chapter 65

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Loki felt a rush of mixed intense feelings when laufey turned around and they were face to face. Laufey looked shocked, which for a moment gave Loki an odd sense of satisfaction, but laufey was also very angry, and lokis fear soon became his dominant emotion.
Laufey was angry to see loki standing there, he was angry that Loki hadn't been dragged in by guards and dumped at his feet. Loki tried to maintain eye contact with Laufey, but it was hard, everything in him told him not to. He never looked laufey directly in the eye and he wasn't enjoying the experience. Laufey's eyes were blood red and full of hate and anger, and Loki knew that every moment he didn't cower away, Laufey grew more angry. Laufey's eyes scanned over Loki, as if he was determining the value of an object, and at this moment, it was clear that he saw Loki as having very low value. But more than anything, he just hated the fact that his son was healthy, and that selling him to Odin and Frigga had actually put and end to his misery. "Lunch is ready, if everyone will take their seats" Frigga said, trying to break the silence that had fallen onto the room. Laufey looked over Loki once more, then broke eye contact as he turned his back to his son and sat down again.
Loki released a breath he hadn't realized he was holding, then walked around to the other side of the table and took his place next to Thor. "So you're parading my son around as your own" Laufey said to Odin and Frigga as everyone was served their food, though he was still glaring at Loki. "He's not your son Laufey" Frigga said. Laufey looked very peeved by her comment, and had they been on Jotunhiem he probably would've had her thrown out. "Then I'll rephrase the statement" he said through gritted teeth "you're parading my pet around as your son" he said. Loki wished he could escape Laufey's gaze, Laufey hadn't stopped looking at Loki since he entered the room and it was getting harder and harder to keep still. He felt all of his old inclinations coming back to him; suddenly he felt like he should be standing against the back wall, he should be making sure no ones glass was empty, he should be the one serving the meal.
He felt like he was contradicting everything he knew by sitting and eating. "We aren't parading anyone. He's hear by his own choice" Odin said, trying to get Laufey to look away from Loki, but it was a pointless effort. "Really? He hasn't said a word since he entered, and he clearly wants nothing more than to leave this room" Laufey said to Odin, then leaned a bit closer to Loki "don't think I couldn't see your hands shaking" Laufey said to him. Loki never was able to stop his hands from shaking, and Laufey calling him out just made him feel more vulnerable. He wasn't able to keep eye contact with Laufey anymore, but he was determined not to slouch over his plate, so he sat straight and made sure to take glances around the room. "He's uncomfortable, no one is denying that, but he wasn't forced to be here" Frigga said. "So what?" Laufey challenged, finally looking away from Loki and onto Frigga "who cares if he came here by choice? He's still your possession, he's still a skittish weak creature, he's still a pet. A pet that you're showing off" Laufey spat, his tone carrying bitterness and rage.
"He is not a pet" Frigga said, almost shouting. "Don't fool yourself, of course he's a pet" Laufey said "he's sitting there like a stray dog, letting all of you defend him. Does he even speak?" He sneered, giving Loki a look that could kill. "He's no different now than he was before. He just sleeps in a warmer room. And you are just using him as a showpiece to show how much greater you are" laufey said, going back to his meal.
"That's not true" Loki said, he had wanted his voice to come out stronger than it had, but he was just glad that it came out at all. He was kicking himself for being so bound by his fear of laufey. He wished he could get free from him.
"It's not?" Laufey said, giving loki all his attention now, which loki hated.
"Yeah, it's not. They- they welcomed me into their family, they-" Laufey didn't let him finish.
"They welcomed you like a pet. They brought you here, gave you food and gave you a bed" laufey said, then leaned forward toward Loki again "you're a pet here just like you were a pet on Jotunhiem , they just pamper you here" he said, Loki was feeling a horrible mixture of anger and fear, he wanted to run from Laufey but at the same time he wanted to defend himself and his family. "I'm not a pet laufey" Loki said, finding a bit more confidence. "Yes you are. Thor is sitting there itching to fight me off for you, Frigga protects you like you're a sad kitten, and even Odin has jumped to your rescue. The only question is which one of them you follow around more. Who's lapdog are you" Laufey said mockingly.
"They defend me Because that's how normal people act. Not because they see me as a pet" Loki said back.
"They don't view you as a pet? You believe that?" Laufey asked aggressively.
"Yes, I do believe that. Because it's true" Loki said back. He was starting to become more confident in what he was saying, but what Laufey said next tore him down again. "Who named you?" Laufey questioned. Loki froze, he felt the color rush form his face and his mouth went completely dry. No one but Thor knew that he didn't have a name until coming here, Odin and Frigga both thought that his name was given to him by laufey. Loki tried to think of something to say, but nothing was coming to mind, he just sat there with laufey's harsh eyes fixed on him. "What are you talking about?" Frigga asked after several torturous moments of silence. Laufey's eyes shifted to Frigga, her face was filled with confusion, as was Odin's. But Thor's wasn't... Thor looked worried and defensive. Laufey looked between Frigga Odin Thor and Loki, then started laughing darkly.
"This is even better than I thought" he said, a cruel look of amusement taking over his face as he looked down at Loki. Loki had seen that look many many times, and he wished he could disappear.
"They don't even know. How long did you think you could keep this secret, Loki?" Laufey asked mockingly, saying Loki's name like it was a joke. Loki felt his stomach knotting up, Laufey had just exposed something that loki hoped would never be exposed. "What secret? Loki what is he talking about?" Odin asked. Loki licked his lips nervously and opened his mouth to explain, but Laufey didn't give him a chance. "Thor knows. Have him explain. I'm sure he'll be able to speak in full sentences. Something the runt is incapable of" laufey said.
"I'll explain later father" Thor said, but Laufey wasn't going to let that slide. He knew Thor knew about Loki's name, he knew Thor had given Loki his name, thor was the only one who wasn't confused.
"Loki didn't have a name until you bought him" laufey said, making the pit in Loki's stomach deepen further "and apparently, Thor was the one who named loki. He named him like he'd name a horse." He added. He was enjoying this moment immensely.
"Shut up Laufey, leave Loki alone" Thor said, looking like he was ready for a fight. But laufey seemed unfazed. "Well I think its clear that he's Thor's lapdog. What other tricks did he teach you?" Laufey went on as he turned back to Loki, who now looked green with nerves. "That's enough laufey" Odin commanded. But laufey ignored him.
"What else did he teach you? Did he teach you to read? You certainly didn't know how to do that when you were living with me. And You're not so skinny anymore so I assume he also taught you how to eat like a civilized person, another skill you didn't posses while you were under my control" Loki only had three secrets and Laufey had just exposed all of them. He needed to leave, right now. "Does he have a collar and a leash for you as well?" Laufey continued to mock, but Odin put an end to it.
"Laufey that is enough!" Odin barked, but Laufey had already done the damage. Loki turned to Odin, feeling humiliated, ashamed, and vulnerable. Feelings that were all too familiar. "Can I please go?" He asked with a still dry mouth.
"Yes of course, go" Odin said. He didn't understand what laufey was saying, but loki could explain it all later.
Loki didn't waste a minute, he got up and headed for the door.
"I said I wanted to have lunch with you Loki, your end of the deal isn't fulfilled until this meal is over" Laufey called after him. Surprisingly, Loki turned around.
"The deal was that you see me. You've seen me. As far as I'm concerned I've done all I need to do" he said with what little volume was left in his voice. He then pushed the door open and left,Feeling worse than he'd felt in a very long time. He wouldn't be able to face Odin and Frigga and tell them the horrible truths he had been keeping hidden.

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