.

  “Damn,” she murmured.

  Byleistr’s eyes widened.  He pulled out of her before pushing back in.

  Kö moaned out loud.

  The bed rocked with their movements.  Their moans and gasps filled the entire room.

  Heat pooled in her stomach.

  Byleistr picked up his speed.  The slide became a slap with the headboard striking the wall with every bit of movement.

  Kö wrapped her legs around Byleistr’s waist.  Her hands ran down the length of his back.

  He lowered her and captured her lips.

  She drove her nails into his skin, throwing back her head and crying out.  She seemed to tighten around him, squeezing him tightly inside.

  Byleistr tensed and shuddered.  His knot swelled and caught inside of her.  He filled her completely with his seed.

  Kö shuddered with the warm sensation filling her.

  Byleistr laid on top of her, gasping for air.

  Kö wasn’t sure when they both fell asleep.  She wasn’t sure on how long they slept, but when she woke up, his knot was deflated, and he laid on his side of the bed.

  She frowned at the sight of him smiling in his sleep.  Perhaps he dreaming of him in the future playing with his pups.

  Kö turned to the nightstand beside the bed and opened the drawer.

  Her gaze fell to the package of birth control.  She would need to take another pill in a few hours.  If she wasn’t a barmaid, perhaps she wouldn’t be so hesitant on burdening Byleistr with her child.

Chapter Text

  Kö frowned at the package of birth control in her hand.

  A knock came at the door.

  She frowned even more, placing the birth control in her drawer and stood as she closed it.  Mostly.  She threw a robe on, tying the belt tightly, and went to the door, opening it slightly.

  Helblindi stood close to the door before he glanced down at her.

  “What do you want?” Kö asked.

  “May I come in?” Helblindi asked, pushing his way into the room.

  “Uh... sure.”  Kö closed the door and turned towards him.

  He looked around as he made his way over to the bed.

  Kö gathered the clothes on the floor in her arms before she placed them in a basket.

  “I’m gonna brush my hair,” Kö murmured as she walked past him.

  Helblindi watched her walk into the conjoined bathroom.  She grabbed the silver hairbrush and ran it down her golden locks.

  He turned his attention on his sleeping brother in the bed before he turned his head.  His gaze fell on the open drawer in the nightstand.  He frowned as he glanced at Kö.  Helblindi turned back to the drawer and opened it some more.

  His eyes widened at the sight of the birth control.  He grabbed hold of the package and stepped closer to Kö.

  “What is this?” Helblindi asked.

  Kö glanced at him, still brushing her hair.  Her gaze fell to the birth control in his hand.  Her hand stilled.  She placed the hairbrush on the bathroom counter.

  “Give that here!” she cried.

  Helblindi only raised the birth control over his head as she reached for it in vain, even standing on her toes.

  “Please,” Kö begged.  “Just give it.”  Tears formed in her eyes.

  “Why do you have this?” Helblindi asked.

  Kö froze.  Her eyes widened.

  “Why do you have this?!”  A vein bulged in his forehead.

  “Shh!”  Kö glanced at the bed as Byleistr shifted, turning his back to them.  “Please.  Please don’t tell him.”

  Tears fell from her eyes.

  “Tell me,” Helblindi ordered.

  “I can’t.”  She shook her head.  “I can’t have his pups.”

  Helblindi’s eyes widened.  His shoulders fell as he lowered his hand.

  “Why?” he asked.

  Kö’s bottom lip trembled.

  “You heard Heitt.  I’m just a barmaid.  No amount of silk dresses, fancy jewelry, or expensive perfume would ever change that.”  She glanced at her husband.  “I don’t deserve him.  If we have pups—.”

  “Stop it!”  Helblindi grabbed her arm with his free hand.

  Kö’s eyes widened.

  “You’re his wife, whether you like or not.  It doesn’t matter what you were before.  You’re a princess now.  No matter what people say, what you or other people think of yourself, my brother would ever abandon you.  If he didn’t want you, then he wouldn’t have picked you to be his omega.”

  “But I’m a barmaid.”

  “You’re no longer a barmaid!”

  Kö fell quiet.

  “Even if nobody likes it, you’re here now.  Doesn’t matter where you come from.  If you have pups with him, no one will look down at them.  If they do, I’ll deal with them personally.”

  Kö lowered her gaze.

  “Just don’t tell him.”  She raised her head.  “He doesn’t know.  Let me fix this.”

  Helblindi frowned down at her.

  “I can’t ask the royal medic.  I have to ask someone else to help me.”

  “Who?”

  “I can ask my family doctor.  He’ll help me.”

  Helblindi lowered his gaze.

  “Get dressed,” he ordered, turning away from her.  “I’m taking you back today, and you’re gonna fix it.”

  Kö frowned.

  “Okay,” she replied.

  “I’ll be outside.”  Helblindi turned and left the room.

  Kö frowned when Helblindi closed the door behind him.  She quickly dressed and stepped out to the hallway.

  “C’mon,” Helblindi said.

  Kö followed after him, not looking back at her bedroom door.

 

~~~~

 

  By the time Thor came to Loki’s side, the younger man had already calmed down, mostly due to his cuddling with his brother-in-law and his grandfather.

  “I’m sorry,” Thor said, lowering his gaze as his face grew hot.

  Loki raised his head as he, Ivyrri, and Yrbe glanced at him.

  “Why are you apologizing?” Yrbe asked.

  “Because I’m the person who put those thoughts in Gærn’s head,” Thor explained.  He looked up as Loki glanced away.  “I’m sorry.”

  “Okay,” Loki murmured.  He stood from his seat.  “I’m gonna go see Den.  She said that she wanted to talk to me.”

  “I’ll take you,” Yrbe said, standing as well.

  Thor frowned as they walked out of the room.

  “Don’t worry,” Ivyrri said.

  Thor glanced at him.

  “He doesn’t hold it against you,” Ivyrri continued.

  Thor frowned slightly.  His gaze fell onto the omega’s large, rounded stomach.

  “How many are you having?” Thor asked, sitting next to him.

  “Three.”  Ivyrri smiled wide.  “Three little boys.  We’ll know in a few weeks what dynamic they are.”

  “What are you hoping for?”

  “I want an omega.  I want at least one of them is an omega.”  He ran his hand over his stomach.

  “Are you two gonna have any more?”

  “Maybe.”  Ivyrri smiled.  “But not for quite some time.”

  “Obviously.”

  The two of them chuckled.

  “Obviously,” Ivyrri said.  He glanced at Thor.  “How many do you want to have?”

  “I dunno.”  Thor thought for a moment.  “Maybe three or four.”

  “That’s nice.”

  Thor shifted on the couch so he faced Ivyrri better.

  “Tell me about yourself,” Thor said with a smile.

  “Wha—?”  Ivyrri looked at him.  His face grew a dark purple.  “What do you wanna know?”

  “I dunno.  What was your childhood like?”

  “Well, I have two older alpha siblings, a brother and sister.  Twins, Nygr and Reynn.  Our parents died when I was little in a carriage accident.  We were taken in by our grandparents who lived together in the city outside the castle.  My grandfather on my mother’s side was one of the judges on the royal court.”

  “When did you meet Helblindi?”

  “When I was eight, and he was nine.  He was so kind to me.”  Ivyrri smiled.

  “That sounds nice.  I mean, not the part of your parents dying, but everything else.”

  “Yeah.”  Ivyrri glanced away from him.

  “I’m sorry.  It was stupid of me to ask.”

  Ivyrri remained quiet.

 

~~~~

 

  It took only an hour for Helblindi and Kö to travel to her hometown.  It was a moderate sized town with large wooden and brick buildings with long brick roads.

  Kö stuck her head out the window as they passed her family’s tavern.  Her father kept himself focused on the task he gave himself: sweeping the front porch.  She frowned when he didn’t look up from the broom.

  She sighed as she sat back into her chair.

  “You okay?” Helblindi asked, staring at her.

  “I’m fine.”  She refused to look at him.

  It was another ten minutes before they arrived at the doctor’s building.

  Kö was hesitant, but with Helblindi urging her on, she stepped inside.

  The doctor sat up and smiled when he saw her.

  “Kö!” he cried, going over to her and hugging her tightly.  “It’s so good to see you again.  How are you?”

  “I’m good,” Kö answered as they pulled away from him.

  “Sorry for the intrusion,” Helblindi said.

  “No, no, it’s fine!” the doctor cried.  “What do you need?”

  Helblindi glanced down at Kö.

  “I want to get off of my birth control,” Kö explained.

  The doctor’s face twisted in confusion.  He glanced from Kö to Helblindi then back to the young omega.

  “May I speak to you in private please?” the doctor asked.

  “Of course,” Kö answered after a moment.

  The doctor wrapped his arm around Kö’s shoulders and lead her into an isolated office, closing the door behind them.  He lowered the shade before turning to her.

  “I know that many omegas feel as if they’re obligated to have children, but you don’t have to.”  He sat down at his desk.  “Is that alpha out there forcing you to do this?”

  Kö’s eyes widened.

  “No.  He’s not forcing me.”

  The doctor stared at her for a moment.

  “If he is, you know you can tell me.  Everything you say is completely confidential.  If he is, you can trust me.”

  “No, no.”  Kö shook her head.  “He’s not forcing me to do this.”  She sighed softly.  “I want to do this.”

  The doctor drew his lips into a tight line.

  “Okay,” the doctor said.

  He stood and left the room before he returned with a jar of white powder.

  “What is that?” Kö asked.

  “It’s heat inducer.  The more you take the sooner your heat will come.  A regular dosage is a tablespoon at every meal time, taking around three days to come.  If you take two tablespoons three times a day, your heat will come within a day and a half.  Seeing how you’ve been taking birth control for five years, you’ll need to take it in order to refertilize yourself.”

  “Okay, but what if I want it to come right away?”

  “It’s not recommended to take more than six tablespoons in a single day.”

  “I understand.”

  “This is six cups or ninety six tablespoons, more than enough for you to get pregnant.  The jar is marked at every half cup and full cup, so you can see how much you have left.  We usually give a lot if a couple wants to get back on birth control if and when a pup is born and later decide have another.”

  “Thank you.”  Kö took the jar and nodded her head.  “How much is this?”

  “A little under forty crowns.”

  “Alright.”

  They stepped out of the office.  Helblindi paid for the medicine before they took the hour long carriage ride back to the castle.

  “I’m nervous,” Kö said, pulling on Helblindi’s sleeve.

  “Why?”  He frowned at her.

  “What if he finds out?  What if he sees this?  I can’t hide it as easily as the pills.”

  “Don’t worry.  Just place it in the same place as you hid the pills.  He won’t do something if you ask him not to.  You must have realized by now that you have him wrapped around your little finger.”

  Kö nodded her head slightly.

  Helblindi tilted his head upward, catching a certain scent in the air.

  Hot melted iron.

  Helblindi frowned hard.

  “Go inside,” Helblindi ordered, pushing her with his hand.

  Kö remained quiet as she did as she was told.

  Helblindi placed his fingers into his mouth, whistling sharply.

Chapter Text

  Guards hurried to Helblindi’s side.

  “What's the matter?” Bimr asked.  He only need to sniff the air.

  He growled softly.

  “Exactly,” Helblindi said.  He was the first chase after the scent.

  Helblindi’s chest pounded in his chest.

  The scent kept getting stronger and stronger.

  Helblindi’s eyes burned with anger.

  The scent disappeared when they came to a river.

  Bimr’s eyes widened as Helblindi frowned hard.

  “Don’t worry,” Bimr assured.  “We’ll find him.”  He turned towards the other alphas.  “Fan out and find him!”

  The alphas did as they were told while Helblindi stared down at the water.

  “I’ll take you back,” Bimr said.

  Helblindi said nothing as Bimr directed him back towards the castle.

 

~~~~

 

  Kö clung to the jar of heat inducer, covering it as much as she could underneath her cloak.

  “Whatcha hiding?” a voice said behind her.

  She froze and spun around on her heals.

  An omega, the same age as her, but taller.  The omega’s brownish-black hair flowed around her heart shaped face.  Her grey eyes fit snugly in her face.

  Kö’s face grew hot underneath Dennle’s gaze.

  “Nothing,” Kö answered, stepping back.  She lowered her gaze.

  “Princesses don’t lower their gazes,” Dennle explained, clasping her hands together.  “Their backs are straight;  their heads are up, and their eyes are forward.  Not that you would know that, seeing how you were trained to be a barmaid, not a princess.”

  Kö frowned at her.

  “I suppose you’re angry with me?” Kö asked.  “You think I stole your spot?!”  Tears brimmed her eyes.

  “Why would you think that?” Dennle asked.  “Because you’re a princess and I’m not?”

  Kö blinked at her.

  “Aren’t you though?”  Kö stepped back from her.

  Dennle inhaled softly.

  “Because I never was.  I was angry with you.  Back five years ago, I didn’t want to marry Byleistr, but my parents told me I had to.”  She paused.  “I told myself that I loved him.  Convinced myself that I did, but when I saw him come in first, I was disappointed.  Then, I saw him look around.”

  Dennle smiled at her.

  “He was looking for you.  I knew that, and I was happy again.”

  Kö turned her head away from her.

  “What are you hiding?” Dennle asked.

  “Nothing.”  Kö clung to the jar of heat inducer.

  Dennle frowned at her.

  “Alrighty then,” she said, stepping around her and walking off.

  Kö frowned hard before she hurried off to her bedroom.

  Byleistr still slept soundly in the bed as Kö hurried to her nightstand.

  He stirred at the sound of the drawer opening.  He turned over.

  Kö slammed the drawer shut.

  “Whatcha hiding?” Byleistr asked.

  “Nothing.”  Kö’s face grew hot.

  Byleistr frowned as he sat up on his forearms.

  “Are you okay?” he asked.

  “Of course.”  Kö faked a smiled as she sat down on the bed beside him.

  Byleistr sat up fully, cupping her cheek with her hand.

  “You know, you can tell me anything.”  He smiled at her.

  “I know.”  She covered his hand with her own.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki and Den watched over the alphas fighting in the arena.

  “Do you want him to win?” Den asked after a moment.

  “Who?  Thor?”

  “No.  The blonde Asgardian alpha prince.”  She stared at him.

  Loki turned away, blushing profusely.

  “I dunno.  A part of me wants him to.”

  “But?”  Den leaned forward.

  Loki sighed.  “I’m not sure.  Everything happened so suddenly that it—.  I wished there was more time.”

  Den frowned before she reached over and rubbed Loki’s back.

  “There’s still sixteen days left until the tournament.  Who knows what might happen in that amount of time?”

  “I know.”  Loki clenched the skirt of his dress.  “I just—.”  Loki frowned.  “I just wish there was more time.”

  “It’s understandable, but you need to give him a chance.  You know what’s going to happen, so it’s only best to make the most of it.”

  Loki remained quiet.  He turned his attention to the alphas fighting in the arena.

  His cousin and Den’s younger sister, Mÿt, had joined the others.

  “Hey, guys,” Helblindi said as he and Bimr came up behind them and sat down beside them.

  “Hello,” Den said.  “Did you have a nice day?”

  “Not really,” Helblindi grumbled, leaning his head onto his knuckles.

  “Aw,” Den said.  “It’ll get better.  I promise.”

  Her words seem to fall on deaf ears, and Helblindi seemed to be more focused on the alphas fighting in the arena.

  “They’re shit,” Helblindi said.

  Den smacked him across his chest.

  Helblindi only smiled at her before he glanced at Bimr.

  “Show em how it’s done,” Helblindi suggested.

  Bimr smiled a little as he turned, walked off, went down the stairwell, and entered the arena.

  Helblindi, Den, and Loki all leaned forward in interest.

 

~~~~

 

  “Because of you, Laufey doesn’t want me around Loki for the time being,” Gærn complained as he and Thor walked down a corridor to the fighting arena.

  “My fault?!  How is that my fault?  I didn’t make you run up to him and demand to know what happened!”

  Gærn frowned at him.

  The alphas in the arena cheered loudly.

  They turned as they stopped at the door and stepped out.

  The arena was large, nearly as big as the reception hall in the castle, both in width and in length.  There was a balcony for people, mostly omegas, to come and watch from a safe distance and cheer on their alpha.

  Many alphas were in the large circle, and they backed up as an older alpha stepped towards the middle of the arena.

  The alpha removed his gold-coated helmet, revealing his bold red hair that began to grow white at his temples.  His gold plated armor fit well around his long, lithe body.  His face showed all of his forty-nine years and the stress of running an entire kingdom’s army, but his large hazel brown eyes still clung to his youth.

  “Perhaps one of you would like to fight some old man!” Bimr shouted out.  He looked from alpha to alpha with a smile.

  All the alphas stepped back, lowering their gazes.

  They all knew that it perhaps wouldn’t be wise to challenge him.  Though he might seem old and frail, he moves as quick and as powerful as the younger soldiers.

  Thor glanced around.

  The alphas continued to back away.  A few alphas even turned fully away from him.  Even Gærn remained quiet.

  Thor glanced up at the balcony to where Loki sat on the other side of the arena.  He smiled.

  Could be a chance to impress him with my fighting, Thor thought.

  “I’ll do it!” Thor shouted, raising his hand.

  Gærn’s eyes widened.

  Both Helblindi and Bimr smiled.

  Thor stepped forward as they others backed out of the arena.

  “This’ll be fun,” Helblindi said, sitting up and smiling wide.

Chapter Text

  Thor stepped closer as the other alphas left the arena.

  Bimr smiled as his gaze remained fixated on Thor.

  “You sure you want to do this?” Bimr asked.

  “Oh, yeah.”  Thor glanced up at Loki and winked at him.

  Both Helblindi and Den turned slowly towards him.

  Loki’s cheeks grew hot as he shifted in his seat.

  Thor turned back to Bimr as the older man raised his fists.

  “You ready?” Bimr asked with a smile.

  “I am.”  Thor raised his fists as well.

  “Alrighty then.”

  Bimr was the first to take a swing.

  Thor pulled back.  He aimed for Bimr’s chest.

  Bimr moved back.  He raised his foot and kicked Thor in his chest.

  Loki gasped softly.

  Thor stumbled backwards.

  “Ow,” Thor complained, pressing his hand against his chest.  “That fucking hurt.”

  “You wanna stop?” Bimr asked with a smile.

  “Norns no.”

  Thor stepped closer to him.

  Bimr, once again, was the first to take a swing.

  Loki sat on the edge of his seat, gripping the balcony’s railing.

  Thor gripped the handle of Mjolnir and raised the hammer above his head.

  Bimr grabbed hold of a shield.

  The metal chimed when Mjolnir struck the shield.  A chime that echoed throughout the entire arena.

  Bimr swung the shield, striking Thor’s hammer.

  Mjolnir fell from Thor’s hand as Thor stumbled backwards.

  Bimr brought the shield against Thor’s face.

  Blood spurted from the end of Thor’s nose.

  Loki gasped softly.  He rubbed his hand nervously.

  Den placed her hand onto his shoulder.

  Bimr swung the shield again.

  Thor grabbed hold of the large sheet of metal and tore it off of Bimr’s arm.

  Bimr slammed himself into Thor’s stomach.  They both fell to the ground.

  Thor raised his arms as Bimr raised his.  Thor covered his face as Bimr slammed his fist against Thor’s arms.

  Thor raised a leg.  He slammed his foot against Bimr’s chest.

  Bimr fell backwards.

  Their gazes locked.  They both jumped to their feet.

  Thor glanced at Mjolnir.

  No, he thought.  It wouldn’t get here in time.

  Thor backed up into a weapon stand.  He turned as Bimr ran at him.  Thor grabbed hold of a spear.  He turned and brought the tip of the spearhead against Bimr’s cheek.

  His dark indigo blue skin sliced open and bright red blood ran down his cheek.

  Bimr ran his fingertips along his wound.  He faced Thor.

  Neither one of them said anything as Bimr swung at him.

  Thor held the spear in the crook of his elbows behind his back

  Bimr grabbed hold of Thor’s undershirt and pulled him closer.

  Thor pulled from Bimr’s grip.  He slapped the older alpha in between his shoulders with the spear.

  Bimr stumbled forward.  He turned and swung out his leg, aiming for Thor’s head.

  Thor ducked.  He slammed the end of the spear against Bimr, pinning him between the spear and the weapon stand.

  “You know,” Thor said with a smile.  “You fight pretty well for an old man.”

  Bimr frowned at him.

  “Funny,” Bimr retorted.  “I could say the same thing about you.”  Bimr threw the spear off of him.  He swung at Thor.

  Thor pulled the spear in front himself.

  The sound of flesh hitting wood filled the entire arena.

  Bimr caught hold of the end of the spear and swung out his leg.

  Thor blocked Bimr’s kick with his arm.

  “Mm-hmm!”  Bimr broke the spear in half with the palm of his hand.  He tossed away the spear.

  Thor frowned hard.  His glanced at Mjolnir.

  They’re still too far away.

  Bimr grabbed hold of Thor’s arm.  He covered Thor’s jaw with his hand, folding the younger alpha backwards over his knee.

  Thor turned, falling onto his chest on the ground.

  Bimr grabbed hold of Thor’s other arm and pulled both of them back.  He placed his foot in between Thor’s shoulder blades.

  Both of them groaned out loud.

  “Stop!” Loki shouted without thinking.

  Den and Helblindi turned and looked at him.

  Bimr released Thor and stood.

  Loki lowered his gaze.

  Bimr turned back to Thor and smiled.

  “Good fight,” Bimr said, holding out his hand.

  “Same.”  Thor grabbed hold of Bimr’s hand before the older alpha helped him to his feet.

  Thor glanced up at Loki.

  “Not bad,” Gærn said as he came up behind Thor and threw an arm around Thor’s shoulders.  “Not bad at all.”

  Thor frowned as he glanced back up at Loki.

  “Yeah, sure,” Thor replied.  He shrugged.

  “Don’t be too hard on yourself,” Gærn said.  “Bimr’s one of the best fighters in the kingdom.  We’d be more concerned if you did beat him.”

  Thor remained quiet as he glanced once more at Loki.

 

~~~~

 

  Heitt stared at Kö and Byleistr’s bedroom door.  She sighed softly.

  “Hey,” she said, turning the handle and stepping inside.

  “Excuse you!” Kö shouted as she slammed the nightstand drawer shut.

  Heitt narrowed her eyes at her.

  The sound of running water came from the bathroom.

  “What are you hiding?” Heitt asked, stepping closer.

  “Nothing.”  Kö shook her head.

  Heitt glanced over Kö’s shoulder.

  A teacup filled with tea sat on a identically painted saucer.  A tablespoon sat next to the cup and saucer.  It still had remittances of the pure white powder.

  “What is that?” Heitt asked.

  “Nothing!”  Kö grabbed hold of the spoon and hid it behind herself.

  “Is that from a heat inducer?”  Heitt leaned closer.

  Kö’s face grew darker.

  Heitt shook her head.

  “I came here to apologize, but you have to go and be even more pathetic.”

  Kö’s eyes widened.

  “It’s an embarrassment when an omega has to rely on their heat in order to get pregnant.”

  Kö gritted her teeth.

  “Well, I’m sorry that I’m not what you expected!”  Her hands trembled.  “I’m sorry that I’m just a barmaid.  I’m sorry I wasn’t this special, high class omega who was groomed since birth to be a breeding mare.  I’m sorry I’m not the person you’ve invisioned for your grandson, but I’m here whether you like it or not, and we’re gonna have puppies together.”

  Heitt scoffed.

  “Like my grandson will put a pup in you.  Even in your heat.”

  “Well, you’re already too late.”  Kö narrowed her eyes at her.  “I’m off my birth control, and my heat will be coming within a day or two.  No doubt, we’ll be having a pup or two in nine months.  If we’re lucky, we’ll have three on the way.”

  Heitt frowned at her.

  Byleistr stepped from the shower as the two omegas argued.  He dressed quickly and stepped from the adjoining bathroom.

  Heitt turned as he did so.

  “Are you going to stand there and allow her to speak to me like this?!” Heitt scolded.

  Byleistr crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway.

  “Yeah.  She’s sexy when she’s angry.”  Byleistr winked at his wife.

  Kö’s face grew hot as she brushed back a strand of hair behind her ear.

  “Well!” Heitt cried.  She turned and stormed off.

  The door slammed behind her.

  Neither one of them glanced at each other for a moment.

  Byleistr huffed.

  “I’m sorry,” Kö said, finally looking at him.

  “What for?”  He turned towards her.

  “I got into an argument with your grandmother.”

  “It’s no big deal.  She’s a bit of a bitch.”

  Kö frowned as she sat down on the bed.

  Byleistr stepped towards her.

  “There’s more to it, isn’t there?”

  Kö remained quiet as she set the spoon on the nightstand.  She opened the drawer and pulled out the jar of heat inducer.

  “I was a birth control for five years.  I didn’t want to burden you with my puppies.”

  Tears filled her eyes.

  “Hey.”  He grabbed hold of her chin and turned her face towards him.  “You would never do any such thing.  I want children, and I want them with you and nobody else.”

  Byleistr wiped away the tears from her eyes with his thumbs.

  “Okay.”  She nodded her head slightly.  Kö set aside the jar and closed the drawer.  “Now what?”

  Byleistr smiled at her.

  “How about we don’t leave this room until we know damn well that we have a pup on the way?”

  Kö matched his smile.

  “Okay.  That sounds like a good idea.”

  “Good.”  He lifted his wife into his arms and folded her onto the bed.  “I like the idea of pleasing my omega.”

  He covered her mouth with his own.

Chapter Text

  For a whole week, Volstagg and Fandral remained in their room, mating with each other during Fandral until it stopped, and stayed inside for another day or so for their bodies to rest.

  Byleistr and Kö left their room as well a few days after them.

  Many alphas, including Thor, kept themselves busy either talking to omegas or fighting in the arena.

  “Hey,” Hogun said, when he saw Volstagg.  “How’d it go?”

  Volstagg’s face grew as red as his hair.

  “Oh, don’t be like that,” Thor said.  “Tell us.”

  Volstagg shook his head.

  “Never kiss and tell,” Volstagg said.

  Thor and Hogun groaned softly.

  “Hey, when you get your partner, you’ll be just like me,” Volstagg argued.

  “Can we at least see your bond?” Hogun asked.

  Volstagg stared at him for a moment before he pulled down his shirt collar, revealing a large reddish bump on his neck.

  “By the Norns,” Hogun said as he admired Volstagg’s bond.

  Volstagg covered his neck.

  “Now, can we get to practicing?” Volstagg asked as he stepped around them.

  Thor huffed as Hogun frowned.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki remained quiet as he gently touched the piano ivories.

  He sat alone in the music hall at the piano before the door opened, and Laufey stepped inside.

  “Good afternoon,” Loki said, turning to him.

  “What are you doing playing by yourself?” Laufey asked, sitting next to him.

  “Playing by myself.”  Loki turned by to the piano.

  Laufey frowned at him.

  “Why?” Laufey asked, arching a brow.

  “Because I want to.  It helps me to take my mind off of things.”

  Laufey frowned harder.

  “I know the events with Nirn and the other alpha have affected you—.”

  “Don’t, please.”  Loki rubbed his knuckles.  “I’m trying to get over it.”

  “Pretending that it didn’t happen doesn’t make it so.”

  “I know.”  Loki refused to look at him.  “I just—.”  Loki touched the piano ivory.

  The music tone echoed throughout the room.

  Laufey frowned at him.

  “Den is in the library.  If you want to talk to her.”

  “Okay.”  Loki pressed some more keys.

 

~~~~

 

  After nearly an hour and a half of practicing with each other, all three of them were covered in sweat and dirt.  Their chests heaved with every breath.

  Volstagg walked over to his towel before he wiped his face.

  Ri stared at him.

  He glanced at her before turning.

  “Hello,” Volstagg said.

  “Hi.”  Her cheeks coloured slightly before she sniffed the air.  Her face fell.  “You’ve bonded with someone?”

  “Yeah.”  Volstagg placed the towel around his neck.  “Why?”

  Ri lowered her head.

  “No reason.”

  Volstagg frowned at her.

  She turned away from him.

  “I’m gonna go,” she said, not looking at him.

  “Okay.”  Volstagg turned away.

  Ri glanced at him before she glanced down at her feet.  One of her feet caught on the other.

  She cried out as she stumbled forward and struck the corner of a table.

  Volstagg whipped around and rushed to her side.

  “Are you okay?” Volstagg asked, wrapping an arm around her little body.

  “No.”  She clung to him.  “My arm hurts.”

  “How about her head?”

  He brushed a hand along her cheek, pushing back the hair in her face.

  Ri gasped softly.  Her cheeks coloured.

  Volstagg’s eyes widened.

  Ri’s right eye didn’t match her left eye: a deep ocean blue.

  “Don’t,” Ri ordered, pulling back.  Her hair fell back to its original position.

  “Is that why you have your hair like that?” Volstagg asked.

  “Maybe.”  She kept her gaze away from him.

  Volstagg stared at her.

  “You don’t have to hide it.”

  Ri frowned.

  “Yeah I do.  It’s ugly.”

  “It’s not ugly.”

  Ri’s cheeks coloured even more.  A smile tugged at her lips.

  “Go on,” Volstagg said, setting her back onto her feet.  “Go have fun.”

  Ri stared at him for a moment before she turned and hurried off.

  “Aww,” Hogun said with a smile.  “You’ll make a good father.”

  Volstagg scoffed.

  “I doubt it.”

  Hogun frowned as Volstagg walked off.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki fiddled with his fingers as he walked down the hallway.  Bimr and another guard were only a couple of steps behind him.  Loki sighed softly.

  “Is something wrong, my prince?” Bimr asked.

  Loki stopped.

  “No,” he answered, shaking his head.  “Nothing’s wrong.”

  Bimr drew his lips into a thin line.

  A couple of alpha soldiers came up behind them.

  Bimr turned towards them.

  “Shift change, sir,” one of them said.

  Bimr frowned at him, but he said nothing as he stepped around them.

  “Where are we going, my prince?” one of the alphas asked.

  “The library,” Loki answered quickly.

 

~~~~

 

  Den and several other omegas and alphas either walked around or read in the seats.

  “Hey, Den,” Loki said.

  She looked up from her book and smiled at him.

  “Mind if I join you?” Loki asked.

  “I don’t mind.”

  Loki sat in front of her, sighed and stared out the window.  He rested his chin in the palm of his hand.

  “What’s wrong?” Den asked.  She closed her book and leaned in closer.  “You getting nervous?”

  Loki slowly nodded his head.

  “Don’t worry.  It gets from here.”

  Loki frowned.

  “What if he isn’t kind?  What if he’s not the alpha that he says he is?”

  Den frowned.  She placed a hand on his forearm.

  “I know there’s lots of stories of omegas being hurt by their alphas, but I feel like Thor would never do those to you.”

  “But what if he does.  I don’t have the strength to stop him.  I wouldn’t be able to run away either.  He’s faster than me.”

  “You have your magic.  He doesn’t have magic.”

  “But he does have Mjolnir.  Only he can lift it.”

  Den frowned.

  Loki looked at her.

  “Were you afraid?  When you married Vurtr?”

  “No.  I wasn’t.  I wasn’t afraid of him.”

  Loki continued to stare out the window.

  Den leaned closer.

  “Look, even if you are unsure, talk to him.  Express your concerns.  The best thing to make a relationship work is communication.  Talk to your father, to your brothers, and to Thor.  It’s better to talk about it than pretend that it’s okay.”

  Loki turned and looked at her.

  “What if—?”

  An alpha male burst into the library.  Sweat dripped from his body, and his chest heaved with every breath.  He held an eight month old omega baby on his hip, clinging him tight to his body.

  Both the alpha and the omega baby had bold red hair.  The alpha had hazel brown eyes while the omega had dark amber brown eyes.

  Aside from the age lines and whitening temples, Vurtr looked identical to Bimr.

  Vurtr hurried across the room as Den stood.

  “What’s wrong?” Den asked.  “Did something happen?”

  “Yeah,” Vurtr said.  “It’s Várn.”

  Den gasped.  Her gaze immediately went down to her baby.

  “How happened?  Is he sick?”

  She placed the back of her hand against her son’s forehead.

  “No, no,” Vurtr answered, shaking his head.  “It’s not that.”

  He stepped back a couple of feet before he placed his baby onto his feet and steadied him.

  “Go on,” Vurtr said, pushing Várn forward gently.

  Várn smiled up at his mother and stepped closer.  He reached out for her.

  “Mama,” Várn babbled, taking a few more steps.

  “Oh, baby!” Den cried.  Tears filled her eyes as she reached out her arms.

  Várn grabbed hold of one of her fingers with his hand and fell against her body happily.

  “He can walk,” Den said.

  Vurtr stepped closer.

  “I came as soon as I found out,” he explained.

  “Mama,” Várn said again, wrapping his arms around her neck.

  Loki frowned as he stared at them.  He sighed heavily.

  His stomach twisted into a knot.

Chapter Text

  Loki fumbled with his fingers.

  Laufey glanced from the alphas in the arena and looked at him.

  “What’s the matter?” Laufey asked.

  “Nothing.”  Loki shook his head.

  Laufey huffed.

  “I know something’s bothering you,” Laufey said, turning his attention to alphas fighting in the arena.  “You’re quiet.”

  “Can I not be quiet?”

  Laufey frowned.

  “No.  You may not, because when you’re quiet, something is wrong.  Now, what is it?”

  “It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling.  You, Helblindi, and Byleistr all make it quite obvious that what I’m feeling doesn’t matter.  I’m going to be marrying Thor, and he’s a prince, which makes him so much better than all the farmers and the blacksmiths in Jötunheim.  It doesn’t if I might be afraid of him.  It doesn’t matter if I don’t think I’m ready to marry someone, let alone have some puppies.  It doesn’t matter if I might not want to leave Jötunheim and everything I have ever known.  What I’m feeling doesn’t matter, because my alpha father and elder alpha brothers know what’s best for me.”

  The air around them was heavy with the scent of burnt honey.

  Loki kept his eyes on the alphas fighting in the arena.

  “So, that’s what’s bothering you?”  Laufey covered his face with a hand.

  Loki remained quiet.

  Laufey huffed.

  “Look,” Laufey said, turning towards him, “Thor won’t risk hurting you.”

  “I don’t care if he wouldn’t risk hurting me.  That’s not the problem.”  Loki lowered his head.  “If Thor takes away my magic, there’s nothing I can do to stop him.  He’s bigger than me, faster than me, stronger than me.  I can’t stop him.”

  Laufey drew his lips tight.  He reached over and grabbed hold of Loki’s arm before he pulled his son into his own lap.  Laufey wrapped his arms around Loki’s body and crooned softly in Loki’s ear.

  Loki frowned and sank into his father’s chest.

 

~~~~

 

  Fandral stared, gleefully, out of a large window, overlooking a beautiful, multicoloured flower garden.  He leaned back in his wheelchair.  One of his hands glided over his stomach.  His smile grew wider.

  “What are you smiling at?” Volstagg asked.

  “Nothing.”

  Fandral didn’t turn towards to him.

  Volstagg followed Fandral’s gaze.

  A pair of young children ran around, squealing with happiness and chased after butterflies.

  “Maybe one day,” Volstagg said, turning towards his mate.

  “Maybe sooner than you think.”

  Fandral glanced up at the taller man as Volstagg’s face grew as red as his bread.

  “It’s just a feeling,” Fandral added, “but I just feel them.”

  “Them?”  Volstagg arched an eyebrow.

  “Yeah.  I feel as if we’re having two.”

  Volstagg kneeled beside Fandral and placed a hand on Fandral’s stomach.

  “Two,” Volstagg repeated.

  “We’ll know for sure in seven weeks.”

  Volstagg only smiled in response.

  “We will.  When we get back to Asgard, we’ll have a big wedding.”

  “I don’t like big weddings.”

  “Then, we’ll have a small one.”

  “With only our friends and family?”

  “As many or as few people you’d like.”

  They both smiled at each other.  Volstagg leaned forward and kissed Fandral’s lips.

  “Ew, yucky!” Hogun slurred behind them.

  They both turned towards him.

  Hogun’s clothes were tattered and dirty as if he hadn’t changed his clothes from the sparring match from earlier.  He held the neck of a whiskey bottle.  Hogun leaned his back on the wall.

  Fandral covered his nose.  His stomach churned.

  “Have you been drinking?” Volstagg asked.

  “Maybe,” Hogun answered.

  “You reek of alcohol,” Fandral said.

  Hogun’s eyes filled with tears as he slid down the wall to the floor.

  “Oh, what’s the point?!” Hogun cried.  “After all of this, I’ll be the only single friend.  I’ll be the single friend.  You have Fandral.  Thor will have Loki.  Sif has Hela.  And, I have no one.  No one except this bottle.  Even that eventually leaves me.”  He took a long swig of his whiskey.

  Fandral and Volstagg glanced at each other then back at Hogun.

  “Don’t worry,” Fandral said with a smile.  “You’ll find someone.”

  Hogun frowned at him and sat up.

  “I’ve been waiting for twenty-two years.  If it has yet to happen, would it ever?”

  “Of course it will,” Fandral said.  “You just have to keep trying.”

  Hogun snored softly.

  “He fell asleep,” Fandral complained.

  “I’ll take him to his room,” Volstagg said, standing up.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki fell sound asleep in Laufey’s lap, and Laufey ran a hand over Loki’s hair.

  Helblindi stepped closer, wiping his sweaty face with a towel.

  “What happened with him?” Helblindi asked.

  “He got upset again,” Laufey answered, not looking up at him.

  Helblindi huffed.

  “Again?  I thought we talked about this.”

  Helblindi sat down in his chair as he spoke.

  “He did bring up some valid points,” Laufey said.

  “Don’t tell me you’re going back on your word.”

  “I’m not, but he does have a few good points.”

  Helblindi frowned.

  “Like what?”

  “Like how some alphas are abusive and cruel towards their omegas, treating them nothing more than trophies.”

  “Oh.  Those points.”  He shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

  “Yes.  Those.”  Laufey frowned.  “He can’t help but feel this way.  We don’t see every part of a person, so not matter how much we think we know a person.  We don’t see every part of Thor.”

  “I can go with him when Thor takes him to Asgard.”

  “No.  Your pups will be born roughly around that time.  I’ll have Byleistr do it.  He can bring Kö, and they can have a second honeymoon or something like that.”

  “Alright then.”

Chapter Text

  Thor huffed softly as he stared at the wooden door to the smoking room.  He gently turned the handle and opened the door, sitting inside.

  Laufey, Helblindi, Byleistr, Odin, and Bimr all sat around a table playing a card game.

  Both Laufey and Odin both had a glass of whiskey in front of them.  Bimr had a glass of brandy while Helblindi and Byleistr had only a glass of water.

  Odin took a buff of his cigar.

  A heavy cloud of smoke hung above their heads.

  “You wanted to see me?” Thor said, stepping closer.

  “Yes,” Laufey said, not looking up from the deck of cards in his hands.  “Sit.”  He gestured to the empty seat in between Bimr and Odin, across from Helblindi and Byleistr.  “Play with us.”

  Thor sat down.

  “Do you want a drink?  A cigar?” Laufey asked, dealing cards to everyone.

  “Do you have beer?” Thor replied.

  “It might be a few minutes for it to get here,” Laufey said before a servant left to fetch him one.  “Ante.”

  Everyone threw in a ten crown chip.

  “Anyway.”  Laufey shifted in his seat.  “The reason why I wanted to see you is because of Loki.”

  Thor glanced at his cards: a queen of diamonds and a jack of clubs.

  “What’s the matter now?” Byleistr asked.

  Helblindi shoved his elbow into Byleistr’s ribs.

  “Ow!” Byleistr cried.

  “What— is the issue?” Thor asked, looking from the two brothers to their father.

  “Is he getting cold feet?” Odin asked, leaning forward in his chair.

  “Not exactly,” Helblindi said.

  “He is worried about the future,” Laufey admitted.  He set aside a card before he laid out three cards in front of him and turned them over: eight of spades, king of clubs, and ace of diamonds.

  “I check,” Laufey said.

  Bimr knocked his knuckle against the table.

  “If this is about my relationship with Gærn, I’ll apologize for that,” Thor said quickly.  “Check.”

  A servant stepped back inside the room before he placed Thor’s mug of beer in front of him.

  “It’s not that,” Laufey said, shaking his head.  “Surely you know that there are numerous cases of alphas hurting their mates.”

  The other checked.

  “I wouldn’t!” Thor cried.

  “That doesn’t erase the statistics,” Bimr said, taking a sip of his brandy.

  “Exactly,” Laufey said.  “There also have been cases where when omegas are seidrs, their magic is taken away from them by their alphas.  Loki’s worried that if you do that, that he’ll have nothing to defend himself with if you decide to hurt him.”

  “But I wouldn’t do that!” Thor cried.

  “That doesn’t change his feelings!” Laufey shouted.

  He set aside a card before flipping over another card: ten of diamonds.

  “Someone might have a straight,” Byleistr said with a smile.

  “Or something better,” Bimr grumbled.

  “Ten crowns,” Laufey said, tossing in a red chip.

  “I fold,” Bimr said, pushing his cards away.

  “I call,” Thor said.

  “Same,” Odin chimed in.  “My son has never hit anyone without having a good reason to do so.”

  “Oh, like the time he hit Gærn for no real reason?” Helblindi asked, leaning on his forearms.

  Thor’s face grew hot.  He grabbed his mug and sipped the foam quietly.

  “Part of that is Gærn’s fault,” Laufey said.  “He wanted a fight, and he got one.”

  Helblindi drew his lips into a real tight line, staring at his father through the corner of his eyes.  He glanced at Thor before looking down at his cards.

  Byleistr leaned closer to see.

  Helblindi shoved his elbow into his brother’s throat.

  “Don’t fight,” Laufey ordered.  “We have guests.”

  “I fold,” Helblindi said, tossing away his cards.

  “I call,” Blysteir said, throwing in a ten crown chip.

  Laufey set aside a card before flipping another over: an eight of hearts.

  “Twenty,” Laufey said.  “Loki doesn’t want to immediately leave Jötunheim after the tournament.  He wants to stay here, and he doesn’t want puppies any time soon.”

  “There is birth control,” Odin reminded.

  “On average, birth control is only effective ninety-three percent of the time,” Helblindi retorted.

  “Which means it still can happen,” Laufey said.

  “Call,” Thor said.

  “Call.”  Odin flipped over his cards.  “Three of a kind.  Aces.”

  “Really?” Helblindi asked.

  “I’ve seen men win bigger on less,” Odin replied.

  “Well, I’ve seen more men lose with that hand,” Thor said, revealing his hand.

  “Both of you should have folded,” Laufey said.  He flipped over his cards, revealing two eights.

  “Yeah,” Byleistr murmured.  “Father tends to beat some of the best people at gambling.”

  “Then, again, you’re not much of a challenge,” Laufey replied, scrapping in the chips.

  “Is there anything else?” Odin asked.

  “Yes,” Laufey said.  “Byleistr and Kö will be traveling with you and Loki when you guys go to Asgard.”

  “What?!” Byleistr cried.

  “You’re going to Asgard with your brother,” Laufey repeated.  “It’ll can be a second honeymoon for you and Kö.  She’ll love Asgard.  The fields, the mountains—.”

  “The waterfall,” Odin added.

  “And it'll be blossoming season when we get back,” Thor explained.  “It’ll be extremely beautiful with the flowers.”

  “Kö does like flowers,” Byleistr said mostly to himself.

  The clock struck ten.

  “It’s getting late,” Bimr said, standing from the table.  “It will be best for all of us to turn in.”

  “Agreed,” Laufey said, standing as well.

  Laufey gathered up the poker chips as Helblindi gathered the cards.

  Bimr drained his glass before he set it back onto the table as Thor and Odin did the same.

  “Go on,” Laufey said, glancing at Bimr.  “I’ve got this.”

  “You sure?” Bimr asked.

  Laufey nodded his head.

  “Okay,” Bimr muttered before he turned and left the room.

  His metal armor creaked with every step he took.

  He arched his aching back, and his spine popped in several places.

  “Aw.  That felt better.”

  He passed an open bedroom door.

  A toddler leaned over the edge of his crib.

  Bimr paused before he stepped back and peered into the room.

  The toddler released his grip on the crib.

  “No!”

  Bimr rushed forward.

  He caught the toddler before he struck the floor.

  The toddler whimpered softly.

  “Shh, shh, shh.”

  Bimr stood and bounced the toddler without looking at him.  Instead, Bimr glanced around the room.

  A young omega woman slept soundly in the large bed.  She must’ve not heard her child waking.

  Bimr recognized the familiar scent of caramel mixed with chestnut.

  Den.

  Bimr turned to the toddler in his arms.

  Bold red hair.  Dark amber brown eyes.  A similar scent of salted caramel.

  Várn.

  The toddler smiled up at Bimr.

  “Papa!” Várn cried, placing both of his hands on Bimr’s face.

  Bimr’s vision blurred as tears filled his eyes.

  “Papa,” Várn repeated.

  Bimr pulled the toddler closer, cradling him in his arms and stroking his thick hair.

  If Várn’s here, then that would mean—.

  “Dad!” Vurtr exclaimed as he stepped into the room.

  Bimr turned and faced his son.

  “What are you doing here?” Vurtr demanded.

  “Várn—.  He fell over the edge.  I caught him.”

  Vurtr remained quiet as he glared at him, almost as if he didn’t believe him.  He sniffed the air.

  “Have you been smoking?”

  “No.  I was playing cards with the royal family, and they were smoking.”

  Vurtr frowned even harder.  He went to his side and took Várn from him.

  “I don’t want my son to be breathing in smoke.”

  Vurtr turned his back towards Bimr.

  He frowned at his son’s back.

  “I want this to work,” Bimr admitted.  “I’ve always wanted to get close to you.”

  “And, why is it that we don’t talk?”

  Bimr tried to think of what caused the tension between them, but nothing came up.

  “I— don’t remember.”

  “Then I don’t ever see you.”

  Vurtr spun on his heels and glared at his father.

  “You were the one who caused this, and yet you don’t have the decency of remembering of what you did!”

  Charred chestnut filled the room.

  Várn whimpered and buried his face into his father’s face.

  Den turned over in the bed, groaning softly.

  Vurtr frowned as he glanced from his child to his wife.

  “Go.  You’re upsetting my family.”

  Bimr frowned at him.  A tear fell from his face.

  “Fine,” Bimr said.  “But just so you know, you’re also part of the reason why we have tension between us.”

  “No.  I’m not, but how would you know?  You don’t remember what fucking caused this tension.”

  Bimr frowned at him.  He hurried off out the room.

  Vurtr huffed before he bounced Várn in his arms.  He kissed his son’s forehead.

Chapter Text

  Thor woke early the next morning but remained busy in his room until he finished his project.

  “He’s definitely gonna like this,” Thor muttered to himself as he stared down at his project.

  Loki, as per usual, had his nose stuck in a book as he sat sprawled out on a couch in the library.  His two guards were a good distance away that gave him his space, but they were close enough to prevent anything from happening to him.

  Thor smiled to himself as he stared at Loki.  Lowering himself to all fours, Thor crawled behind the couch.

  He covered his hand with the puppet indentical to himself with yellow yarn as hair, blue button as eyes, and a small red piece of fabric as his cape.

  Thor held up his hand above the top of the couch.

  “Hello!” Thor said through the puppet in a high squeaky voice.

  Loki gasped, dropping the book in his hands.  He arched an eyebrow at the puppet.

  “Hello?” Loki replied.  He leaned back and saw Thor tucked behind the couch.  Loki smiled to himself.  “How are you?”

  “I’m good.  I have a message from Thor.”

  “Oh really?”  Loki shifted in his seat.

  “Mmm-hmm.”  Thor bent his wrist to make the puppet nod.  “Thor wants you to know that he loves you from the bottom of his heart.”

  Loki’s heart fluttered a bit.

  “Thor talked to your father and brothers.”

  Loki frowned slightly, staring at the puppet.

  “Really?”

  “Yeah.  He wants you to know that he knows the way you feel about leaving Jötunheim and having puppies, and he said that he’s not gonna force you to do anything that you don’t want to.”

  Loki’s face fell.

  “He said that he didn’t care if you guys waited five, ten, fifteen, or even thirty years before you two have puppies.”

  “That’s nice.”  Loki smiled.

  “He also wants you to know that your happiness, health, and safety are his biggest priorities.  He wants you to know that he’ll never, ever hurt you.  You’re his sun.”

  Loki's eyes began to water.

  “You’re his light and his love.  He loves seeing your face, how quick and witty you are, and how smart you are.  You are so beautiful, both inside and out, and he loves you, so deeply that it hurts.  End of message.”

  Loki smiled and leaned closer to the puppet.

  “You know, that is the most romantic thing anyone’s ever done for me.  If Thor was here, I’d give him a kiss for all that.”

  “Really?!”  In his real voice as he popped up from behind the couch.

  They stared at each other for a moment as Thor paled slightly.

  Thor cleared his throat before he ducked back behind the couch.

  “Oh really?” Thor asked in the high pitched voice again.

  “Oh yeah.”  Loki leaned forward and kissed the puppet’s forehead.  “Perhaps you’ll take that message and give that to him.”

  “I’m a puppet, so it’ll probably mean something different coming from me.”

  Loki stared at the puppet.

  “Would you like to kiss the real Thor?”

  “Yes.  I’d like to kiss the real Thor.”

  Thor sat up, putting his hand down, and smiled at Loki.

  Loki leaned close and kissed Thor’s lips.

  “Son,” Laufey grumbled.

  Loki pulled away from Thor and faced his father.

  Thor’s face grew hot as the blood rushed to his face.

  “Gærn would like to see you,” Laufey explained.

  “Where is he?”

  “He’s down at the arena.”

  Loki frowned before he stood and left the room with his guards.

  “Have you forgotten what I told you about the rules?” Laufey asked.

  Thor ducked behind the couch.

  “I’m sorry,” Thor said in the high pitched voice, “but Thor is unavailable at the moment.  May I take a message for him?”

  Laufey scowled with his arms folded.  He stepped closer to couch and stood over Thor.

  The younger man froze as he felt Laufey’s glare burning holes into his back.  Thor turned and looked up at him.

  “You know, you’re no fun,” Thor complained, throwing the hand puppet onto the ground and pouted.

  “I’m a father.”  Laufey crossed his arms.  “I’m not allowed to be fun.”

 

~~~~

 

  Loki paused when he saw Gærn in the fighting arena.

  Sweat glistened off of his body.

  He must be taking it easy on them, Loki thought.

  Loki stepped closer.

  The alphas stopped fighting and turned towards him as he made his way over to his cousin.

  “You wanted to see me?” Loki asked.

  Gærn remained quiet as he wiped his face with a dry towel.

  “I’m sorry,” Gærn admitted.  “For what I did earlier.”  He kept his gaze down.  “I shouldn’t have done that.  If you didn’t want to tell me, then you shouldn’t have to.”

  “Yet you forced me to.”

  Gærn nodded his head.

  “How did you figure it out?” Loki asked.

  “You don’t think I’m not smart enough to figure some things out?”

  Loki stared at him with a deadpan expression.

  They bother remained quiet.

  Loki folded his arms across his chest.

  “Thor put the idea in my head.”

  “Thor did that?”

  “Yeah.  I mean, he is going to be your alpha.”

  They bother remianed quiet as Gærn stared down at Loki.

  “Why didn’t you tell us?” Gærn asked.  “We could’ve done something about it.  You should have told us.”

  “Maybe I should have, but I didn’t.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.  I knew how you’d react, and I didn’t want you to do anything you’d regret for the rest of your life.”

  Silence fell over them again.

  “How are you feeling?” Gærn asked.  “You seem happier than usual.”

  “I am happier than usual.  Thor confessed his love for me in the most adorkable, and to be perfectly honest, I think I love him even more because of it.”

  Gærn smiled at him, but it wasn’t a ‘happy for you’ kind of smile, nor was it an excited smile.  It was a sad smile that people gave when they watch someone else succeed at something that they didn’t.

  Gærn raised his arm and stepped forward.

  “Don’t!” Loki ordered, holding up a hand.  “You’re sweaty, and you smell.”

  They both chuckled softly.

  “Sorry,” Gærn said with another chuckle.

  “If you get a shower then I’ll maybe reconsider.”

  “Alright.”  Gærn chuckled once more.  “I need to also talk to your father.”

  “What about?”  Loki tilted his head to one side.

  Gærn stared into Loki’s innocent looking eyes.

  “Oh—.”  Gærn looked down and shook his head as he fumbled with the towel in his hands.  “Nothing really.”

  Loki arched an eyebrow, but he decided not to push it.

  “Okay.  Well, have fun.”

  Loki waved at him as he turned and walked off.

  “See ya.”

  Gærn bathed and clothed himself after a short while before he found Laufey in the smoking room.

  “Uncle Laufey!”  Gærn stepped closer to him.  “Can we finally talk about the Nirn issue?”

  Laufey took a long puff of his cigar.

  “Yeah.  Might as well.”  Laufey shifted in his chair.

  “What happened?”

  Laufey stared at Gærn.

  “Promise you wouldn’t get angry.”

  Gærn nodded.

  “I don’t believe you.”  Laufey took another puff.  “I guess I still have to tell you anyways.”  He leaned forward.  “Nirn tried to scent Loki that day.”

  “What?!”

  “We’ve sent several guards to find him, but they’ve all turned up nothing.  It’ll be much easier to find him when everyone leaves after the tournament.”

  “What if he tries something?”  Gærn stepped closer.  “What if he tries to get at Loki?”

  “I have two guards at Loki’s side at all times.  He’s safe.”

  “What if he isn’t?”

  They stared at each other for a moment.

  “I’d kill Loki myself before I allow Nirn to have him.”

  “As would I, but what is gonna happen if Nirn gets his hands on him?  Even temporarily or worse?”

  “I will kill Nirn.  Slowly and painfully.”

  Gærn stared at him.

  “You need to continue to practice some more.  You have a tournament to compete in next week.”

Chapter Text

  The week passed all too quickly.

  Helblindi and Ivyrri sat with the medic.

  Ivyrri’s heart raced as a smile crossed both his and his mate’s face.

 

~~~~

 

  Laufey stared out a window before Ivyrri and Helblindi stepped inside the room.

  “Well?” Laufey asked.

  Ivyrri and Helblindi smiled at each other before Ivyrri took Laufey’s hand and placed it against his stomach.

  “This one’s the biggest one,” Ivyrri explained.

  “An alpha,” Helblindi said.

  Ivyrri placed Laufey’s hand on the other side of his stomach.

  “This one’s slightly smaller,” Ivyrri said.

  “Another alpha,” Helblindi said.

  “What about the third one?” Laufey asked.

  Ivyrri moved Laufey’s hand to the top of his stomach.

  “He’s about half the size of the other two,” Ivyrri said.

  Laufey blinked at them.

  “Oh Norns!” Laufey cried as a smile crossed his face.  “We haven’t had very many omegas in our line.”  Laufey glanced at Helblindi.

  “I only wish there were more of them,” Helblindi said, smiling at his husband.

  “Have you decided on some names?” Laufey asked.

  “We have,” Ivyrri answered.

  “The biggest alpha is going to be named Hrarn,” Helblindi said.  “The other one is going to be named Astr.”

  “And the omega?” Laufey asked.

  “Fírn,” Ivyrri said quickly.  “I’ve always wanted a little boy named Fírn.”

  “Fírn it is,” Laufey said.  He hugged the both of them.  “I am so happy for you two.”

  Laufey pulled away from them.

  “We should be getting ready,” Laufey said.  “The tournament will be starting in a few hours.”

  “Of course!” Ivyrri said before he hurried off.

  Laufey stared at his son.

  “I’m proud of you,” Laufey said.  “I can’t wait to meet them.”

  “I can’t either,” Helblindi replied.  “I kinda want them to get here sooner.”

  Laufey smiled at him.

  Helblindi turned and left the room.

  His heart fluttered in his chest.

  A strong scent of rain-soaked grass leaked into the hallway.

  Helblindi paused before he peered into the room.

  A tall alpha male stood awfully close to Hogun.

  A smile splayed across both of their faces.

  Helblindi couldn’t hear what the alpha was saying into Hogun’s ear, but Hogun grew bright red.

  The alpha tilted his head and pressed his lips against Hogun’s neck.

  Helblindi’s eyes widened before he burst into the room.

  Hogun and the alpha jumped back from one another as their faces grew darker.

  “What the hell are you doing?” Helblindi asked.  He stared at the alpha.  “You have a tournament to fight in, yet here you are necking one of the Asgardians!”

  Helblindi turned to Hogun.

  “And you!” Helblindi shouted.  Burnt oak surrounded them.

  “And what?!” Hogun shouted back.

  “Don’t use that tone with me,” Helblindi ordered.

  “Then don’t tell me what to do,” Hogun replied.  “I can do whatever the Hell I want.  I’m a grown man.  I don’t need you to tell me what I can and cannot do.”

  Helblindi’s eyes widened.

  Hogun turned to leave, but Helblindi grabbed his arm.

  “You’re a beta,” Helblindi said.  “You have no right fucking an alpha.”

  “I can fuck whoever I want,” Hogun said.  “Sure, you may be prince of Jötunheim, but you’re not in control of my life.  Yes, I like alphas.  That’s what I’m attracted to, and you’re not gonna change that about me.”

  Helblindi frowned at him.

  “Have you no shame?” Helblindi asked.  “No beta male shouldn’t be fucking an alpha.”

  Hogun’s blood boiled.

  “Are any of your puppies alphas?” Hogun asked.

  Helblindi narrowed his eyes at him.

  “Yes.  Two of them.”

  “If either one of them came to you in the years to come and said that they like alphas, what would you do?”

  Helblindi’s jaw tightened.

  “My sons would never do that.”

  “Really?  And you know that?”

  “Yes.  I do.”

  Hogun shook his head.

  “I hope that one of them will.”

  Hogun jerked his arm free of Helblindi’s grip before he stormed off.

  Helblindi frowned before he followed after him.

 

~~~~

 

  Several more hours past.

  All the alphas gathered in the reception hall.

  Thor pushed his way to the front of the crowd.  His eyes dilated when his gaze fell onto Loki.

  A bold green dress with gold trimmings flowed over Loki’s blue body, hugging his curves all in the right places.  A gold choker was wrapped around his neck.

  His crown was also gold with blue apatite jewels and two four-inched curved horns.

  Thor smiled at him.

  Loki’s heart fluttered as his gaze locked onto Thor’s.

  Laufey cleared his throat.

  Loki turned to him.

  Laufey held out his hand.

  Loki took it, and they stepped down the reception hall.

  Helblindi and Ivyrri followed after them with Byleistr and Kö after them.

  The group of alphas parted before they all filled the arena.

  “Welcome!” Laufey shouted.  “As many of you know, with great risk comes great rewards!  The longer you last, the sooner you can choose your mate!”

  Loki glanced down at Thor.

  “Injury and death are possibilities!” Laufey continued.  He turned to Loki.

  “Let the games begin!” Loki shouted, throwing out his arm.

  A gong was struck, and the sound echoed throughout the entire arena.

Chapter Text

  A dozen names were called, and those alphas stepped forward and fought one another before the next dozen and the next and the next.  Thor looked over Mjolnir again.

  “Cracks aren’t gonna magically appear,” Gærn said, standing from his seat before stepping towards him.  “You’re nervous, aren’t you?”

  Thor glanced away from him, inhaling deeply.  “I suppose.”  Thor shrugged his shoulders.

  “Don’t be,” Gærn said.  “Look around.”  Thor did so.  “Some of these alphas only picked up a sword mere weeks ago.  Some of them don’t know how to fight.  You’ve been fighting since you were five.  You have nothing to worry about.  Don’t lose confidence.”

  “I said that I was nervous, not that I didn’t have confidence.”

  Gærn stared at him.  “You’re be going up soon.”

  “Yeah.”  Thor’s voice was shaky.  He cleared his throat as he rubbed the back of his neck.

  Another gong was struck.

  “You need to go,” Gærn said.  “I’d watch you.”  Thor nodded before he followed after him.  There was an alpha standing with a silver tray in his hands.  A green handkerchief with a gold ‘L’ sewn in a corner.

  “What is this?” Thor asked, looking down at the piece of cloth.

  “It’s a token,” the alpha said.  “An omega favoring an alpha can present them with a token.”  The alpha extended the tray.  “You have someone that likes you.”

  “Thank you,” Thor said before he took the handkerchief.  He stepped away and smiled down at the handkerchief.

  “You like it?” Gærn asked, cocking his head to one side.

  “It’s nice.”  Thor smiled at it.  “I do like it.”

  “Omegas tend to make their favors by hand.  They usually take several weeks to make it.”  Thor stared at the handkerchief.  The green and gold had bright flecks of silver and blue that shimmered in the light.  He smiled at the cloth even more.  “You want me to tie it around your wrist.”

  “Thanks.”  Thor held out his arm before Gærn tightened the handkerchief around his wrist.

  “Good luck out there.”  He wnked at Thor as he stepped back.

  “Thanks.”  Thor stepped towards the entranceway.

  “Now, presenting the last group of the night!”  The heavy steel door began to open.  The crowd cheered and clapped and whistled as Thor and the other alphas stepped out into the circular arena.

  Loki smiled wide as he stared down at Thor while he smiled back.  Laufey and Helblindi glanced at one another before Laufey glanced at Bimr and nodded.

  “The rules are simple!” Bimr shouted.  “Rule number one, when someone goes limp, says ‘stop,’ taps out, they’re out of the fight and will not be fought with.  Rule number two, this fight will last as long as it needs to.  Rule number three, no assistance from outside of the arena.  Rule number four, no decapitations.  Rule number five, if anyone breaks any of these rules, they are to subsequentianly disqualified and banned from the tournament for the next five years.  Is everyone in agreement to these rules?”  Thor and the rest of the alphas nodded.  “Good.  Gather in a circle.”  Thor and the others did so.  The gong was struck.  “You may begin fighting.”

  Thor gripped Mjolnir.  Another alpha gripped his spear and threw it across the arena.  Thor stepped back.  The spear flew past him and stuck in the ground.  Thor gripped the end before he brought his foot on the tip and broke it off.

  Loki leaned forward and drove his fingernails into his palms.

  “Have faith in him,” Laufey murmured, placing a hand on Loki’s forearm.

  “I’m just nervous,” Loki replied.  He swallowed hard.  “What if he fails?”

  “He won’t,” Laufey said.  They turned back to the fighting.

  A couple of alphas had fallen limp.

  Thor spun Mjolnir before he flew forward into a trio of alphas fighting.  The three of them jumped back slightly, but they leapt at him.  Thor brought Mjolnir against one of their jawlines, and he flew back onto another.

  Another alpha threw a rope around Thor’s wrist, and the rope tightened.

  Loki gasped and gripped Laufey’s forearm.

  Thor strained against the rope.  The alpha pulled back.  Thor dropped Mjolnir before he wrapped his arm further with the rope and gripped the rope with both hands.  He pulled the alpha forward as she dug her heels into the dirt.

  She pulled out the sword that was tied to her side and ran at him.  Thor called Mjolnir to his hand and brought it against the alpha’s blade, knocking it out of her hand.  He swung Mjolnir upward.

  The alpha released the rope as she flew the air and crashed against the ground.  Thor turned as a third alpha ran towards him.  Thor threw out the rope.

  It wrapped around the alpha’s neck.  Thor dropped Mjolnir before gripped the rope again with both hands and flipped the alpha over his shoulders.

  Loki and the others watched as every alpha, besides Thor and another alpha, were knocked unconscious.  He bit his bottom lip as he leaned forward in his chair.

  Thor stared at the other alpha as they stood a good twenty feet apart.  They stepped around in a circle, keeping their gazes locked onto each other.  Thor ripped Mjolnir tightly.

  The other alpha moved first.  He raised his sword above his head.

  The metal of the alpha’s sword clanged when it struck the metal of Thor’s hammer, again and again.  Thor threw the rope around the alpha’s wrist.  The alpha gritted his teeth as he tugged on the rope.  Thor pulled back on the rope and jerked his arm behind his head.

  The alpha raised his sword and brought the blade against the rope.  The two of them stumbled backwards with Thor landing onto his back.  The alpha sprinted at him.  Thor caught the blade in both of his hands.

  Loki squeezed both of his hands together.

  Thor’s skin broke, and blood spilled over the blade and fell onto Thor’s armor.  The alpha tugged on his sword, but Thor held strong on the blade.  Thor wrapped his feet around one of the alpha’s ankles and jerked his foot out from underneath him.  The alpha grunted when he struck the ground.

  Thor leapt on top of him and slammed his fist against the alpha’s cheek.  The alpha brought his knee in between Thor’s thighs.  He clenched his fist and slammed his fist against Thor’s jawline.

  Thor fell off of him.

  The alpha pinned Thor to the ground and straddled his waist.  He raised his fists and slammed them against Thor’s face.  Thor called Mjolnir to his hand.  He swung outward.  The alpha flew off of him.  Thor leapt into the arm and flew over to the alpha.  He brought Mjolnir against the apha’s face.

  A stream of blood spilled from the alpha’s nose as it broke.

  Thor remained in the air as the alpha stumbled backwards.  The alpha fell to the ground and laid still.

  “Thor, stop!” Bimr shouted.  Thor froze and landed on his feet.  Bimr ran over to the alpha’s side.  The alpha continued to remain still.  “He’s unconscious.  Our fight’s winner.”  Bimr raised Thor’s arm.  “Thor Odinson!”

  Loki smiled wide as he stood and applauded.  Thor smiled up at him.

 

~~~~

 

  Loki sprinted over to Thor’s side and took hold of his arm.

  “That was incredible,” Loki said, beaming up at Thor.

  “Well, when there’s something that you want,” Thor replied, “you tend to fight for it.”  Loki lowered his gaze before looking back up at Thor.

  “Yes.  You tend to do that.”  Loki glanced down at the handkerchief tied around Thor’s wrist.  “Did it bring you luck?”

  Thor glanced down and back at him.  “Yes.  I think it did bring me luck.”  Loki chuckled softy before he stood on his toes and covered Thor’s mouth with his own.  Loki lowered himself down onto his heels.  Thor cleared his throat.  “Well, I think it’s bringing me very good luck.”  Thor admired the handkerchief.

  They both chuckled out loud.

Chapter Text

  Over the next seventeen days, all the alphas fought for their places, and only the best moved on until only a dozen alphas remained.  Luckily, Thor was among those twelve alphas.

  The twelve of them stood in a circle, staring at one another.  Each one gripped their weapon of choice.  Thor’s heart beat fast in his chest as he shifted his gaze constantly.

  “This fight will continue until there are two alphas remaining!” Bimr announced.  “Fighters, ready?”  He glanced downward as the alphas raised their weapons.  “Begin!”

  A gong was struck, and the alphas rushed forward.

  Loki rubbed his knuckles as he stared down at the alphas.  His pulse pounded in his head, and his face paled slightly.  He exhaled softly.  “I don’t know which one I’m worried about more,” Loki said to Laufey.  “Gærn or Thor.”

  Laufey only replied in a smile and a brief chuckle.  Ivyrri groaned as one of his pups turned inside.  Helblindi leaned closer, but Ivyrri waved him off and told him that he was fine.  Helblindi sat back into his chair.

  Thor raised Mjolnir before striking an alpha’s shield.  The thin piece of wood shattered, leaving only the arm handle as the pieces of wood fell to their feet.  Thor brought Mjolnir against the alpha’s head, sending him flying across the arena.  An alpha ran behind Thor and grabbed a fistful of his hair.

  Loki gasped;  he bolted up from his seat and rushed to the railing.

  Thor twisted.  His hair pulled on his scalp.  Thor gripped the alpha’s wrist as the alpha raised his sword.

  Loki’s eyes widened as he covered his mouth with his hands.

  Thor raised Mjolnir as the alpha brought down his sword.  The sound of metal striking metal echoed throughout the arena.  Thor turned again;  his hair twisted even more.  The alpha raised his sword again before bringing it down.  Thor pulled as much as his could allow.  Then there was a sudden release.

  Loki gasped softly as strands of hair fell on Thor’s skin.  The little bit of his remaining long hair fell and grazed his cheek.  His eyes widened as he gripped Mjolnir tighter.

  The alpha chuckled whole heartedly.  “Ah, princess missing his hair already?”  The alpha chuckled again.

  Thor snapped around before he slammed Mjolnir against the underneath of the alpha’s chin.  The alpha went into the air before he crashed on a table.  The table shattered underneath his weight, and the alpha laid still.

  “Don’t touch my fucking hair,” Thor grumbled before he turned to the other alphas.

  Besides Gærn and himself, six other alphas remained standing in the ring.  One alpha fell to the ground.  Five, now.

  Adrenaline rushed through Thor’s blood as he flew forward into the group of alphas.  The adrenaline must’ve done something to Thor, because the next thing that he remembered was when his and Gærn’s backs touched.  They leapt back and faced each other.

  “Hold it!” Bimr shouted as they readied their weapons.  They paused and looked around.

  The other ten alphas laid still on the ground.

  “Our two final fighters,” Bimr shouted.  The crowd cheered and whistled and clapped at the two of them.

  Thor glanced up as Loki smiled down at him.  Thor bowed his head at him.

 

~~~~

 

  “You need a haircut,” Hela said as she gripped the longest strand of Thor’s hair.

  “Yes, thank you for pointing that out to me,” Thor replied.  “I hadn’t realized.”

  Hela frowned at him as she placed a hand on her waist.  A moment passed.

  A man came in, the royal hair cutter, breaking the awkwardness between the two of them.  “Shall we go outside?” the man said, gesturing with his hand outdoors.

  “Of course,” Thor replied before the three of them stepped out onto the balcony.  Thor on the stool the hair cutter brought with him as the hair cutter pulled out his equipment.

  The hair cutter grabbed the longest strand of Thor’s hair.  “How short do you want your hair?”

  “As long as possible with it being proper,” Thor answered.

  “Shall I call for tea and some snacks?” Hela asked, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

  “Sure,” Thor replied.  Hela turned and went to the bell before calling a maid and returning to Thor’s side.

  The hair cutter evened out Thor’s hair perfectly and handed Thor a hand mirror.  “What do you think?”

  Thor scowled as he stared at himself.  “I prefer my hair to be longer.”

  The door opened, and a maid came inside with a tray of food and tea.  Thor and Hela went back inside before they received their tea, fruit, and sandwiches.

  “It does look nice,” Hela assured as the maid and the hair cutter left the room.  Thor scowled again as he pulled on the little bit of hair he had.

  “I mean, yeah.  I still have my face, but I look better with long hair.”

  “Agreed.”  Hela handed him his glass of tea.  “Then again, don’t we all?”

  “Not Fandral.”  The two of them chuckled out loud.  Thor peeled open an orange before eating a slice.

  “One alpha left.  Then the wedding starts.”

  “Yeah.”  The weight of time began to sink in as Thor contemplated all the time that they have been in Jotunheim.  Have they really been here for over a month and a half?  “One more alpha.”  Thor sat back in his seat.

  They turned as the door opened.  Loki hurried inside.  He no longer wore his horned jewel crown, and he changed into a much simpler dress.

  “I wanted to congratulate you,” Loki explained.  “I had to sneak away from the guards to do so.”

  Hela and Thor glanced at one another before looking back at Loki.

  “Your hair looks nice,” Loki said with a smile.  “Not a lot of people can pull off the short har, but you do so well.  I know that I’m not the best looking person with short hair.”  Loki flashed him another smile.

  “Nonsense!” Thor cried.  “You’d look good regardless if you were blond, brunet, black haired, red headed, long, short, or even bald!  It doesn’t matter.  You still have the same face.”

  “Thanks,” Loki said with another smile.  “But you do look nice.”

  “I already miss my hair,” Thor complained.

  “It was you best feature,” Hela joked.

  Thor frowned at her before he nodded in agreement.  “As are my eyes.”  He paused.  “Oh I shouldn’t have said that.  I might lose one of them.”

  “Or both of them,” Hela said.  She and Loki chuckled softly.

  Loki blushed slightly as stepped closer.

  Thor glanced downward.  “Are you barefoot?”

  “Yes.”  Loki lifted the skirt of his dress, just enough to show off his feet.  “I like walking barefoot.”

  Thor shifted in his seat as he felt himself growing harder.

  “Do you want some tea?” Hela asked.  “Or some fruit?”  Gesturing to the tray of food.

  “Oh, thank you,” Loki said, stepping forward.  He took the bowl of cherries before taking a seat in the lone chair in the room.  He grabbed a cherry and placing it in his mouth.  With his tongue, he snapped the fruit off its stem before rolled it around in his mouth.  He pressed the cherry against the roof of his mouth.

  The sweet juice filled his entire mouth and spilled a little between his lips.

  Thor shifted again.  This time he knocked over his drink, and the teacup shattered on the ground.

  “Thor!” Hela scolded as they all stood.

  “It was an accident,” Thor retorted.

  “Let em help,” Loki said as he hurried over.

  “Don’t!” Thor cried.  Loki stepped on a small piece of glass.

  “Ow!”  Loki sat on the ground.

  “Let me see,” Thor said, going to his side.  Loki raised his foot.

  Already blood gushed from his wound and dripped onto the floor.

  “I’ll find a nurse,” Hela said.  “And a maid to clean up the mess.”

  “I’ll stay with you,” Thor said, sitting in front of Loki and grabbing hold of his foot.

  Hela hurried out of the room.  Thor glanced over Loki’s wound before he tried to grip the shard of glass.

  Loki’s foot twitched.

  Helblindi thought about the family he was going to see within the next week or so as he passed by one of the castle’s sitting rooms.

  “Stop squirming!” he heard Thor say from inside the room.

  “But it hurts,” Loki replied with a whimper and a groan.

  “If you had been more careful, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”  Helblindi’s brow furrowed.

  “I’m sorry.  I just wanted to help.”

  A moment of silence.  “No.  I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have yelled at you so.  Just hold still, and it won’t hurt as much.”

  Loki gasped from the pain.  “Gently, gently.”

  Helblindi’s face grew hot with fury.  His jaw tightened, and his knuckles white as he drove his nails into his skin.

  “Just a little more,” Thor said.  Helblindi burst into the room.

  Thor and Loki looked up at him from the floor.  Blood trickled over Thor’s fingers and hands.  Helblindi’s face grew hot from embarrassment as he turned away.

  “I thought you were doing something else,” Helblindi admitted.

  “Like what?” Loki asked.

  “Like nothing,” Helblindi answered.

  Thor returned his attention to Loki’s wound before he ripped the piece of glass from Loki’s foot with a loud whimper from the young omega.

  Hela returned with a maid and nurse.  The maid tended to the shattered teacup as the nurse bandaged and cleaned Loki’s foot before they both left.

  “Two more days,” Loki said, looking at Thor.  “Gærn is your only opponent left.”

  “I’ll beat him,” Thor replied.  “I promise you.”

  Loki lowered his head onto Thor’s shoulder and snuggled against his chest.  “You better keep that promise.”

  “I will.”  Thor planted a tender kiss on Loki’s forehead.

  Nirn scowled as he glared at the two of them.  His entire body trembled with rage.  Thunder rolled in the distance before rain pounded down from the sky.

 

~~~~

 

  It rained for the next two days.  Mist hovered above the ground, and the soil and dirt turned to mud, even in the arena.

  “Final fighters!” Bimr shouted.  “Step into the white circle.”

  Thor and Gærn did so.  The circle jerked before it raised from the ground.  It stopped after it reached five feet into the air.  Thor peered over the edge.

  “Previous rules still apply,” Bimr explained, “but more are going to be added.  If one of you go over the edge, you are out.  Your entire body must be out of the circle for you to be disqualified.  You cannot use weapons or other various items to prevent you from falling;  you must only use your own power to prevent ourself from falling.  Ready?”

  Gærn kicked the bottom of his spear before he gripped the length of the spear.

  “Fight!” Bimr shouted as a gong was struck.