Leaning against the closed door of her bedroom, Allura couldn’t help but wonder where her mind was at, inviting Lotor in like this. It was like nothing she had ever done, and even now she feared the repercussions of being unchaperoned in her bedroom with the Drule prince. ~Just wait until Nanny hears!~ Allura thought, cringing. She could imagine the things the older woman would have to say, Nanny would spout of how unladylike her behavior was, how improper it was, and most of all how dangerous it was!
What’s more, Allura knew all that, even as she was positive Lotor wouldn’t hurt her. At least not in the expected ways. But she remembered her dream, and the heat of it brought her body back into needy arousal. She stiffened at that, trying to ignore the way the silk rubbed over her nipples, sending sparks of sensation down to her center. She wanted to ask Lotor about the dreams, wanted to know why she couldn’t gain a moment’s reprieve from him even when she slept.
But she feared his reaction, not wanting to see a knowing smile cross his lips. Lotor would surely insist this was proof of their bonding, that she was in fact his mate. And that she wasn’t ready to accept, any more than she was ready to accept that Arus might be thrown into a war to stop the Drule invasion. She held back her sigh, eyes seeking out Lotor’s. For once he wasn’t looking at her, instead he was curiously studying his surroundings.
She felt a flush of heat coloring her cheeks, Allura trying to imagine what he thought of her room. It wasn’t as lavish as say Romelle’s but it certainly held more furniture and decorations than Lotor’s cabin aboard the Drule war ship. It had a decidedly pink and rose color scheme to it, and Lotor in his predominately black uniform, stood out in stark contrast to his surroundings.
He shouldn’t have looked like he belonged, but he had a natural ease about him as he prowled about her room. He came close to everything, looking without touching, Lotor eyeing the perfumes and cosmetics that lay exposed a top her vanity’s table. He inched towards the window, taking in the sight of the lake, and even did a precursory look inside her open closet.
At last he turned to her, and with an eyebrow raised, spoke. “It’s very….pink.” She was instantly embarrassed, hurrying out an explanation.
“Pink is my favorite color!” She stammered a little too enthusiastically. “And…and I haven’t had my room changed since I was ten years old…”
“Since you were ten?” He asked, sounding more interested than he should. “Ah…the age when your parents passed.” Allura blinked rapidly, a realization coming to her. Had she been trying to preserve the past, a time when she had been truly happy, by not changing her room? “You don’t need those.” Lotor said, nodding towards her
cosmetics. “You’re beauty is such it needs no enhancements.”
Now she was really blushing, Allura shaking her head no. “Those are only for special occasions…Anyway!” She pushed away from the door, walking towards him. His eyes seemed to darken at her approach, Lotor doing a slow glance downwards. She fought not to cross her arms over her chest, almost defiant with her nipples so noticeable against the silk. “You shouldn’t be fighting with the people of this castle.”
“He chose to pick a fight with me.” Lotor reminded her. “I was merely minding my own business…”
“Minding it outside my room!” She pointed out. “Why were you lurking outside my door? Did you really want to talk to me?”
“Yes and no.” Lotor replied as she reached him. “I needed to see you. Needed to make sure you were all right.” His nostrils flared, he took a deep inhale, Allura growing horrified at the thought that he was smelling her. She grew even more panicked at the heated look he gave her, Allura now positive he knew she had been dreaming about him.
“Well, I’m fine as you can see.” She hurried past him, all but running to the window. Her shaking hands opened it, a cool breeze filling the room, and with it came the smell of the lake. Surely that would be strong enough to keep him from smelling her, and any arousal she may or may not have been feeling.
“You’re not fine.” Lotor said, and she turned with a gasp. She hadn’t heard him follow her, hadn’t realized he was standing so close her body brushed against his with her turn. “Anyone can see….you’re shaking….”
She let out a breath, exhaling slowly as she struggled to stay still. “I’m fine.” She repeated, almost begging him to believe. He gave her a look that said he did not believe her, Lotor reaching to catch at the back of her hair. “Wh…what are you doing?” Allura demanded, Lotor leaning in to nuzzle his face against the crook of her shoulder.
“Are you smelling me?” She demanded, and shoved him away from her. It was like pushing a mountain, he was impossible to move. “Stop it Lotor! I don’t like when you do that!”
“What do you like?” A blunt question, Lotor lifting his head to gaze into her eyes. She grew warmer yet, tongue tied for the moment as she shook her head no. He smiled. “Come now…there must be something you like about me?”
“Not a thing!” She snapped, voice too hot for her liking. What’s worse, he looked wounded to hear her say that, but Lotor recovered quick enough.
“You called me friend…” He said. “That implies you like me…”
Allura frowned at him. “I’m was trying to keep you from getting attacked, or thrown into the dungeons!”
“So I am not your friend?”
“It’s…it’s complicated!” She shot out, and tried to pull away from him. “Anyway, you’re bleeding. Keith did a nasty job on your lip.” He blinked, looking surprised to hear it, as though he didn’t realize the damage Keith had done. “I’ll get something for it…you just sit tight…”
This time he let her go, and Allura hurried into the bathroom, letting out a shaky breath. He was right about her shaking, but Allura thought she wouldn’t be able to stop so long as he was near. She frowned at her reflection, not liking that thought, and then was opening the mirror. She quickly got out gauze and an antiseptic, then hurried back into the bedroom.
And stopped at the sight of him, sitting on her bed. He was touching the claw marks her nails had made on the sheet, and at her choked out sound, he turned to her. He didn’t say a word, just looked at her with smug interest.
“I had a bad dream!” Allura blurted out, and hurried over to him. She felt bothered to see him on her bed, looking like he belonged there! “Here….let me see your face…” He turned back to her, and even with the bloody lip she was struck by his beauty. She tried not to frown, Allura taking the wet gauze and gently wiping at the blood. Lotor actually winced when she placed antiseptic on the split, and she giggled out a response. “Don’t be such a baby.”
“I’m not.” He said, frowning at her. “It just stings.”
“Stay out of fights with the people in my home, and you can avoid getting any more medicine that stings.” Allura told him.
“If they would stay out of my way, leave me be, I wouldn’t need to fight with them.” Lotor retorted.
“Them?” She was instantly alert, straightening. “You mean it wasn’t just Keith?” He nodded stiffly. “Who?”
“I didn’t bother to get their names. And no, I did not hurt them any more than was necessary.” He gestured at his torn tunic, Allura left to wonder who had made those rips.
“I’m sorry..” She quickly apologized. “I didn’t think anyone would dare!” Allura was angry now, not liking that the hospitality she had extended to Lotor would be violated by the people around her.
“The people here do not trust me.” Lotor pointed out. “They have good reason not to.”
“It still doesn’t excuse them doing as they please!” Allura protested. “You’re a hero!”
“Depends on who you ask.” Lotor muttered, earning a confused look from her. “I was once a hero to my people. Now…” A shrug then, Lotor looking moody. “Who knows what they think.”
“I’m sorry…it’s my fault..”
“It’s Morduck’s fault.” Corrected Lotor. “He shouldn’t have threatened you.”
“You wouldn’t have taken action if he hadn’t.” Allura sighed, and moved to step away. But Lotor grabbed at her wrist, Allura dropping the bloody gauze on the floor. “Lotor!”
“But I did Allura….and that’s what counts.” Lotor said, tugging her closer so that she stood between his spread legs. His other hand went to rest on her hip, Lotor keeping her pressed against him. “I am…a good mate.” He decided, looking at her seriously. “I protect and I provide for my woman. I assessed the situation, and moved to take the steps needed to keep you safe.”
“Even at the cost to yourself…” Allura murmured, not protesting his choice in words.
“Yes.” Lotor nodded, looking pleased. “You will always come first to me. No matter what is happening. Your happiness and well being is what matters most to me.”
“Somehow saying thank you doesn’t feel like it’s enough.” She said.
“I do not do it for thanks…” She doubted that, and he noticed, Lotor smiling at her. ‘Though I would not object to some gratitude.”
“Gratitude eh?” She eyed him now. “Is that what you want to call it?” He just chuckled in response, his laughter sending shivers down her spine. “Where does my cousin and the others fit into all of this?”
Now he looked troubled, Lotor speaking hesitantly. “Their rescue was a request from my mate…” He sighed then. “It was foolish of me to grant you that.”
“In more ways than one.” He glumly said, adjusting his grip so that his arms hugged around her waist. It left his face resting against her breasts, and Allura was all
too aware of him like this. “It delayed our escape, put you in needless danger, and further damaged my reputation among my own people. I truly am not thinking clearly to have done all this.”
“You regret it.” Allura pointed out, and he hesitated.
“I regret that it came to this.” Lotor said. “I don’t know Allura…it makes me think Morduck was right. That I am incapable of functioning now that I am mated. Or almost mated…” He sighed again, the sound remorseful.
“Almost…” She didn’t mean to question it, but the word came out all the same.
“We won’t be truly mated until you stop fighting this bond between us.” Lotor told her.
“There is no bond.” Allura answered automatically.
“That you can continue to say that…” Lotor frowned. “It leaves us weak.” His arms tightened around her, a possessive hold he was not quick to relinquish. “Have you been dreaming Allura?”
“I dream all the time.” She said. “And of many things.”
“You know what I mean.” She did, but didn’t want to admit to it. “You dream of me….”
“How can you be so sure?” Allura asked.
“Perhaps I heard you moaning. Moaning my name through your door.” He was grinning now, she couldn’t tell if he was serious or teasing. Either way she was alarmed, horrified at the thought that anyone could walk by and hear.
“Why do you plague my thoughts?” Allura questioned him. “Why can’t I sleep without thinking about you…about us…Is it Drule magic? Or is this mating thing real?”
“Oh it’s real.” Lotor assured her. “If you choose to believe in only one thing I say, believe in that.”
“I don’t like these dreams.” She told him. “They leave me unsettled. They make me uncomfortable. I want them to stop.”
“I don’t think they will stop…” Lotor said. “Not until you’re ready to accept me.”
“I may never be ready…”
“Then you’ll continue to dream.” He replied, earning a frown from her.
“Does it work this way with Drule females?”
“No, it’s less complicated.” His look was envious. “A Drule female would know her mate, just as surely as the man would know her. There would be none of this fighting, this indecision. They would simply be together.”
“Have you ever heard of a Drule having a mate who wasn’t Drule?’ Allura wanted to know. “Is it not possible you are simply confusing me for your true mate?”
“There’s no mistaking one’s mate for another.” Lotor insisted heatedly. She reached out to touch his hair, the act calming him down. “And no….I’ve never personally heard of mates being something other than Drule. But then…I am not completely Drule myself.” He sighed then. “Allura, you shouldn’t have left me to sleep in separate rooms.”
She blinked in surprise at the sudden change in topic. “Oh? And where should I have slept?”
“With me. Here…there…it matters not so long as we’re together.” Lotor said.
“They would never allow it.” Allura replied.
“They, who is they?” Lotor demanded.
“Coran and Nanny. They would be against it.” Allura explained. “They would have a fit to know you were even in my room right now.”
“You are princess here, not them.” Lotor was frowning. “Your orders should be obeyed.”
“Not until I am Queen. Besides..” Allura added, knowing he wouldn’t like what she had to say. “I would not command them to accept you in my bed.”
“You put me in danger when you insist we sleep separate.” He said, trying a new tactic.
“Yes.” A grave nod, cheek rubbing up and down against her breast. “People keep attacking me. I won’t be surprised when someone sneaks into my room, intending to do me harm.” An unreadable look then. “You could protect me from that…”
“I think sleeping with you would invite more attacks, even if the act was innocent.” Allura said.
“I could insist…” Lotor said, and she frowned at him.
“I’ll have you in the dungeons if you do!”
“For taking my right as a mate?” Lotor seemed amazed. “Allura, you truly don’t understand if you would do that to me. I need you, and it’s more than just sex. I
need to be with you. To see you. To touch you often. Access to you should never be forbidden me….”
“You’re speaking as though you have earned those rights to me!” Allura exclaimed. “You haven’t!” He looked surprised at that.
“What more must I do?” She just stared at him, Allura not knowing what the way to her heart entailed. “You don’t know, do you?’ he sighed. “One day I will win your heart Allura. And then you will feel foolish…”
“For fighting me as long as you have.” It seemed Lotor was never going to let go of her, the prince content to just hug her to him. “For wasting time that could be better spent.”
“Maybe…” She said doubtfully.
“I know so.” Lotor was confidant. “You haven’t told anyone about us. Why? Are you ashamed?”
“Embarrassed.” She admitted.
“You have to tell them and soon.” Lotor continued. “Or I will.”
“You can’t!” Allura protested. “They’d never understand!”
“I can and I will. Romelle already knows I love you. So do the rest of your friends. Will they keep quiet about it?” She paused at that, mouth hanging open in shock. “It’s only a matter of time Allura. Until everyone knows you’re mine.”
“You….you oaf! Don’t you dare go around telling people that!” fumed Allura.
He looked amused. “I might consider keeping quiet….for a price…” She glared even harder at him, Lotor grinning. “A kiss Allura. All I ask for is a kiss.”
“A kiss in exchange for your silence?” He nodded. “How can I know to trust you?”
“When have I lied to you?” Lotor asked in reply. She paused, Allura remembering how he had told her he hadn’t lied, would never lie to her. “What would kissing me cost you?” He added.
“In truth?” She whispered, and was replying as he nodded. “Everything.”
“Because….” She shrugged, keeping the words to herself. ~Because I might not want to stop.~
“Then you don’t buy my silence.” Lotor said, and was releasing his hold on her. She stepped back a lot less quickly than she should have, Allura staring bemused at him. He slowly stood, never taking his eyes of her. “It’s a good view.”
“Eh?” She felt stupid, not understanding what he meant.
“The window.” He nodded towards it. “I can see why you don’t want to leave this home of yours.”
“Ah yes…” She stammered, and took another step back.
“I need to call my father.” Continued Lotor. “There are things I need to get to the bottom of, my actions need to be explained.”
“Yes…do you want to call him from here?” She had a view screen in her room, but Lotor shook his head.
“I think a more formal setting is in order.” Lotor said.
“Too pink?” She asked, a bit tartly. He just smirked at her. “Hmph. I suppose it would look bad, calling from the bedroom of the girl who caused all that trouble.”
“Maybe just a little.” He agreed, just as a loud banging sounded on her door.
“Princess!” She jumped at the sound, recognizing that heavily accented voice. “Princess, are you all right? Open this door! Open it or I will have it broken down!”
“Nanny!” gasped Allura, and she was already running to open it, the door seeming to shake off it’s hinges at the vicious pounding the woman was doing. The door nearly hit her in the face, Nanny forcing it open the instant the lock was undone. Allura took a step back, and looked at the red faced woman, Nanny stalking into the room, eyes immediately seeking out Lotor.
“There he is!”
“Nanny, we were just talking!” Allura exclaimed, but the woman was glaring at Lotor. “Nothing happened!”
“Indeed.” Lotor agreed. “Nothing untoward was done to your charge.”
“As if I would believe the word of a Drule!” Nanny hissed. “Princess, are you all right? This filthy animal did not lay hands on you, did he?”
“He’s not an animal!” Allura snapped, avoiding answering the question. “We were only talking!”
“What could he possibly need to talk about in a lady’s bedroom?” Nanny huffed out angrily. “And look at you, you’re not even DRESSED.” Allura colored at that, not liking the reminder that she had been hanging around Lotor in her thin nightgown.
“Madame…” Lotor strode towards them, Nanny refusing to back up even one inch. “I think the least of your worries is my unchaperoned visit with your princess.”
“Oh?” Nanny had her hands on her hips, glaring at Lotor. “And just what should I be more concerned with?”
“There are Drules on your planet, who even now are plotting to usurp it. Now is not the time to be wasting on anger and false accusations.” Lotor said.
“False accusations?” Nanny snorted. “Like I would believe this visit is entirely innocent!”
“Believe what you like, my job is not to convince you of otherwise.” Lotor retorted. “Right now, I have two tasks I am burdened with, neither of which concern reassuring you!”
“Oh? And just what are those tasks?” demanded Nanny, crossing her arms over her chest.
“One, I have to call my father. That’s the King of the Drule.” Lotor said, stressing his royal ties. “I need to convince him to do something about this situation. What, I do not yet know.”
“And the other?” prodded Nanny, and Lotor slowly smirked. The look gave Allura a bad feeling, she was already hissing out a warning.
“The other is convincing my mate that she belongs with me.” Lotor said, and looked past Nanny to Allura. Nanny seemed not to make the connection, stuttering out a question.
“Mate? What mate?”
“Allura.” Lotor purred out her name, and Nanny gasped. Allura turned red, feeling a mixture of anger and embarrassment over Lotor’s revelation.
“The princess?!” Nanny’s eyes had gone huge, the woman was staring in shock at the prince. “Oh no! Oh no! Get that thought out of your head right this instant. She will not be the lover of a filthy Drule!” Lotor just continued to smile, Nanny growing more and more incensed. “Princess! Tell him I am right!”
Anger at Lotor spurred her response, Allura cold as she spoke. “Nanny, I can assure you. Becoming his lover is the farthest thing from my mind.”
“Ha!” A triumphant noise from Nanny.
“At the moment I am most concerned with stopping this invasion.” Continued Allura. “So if you two will step out a moment, and allow me time to get dressed, I will then escort Lotor to the communications room where he can contact his father.”
“Why can I not wait here for you?” Lotor wanted to know.
“I wouldn’t expect a savage like you to know, but it is improper to call on a lady when she is not dressed!” Nanny exclaimed. She was already grabbing Lotor by the arm, trying to herd the Drule towards the door.
“Lotor…Just go.” Allura sighed, and he gave her a look.
“I’ll be just outside the door.” He moved a reluctant step forward, Nanny huffing red faced as she tried to make him go faster. The woman was muttering, complaining loudly about impossible to reason with Drules, and their grand delusions when it came to Arus and it’s people. Allura followed them to the door, and once they were through, she all but slammed it shut behind them.
She fell against the door, hearing the muffled sound of Nanny’s voice. She wanted to laugh, but Allura would settle for crying, the girl wondering how she was going to survive even one more day of Lotor’s presence inside her home.