Chapter Two

Sif forced herself to walk straight, not turning at the sounds of mourning assaulting her from every direction. Beside her Volstagg walked with a heavy step.

"If I had not insisted that my wife and children move to Asgard-" he started, and then cut himself off. Such things didn't bear thinking about. If they had been here, on Alfheim when this happened... Hogun glanced at him sympathetically. Fandral placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Your family is safe, Volstagg." Sif's voice came out harsher than she had intended. "Many other families at home wait for news of loved ones who will not return. Try and focus on what is happening, rather than what could have happened!"

She knew she was being unfair, but out here, surrounded by death and grief, she had to force herself to focus on practicalities, or she would never be able to continue moving.

Volstagg straightened. "You are right, Sif. Fandral, come with me, there's an alley that looks suspicious."

The two split off, leaving Hogun and Sif alone.

"You seem grim of late, Lady Sif."

"These are grim times."

Hogun nodded and then hesitated. "Sif, you and Thor-"

"What about us?"

"You need to make time to be together. You have hardly spoken in the last four days."

"We've been fighting for the last four days. I'm sure once we get back to Asgard I will have time to speak with him about other things besides war." It was a lie and they both knew it; once back in Asgard, she and Thor would both be in war councils with hardly enough time to close their eyes.

Hogun sighed. "Even the greatest warriors need respite, Sif."

"I will ensure Thor and I rest when the realms are safe again!"

Hogun spoke hesitantly. "You still feel guilt for Austmadr's role in this. And Karnilla's actions."

Sif cursed Hogun's perceptiveness. "Perhaps, but Austmadr paid for his treachery. And soon, Karnilla will pay for beginning this conflict."

Hogun shifted uneasily. "The last message I received from my kin in Vanaheim..."

"What of it?"

"Rumours abound, apparently from Queen Gullveig, about what part you might have played in these events."

"What?!"

"Fools will talk," Hogun put a hand on her shoulder. "We who know you would never suspect such a thing, but there are those who believe that this is a plot of Karnilla's to place her daughter on the throne of Asgard."

Sif cursed rumour-mongers and treachery very loudly. "If any of them knew what that witch has done to me, they would not be so quick to side me with her."

"I tell you this because even foolish words can taint the ears of those who hear them. And there are enough men in Asgard's court who think a woman has no place on the battlefield."

"That has always been the case. Have I ever given such men cause to doubt my loyalties?" Sif's temper flared, even though she knew she wasn't really angry with Hogun.

"I only mean to say tread carefully when you speak in council. I worry that anything unorthodox that you suggest will be twisted as 'proof' of these rumours."

Sif was about to reply when Volstagg and Fandral returned, moving slowly.

"Did you find anything?"

Fandral shook his head.

"Then pick up your feet. We have work to do, this isn't a evening stroll!"

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"Alright, that didn't seem to work out very well," Sigyn muttered, looking dolefully at the shackles on her wrists. "But how was I to know that there were undercover Kree soldiers?"

"Being arrested might end up being fun." Helblindi shrugged. "In any case, it can't be worse than Loki and Angrboda..." He paused, thinking back to the morning after he and Sigyn had been together, having to deal with the King and Queen of Jotunheim...

"I wonder what they have been talking about."

"Us."

"Obviously. But what about us?"

"What are we going to do about this?" Angrboda murmured to Loki the next morning as they stood in a corner, watching Sigyn and Helblindi in the opposite corner, whispering to each other and eating dried manticore meat.

"I don't see what we can do. It's not in our power to insist they marry or anything... I suppose we'll just have to encourage them to keep last night quiet and hope they never see each other again." Loki shook his head. "I can't believe it!"

"Neither can I, believe me." Angrboda frowned. "I suppose you're right, once Sigyn goes home, there's very little chance of them seeing one another again."

Loki nodded darkly. "And I think we can prevent it, if necessary."

Angrboda sighed. "I don't suppose it really is our place to do that, though. If they want to be involved, who are we to say that they can't? As long as they make it clear that neither of them are being forced in any way."

"The Aesir will still be very unhappy with it. I don't like to think what would happen to Sigyn if it came to light that she slept with a Jotünn! There are a lot of people who would take that as treason against Asgard." Loki shook his head. "And you can bet that her mother will blame me!"

Angrboda tilted her head to one side. "I thought Lady Freyja had been kinder to you of late?"

"She won't be if she finds out about this!"

"Why would she blame you for this?"

"Because she blames me every time something bad happens to Sigyn. All because we got drunk when we were thirteen."

Angrboda raised a brow.

"I brought some drinks on a picnic, she, Thor, Sif and I went on."

"What sort of drinks?"

"Wine. Ale. Mead..."

"All three?!"

Sigyn and Helblindi looked over as Angrboda burst out laughing. Loki flushed a little. The 'royal's cousins' stood and joined the king and queen.

"Loki was just telling me why your mother didn't like him," Angrboda told Sigyn, managing a tense smile.

"What did he tell you? The time he got me drunk, how he taught me magic against her express wishes, how he magicked her dress to-"

"Let's stop it there, shall we?" Loki interrupted. "Freyja's dislike of me isn't the pressing issue here."

Helblindi sighed heavily, moving protectively in front of Sigyn. "I will accept whatever punishment their Majesties deem suitable."

Angrboda frowned. "Helblindi, I am not Gunnlod. You need not expect me to act as she would have."

"So what are you going to do?"

Loki and Angrboda glanced helplessly at each other. Eventually Loki sighed.

"As soon as the weather clears, Sigyn will be sent back to Asgard. And this will never be spoken of again."

"But-" Helblindi stopped himself when Sigyn took his hand (Loki scowled). They exchanged a meaningful look before Sigyn turned to Angrboda. Her voice was icy.

"I presume Helblindi and I are allowed to at least speak privately?"

Angrboda folded her arms. "Perhaps."

Both Helblindi and Sigyn exchanged irritated glances.

"You two have put us in a difficult position-" Loki started.

Sigyn couldn't hold her tongue. "And you two are acting like jealous ex-lovers!"

She took Helblindi's arm and led him to the one other small room in the lodge, shutting the door firmly behind them.

"What are they doing?" Loki exclaimed furiously, stepping forward.

Angrboda grabbed Loki's arm and stopped him from following them. Moments later, the sounds from the room let them know exactly what Helblindi and Sigyn were doing. Both king and queen scowled fiercely.

"Helblindi has never acted like this!" Angrboda exclaimed. "What did your Sigyn do to him?"

"What did Sigyn do? She never acts like this!" Loki replied angrily.

"Well, something has obviously changed!"

Loki bit back a retort and slumped down to the floor. "Sigyn's right. We are acting like jealous ex-lovers!"

Angrboda took his hand. "Well, neither of us expected this."

"That's an understatement!" Loki glanced uneasily at the door as a particularly excited noise came from it. "Are they mocking us on purpose, or do they not realise that we can hear them?"

Angrboda wrapped her arms around herself. "I hope it's the latter."

Loki just shook his head. "Sigyn was always so reserved, before..."

Helblindi smirked at Sigyn, who was grinning.

"Do you think we're fooling them?"

"I hope so. How else could we talk and not have them barge in?"

He kissed her forehead lightly. "So, how are we going to go about stealing a ship?"

"Hold on..." Sigyn cleared her throat, and loudly moaned. "Faster!"

Helblindi smothered a giggle, and started thumping his fist against the wall in a quick, hard rhythm.

"I'll be able to get the ship, my brother-in-law works as a mechanic. He's always talking about the ships, I think I know where to get one. The real question is how to get you there. Unless I just pop by Jotunheim and pick you up."

Helblindi frowned. "That could work." He let out a loud groan before continuing. "I often come here on hunts, and stay for several days. If we pre-arranged a time."

"We could be gone before anyone realises!" Sigyn giggled loudly.

Helblindi caught her around the waist and for several moments the only noise was that of their passionate kisses. When they broke apart, Sigyn's head fell back against the wall and she grinned at her giant lover.

"How fast do the ships go?" he asked her, his voice husky.

"Several light-years... I don't think anyone will be able to track us, either, if we have a head start." She murmured, before returning the kiss.

"We're getting distracted."

"I like this distraction." Sigyn pulled away anyway. "If I take two days, to make sure that I can get the ship and get away undetected, it should only take me another four days to reach Jotunheim."

"So six days after you leave?"

Sigyn nodded. She grinned up at him, her eyes bright.

"What sort of supplies do we need?"

"I know most ships have a food supply, but let's assume that it comes with nothing. So food, water. I'm sure there's enough furs to keep us warm if we bring them along."

"Plus clothes, knowing our luck, we'll need weapons, and healing stones too... oh, and I want to bring some books, I like reading." Sigyn smiled shyly. "But I can get most of that without effort. Weapons are really the only thing that might draw suspicion..."

"That is no problem for me. I'll just bring along everything left to me by my parents. I'll say that I'm offering a sacrifice to beg their forgiveness."

"Then that's settled." Sigyn smiled. "Kiss me."

Helblindi obliged.

They quickly forgot that Loki and Angrboda were in the next room.

Outside, in the main room of the lodge, Angrboda looked like she might be ill (not just because of her pregnancy). Loki shoved a pillow over his face and put his hands over his ears. It didn't really help.

"I can't take this," he muttered, and stormed over to the door. He slammed his fist against it a few times until the noises stopped. "You've made your point!" he shouted. "Stop rubbing it in or I'll go in there and melt your face off, Helblindi!"

"No, you won't!" Angrboda hissed.

"Go away, Loki!" Sigyn shouted, and the noises started again.

Loki growled in frustration and went to sit beside Angrboda, head in hands. "They don't even know each other!" he exclaimed angrily.

Angrboda raised an eyebrow. "I'd say they know each other fairly well by now."

"You're not helping."

"There's nothing we can do! They'll have to face the consequences of their choices, and we can only publically condemn their actions if that becomes necessary... You don't suppose Heimdall is reporting on this, do you? You and me are one thing, but a lady of Asgard's court mysteriously vanishing and ending up sporting with a Jotünn..."

Loki groaned at the thought that Heimdall could be seeing everything that was going on. "We'll just have to hope he decides to remain discreet."

"And then there's the problem that Sigyn might get pregnant and give birth to a giant blue baby." Angrboda frowned. "That'll be on her, not us."

Loki buried his face in his hands. "Tell me this isn't happening!"

"I could, but that would be a lie. I suppose it could be worse."

"Could it?"

"Gunnlod could still be around to accuse Sigyn of enchanting her son."

Loki managed a laugh. "Leave it to you to find something good in this mess."

The noises from the other room stopped abruptly. Loki looked like he was trying not to be ill. Angrboda's face was impassive. A few minutes later, Helblindi led Sigyn back into the main room, both of them straightening their clothes. Loki glowered at Helblindi as though he wished to rip his head off; Angrboda managed to keep the same sentiment off her own face as she looked at Sigyn. The Vanir crouched by the fire, holding out her hands, as Helblindi went to his food stocks. Sigyn was literally glowing, a secretive smile on her face.

As if anything they had just done was a secret! Loki thought in disgust. He looked away, trying to think of something to say that wouldn't start an argument.

"When are you due?" Sigyn asked Angrboda.

"We're not sure," the fire-Jotünn replied stiffly. "Your people usually take nine months, but Jotünns can carry for two years, depending on availability of nutrition. And fire-demons give birth three weeks after conception. There are a lot of variables at play here."

"Well, Grandmother always told me that it took nine months for all of her pregnancies. Maybe the baby will come sooner than later."

Angrboda shrugged. "We will just have to wait and see."

"Babies are a beautiful thing," Sigyn murmured, and her face became almost sad. Helblindi returned to her with some food and she smiled gratefully at him.

"And what are you going to do if you've gotten yourself knocked up?" Loki asked harshly.

Sigyn's gaze hardened. "Be a mother."

"And you?" Angrboda shot the same question at Helblindi.

He shrugged. "Be a father."

"Are either of you taking this seriously?!" Loki half screamed.

"The question is why are you taking it so seriously!"

"You could start another war, do you realise that?"

"That's not why you're so angry." Sigyn's voice was shrewd.

"War?" Helblindi repeated.

Sigyn shook her head. "No. Frigga is queen regent, and she's not going to declare war on her own son, especially not for me acting according to my own wishes. You are mad because I've decided to stop pining over you!"

Loki flushed scarlet. "That's not true!"

"Then why have you gone red?!"

"I don't like your assumptions!"

"It bruises your ego for me to-"

"Enough!" Angrboda interrupted. "Fighting is going to do no good."

Sigyn slumped down. "He acted the same way when I married Theoric."

Helblindi looked at her in surprise. "You're married?"

"Widowed."

"Oh. Same."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be. I burned her at the stake."

Sigyn's jaw dropped.

"She was a stick of wood," Helblindi continued nonchalantly, "dressed up as a woman."

Sigyn blinked rapidly. "Er... alright..."

"It was my mother's idea. So I could be king."

Sigyn shook her head. "You have very strange customs."

"Marrying a stick is not a common occurrence," Angrboda corrected. "It was met with a lot of confusion and a little anger."

"I still don't understand why-"

"It's a long story," Loki interrupted. "And not important at the moment."

"So you just want to keep fighting?"

"I'm not fighting, you are!"

"You're the one who keeps shouting." Angrboda input dryly. "I am starting to wonder if you're envious now."

Loki slumped back, folding his arms and scowling at the fire. Then he thought better of it, got to his feet and stormed to the side room. A mistake, he realised, slamming the door and seeing the rumpled mess of furs on the floor. The door opened and Angrboda slipped in after him. She shoved him further into the room, scowling.

"Alright. What's wrong with you? And don't lie to me."

Loki rubbed his temples. "I... I don't know."

She put her hands on her hips. "Well, you'd better think fast, because we're staying in here until you calm down!"

Loki embraced his wife, inhaling her scent deeply. "I am worried for her. If this gets out, what it will do to her reputation... And with Helblindi of all people! She doesn't even know him! It makes no sense!"

"Because she doesn't know him or because he's a Jotünn?"

"I didn't mean it like that!"

"Then what did you mean? I am trying to understand, but all I can hear is your old bias against Jotünns."

"What, you're not angry with them?"

Angrboda opened her mouth to deny it but stopped. "A little. But not like you!"

"Well..." He exhaled heavily. "Angi, I don't know why I'm angry!"

"Is it possibly because you're still harbouring feelings for her?"

Loki thought for a long minute. "I feel very protective, but I don't feel for her how I feel for you. Never did, if I'm honest. I have strong feelings that relate to her, but they're not romantic."

Angrboda studied him and then nodded. "I believe you. But surely Helblindi isn't that bad."

"No. He's not. He's a good man, really... But Asgard still is not a friendly place. Especially to Jotünns."

"There are dozens of half-Jotünns in Asgard now, now that we've abolished slavery. That may have changed things, at least a little."

"I hope so... if he can even muster the courage to go there with her!"

Angrboda shrugged one shoulder. "He might surprise you."

Loki shrugged.

"Or she might decide to stay here. Or it was just a one-night fling and nothing more will come of it." Angrboda put her hand on Loki's shoulder. "Either way, it is truly up to them, not us. I-" She broke off abruptly, pressing a hand to her stomach.

"What is it?" Loki asked in concern.

"I just felt movement. At least, I think it was movement..." A smile broke across her face as she looked up at him. "It was definitely movement."

A ridiculous grin spread on Loki's face, and he placed his hand atop hers. "Where?"

She shifted his hand so it was flat on her belly. "Wait..."

Definite nudge. Loki's eyes almost popped out of his head. Angrboda was grinning like a fool.

"Our little one is sure growing fast!" Loki exclaimed. "You hardly show."

"Yet. Perhaps we'll have a fire-quick child."

"In any case, you need to eat more," Loki said, wrapping his free arm around her. "And by more, I mean vegetables as well as meat."

Angrboda pulled a face. "Vegetables don't seem appetising anymore."

There was a knock on the door. Helblindi spoke quietly.

"I, uh, just thought I should let you know, lunch is nearly cooked."

"Thank you. We're almost done." They listened to Helblindi walking away.

Angrboda wrapped her arms around Loki's neck. "Promise you'll act more civil?"

"For you, Angi, I will. I just hope they've stopped giving each other those sappy grins!"

She shook her head exasperatedly at her husband, taking his hand to lead him back into the main room. Helblindi was sat close to the fire; Sigyn was on his lap.

"Must you?" Loki groaned.

Sigyn set her jaw defiantly; clearly, she was still annoyed. "Are we doing something wrong?"

Loki swallowed back his retort and tried to speak evenly. "It clearly makes us uncomfortable, please at least try to be a little more discreet."

Sigyn sighed heavily and slid to sit at Helblindi's side, an aggrieved look on her face. He took her hand as Loki and Angrboda sat beside them.

"Are you planning on telling your mother?" Loki asked abruptly.

Sigyn shrugged.

"I very much doubt that this will continue after the storm has passed," Helblindi told him. "It was a stroke of luck doubtful to be repeated."

Sigyn looked sadly at her hands.

Loki tried not to look too relieved. "It's probably for the best."

Angrboda elbowed him in the side, frowning. He turned to look at her, and as such they both missed the secretive smirks exchanged between Sigyn and Helblindi. Their faces were carefully expressionless by the time the king and queen of the Jotunns looked back at them.

"It probably is for the best."

Angrboda apparently considered the matter closed, as she simply helped herself to a strip of meat. They all followed suit.

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Nearly ten days later, they found themselves back in the capitol of Jotunheim, preparing to send Sigyn back to Asgard. Angrboda had lent her a gown that had once belonged to a slave, and was now leading her to the bifrost site. Loki stood beside Helblindi, waiting to say their farewells to Sigyn.

Sigyn glanced at Loki. "May I speak with Helblindi alone for a moment?"

Loki reluctantly nodded. "Of course." He took several steps away, trying to pretend that he was out of earshot.

"Loki!" Sigyn rolled her eyes in exasperation.

Loki shrugged and left them alone.

Angrboda rolled her eyes and went after him. "I'll make sure he doesn't eavesdrop," she called back.

Helblindi moved closer to Sigyn.

"Have you begun gathering what you'll need?" she whispered.

He nodded; she fought a smile. Her heart was racing with the excitement of their plan; the only problem was that they would have to wait another six days to be together!

"I'd kiss you right now if it wouldn't make Loki have a heart attack," she murmured.

"I'd kiss you if I didn't know it would be bound to lead to other things, even though we're being watched!"

"Only six days, and we can do as we please," She murmured happily. "No-one looking over our shoulders... Skurge."

Helblindi suppressed a giggle. "Then I will see you in ten days, Amora."

Sigyn's heart leapt. Ignoring the presence of bystanders, she stood on her toes and pressed a fast kiss to his lips, before grinning and darting to join Loki and Angrboda at the bifrost site. Helblindi watched her go with a dazed grin.

Heimdall was waiting sternly when the bifrost stopped spinning. As Sif's older brother (he still thought of her as a sister, no matter what their actual relation was) he had always felt protective of her; this had spilled over onto Sigyn as the two girls grew to be fast friends and spent many hours in the observatory.

She took one look at him and considered trying to run, although it wouldn't have done much good... She nodded politely.

"Heimdall."

"Sigyn." His voice was brittle. "Your mother is worried about you."

Sigyn ignored the wave of guilt. "Didn't you tell her I was fine?"

"I couldn't see you."

Sigyn blinked in surprise. "What?"

"I couldn't see you. I do not know if it is due to your heritage, but when you used your powers to reach Jotunheim, you burned your way from my sight."

Sigyn was taken aback. "I... I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. Everybody must be so worried!" But this means he doesn't know about Helblindi and me, doesn't know our plans!

Heimdall's face remained stoic, so she could read nothing from his expression.

"I suggest you go and reassure your family that you are well." He turned his gaze from her, and it was clear their talk was over. Sigyn walked meekly out of the Observatory, trying to decide what she was going to tell her mother.

She was only half to Freyja's house when she was attacked by a mob of golden-haired women, a few along with their husbands and children. Freyja grabbed Sigyn tightly and burst into tears. Frey was there, too, looking shaken but relieved.

"What happened?" Sigyn asked in shock.

"What happened?" Freyja returned. "What happened is you disappeared for ten days and I had no idea if you were alright!"

Guilt constricted Sigyn's heart. "I'm sorry, Mor... but I am not a child! Don't you think I can take care of myself?"

"You disappeared, Sigyn! I thought that Ch- somebody might have kidnapped you."

Sigyn paled. "Mor, I... I didn't even think of that." And that's exactly what you will think when I leave again... This, more than anything Loki or Angrboda said made her doubt her choice. What would they do if she just took off? She would have to leave a note... but how could she leave her family and home?

The second she thought that, however, images of her dull, repetitive life flashed before her eyes. Year after year of living alone, doing the same things she always did... going with Helblindi seemed her only chance to actually live her life! I'll write a note, she vowed as her family started herding her away, but I can't stay.

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Helblindi swallowed nervously before stepping into the king's presence. He sincerely hoped that Angrboda wouldn't see through him. But she knew him better than anybody ever had. He knelt before her, trying to appear humble.

"My king."

"Rise. I did not ask to see you as your king, but rather as your cousin. "

Helblindi stood.

"You have not been acting like yourself lately."

Helblindi blinked. "In what way, exactly? I was not aware I had been acting in any way that's drastically different."

"Lady Sigyn is your normal behaviour? You're keeping something secret from me."

Helblindi blinked several times (mainly so he could break eye contact.) "Secrets? No, I'm not, why would you think that? And as for Sigyn, I'm trying to move on from you, now you're married, isn't that a good thing?" That should stop her asking too many questions!

"With Loki's cousin?"

"Is there a problem with that?"

Angrboda ran her hands through her fiery hair in the way that used to make him nearly go mad. "Her uncle is the god slayer. That makes her dangerous. "

"She means us no harm!"

"But if someone told him that you violated her how do you think he would react?"

"I did not violate her!"

Angrboda wanted to tear her hair out. "You're missing the point! What if he hears of this and disapproves?"

"Surely he does not interfere with her choices! Look at her mother! "

Angrboda sighed, knowing Helblindi had a point. "Alright, you win... just promise you won't do anything foolish!"

"I won't." Helblindi acknowledged quickly. Our plan is not foolish! He justified to himself. We know exactly what we are doing.

"Hmm."

"I do think that it may be best if I make myself scarce for some time though. What with..." he trailed off before he could accuse Loki of threatening murder.

"Loki's mood?" Angrboda asked shrewdly. "Yes, that might be best. What did you have in mind?"

Helblindi shrugged, trying to look casual. "Perhaps a few more days hunting, a week or so."

"You mean you want to go back to the lodge and reminisce about Sigyn."

Helblindi blushed turquoise. Angrboda shook her head.

"Very well, go. I will see you when you return."

He bowed his head silently, and left Angrboda's presence, grateful that she seemed to suspect nothing. Unfortunately, he ran straight into Loki as he was leaving the abode. Helblindi swallowed nervously and bowed, hoping to skirt past the queen. Loki swiftly moved to block his path. Helblindi swallowed.

"My queen."

"Cousin." The word was like fire.

Helblindi fought the urge to back away. "Is there something I can help you with?"

Loki scowled at him for a moment and then jerked his head. "Walk with me."

He turned and stalked away. Helblindi fell into step beside him. He glanced back once at Angrboda, hoping for a rescue. She gestured for him to go with Loki, her face impassive. After several long, silent moments Helblindi finally worked up the courage to break the silence.

"I would have stopped had she wanted me to."

"I don't even understand why it started!"

"We were alone in a storm. We started talking and realised that we both still... We hoped it would stop us from thinking about you and Angrboda, at least for a little while."

"And did it?"

Helblindi wasn't entirely certain what Loki wanted as an answer, so he settled on the truth. "Yes."

"Good, then there should be no need for such a thing to happen again!"

Helblindi was silent.

Loki narrowed his eyes. "Am I correct?"

"I do not understand why you object to me and Sigyn."

"Lady Sigyn."

"Lady Sigyn, if you insist, though she does not require me to call her that. What exactly do you object to, cousin?"

Loki stopped and looked at him. "You don't know Asgard. The way her mother is gossiped about and treated. And many Aesir still hate Jotunheim. Her life could be at risk if this ever became known to certain people!"

Helblindi's eyes widened. "She didn't say-"

"I highly doubt she's thought of it. Sigyn has always thought of the best in people... even when they don't deserve it."

Helblindi's face turned a strange shade of violet, a sign of a Jotünn's anger. "Are you insinuating something about my character?"

"What?" Loki narrowed his eyes in confusion. "No, not you. I was referring to myself, Helblindi."

Helblindi blinked in confusion. "Why would Sigyn think badly of you?"

"Are you serious?"

"Yes."

"It's not something that I wish to speak of," Loki muttered, his eyes on the ground. Helblindi was sure that he saw guilt in his eyes.

"It's not because you're-"

"No, it has nothing to do with my heritage," the dark queen snapped. "And I already said I didn't wish to discuss it, so leave it alone!"

Helblindi decided to give up. "As you wish. May I depart, my Queen?"

"Go ahead," Loki sighed with a wave of his hand. "Just swear that you will not involve yourself with Sigyn again."

"As you wish." Helblindi bowed and departed. Loki thankfully did not notice that he hadn't actually sworn anything! Ten days, he thought, a smile lighting his face as he gathered the weaponry he was taking with him. I will be waiting, Amora.

Sigyn and Helblindi were jarred out of their reminiscing by the sound of armoured footsteps. She glanced sideways at Helblindi. His expression was dreading, and he gave her a small shrug. She returned it. As the Kree guards came into view, they both took deep breaths. Nothing to do but wait and see what would happen next.