Chapter 13: Days of Thunder
Safe from her knowing gaze, Loki’s shoulders sagged as he kneeled there at her side for a long moment. Seconds ticked by like days and he had the sensation of drowning as they piled up around him.
He’d known they would come for him – it was what he’d intended. That his siren herself would lead the way was not expected. He had not anticipated her ragtag friends allowing her presence before him, not after the ill-effects of their last meeting. He found himself equal parts jealous and relieved of her group, her family. Jealous because now having faced the stark desolation of her imminent death he could freely admit, to himself at least, that he wanted her for his own.
But the relief that his siren was so well protected was nearly staggering. With all that he had learned from her, both through visiting her dreams and the tales he’d stolen from her brother, he considered the very real reason she drew so many powerful individuals to her was because she needed the protection. That brought on a sense of unease about him – a barely bubbling fear of the possibilities that theory drew.
That she was so well protected had been the only thing that had stayed him when he’d felt her fear and panic as she’d made her way to him. As he knew she could as well, the tether connecting them had resonated within him with her growing proximity. Like a taut string pulled between them, the current of her emotions – her fear – had vibrated down the connection and registered as swiftly as if it was his own.
The clenched fist over his heart loosening with her every step in his direction suddenly clenched, choking him in foreign fear. He’d been confused for all of a minute until he recognized the tang of her emotions. It’d been her fear… Her in danger that he’d been feeling.
He’d hesitated. While he never lost his calm smirk, internally he’d felt himself reach a crossroads. Deny the truth as he might, there was no escaping it. His honeyed lies tasted flat even to his own lips. For better or worse he was bound to the girl and the only thing that soothed the sense of indignation of it all was the fact that she was tethered just as tightly to him.
Reciprocation was strangely comforting.
Before he could choose his path, she chose for him. Her fear ignited into fury, then burning relief. Moments later, he sensed her moving towards him again, new determination swelling within her.
Until there she was like some sort of avenging angel, hard determination set in her jaw as she held herself ready, poised for any move he may make. Damn it all if he hadn’t felt the always present but still faint stirrings of desire, the feelings that had been kindling between them for weeks, flare into the white hot fire of lust. Her curves were hugged tightly by the smooth leather of her outfit and his hands had clenched in conscious effort to not reach out and touch… Smooth his palms over the tempting lines of her hips and over her rear, pulling her into him so he could kiss her pursed lips until they yielded into a soft pout; until she surrendered to her desire for him for he could feel it swirling inside her. They circled one another, perched on a ledge but both too stubborn to take the leap into the dark abyss of the unknown.
He would not yield – not to anyone, not even her. Even if he had wanted to give in to that sweet surrender, it was not possible. Not with the burden of his chosen path.
Not with the shadow of the Mad Titan hovering over him.
Then she had spoken of her brother and the spell had cracked. Anger gritted his teeth together as she nearly begged for him back, her heart in her eyes for all to see. She loved the hawk so certainly, unashamedly and it unearthed a foreign guilt when he thought of Thor and all his trespasses against him.
He’d shoved those feelings away, locking them down as tightly as he did his affection for the girl. Had Thor not trespassed against him as well? Had Odin not lied to him for years, grooming him for a throne he had planned to give to Thor all along, least Loki taint it with his foreign lineage?
Had the All-Father not spent nights tucking young Loki into bed telling him horror stories of the Frost Giants and Asgard’s great victory over them… all the while knowing that his ill-begotten son descended from the very monsters he spoke of?
Lies – his life had been nothing but lies and in the end, he knew for certain where he stood in the eyes of his so-called family.
And if he had to suffer that loss, he would not suffer alone.
So caught up in their verbal sparring he did not sense the creature approaching. Did not react as he should have when the parasite had taken ahold of his siren, yanking her head back before sinking her venomous fangs into that pretty little neck.
He’d been confused at the creature’s words before they truly registered… Vampire. This was the vampire the brother had spoken of when Loki had pried Isabella’s history from him. This was the monster intent on ending his siren.
The realization had come seconds too late. A foreign cry of fear had wrung from his throat as he at last registered the parasite’s teeth buried into Isabella’s neck, her life’s blood pouring down the creature’s throat.
Dying. His siren was dying right before his eyes.
No, the word resonated before his entire being. That was not a truth he accepted.
He acted, syphoning his magic through Gungnir and propelling the beast away from his siren. From his peripherals, he saw the creature land some distance away, injured and winded but still able to pick herself up and escape. A strong urge to follow rose, to finish the bitch who had dared harm who he considered his own, but it was Isabella herself who quelled it. Her pained scream ripped through the night, sinking claws into his heart.
Go to her, his magic thrummed within him. Save her.
He went to her willingly, vaguely aware of the chaos of people fleeing while he was distracted. Unease filled him as he took in the sight of her writhing in pain, her blood seeping from the gaping wound at her neck as her life drained away. The very sight felt profane, bringing him to his knees.
Kneeling in subjugation as he had bid others to do unto him.
Careful hands were brought to her wound and even with her injured in such a fashion, Lokie still felt the thrumming electricity of their attraction.
Freeze the venom, his magic hummed. Save her.
His face hovered over hers, lips ever so slightly grazing her supple cheek. Of all the words filling his head, all he could say was, “I have not given you leave to die yet, my siren,” before he let slip the leash on his eager magic in a flash of blue light.
Yes, he finally agreed with what his magic had been trying to show him all along. Save her, he silently bid as the spell slipped from him before he could even fully form it, settling over her like an old friend her.
It followed the path of the venom searing her veins, freezing it in its wake even as it stretched out its energy beyond the venom’s trail, changing her even as it saved her from being changed.
A hand reached up and caressed his cheek leaving a bloody kiss in its wake. “Loki,” she breathed, the one word – his name – dripping with relieved recognition and filling him to the brim with unnamed sentiment.
Her eyes rolled as she collapsed into the embrace of blessed darkness, her hand going limp against his cheek and falling.
Quickly, he caught her hand up in his and brought it back to his face.
“Isabella,” he whispered, the name a brand to his heart.
“Loki,” he heard again, though this time, his name was filled with censure and the tiniest bit of envy.
He looked up, his eyes roving around the red, white and blue uniform.
“Ah, the soldier out of time,” he sneered, lowering Isabella’s hand with a carefulness the Captain’s keen eyes took notice of.
“I’m not the one out of time,” the man shot back even as his eyes focused on the bloodied body before him. Flicking his eyes back up to Loki’s, he demanded, “What have you done to her?”
Loki smirked. “I believe the question is what haven’t I done… and what won’t I do,” he taunted, rising from his knees and picking up a vaguely defensive stance in front of her.
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” the Captain tried to appeal. Even so, Loki watched as his stance widened, bracing himself to attack.
“Apparently it must,” he noted, lifting the scepter.
Steve gritted his teeth. “Apparently,” he agreed.
Loki took his shot first, the blast from his scepter deflected by that pesky shield. The Captain moved quickly, faster than Loki would’ve credited a mortal for, returning a hit as surely as he blocked the next.
Still, Loki was a god amongst ants and it wasn’t long until he gained the upper hand, the Captain landing on his knees before him. Bringing the base of the scepter to his head, Loki sneered, “You see? In the end, you will always kneel.”
“Not today,” Steve hissed through gritted teeth, batting the scepter away and springing to his feet. They fought, the Captain feinting left while trying to sneak right passed Loki to Bella’s eerily still form.
But Loki would not have it. Not now that he’d decided to keep his siren.
A jet arrived and a woman’s voice broke through their fighting. “Surrender Loki, we have you surrounded.”
Loki scoffed. “Do you now?”
She would not fire, he knew. Not while he was so close to Isabella.
Static hit the speaker system and Loki’s head tilted as an unfamiliar riff of guitars and a screeching voice filled the air.
Shoot to thrill play to kill
Too many women too many pills, yeah
Shoot to thrill play to kill
I got my gun at the ready gonna fire at will…
The sudden sound was followed up by the one he knew to be called Iron Man landing beside the Captain with a loud, metal thunk.
“Go ahead,” the slightly distorted voice of Tony Stark taunted. “Make a move, Reindeer Games.”
The inherent threat was followed by the whirling sound of Tony’s cavalry charging, ready to launch at will.
Lips twitching, Loki held his arms out to his side, his armor melting away as he took a nonthreatening step back towards Isabella.
“Not too close to her,” Tony ordered, his arm raised with palm out, ready to fire.
Keeping his tongue, Loki moved ever so slightly to the side but still within arms reach of Isabella. He sat as though cowed by the pair of fighters. His eyes flicked over Isabella’s still form as the two bickered before him, planning to take him to their flying fortress.
Planned to bring the wolf in sheep’s clothes into their den.
A small smile tried to fight it’s way to his lips but Loki smothered it, refusing to tip his hand. Isabella’s complication aside, it really was all too easy.
And they wondered why he saw them as ants…
Shoulder checking the Captain as he passed him, Tony cradled Isabella’s form to his chest as they boarded the jet.
“Is she alright? Was she bit? Why is she not in any pain?” Natasha fired off.
“Oh I’m fine, thanks for asking – nice to see you too,” Tony returned, his eyes never leaving Bella as he laid her down across several seats.
“Now is not the time for your jokes, Stark,” Steve berated, shoving Loki down into a seat and double checking his restraints as Natasha prepared to take off.
Tony ignored him. “Tell me everything that happened tonight,” he returned instead, grabbing a nearby first aid kit and cracking it open.
“Well, while you were out doing who knows what, we received intel about Loki being here. Bella insisted on coming – she wanted to find Clint. But it wasn’t just Loki we found.”
Not looking away from the already knitted wound at her neck, Tony prompted, “Vampires?” as he used some gauze to mop up some of her blood.
“Yes,” Steve sighed, some of the fight leaving him. “She took out one with that gun of yours.”
Tony’s lips twitched. “Of course she did,” he murmured proudly, his hand gently sweeping her bangs aside.
“But there were more,” Steve countered. “I got held up as soon as she found Loki and Victoria… Well, she saw her chance and she took it.”
“Bitten?” Tony asked.
Steve ran a hand throw his hair. “Yes – or at least we thought. We heard it all over the radio, heard her screaming, but then it stopped,” he broke off as he moved closer to Tony. Ticking his eyes to an impassive Loki who sat staring blank-faced at Bella, Steve finished, “He did something with that magic staff of his. We don’t know what it was but it stopped her screaming.”
“Did he now?” Tony turned and followed Steve’s gaze, studying their silent captive.
Loki struck Tony as a man with a good sized chip on his shoulder and as he watched the god stare intently at Hell’s Bells, he decided not to underestimate the seemingly docile captive.
“I don’t like this,” Steve murmured beside him. “Him sitting there quietly – the way he looks at her? It’s like he wants to be here.”
Tony rather agreed but was loathe to do so aloud.
“You there – Prancer? Or is it Vixen? Can’t be Rudolph since you don’t look so bright,” Tony asked, moving to stand in front of Bella and block Loki’s gaze from her. “What is it exactly that you’ve done to our girl here?”
A shiver tickled his spine as Loki met his eyes, a tingle of unease that he never would’ve owned up to.
Loki remained silent.
“Hello? Anyone home? Are you pouting because no one would let you join in the reindeer games?”
“Don’t antagonize him,” Steve warned. “The guy packs quite a wallop.”
“Hm-m,” Tony hummed, backing away from Loki and fixing Steve with a measuring look. “Looks like we’ve got the drop on him for now. Still, you pretty spry for an old geezer – what’s the secret? Yoga? Pillates?”
“Keep your secret then,” Tony turned away again, going back to Bella and running a hand over her forehead. He frowned. “She’s cold – freezing.”
As if in response, Bella shivered and groaned, though remained unconscious. “Cold,” she said in a thin whisper.
“Hell’s Bells,” Tony said, running a soothing hand through her hair. “Come on, girl. Stop sleeping on the job.”
“Cold,” she said again, only this time she followed it up with a soft whisper of Loki’s name.
Tony caught Steve’s eyes and in unison, they both turned to their prisoner.
Loki heeded them not, his every attention once again focused on Isabella.
Obsessed, Tony thought. He had the look of a religious zealot gazing upon their idle. Obsessed, worshipful…
That last bit was the worst and for the first time in, well, just about ever – Tony hoped he was wrong. Maybe he was reading Loki incorrectly and there were no bonds of significant attachment between him and his young friend.
Shaking the disturbing thoughts, he asked Steve, “And Barton?”
A long moment of silence before Steve slowly shook his head.
From the cockpit, Natasha supplied, her voice more subdued than usual, “I spotted him on a nearby rooftop. Part of the reason I kept to the air was his penchant for high perches… But before I could do anything, Victoria was there. Then Bella was screaming. I know she would have preferred I go after him, but I couldn’t. Not with her in danger. Clint wouldn’t want to be saved at her expense.”
The last bit was fairly whispered and while Tony wished he had been there to help, a small part of him was nearly thankful for the reprieve – if one could call his little side visit to Volterra that. But if the events that had unfolded here could have someone like Romanoff whispering in such a manner… Well, Tony would say a big ‘no fucking thank you’ to that.
“And you, Stark?” Steve questioned, a hint of accusation behind it. “Where the hell were you while Bella was almost murdered?”
Gritting his teeth. “I don’t care for your tone, Captain.”
“And I don’t care for you,” Steve returned. “Were you out at some party while someone you claim to care for needed your help – boozing it up, smiling and signing autographs?”
“What’s the matter, Rogers? Upset that your invitation got ‘lost’ in the mail?” Tony shot back, complete with the requisite air quotes around the word lost.
“So you admit it, then?”
Steve had moved to hover over Tony, puffed up in righteous indignation. Shoving him back some, Tony barked, “Ease up there, boy scout. If by party you mean paying a visit to those stodgy vampires in Volterra who have it out for our girl, then yes – you’ve got it right.”
“Volterra?” Steve frowned, slumping back.
“That’s right, Dudley Do Right. You weren’t the only one tracking down Icky Vicky – good job of that, by the way. Did you really miss when she hightailed it to Italy to warn the cavalry? I didn’t have a chance to greet the so-called kings but I was able to take out half of Vicky’s friends on the way here. So tell me more about how I didn’t help…”
“Guys, really? Is this really the time for a pissing contest?” Natasha looked back at them, raising a brow as she gave a pointed glance to Bella and then to Loki.
Whatever their response would’ve been was interrupted by a bright flash of lightning echoed by a deep rumble of thunder.
Where all attempts to engage Loki had failed, it was this that broke his steady attention away from Bella. He blinked, eyes moving up to stare at the roof of the jet.
“What’s the matter? Afraid of a little lightning?” Steve asked.
But Tony knew the myths, had read the files S.H.E.I.L.D. attempted to keep from seeing the light of day… and suspected that someone was about to crash their party.
His musings were broken off by Loki’s sarcastic answer, “I’m not overly fond of what follows it.”
The quip was followed by a thud to the roof, lightning flickering around and brightening up the inside of the jet like a strobe light.
An unmistakable sound of footsteps sounded until with a token protesting whine, the lift gate in the back was pried down and a man entered the jet.
“Holy shit, it’s Fabio!” Tony said, even as he moved to guard Bella from this new being.
The man had long blonde hair flapping in the wind and a red cape he wore surprisingly well even if it brought to mind Shakespeare in the park. His armor was vaguely reminiscent of Loki’s which confirmed that this new being was likely here for their prisoner.
Friend or foe? Now that was the question.
Moving with single-minded focus, the man marched to Loki, fisting the front of his clothes and yanking him to stand. The safety harness strapping Loki in was shred like silly string under the force of this man’s strength.
The two shared a look, the tall blonde glaring at Loki reprovingly as Loki’s lips twitched in goading.
Gritting his teeth, the stranger raised him arm and Tony belatedly noticed the impressive hammer he wielded. Twirling his wrist, he spun the hammer about and it made a faint humming sound like that of a spinning whistle.
And then they were gone – taking flight out the back.
As Tony tried to wrap his mind around the concept of this guy just up and flying away, Bella shot awake with a mindless cry of pain. He and Steve rushed to her side as one of her hands clawed at her chest.
“Loki,” she screamed in pain, nails biting into her skin and drawing blood.
“Shit,” Tony muttered in realization. “They’re still fucking connected.”
It was the only thing that made sense. He’d been told of their connection, but hadn’t thought it to be this bad.
Or maybe it hadn’t been and whatever ju-ju Loki had done with his magic wand had bound Bella tighter to him…
Either way, it didn’t matter. Bells was in pain and he knew what he could do to stop it.
His helmet slid down in place and he took sure, steady steps to the still open lift.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea? And who was that guy – a friendly?” Steve asked, coming up beside him.
“Doesn’t matter – if he kills Loki or sets him free, the tesseract will still be lost. Not to mention what it will do to our girl.”
Steve nodded and Tony had the sudden thought that the guy must’ve finally discovered his balls if he was willing to play it fast and loose now. Then the Captain ruined the vaguely complimentary thought by adding, “We need a plan of attack.”
Tony shook his head, disappointed. For a moment there, he thought the Captain was worthy of the cool kids’ table.
“I have a plan,” Tony scoffed, then spat out his next word scathingly, “Attack.”
Then he leapt out of the jet.
“Track ’em down, Jarvis,” he said. “Loki has a prior engagement with Miss Swan and Point Break is not invited.”
“Very well, sir,” Jarvis said in his dulcet tones.
And Tony was off, hell bent on recapturing the war criminal Loki but not for the good of S.H.E.I.L.D. or some misplaced sense of patriotism.
But for the good of Isabella Swan.
(A/N): Oh yeah – welcome Thor to the party!
Hope you all enjoyed this chapter and Loki’s POV, as well as the surprise bit of Tony POV at the end there… I did break off an extra segment of this chapter to use for the start of next so it is a little shorter than usual. Still, it flows better this way and chapter 14 will now feature a new POV. I really hope you’ll like it as I found it to be… electrifying… teehee.
As always, love hearing from you all so go ahead and review if you have time. Keep in mind, though, that I can’t really answer your questions directly if you don’t sign in… and I may not be able to answer them at all for the sake of not giving away the entire plot. Be sure to follow me on facebook (link on the left-hand menu bar) as I post teasers and also address questions there too 🙂
Gungnir – the name of Odin’s staff which is refashioned into Loki’s scepter, the crown of which is the Mind Stone/Gem.
Tesseract – the Space Stone/Gem