“I don’t understand. There’s never been an omega born to the line of Bor before. Are you sure you haven’t made a mistake?” Loki asked Lady Eir.
“There is no mistake my Prince. You are an omega.” She repeated.
“But I’m male. How many male omegas are there in Asgard?”
“Only you my prince.” She said. Loki still could not comprehend what he’d been told. Omegas by and large were rare, no matter the species, but male omegas were normally born to either the elves or to the Jotunns. He’d never heard of an Aesir male omega before.
“Loki my son, walk with me.” Odin said. He appeared at the doorway of the healing hall and Loki wondered how long the old man had been standing there.
“Thank you my lady.” Loki said to the healer and left the room with his father. The men walked in silence as they made their way down the corridor. Loki had no idea if Odin was taking him somewhere specific or if they were simply ambulating for the sake of conversation. He waited for his father to speak.
“Today is going to be a day full of revelations for you. Long have I debated when I should tell you, or even if I should tell you certain things about your nature. I’ll not have you believe yourself to be a freak or a deviant. Because you are neither.”
“What am I then? How is it that I am so rare a creature in all the kingdom?”
“In the weapons vault, I shall show you.” Odin said. Loki wondered which item in the vault held secrets specific to him. His mind thought of the inventory therein, and deep down, he knew which item it would be. Once inside the vault Loki walked behind Odin passing every object until they stood before the furthest item in the room, The Casket of Ancient Winters.
“Loki, my son, this is difficult to say, and I’m sure will be even harder for you to hear. You are not my blood. I found you, on the last day of the war, in the temple of Jotunnheim’s palace.” Odin said.
Loki forgot to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest, a combination of adrenaline and emotional torment. He looked his father long and hard in his one blue eye. Odin had red hair in his younger days, like Frigga. Thor’s blond hair came from Frigga’s side of the family, but no one in the family had black hair. Loki had always assumed it was a throwback to an ancestor, one of their Jotunn ones.
“I need to see.” Loki said. Odin gestured to the Casket and Loki reached out to grab it. He watched as his fingertips, then palms, wrists, forearms, and so on turned a shade of violet blue.
“Why do you tell me this now?”
“Because it is your right to know the truth about your body and your needs. You deserve to know about who you are and where you come from. At some point you will want children of your own and there is the possibility that they might be born with Jotunn traits. Both you and your mate should know this in advance.”
“You’ve always favored Thor. I always thought it was because he was obviously an Alpha and I…I’m not even a Gamma. But now I see, I was never a contender, was I?”
“Thor is my first born and an alpha. I know I favored him in many small ways, but that doesn’t mean you were never a contender. Arrogance and ambition has been the downfall of many a King, and Thor…Thor has that streak something terrible. It is the reason I have not yet abdicated. Thor checks a lot of boxes, but he doesn’t check them all. Not yet. You have been, and still are closer in the running than you realize. You are every bit as much a prince as he is, even though you were not born into this family.”
“I still don’t understand. Snatching the infant child of your enemy, why? You were knee deep in Jotunn blood. Why did you take me?”
“You were an innocent child. Abandoned and left to die, because you were a runt. I picked you up and you stopped crying, and you smiled at me. I could not leave you in that place.”
“You should have. The people of Asgard will no sooner accept a Jotunn as their prince than the Frost Giants will accept a runt.”
“Loki, my boy, you are wrong in this. Very wrong. I know the people of Asgard have held onto a streak of bigotry towards Jotunns since the last war, but you are still my son. And if I may say so, you are the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom now. More so than even Thor.”
“What? How so? I listen to people like Thor and his friends every day. Being Argr is taboo. The people will mock me. You know they will.” Loki asked. Odin chuckled and patted Loki’s shoulder.
“Not when you are the most coveted marriage partner and mate in all the realm. You see Loki, the reason Thor is so large and powerful, like me, is because of our Jotunn heritage. Though you are a runt, odds are, your children will receive some of the other more desirable Jotunn traits that make fine strapping sons and warriors. Not to mention the honor, title, and status that will come with being married into the royal family. You’ll be beating them off with a stick my son.” Odin said with a chuckle. Loki didn’t want to believe him, and looked pensive as he processed all that his father told him.
“Consider the possibilities my boy. Your enemies at court will be singing a different tune.” Odin said. A wicked grin spread over Loki’s face. Oh yes, he would have fun with this.
The air smelled fresh and clean despite the masses of muscled men entwining in combat. They were all training for the trials. Loki had ordered the competition to ferret out which of Asgard’s warriors were worthy of further consideration. At the moment Loki had 112 active suitors for his hand. The kicked up dust from the training floor coated all of their bodies in a thin layer of film. In and amongst them was one particular Aesir with golden hair and sapphire eyes. He grunted as he was pinned on his back to the ground by his opponent. Fandral looked up into the smiling face of his friend and prince, Thor.
“Do you yield?” Thor asked him.
“Aye.” Fandral said. The men clasped hands and Thor helped him to his feet.
“It is not often that the ladies of Asgard get to see you flat on your back, panting with exertion.” Thor said laughing.
“That’s not true. I enjoy it when the lady does all the work.” Fandral said.
“He’s watching the men again.” Thor said, his gaze fixed upon his brother who was sitting in the stands assessing his suitors.
“I wonder if he has already made up his mind? I get the feeling it won’t matter who the victor of the games will be. Loki likes to test people by making them think they’ve won and then snatching it away, just to see how they’ll react. You watch Thor, everyone will think it’s all over and then Loki will play his trick.” Fandral said. Thor nodded at that. It was an astute observation on Fandral’s part regarding Loki’s personality.
“You’re right. Loki would do something like that just to see if the suitor was earnest in his affections or an ambitious ass. You should put forth a formal courtship offer.” Thor said.
“An endorsement? That is both encouraging and flattering, but it would be better if such a sentiment came from Loki himself.” Fandral said. He watched Loki leave the arena, noting the change in Loki’s attire from a few months ago. Gone was the overly menacing armor with extra padding that tried too hard to make Loki seem larger and more imposing. Now Loki dressed with a feminine flair that made him androgynous. His hair was longer than ever and now had plaiting in it to keep his raven locks neat.
“I see the way you look at him. Are you hesitating because of the game?” Thor asked.
“Yes. I suspect none will pass this first round.” Fandral said.
“That is a large gamble, waiting as you are. You could miss your opportunity entirely.” Thor said.
“Maybe.” Fandral said. He didn’t want to say what he really thought, what he really observed.
“Lord Tyr. You brought me flowers? How sweet.” Loki said. The room was already filled with flowers from all of his suitors. Loki was entertaining over a hundred of them this evening.
“They pale in comparison to your beauty my prince.” Tyr said.
“Ah, but my beauty, as you refer to, is but an illusion. Underneath this creamy pale complexion is a blue creature with red eyes. Tell me Tyr, would it bother you if your children had ruby red eyes?” Loki asked. The fake smile on Tyr’s face faltered and Loki saw that flash of honesty in his eyes.
“I thought so.” Loki said. He moved away from Tyr onto more interesting prospects. Up above at the high table, Odin and Frigga looked on as Loki had the time of his life.
“He’s enjoying himself.” Odin said, smiling.
“A little too much, I’m afraid. Some of those men have genuine intensions.” Frigga said.
“Sincerity is only one of many attributes they’ll need to win Loki, my dear. He’s right to put them through their paces.” Odin said.
“You seem troubled. What worries you?”
“Loki, he’s always been his own worst enemy. I fear he’ll alienate the wrong one and push away the best candidate.”
“And who is the best candidate?” Odin asked.
“I’m not sure yet. Tyr looks furious though.”
“Good. He’s not right for him. A lot these aren’t. They all want to dominate a Jotunn, not love one. Relax wife. We should sit back this evening and enjoy the entertainment.” Odin said. Frigga smiled at that.
“Aye. The right one, I don’t think he’s here tonight.” Frigga said. From a side table in the room, Thor, Fandral, and the others watched Loki with mirth and curiosity.