Loki Odinson was a name that stayed in your mind even if you had never picked up one of his novels. He had constant press, adoring fans, and a never-ending imagination. Loki was an idol in the media's eye. His stunning albeit unconventional good looks intrigued a majority of his readers. While his skill with words kept them groveling for more. At the moment he was working on a book that was to be the final chapter in a trilogy of heart-wrenching romance novels, as was his forte. However, the media had a constant struggle discovering gossip about his romance life. As far as his readers knew, he had never once dated a woman. A fact that kept so many of his fan's enraptured. In some ways an untainted man was their sexual fantasy. However, he was nearing thirty-two, an age that made people start to wonder. He had his mind set, he would find a lady, and preferably date her. It couldn't be that hard, could it?
Darcy Lewis sat in the dusty old book store on the outskirts of London. Her aunt had sent her a book entitled Romance while the Roses die, some sappy novel all the women ages 16-57 ate up. Well, according to the newest London demographic that is. She had seen the interviews with the author. He had a silly name, she had to glance at the front of the book to remind herself. Loki Odinson. Geez, he sounded like some quirky Scottish musician. Darcy began reading the first chapter, and was totally taken aback. This was an amazing novel. She had expected passionate love-making underneath the moonlight, people ate that stuff up. But this, this had feeling. How was this written by some lonely virgin? That had to be a lie, you couldn't make something like this without experience. She bookmarked the page and went to tidy up, at least it was something to do that kept her mind off how long it had been since she dated.
"Darcy, Dear, did you happen to see my spectacles any-," The owner of the store, Mrs. Ryder, took this moment to clumsily fall right over the stool Darcy had just been reading on.
"Holy crap, are you alright?" Darcy rushed over to the elderly woman who still laid on the floor. "Oh my god." Darcy stared breathlessly as Mrs. Ryder remained silent. She ran back to the checkout and grabbed the phone. "Hello! Yes my boss fell over and she hasn't gotten up."
One stretcher later, Mrs. Ryder was hoisted up, a crease in her eyebrows, but still breathing. Darcy felt horrible, Mrs. Ryder was such a kind old lady, she had never given Darcy pains for forgetting to alphabetize the new shipments or made a fuss when Darcy played music. The EMT interviewed her, and she explained how the old lady had taken a tumble. Luckily it was nothing serious, but Darcy knew it had been partly her fault. Returning to the old dusty shop, Darcy locked up after she swept. She would visit Mrs. Ryder tomorrow.
It was usually an enjoyable ride back to her apartment, with the breeze in her hair, and the constellations above. But tonight it felt different, not just because of Mrs. Ryder, but like something was coming. She made it to her apartment, which was nestled in an older district, one filled with the elderly and gardens. She shared her apartment with her best friend Jane and a gay couple. But in all honesty, they were like one big family. Tony and Steve were so nice, and even stopped by the book store whenever they required literature. Darcy dragged her bike up the front steps of the old shackled house. It had ivy crawling over the west entryway, and pots of bleeding hearts, Steve said were gorgeous. The backyard was entirely his domain, filled with bells of Ireland and white verbena. They also kept an herb garden which they used to keep their restaurant well-stocked. Unlocking the door, Darcy pulled her old bike into the narrow hallway. The walls were decorated with pictures of the four friends. One of Steve and Tony in New York on vacation, and one of the most notable, of Jane and her Boyfriend at the time cuddled up on the small couch watching the notebook with tears streaming down his face. Darcy had been particularly proud of that snapshot. "Hello!?" She called out to the yelling she heard upstairs. They called the house "The Apartment" even though it was just a tall narrow house made for a family of 4. With her question, the yelling suddenly stopped and there was a shuffling of movement and whispers. "What's going on?" She ascended the small rickety wooden staircase. The second level had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. How it all fit on that floor was beyond Darcy, it was cramped, but comfortable. The walls were all eclectic colors, and barely an inch wasn't decorated in some way. She peered into Steve and Tony's immaculate bedroom. The lights were off, nobody in there apparently. She moved on to Jane's room, almost as clean as S & T's room, but not quite. They had to be in her room, but why? She gingerly turned on the lights, a glaze of fear washing over her. They weren't here. Suddenly the phone rang, Darcy jumped. Picking it up slowly she breathed a hello. There was heavy breathing. She loved horror movies, but being in one felt like a nightmare.
"Nice house you have here. So quaint." The voice was muffled and Darcy's breath hitched in her throat.
"Jesus Christ." She whispered in horror.
"Hell no, that isn't me." The voice broke out in familiar laughter and Darcy's bit her lip in an angry frown.
"Tony, I swear to God, I am going to kill you." She gazed as the attic door opened, her three friends grinning down at her.
"Surprise!" The three yelled.
"Oh, and on what occasion?" She asked, still a little peeved by their prank.
"You graduating, of course." Steve smiled in his familiar way. "By the way, I was against the prank." He put his hands up.
"Uhh, I graduated a month ago." Darcy ascended the stairs to take in the newly renovated attic. The floors, were done in wood a few shades brighter than the rest of the house, but it looked amazing.
"Do you like it?" Asked Jane, her smile was wide.
"Poorly concealed gift for yourselves, but I think it is perfect." Darcy explored the new floor. An impressive telly sat in the corner, across from a large couch that doubled as a bed.
"Maybe you should look at the DVD collection before you go making us out to be so selfish." Tony pointed to the cabinet. It was filled with her favorite movies, Practical Magic, Pride and Prejudice, and even some TV shows. She turned back to her friends and pulled them into a hug as she thanked them.
"We also brought dinner home, so we can settle down up here with some food and entertainment." Steve ran downstairs to come back up with the delicious smelling dishes in takeout bags. They popped in Pride and Prejudice, and sat down to enjoy good food and friends.
The next morning Darcy awoke with two pairs of feet in her lap. Tony and Steve were entangled on the other side of the couch, and Jane must have gone back to bed before passing out. She brought down her dishes from last night and took a shower before heading to work. Steve and Tony usually didn't get up until 12, and Jane was already at her job. Darcy guessed she could have been more supportive, but Jane's job was so bland and sciency. Right now, Darcy was securing a job writing for a local travel magazine on the side. She unlocked and took care of the customers that stopped in the bookstore. The rush died down as it always did around 3, so she decided to close up for an hour to visit Mrs. Rhyder. She quickly filled in the sign, be back in 1:00 hr. and hung it on the door to the shop. She took a cab to the closest hospital. It was weird, there were so many news vans in front of it. Somebody important must have gotten hurt. She pushed past security and told the front desk she was here to visit Mrs. Rhyder.
"I'm sorry Ma'm, but I will need some identification." Darcy's eyebrows knit together as she pulled out her license. Man, security was tight these days. "Yes," The receptionists eyes lightened. "Mrs. Rhyder said you would come. Be sure to tell her Grandson I'm a big fan." She shook a little in excitement. What the hell? Mrs. Rhyder must have one important Grandson. She made it to the third floor, which was a bustle of static emotions and fast moving orderly's, but, it didn't seem to be a bad rush, just one of excitement. Darcy went to the room number she was given. A tall man with raven hair had his back to her. He was tall, and Darcy had to look up at him when she passed by. Oh my God. She froze. This was that author, what's his name.
"Oh Hello." He turned to her, his eyes full of worry. "You must be Miss Lewis." He held out a hand.
"Yes, and you are…" She waited for him to respond. Something flashed behind his eyes, surprise maybe? Intrigue?
"I am Loki, her Grandson." Darcy looked over to her boss, who laid in her hospital bed with amused eyes and a smile, watching their interaction. Darcy looked back to Loki as she situated herself beside Mrs. Rhyder. He had a button-up green shirt and a tawny blazer with leather elbow-pads. Brown framed glasses sat on his long nose, and his eyes were emerald green underneath. Darcy could see why women were so enthralled by him.
"I bet you didn't know I had such a famous Grandson." Mrs. Rhyder grinned like a Cheshire cat.