Dead Silence - T.G. Ayer
Struggling did no good.
In fact, any movement seemed to tighten the slim golden rope that was wrapped around my torso, arms and shoulders like a sadistic snake. The tighter the rope got, the harder it was to hold onto Gungnir, Odin's golden spear, given to me by the All-Father himself.
As I stared down at the gleaming rope, I was not oblivious to the irony that Loki now used a similar magical rope to bind me as the one Thor had used on him a few months ago. The Trickster god must love the irony.
I gritted my teeth. My arms remained squashed against my sides, my wings given the same treatment. The feathers shuddered, mirroring my frustration.
Just as Derek had said, the Bifrost had opened in the loft of a barn. I stood enveloped in the musty smell of hay and dust mixed with the fetid odor of dung and the sharp spike of rotting onions.
My jaw tightened as I lifted my eyes and met those of my captor.
He wore black leather trousers and boots, a black silk shirt that glistened wetly, and a long coat that skimmed his ankles. The dark modern look suited him.
Loki, the trickster god, was smiling, his deep blue eyes gleaming with mischief. His looks had never reflected the black, almost malevolent nature that lurked beneath the surface of whatever form he took. Today, his blond hair spiked up in dozens of different directions, deliberately messy, giving him a playful, relaxed air. Even his smile was a cheerful curve, as if we were the best of friends meeting again after spending too much time apart.
"Aren't you happy to see me, Bryn?" he asked, his voice a soft seductive rumble.
I clenched my jaw. It was a waste of time wanting desperately to punch his lights out since, right now, I was in no way able to make it happen. But, I had to hope I'd get my chance sooner rather than later.
Scowling, I asked. "What do you want, Loki?"
"Come now, sister. You know why you're here." Loki smirked as he leaned forward and curled his fingers around Gungnir. Even though I held onto it as tightly as I could, Loki removed the weapon from my fingers with little effort. I swallowed down a frustrated growl.
Loki had tried once before to take the spear from me, but when he'd attempted to use it, nothing had happened. Loki hadn't known the prerequisite for the spear to work; the user had to have Odin's blood running in his, or her, veins.
And, of course, he'd found out.
Neither had he known I was Odin's daughter, by whatever convoluted means made our kinship a reality.
That bit of information had reached his eager ears as well.
And, even though Loki was Odin's son, he was no blood kin of the All-Father.
But Loki had persisted and had finally managed to lure me here in order to take the spear from me. I almost felt sorry for him.
My eyes narrowed as I watched Loki, his eyebrows curving as he concentrated on twirling the spear like a baton. And the more he manipulated the weapon the angrier I became. "You know you're wasting your time, don't you? Brother," I asked, my lack of affection clear in my tone.
Loki ceased his twirling and shifted his blue gaze to my face. A satisfied smile grew on his lips and he said, "If you mean that annoying little caveat called blood, then don't worry about it. I've got that covered." His words sent a chill down my spine.
I really didn't want to make him explain but I'd get nowhere being stubborn, and Loki was likely to enjoy stretching out the drama. "What do you mean? You aren't of Odin's blood." I held my breath and waited for my words to rile him up.
But he just shook his head, the picture of calm, and smiled at me as if I was an ignorant child. "Sorry, my dear. You see, Odin's little rule about blood can be easily bypassed. Since blood is the key to using the spear, then blood it is."
My mind whirled with the possibilities of what he meant, and then my eyes widened as it clicked into place what he was on about. "Blood transfusions? You're mad."
I shook my head, unable to believe that I hadn't seen it before. Blood was the reason he'd abducted Thor, the reason Thor had been so weak when we'd found him in Loki's Russian hideout only days ago.
Loki applauded my words, the sharp sound