Placing one foot in front of the other, Allura paced the length of the room, hearing her chain drag across the floor as she moved. She wouldn’t be surprised if it wore a groove into the floor, the princess unable to stop her agitated walking. She didn’t even know how long she had been moving, Allura pacing endlessly as she waited without much hope for Lotor’s return.
It had to be hours since he left her, Allura once more wishing he had seen fit to install a chrono meter in her cell. At least then she’d know what time it was, her sanity spared this one aggravation as she wondered when or if he would ever return. Lotor hadn’t even been by to feed her, and though her stomach growled with hunger, she was more eager to speak with him than do anything else.
“Oh Lotor…” She whispered under her breath, hands twisting together to wring her fingers in anxious movement. She didn’t understand what had happened, why he had reacted the way he had to their night of loving passion. It pained her that Lotor could act so hurt by it, the man reacting like a wounded animal as he sought to flee her the first chance he had gotten.
He hadn’t even taken his clothes, leaving behind stark reminders of him. Allura didn’t mind, gathering his shirt to her, the girl inhaling deeply of it’s scent. It still bore the strong masculine smell of his body, all spice and sandalwood, comforting her in a way she needed. She wore his shirt now, the ends of it trailing down past her knees, the silk cool against her skin. It made her feel close to him, Allura feeling a connection to Lotor in the wearing of his shirt.
Her wedding dress lay crumpled in it’s corner, neglected by her except for the hated glare she occasionally fixed on it. She despised it now, abhorring it’s very presence and the symbol it had become. A symbol of her lies, her deceit made all too real, ruining everything between them. If onlys passed through her mind, Allura wondering what it would have been like if she had remained honest with Lotor. If she had honored the promises she had made with him, instead of running scared into Keith’s arms. Would that have been the wedding dress she would have worn to marry Lotor?
It pained her to think that, Allura taking a step towards the dress, a grim look in her eyes. Broken dreams and promises continued to flash through her mind, superseded only by the memory of the night before on how it could have been between them. Passionate, fulfilling, happy. But more than that, loving, Allura letting out a feral cry as she lunged at the dress, snatching it off the floor.
With a growl she was pulling at the fabric, nails tearing holes into the bodice. She raged as she did this, Allura wondering how she could have been so stupid as to give up her chance at happiness with Lotor. The satisfying sound of silk tearing accompanied her actions, Allura surprised at her own strength as the stiff petticoats began to tear into strips.
She tried to work out her anger in the destruction of the gown, Allura feeling a calm sort of madness settle in around her. She wanted to place the blame on someone else’s shoulders, Keith, Lotor, her people…But deep down she knew, without a doubt it was all her fault. ~No wonder he doesn’t want to love you!~ She thought snidely to herself. ~Who would want to care for a wretched liar such as you?!~
Bits of fabric were fluttering all around her, Allura panting, red faced as she continued to destroy the dress. She hurled insults at herself, calling herself cruel manipulator, and deceitful liar as she yanked and pulled on the silk until there was nothing left to grip properly. And still she growled, the urge to destroy still strong upon her.
~Lotor….~ Pain came with the mere mention of his name, Allura placing a hand over her heart, clutching at his shirt’s material. ~I know you still love me. You HAVE too. A man can’t play false such raw emotion, the feelings you displayed have to be real…!~ But was she really sure, or was she just desperate to hang on to him? Allura did not know, wondering if it was even possible for him to still love her after all that had happened.
She tried to think of his coldness, the icy demeanor he had displayed those first times he approached her in this room. She wanted to analyze his behavior, but every time she closed her eyes, Allura merely imagined his expression from the night before, his eyes full of warmth and love. “Oh God, what have I done?!” She moaned pitifully, dropping the remnants of the dress on the floor.
Allura brought her hands to her face, weeping bitterly. “I’ve ruined everything haven’t I?” And the worse thing was she had set out on purpose to do just that, Allura on a self destructive path as she sought to save her planet and her people from Doom’s grasp. Now she wondered if it was even worth it, this pain she felt feeling as though it would never stop.
Fat tear drops fell into her hands, Allura angrily brushing the backs of them against her eyes. It didn’t stop them, merely made the tears flow faster, the girl sniffling. ~I have to tell him the truth.~ She realized, a shudder shaking her body. ~All of it. No half lies about feeling affection for him, about wanting happiness. I have to lay it all down, bare my soul and hope when I am done he realizes I am being honest and forgives me.~
But she wanted more than forgiveness, Allura wanted Lotor. His passion, his love, the tender way he held her, and the gentle way he spoke to her back when he wasn’t trying to hate her so hard. She wondered if it was possible to turn back time and recapture the feelings they had shared on his ship, Allura not even thinking about the future beyond reclaiming their love.
She didn’t care that she was his prisoner, didn’t care that such a position left her weak towards bargaining with him. If she could only convince him of the truth, then she’d gladly damn her people and planet in the process. And all for another chance at love with Lotor.
Allura was nodding her head, resolute in her decision when the door hissed open. One last sniffle from Allura, the girl rising to stand, another brush of her hands against her wet eyes. When she turned she was composed, though Allura was sure her eyes were rimmed with red. Lotor was looking at her, face stoic as his eyes touched on the shirt she wore. She saw him look past her to the remains of the dress, a surprised lift of his eyebrows being the only thing that gave away his reaction to seeing her attempt at destruction.
“Lotor…” Allura said, tongue licking across dry lips. “I…I wanted to speak to you.” He stepped into the room, leaving the door wide open as he strode to the bed. Allura stepped towards him before she could stop herself, hands clasped together as though in prayer. “I’ve been thinking a lot. About my mistakes and my lies…..You’re right Lotor…I..I am a…”
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking too.” His abrupt manner interrupted her, Lotor gesturing for her to come closer. She noticed in his hand he held some kind of device, the metal reminiscent of bolt cutters she had seen a castle repairman use.
“Oh?” She was startled by his words, letting him distract her from what she had been trying to say. Her feet moved willing enough, Allura reaching the bed, dully sitting down at Lotor’s insistent gesture.
“Yes. About…our circumstances. I realized it’s time.” Lotor said, and dropped to his knees.
“Time?” Allura asked, feeling a lewd thrill go through her at the sight of Lotor kneeling before her, his hand reaching for her leg.
“Yes. You were right….we can’t keep going on like this.” A shiver went through her, more at his touch than his words, Lotor sliding his hand down her calve, fingers reaching to lift up her leg, the manacle gleaming around her right ankle.
“So what do we do?” Allura asked, then cried out in surprise when he clamped the bolt cutter onto her manacle. With a loud crunching sound, it shattered into two halves, Allura staring shocked at her foot. She wiggled her foot, and for once did not hear the blasted sound of the chain rattling. Her joy was short lived, Allura jerking her head up to peer at Lotor’s face. “What does this mean?”
“Mean?” Lotor looked into her eyes, revealing the dejection in his golden orbs. “It means you’ve won Allura.”
“Yes.” He said in answer to her question. He pulled himself up to standing, but stayed staring at her. “You’re free to go Allura. I give up. You’re right. I can’t get over you. No matter what I do, no matter how much I try to fuck you out of my system….it just makes things worse. I just want you even more.”
Her jaw dropped open, Allura staring at Lotor in shock. He ran an angry hand through his hair, spilling the white strands every which way in the process. “I guess I’ll always want you. I don’t have to like it, in fact I hate that you have this power over me, but I’m through trying to fight it.”
She made no move, just looking at him. “You still love me?” She wanted to be sure on this, even as Lotor flashed her a poisonous look.
“I don’t know what this is!” He turned from her, and began pacing, hands clenching and unclenching into fists. “Is it love, or it just some twisted desire? Whatever the case, I am stuck in your web, more prisoner than I ever made you.”
“Don’t!” His word was a sharp cry, Lotor whipping around with eyes flashing. “Don’t pity me. I don’t want it, nor could I stand it!”
“It’s not pity.” Allura whispered, seeing the agonized look he flashed her.
“Then what is it?” He demanded.
“It’s…” She paused, thinking on all the emotions she was experiencing before settling on one. “Relief.”
“Ah. Of course.” Again he turned away from her, walking back and forth before the foot of the bed. “You’re relieved your ordeal is over with.”
“That’s not it.” She said it so quietly, she wondered if Lotor heard, the prince continuing to speak as though Allura had remained silent.
“Well, you’re free now. You can go. No one is stopping you. You can walk right out of this prison and to the nearest town, or you can use my radio to call for help. I’m sure your fiancee…” Icy bitterness was gritted out on that word, Lotor pausing before the wall, back still to her. “Would respond in a flash.”
“What about you? What will you do?” Allura asked.
“I’ll survive.” Lotor muttered, staring at the wall. “It’s what I always do.”
“Go.” Lotor said, then was shouting it, screaming in angered pain. “Go now before I change my mind!” His words moved her into action, Allura stepping off the bed. He must have mistaken the sound of the mattress creaking as her compliance to his command, for Lotor suddenly punched a fist into the metal wall, a hint of a pained cry escaping him.
Allura stood, staring at his back for a second, still stunned that he wanted to let her go. She couldn’t just leave like this, couldn’t allow him to return to Doom thinking the worst of her. So she moved, tip toeing towards him on bare feet that were silent on the cold floor. She waited until she was behind him, and then she touched him, Allura wrapping her arms around his waist.
“What are you doing?!” Lotor growled out, body going stiff with tension. “I said you’re free to go. There’s no need for you to pretend anymore.”
“I’m not pretending.” Allura said, rubbing her cheek against the muscles in his back. “I’m where I want to be.”
“You can’t mean it…” His tone was guarded, but he made no move to pull away from her. “It’s a trick….another deception made to ensure you have control over me…”
“I don’t want control over you.” Allura told him. “Lotor…I want to be with you. Despite what you think, my reactions to you have been honest in this room. I…I..”
“Well, maybe I don’t want to be with you.” Lotor retorted, his words making her tighten her hold on him.
“No! You can’t mean it!” Allura cried out, feeling as though she’d start crying again. “You can’t. I know you! You love me!”
“I’m trying to get over you. To forget you ever meant anything to me…” Lotor muttered, touching her hands.
“I won’t let you.” Allura breathed out, even as he pulled away, slowly turning to face her. His golden eyes were a storm cloud of emotion, turbulent and dark as he gazed at her. “I won’t let you.” She repeated, bringing her hands to touch his face. He tried to flinch away from her touch, but she caught at his cheeks, and began drawing him down as she rose up on tip toe. He seemed helpless to resist her, Allura touching her nose to his as she whispered fiercely. “Because I love you…just as much if not more than you love me.”
“Allura….you don’t have to lie anymore….” Lotor began, and that was when she kissed him. She had to fight her natural instincts to make the kiss all about her, to keep her desire from turning the kiss hot and needy. Instead she focused on transferring the depth of her emotion to him, gentle love and adoration in the pressing of her lips. She felt him tremble in her grasp, an instant before he touched her, enfolding her in his arms.
“Can’t you see?” She asked when she pulled back, Allura staring into his eyes. “I’m not lying. Not anymore.”
“It’s just a kiss.” Lotor said to her frustration, causing her to pull back.
“it’s more than a kiss!” She said, a wild, angry gesture of her arm punctuating her words. “I’m about to be more honest to you than I have been in a long while. And you must believe me when I tell you this. Lotor, I love you!”
“You keep saying that…” Lotor said, sounding sad. “As much as I want to believe, it doesn’t make it true.”
“Just hear me out first.” Allura said, catching at his hand. “I have so much to tell you, and before I am through you may need to sit down. But please, try to listen with an open heart.” He followed willingly enough, allowing her to sit him down on the bed. She sat down next to him, though she was tempted to take a seat on his lap, wanting to ensure she had his undivided attention.
“Lotor…it’s hard to know where to begin…” She spread her hands helplessly, glancing down at her fingers for the moment. “I suppose I should start with that day on your ship. When we kissed, and almost came to an agreement.”
“That was the start of your lies.”
“NO! Not then…I wasn’t lying to you, not until Keith arrived and I realized something.” Allura said, taking a shuddery breath. “A thought that was important and left me horrified. Do you know what that was?”
“No what?” He couldn’t keep the intrigued note out of his voice, Allura raising her head to look at him with honesty shining in her eyes.
“I realized I loved you, loved you to the point I was ready to give you anything. Anything at all.” A choked out breath, Allura shaking her head. “Can you imagine how scared I was? To know I was this close to giving you Arus…to handing over everything to the despot I had fought so long and so hard against?”
“That is why you lied to me.” He seemed to be ignoring the part where she said she loved him, stubbornly clinging to her admittance of lying to him.
“Lotor….I was about to let my people be enslaved by Doom! I wasn’t thinking beyond being with you, my desires making me want to submit to you. Gladly!” She sighed, remembering how shaken she had been by that realization. “I know as your prisoner I didn’t have much hope of negotiating a treaty that would benefit my people, but right then I didn’t care. I did not want to fight you any longer! I just wanted to be with you!”
Another sigh, Allura bringing her hand up to fiddle with her hair. “When Keith arrived, I went through a myriad of emotion I felt ANNOYED at his presence, but part of me felt guilt, I was shocked at what I had almost done. But more than that, I was SCARED.”
“Scared?” Lotor asked, staring at her, expression not betraying what he felt. “Of me?”
“No! Of ME!” clarified Allura. “Of my feelings and what I had almost done. I knew then and there I couldn’t allow this to happen, that I had a choice to make to protect my people. To protect Arus. And so that is why…” A shuddery breath, Allura gritting out the next words. “I went to Keith. Not in love, not even in friendship, but in desperation! I proposed to him, I all but begged him to marry me, and all for the good of Arus. You see…” A bitter laugh, Allura blushing. “I thought that would keep me safe from you. I thought you’d lose interest, that you’d no longer try to seduce me into handing over my planet to you. And even if you did seduce me, with Keith sharing my throne, you wouldn’t be able to take Arus that way.”
“All this because you were scared?” Lotor asked, and she nodded.
“I’m weak. A scared little girl, running from her feelings.” Allura smiled, the expression sour on her face. “Turning my back on happiness, on love to do what is best for my people….”
“You’ve always put them first…” Lotor said slowly, and she nodded.
“I have…but…this can’t be right. Not if it causes us so much pain. Lotor, I love you, I never wanted to hurt you. I just wanted to hide from my feelings for you!”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Lotor asked, and she shrugged.
“I was still trying to deny my love for you. Still thinking of the good of my planet.” She let out a choked out sound, a bitter laugh as words followed. “When you said you wanted to have sex with me to get over your feelings, a part of me was thrilled. Another part thought that maybe if I had sex with you, I too would be able to get over this devastating love I hold for you. But I didn’t! It only made me burn more for you!”
He gave a slow nod of his head. “Sex obviously isn’t a cure for what ails either of us.”
“I think nothing would be.” Allura said, giving a shrug of her shoulders. “Nothing but being together honest and open with our feelings. Love shouldn’t be denied…” A fidget of her fingers, a blush coming to her cheeks. “Do you know what I thought of on my wedding day?” At his head shake of no, she continued. “I was thinking of you. Wondering where you were, and when you would come back. I even dared to day dream that maybe you would come and whisk me away before the ceremony. Prevent me from going through with it.”
She reached for his hands, smiling through blurry eyes. “I’m glad you did. You saved me from myself. I think I’d die being married to Keith, to being married to anyone but you. I know it’s selfish of me, but my heart wants what it wants. You.” A squeeze of her hands, Allura staring hopefully at Lotor.
Those hopes were dashed when he pulled his hands free of hers, Lotor rising to stand. “I don’t know what your game is Allura. But…”
“You don’t believe me!?” She interrupted, her tone dull with disbelief.
Now it was his turn to shrug. “I don’t know what to believe. How can I ever trust anything you say? This could all be some lie…”
“Then take my planet from me!” She all but shouted at him. “Take it and be done with it. I give it to you, my only demand is you let me stay with you! I’d gladly be by your side, even if it’s nothing more than as one of your slaves.” He stared at her stunned, his head shaking no over and over again. “It’s the truth.” Allura said, feeling a tear escape down her cheek.
“You’ve given me a lot to think about.” Lotor said, moving away from the bed. She sat, watching him head towards the door, voicing her displeasure.
“You’re leaving again?!”
“I won’t be far.” Lotor assured her, then paused to look at her. “And you’re free to leave at any time. I won’t run interference should you decide to drop this pretense and leave me.”
“I won’t go.” She knew her jaw was set at a stubborn angle, Allura locking eyes with Lotor, a challenge in them. “I’ll die before I abandon you again.”
“I’d never ask you to go that far.” Lotor said softly, and then he passed through the archway of the door. True to his word, he kept the door open, his footsteps echoing as he walked down the hall. Allura sat there for what seemed like hours, listening to his footsteps fade in strength. She even heard the sound of another door opening, and only then did she topple backwards onto the bed, a sigh escaping her.
“I will make you believe in me.” Allura whispered to the ceiling, her hands making fists of the bed sheets. “Count on it!” She just wished she knew how.