Frigga had set Nik up with chambers of his own in the same corridor that held Loki's quarters. Nik's new rooms were bigger and much nicer than his room in the brothel. He was very grateful.
Not only did he get a better bed and larger living space, but he was also close to his mate. Often times Loki and him would share a meal in each other's rooms.
After being with each other for a couple of months, both men were beginning to feel the bond that connected the two deeply.
They were able to feel what the other felt or could sense where the other was. Nik had never been so happy before. He still was a slave and continued to work as a whore but he had someone who loved him and felt like he belonged. He was also able to save some of his earnings to get Loki a gift when he found something worthy for the prince.
It was early morning when Nik left his room to begin his duties for the day. Many of the nobles were still in bed. He was tempted to stop by Loki's chambers to wish him good morning. The young prince was usually awake early reading. He decided not to disturb his mate as he made his way to the slave quarters to receive his work assignment.
He had just passed the kitchens when two einherjar blocked his path. They were both in the usual gold armor with helmets that had both horns and wings on it and each were carrying a spear. "The All-Father wishes for you to join the royal family for breakfast." Nik was terrified. He had only met Odin All-Father once when he first came to Asgard.
*Nik was in agony. Dried mud clung to every inch of his body. Tears ran down his face. His back dripping blood from the whip lashes he had received just before being dragged to Asgard. His torn clothes barely covered him.
"I hereby bequeath to you Odin All-Father this slave. I ask that you hold him in your dungeon for a century. After that, I care not what you do with him then. He is henceforth banished from Vanaheimr for high treason. If I ever see him in my kingdom again, he will be executed. Do you accept All-Father?"
Odin looked at the slave on his knees before him. His one eye seemed to stare into Nikolas' very being as he studied him. "If you do not want him, I can simply have him killed now." Odin circled around Nik. "He is very young to have committed such a crime. Still a child. What is his name?" King Njord made a disgusted huff. "He is a filthy treacherous slave! Who cares what his name is?! We just call him slave."
Odin walked in front of Njord. "I will accept this slave. It is a waste of life to execute one so young. I will agree to your terms and he shall spend the next one hundred years in a dungeon cell." Odin and Njord grasped the others forearm and sealed the deal.*
Nik shook himself out of the memory and addressed the two palace guards. "Did King All-Father say why?" The two stepped closer. "Only that we were to escort you." Nik moved to the side to allow the two men to pass as he got in line behind them. "Lead the way gentlemen."
They walked in silence the whole way there. Nik felt extremely anxious. The three men finally reached the royal families dining hall. Nik was slightly relieved to see Loki at the table, along with the King and Queen. Loki seemed confused to see him there.
Frigga got up and walked over to Nik. "Good morning darling. Come join us." She pulled Nik in for a hug and grabbed his hand to bring him over to the table. "Take a sit. We are waiting for Thor. He should be along soon." Nik sat down next to Loki and looked at him with wide fearful eyes.
His hand immediately reached for Loki's under the table. Loki gave Nik's hand a gentle squeeze. All the while, Nik could feel Odin's one eye focused on him. "Um...g-good morning." Nik's heart felt as though it were lodged in his throat and he was on the verge of tears. He wasn't sure he'd be able to eat anything.
"Is it true that you are my son's soulmate?" Odin's voice sent a shiver down Nik's spine. "I believe so your majesty." Before anyone could do or say anything else, Thor burst through the doors. "Good morning! I apologise for keeping you all waiting." Thor took a sit across from Nik. "Do I know you? You seem familiar...Wait! You're that servant that I always seem to bump into."
Nik's cheeks burned in shame. "I am a slave your highness. And I am the one that keeps running into you because I don't ever watch where I'm walking." Nik stares down at the table. Thankfully he was saved from further embarrassment when the servants started bringing out platters of various foods. Nik was looking at his empty plate when he felt a hand clasp his thigh.
He glanced up to see Loki giving him a soft smile. "What is the difference between slave and servant?" Loki grimaced at Thor's question. Nik sighed. "A servant is a free person who gets paid. A slave is more or less property" Thor was busy piling food on his plate. "But you work in the brothel. You get paid for that don't you?" Loki slammed his fist on the table. "Thor! Cease your questions! This is not an appropriate topic for breakfast." Thor had his mouth full. "I'm just trying to get to know him."
"Then ask questions about him!" Odin suddenly stood up. "Boys! That is enough!" Loki and Thor both mumbled. "Silence! Both of you!" Throughout the argument, Nik hadn't moved. Frigga reached over and started filling Nik's plate. "Is there anything you don't like to eat?" Nik gazed at her in awe. "No ma'am. Everything here is fine. Thank you." The rest of the meal went smoothly. The family making small talk and Nik was able to relax, even though he could feel the All-Father's calculating gaze on him.