After Cor left for the island, Caylis materialized off Earth and to Asgard. She stood outside of the west wing of the palace for a moment, then took a deep breath and pulled the hood of her cloak up around her. Her form wavered for a moment, then she vanished and reappeared behind a tall man with pale skin and dark hair.
He stopped spinning his spear around his palm and turned to face her, a conceited smirk playing on his lips and a devilish light dancing in his icy eyes. “To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of this visit?”
She took her time answering, weighing which wording would have the intended effect on her audience. “Do you remember when I first began studying under you?” she asked as she walked past a large bookcase, slim fingers trailing over volumes of all sizes.
“It was an interesting day, to be sure,” he said slowly, watching her. “You quickly grasped concepts that take others many weeks. I allotted it to your lineage. What of it?” he asked, tossing her a sideways glance.
Caylis shrugged. “You also gave me a challenge. A challenge that I completed. And what was it you said you would give me if I succeeded? My memory is a bit foggy on those earlier years,” she said, turning around to face him.
He smiled again. “You never forget anything, as you and I both know. But since you insist on playing this game, I’ll fill in the blanks. I promised you one favor. No matter the request, how long before you asked me to fill it, or which realm it would take me to. Are you asking me for that favor now?” he inquired, leaning back against a low table, alternately touching the marble floor with the point and butt of the spear.
“We both know I have no other reason for coming here,” she replied, feigning boredom in her voice.
“And we both know that to be a lie,” he said as he placed the spear on the table behind him. “You have more, shall we say personal? Yes, more personal reasons for coming back here to me.” He walked towards her and gently pulled the hood away from her face. “You may conceal your face, but it does you no good, for your eyes shine like lights in the dark,” he told her. “Why do you insist on playing this game? We both know where it will lead,” he said softly, brushing her hair away from her face.
Caylis turned away and took a few steps to the side, toward the window. “I am here for my favor, Loki. Not for any personal reasons.”
He smirked and crossed his arms. “Of course it’s not. Why come for a personal visit when there are worlds to be won?”
“If you will continue speaking in riddles, then this meeting is over,” she growled, clenching her fists.
Loki rolled his eyes. “Caylis, you know I only speak plainly around you. What is it you would have me do? Does it have to do with your errant sister and darling aunt?” he asked. “Would it have to do with why your parents think you are paying court to Odin when you are really on Earth?”
“Enough!” Caylis shouted. “If you know why I am here, then stop this foolish dancing! Will you help me or not?” she asked, whirling around to face him, her cloak fanning out behind her.
“Calm, Caylis, calm,” he whispered soothingly. “Of course I will help you. My word is good, you know this.”
“And you are not called the ‘Trickster of Asgard’ for nothing,” she retorted. “I want a promise that you will be there when I need you to be.”
“So here you are. One broken and abandoned creature seeking help from another,” he observed. “What good do you think this will accomplish?”
Caylis growled and threw a ball of white-hot energy at him.
Loki grinned and caught it, rolling it around his hands before he let it dissolve into the air. “So fiery. There’s a reason you were always my favorite student.”
“I was your only student. And I am only a few years younger than you, do not continue to treat me like a child,” she hissed.
He laughed. “I hardly think this meeting is going the way you wished it to, Caylis. But yes, I will help you, as promised. And when you decide to allow me in, I will also be there for you, as promised.”
“Then you will continue waiting for that,” she said as she brushed her lips across his cheek, then leapt out the open window, triumphant smile on her face.