The door clicked closed, the sound of the lock being secured made Allura flinch as she stepped deeper into the room. She didn’t look around, unable to tear her eyes away from her Drule captor to properly appreciate the room’s sparse but elegant surroundings. Instead she stared straight at him, stance wary as her heart beat wildly in her chest. It was so loud to her ears, she was sure the Drule with his superior hearing was aware of it’s frantic thumping.
He stood in front of the door, back to her, still wearing that long black cloak that hid much of his body from her. She didn’t need to see him to know he was muscular, having felt the strength in his hands when he gripped her unwilling form. Allura was woefully aware of just how outclassed she was in comparison to him when it came to raw power, leaving her frightened on what he intended to do with her.
He turned, slowly stepping towards her, his golden cat eye’s looking her over critically from head to toe. She straightened under his scrutiny, trying for an air of regal command that served her well whenever she met with a group of people, be they simple farmers or powerful politicians. Allura would do her best not to cower before him, wanting to be a credit to her people with her behavior.
His eyes swept back up towards her face, studying her expression. She had to fight not to fidget as he stared, finding the silence almost unbearable enough for her to want to break it. She found herself gazing back at his face, a nervous inspection of his proud features, noting the soft shade of blue that colored his skin, and the long white hair that swept down past his shoulder blades. They stared long enough at each other that Allura knew no matter what happened, she’d always be able to paint an accurate portrait of this man’s face.
His eyes grew heavy, lids lowering to give him a sleepy look as he stepped towards her. Allura tensed immediately, expecting the worse and not getting it as he strode past her. His body brushed against the side of hers, the touch electric, Allura experiencing warm shock at the feel of that touch.
She pushed back that puzzling feeling, turning to follow him. He was removing his cloak, tossing the black fabric to drape over the back of a chair. Beneath it he wore some kind of uniform, all black and a darker shade of blue than his face, with bits of bold red fringing the top half of his shirt. He was well defined, not an ounce of fat on his body, only muscle and hard leanness that would have proved a pleasing package to her eyes if she wasn’t so scared of what he was planning to do to her.
She thought she might go mad from tension, Allura almost wanting to scream to break the silence when he opened his mouth to speak to her. “Allura…” Her name was a throaty purr on his lips, his hand raised, gesturing for her to come closer. She shook her head no, remaining rooted to the spot and saw the displeasure cross his face.
“Why won’t you come when I ask?” He demanded, striding towards her once more. She immediately backed up a step, his reaction showing he was not happy with her behavior. It didn’t stop him from approaching her, the Drule aggressively crowding her until her back touched a solid surface, Allura finding herself trapped against the door. He stopped just before her, body not quite touching hers as he stared at her face, waiting for something.
She stared back at him, not sure she understood why his eyes looked confused, especially when he lifted his hand to her face and she bumped the back of her head against the metal in her frantic bid to avoid being touched by him. He almost looked hurt at her rejection, the Drule quickly touching her, his hands feeling the back of her head as though concerned she had injured herself with her actions.
Allura didn’t wince as he explored the back of her head, feeling him rub the spot that had connected with the door. Her lack of pain seemed to satisfy him, for his fingers changed from careful examination to pulling free the pins that held her hair up in it’s bun. Her hair’s descent started slow, long strands falling down one by one until a huge wave cascaded down around her shoulders.
That made him smile, his hands touching her hair, even going so far as to lift a hank of it to his lips. Allura watched wide eyed as he did that, seeing her hair do a slow spill free of his fingers. “You wear no perfumes.”
That was the last thing Allura expected him to say, the girl fighting back the urge to gape at him. Instead she dully nodded, wondering how he could tell, and nearly panicked when he leaned in to sniff the side of her neck. His warm breath blew across her skin making her shiver as though she was cold. She almost squealed when she felt his lips brush against the edge of her shirt’s collar, the Drule nuzzling a kiss into place against her skin.
At his dreamy sounding sigh, Allura moved into action, bringing her hands up to push at his chest, trying to shove him away from her. His relaxed stance immediately stiffened, the Drule pulling back with a frown on his face. Allura wasn’t sure what her face showed, but she was sure it wasn’t pleasant emotion that she wore.
“You would deny me such a simple thing?” He asked, sounding puzzled.
“Why?” It made her frown, blinking uncertainly at him.
“It’s not right.” Allura said, seeing his brows draw together, giving him a quizzical look. “You shouldn’t be so familiar with me, you shouldn’t try to touch me. You…you have no right to try!”
“No right to try?” He echoed, the puzzlement extending from his voice to his eyes. She nodded, watching as his frown deepened, the Drule not stepping back from her. Instead he purposely brushed his hand against her arm, a light airy caress down the length of it, the man watching her reaction to his touch. Allura forced herself to stay still, willing her body not to betray her with it’s trembling.
“You shake.” He noted to her frustration, hovering his hand up over her shoulder. “Do I displease you that much?”
“I don’t know you well enough to either be pleased or displeased with you.” She replied, seeing him do a slight head shake, the action agitated at her words.
“Do you not smell my scent?”
It was a strange question to ask her, Allura stuttering out an answer. “N..no. Should I?” His shoulders seemed to sag with disappointment, his eyes growing frustrated.
“I do not understand you.” He said at last, hand landing on her shoulder. Allura was all to aware of his touch, feeling as though the heat of his skin was burning it’s way through the thin fabric of her top. “You don’t react in any of the ways you should.”
“That makes us even then.” Allura replied, frowning up at him. “I don’t understand you or your actions either.” She wanted his hand gone from her, even though it was doing so harmless an action as resting in place on her shoulder.
“You don’t like me touching you.” He said this in a detached voice, as though trying to hide the emotions that surrounded his observation.
Allura didn’t want to say yes, even though she knew that both of them were aware of how nervous his touching made her. “What I don’t like is being taken captive.” She said instead, keeping her wide eyes fixed on his face. “I don’t like seeing my friends hunted down and carted off onto your ships.”
Expression troubled, he considered her words, letting the seconds tick away in silence before responding. “You are not my captive.” She almost laughed at that, Allura staring at him in disbelief. “You are a…a guest.”
“What about my friends?”
“They…they are different.” He answered, then sulkily amended his statement. “No. You are the different one.” Allura was sure he was referring to her princess status, fighting not to sag with the realization that he had to know who she really was. It had to be why she was getting different treatment from the captured women, the Drule thinking to lull her into compliance while he plotted to take over her planet. She thought of her cousin Romelle, and didn’t know if it was good or bad that they didn’t realize they had two royal hostages on their hands.
“Where are they?” She asked, having not been able to follow the exchange of words between the Drules when they had first separated Allura from her friends. “What are you doing to them?”
“You shouldn’t be so concerned about them.” He told her, unreadable emotion flashing in his eyes.
“Who should I worry about then? Me?” Allura asked, watching him frown once more. “Are….are you going to hurt me?” His eyes flashed, golden light that darkened with emotion, the Drule shaking his head no.
“I would never hurt you.” His hand lifted off her shoulder to brush back the hair from her cheek, fingers lingering on her skin. “Nor will I allow anyone else to visit harm on you.”
“Why?” Allura whispered, staring searchingly at his face. “Why would you care enough to promise me this?”
“Don’t you know?” His tone was soft, the Drule still stroking her cheek, tearing his fascinated gaze away from his finger’s movements to her eyes. “Can’t you feel it? Deep in your heart?”
“What does my heart have to do with anything?” Allura demanded, growing more puzzled the longer she spoke with this prince of Doom.
“Everything. It has to do with everything.” He answered, fingers moving to graze over her bottom lip. “You’re mine….you belong to me…your heart, your body, the very thing that makes you, well you.”
“No I do not. You can’t own a person so thoroughly….”
“This is different from ownership.” He retorted, his fingertips skimming from her lips to her chin, taking gentle hold of it. “This is….more binding, more fulfilling than anything else could ever dream to be. This is….finding your other half, completing yourself at long last.” He was bending his face towards her, hair falling forward over his shoulders. Her eyes widened even more, Allura watching in helpless fascination as he brought his lips to touch her, whispering the words so that she felt each syllable as it formed against her mouth.
“Two souls becoming one, joining together for a lifetime of…pleasure.” Each quiver of his mouth had her reeling, Allura feeling the ghostly press of his lips down to the tips of her toes. For one wild instant she felt tempted to press her mouth to his, firm and unyielding, clam the kiss he teased her with. But that was an insane thought, Allura fighting back the urge, speaking to him.
“Just what are you talking about?” For one instant she almost forgot to not lick her lips, Allura not sure how he would have reacted at the feel of her tongue moving across his mouth. “Why are you speaking as though we mean something to each other?” That got him to pull back, the Drule prince frowning once more.
“Why are you acting as if we do not?” His words were challenging, the prince staring at her, waiting for her answer. She frowned at him, giving a slight shake of her head, causing him to sigh, the sound annoyed. “Are you sure you don’t recognize my scent?”
“Recognize?” This was different from what he asked her earlier, his hands reaching for her shoulders. Alarmed she shrank back against the wall, even as he tugged her into his embrace, bending so as to put her face in the crook of his shoulder. One of his hands found the back of her head, holding her in place against him, Allura taking in a deep panicked breath.
She caught a whiff of his personal scent, the faint smell of sandalwood and spice, a pleasant combination to her nose. Allura heard him rumble out a command, urging her to breathe in more deeply of his skin. She felt awkward and strange doing it, her hands touching his shoulders, trying to push him away. He merely tightened his hold on her, fingers rubbing circles in place against her head, the man waiting for her to do as he commanded.
Allura gave in with a sigh, doing an exaggerated sniff at his neck, her nose actually touching his skin. It was all very odd to her, this request making her feel foolish, and his arms holding her caused her heart to beat even faster in nervousness. “Ah…yes….that’s it….” He was purring the words out, fingers stroking through her hair as he held her. “Smell me….recognize me for what I am…..your mate.”
“My mate?!” She squeaked out in protest, trying to jerk back from his neck. He stayed crouched down so that his face was level with hers, the man looking at her in surprise. “You…..you are not my mate!”
He actually winced at the words, eyes looking pained with the rejection she uttered. In the next instant his expression hardened, the man straightening before her. Nervously she spoke, words rushing out as she tried to appease him. “I mean….we barely know each other. Certainly not well enough for you to make such statements to me! And mate is such a…a strange word to use.”
“Why is it strange?” He demanded, making her swallow down a protest. “Is it the language that causes the problem? Does the word mate mean something else in Basic?” He lifted a hand, running it through his hair, a sign of his agitation. She watched his hair spill every which way, hearing him grumble under his breath. “What is the world you humans use for it….?”
She just shook her head, not knowing what to suggest, not wanting to give him any ideas. He reached for her hands, and again she felt that electric shock jolt through her, a warm under current of energy. “Allura….help me…” He said, giving a soft squeeze with his hands. “What do you humans call it when two people live together, when they love and raise a family together?”
“Do….do you mean like a husband and a wife?” His eyes lit up, and to her shock he nodded, lips curved into a pleased smile. Her mouth open and closed, shock stealing her words from her. She ended up just shaking her head no, again and again.
“Yes…I am your…husband.” He said the word strangely, as though he was testing the sound of it to them both.
She forced herself to speak past her shock, issuing a firm no. “You are not my husband. There are…things that have to be done first, rituals to perform before a man and a woman are tied together in that way!”
“What are these things?” He asked, cocking his head to the side. “Tell me what needs to be done and I will do it.”
Allura’s jaw dropped, experiencing yet another shock to her system. “It doesn’t work that way.” She told him. “You can’t just decide this on your own! You have to ask me if I want to marry you first.” He looked as though asking her what she wanted was a foreign concept to him, the prince sounding uncertain as he spoke.
“You’ll want what I want.”
Exasperated she sighed, shaking her head no. “What I want is to go home. To see my friends safely back to their homes as well.”
“You will be going home soon.” It was an immediate response to her words, the man almost speaking over her to issue it out. His words had her suspicious, Allura not able to shake off her earlier fear that those who boarded Doom ships never returned.
She had a right not to be hopeful, his next words would have dashed the feeling. “Yes, soon I will take you to your new home on Doom.”
“My home is on Arus.” She snapped, anger coloring her words. It had no effect on him, the man blinking slowly before responding.
“You’re home is with me.” He talked as though he was speaking to a petulant child, almost cajoling in the next instant. “I live in a castle, a great big one, with many servants. They’ll be yours to command, quick to see to your every whim.”
She frowned at him, shaking her head no. “Servants? You mean slaves!” As if she would ever allow someone to remain in that pitiful state so long as she had the power to free them.
“Servants, slaves….” He shrugged, as though the wording did not matter. It probably did not, not to him, she realized, thinking to a Drule servant and slave must be an interchangeable word. “Just know you will be well taken care of.”
“Why? Because of who I am?”
“Yes.” He punctuated his agreement with a nod, smiling once more. “My mate.” He was lifting her hands, bringing them to his face, grazing kisses across her knuckles. Her arms tensed, Allura wanting to snatch back her hands, and finding he was holding on tighter in response to that desire.
He watched her over the top of her hands, eyes intent on her face. Allura just stared at him, mouth slightly open, the girl mulling over his words. Especially the possessive way he spoke them, telling her she was his, and that she was special. Allura felt a mix of emotions go through her, relief chief among them. Relief that he didn’t know who she really was, the girl wondering what advantage she could gain in keeping her royal status a secret. But more than that she worried about his behavior, his insistence that she meant something to him. It was troubling, almost as much as it was frightening, Allura praying this confused Drule didn’t try to take this mate business too far.
Another kiss of her hand, the prince turning it so that he nuzzled her palm. She felt the smoothness of his face when he did that, the man sighing happily. He seemed to take great pleasure in even the smallest acts where she was concerned.
“Come.” He said, lowering her hand but keeping their fingers entwined.
“Where?” Allura asked warily, feet moving reluctantly as he led her though the room. He was guiding them towards another door, it was situated in the rear wall, dark gray metal that hid it’s secrets from her. Allura was pretty sure she didn’t want to know what lay beyond that door.
“Somewhere more comfortable.” Came his answer. Allura frowned, positive he couldn’t possible make this odd situation any less weird. Never mind comfortable! In fact her suspicions were confirmed when the door was open, revealing a lavish bedroom to her eyes.
A jolt of panic flashed through her, Allura trying to halt his determined walk to the bed that was bolted down to the center of the floor. “No.” She said it softly, but he heard it all the same, the Drule stiffening at the sound of her voice.
“What’s wrong?” He had turned to look at her, and Allura shook her head.
“I won’t….I won’t go to bed with you!” It started out hesitant, than practically came roaring out with a shout, Allura’s cheeks coloring with her upset.
He stared at her, the prince’s own eyes stormy with discontent. At last he spoke, his words making her shiver, the Drule trying to tug her towards the bed once more. “We need to bond. Perhaps the act of familiarizing yourself to my touch will help you…become aware of our connection.”
“We don’t have a connection!” Allura insisted firmly, aware that for all his insistent tugging, he was being careful not to pull too hard on her arm.
“Yes, we do.” He was making head way, moving her little by little, each reluctant step of hers a small victory for him. “I don’t understand why you deny it, why you try to deny us this. Perhaps…”
“Perhaps what?” Allura asked when he trailed off, muttering something in Drule.
“We need this.” He didn’t answer her question, seeming single minded in his determination to get her on the bed. “You will see…..you will learn my touch, learn me, and be awakened to who I really am.”
Her mouth an unhappy line, she cried out a protest as he pushed her down onto the bed. “I already know who you are! The cruel prince from the planet trying to enslave mine!”
“No…that no longer matters…” He told her, sitting down next to her on the bed. She immediately tried to spring up, his arm lashing out to catch her around the waist. He pulled her back to the bed, placing her between his spread legs, holding her there with both arms. Allura tensed up even more than she already was, feeling him press against her back to whisper in her ear.
“What I am….first and foremost is your mate. That’s never going to change, so it’s time you start recognizing that as fact.” He punctuated his words with a kiss, lips nibbling the shell of her ear. She tried to lean away from him, her hands grabbing at his wrists, trying to pull his hands off her. His embrace held, arms secure around her, the Drule nuzzling the side of her face with a low throaty purr.
“I won’t sleep with you…” Allura said, trying to be brave as she announced this.
“That’s fine.” His answer made her turn to peer over her shoulder at him, eyes surprised. The surprise was dashed by his next words, Allura feeling her stomach drop in horror. “Because I don’t intend to do a lot of sleeping with you by my side.”