"It won’t be me who comes for her."
Thor’s friends waited to see which of the Three he would look to. Sif could scarcely contain her shock when he looked at her.
She swallowed and nodded without a word. The Three tactfully looked away from the humiliation burning her cheeks.
Thor had made no effort to hide his infatuation from his old love. Sif had borne losing him as bravely as she could. Jane Foster was a mortal. Even with the Bifrost restored so that Thor could be with her, she would live a scant few decades. Perhaps then Thor would return to Sif.
Thor had always been selfish. He was the spoiled favorite son of the most powerful king in the Nine Realms, he could hardly help it. But that he would ask her to risk her neck to fetch his new sweetheart, when there were three others at hand who would leap to the task… she had never imagined him capable of such petty cruelty. His little smirk made it impossible even to believe that he had not realized how his request would affect her.
The bastard was enjoying it.
"In one hour, then," Thor said, and they all went to prepare. All except for Sif, who went straight to the dungeons. No guard dared to challenge her. If any had, she was prepared to kill them.
Loki was sitting on the floor with an open book in his hands. The blindingly white cell had a few pieces of elegant furniture and there was a small stack of books on a table. Gifts from Frigga, Sif knew; Thor had complained for hours every week that Frigga was visiting Loki against Odin’s orders and had smuggled books and a bed to him. Sif wondered if anyone had told Loki of his mother’s death. He glanced up with a carefully bored expression, slightly lifting one eyebrow at the sight of her.
"Sif. How lovely to see you. Has my brother made you our future queen yet? Should I kneel?"
She could not help looking away, even though she knew what a mistake it was to show any weakness in front of the Silvertongue.
Loki smiled slowly and his voice lowered to a purr. “He is still infatuated with the mortal, is he not? You too have learned how quickly my brother abandons those who watched his back for centuries when he spots a new pretty face.”
She forced herself to meet his gaze. “I can still be queen.”
He went still. “What do you propose?”
"I let you out. Together, we claim the throne of Asgard. To rule jointly, as king and queen."
For a moment he did not speak. “How do you know I shall keep my side of the bargain?” he asked at length.
Sif smiled coldly. “You have no other allies now. You need me. And whatever your faults, Liesmith, you have never been an oathbreaker.”
The scene in the cell changed. The trickster had been casting an illusion. His scant furniture was in shreds, his clothing torn, his hair wild and his eyes red. So he did know of his mother’s death. “They let her die,” he said, deathly quiet. “They will pay.”
Both of them sliced their palms and shed the ritual drops of blood to take the oath. Then Sif smashed the forcefield that contained the most dangerous weapon in Asgard.
When Thor came down a short time later, they were waiting for him.