Wednesday, June 18, 2014

(8) WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT THEMES!! For the Love of Loki (conclusion)


           We spent a full month in the mountains. It was wonderful to be there with him alone and to worry about nothing at all. It was cooler in the mountains, but still warm enough to go swimming every day. The lake there was colder and had a beautiful waterfall that emptied into it. We swam in the nude nearly every afternoon after getting to the lake by horseback.

            My belly swelled quite a bit while we were on our honeymoon. I began to worry that something was wrong. I seemed so large for only five months. I had brought the pregnancy book along and was comparing myself to the illustrations.  Loki did his best to reassure me that every woman was different and I was likely just fine. He even suggested that I might be carrying twins or even triplets. The thought of having to care for multiple newborns at once was even more frightening to me. He finally agreed to leave the manor so I could be examined by the palace doctor and hopefully allay my fears.

            We arrived at the palace in the morning and he immediately went to get Julius while I lay in bed and rested. Julius brought Hestia, the midwife, along with him. They both examined me for quite a while and then stepped out in the hall to confer. Loki sat next to me on the edge of the bed and held my hand. Neither of us spoke.

            Ten minutes later, Julius returned alone and informed us that he wished to take me downstairs to the formal medical chambers for further testing. I could feel Loki's grip on my hand tighten slightly. "Is she carrying multiple babies, Julius? Is that what is causing this?"

            "I am not certain your highness. That is why I want a more thorough examination. It is possible she has twins or even more."

            I arose from the bed and Loki and I both followed the doctor downstairs to the palace medical wing. Loki remained at my side the entire time and held my hand when it was possible. At the end of nearly three hours of tests of every variety Julius could perform on me, it was concluded that I was not carrying multiples, just a single very large baby. He also informed us that the baby was a girl.

            "I do not understand why the baby is so large," Loki stated after Julius gave us his conclusions.

           "You have both been working under the assumption of a normal Midgardian pregnancy between two human beings. That is obviously not the case here; the baby clearly has more of her father's Asgardian features and will likely not need forty weeks to develop like human babies do. Asgardian pregnancies are usually thirty weeks at the most and do tend to result in larger babies than humans. At the rate this baby is growing, you only have five to eight more weeks to go. When the time comes, I will have to deliver your daughter surgically because she is already too large to fit through your pelvis. I am sorry for that because it will limit how many children you can have in the future."

            "Would all of our children end up like this baby?" Loki questioned.

            "I cannot say. It would depend on the genetic makeup of the child at conception. If they inherited more features of their Mother, they would probably be smaller and more human-like. It is just so difficult to determine though because genetics is complicated enough, but when you add in the differences between Midgardians and Asgardians, it becomes even more unpredictable. We might appear similar in many ways, but we are clearly different beings. It is not merely that you are tall while Lorelei is petite; you are physically larger than her. She is fairly average for a human female. I am sorry that I cannot give you more positive news, but the truth is that I just do not know."

            I felt too numb to say a word. Loki thanked Julius and helped me out of the room and back to our chambers. I lay on the bed and informed Loki I just wanted to take a nap as I was feeling very tired.

            He kissed my cheek and covered me with the blanket. I soon drifted off to sleep. 

Unfortunately it was a sleep full of nightmares about giving birth to a monster baby. I imagined all sorts of strange scenarios from the child being hairy and wolf-like to being a blue giant. I feared that the Jotunn witch was not the only reason that Loki's eldest three children turned out to be the creatures they were.

            Loki came to me during these nightmares and tried to soothe me, but it was useless. My fear was too overwhelming for his words or presence to provide comfort. At last I awoke screaming in utter terror. He came running from the shadows on the other side of the room to hold me and attempt to console me. I must have cried a river before it subsided out of sheer exhaustion.

            "Darling, I could see what you were dreaming. Do you really fear that you are giving birth to a monster?" Loki asked cautiously.

            "I am full of fears right now. I did read that such bad dreams are not uncommon in a first time mother. We apparently all worry about our child not being healthy and normal."

            "I guess it does not help matters that I have had four children who were not normal," he responded with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

            I had no retort to that because it was entirely true. I chose to remain silent.

           Eventually he broke the silence by asking, "Lorelei, do you think I am a monster?"

           "No my beloved, I do not think that. I think you are Asgardian and I am not and that fact is being reflected in our daughter."

            He seemed relieved by my answer. He sighed and leaned back on the headboard of the bed. I snuggled close to him. "What are we going to name our little Princess?" He asked.

            "I have no idea. I had not even considered names yet;" I paused, before asking something I had wondered about for years. "How did I get my name? Was I old enough to tell you?"

            "I named you. You did not speak a word for nearly a month. I began to doubt you even could. Mother kept telling me to give you time as you had obviously been severely traumatized. I asked you several times if you could at least tell me your name; you did not have to speak another word until you were ready. I just called you darling for the longest time. Finally one day I asked you again what your name was and you told me you did not know. I asked if you would like me to give you a name and you said that you would. I named you Lorelei. It was from a Midgardian book I had read. The name was said to mean 'alluring' in a language known as German. Apparently there are a lot of different languages in Midgard. I definitely found you attractive and charming, so I thought it was a very appropriate name for you."

            "Does your name have a meaning?"

            He chuckled. "It means 'close.' I have no idea why I was given that name."

            "What about Thor? What does that mean?"

            "Thunder...obviously. He gets a fearsome name that means thunder and I am close. I have never quite understood that."

            "Maybe it refers to you being close to your brother?"

            "I suppose it could just be a reference that my mother always wanted me to be close to her and my family."

            "There is nothing wrong with that."

            "I suppose not. That still does not decide our daughter's name though."

            "You know more names then I do. I think you should choose her name."

            "Are you certain about that darling? I do have some books with lists of names. We could go through them together and choose something we both like."

            I sighed. "All right, if you insist."

            He got up and walked across the room to the many bookshelves that were on the opposite side. He picked a rather large book from one of the shelves and returned to the bed with it. We then sat there until our dinner arrived looking through names and discussing them. He was partial to the name Tatiana. I liked Eleanor. He could not persuade me to change my mind so he ended up suggesting we compromise and name her both. I agreed. Her name would be Tatiana Eleanor.
           
                                               ***************************

           The days slowly turned into weeks. The baby continued to grow and I became increasingly uncomfortable. Loki and I did not make love anymore. I did not sleep well anymore. I had nightmares every time I closed my eyes and drifted off and Loki was unable to quiet my fears. He refused to leave my side so he did not sleep much either. He tried everything he knew to stop my nightmares, but nothing worked for long. He apologized to me daily for getting me pregnant, thus causing my problems. I developed a standard response that it was worth it to give him our daughter.

            Four weeks after Julius told us that our daughter was going to have to be born surgically, he decided it was time. He could not even promise us that she was fully developed and would be able to live outside of the womb. My health however was deteriorating, so it was best to go ahead and deliver the baby before we both died. He reassured us that they had the technological means to take care of the baby after birth. I was at greater risk of death then she was.

            It was early in the morning, in the middle of the week. The day dawned rainy. I was taken to the medical wing of the palace. Loki was at my side. I was dressed and prepped for surgery. Julius informed Loki that if he wished to be in the operating room, he would need to change into something more appropriate. He was reluctant to leave me. At that moment, Thor walked into the room and said he would sit with me. Loki went to change, pausing to say something quietly to his brother at the door. They were too far away for me to hear the exchange. Loki left; Thor came to sit in the chair next to my bed.

            "How are you Lorelei?" He inquired of me.

            "As well as can be expected as I guess. I am nervous about the surgery and worried for Tatiana."

            "Are you not concerned about your own health?"

            "I am certain I will be fine. Julius said my body should return to normal after the baby is out. I just hope she is developed enough to live outside of my womb. What did Loki say to you before he left?"

            "He said not to upset you because you are stressed out enough. I have no intention of making your health worse. I just want you to know that I still love you. I will just have to accept the fact that you chose my brother instead of me."

            I reached out to caress his cheek. "Oh Thor! I wish I remembered the things you spoke of that day, but I simply do not. I love Loki with all of my heart and I know he feels the same about me. I hope someday you find a woman you can love with all of your heart and who loves you as much in return."

            "Thank you Lorelei. You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. I hope this surgery goes well and you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I cannot wait to hold little Tatiana in my arms. I am certain she will be as beautiful as her mother."

            He leaned over and gently kissed my forehead. Loki entered the room just as he sat back. He eyed us suspiciously before approaching the bed and asking if everything was all right.

            "Everything is fine brother. I was just telling Lorelei that I am certain little Tatiana will be a healthy and beautiful baby. I look forward to meeting my little niece."

            He then got up to leave, telling us he would remain nearby in case we needed anything.

            Loki is sitting next to me patiently waiting for the nurses to take me to the operating room. I am finishing up this entry in my diary. The nurse just came in to say it is time. I guess I will write again after Tatiana is born and I have recovered some. I am excited to see my beautiful daughter. I cannot wait to see Loki holding our sweet baby girl. He is going to make a wonderful father. I must end this now; the nurse is getting impatient with me. I am going to end this by saying: I love you Loki! I love our little Tatiana Eleanor and I do not regret having your child!

                                     ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

           
            I found Lorelei's diary. I never even knew she kept one. I remember giving her a blank one on her eleventh birthday and telling her that it was for all those beautiful random thoughts her mind was always full of. I did not know she had actually begun writing in it though. I guess there were some thoughts she kept hidden from everyone, including me. I am Loki, son of Odin and I will tell the rest of my wife's story. The rest of her story deserves to be told. After all, everyone's story has an end.

            She left off with going into surgery to deliver our daughter Tatiana Eleanor, so I will pick up from there. She was actually very sick on that day even though she only mentioned it in passing in her diary. Carrying our child was killing her. Several of her organs were shutting down. The pregnancy was just too much for her human body. I do not know if it was because she was human and I am not or if it was because she was so young.

            The surgery itself was routine. Julius had to make a large incision to remove the baby as she was quite large. Tatiana was not breathing when she came out. As a matter of fact, she was entirely blue. She was taken to the other side of the room where a warming bed for babies was set up. Julius's assistants worked frantically to clear her airway and get her breathing. I do not know how much time had passed before she soon uttered a faint cry. She was given oxygen but it was not helping the situation, so she was hooked up to a ventilator. The blue slowly began to fade from her skin as the machine breathed for her. Her lungs were not fully developed so she could not breathe on her own.

            I was not even allowed to go over there while they worked. Julius finished stitching up Lorelei and all seemed to be well with her. She was not unconscious, but was numb so she did not feel the surgery taking place on the lower part of her body. She kept asking me if Tatiana was all right and all I could say was the physicians were assisting her. No one was the slightest bit interested in updating us at that moment.

            I was holding her hand and absentmindedly kissed it a few times to try to reassure her, but my full attention was on our daughter. It was then that the monitors attached to Lorelei began to sound their alarms. Julius rushed over and gave her a couple of injections and it stopped. I was then ushered out of the room. It was the longest, most agonizing twenty minutes of my life. I sat on the floor opposite the operating room, waiting for someone to come out and tell me that my wife and newborn daughter were going to be just fine. Thor came over and sat next to me. We did not speak. We just sat and stared at the doors and waited.

            After what seemed like hours, Julius came out and told us they were both stable for now. Lorelei was brought out and taken to her room. She was unconscious now. She never woke up. She was in a coma for four days before her liver, kidneys and heart finally failed her. She never got to hold Tatiana or even see her. I had lost the woman I had spent the last fourteen years madly in love with. My beautiful Lorelei was gone. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, she was gone from me forever. I never knew it was possible for my heart to ache so badly. I thought I had been heartbroken when Sigyn had died, but this felt even worse. Sigyn and I had been together for over a century. Lorelei had been my lovely wife for two short months. We had only had fourteen short years together and for most of that she had been a little girl.

            I remembered sitting in her bed and holding her after the machines had been turned off. All of the wires had been removed and I was given the chance to grieve her alone. I held her petite lifeless body against my chest and I wept. I wept like I never had before and I am not ashamed to admit it. I felt as if someone had stabbed me through the heart.

            It has been almost a year since she died and it still pains me to sit here and write this. I kept a lock of her curly red hair. I wear it in a locket around my neck that I keep inside of my clothing and close to my heart at all times. I still wear black. I still feel like I am mourning her. She was my life for fourteen years and now she is gone.

            I would love to say that at least I have our beautiful daughter. A part of her and a part of me that would live on for years to come and be a balm to soothe my aching heart. Alas, I lost her too. Two days after her Mother died. Tatiana's lungs were immature despite her size. She may have had other problems as well. Her little body simply could not handle life outside of the womb. She was as beautiful as her Mother. She had her Mother's eyes and my hair. I believe she had a combination of the best features of both of us. I wish I could have watched her grow up to see if her personality was as much of a blend of us as her looks.

            I insisted they be together for the funeral. She was dressed in a baby's pink gown and placed on her mother's chest. Lorelei was wearing her bridal gown. I did not want to ever see that dress again. It was just too painful. She had looked so beautiful in it when she had walked down the aisle toward me on our wedding day. They managed to position Lorelei so it looked as if she was holding her baby girl. At last she got to hold our little darling.

            Lorelei and Tatiana...both of my princesses lost to me. It is not a pain I would wish on anyone no matter what they had done to me. This is the end of our love story. I am sorry it is not a happy fairytale, but I have learned that life seldom is. Someday, I will be with my loves again for all eternity. Lives end, but true love is forever.

                           IT IS FINISHED


The Alternate Ending of For The Love of Loki

Monday, June 16, 2014

(7) WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT THEMES!! For the Love of Loki part 7


         Time passed on as it always does and at last the day of our wedding arrived. It was being held in the main hall of the palace as it was largest. There was a large crowd of people gathered for the occasion; some even from other realms. Not a one of them was my family or even friend. The only family I had ever really known was Loki's family. I had no memories of my own family. I do not know if it was from the trauma I had endured or because I had been so young. To be honest, I did not even know how old I really was. Loki had assumed I was about three years of age when I came to Asgard. We celebrated my birthday on the anniversary of my being brought here.

            I was in the Queen's chambers being prepared for the ceremony. She was fussing over my dress and hair; making certain both was perfect. I was practicing what I was expected to recite during the ceremony. I was terrified I would forget what to say and embarrass myself. She did her best to reassure me and reminded me that Loki would be there to help me if I got stuck. At least one of us had done this before.

            My wedding gown was a heavy pale pink silk with a modest neckline that did not reveal any cleavage at all. Above it I wore a beautiful golden necklace that resembled vines ending in a single, large pink gem studded blossom. It was a gift from Queen Frigga; she apparently had it made just for me. The front of my gown had been altered to have a high waistline with many gathers of fabric in the front to hide my growing belly. The hem was at my feet with a long train in the back. The sleeves were well below my elbows, but very openly cut so they did not cling to my arms. I wore tiny pink flowers in my partially pinned up curls that were swept back from my face. The rest of my curly hair was left to flow down my back. Loki did not like it when I pinned up my hair completely. He said it made me look like I was a still a servant. I wore nothing covering my hair. Veils were not worn by royalty anymore, even on their wedding day. I simply wore a small bejeweled tiara on loan from the Queen.

            It was soon time for us to make our way to the doors outside of the great hall. I followed closely behind the Queen as I was so nervous I was afraid I would get lost. I would love to be able to go into exquisite detail about our beautiful wedding ceremony, but to be perfectly honest, once those doors opened and I looked down the aisle to see my handsome Prince in his black and dark green formal wear, my mind sort of went blank. It was so nerve wracking to be walking down that aisle toward him in the middle of a sea of strangers who are all gawking at me and probably wondering about my identity. None of them knew me; I was a stranger to them, yet I had captured Prince Loki's heart. I am willing to bet the room was seething with jealousy as well. I am certain there were a large number of Asgardian women present who would be glad to take my place.

            I do remember that I did not make any mistakes to embarrass myself or Loki. His kiss on my lips at the end was gentle and sweet. We retreated down the aisle and out of the hall hand in hand. We went to a sitting room down the hall to rest a few minutes alone while all of our guests retreated to the dining hall for the reception. We were to wait fifteen minutes and then make our grandiose entrance as husband and wife.

            We sat on the sofa and kissed. "Well that was fun," he said between kisses.

            "I would not call that fun! It was extremely stressful! I have never been more nervous in my entire seventeen years!"

            He laughed and kissed me some more. "You did fine darling. You said everything correctly and did not trip over your dress."

            "Now I have to go before all of those people again for a reception. I have to eat in front of them and be a congenial court Lady. Your Mother may have given me several lessons in proper court etiquette, but I am not certain I am ready for this."

            "Oh darling, do not stress over it. Would you like to skip the reception and go on to our honeymoon? I have arranged for us to stay at the family manor in the mountains. It is beautiful this time of the year; not nearly as beautiful as in the autumn, but the weather is cooler at the higher elevation."

            I was so tempted to take that offer and skip the reception. "Will your parents be upset with us?"

            He laughed. "I suppose they would. I would rather not upset Mother since we are going to need her baby expertise soon. I guess we will just have to suffer through it. If you would like to at least cut it shorter, I can make the excuse you are getting tired; Mother will understand that. These celebrations can go on for hours and I do not want you to exhaust yourself. It is not good for the baby for you to be over tired."

            "I guess I can handle it for a couple of hours. I need something to eat anyway. I was too nervous to eat much earlier today."

            "It is settled then; we will stay for a couple of hours then tell our parents you are tired and we need to leave. Besides, I would rather get to the mountains before dark and it takes an hour to get there."

            He then kissed me passionately. We were interrupted by a knock on the door. Loki bid them enter and a servant informed us that it was time to go to the dining hall for the reception.

            I followed him out and held his hand as we went to the double doors and waited to be formally announced to the crowd within. The doors were pulled open by servants inside just as a footman announced us as Prince Loki and his wife Lorelei. I was dismayed to realize he pronounced my name wrong making the end rhyme with lay instead of lie. Great now I was going to spend the next two hours correcting everyone. Loki came to my rescue and very loudly proclaimed, "Thank you for that wonderful introduction, but my beloved bride's name is Lore-lie. She was not named after a Midgardian floral garland that is worn about the neck. "

            There were a few polite tithers of laughter. We then moved down a row of dignitaries, greeting and thanking them for coming to our wedding. They said nothing more to me then "congratulations." Occasionally a woman in the line would wish us a long and happy marriage. We finally made our way to the front of the room where the dais was set where we would be dining with his Mother, Father, and brother. Prince Thor was unmarried and did not have a betrothed so it was just the five of us. Once we sat down, the guests filed to their seats and sat as well. This was the cue to the servants to begin serving. Queen Frigga sat on my right while all of the men were to my left.

            I managed to eat some. People still came by to congratulate us. No one noticed my wine goblet sat untouched while my water goblet was refilled a few times. Loki was completely lost in conversation with his brother and father; some of the men would linger and talk for a while as well. Queen Frigga was drawn into a conversation with a woman who joined us after half of an hour; Frigga had introduced her to me as her sister. Any of the women who wandered up to our table got into a brief conversation with Frigga and her sister. I sat there alone with no one talking to me. I nibbled at the food I was brought. I thanked the servants profusely just so I could hear the sound of my own voice. They looked at me oddly, but I did not care what they thought any more.

            Finally, after over an hour of complete and utter boredom, Loki asked me to dance. No one would dance until the bride and groom did as it was Asgardian custom to wait until the couple had the first dance. I took his hand and followed him the dance floor. He led me into a waltz. After a few minutes of everyone watching us dance, we were joined by several other couples including the King and Queen.

            When it was over, I followed Loki back to table. We were alone as everyone else was dancing. "Are you enjoying yourself darling?" He asked.

            I sighed before saying, "Do you want my honest answer?"

            "Of course my darling, I want you to always be honest with me."

            "I have never been so bored in all of my life. You have been talking to your brother and father while your mother has been talking with her sister; I am left out of every conversation and I do not know anyone here other than your family."

            "I am sorry darling; I did not mean to ignore you. Are you ready to go on our honeymoon?"

            "I would like one more dance first. Then you can make our excuses to your family so we can leave."

            He leaned over and kissed my forehead then lead me back out on the dance floor. We ended up dancing twice instead of just once more. We then returned to the table, where I sat down while he went to find his Mother to tell her we would depart as I was feeling tired.

            I simply sat and watched the other guests while sipping my water. Prince Thor came over and sat down next to me where Loki had been sitting all throughout dinner. I did not greet him. I waited for him to speak to me first.

            "I just wanted to congratulate you before you leave for the mountains," he stated after several minutes.

            I glanced at him and thanked him politely. We had not had a conversation since I was a child.

            "When is the baby due?" He asked nonchalantly.

            I nearly choked on my water. "You know about that?"

            "Yes I found out just a little while ago."

            I could not remember the Asgard name for December so I simply told him early in the winter.

            "I look forward to meeting my little niece or nephew. I hope you have a healthy pregnancy and easy childbirth."

            I did not know what to say so I simply thanked him for his well wishes. We were both silent, but he made no move to get up and leave. Finally he said, "Lorelei, why did you marry my brother?"

            I turned to stare at him now. Finally I said, "He loves me and I him. He has loved me since I was a little girl. He took care of me."

            "He is not the only one who has loved you for as long. I looked after you just as much as he did. I played with you just as much as he did. I mean, yes he provided you with a Nanny and was more into educating you, but I am the one who taught you to ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow. Do you not remember any of that?"

            I sat silently searching my memories. I had vague memories of riding on a horse through the woods to the south of the palace. I did not realize Thor was the one who always let me ride alone.

            "You used to let me ride the horse alone."

            "Yes I did. Loki was afraid to let you ride a horse alone. He was always afraid you would fall off and get hurt."

            More memories suddenly came flooding back to me. I remembered playing with his helmet and his laughing at how silly I looked because it was way too big for my head. I saw fleeting images race through my mind of riding in the woods with him on the horse behind my own, of practicing archery and him cheering me on. He often said that he loved tickling me because I had the cutest laugh in all of the Nine Realms. I even remembered stealing his red cloak and sleeping wrapped up in it for several days because he had left and I missed him.

            "Loki was the one who was always there when I had nightmares. I remember sleeping with him many nights for many years. He was always there for me," I said reeling in my confusion.

            "Yes Loki was usually the first to respond when you had nightmares because you two are telepathically linked. He did that to you not long after you first came here when he taught you to speak to him through your mind alone. He can hear your thoughts and heard you cry out for him. You slept with me plenty of nights too. When Loki was away you would not sleep in your own bed so you slept in mine. You preferred to fall asleep with your head lying on my chest. You said the sound of my heart comforted you more than any sound in the world."

            I was beginning to feel severely conflicted inside. I remembered saying exactly the same thing to Loki on many occasions. "Why are you telling me all of this now? What difference does it make? Where were you during my years of servitude? Where were you when I was brutally whipped?"

            "Do you know why you have never seen the man who did that to you since it happened?" He questioned in response.

            I shook my head no so he continued. "I killed him. I saw him drag you out to the stables that night, bind you to a hitching post, rip open the back of your dress and strike you with horse reins. He only hit you twice before I stopped him. I had never been so full of rage; I killed him quickly and without mercy. I then untied you and brought you to my chambers. I tended your bleeding wounds myself. Do you not remember any of that?"

            I was fighting back tears. "All I remember is the pain and shame I felt. Why did you return me to my servitude afterward? If you loved me why did you not keep me?"

            "My Father forbade it. He demanded I send you back. He did not want Loki or me to have anything to do with you. He thought you must have been some kind of a changeling witch and not really a Midgardian to have bewitched both of his sons into loving you. I was absolutely terrified of what he might do to you if I did not obey him. He was convinced that time and distance would finally break the spell you had cast on us. He did not understand that it was our own hearts that had fallen for your innocent beauty and compassionate heart. To be honest, Loki and I fought over you more than once because we both had such strong feelings for you."

            I got up and walked away, moving toward a door. Thor got up and followed me. In the hallway, I stopped and turned to him, "Why do I not remember any of this? I have vague memories of you playing with me some when I was a very little girl, but I do not remember anything else you spoke of. If you loved me so much, why did Loki come to me first when I was only fifteen?"

            "He did not come to you first. Do you not remember? I came to you on your fifteenth birthday. I sought you out when you were scrubbing floors on the far side of the palace and told you how much I loved you. We kissed so passionately. I begged you to come to my chambers then; I wanted to claim you as my own. I no longer cared what Father said. I was determined to save you and I thought making you mine was the best way to achieve that, but you were so young and naive that you were terrified and begged me to wait a while. I agreed, but we were planning for when you were ready. I came to you almost every day and you always left me with your kisses and promises of love. Then one day, it just stopped. You avoided me. I was so confused. Then I saw you gazing longingly at my brother every time you saw him."

            He stopped speaking and took my hands, pulling me close to him. "Lorelei, I think he has enchanted you. I do not think your choices have been your own in the last couple of years."

            "Why did you wait until my wedding day to tell me this?" I nearly whispered, the tears now flowing freely down my cheeks.

            "I have not been able to get to you before today. He has kept you away from me. Lorelei, I have never stopped loving you! It is not too late to go to Father and tell him what has happened to you and have him declare your marriage invalid."

            I pulled away from him. I just could not believe what he was telling me. It seemed so preposterous and not at all like the tender sweet Loki I had grown to love with all of my being. I shook my head and wiped at my tears.

            "No! I do not believe you! I do not understand your motives, but you are just trying to confuse me. Maybe you are jealous or maybe you are mad. Loki loves me. We are now married and have a child on the way. Please leave me alone!"

            Loki appeared from seemingly nowhere, just as I screamed at Thor to leave me alone. "Is everything all right my love?" He asked of me.

            I said nothing. Thor glared at him angrily. Loki smirked back at his brother. I finally ran to him, threw my arms about his neck and begged him to leave now.

            "Yes, my darling. We will leave immediately. Has something transpired to upset you so much?"

            Thor just glared and stormed off angrily. I shook my head vigorously and told him I would tell him later, when we were at the manor in the mountains.

            "As you wish, my love. Everything is ready for us to depart. Come along and we will be on our way."

            He put his arm around me and we walked down the hallway and were outside within minutes. He took me out to the dock and helped me into the vehicle. It was like a boat, but was capable of flying or sailing through the waters. He wrapped a warm cloak around me as it would be a bit chilly in the air with the sun setting.

            We were quiet on the trip. I leaned back on the bench seat and nodded off. There were a thousand thoughts swirling in my head making it impossible to truly sleep. I had no memory of what Thor had spoken of. I did not remember him coming to me before Loki did. I did not remember him taking care of me after the whipping. I did not remember ever sleeping in his chambers.

            We finally arrived at the manor and Loki assisted me out of the vehicle. We went inside and he escorted me to our chamber. He helped me out of my wedding gown and into a sleeping gown. Our belongings had been sent here earlier in the day and the few servants who would be here during our stay had put everything away for us.

            "This is the first time you have ever worn a gown to sleep in my darling. We usually both sleep nude. Is everything all right?"

            "I just feel cold," I replied.

            I moved to the bed and lay down. He stripped off his clothing and lay in the bed next to me, pulling himself close to my body. He stroked my temple and kissed my head. "Are you ready to talk about it yet?"

            "Do you love me?"

            "Of course I do Lorelei! If I did not love you, I would not have married you."

            "Did Thor love me too?"

            He was silent for several minutes. I rolled over and sat up, waiting for him to answer me. At last he said, "I am sure he loved you in some manner. You were like a baby sister to us both. I am unaware of him loving you the way that I do. What were the two of you discussing in the hallway when I interrupted?"

            I then proceeded to tell him everything that Thor had told me. It all just came rushing forth like a dam had broken and I had to let it out. I also started crying while I revealed all, including the fact I do not have clear memories of any of it.

            When I finished, he sat up, wrapped his strong arms around me and pulled me close. "Oh my darling, I do not know why he told you such things. None of it is true. Sure he played with you some when you were little. Yes he did teach you archery, but that was it. You went riding with me and every time I tried to put you on a horse alone, you became frightened and begged me join you. I never went away overnight. You never slept with him except for that one time you were very sick. You were in my chambers and I was caring for you and had been awake for two straight days. He insisted I go to his chambers and sleep for a while and he stayed with you to watch over you. He did not sleep, but just sat at your bedside and held your hand. My only guess is he is jealous. You are my second wife and he has never married or had a serious relationship. Lady Sif is madly in love with him, but he is completely blind to it. I can only guess though. I do not know his motivation."

            "It is not true?"    
       
            "No darling. That is why you have no real memory of it. He was just trying to confuse you. Do not let it trouble you anymore. This is our wedding night and we should be enjoying each other."

            I wiped away my tears and giggled. "I think we have been enjoying each other a lot in the last few months."

            He laughed too and rubbed my swelling belly. "Yes we certainly have been. I have enjoyed every single moment of it too."

            We then kissed. It led to more kisses which soon led to us making love. Afterward, we fell asleep entwined around each other as usual, naked, but covered with a blanket.

                                                TO BE CONTINUED...    


The Conclusion of For the Love of Loki

Saturday, June 14, 2014

(6) WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT THEMES! For the Love of Loki part 6


               Days turned into weeks and we spent all of that time together. He refused to do anything that did not involve spending time with me. When we were not horseback riding or swimming in the lake, we were in his chambers reading. He took it upon himself to educate me. He insisted that his wife be learned and not an ignorant woman. It was during this time that I also received my training in how to be a court lady from his Mother. He was present for this time as well.

            Our wedding day was close enough that I had my first formal dress fitting to make certain it was the proper length and looked acceptable on my body. Stanwick was dismayed to discover he would have to let it out some in my torso. Fortunately though, he had left extra material in that area so he would not have to remake the entire dress.

            Frigga had been present for the dress fitting and was now helping me into my new green silk dress. She adjusted the laces on the side, to loosen them a bit. "I do believe you are putting on weight Lorelei."

            "Well everyone was saying I was too thin. It does help that I eat three meals a day and there is always fruit around to snack on during the day. I guess swimming does not burn as many calories as scrubbing floors all day."

            "I am glad to see you filling out to a healthy weight, just do not overdue it because being overweight comes with its own problems as well. I am glad we only made you a few dresses for now; I think you are going to need larger ones very soon."   
      
            She then kissed my cheek and left our chambers. I was finally beginning to think of it as "our" chambers instead of just Loki's chambers. He entered shortly after she left. I was standing before the full length mirror looking at my figure. I was filling out all over, but my abdomen seemed to be ahead of the rest of my body. It was not excessive, but there was a noticeable swollen lump where there had not been one a couple of months before.

            Loki came up behind me and put his arms around me and began kissing my neck. "Does your wedding gown fit perfectly, my love?"

            "No the middle needs to be let out some. Do you think my abdomen bulges a bit too much?"

            He ran his hands down over my stomach. "I do not think it does. It would not be obvious to the casual observer anyway. Do not tell me that now you are concerned about getting fat. I think you are finally beginning to look healthy."

            "No I think I look fine. It is just that my dresses are getting snugger and apparently the side laces are out as far as they can be. I did not mean to gain so much weight that I would burden the tailor by having to make more new dresses for me so soon. Perhaps I will stop drinking wine and eating dessert."

            "Perhaps you are with child, darling."

            I froze and began franticly searching my mind, trying to remember when my last monthly cycle was. I realized I had not had one since Loki and I began making love and that was three months ago.

            I turned around in his arms and was about to tell him that he was probably correct when he kissed me and told me he was going to personally get the physician. Sometimes, it was a nuisance having someone who could read your thoughts. He disappeared out of the room before I could say a word.

            He returned in less than fifteen minutes with the court physician, Julius. I was sitting on the sofa waiting for them. Julius greeted me politely and examined me quickly. He then sent Loki's servant to retrieve the midwife. While we waited, he informed us that he did believe me to be with child, but the midwife would be able to tell us more as she was the expert on the subject. She was even familiar with Midgardian women as she had delivered babies for Midgard servants.

            The midwife finally arrived; her name was Hestia and was clearly not a young woman. She ordered me onto the bed and the men out of the room. She examined me by raising the hem of my dress and checking my stomach and privates. She finished her exam quickly and congratulated me on my first child. She also informed me that I had about six months to go and that she would visit me monthly to make certain all was well.

           Loki returned after Hestia left and asked if it was true.

            I smiled happily, "Yes my beloved, we are going to have a child."

            He yelped with delight as he scooped me up and spun me around. He held me up against his body and kissed me passionately.

            "This is wonderful! When are you due to have the baby darling?"

            "The midwife said I have about six more months to go; so that would mean the start of winter, right?"

            "Yes, that is in Morsugr. The humans call it December on their calendars."

            "I never did understand the differences in the calendars. I am just happy to be having your child regardless of the month it is born in. Do you suppose we are having a girl or a boy?"

            "So long as the child is healthy, I care not for one gender over the other. It would be nice if the child has your beautiful blue eyes though. I would very much like to see that trait passed on to our child. I have always thought your eyes are such a lovely shade of blue. It reminds me of the summer sky on a clear day."

            I smiled and kissed him. "I hope I give you a son that looks just like you."

            "The sitting room I never use will be a perfect nursery. Our little one will be close to us so we can care for him or her. There will be no nannies here. It is our child and our responsibility. You have made me the happiest man in all of the Realms!"

            He kissed me again. He then asked how I was feeling. I told him I was perfectly fine. He then suggested we go for a nice walk outside so I could get fresh air and exercise. While we walked he lectured me on eating well and getting exercise so I would not gain too much weight and keep the baby healthy.

           I laughed. "When did you become an expert on pregnancy?"

            "I told you I have researched Midgardian women. Well, one of the books I retrieved from Midgard was all about pregnancy and childbirth. You should definitely read it as well since this is all new to you. I am surprised you have not experienced morning sickness. I seem to recall that being in the book as something you can expect in the beginning. You have slept very soundly lately, but you do not seem to have been sick."

            "What is this morning sickness?"

            "It is often vomiting, but sometimes it just makes you feel like you will. It has something to do with changing hormone levels. I think we both need to read the book because I do not remember perfectly."

            "No I have not done that or felt like I was going to. My stomach had been a tad unsettled some mornings, but it went away quickly. It was not even bad enough to make me think something was wrong. I just thought I was hungry."

            We walked on in silence. I was happily thinking about our baby and I could tell by the smile on his face that he was listening to my thoughts. This was one time I definitely did not mind. It was easier to share my hopes and fears this way rather than having to put them into words. I think he could understand me better this way as well.

            We eventually returned to our chambers. I sat on the sofa while he brought me a glass of cold water and the book on Midgardian pregnancy. He brought over the stool for me to rest my feet on and asked if I had need of anything else. I told him I was fine. He then left me to read while he went to share the good news with his family.

            "Should I not go with you?" I questioned.

            "No, my love, I would prefer that you do not. I am not certain how my father will react and I want to spare you any stress. I do remember that stress is not good for a pregnant woman."

            He kissed me on the forehead and left the room. I opened the book and began reading. It had a silly title, but was full of more information about my body then I had ever known. I quickly became engrossed in it and lost all sense of time.

            Loki returned some time later to find me still reading. He kissed my forehead and sat beside me, waiting patiently for me to give him my attention. I quickly finished reading the section I was on then marked my place and closed the book. "How did it go with your parents?"

            "It went as well as could be expected I guess. They were not upset or even surprised really. Father hopes you give him a grandson. Mother wants a little girl she can dote on and spoil. They both said they hope your pregnancy goes well and you and the baby stay healthy. Mother will probably be by to see you tomorrow to discuss the nursery. I told her it was too late to do it today since it will be dinner time soon and you are probably getting tired."

            "I am glad it went well. I will appreciate assistance with the nursery; I have no idea what a baby needs. I have never cared for a baby before. I am nervous about that part of motherhood."

            He chuckled softly. "Do not fret darling, I am certain Mother will be willing to help you learn. She has taken care of babies after all. I have only cared for a little girl and that is a bit different, so we will learn together. I confess that I never helped with my other children when they were babies. I intend for it to be different this time."

            I snuggled against his chest and he put his arm around me. We sat in silence for a while until it was broken by the loud hunger protests of my stomach. We both laughed and he told me dinner should be arriving at any moment.

            Once it did, we ate quickly, and then I went to bathe before bed. He washed my hair for me, but did not join me in the bath. Afterward, we lay in bed together wrapped up in each other's arms as usual. We kissed some, but did not make love. It was the first time in months that I fell asleep in his arms without having made love first.

                                                                TO BE CONTINUED...


Part 7 of For the Love of Loki