Epilogue

Arms laden with packages from her shopping trip, and feeling much rejuvenated for having spent most of the day without the boys clinging to her skirt, she approached the door to the royal apartment, startled when there was a crash from inside followed by Odin's voice raised in either frustration, exasperation, or anger. She couldn't tell which. Thankfully, the door swished open of its own accord, granting her access to her home where she stepped into the common room. Eyes widened.

The crash she'd heard from the hallway? That would have been the sound of the dining table being tipped over, supper dishes scattered all over the flagstones and food smeared across the floor and liberally streaking the faces of her three sons. Curtains were hanging askance. A tall floor lamp had been knocked over. Blankets were scattered across the floor. There was a fire outside on the balcony. And standing amidst the chaos was a pink-haired Odin looking horrified. His helpless glance turned in her direction as though to ask what he was supposed to do to make them listen and start picking up the disaster they'd created in the royal apartment.

"Thor, you're a bully!" Loki wailed.

"I know you are, but what am I?"

"I just said you're a bully!"

"I know you are, but what am I?"

"Get off me," shouted her middle son while shoving at Thor, who was sitting on Loki's head whilst eating a roasted turkey leg.

"Get off me!" Thor repeated as loud as he possibly could.

"Thor's a bilgestipe," Balder sing-songed. "Bilgestipe. Bilgestipe. Cake!"

Horrified that things had gotten so completely out of control that her husband was standing there with pink streaks in his hair from Balder's coloring charcoals, she turned on her heel to exit the royal apartment.

"Frigga, where are you going?" demanded Odin.

"My twenty-four hours aren't officially up yet," she responded.

"You can't leave me here like this, Wife." The real pleading in his tone was what stopped her in her tracks. As much as she might like to let him figure out how to make the boys mind, she simply couldn't abandon her husband in his time of need.

Clearing her throat, Frigga settled her packages on a table in the foyer and planted her hands on her hips, jaw canting slightly to the left as she adopted her sternest expression. When she next spoke, it was with the command of a queen lacing her tone. "Thor, Loki, Balder Odinson, on your feet. Eyes forward. Chests out."

Three rambunctious boys, knowing very well what her tone meant, scrambled to their feet to assume the position.

"How did you do that?" Odin demanded in an awed tone.

"Magic," she responded with a grin.

END