Hidden Within

Alliance Part 1

Adeline's eyes had fluttered closed only a few hours earlier. She'd stayed up, sitting with a sleepless Loki.She'd had to knock Lovetson out a couple more times, but that was no big deal.However, sooner than she thought possible, it was morning. Dawn.

Worry and panic set in around her as the peace of sleep slowly faded away. She woke to silence. Loki had eventually fallen into a deep slumber, it seemed, as he sat hunched forward, still chained uncomfortably to the chair, his dark hair hiding his eyes. She sighed as she looked at him. How had this all started?

She simply wanted to perform her duty as a warrior of the Allfather, but she couldn't ignore the connection that crept up on her. The attraction. It sounded silly in her mind, but it was the plain truth. She was drawn to him; his dark, raven black hair, his crystal clear blue eyes that appeared green in the morning light, and his past. A past no one seemed to truly understand.A past of fear, guilt, and betrayal.

She shook her head to shoo away the thoughts, as her eyes glistened over in despair.

"Loki." She muttered quietly, choking on the oncoming worries of reality. No response."Loki, wake up!" She commanded, a little louder now, and Loki's head rose slowly upward.She let out a breath of relief and gazed at him through tired eyes.

He smiled softly, blinking, as if to snap himself out of dream world.The muzzle must be aching by now; the bands around his wrists and ankles sore to the bone. Adeline winced.Just as she opened her mouth to say something, the doors to the dungeon flew open forcefully, revealing a terrifying sight.

Adeline's words hooked down into her throat, keeping her from saying even the smallest sentence.Five guards swayed inside the white corridor of cells, followed by the Allfather himself.Adeline cringed, and put on the straightest face possible, although as she stared, all she felt was hatred and agony.

"Remove the muzzle. I wish to speak with my son." Odin ordered, and the guards rushed to his command, entering Loki's cell, and putting Adeline on edge as they roughly tugged at the chains. The king walked up beside her, glaring her way through narrowed eyes.

"You were reassigned, Lady Crow." He uttered and she stood up straighter.

"I understand that my king, but something was brought to my attention." She stated firmly, an idea making its way into her mind.

"What is that?" The Allfather asked suspiciously and Adeline quickly flinched her head to the man lying flat on the floor, eyes closed, snoring slightly as unconsciousness began to wear off.

"This man," She exclaimed accusingly, "was drinking on the job. I took it into my hands to remove him from the task at hand, and he attacked me." She shrugged the statement off like it was nothing, and stared blankly at the Allfather, who gazed at her with wide eyes.

He motioned for two guards to come his way, and they listened, pulling up beside him with flat faces. She held her breath, waiting for his next move."Take this man away." He ordered, his glare still fixed on Adeline. The guards grabbed Lovetson by the arms and began to drag him off, causing slight groans to come from his way.

Adeline cleared her throat, finally breaking her stare at the Allfather, and looking back at Loki. The guards held him tight, shoving him out of the cell, onto his knees and before his father, his ankles and wrists still chained. The king's sharp eyes moved from Adeline's concerned expression to Loki's position on the ground, bearing a look of despair.

"Loki." Odin uttered to his son, causing him to gaze upward.

"My king." Loki mocked with a cruel smirk, glaring at his so-called father.

Adeline shifted closer to the guards holding the prisoner, eager to comfort him. Their eyes flashed to meet hers with stern expressions, and she quickly looked down. Loki was only a mere few feet away. The only time they had been that close was yesterday, when the guards dragged him away for preparation. She was anxious for the same moment to occur. The reassurance of his hand intertwined with her own. She shook the thought away and listened to the continuing conversation.

"I am sorry, my son." Odin sighed.

The armored guards pulled Loki to his feet and off the ground. He took a step forward to steady himself, chains clamoring, and then stared blankly at his father.

"I am not your son." He snapped, and with a nod from the Allfather, his features twisted in rage, the guards began to drag him away.

Loki's head whirled to face Adeline with an agonizing expression, as he was pulled forcefully past her.Her eyes widened in panic and she quickly lunged forward. "Loki." She choked, carefully following the guards as they swayed farther and farther away.

"Adeline!" He shouted, and Adeline's heart froze in her chest.Now he was panicking, really panicking. It was happening. He was going to be executed. Burned at the stake.

"Adeline!" He exclaimed louder now, hoarse with even more panic than before, as the guards pulled him along with them; his voice an agonizing, fearful sound that cause Adeline to cringe in lack of a way to help him.

"Loki!" She yelled back to him.

She quickly inched forward, preparing to jog his way, but she was yanked back by an ever so firm grip on her arm.She spun to face the Allfather full on. He glared at her, disbelief in his eyes.

He used his hold on her to fling her forcefully down to the ground beneath them, her armor clattering as it hit the hard surface.She gasped out in shock at the sudden violent action, and gazed up at the king solemnly.

Odin stared her down with dead eyes, "You are nothing like your father!" He spat out, causing her body to shrink in fear, but she held a firm expression as she watched his every move.

"He would never have disobeyed his king! Nor would he have allied with the enemy!" He shouted her way; rage filling his features in a shade of red. Adeline cringed angrily and pulled herself to her feet, glaring steadily at the king.

"Loki is not your enemy, the Tieflings are! Or have you forgotten?" Adeline snapped in outrage.

The king drew back, slightly surprised by the harsh reaction "You dare speak to me-" He began, but Adeline instantly cut him off.

"You are a selfish coward who blames everyone for your own mistakes!" Adeline exclaimed as her eyes filled with hatred for the piece of royal rubbish before her. He visibly swallowed eager to get another word in, but Adeline Crow didn't let him.

"You say I am nothing like my father? Good! Because I would never serve a heartless oaf like you!"She dropped her shoulders, the tension lessening as she glared his way.Now all she felt was sadness. Rage has dissipated into despair, and she was now watching an old man who seemed lost by her words.

She removed her shield, dropping it to the ground in conclusion. But she kept her sword; she wasn't ready to give in just yet.

The king eyed her suspiciously and shook his head, "You are a clueless woman!"The king snapped at her, as if disappointed by her actions.

Adeline scoffed and sighed, as she turned to leave."I'd rather be a clueless woman, then a poor king."

"Sir." The Tiefling guard reported back to his master, sitting patiently in his throne.

"What?" He snapped and sighed, shaking his head in disgust.

"Sir, it seems Odin is holding an execution," He began, instantly cut off by the leader, "So?" The guard cleared his throat and finished, "for Loki."

Gallien got to his feet, rising from the chair in anger, a sudden dark chuckling piercing the wavering silence around the two Tieflings."So this is how he wants to play, hm?" Gallien asked rhetorically with a small smirk. "When is the execution?"The king snapped at his loyal guard who quickly nodded in confirmation, "Dawn, my lord."Gallien scoffed and shook his head, plummeting down into his seat and giving a final order of action.

"Be sure it doesn't happen."

"You called him a what?" Henry asked with widened eyes of curiosity.

Adeline shook her head with a short laugh, "A heartless oaf."

Henry flew backward; nearly falling off the small chair he sat in. They sat in the living room, their mother in the kitchen cooking a fresh breakfast, as she listened to the words expressed between Adeline and her younger brother.

"Holy Helheim." Her sibling remarked with a small smirk of surprise.

"Yes, I'm lucky he didn't execute me too." Adeline scoffed and shook her head, sudden sadness falling over her again.

Her mother poked her head in from around the kitchen's doorframe. "That is not something to jest about, Adeline Crow."

Adeline shrugged and got to her feet, anger building up once more. "It is ridiculous mother! The Tieflings want Loki, and his first reaction is to have him executed!" She exclaimed and went on. "So, what? No one gets him?" She asked herself rhetorically in frustration.

Her mother sighed and approached her, wiping her pale hands on a dishcloth. Henry shifted at the oncoming conversation.

"Why are you so flustered by this Adeline?" Her mother asked with confused eyes, mixed with the imminent irritation of concern.

Adeline dropped her eyes to the floor, tears welling up in her eyes as she struggled to hold her ground. "Loki is not as they say." She murmured almost inaudibly, but her mother caught on, raising her eyebrows in suspicion.

"I believe he simply acts out because he is afraid, and all of whom he has trusted have betrayed him." She admitted, causing her mother to take hold of her hand.

"What are you saying Adeline? He killed innocent people! He belongs in a cage!" Adeline gently pushed her mother off of her, releasing her hand.

"He does not!" She exclaimed.

All was silent. She simply gazed at her mother, her expression twisted in soft rage.

"Do I hear the faint ring of wedding bells?" Henry chuckled with a smirk. Adeline turned to him, glaring sharply his way.

But suddenly she froze. She did hear bells. She swayed up to the window of their small townhouse, and gazed out at the market square.Asgardians were jogging slowly, or walking towards the thick walls of the palace. The execution.

"I have to go!" Adeline exclaimed and pushed past her frightened mother."Adeline!" She called out after her, just as Adeline shoved open the door.

She sprinted past the dozens of villagers and townies making their way leisurely to the large royal home.Her breathing faltered as panic over took her every being, causing her heart to beat in uneasy patterns.She rammed into the shoulders of the Aesir people, unbothered by their harsh remarks of irritation.She made it into the gates of the palace, hurriedly thrusting herself forward until she caught sight of the rather large crowd forming themselves into a circle.She cringed and pushed past the many figures in her way. She ignored their yells and boasts of confusion. She simply drove herself forward.

Finally, she reached the end of the pools of Asgardians, her vision swallowing a picture so frightening she could scream, right here, right now.

The dark haired being was chained to the large wooden post, hay surrounding him, and wood beneath his feet.His muzzle was tightened once more along the rim of his mouth and chin, and he looked devastatingly beautiful in his long cape of green, black and gold.

Adeline choked on the next breath of air she inhaled, and simply kept her gaze on Loki's dimmed expression.She wanted to call out for him, for him to look at her, but she didn't have to.His head rose from the post, and immediately his eyes fixed on her own.Their blue-green shade stared blankly back at her, as if he was already dead.

Then the executioner, his face cloaked over by a hood, raised his torch into the air.The flame lighting the end was no longer magical to her as it had been with her father.

It was deadly; it's every crackle, as it burnt the wood beneath it, was deafening.

She swallowed thickly, and peered back at Loki, who still kept his gaze fixed on her own.As the executioner lifted the torch, she instantly shut her eyes, blocking out the world.

She wasn't ready for this. Greif would come back yet again.And there was nothing she could do to chase it off this time.She felt defeated, a disappointment, as her father's words continued to echo in her head.

"You promise me this, Adey. No matter how mad someone makes you, how sad, as long as you see the good in them, you will guide them towards the light."

Now her chance, to guide a once good man back to the light, had faded.

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