Valkyrie II: Darkness Rising

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Chapter Seven

One look at Sif’s face and Mist’s blood began to boil. “It seems you never learn.” She shook her head.
“You never, lay a hand on a woman.” Gil sneered at the traitor.
“She lay man-hands on me.” The male chuckled, only to receive Gil’s fist against his cheek.
“Now, I’m not particularly impressed with your performance, my friend, so I’ll only ask this once.” Gil drew the Browning from his side and cocked the hammer, putting the muzzle of the weapon against his forehead. “What, is Malice planning?”

“Do you think she would actually tell me anything?” He laughed. “She only released me so I could collect information for her, but when I got here and saw you, well, I changed my mind. I need protection.”
“You, need protection?” It was Gil’s turn to laugh.
“I know all the ways in and out of Ghost Mountain.” Loki pleaded with him; his hands clasped before him. “You look like a wise man; I could be useful.”

“Liar! You made a deal with a greater monster than yourself to save your own worthless hide, you pitiful vermin.” Mist snarled at him.

Gil looked at her as she spoke. He holstered the Browning and took her aside as she glared daggers at the male. If her look was anything to go by, Loki was a dead man, though, as much as Gil hated the thought, the bastard was right. He could prove useful, if only they could trust him.

“I don’t know what sort of history you and the asshole share, but if we can use him to get to Malice, I say we use him.” He sighed, rubbing at his eyes.

Mist too, let out a long, drawn out sigh, and did something that surprised even the traitorous fool; she apologized.
“I’m sorry, Gil, he has made me forget myself.”

The ex-soldier embraced her, holding her close as he whispered in her ear. “If he steps one inch out of line, you can have him. In fact, I’ll hold him down, myself.”

Mist nodded, but her words carried a hint of warning. “Never let him get you alone. He is a master of illusions, bearing a silver tongue. If he thinks you’re an easy target, he will use you.” She kissed his cheek. “Never show him any weakness.”

“I don’t have any weaknesses, save for you and Sif” He stopped short, looking at their lover. “She’s going to have a first-rate black eye, though he looks far worse.”

“They have a history even longer than ours.” Mist said as she looked at the Valkyrie across the way. “We’ll take her to Saylon, after we look to Master Loki.”

“Take him to the dungeon, I’ll deal with him there.” Gil called out, listening to the huff as the bastard was lifted from the ground and carried away; despite the protests of those who’d captured him.

“Gil, you can’t be serious? Please tell me you’re not considering a deal with that piece of filth?” Sif eyed him up and down, a look of disgust on her face. “Let me cut his throat and be done with it.”
When he remained silent, she went on. “You can’t trust him, my love. We should kill him, now, before he escapes and tells his mistress of your gifts.”

“No, Sif, I can’t win this war without his help.” He replied loud enough for the heathen to hear. “He may have some information that would prove useful.”

“Useful, would be his cock as a marker along the road to Rihmsjalier. His favorite toy displayed as a warning to those who would treat others like playthings.” Sif growled, then spun on her heels towards the great hall.
“Remind me never to piss off these women.” Gil grumbled and shook the image of Loki’s most unfortunate, and totally plausible accident from his mind.

“No shit, Sherlock. That took the word scary, to a whole other level!” Robert cut in. “I’m glad she’s yours!” He added, slapping Gil on the back. “I just have one question…”
“What’s that?”

“Now that we have the fool, what the hell are we going to do with him?”

“Just what I said, we use him.” Gil laughed out loud, catching Mist’s attention. “Malice has to know that he’s betrayed her. If he doesn’t co-operate, we give him back to her in small pieces.”
“But, if we have him, then who tells Malice of our plans? What about your dream?” Mist cut in.
“You said yourself, destiny is not written in stone. If he was the spy and he never made it to her, we have already changed the future.” Gil smiled, feeling quite proud of himself.

“Though, you must remember one thing, Gil, he is a God. He knows more about magic than anyone. If he ever escapes, if he’s been treated badly, he’s going to plot against you until he succeeds.”
“He is not, a God. None of them are. Powerful, yes, but not Gods. They can be killed.” Gil cut in, shaking his head.
“Just, remember your rules about treating an enemy with respect. It applies to Loki, no matter how much we dislike it. This one’s been around a long time, not even the Aesir could get rid of him.” With that said, Rob turned to Senna, eyeing the bruises on her cheek and arm. “We, are off to see Saylon.” He grumbled, putting his arm around his Valkyrie’s waist.
Gil couldn’t imagine what she and Sif had gone through, but as his own Valkyrie returned and wrapped her arms around him, he felt the tension ease within his chest. Perhaps she wasn’t furious with him?
“Are you alright?” He inquired, laying his cheek against her head, wincing, every time she closed her eyes.
“I will be fine, as soon as that traitor no longer draws breath!” Sif sighed, nuzzling in closer.
“We can’t kill him, just yet!” Mist cut in, having left the dissipating crowd to come stand beside them.
“I know that.” Sif giggled, “But he didn’t when we tossed him into a cell.” Gil raised a brow at the word, tossed. “Don’t worry, he is very much alive and fearing the threat.”
“And which threat was that?” Mist laughed. “The one where Gil swore to send him back to Malice in pieces, or the one where you threatened to take his favorite piece, and put it on display as a warning?”
“Whichever serves to bring that dog to heal!” Sif replied, batting her eyelashes at them both.
“That would explain how Loki managed to punch you in the eye, and remain breathing.” Gil laughed aloud as he escorted the bruised beauty across the yard to the healer’s keep.

“He winged me is all, with his elbow; and only after I had slammed his head into the wall for the third time.” Sif let out as if it were nothing. “Was more than likely reaching to catch himself from falling down the stone steps.”
“And did he catch himself?”
“What do you think?” She pulled away and poked the discolored flesh about her cheek. “We lifted his sorry ass off the bottom step and hogtied him to that staff. It was a while before he awoke and began to cause a fuss.”

Gil couldn’t hold in his laugh, grinning from ear to ear. If his Valkyries where anything, they were tough; but Sif’s eye was beginning to swell and was going to need some ointment if she planned on using both eyes in the upcoming battle.
Entering Saylon’s shop, Gil again laughed as the male looked at Sif and sighed. “The boy-child never learns, does he, Lady Sif?”

“Loki’s been a pain in our collective asses for as long as I can remember.” Sif growled and took a seat where Senna had just been sitting. “He even proposed the idea of mating, once, and only to achieve his goal of reining supreme in Asgard.”

“This, I have to hear!” Gil chuckled, accepting a cup of ale from Rob.
Sif grumbled, then pulled away as the healer’s fingers touched the first wound.
“Come on, you’ve heard all of my stories; this is the first one of yours that’s come up.” Gil carried on, using a tactic the Sif often used on him. “It helps ease the pain if you talk about it.”

Sif grumbled again as she looked at Mist. “We love him, right?”
“Of course, we do!” Mist grinned, sitting down beside her as Saylon began treating the largest of her wounds.
“Fine.” She gagged, as if telling the tale made her sick to her stomach. “After he’d proposed, and I’d said no, he went to Odin and somehow managed to name him the heir of the throne over Thor.” Her voice grew darker, her eyes, darker still. “Why, I have no bloody idea, perhaps Loki used his tricks to corrupt Odin’s mind, but that son of a bitch had planned to end my life while I slept.” She shouted, calling for Saylon to insist she calm herself or be treated with a tonic to ease her nerves.
“If he killed you, then who would bear his heirs?” Rob cut in, clearly disregarding Saylon’s subtle hints at changing the subject.
“Without Mist and Senna, Loki would have succeeded in taking the throne, and of course, been given my hand.”
“You would have been Queen of the entire realm?” Gil eyed her in disbelief.
“Only by the bond, he had already been named heir, so he would have reigned and I would have died within a fort-night of our joining, leaving him free and clear to rule without a Queen; taking any bastard-born child as his heir.” Sif growled, closing her eyes as her growl turned into a wince and she nearly took Saylon’s arm off. “You will be careful!” She snapped at him, the orb in her hand dissipating as he applied more ointment to ease the pain.
“I am sorry, but if you keep moving, this will take forever to heal.” The healer griped back, shaking his head as he continued to stitch the wound on her shoulder.
“He came within inches of achieving his nefarious plans, the whole realm was in chaos.” Mist started the tale again, earning a glare or two from Saylon.
“How did you stop him?”
“He did that himself!” Senna laughed, filling her cup, and then Robert’s.
“Oh, come now, Senna, it was your idea.” Mist grinned. “A most devious plan!”
“He does love that toy of his.” Senna agreed, taking a swig from her cup.
“Wait, you never told me you were there!” Rob’s face began to take on a red hue and his eyes narrowed at Senna. “For the love of…” He stopped short.
“And had you known that I was there?” Senna giggled, then kissed her male on the tip of his nose. “I promise you; the male was too drunk to take up any of my offers thanks to Mist.”
“You did.., and he was… help me out here, Gil!”
“She’s telling the truth, Robert. He laid no hands on her.” Mist assured him.
“It’s not his hands that worry me.”
“Had I told you what happened, you would have tried to hunt him down.”
“You’re damn rights I would have.” Robert growled back, crossing his arms over his chest. “I should be down there now, beating the living snot out of him.”
“But we learned a lot that night!” Sif laughed. “Or rather, they did. Loki may be a God, but he is lousy at keeping secrets where his ego is involved. He told them everything. Laughed about it even.”
“And we made sure he missed his boat the next morning!” Mist joined in as Saylon shook his head.
“Would you stop moving?” He let out, jabbing Sif with the needle.
“Ouch!” She pulled away from him, which hurt even more. “Dammit, Saylon!”
“I warned you, many times! You must concentrate on healing, leave the traitor to the council.” The healer went back to mending her wounds with a grin upon his face.
“So, what happened to him?” Gil couldn’t help himself, he had to know the ending.

“Loki was imprisoned for a time, forced to pay for his treason in the mines; but as always, he managed to weasel his way out of a true-death and eventually escaped.” Sif paused a moment. “You know, this may be the first time that Loki won’t able to slip out of the noose?”

“I will put you in a noose if you do not remain still, I need to have another look at that eye.”

Sif huffed, but nonetheless, sat still as the healer poked about with his salves. When he finished, the eye looked as if she’d never been hit and she thanked him, rising from the small stool.
“Come, I would see him again and prove he can never truly hurt me.”
“After, you rest!” Saylon frowned. “Let your body heal, Sif.”
She would have struck the healer for his foolish words, had it not been for Gil’s quick thinking. She was exhausted, her body filled with an anger ages old, seeing the traitor would have only reignited a fire she could not contain in her condition; or at least, that’s what he was telling himself as he took the stairs two by two with Sif in his arms.
“Your orders, are to stay in bed!” He growled at her, putting a stop to any further protests that she may have thought about unleashing, and without hesitation, he moved to the window that looked out over the city.
She was mad, but she would heal in peace. That asshole in the cells below was not going anywhere and neither was she. Mist stood with her back to the wall with a grin upon her face, making no move to offer any assistance; to either of them. She was smart, possibly too smart for her own good, but Gil appreciated her not taking sides. One did not mess with their health and Sif was bordering on total exhaustion.

Gil stood at the window as Mist finally moved to help Sif strip from her armor. His mind was cluttered with all of the events of the last eight hours, his sights settling on the ceiling as he slid into a nearby chair, causing them concern.

“Where are you, my love?” Mist asked as she appeared at his side.

“It never seems to end, does it? The plotting, and the schemes. It’s as if I can hear Loki’s mind working, lulling us into a false sense of security. I wouldn’t doubt it, if he and Malice hadn’t planned this from the beginning.”
“What are you saying, Gil?”
“Chop the rebellion off at the head. I think he’s here, for me!”

“How in Odin’s name could you know that?” Sif asked her voice shaking a little

“Because, it’s what I would have done. I’m what the special operating forces call a H.V.T, or a high-value target. You always try to take them out first, it greatly enhances your odds in the end-game.”

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