Loki hadn’t waited to hear what the healers had said. He knew he had neutralized the venom, and that was all he could do. His nerve endings were still twitching from the force of the Allfather’s displeasure, and the sheer desperation of the spell had left him exhausted. He stumbled out into the hall and leaned against the wall, hands over his face. Distractedly he realized that he had left the wrist manacles in the healing room—but doubtless they would be returned to him.
Sif is going to be all right. You helped her. She will heal.
The sound of a few sets of marching feet didn’t penetrate his conscious thought until they were practically right on top of him, and he looked up a little dazedly to see a small detachment of Odin’s guards bearing down on him. He opened his mouth—and he was seized, one man on either arm. Pulled away from the wall, a spear was set against his back.
“The Allfather has directed us to return you to your chambers, Prince Loki.” The leader—a man Loki had known all his life—said in a toneless sort of voice, looking past Loki rather than at him. ”And you are not to speak, or you will be silenced. You will await the Allfather’s displeasure there.”
“His wrist bindings, captain.” one man behind Loki said, and the captain frowned.
Loki opened his mouth—and then thought better of it, remembering the muzzle. He gestured at the healing room, holding out both wrists. The captain nodded, and a man vanished within and appeared a few moments later holding the hated cuffs. They were snapped back over Loki’s arms with no further comment, and Loki was prodded forward, off to his rooms.
They locked the door behind him. Loki stood for a long moment, trying to swallow the rage and the humiliation—trying to damp it all down under a blanket of concern and relief for Sif.
“She is safe,” he spoke the words aloud, testing them in the empty air, weighing and examining them to see their truth. ”She is safe.”