It was the best Yule Sif could remember, and she’d seen thousands. This one would stay with her forever, she thought; how the hall sparkled, how she’d reveled and gloried in the hunt, a champion. Thor still seemed just a touch put out that she’d got the boar, and it was succulent, too. She’d pointed out how tasty it was with nearly every bite, just to needle him a little.
An unfamiliar sense of euphoria filled her, colour high in the Lady’s cheeks, mead and mirth sparkling in eyes a brilliant blue, set off by the deep burgundy of her new gown. All the wonder, and the best was yet to come, for she’d yet to give Loki his gift. She’d been anticipating the expression on his face for weeks, ever since she’d slain the great dragon, extremely rare among its fellows for its exceptional scales.
She wondered if he would know what it was when he saw it.
The scale, nearly as large as her shield, was much too large to take to the feasting hall and present to him without everyone bearing witness. She’d invited him out to the gardens instead — once the hour was late enough, and she’d judged they’d both had their fill of feasting and dancing and drinking. Sif felt like she was floating down the corridors, a buoyancy to her step, too warm in the long, velveteen cloak she’d thrown on over her evening wear, his gift wrapped in finest silk and tucked under her arm.
Snow crunched beneath her feet as she exited the palace, the chilly air fresh and crisp on her skin. Though there were few flowers to be seen in midwinter, holly and evergreen granted colour even to the darkness. Evergreen, she thought; Loki. Stars shone stark and sharp from the inky sky.
"Loki?" she asked the silence. He’d come, she assured herself, and if he didn’t, she’d keep his gift for herself. "I cannot play games in this gown. Come out."