Monday, July 14, 2014

An Alternate Ending of For the Love of Loki


          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 early 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. It was the scan of my abdomen that gave us our answer. I was carrying triplets! All three of them were girls.

            "Congratulations your highnesses! You are having triplets!" Julius exclaimed after he had counted baby heads and hearts.

            Loki was grinning from ear to ear.  I began to silently cry. I was having three babies at once? How in the Realms was I going to care for three newborn babies at once? I knew absolutely nothing about caring for babies. I remained silent as Loki and I returned to our chamber. I went to sit on the sofa while Loki ordered his servant to bring me a cold drink and snack. He moved the stool close so I could prop my feet on it. I sat there silently with my hands on my large belly while all of my doubts and fears swirled around in my mind.

            Loki sat down next to me and took my right hand into his. "Lorelei, darling, you will not be caring for these babies alone. I will be at your side assisting in every way I can. Mother will teach us how to care for a baby; she does have experience at that. I do not want you to worry so much. Everything will be fine my darling. We will have three beautiful, healthy baby girls. Have you thought about what you want to name them?"

            "I have not thought of anything so practical. I have been too busy worrying."

            He got up from the sofa and went to one of his bookcases. He briefly searched for the volume he wanted, then removed it and returned to sit next to me. "I have a book of names that covers both your realm and mine. Would you like to look through it and choose names for our girls? Maybe it will be a distraction for your worried mind."

            I agreed to it and browsed the book with him. My snack arrived and I ate while we spent the next couple of hours discussing what we like and snickering over the silly sounding names. He was right as usual, I felt calmer; I wondered if it was the activity or the man himself. I could not help but think of what Thor had said on our wedding day about Loki charming me. He was right of course, I was charmed. It was not the magic he thought it was though. It was Loki himself; his personality, his stunning good looks, and the devoted love he gave to me. Loki was very charming indeed.

            We finally settled on the names Tatiana, Eleanor, and Lavinia. Loki insisted we have a name starting with the letter L since both of our names did; I thought it was sweet so I agreed to it. No one in Asgard had more than a first name although I did learn from the book that most Midgardians had a first, middle and surname. I considered starting a new trend in Asgard because there were more names I liked, but we both decided in the end that with three daughters, three names were enough to remember.

            Our lunch soon arrived and while we ate I inquired of him, "Are you sorry that not one of them is a son?"

            "Of course not my love! I am perfectly content with the three children you are giving me. I sincerely hope they are as beautiful as their mother. Besides, we can always have more. You are young still and clearly fertile, so there is no reason why we cannot try for a son at a later time."

            I felt myself blush slightly. "How many children do you want to have?"

            "As many as we are given darling. I have no set number in mind. I will welcome any child you give me with open arms and a loving heart. I care not what gender the child happens to be. If it should turn out that you are unable to have more after the triplets that will be perfectly acceptable as well. I am thrilled beyond words that you love me so much as to carry my three children. You have no idea how that truly honors me."

            I blushed even more. He had a way of embarrassing and delighting me at the same time. His words were so overwhelming to me that I did not know how to respond. Instead of giving me a chance to think of a response, he leaned over and kissed me passionately.

            Once he finally broke away from me, he said, "Thank you so very much darling."

            "What for?" I questioned, confused.

            "I thank you for having my children and making me the happiest and luckiest man in all of the Nine Realms."

            "Once I was pregnant, I did not really have a choice."

            "You could have refused me that night of Thor's birthday celebration. You did not have to come to my chamber. Once you realized what I intended to do to you, you could have slapped me silly and bolted from the room. You did none of those things. You chose to stay with me and to love me. I have not been loved like this in a good many years. I was beginning to think I had changed for the worse since I lost Sigyn and no one would ever love me again. I honestly think I was changing into a monster until you came into my life. I saw that sweet, innocent little face that day and the ice forming around my heart melted at your feet. You had me then and there and you never even uttered a word. When I lifted you into my arms to carry you to the servants' quarters that haunting sorrow in your eyes nearly broke my heart and I was determined to make you happy and to never see that darkness in your eyes again. Have I succeeded Lorelei? Do I make you happy?"

            I was so astonished by his words that I was speechless. The tears welled up in my eyes, blurring my vision and threatening to overflow my eyelids. I choked up and could not speak. He was waiting patiently for me to reply, but I just could not manage it. After several minutes, he finally said, "I have not upset you, have I?"

            I shook my head vigorously. "It is not that..." I managed to squeak out around the lump in my throat.

            I took a few deep breaths and a drink of water. At last I replied, "Yes Loki, you make me very happy! I apologize for my inability to respond right away; I was feeling very emotional and I did not want you to take my tears in a negative way."

            He laughed joyously and kissed me again. "Happy tears are perfectly acceptable my love. I did not mean to burden you with my words...I just wanted to convey how I am feeling right now. I told you I wanted you to always be honest with me, therefore I am trying to always be honest with you."

            "I do not have your way with words darling. I cannot manage to say how you make me feel..."

            He interrupted me, "That is alright my love. You do not need to say it in words. I can see it in your mind just fine."

            "This is definitely a time that I am grateful for that because I just do not know how to put my feelings into words the way that you do. You are a smooth talker, sir!"

            He laughed again and kissed me a third time.

            We spent the rest of the afternoon in our chamber reading and cuddling together. I just did not have the energy to do much else that day. I guess the emotional shock and our month of activities in the mountains had exhausted me more then I realized. I ended up falling asleep with my head on his shoulder long before dinner was served.  I awakened briefly when I felt that I was being moved. Loki carried me to our bed with ease and undressed me carefully, then covered my nudity with our blanket. I simply rolled onto my side and fell back asleep. I was so exhausted I did not even care that I would sleep through dinner.

                                     *******************************

             I awoke before the sun the next morning. My viciously growling stomach was enough to awaken the soundest of sleepers. I was surprised that Loki was still asleep as it seemed so loud to me. I got up and put on my robe as I walked to the table across the room. I was grateful for the lamp that always stayed on all night so I would not stumble in the darkness. I was discovering that a large belly made me even less graceful than usual; not that I was ever the epitome of grace.  The fruit bowl that sat in the middle of the table had not been refilled since the previous morning so it only contained two small apples and a small bunch of red grapes. I ended up devouring them quickly along with two glasses of water.

           Now that my intense hunger pains had been somewhat satiated, I returned to the bed. I removed my robe before I sat next to my handsome prince who still slept peacefully. I admired his beautiful form as he lay there. He was on his back with the blanket covering only his waist and legs. I visually traced all the lines of his chest and abdomen, admiring the dips and rises of his taunt muscles. He may not have been as imposing in his muscularity as his brother, but I had grown quite fond of his unpretentious physique.

            I could no longer restrain myself; I reached out my left hand to gently follow the lines of the body I had been marveling at. He flinched slightly when my fingers made contact with his flesh, but he did not stir beyond that. I slowly trailed my fingers over his body from his neck down the left side, all the way to the edge of the blanket, than back up the right side to his face. I tenderly caressed his skin with my fingertips as I traced over his face. I could not curb my desire for him any longer, so I leaned over to kiss his lips. I was surprised when he kissed me back.

            After a lengthy and lingering kiss, I withdrew from him and he opened his eyes. "You were awake the whole time, were you not?"

            He smiled mischievously and replied, "Of course I was my love. I awakened when you got out of bed to get a snack. You do not awaken without my knowing about it whether I am asleep or not. I simply chose to pretend to be sleeping so I could see what you would do."

            I blushed deeply and said, "I apologize for my boldness, but there was just something so...desirable about you lying there mostly uncovered."

            "There is absolutely nothing to apologize for darling. I am your husband. You are supposed to desire me. I do not mind your boldness. You are welcome to touch my body anytime you feel the urge to. The initiation of intimacy does not have to be entirely up to my own yearnings. I am perfectly capable of being the passive one while you are the aggressor."

            I leaned over him to kiss him again. I could feel the passion welling up inside of me so I did my best to convey it to him in our kiss. Once my lips left his, I trailed my lips along his jawline to his neck. He arched it back and I delightedly kissed it and sucked on his flesh as he had done to me many times. I even began to gently nibble on it with my teeth.

            "You do not have to be so gentle darling. I can take it if you bite me. You are not strong enough to really hurt me."

            In an instant I decided to test his theory and sank my teeth into his flesh, giving him a hard bite. He moaned in delight. I continued kissing and biting his neck while he continued moaning softly. I gradually made me way down to his chest where I kissed and bit in the places where his flesh would allow it. I finally reached his pelvis where I yanked the blanket off of him and kissed down to his hardened manliness.

            "Now do not bite that part Darling! It is a very sensitive place on a man's body."

            I paused just before I slipped my mouth onto it and said, "Oh? Is it really?"

            "Yes darling, it is!"

            I slid my lips down onto it as far as I could without gagging myself. I still did not have the entire length of it in my mouth. I sucked on it hard as I withdrew my mouth slowly back to the tip. He moaned louder. I swirled my tongue all around the tip while it remained in my mouth. I than quickly took in as much of it as I could before sucking it hard and withdrawing to the tip once again. He was moaning even louder now.

            "Oh darling, if you keep doing that, I am going to make a terrible mess all over you!"

            "There is no need for that. You can make a terrible mess inside of me."

            I than moved to position myself above his hardness and settled down upon it, feeling it submerge deep within me. I began to ride him then. He allowed me to be fully in control for quite a while. As soon as I began to grow tired I could feel his pelvis begin to rise and fall in unison with my own movements. I soon allowed him to take over. His thrusts were much more rapid then my own rocking motions had been and I was soon brought to orgasm. His own quickly followed.

            I moved off him then and lay beside him on the bed. We just lay there silently staring at each other for several minutes. He was the first to break the silence, "I love you Lorelei!"

            I smiled contentedly and responded, "I love you too."

            "Say my name."

            I felt my expression turn to confusion, "What?"

            "Say my name."

            I giggled and said, "Loki!"

            "Again!" He demanded of me.

            "LOKI!" I squealed with delight.

            He then laughed heartily as he sat up. "I love it when you say my name! It sounds so sexy coming from you!"

            I giggled while he leaned over to kiss me. "It is more fun when you scream it during your orgasms though. I noticed you did nothing but moan this time. Was it not as good as usual?"

            "It was different. It actually hurt in my abdomen a little bit afterward; a sort of cramping sensation like I have gotten in my legs when I have been swimming too much and am growing tired."

            "Oh? I hope it is just those false contractions the book mentioned and nothing serious."

            "It did not last long. It was over in few seconds."

            He was silent for several minutes. I began to doze off again. At last he said, "Perhaps we should hold off on our lovemaking until after the babies are born? I would not want to do something that could jeopardize their health."

            "It will not be too much longer until I am too large and uncomfortable to continue making love so we might as well enjoy it while we can."

            "Are you certain it will be safe for the babies if we continue?"

            "There is a section in that book you gave me that covers twin pregnancy, so it cannot be all that different to have an extra child. It said that like in a single fetus pregnancy it is perfectly safe to continue having sex for as long as the mother feels comfortable engaging in it unless her doctor says otherwise. Julius said nothing about restricting our sexual activities, so I assume that it is perfectly safe to continue."

            He remained silent while he considered my words. I once again dozed off. "I guess I will just have to follow your lead in this. You know what is going on with our little ones better than I do since they are within you."

            I said nothing in reply. He lay down and pulled the blanket over both of us. I felt him move close to me and put his arms around me. I shifted so that I could lay my head on his arm as I moved closer. It was difficult for us to lay entwined in each other's arms as we had before now that I had a watermelon growing inside of me. He pressed himself as close to me as he could get. After several minutes of cuddling silently, he whispered to me, "I think our little girls are awake."

            I could feel the movements within me. "How did you ever guess?" I replied sarcastically.

            "They are kicking me right in the groin!"

            I giggled softly while I patted my swollen belly and said aloud, "Ladies do not start fights! Now calm down and go back to sleep please."

            Loki chuckled at my actions. It did in fact work; they settled back down and stopped kicking so vigorously. I soon drifted back to sleep.


                             **********************************

            The days passed into weeks. My belly swelled as our babies grew. Horseback riding and swimming were no longer an option for activities. We did a lot of reading together and Loki taught me about the Nine Realms all over again. Walks in the gardens were getting to be too much for me as well, though I insisted on doing it daily for as long as I could. Fortunately there were benches scattered throughout so I could sit and rest a few minutes. I did not recall there being so many benches around; I guessed that Loki had them put out for me. I never walked alone of course, he always went along. Around the time that it got too chilly for walking with only my light cloak, I became unable to venture out. I grew tired so quickly that it was no longer worth the trouble. I even had trouble sleeping most nights. I took to sleeping on the sofa when I could manage to fall asleep. The mostly raised position was far more comfortable than lying flat.

            One chilly morning, two months prior to my due date, I awakened with the sun to terrible cramping pains in my belly. I thought they were more false contractions so I tried to ignore them and rest longer. They became more intense and more frequent. I sat up and rubbed my lower abdomen where I could reach. It relaxed some, so I thought it was over. I stood up and walked toward the table where the water pitcher was kept to get a drink when another jolt of pain hit and I felt wetness on my inner thighs. I could not help but cry out with pain as I steadied myself on the table's edge. Loki bolted upright in bed and sprinted across the room to me in seconds.

            "Darling, are you alright?" I could hear the intense concern in his voice.

            "I am cramping very badly. My inner thighs feel wet too. I am not sweating, as it is not at all hot in here even for me."

            I had taken to wearing night gowns since I rarely slept in our bed anymore. He had me sit down while he raised my gown to feel how wet my legs actually were.

            "I am going to send for Julius. Darling I think you are in labor."

            "Now? The babies are not due to be born for a couple of months still."

            "Tell that to our little princesses."

            He got up and grabbed his robe, slipping it on while he crossed the room to the door. He opened it and disappeared. Unlike the rest of the servants, his personal valet slept in a small room across the hall from his so he would always be nearby when Loki needed him. He must have gone to rouse his valet and send him to get Julius because he returned in a matter of minutes.

            While we waited, Loki quickly dressed. He then helped me back to sofa so I could recline with my legs up. He sat by my side holding my hand, trying to be patient. Julius finally arrived apologizing profusely for taking so long. Hestia, the midwife, was close at his heels.

            He examined me quickly and determined I was in fact in labor. "I want to take her to the medical wing to give birth. The babies are early so we need to be where I can tend to them immediately should it be necessary."

            He then turned to Hestia, "Go on to the room and get everything ready. Awaken my nurse as well."

            She left the room while he turned to me and asked, "Can you walk your Highness?"

            "I should be able to make it," I replied.

            Loki helped me to rise and was holding me close, allowing me to lean on him while we slowly made our way down to the medical wing. I had to stop a few times due to intense contractions, but I tried not to take too long. I had no idea how long labor with three babies would take and I did not want to give birth on the palace hallway floors. We finally arrived at the floor and hallway to the medical wing when a contraction more intense than the others hit me and I cried out in pain. Loki effortlessly swept me up into his arms and carried me the rest of the way.

            Hestia and a nurse had the delivery area all ready for me when we arrived. Loki placed me carefully in the bed and remained at my side. The nurse tried to get him to leave. He snapped at her, "I am not leaving my wife so you might as well do whatever it is you need to do to prepare for our daughters' arrival."

            She relented and went to work. I was in labor for two hours before Julius announced that I was fully dilated and ready to begin pushing. The pressure in my pelvis was intense. I began pushing as I was instructed to. It hurt more than I could ever put into words. I was soon soaked with sweat from the effort it took. Loki kept wiping the sweat off of my face with a small towel and holding my hand tightly every time I pushed.

             Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, Hestia announced the baby's head was crowning. Two more hard pushes and our first daughter was out. Her tiny faint cries filled my ears and my heart overflowed with joy. Julius took the first baby to examine her while Hestia prepared to deliver the second.

           While I began having the pains that announced the second baby was ready to enter the world, Julius proclaimed the first baby to be small but seemingly healthy. She was breathing on her own which was a good sign.

            "What shall we call this little Princess?" He asked of Loki and me.

            "She is Lavinia," Loki replied.

            The urge to push again struck me and I cried out in pain. Hestia told me to go ahead and push.  After a much shorter amount of time, baby two entered the world. Hestia passed her off to Julius as well. I could hear her faint cries as Julius examined her while the nurse cleaned her off.

            "Another tiny but healthy baby girl!" Julius announced happily.

            "Number two is Tatiana," Loki announced.

            "Ah, well, little Tatiana's lungs are fine as well, she breathes well on her own."

             The nurse had my first daughters wrapped in blankets and lying in little bassinets on the far side of the room. I could hear their faint fussing. The pains had yet to return. I felt no urge to push. A few minutes passed and nothing happened. I turned to Julius, "Should not the last baby be on the way as well?"

            "Do you not feel labor pains anymore?"

            "Not like I did with the other two. I still feel a little like I am cramping."

            Julius rushed over to examine me. I could feel him put his fingers inside of me. "I can feel the baby's...feet. She's breech!"

            I finally felt the sharper labor pains. It was difficult and more painful, but she was successfully born in her feet first position. I heard an exclamation of profanity from Julius before he rushed Eleanor to the other side of the room where the exam table for the babies was located.

            I heard Loki demanding to know what was wrong. He got up and tried to go over to Julius, but the nurse and Hestia attempted to restrain him. Hestia quickly explained the baby was not breathing on her own and had turned blue. She ordered him to go back to his wife because I would need him. Julius would take care of the baby. I have no idea what happened immediately afterward. I fainted.

            When I awoke a short time later, Loki was sitting next to me smiling happily. "Eleanor? Is Eleanor all right?" I asked of him.

            "Yes My Love, she is breathing on her own now. Julius had to clear mucus out of her airway before she began to breathe on her own."

            "Where are they? Can I see my babies?"

            Hestia then entered the room and told Loki the babies were ready to be bathed if he wanted to go assist. I was so tired and sore, I couldn't get up to go as well. I encouraged Loki to go give his daughters their first bath while I rested. He promised to return with our clean babies shortly.

            I have no idea how long he was gone as I fell asleep. I was eventually awakened by the sound of the door opening and Loki's joyful laugh as he entered the room. He had a baby in each arm and Hestia followed with the other. The nurse came in behind them with their bassinets tied together so she could push them easily. Hestia approached me and handed me the tiny baby in her arms after I sat up. She adjusted the bed and told us to call the nurse if we needed anything.

            I sat gazing at the tiny baby girl in my arms. I saw she was wrapped in a lavender colored blanket with matching lavender knit hat on her tiny head. I looked over at Loki who sat in the chair next to my bed happily cooing at his other daughters. One was wrapped in a pink blanket while the other was wrapped in a pale green shade. We had agreed to color code their blankets and such until they were a little older and identifying them became easier. I was a little embarrassed to not know which baby I was holding.

            Before I could ask, Loki said, "I chose lavender for Eleanor, Green for Lavinia, and Pink for Tatiana. Is that acceptable to you?"

           "Yes, that is fine."

            I looked down at the little one in my arms. I was holding my Eleanor. The baby I was not sure had made it. She turned her tiny head toward me and began making suckling motions with her mouth. Loki noticed it and said, "Julius said you should try nursing them, but they may be too small to do it properly. If you have difficulties, they will have to have bottles."

            "I do not have large breasts or nipples. I am sure they will be fine," I replied as I removed the top of my gown.

            I brought her to my right breast and she hungrily opened her mouth and latched on. I checked to make sure she was properly positioned. Frigga had given me instruction on how to nurse a baby; while I was not confident in what I was doing, I did not feel completely lost. It did not take long for her to fill her tiny tummy. When she withdrew her mouth, I put her over my shoulder and gently patted her back to see if she needed to burp, just as Frigga had instructed me to do. I felt a tiny burst of air on my neck, but did not hear a sound. I moved her and noticed she was already contentedly asleep.

            "I hope you are ready for another one Darling. Tatiana is rooting on my chest."

            He went over to the bassinets and placed both babies inside their respective beds, then came to retrieve Eleanor. He put her down in the empty one and then picked up Tatiana to bring her to me to be nursed. I brought her to my other breast and she latched on as well as her tiny sister had. Loki sat on the edge of the bed and watched for a while before he leaned over to kiss my forehead. She finished in minutes; Loki picked her up and took her to her bassinet. Lavinia was fussing now so he picked her up and brought her to me to nurse as well. Just like her sisters, she latched on with no difficulties.

            Before he could think of sitting down, Eleanor began to fuss a little. He went over to her and checked her diaper. "I do believe this little Princess needs her first diaper change. I guess we will find out how well I paid attention to Mother's instructions."

            I did not realize their bassinets had baskets attached to the underside that held their diaper changing supplies. Loki brought out a small basin and some cloths; he then removed a folded cloth diaper, a thick padded rectangle of cloth, and placed both on the bed, before going to the sink on the far side and filling the basin with warm water. He came back over to the bed, slid the table next to the bed closer and put the basin on it. He then positioned the pad at my feet and removed Eleanor from her bassinet. He had already removed her blanket from around her tiny body. She wore nothing but her tiny diaper. He brought her to bed and proceeded to carefully remove her dirty diaper, clean her up and place the clean diaper on her.

            "I am relieved that Hestia folded these diapers small enough to fit our little girls. They are so tiny. I do not think I would have done it correctly."

            He placed her back in her bassinet, wrapped her back up in her blanket, and put her dirty clothes in a bucket next to the sink. Tatiana began to fuss next. He sighed, picked her up and grabbed cloths out from under her bassinet. The water was still clean and warm enough so he changed her diaper. Once she was back in her bassinet, he turned to me and said, "Is Lavinia done? I might as well change her now too."

            I looked down at the baby who had fallen off my nipple and was contentedly sleeping. "I would like to change her if you could assist me."

            He moved everything within my reach so I was able to successfully change her diaper. He then took her after I wrapped her back in her blanket and placed her in her bassinet. They were all contentedly sleeping now. He came back to me and lay down in the bed next to me, snuggling close. "I have a feeling these little darlings are going to keep us quite busy for the next several weeks."

            "I think you would be correct. How long do I have to stay here?"

            "It is just overnight Darling. Julius wanted the babies to be close for their first day in the event anything was to go wrong. It is just a precaution. He thinks they are doing quite well so it will not be necessary to remain here after the first day. He will come to check on them daily. Are you hungry Darling?"

            "I am absolutely famished! Childbirth makes a woman very hungry."

            He chuckled and left the room for a few minutes. He returned shortly to inform me he sent his servant to the kitchen to get me food. He then sat back next to me on the bed and held me until my food arrived. He left me to eat while he went to tell his family about our daughters' arrival. He had not left the medical wing all morning and had not sent anyone to tell his family I was in labor. I was nearly finished eating when the nurse returned.

            "I am sorry to disturb you, Your Highness, but Prince Loki instructed me to give you fifteen minutes to eat and then to come sit with you until he returns," she stated quietly.

           "That is fine. What is your name? I did not exactly catch it with all of the excitement this morning."

            "I am Evelyn Your Highness."

            "That is a lovely name. I hope you do not mind if I nap while you are here."

            "Oh no, of course not. I imagine you are feeling quite exhausted. I brought a book to read. Prince Loki just did not want you to be alone."

            I nodded my head, already laying back in the bed and dozing off. I was sound asleep within a few minutes.

            When I awoke some time later, Loki was standing next to my bed with Eleanor in his arms. "Ah, good, you are awake. I was just about to wake you up. It seems our little lady is hungry again. Her sisters will probably want to nurse again soon."

            I sat up and lowered my gown then took the baby from him. I brought her to my breast and she once again latched on with ease. By the time she finished it was Tatiana's turn once again. Loki held Eleanor for a few minutes until he had to change her diaper. By the time he finished and laid her back into her bassinet, Lavinia was ready to nurse and Tatiana needed a diaper change. Nearly twenty minutes later, Loki had all three babies back to sleep in their bassinets, so he joined me on the bed again.

            "What did your parents have to say about this whole...event?" I asked as I laid my head upon his chest.

            "They are happy and excited to see the babies. Mother thought it would be best to wait until you are back upstairs in our chamber so they will visit tomorrow afternoon. Thor simply extended his congratulations to us both. I have no idea when he plans to see his nieces."

            We were silent for several minutes. I began to doze off when he asked how I was feeling. I told him I was just tired. I soon fell asleep again. He did as well.

                                                 ************************

            The next morning I was free to return to our chamber. I asked Loki how he planned to get the girls' bassinets upstairs to our chamber. He grinned at me and replied, "Darling, do you forget who are married to? Just because I choose not to use my magic a good deal of the time, does not mean I have forgotten any of it."

          The three beds were still tied together, so he simply used a little magic to levitate them and float them down the hallway next to us. I was quite sore, but able to walk on my own. Once we arrived in our chamber, he lowered the bassinets to the foot of our bed.

            "See, it was easy," he stated with a smirk.

            I spent the rest of the day alternately sleeping and caring for the babies. The king and queen came to visit their grandchildren after lunch. They both commented on how beautiful they were. All three of them had Loki's dark hair; what there was of it. It would be a couple of months before we would know if they had his green eyes or my blue ones.

            They did not stay for long since the girls were sleeping. Thor did not come with them. He did not come to visit at all that day.

            One day blurred into another and before I realized it, three weeks had gone by. I was exhausted and cranky all the time. Loki never seemed to be tired even though he woke up every time that I did to help me care for the girls. He only napped once in the day for a couple of hours. I had no idea what he did the other times I was sleeping.

            One day, I was in a particularly foul mood and snapped at him, "I can change diapers without your help. I am not a moron."

           "I know you can darling, I was just trying to help you so it would be done quicker and you could take a nap."

            "Maybe I do not wish to take a nap!"

            "Darling, you clearly need one."

            "How do you do it Loki? You sleep less than I do and yet you seem to function better. Is it freaking magic?"

            "No Darling, it is not. I guess my Asgardian genetics is just different than yours so my body does not require as much sleep as yours does."

            "Damn! I was hoping you had a spell to make me feel better."

            "I cannot make you feel better, but I can help you to sleep if you will allow me to take care of the babies alone."

           "How can you possibly take care of them alone? They nurse every three hours!"

            He calmly finished changing Lavinia's diaper and put her in her bassinet before turning back to me and saying, "There are ways my Darling..."

           I interrupted him, "I swear if you call me Darling one more time I am going to slap you!"

            He looked shocked, but walked over to armoire on the far side of the room near the bookcases. He unlocked it and removed a small bottle, then came back to me. He handed it to me and told me to drink it. The liquid in it was red and the bottle felt slightly warm in my hand.

            "What is it?" I questioned first.

            "It is a draught to help you sleep. Now will you just drink it please? Your cranky attitude is really starting to annoy me and my patience is running out."

            I looked at it skeptically and then over at my sleeping babies. "How long will I be asleep?"

           "As long as you need to be."

            "You can feed them without me?"

            "Yes, Dar- yes I can manage it just fine without your help. Now drink it and get some sleep!"

            I uncorked the bottle and consumed it all. It was warm and sweet tasting as it slid down my throat. I got into bed and made myself comfortable. I was sound asleep within minutes. 

                                     *************************

            I slept for two days straight. I was starving when I woke up and all I wanted to do was eat and drink water. Loki brought a big meal to me with a fresh pitcher of cold water. I felt a little disoriented, but much better after I began eating. I was shocked when Loki told me I had been asleep for two days. It did not seem like more than half a day had passed.

            "How are our daughters?"

            "They are perfectly fine Darling; sleeping contentedly with full stomachs. They have been fed, bathed, diapered, and rocked just fine in the last two days."

            "How did you manage to feed them?"

            "I nursed them of course."

            I was about to take a bite of food when I froze and said, "You did what?!"

            "I had a spell in one of my books that causes lactation. I shape-shifted into my female form and nursed our daughters."

            I pondered this for a while. I continued to eat. "I would actually like to see that trick," I said with a chuckle.

            "It doesn't wear off no matter what form my body is in, so you will be getting help nursing our daughters from now on. It hurts quite a bit when the milk builds up. I do not envy you that Darling."


            "Now you know how it feels," I replied with a smirk.

            "Yes, indeed I do."

            I finished eating and then sat on the couch with him and cuddled for a while. It was not long until our daughters needed to be fed. Tatiana and Eleanor were both awake and fussing. As we got up and crossed the room, a bright green lighted emanated from Loki and he turned into his female form. Lekiah picked up Tatiana while I picked up Eleanor. We returned to the sofa together, opened the top of our blouses and began to nurse the babies.

            I watched, fascinated that he could do that and actually nurse the baby. He realized I was staring and said, "You should be grateful to be married to someone who can help you this way. Other women with multiples either have to tough it out or hire a wet nurse. You are married to one."

            I laughed then turned my attention back to Eleanor. When she finished, I changed her diaper and put her back in her bassinet. She was not asleep yet, though she did not object to being put down. Lavinia was fussing to be fed, so I picked her up to nurse her. Lekiah put Tatiana back in her bassinet; she had fallen back to sleep after her diaper change.

            "Well if this form is not needed anymore, I shall change back."

            In a brilliant flash of green he was back to normal. It never ceased to amaze me how he could do that.

            "Do you wish for me to continue helping you nurse the girls?"

            "Yes, I think I do. It might make it less stressful for me."

            "All you had to do was ask Darling. You seem to forget that I am a master of magic and there is nothing I will not do for you. Lorelei, I love you with all of my being and I will deny you nothing. Say the word and it is yours. Anything and everything your little heart needs or desires."

            He was making me feel overwhelmed with emotion again. The intensity of his love had a way of doing that. I simply told him I would try to remember that.

                                     **************************

             Time passed on as it always does and our baby girls grew. Before we knew it, we celebrated their first birthday with a lavish feast. Loki was so proud of his baby girls that he wanted to show them off to everyone in the kingdom. All three of them looked like him, but with my curls and blue eyes. He thought it was a wonderful combination.

            The girls were three years old when I gave birth to their brother. We named him Malachi. He looked so much like Loki it was scary at times. He was not our last child. Four more babies came after him; two more boys and a set of twin girls. The twins and one of the boys looked just like me. They all had red, curly hair, fair skin, freckles, and blue eyes. The other two boys were named Darrius and Kordell. Our twin daughters we named Calista and Arianna.

            I gave Loki eight beautiful children over twelve years. He proved to be a wonderful father in every way imaginable. We watched them grow into healthy, strong, intelligent adults to make their parents proud. Malachi, Darrius, and Kordell were an equal match for their Uncle Thor in strength and skill. They turned into quite the warriors who proved themselves repeatedly in battle.

            Tatiana, Eleanor, Lavinia, Calista, and Arianna all grew to be beautiful women and skilled sorceresses. Loki had never insisted on teaching them magic, but each developed an interest in it and begged their father to teach them. He was a patient instructor who taught them well.

            All of our children married well into their adulthood and had children of their own; most of those children are adults who also have children. As I am finishing this journal story, I sit in a rocking chair in the great hall of the palace, watching my children and their spouses play with their own children and grandchildren of varying ages. Everyone has gathered to celebrate my birthday. I turn one hundred and seventeen today. Loki was right; I have lived longer than most Midgardians. I do not feel that I will be around much longer though. Loki has not changed at all in the last hundred years. I sit here a white haired old woman and he still looks the same as he did on our wedding day. He has offered many times in my later years, since my hair started turning white and lines began to show on my face, to use magic to keep me looking forever young. I have refused every time. I am not ashamed to grow old while he remains unchanged. It was a reality I accepted many years ago, when I chose to marry an Asgardian Prince. He has been my love and my life for the last century and I am not at all sorry for choosing him. Someday, we will be together again in Valhalla for eternity.

No comments:

Post a Comment