Maia smiled. "Very funny, kiddo. Now come on, joke's over. Who are you really?"
She glanced around the room. It was small, with two bookshelves, a bed, a table and a few framed photographs scattered around. They depicted a pretty blonde lady surrounded by cats, a huge muscly man Maia could only assume was Thor, what appeared to be a Bruce Springsteen concert and Loki with a grey puppy.
"Hey, I'm not lying!" he protested.
"All right, let's say you're Loki. You're a teenager. Also, in all the stories I read, Loki was evil."
He glared at her. "Oh, yeah? Well, in all the stories I've read, fairies are two inches high! And you're not telling me something. You slipped up about your aunt and surname earlier!"
Maia was startled for a second, before regaining her composure. "OK, so you are Loki. How come you're a teenager? And not evil?"
Loki shrugged. "Don't ask me. Nobody tells me anything around here."
Maia bit her lip. She wanted to tell him that she was just the same, that everyone treated her like an annoying jacket that they had to wear but couldn't stand. But she couldn't risk it. Instead she said sarcastically, "I wonder why. Well, I'll be off, now that we've gotten past introductions."
Loki looked at her with one eyebrow raised. "Nuh-uh. You still haven't told me about your slip-ups."
She growled. "You irritating - boy. I AM a princess, OK? My aunt is horrible to me, and I have to get back before anyone notices! Alright, happy now?"
Loki opened his mouth, but was interrupted by an oversized wolfhound puppy charging in, which appeared to be the same one from the picture grown a bit. It bounded round the room and leapt up at Maia, sniffing her excitedly. She laughed. "Is he yours?"
"Yes," Loki said, trying to calm the puppy down. "His name's Fenrir."
"What, like the wolf?"
He considered. "Like the opposite of the wolf."
Maia grinned. "Funny. I love dogs."
"Oh, now you're talking to me," he said sarcastically.
She gave him a look. "Well, I-" she was cut off by a loud crash from behind the door. "What was that?"
Loki grabbed something from under the bed- a long sword. "Get behind me!"
Maia quavered as the door swung open with a crash. A tall man stormed into the room. He was completely black -hair, clothes, skin- except for his smouldering red eyes.
"Maia Silvertongue," he hissed in a serpentine voice. "The Darkness King requires you."