Chapter Five

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Loki strode out of the garden, the small jar of salve clutched in one hand. His thoughts were racing from his conversation with Kenna and he wasn't sure what to make of it. He closed his eyes and shook his head. She was a slave. It didn't matter what he was feeling. There were far more important matters at hand. Harokin for instance.

Footsteps sounded behind him.

"Loki?" his mother's voice came from down the hall.

Loki slid one hand over the jar, concealing it from sight. When he turned to face Frigga, his hands were hanging loose and empty at his sides. Frigga looked him up and down, her brow knit with concern.

"You're up early," she observed.

Loki merely nodded. He didn't want his mother to know about his visit to Kenna. His mother always seemed to think so highly of him, he didn't want her disappointed to learn that he...he what? He wasn't doing anything wrong. He had gone to a slave and had her make him a salve. Nothing more. He lifted his chin, confident in his resolve.

Frigga frowned at him. "What's the matter?" she asked stepping closer to her son.

Loki pressed his lips into a line, debating whether or not he should confide his suspicions about Harokin to his mother. He didn't want to be wrong. It would be better to wait until after he confirmed by speaking to Heimdall.

"Have you been up all night?" she asked in disapproval, though by the look on her face she already knew the answer.

"I had things that needed my immediate attention," Loki responded vaguely.

"The issue with Harokin?" Frigga asked in a low voice, stepping closer to her son. "Your father said there was nothing to be concerned about. That he was alone and in Alfheim."

Loki nodded along with his father's decree. He wasn't about to disagree with the Allfather and certainly not to his mother.

"But you don't..." Frigga drew off, leading her son to confide in her.

Loki pressed his lips together and shook his head. "I can't say for certain," he finally said. "But I need to speak with Heimdall immediately."

Frigga finally relented that her son wasn't going to tell her what was on his mind. She pressed her lips together in the same grim expression Loki so often used. She stepped aside. "Please try and get some sleep," Frigga encouraged, pressing a kiss to her son's cheek.

Loki nodded distractedly and set off through the palace. He caught a servant and ordered them to get word to the stable and have his horse saddled. He stopped off in his room and removed his shirt. He held his hands palm to palm and rotated them. The jar reappeared with a green shimmer of power. He grimaced as he rubbed the salve across his sore ribs.

There was a tingling sensation on his skin that last for a few seconds and then the pain was gone. He breathed a sigh of relief. Kenna was right, the relief was almost instantaneous, far faster than Eir's tea. He shook his head and smiled as he remembered the determined look on her face when he had questioned her. Warrag had a very distinctive smell usually, but Kenna's salve smelled like lavender and eucalyptus and the small white flowers that grew along the path in her garden. The herbal scent reminded him of Kenna herself. He lifted the jar to his nose and breathed in the smell. Realizing what he was doing he sealed the jar and tossed it on his table.

Loki dressed once more and headed out towards the stable. It was doubtful the ancient guardian was within the palace, he spent most of his time acting as the Gatekeeper of the Bifrost. Loki rode his large black stallion down the rainbow bridge towards the Bifrost. While he was capable of teleporting, most Asgardians regarded it negatively and Heimdall seemed to be no exception. So instead he allowed himself the freedom to enjoy the ride and the quiet moments in the saddle to focus his turning thoughts. When he swung down from the saddle the Gatekeeper was waiting for him.

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