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I will kneel for you, my prince.

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The ceremony was in full swing throughout Asgard. No matter where you look, people danced, laughed and raised their glasses for the king and the royal family because today, they celebrated the day when the All-father had brought them peace decades ago.

For many years, this cruel war had lasted. Both sides suffered heavy losses and families had mourned for their loved ones. But Odin had finally won the battle and had brought the long-desired peace. Beyond that, he had succeeded in taking away the Frost Giant's source of power, which made it no longer possible for them to start a new war or to try to take over other realms.

That night, a small group made their way to the marketplace, where a large fire was to be lit after sunset. It was a symbol. The children were told that it was good for keeping the Frost Giants away from Asgard and that it demonstrated the power of Odin. Should these monsters go too far and dare to invade the golden realm, the king would bring desolation over Jotunheim, just as a fire could devastate entire tracts of land.

When the friends had reached their goal, the market was already crowded, children played with their wooden swords and men danced happily with their wives. It was a peaceful sight.

"Who of you would like to drink some mead? The first round's on me. We have to express our thanks to the royal family."

A young man stepped out of the group and walked purposefully toward the bar. The others followed him.

"And you show them respect by getting drunk, Fandral?"

Everyone had to laugh. Of course, it was no need to get drunk, but the festivies had been goning on since dawn. People traveled from remote villages to the golden city. They used the day to watch the big parade with their children, where the soldiers of the Asgardian army demonstrated their military skills, or to visit their family members and friends they hadn't seen for some time. The mood was at its peak and especially men enjoyed a glass of delicious mead.

Which was the plan of Thor and his companions. They had a busy day, because they were not just friends who had known each other since childhood, no, they were also soldiers, or to be more precisely, they were contenders for the royal bodyguard. This training wasn't easy, they had had to sacrifice every free minute for years to be able to master the difficult art of fighting. Whether it was melee or practicing with weapons. Every move had to be perfect, because in an emergency, it could protect the royal family.

"Why not? We're here to have fun, Volstagg. Those were your words and after that day, we deserve a break. On the other hand, I could go to the palace and court the young prince, if that were more respectful."

Thor had to smile. It was well known that his good friend Fandral wanted to meet the prince. He had been passionate about Loki for years, although he had never met him in person. In general, he was shielded as good as possible, only people who had access to the palace or noble men knew what he looked like. Allegedly, it was said that his beauty couldn't be compared to anything in this world. But those were just rumors.

Next to him, a person also laughed amused. Probably he had heard Fandral's comment.

"I have to apologize for my friend. Of course, he wouldn't dare to invade the palace."

Although, it was obviously a joke, you had to watch what you said. You never knew who was standing right in front of you. Through his training, Thor knew too well that Odin had his spies everywhere. Which was the reason, why a thoughtless statement like this could cause a lot of trouble.

"Don't worry. I would, however, be interested in how far he'd get into the palace until the guards would stop him."

The thought made Thor chuckle. All too well, he could imagine how his friend was held by the guards and he would scream like a girl on the floor. Of course, he didn't said that out loud. Instead, he turned to the person. Because of his size and his voice, it was clearly a man. Unfortunately, Thor couldn't see his face because he was wearing a black cape which was covered with green embroidery.

"He wouldn't come too far, I heard that the guards are well trained."

He couldn't hide the pride in his voice. For almost his entire life, Thor had dreamed of becoming a soldier of the royal army of Asgard in order to protect the golden realm with all his strength. His mother, Lady Eir, was one of Asgard's best healers. In the beginning, he wanted to follow into her footsteps, but he had quickly realized he would never learn the art of sorcery. Even though, men nowadays believe that magic should only be learned by women, he envied anyone who was born with this gift. His lovely mother, on the other hand, had often encouraged him as a child, but he had simply lacked the talent and probably the patience to do so. The study of sorcery took a lot of time and was exhausting. Some people, no matter how much they did practice, would never be able to master this art.

Unfortunately, he was one of them, but his physical strength was above average according to Asgardian standards. Even as a child, he was able to lift things that sometimes even a grown man couldn't manage. His mother had always joked that one day, he would be able to move mountains. When he had met Volstagg at school, who had also been a strong child, his interests had changed. More and more had he turned away from magic and had discovered his talent as a fighter.

"Thor, are you coming, or what?"

His friends had arrived at the bar and had ordered the first round of mead. For the man next to him, it was apparently a sign to turn away from the group, because he seemed to want to go. But Thor was quicker and put his hand gently on his shoulder to prevent him from leaving.

"What do you think, would you like to join us?"

He didn't know the stranger, but today was a good day and the evening was still young. Why shouldn't he made new contacts. The man, on the other hand, seemed to hestitate, but nodded and finally followed him to the rest of the group.

"Order one more glass for my new friend."

Laughing, Thor patted the other man on the shoulders, causing his hood to slip backwards and reveal his face. For the first time, he was able to look at him properly and he was delighted to discover that his new friend not only had a voice like silk, but also had a beautiful face under his cape. He had high cheekbones, pale skin and black, curly hair. The man first looked startled at his friends. But when no one said anything, he seemed to relax a bit. Thor didn't care, he was fascinated by the emerald eyes, which shyly looked at him. He had never seen such an intense green and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't look away.

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When the little group brought their drinks to a quieter spot, away from the bar, by the fire, Thor sat down next to his new friend. The strange man had pulled his hood back into his face, which was a pity, because he would have liked to see him again into his emerald eyes.

"So, what..."

He didn't get any chance to say the rest of his sentence because Fandral chose that moment to disturb them.

"Well, well. So, that's your new friend. You haven't introduced us to him. I'm still young, but even I know that's a rude behavior."

He was complaining, but the smile on Fandral's face betrayed his intentions. The rest of his friends, while curious, didn't approached them directly. It hadn't escaped them that Thor had just met the young men. On the other hand, Fandral was, as always, too hasty. Instead of letting them talk first, he wanted to be right in the middle of it all. It was known that his best friend was a chameur, always looking for the presence of beautiful women and men, even flirting in inappropriate situations, which ended occasionally with a fist in his face. Thor knew only too well how he had met Sif for the first time. The woman was stunning, but she had no interest in men, she was still too young an inexperienced back then. When he introduced her to Fandral, he immediately tried to court her. The end of the story was that Sif had made her point of view and had left Fandral with a black eye and a broken nose. Everyone had laughed. But today, Thor found it rather annoying. Once he wanted to talk to his guest in peace. He didn't know where the stranger came from, nor did he know his name.

"Can you please leave us alone?"

Just as Frandral wanted to say something, Volstagg came from behind and took his best friend away from him. He could hear him cursing rather loudly, but the bearded man couldn't care less. Volstagg looked again over his shoulder and winked at them.

The young man beside him began to laugh.

"You have really strange friends, but they all seem to be nice. Only this man, what was his name again, he definitely has too much energy."

Thor had to smile. They all had too much energy, but he used it during his training and Fandral to get women into his bed.

"And again, I have to apologize for him. I'm afraid it won't be the last time. Hopefully, he didn't upset you too much."

He didn't want him to leave, Thor was too fascinated by the stranger. Even though he had only known him for a short time. He gently put a hand on the shoulder of the black-haired man and leaned closer.

"If you want, we can also go for a walk. Maybe it would be better if we had some time for ourselves before one of my friends comes up with another stupid idea. I trust them with my life, but I know them long enough to know that the more alcohol they drink, the more unpredictable they become."

To his amazement, the man leaned a little closer to Thor. Despite half of his face was covered with his black hood, he could see that he was smiling smugly.

"Oh really? Or do you want to be alone with me?"

Thor wanted to say yes at once, but he didn't want to rush it. Yet he couldn't deny that he enjoyed the other man's presence. Never had something like that happened to him. Although he had successfully court men and women, to his regret, he had never had the luck to be in a serious relationship. Most of the time, it was because the others had no understanding of his job or the time-consuming training.

But he couldn't hestitate much longer, so he mustered his courage, leaned even closer to the younger man and smiled charmingly.

"Well, what would happen if that was my wish?"

The stranger beside him laughed softly. He took Thor's hand carefully and stood up.

"I know a place near the golden city."

With these words he let go and went eastward, where the great forests were located. Thor swallowed loudly, cast his friends one last look and followed the black-haired man.

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They didn't have to walk long when the two men arrived at a small clearing. The place was quiet, but since it was higher, they had a wonderful view of the golden city. In the distance, the palace loomed majestically and the streets of the surrounding city were bright and colourfully lit. He could even hear the singing and the laughter of the celebrating people. Thor had been to the great forests many times before, but this peaceful spot had been hidden from him.

Slowly, he turned to the stranger, who was standing right next to him and also enjoyed the beautiful view. Still the hood of his cape hung deep in his face and hid his handsome features. Carefully, he raised his hand and reached for the piece of fabric to take it off, so he could see his guest better. When his fingers touched the other's cheek, he jumped. The stranger recoiled a bit in shock.

"Why are you hiding your face?"

Only then did Thor realize that the other man hadn't even take off his cape willingly. Had he to hide from someone or was he on the run? But why did he go public on such a day when he knew that today was one of the biggest holidays of the whole realm. Thor therefor slid his hand back onto the man's shoulder to show him that he didn't have to be afraid while he was in his presence and his intentions seemed to be working because under his palms, he could clearly feel the stranger relaxing.

His new friend gently took Thor's hand into his own. He could feel the soft skin, which made him guess that the other man was no hard-working person, because people like blacksmiths, farmers or someone like him had calloused hands through years of training. Maybe he worked in the palace, was one of the noble men or a consultant of the court.

"Does it matter?"

His silky voice tore Thor out of his thoughts. Of course, it wasn't important right now, but he was curious. He had never met another man who had immediately captured his imagination. The moment he first saw the stranger, he had only eyes for the young man.

"No."

The other man chuckled.

"You just think too much. But maybe we can change that."

With these words, the black-haired man approached him and let his hands continue to slide upwards, to his shoulders. Thor was fascinated and could only watch helplessly. It was as if the stranger had robbed him of the last remnants of his mind. He could clearly feel his hands reaching his neck and gently squeezing it there. An exited, almost joyful hum, was heard from the other man. The next thing, he realized was that he gently pulled him closer and their lips touched.

It was like a firework. The stranger's lips were as soft and gentle as his skin. Even though they barely touched, it was better than anything Thor had experienced before. Through the light breeze, he could smell the perfume of the other man, because he noticed how a pleasant mixture of honey and rich herbs rose into his nose. Inspired by this little touch, Thor's body began to move. Carefully, he put one hand around the lean waist of the dark-haired man and placed the other hand on his cheek.

Thor didn't know how much time had passed and he couldn't care less. He boldly pulled the young man as close to him as possible and began to move his lips against the others. To his delight, he was rewarded with a joyful sigh.

He never wanted to end the kiss, but at some point the two of them had to catch their breath again. Panting, they looked at each other. Through her passionate touches, the hood of the stranger had slipped down and the sight, that was offered to him, almost took his breath away. In front of him stood a man who looked at him with surprised and yet satisfied eyes, his lips were swollen and his pale cheekes had taken on a red glow. He couldn't describe it any differently, the man in front of him was beautiful in every way.

Thor didn't know what to do next. His thumbs were still caressing the other's face. So close, he almost felt like only the two men existed in the universe, everything else had become unimportant. Only one person caught his attention. Softly, he smoothed the black curls beheind the stranger's ear and leaned down.

"Who are you?"

Unfortunately, he got no answer, on the contrary, his question was punished with long silence. When he looked at the young man, he saw a sad smile on his face. The stranger searched for his eyes and Thor's heart nearly broke. The emeralds, which had looked at him with joy moments ago, now took on a different expression. Regret.

"I wish I could tell you."

The other man's hand grabbed a stone that was as black as his hair. He closed his fist tightly around the object and suddenly a green glow appeared. Thor was amazed to see how the stone became a small figure.

"Thank you for the evening, Thor."

With these words, he placed the small, stony snake with green eyes, as Thor could see now, into his palms. With a fluid movement of the other's hands, his hood hung deep into his face again and the stranger went back towards the forest.

For the first moment Thor was frozen. Was that really happening? But when he ran after the young man and wanted to stop him, he realized with a start that there was no one to be seen.

The stranger was gone.

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Months had passed since his encounter with the stranger and just as the young man had disappeared, his good mood were gone as well. His friends had tried everything to cheer him up. Fandral had gone to bars with him, trying to make him think of something else through alcohol and beautiful women. Volstagg had repeatedly offered to spar with him, which Thor also gratefully accepted, but he had lacked the concentration when fighting. Again and again, his thoughts had gone to the dark-haired man. Even Sif couldn't free him from his misery, even though she had promised that she would introduce him to her best friend, a beautiful young woman called Sigyn for whom Thor had always had a crush on. But the blonde man didn't want to.

Of course, he was grateful that his friends supported him so much, only they couldn't understand that his heart was broken and it would take some time to move on. He still tied his black snake around his neck every day, which the stranger had given to him. He was always too happy to touch it gently and to think back to that evening. In the end, it had been just one kiss, but this kiss had made his heart beat faster and made him believe that he could do anything if he was only close to the man.

With a loud sigh, he got up and went back to the training ground, where his friends were already waiting for him. Their commanding officer had announced today that he had a surprise for them. That's why everyone had gone crazy and imagined what it could be. He took it rather calmly, so far, he hadn't had much good experiences. Mostly, surprises promised something like another hour of combat training or that they had to run ten miles more than usually.

The moment their officer had finally arrived, they all respectfully saluted.

"Soldiers! I know that your group is one of the best I've ever seen. All of you trained hard, with the goal in your mind that one day, you'll protect the royal family and that's why I'll take you to the palace today."

There was silence. Nobody dared to say something. Thor felt that everyone was doubtful about the annoucement of their supervisor. Ordinary soldiers and warriors had no permission to enter the palace, except Asgard was at war. Only members of the royal bodyguard, advisers of the court, noble men and servants of the King were allowed to but there were strict rules. The most important one was absolute secrecy, nothing that happened in the golden palace was given to the public.

Many people assumed that the young Prince was the reason why they had those rules. It was said that Odin and Frigga were very worried when it came to their son, they were almost overprotective. Nobody knew exactly why, but even the thought alone made Thor sad. He couldn't imagine sitting in the palace all day long. Of course, the young man enjoyed the best education and so it was said that he had a superior intelligence. Even his mother once told him that Prince Loptr, Loki was just a nickname which the people had given him, was an incredibly talented sorcerer. But knowledge wasn't everything in life. Where was the fun, the love of life or, what was even more important, where was freedom? Although Thor was only a normal man without much wealth or possessions, but he didn't have to sit in a golden cage. He was able to make his own decisions.

After the brief schock, the silence was replaced by wild whispering. Grinning, Fandral turned to him and raised his thumbs.

"Perfect. Finally, I will meet the Prince."

Thor could only laugh. Even though, it wasn't uncommon for men to be married in Asgard, he doubted that his friend would ever be lucky enough to go out with Loki. Odin would probably let him execute just for the thought alone. But one could dream.

Only he hadn't the chance to say that out loud because their commanding officer had already begun to move. Minutes later, they had reached the palace. From close up the building looked even more impressive. Its golden towers loomed over the city, Thor almost had the impression that they touched the blue sky. At the entrance, the group were greeted by the guards, who critically eyed them, but the moment they saw their officer, they let them pass wordlessly.

If he thought that the palace looked pompous and intimidating from the outside, he was even more surprised as they entered. Inside, he could see richly ornamented columns supporting the bright mansonries. The group continued, there were beautiful paintings on the walls and statues of former kings or heroic warriors. Thor didn't know where to look first. His mother had often described to him, as a child, what the palace looked like, but seeing it with his own eyes was something special. An experience which he would never forget.

When they arrived at the Great Hall, they were indicated that they should all stop and line up but their commanding officer seemed surprised and stepped forward.

"What's going on here? For today, I have permission to show the palace to my soldiers. Do you even know who you're dealing with? My name is Aegir and I have trained soldiers for the royal bodyguard for decades."

The older man grew louder with every word, but the guards at the door didn't budge. On the contrary, they barred their way even more and grabbed their weapons.

"Never before..."

But the officer didn't get any further because at that moment the wooden door of the hall opened and Queen Frigga stepped out. Everyone immediately bowed.

"Could someone please explain to me what is going on out here?"

At first, no one dared to say something. The Queen was known for her benevolence and her kindness, but you should never make the mistake to underestimate her. She wasn't only a gifted sorceress, no, she was also powerful and if she wanted she could lock all of them into the dungeons for the rest of their lifes. After a few seconds, their supervisor hestitantly looked up. Slowly he approached the Queen, again bowed respectfully and then began to speak.

"Your Royal Highness, I am deeply sorry that I disturbed you. I didn't know you were here. I had only the instructions that I should show my soldiers the palace. Usually, the tour always starts in the Great Hall. If I had known, I would have chosen a different place. My apologies."

The wary expression on the Queen's face slowly disappeared.

"Of course, how could I forget that. I'm sorry. Our advisors are just discussing a few things with my son for the upcoming coronation. But they should be ready, soon. Please come in."

As their officer gave them a sign, the group moved slowly into the Great Hall and Thor couldn't stop staring. The room was huge, he could see golden statues everywhere, standing in line in the middle of the hall, forming a corridor from the entrance to the throne. The throne, which the Prince of Asgard would take over in a few months. Although Odin had been a good king, he was getting old and Loki would replace him successfully. The young man was educated, a powerful sorcerer and people said that he could free himself from the most difficult situations only with his words. His mother used to say that he was jokingly called Silvertounge.

As they walked on, they came to a group of men who argued with each other. One of them was turned to the soldiers with his back, but Thor felt that this young man was the Crown Prince. He wore a noble-looking tunic, which shimmered green and gold. His attitude was proud and he seemed to attract everyone's attention with his presence alone.

When Frigga approached the men, they fell silent and the youngest member of the group seemed to ask her something. The Queen said a couple of words, smiled happily and pointed to their commanding officer, causing him to turn completely to the soldiers. Of course, they all bowed, only Thor seemed to be frozen. Before him stood the stranger from the forest, with whom he had spent a wonderful evening, who had given him a little black snake and with whom he had shared the best kiss of his life.

Norns, he had kissed Prince Loptr.

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Thor couldn't help it. His head screamed mentally that he should finally bow, that anything else would be disrespectful or insulting. After all, he faced two members of the royal family. The family, he had sworn to protect, but his body simply didn't want to cooperate. Next to him, Fandral coughed slightly, who still kept his head lowered.

"If you don't want to be executed in the next few minutes, or if you want to get the prince's wrath on you, you should bow down."

His best friend just whispered, but it sounded to Thor, as if he had shouted at him. The hall was now completely silent and the noble men, as well as Queen Frigga seemed to be annoyed about this atypical bahavior. Just as their commanding officer wanted to straighten up and probably apologize for his disobedient soldier, Thor finally responded. Almost anxiously, he tilted his head, raised his closed fist over his heart and knelt down.

"I beg your pardon, my prince, I do not know what came over me."

He didn't dare to look up. Respectfully, he remained in his position but the astonished gasps of Fandral suggested that something had happened and he didn't have to wait too long for an answer, because he could hear soft footsteps. Shortly thereafter, black boots, adorned with golden ornaments, appeared in his field of vision. The prince stood right in front of him.

"Your Highness, I would like to apologize for my soldier. Usually, he is one of my best men. I can't explain why he's acting like that, but of course, your are free to punish him."

He closed his eyes in resignation. Hopefully, his punishment wouldn't be too serve and, more importantly, no one would know that he was the son of Lady Eir. Even if his career was over, his mother shouldn't have to pay for his mistakes.

Prince Loki approached him a little closer, all others were still quiet and waited for an announcement. Thor knew he was either being executed or being thrown out of the Royal Army. Of course without compensation. For an Asgardian soldier or warrior, there was nothing worse than being dishonourably dismissed from his services. He could literally see the disappointed looks of his mother and hear her say that she didn't raise her son that way. After all, Lady Eir had aldready worked half her life in the palace, side by side with the queen.

"We don't want to exaggerate this incident. Why should he be punished? Just because he did not bow? I think that there are more important things to deal with or am I wrong?"

He could hear excited murmurs. Probably, everyone was amazed at the young man's decision. If the king had stood before him, he would never have seen the sunlight again.

"Stand up, soldier!"

Hesitantly, Thor got up. But he didn't dare to look straight into Loki's eyes, he still expected a punishment. So far, no one had ever shown such behavior and got away with it, especially not if you were a member of the army.

"I assume that this is your first visit to the palace?"

He nodded.

"And I suppose, it's also the first time that you're facing someone of my family personally?"

Thor hesitated. He wanted to say no. That it wasn't the first time that he faced a member of the royal family, that he had kissed none other than the mysterious Prince Loptr himself and that it was the best thing he had ever experienced in his life. He would do everything he could to look once more into his eyes, to look at these fascinating emeralds and get lost in them but that was pure wishful thinking.

"Yes, my prince."

He lowered his head a little more. The lie that had just come over his lips hurt too much and he didn't even know why. Should he not be happy that they hadn't announced any punishment for him, that the prince had acted calmly on what was admittedly disrespectful and was considered a betrayal of the royal house. Instead, the only thing he thought about was how much he would like to repeat the evening. What was wrong with him?

"Well then, all further discussion are unnecessary. He was probably just a bit overwhelmed and was startled at first. Do you agree with me, soldier?"

The tone of the young man didn't allow any objections. Even if he would like to say some out loud. It wasn't the right time. But he simply didn't want to give up. So finally, he took a deep breath, slowly raised his head and looked directly at Loki for the first time since that fateful evening and for a moment he forgot where he was. The prince had turned slightly away from him and looked at his commanding officier. But all Thor could see, was the beautiful strange man from the forest. His pale skin shone even more intensely in the sunlight, which contrasted sharply with his black hair. On his red lips, he could see a gentle smile and his green eyes radiated calm and at the same time authority.

"Of course, you are right. I wasn't prepared to meet you here."

That made Loki turn his face in his direction. For a moment Thor could see that the self-confident mask was disappearing from the prince's face. His eyebrows frowned, he could clearly observe uncertainty and surprise. It was still quiet around them, and he was afraid he might have said something wrong. Were his words too harsh, too direct? But as fast as these emotions had appeared, just as fast, the young man had rebuilt his walls around him and instead of turning away from Thor and going back to the queen, Loki slowly raised his hand to touch the small, stony figure around his neck, whose eyes began to glow green. It was exactly the same colour as the emeralds of the young man in front of him. The prince closed his eyes in resignation and sighed. He suddenly took his hand away, causing the snake's glimmer to die out. One last warning look into his blue eyes and he turned around. From now on, everyone had a clear view of the two, so Thor had to recover quickly, nothing was allowed to suggest that they knew each other.

"So my decision is firm. It can happen that new experiences like these take your breath away. The soldier is to forgiven, as he had no insulting intentions. And if the noble men would follow me, I'd like to continue discussing the plans for the upcoming coronation."

After his announcement, Loki carelessly turned his back on the group of soldiers and returned to the side of his mother, who smiled warmly at him.

Thus, the case was closed and despite the excitement, he was lucky that he had got off without serious consequences. Unfortunately, it didn't feel like a victory for him, but a loss. The loss of the man who had shown him with only one kiss that the world is not just war and fighting, no, that the gentle gestures and touches could make the word look more colourful and make your heart beat faster. But sadly, this one man was unreachable for Thor.

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Thor still couldn't believe he had actually kissed the crown prince. He had already been aware of, at said evening, that this man had something to hide, but he had expected everything, just not that he would come close to the mysterious Loptr.

How should that end? Thor was in his final year of training and had officially applied for the royal bodyguard. If he would be accepted, what he hoped for, after all this job was all he had been working for for the last few years, it would mean that he would be in the palace. Every single day. So, he would see the young man more often. He simply couldn't afford to be distracted in his future tasks. In the worst case, the life of the king of Asgard was at stake and even as a small child, he had sworn that he would do everything in his power to protect the golden realm. Which also meant that the government had to be upheld. Asgard couldn't show any weakness. There were still too many disturbances between the nine worlds. The only anchor was the strict leadership of Odin, to whom they had to owe the union of the realms in the first place.

The best thing would be that he just forgot the young prince. It was just a kiss, which was probably the most wonderful and tenderst touch Thor had ever experienced. Also, the serpentine talisman wasn't much help either, but he couldn't bring himself to take it off. Not after he had seen what this little thing was capable of. He would never have thought, that in the presence of Loki, the stony figure would light up. He had probably cast a spell on it then. The blond man knew that it was risky to carry it around his neck, especially if he would be allowed into the palace, but he was impressed and felt special because of it. The young man could have just left him after the kiss, could have escaped into the dark and could have erased the encounter from his memories, but he had made the snake for him. Just for him. But what that meant, however, Thor didn't know. He had often hoped it would light up once again, that Loki was hiding somewhere in an deserted alley and would explain everything to him. Sadly, it didn't happen.

Thor just didn't know what to do, he was in a desperate state, what had been the reason why he was standing in front of his mother's door tonight. Since his training, he had lived in a small house near the palace. It was nothing special, but it gave him some freedom because it was his own. The blond man could still remember how he discovered the cottage. It had been secluded from the main roads, hidden behind trees and wild shrubs and had a broken roof. When he had inquired whether it was for sale, Thor could hardly believe in his luck when he had learned that it belonged to no one and was just a shabby smudge in the otherwise noble district of the city. So, he had put all his strength and savings into the small house to renew it from scratch. His friends had of course helped, but his mother had made it a cozy place. She had bought comfortably furniture, brought him medical plants for his garden and provided him with beautiful oil paintings of a friend who was an talented artist. He had been grateful and still was. Nobobdy knew him better than his mother. She has always been his closet confidant and until today she had known his darkest secrets.

So that's why he took a deep breath and knocked on her door. When it opened, he could see his beloved mother after a long time, she was beautiful as always.

"Thor, my boy, I didn't expect you. Oh, did i forget one of our dinners? If so, then I'm so sorry, there is so much chaos in the palace because of the upcoming coronation. Come in."

He chuckled as his mother went into her house. Thor didn't even have the chance to say hello to her. She was always like this, always in motion. He was aware that as a healer she couldn't work slowly, because in the worst case, for injured people counted every single second. But she rarely relaxed at home. So, he quickly followed her when he saw that she disappeared into the kitchen. It may be late, but that wouldn't stop his mother from cooking him a delicious meal.

"Please, mother, it's alright. You haven't forgotten anything. I wanted to surprise you and stop by. It's been a long time since I visited you."

She paused and slowly turned to face him. Suddenly, Thor no longer felt like a future soldier, but again like a little boy who had been eating sweets before dinner.

"What happened?"

Again, he realized that he could not fool his mother. Of course, she had suspected that something must have happend the moment when he had stood outside her door unannounced. Such a thing rarely happened otherwise.

"Nothing bad, I think. But could we please go to the living room? I wouldn't like to discuss it in the kitchen."

It didn't matter where he would have that talk, it wouldn't change the situation anyway. When he left the kitchen, he grabbed two glasses and a bottle of mead. For this conversation, he would definitely need alcohol. Although he entrusted everything to his mother, it affected her personally. After all, she was the leading healer in the palace, there was no one better than her. If he told her now that he hadn't only kissed the crown prince, but had also behaved disrespectfully to the queen and thus had exposed his commanding officer, she was going to kill him.

"Shall I worry, Thor? You visit me in the late evening without having made an announcement and you're drinking alcohol right now, although you have to work tomorrow. So I get a bad feeling. Please, I ask you, my boy. Tell me what happened."

Slowly, he led his mother to the sofa and made sure she got a glass of mead before he started talking.

"You're right as always. I didn't come to visit you, no, I want to tell you something before you probably find it out from someone else. It's oly fair that your son explain it to you. After all, it was me who was responsible for the situation."

Thor took a long sip from his own mug to calm his nerves, but he could clearly see his hands trembling and feel an unpleasant lump forming in his throat.

"We visited the palace for the first time yesterday, as a reward for our outstanding training results and there, we met Queen Frigga and ..."

He didn't get any further when his mother gasped in surprise and pointed to his chest. As he followed her gaze, he could see that his little snake's eyes were shining green and at the same moment, there was a gentle knock on the door.

His mother got up, walked purposefully into the entrance area, while Thor just stood frozen in the living room. His heart pounded wildly and his mind yelled at him that he should do something, no matter what, the main thing was that he had to act fast. He couldn't allow the prince, who was undoubtedly their unexpected visitor, to find out that Lady Eir was his mother and thus endanger her career. Besides, she didn't know yet that he and Loki knew each other and that's not how she should find it out.

So Thor ran after her, almost knocking her out of the way and opening the door himself. His head had formed many ideas what he wanted to say to Loki but when he actually saw him standing in front of him, all the words were stuck in his throat. Here he was again, the crown prince of Asgard, veiled in a thight robe and a black-golden hood pulled deep into his face. The weak summer breeze, whirled the unique scent of honey and herbs through the air, forcing Thor to close his eyes and breathe in deeply. In his mind, he was back on the small clearing in the forest, could feel the butterflies in his stomach as he did when Loki had kissed him for the first time, but he had to pull himself together.

Annoyed at his own failure to keep a clear head near this man, he stepped closer to the door, which made the view of the prince completely impossible.

"Good evening, stranger. How can I help you so late at night?"