Hidden Within


Adeline found herself continuously staring at him after that. He hadn't said a word since their previous conversation and had instead gone back to lying firmly against the white wall of the cell, his old book resting in his pale hands.

"Have I something on my face, Lady Crow?" His voice jerked her sideways, and she nearly fell from her chair, the armor she wore suddenly growing unbelievably heavy. She cleared her throat and shook her head.

"No, I'm sorry." She managed in a stutter, blushing inwardly at her stupidity.

Loki observed the embarrassed young guard with a sense of admiration. She was different. Not Aesir. Her long blonde hair, which reached far below the ridges of her shoulders, shined in the bright light of the underground dungeons. He couldn't help but appeal to the lightness in her deep blue eyes, and the slight point on her ears. He leaned forward, preparing to embarrass the young warrior a little more.

"Of what race do you hail from?" He asked with a soft smirk as he watched her cheeks glow a bright pink. She shifted uncomfortably in her small chair, sitting up straight, with a sense of dignity.

"Honestly, we shouldn't be speaking." She groaned, and shot a quick smile towards him.

He shrugged, "What they don't know, won't kill them." Loki's voice was gentle and alluring, and she had to shift yet again in her seated position.

Loki's grin brightened, "You are Elven. I can tell that much." She stayed quiet and so Loki went back to his reading.

"Muspelsheim." She replied, breaking the ongoing silence. Gods have mercy, what was she thinking? Shut up, Adeline. Shut up. Loki quickly turned to face her, his eyes bright with wonder, his brows rising upwards.

"Ah, a fire elf." He breathed and she felt herself shudder. Adeline cleared her throat and nodded.

"Interesting." He then added, and she directed her attention back his way again.

"How so?" She asked, inching her body to face him as well.

"Well, you haven't the appearance of a fire elf whatsoever." Loki smiled gently and pointed to her, as she cringed. "Fair hair, light eyes of the opposing color." He shrugged and she turned to look up at him, her expression illuminating a saddened glow. He tilted his head to the side and then raised his chin with a smirk as he saw her hesitation.

"Ah, you are a blend then." Loki registered with a deep voice.

Adeline whirled to face him with narrowed eyes, "How do you…" Her words faded slowly.

Loki nodded, "It is obvious to me. Which one was it? Your mother, father?" He asked with a comforting smile that Adeline was glad to see.

"My mother is Aesir." She exhaled. She'd never openly admitted that little fact to anyone. It had been quite the disappointment to her. Her little brother and uncle were over-qualified blacksmiths with their elemental gifts, and her father was an unbeatable warrior with his abilities. Well, mostly unbeatable. The only fight he couldn't win tossed him to his death in the end. Loki was gazing at her now with intense emotions she couldn't quite put a finger on.

"You don't have the ability." He stated softly, watching her with an unbreakable stare. She froze and her eyes immediately dimmed.

"No." She sighed and shook her head, breaking the connection between the two of them.

"You feel insignificant." Loki suddenly whispered, almost like he was simply talking to himself.

Adeline raised her eyebrows in despair as she gazed back at him now. "Yes." She nodded and scooted in closer to the glass of the cell.

"Nothing to be ashamed of." Loki smiled but it quickly faded into a thin line of self-detestation. She wasn't sure why he had said the words, as the exact expression on his face was, in fact, shame. She furrowed her brows together and raised her chin suspicion.

"It sounds like you talk from experience." She mumbled politely, struggling to stray away from any sort of insult.

He suddenly scoffed, and nodded, "Second heir to the throne." He boasted, waving his hands in the air to demonstrate a sarcastic drama. Adeline shifted and raised an eyebrow. Loki shook his head and sighed in frustration, "It was never to be."

Adeline leaned closer to the glass with a hint of pity in her tone of voice, "Why?"

Loki looked taken back, almost…surprised with her.

"You don't know?" The god of mischief questioned curiously.

Adeline shook her head with narrowed eyes, "I'm afraid not."

He was soon laughing under his breath, shaking his head at her. "You are indeed a puzzle, Lady Crow." He smirked and she found herself blushing yet again. Adeline Crow, you idiot. This is not professional, she told herself. But she couldn't fight it. The attraction, that is. She felt the need to help him. She felt the need to aide a criminal, a murderer, cut off from her by the cell he was kept in.

"Certainly, one I am eager to solve."

This caught her off guard, and her eyes widened on the prisoner.

He let out a chuckle and sighed loudly. But after that moment, he fell silent.

Adeline was instantly suspicious. She had been waiting for him to continue the words he spoke about the denial of the throne.

Adeline cleared her throat, attempting to rid herself of the forming knot, and then tilted herself forward, "Why do you feel insignificant?" She asked, her eyes soft as they gazed on the quiet, mysterious, dark-haired man. He flinched only slightly as she said the words, his position near the wall growing tense with hesitation. Adeline Crow had a feeling there were many things about this so-called criminal that she didn't know; that most people didn't know, in fact. He cocked his head sideways to her and smiled a rather apologetic smile.

"I, as well, am not full Aesir. Quite far from it actually."

Adeline's eyes widened as she observed him close his eyes and his smile fade. Not Aesir? But he was the son of the Allfather, was he not? Before she could say another word, Loki quickly countered his last statement.

"That is all you need to know." He turned away, got to his feet slowly, and strode away to the empty corner of his cell, simply staring down at the array of oblivious, hypnotizing white.

"Why?" She found herself asking, much to her regret. Loki spun to face her yet again, but his eyes seemed angry and she quickly sunk back down into her chair.

"Because you would not see me the same once you found out the truth." Loki breathed unsteadily, and sat onto his small, plain cot. Adeline felt slightly taken back. She had only known this man for a mere hour or two. What was he implying?

"And how do I see you now?" She asked, suspicious of the answer.

Loki held back the smirk threatening to appear upon his expression. Why was he so open? He barely knew her. But something about those blue eyes, her pale, fair skin. It drew him in. Made him feel…safe. But that's ridiculous. He is Loki, prince of Asgard; burdened with glorious purpose yet shoved away in an overly dull, white icebox. This woman was a mere guard, keeping him in this cage. Why was he even bothering to speak with her? He shook his thoughts away and turned his expression out of her line of sight.

He cleared his throat, "I'd expect as a prisoner serving his time. Nothing more, maybe something less." He exhaled awkwardly.

Had she offended him? She tried to keep the idea out of her mind, but it just kept invading time and time again. Before she could get another word in with him, the doors to the underground prison swung open, and she was immediately on her feet.

A guard, in golden armor, was approaching her steadily. "Lady Crow." He grunted and she hit him with a slight bow.

"Sir." She answered firmly, and the guard sent her a stern nod.

"The king has asked that you report to your chambers until you are needed in the dungeons again."

Adeline raised an eyebrow and stood up straighter, "May I inquire as to why?" She questioned politely and the guard nodded once more.

"You may. The king wishes to speak with the prisoner." He confirmed and Adeline raised her chin in acceptance.

She sighed, and took one more look at the trickster in the cage. He gazed right back at her, expressionless, showing no emotion, and she feared she had in fact insulted him. But she was instantly relieved as she caught sight of that arrogant smirk, lining his pale lips as she turned to exit the prison.

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