"So now that we're horse thieves, what were you planning?" Darcy forced out the question in order to stop thinking about how fast they were moving and how there was absolutely no saddle at all.
"Oh, we're hardly horse thieves. Sliepnir will be back in his stable before nightfall." Loki, at least, sounded completely at easy with the way they'd just leapt over a cart. Darcy screwed her eyes shut.
"Illegal horse borrowers then."
Loki laughed. It was the kind of frenzied sound that matched the wild acceleration. It was mad scientist mixed with a complete disregard for safety. Not that he should be worried. Falling off just then wouldn't be deadly to him at all. "Darcy. Are you not a fan of surprises?"
"Let's recount my recent experiences with you and surprises, shall we?"
"You enjoyed yesterday well enough."
"Yeah, and how many surprises involving you end in explosions?"
"More than you know of, I promise you."
They'd slowed as they came to a field a fair distance from the city, but Darcy wasn't releasing her death grip on his arms until they'd fully stopped. "And see, that's exactly the opposite of reassuring. You need to work on that."
Sliepnir, or whatever the heck horsezilla was named, halted suddenly, making her squeak. "Or perhaps I simple enjoy being unsettling." Loki shot back as he dismounted.
"You've got that down to an art." Darcy waited for him to turn and help her, instead he was walking away. "Uh. A little help here?"
"If you get off, it rather defeats the purpose of riding lessons, doesn't it?" Oh he sounded so sweet and innocent, but Darcy was not fooled.
"It's a useful skill."
"No, driving is a useful skill. Using a taser is a useful skill. Navigating the starbucks menu is a useful skill. This is a scary skill that's completely irrelevant back home."
"Ah." Loki brushed imaginary dust from his sleeves. "But not so irrelevant to a future princess of Asgard."
Darcy glared daggers. "Is that so?"
"Most certainly." He looked decidedly pleased with himself.
"You are an enormous ass."
He only laughed again. "I imagine that is also true."
She sighed, but was effectively trapped. There was no way she was getting down without help or breaking a limb. Or all four. And her head. "Ok, but why horsezilla? Why not tiny ponies? You know. So I don't die."
"Horsezilla?" Loki asked. The horse cocked its head as if it wanted the same explanation. Just how smart was this horse anyhow?
"Godzilla?" When both continued to wait for a further answer she groaned. "Ok. Do yourself a favor and learn pop culture references. That's just sad. Godzilla. He's a giant lizard. Destroyed Tokyo or something. Horsezilla – giant horse?"
Loki lifted an eyebrow. "Are you suggesting he destroy major cities?"
"Not with me riding!" She was slightly hysterical. It was understandable in her current situation. "And no! Destroying cities is bad! Don't destroy any more cities!"
Loki shrugged, and Darcy was acutely aware that he wasn't making promises. This was so over her pay grade.
"Look, you've had your fun but we both know I'm not ending up anything like a princess. So just help me down or_"
A saddle materialized under her with a wave of Loki's hand. "Sliepnir will not throw you, nor will he startle. You are perfectly safe."
Darcy sighed. "You're going to make me sit on the horse until I agree to this, aren't you?"
Loki's grin was answer enough.