OK - I know I'm on a bit of a posting binge at the moment, but I was doing a bit of free writing tonight, just seeing what I came up with - and - well - this is what I came up with. I nearly didn't post it, because it does seem a bit self indulgent, but it passed the approval of Ms Kitty Black, my sternest critic, so it seemed a shame to waste it.

A stream of consciousness peek into the mind of Loki during the first few chapters of Keeping the Stars Apart. If you've read KTSA you shouldn't have too much trouble working out where it fits in. What do you think - ok - or shameless naval gazing fluff that never should have left my computer? MM x


It had been so long since someone had touched him other than to control him, or to cause him pain.

The girl touched him all the time. He knew her touch before he knew the colour of her eyes or the sound of her voice.

It had been so long since he felt the touch of gentle, soothing hands on bare skin.

When the nightmares came – and they came very often in those early days – when he woke sweating and shaking, tears choking his breath, the wounds on his back throbbing with remembered agony - when they came, he would look over, see her curled up in the chair, maybe asleep - maybe awake with a book in her lap.

He would see her watching over him, and feel safe. Truly and utterly safe, as he had not felt since he was a small boy, hiding from his fears in his big brother's bed. Thor, who never called him weak when he was tired, afraid or sick. Like the girl, he was simply there a warm safe light on the edge of the darkness of his thoughts.

She looked into his darkness and was not afraid. She saw the sharp ragged bleeding edges of his soul – sharp enough to tear - sharp enough to inflict deep wounds beyond hope of healing or forgiveness – and poured warmth and acceptance and love over them until they were smooth and safe and whole.

She was full of compassion. But she never ever pitied him.

The first time he held her in his arms - the first time he found the sweet, dark secret spaces of her mouth, it was as though something within him which had been screaming for relief for centuries was suddenly still.

Opening his soul to her had been humiliating, and terrifying – but also sweet beyond reason. Like the lancing of a festering wound. Her arms had bound him tightly together when he was ready to break.

Until that morning he had never known what it was to wake with a woman in his arms. All his adult life he had fled from intimacy, terrified of being weak – vulnerable in front of those that would judge him - weigh him in their pitiless balance.

Find him wanting – lacking

She never found him lacking. To her he was simply what he was and that was enough.

How long had it been since he had admitted to need, to the burning urgency of physical desire? Felt his heart pound, and the blood surge in his veins at the simplicity of her softness against him, the scent of her skin and hair? How long since he had burned with anything but rage and pain?

Never – ever would he have considered allowing a woman to take the lead like that. To surrender himself to her, open, naked, physically and emotionally.

But her eyes. Warm and dark. Full of laughter, and desire, love and light, wickedness and want – for him. Just him. Not the son of Odin, the brother of Thor, the source of a magical solution to their problem. Just him.

And the warmth of her hands, her lips on his skin. How long had it been since a lover had touched him like that?

Had anyone ever touched him like that?