The quiet murmur of his mate’s voice was a pleasant buzz to the background of his thoughts, Lotor listening as Allura chatted with Sabbath. Their conversation of choice was her cousin, Sabbath possessing a tireless need to find out everything he could about Romelle. Allura was trying to keep up with all the questions, some of their answers quite involved. Sabbath would pause and listen intently to everything she had to say, clearly committing the words to memory.
For the most part Lotor tuned out the conversation, though he kept a watchful eye on his mate and her nearness to Sabbath. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Allura, and he knew and understood that Sabbath’s heart was taken with Romelle. It was the damn jealousy that came inherent with being mated, Lotor not liking seeing Allura so close to another male.
Especially when neither of them had completely been mated, Lotor aware that Allura was still hesitant about going all the way with him. He couldn’t keep the paranoid fear from giving him thoughts that another male, most likely some human here on Arus, could sweep in and turn Allura’s heart away from Lotor. He didn’t know how the men of this planet could be so immune to Allura’s charms, and Lotor feared that she had deluded herself on the suitors available to her.
Thoughts dark and stormy, Lotor remembered the rush of hot jealousy that had filled him when Allura had turned an appraising eye to Sabbath. He was relieved he hadn’t done anything more than growl, but still he bristled each time he thought of it. He was also trying not to gnash his teeth at the way Sabbath so thoroughly engaged Allura’s attention, Lotor reminding himself this was all being done to help the other Drule get closer to his mate.
Still it burned when Allura innocently brushed her arm against Sabbath’s chest, the girl reaching past him to pluck a flower off it’s vine. “These are one of Romelle’s favorites.” She said, pushing the blue petal flower into Sabbath’s hand. Lotor could see it had a purple color on the edge of the petals closest to it’s center, the shade so bright it seemed it would have glowed in the moonlight. “You can’t go wrong if you give her some of these.”
“Ah…I see.” Sabbath said, staring down at the flower in his hand.
“You’re welcome to take some if you like.” Allura added, offering him the use of her garden. The three had been walking along it’s many branching paths, Allura looking for the flowers that Romelle so favored.
“Thank you…” Sabbath replied, and began pulling out more of the blue flowers. Allura helped him, gathering up a sizable bouquet in the Drule’s arms. She giggled as she did so, eyes twinkling as she studied the bouquet.
“I think we need some white baby’s breath to spread out among this bunch.” She decided, and crooked her finger for Sabbath to follow. He did so, and the questions began again, Sabbath endless in his quest for knowledge so long as it pertained to Romelle.
“Romelle doesn’t actually live in the castle of lions.” Allura was saying, and even Lotor reacted in surprise at that.
“No. She’s just visiting.” Allura smiled again. “My cousin often comes to spend the warmer months on this side of the planet. She doesn’t really like the cold of her kingdom.”
“What will she do when it comes time for her to rule?” Lotor wanted to know.
“I don’t think it will ever come to that…” Allura said, looking thoughtful. “She has an older brother, and he is the next in line to the throne.” She paused then, looking uncertain. “I believe my cousin was hoping to arrange a marriage for herself in this part of the world.”
“I have no problem with living here with her.” Sabbath announced, and Allura smiled, eyes twinkling.
“Romelle will appreciate that.” She said.
Sabbath nodded, and looked down at the flowers once more. He frowned, a troubled look in his eyes. “She has a brother?”
“Two actually.” Allura explained. “Avok is the older, and Bandor is still a child, not even a teenager yet.” Sabbath continued to frown, and Lotor could tell what he was thinking. Brothers, especially an older, protective one, could be trouble. Especially if Romelle valued their opinions.
“You said Avok is next in line….who sits on the throne now?” Sabbath wanted to know.
“Romelle’s father of course.” Allura answered, and Lotor hid a wince. He felt pity for Sabbath, thinking of his difficult task of winning over members of Romelle’s family, especially if the male held the same opinions of Drules that the princess had. “I’m sure they’ll like you…” Allura added, seeming to react to the way Sabbath had deflated. “And Romelle hasn’t had much time to talk with them since the rescue. I’m sure they won’t judge you based on the actions of others…”
She was trying to be reassuring, but failing at it badly. “Besides!” continued Allura, voice a forced chirp. “I’m sure they’ll accept whomever Romelle loves into the family with open arms.”
“Maybe…” Sabbath sounded doubtful, and the trio continued their walk through Allura’s garden. The news of Romelle’s family seemed to cool down some of Sabbath’s desire for information, the Drule silent as he followed the princess towards a bush of what Lotor assumed was the baby breath’s flowers.
“So…” Allura was trying to keep the conversation going, picking some of the white plant. “What happens on Doom, when a pair is mated and the parents don’t approve of the match?”
“Nothing really.” Lotor answered, watching as Allura began spreading the baby’s breath amongst the blue flowers Sabbath held. “I mean, it’s not as though they can openly oppose the match. Not many try…”
“But some do.” She noted, and Lotor nodded, thinking of his friend Cossack.
“I have a friend, his name is Cossack. And recently he found his mate among a Queen’s daughters. The queen is…not pleased about allowing some of Cossack’s standing in Drule society into her family. But her hands are tied. There is nothing she can do, the pair is hopelessly in love.”
“It must seem strange to you then, the thought of having to gain others’ approval to be with the one you love.” Commented Allura, and both Drules vigorously nodded.
“Humans are…” Sabbath hesitated, seeming not to know what word to use.
“Complicated.” Lotor filled it in for him with a smirk. “And not just the women!”
“Hey now!” Allura protested, but she smiled all the same. “So we do things differently from you Drule. It doesn’t make us any more weird!”
“What is human courtship like?” Sabbath wanted to know, and Allura paused to think about it.
“It’s worthwhile if done right.” She said at last. “And yes, you have to earn acceptance from the one you are courting. You might not always be able to win the person you first set your heart on. You might like someone who can’t even stand you in return.”
“It’s why you…date right?” Lotor said the word date hesitantly, not sure he had the correct term. “To get to know each other better, and see if you are compatible?”
“Why yes…” Allura nodded, though she looked surprised. Lotor couldn’t help but be smug, smirking at her.
“I’ve done my research on you humans.”
“Oh?” An arch of her eyebrows, Allura teasing now. “I didn’t realize courtship practices were something a Drule soldier would study up on before planning an invasion.”
“We don’t, but when I realized I was…misunderstanding you, I took the time to look up some things.” Lotor admitted. “Since the Drule way only seemed to hurt you, I thought it time to try the human way.”
“Thank you.” Allura said softly, looking touched. “It means a lot that you would go that far.”
Lotor smiled and stepped towards her, eyes intent on her face. “I would do anything for you. I hope you know that.”
“So I am beginning to realize.” She whispered, and Sabbath suddenly cleared his throat, reminding them they weren’t alone. Lotor pulled back scowling, frustrated and reminded that so long as the other Drule was around, he really couldn’t do anything with his mate.
“Ah…I think the flowers just need one final touch.” Allura was blushing, trying to recover from her moment of ignoring Sabbath’s presence. “Here now..” She reached up to her hair, and tugged the silk ribbon free. It was dyed lavender to match her pale colored jump suit, and now she wound the ribbon around the stems of the bouquet. She tied the ribbon into a bow with a flourish, and stepped back smiling.
“Be sure to hurry and give these to Romelle straight away.” Allura advised. “The flowers will wilt quickly if not placed in water.” She sighed then. “It’s a pity they die when taken from the ground…but I guess it’s the sacrifice we make in the pursuit of love.”
“I still don’t see how giving a human a bunch of dead plants can endear her to me…” Sabbath muttered in Drule. Lotor hid his chuckle, seeing Allura look puzzled at the foreign tongue.
“Good luck.” She told Sabbath, and he nodded his thanks. With a serious look that reminded Lotor of a soldier gearing up for the fight of his life, Sabbath took off through the garden pathway, heading back the way they had traveled.
“Thank you for indulging him.” Lotor said when Sabbath was out of ear shot.
“Oh it’s no problem at all!” Allura quickly replied. “I liked helping. I think it’s rather exciting to be involved in my cousin’s love life!” Her eyes twinkled, Allura surely enjoying meddling.
“Just so long as you don’t get too caught up in it, that you forget about me.” Lotor stepped closer to her, and she blinked up at him.
“Oh I could never forget about you.” She blushed then, as though embarrassed about what she had said. Lotor smiled at her, pleased he was so memorable.
“Glad I make a lasting impression.”
“It’s kind of hard for you not to!” Allura exclaimed. “It’s not every day a handsome alien kidnaps me and tells me I am his mate.”
“Is that all you’ll remember me for?” Lotor asked, feeling the urge to pout.
“Oh no!” Allura protested. “There’s lot more…I’ll remember your kindness and patience with me. And the way you helped my people to maintain their freedom.” Her blush seemed to deepen, Allura fidgeting in place. “I’ll also remember the things you made me feel…”
“I hope it’s more good than bad…” Lotor interrupted, and she nodded.
“It is! I was upset in the beginning, but I’ve come to know you better, and I think understand what drove you to do those things.” She was red to the tip of her ears, Allura highly flustered in the moment. “Love is worth fighting for, don’t you think?”
“Indeed I do.” Lotor agreed. “Especially when the prize is you Allura.”
“You always make me blush.” She confessed. “If not with your words, then your looks, or your touches.”
“It’s good then.” She looked puzzled at that, Lotor taking the time to explain. “Because I think you’re very pretty when you blush. Perhaps I’ll make it my life’s mission to keep you in a permanent flushed state.”
“I think you could very easily accomplish that.” Allura told him quietly, and he smirked at that, pleased. She gave him a look that hinted that she wasn’t entirely thrilled with the look he had given her, and Lotor had to hold back a chuckle.
“Come….sit with me…” He said, tugging her over to one of the large trees that were planted sparingly through out her garden. He felt the hesitation in her, Allura showing her reluctance at his idea.
“The gazebo is back over there, Lotor.” She said, and he chuckled.
“It’s too open, and in perfect view of the castle wall and all it’s many windows…” He replied, guiding her around the trunk of the tree. He paused to look not at Allura, but back towards the castle. The tree with it’s wide trunk, and thick, low hanging foliage took up much space, leaving it perfect for his intentions. “And I’m sure you don’t want to be seen for this…”
“This? What this?” He heard the frown before he saw it, Lotor already lowering himself to the ground. “Lotor, that’s dirty!”
“It’s only grass. And dirt can wash away easily enough.” He was touching her legs, trying to urge her to come sit next to him. She still hesitated, and he got a mischievous impulse, jerking her down mid sentence. “But if you’re that concerned about laundry…” He said with a smile, seating her on his lap. “Then you can use my body as your chair.”
She seemed to turn pink at that, and her body held a stiffness to it that he didn’t like. Lotor immediately set about to relaxing her, rubbing a hand down her back, while the other reached to smooth back the hair around her face. She had many stray wisps of golden hair, and he wondered if it was possible to envy each and every one of them for the fact that they teased against her skin in the manner he longed to do.
The touch between them was electric, but then he was used to that feeling, intent on her as he caressed his hand in soothing circles. Bit by bit, his mate began to relax, and he smiled at her, liking the easy way she now sat on his lap. He didn’t like it when she was tense, and Lotor thought he could endeavor to relax her for the rest of their lives together.
Continuing to touch her hair, he leveled eye contact with her, letting her see how serious he was in the moment. “I missed being with you last night.” A curl was caught between his fingers, a rather long one that had come free when she had taken her ribbon off for Sabbath’s bouquet. He teased the end of the curl against her reddened cheek, and it seemed his look was too much for her, Allura lowering her eyes.
“I missed holding you.” He told her honestly, unable to keep the husky tone from his voice. He was practically purring seduction to her, his voice as ardent a weapon as his hands were. “I missed holding you. My hands yearn to feel you under them, to touch and bring you pleasure….” To illustrate his point, he let go of the curl so that his fingers caressed her cheek directly. It was an entirely innocent touch, and yet she trembled all the same. “Did you miss me Allura, even just a little?”
Her blushed seemed to bloom darker, but she raised her eyes to meet his. “I did…” Came her shy confession.” “When I woke up this morning and you weren’t there…I felt…disappointed.” He smiled, satisfied with the answer, feeling it was a good sign that she could be so bothered by his absence. “I’m almost annoyed with Sabbath…” Allura continued, and Lotor raised a brow, curiosity on his face. “His intrusion into my cousin’s life…well it unsettled ours.”
“Hmmm yes….” He sighed, and kept at petting her, hands easily moving along her back. “And it continues to do so. I don’t know how many nights I’ll have to spend watching over him, and he’s already cut into my time with you this morning. And then there’s the war…” He frowned, though it wasn’t directed at Allura. “Moments like this will be increasingly rare…”
“Which is all the more reason we should savor this time now.” Allura told him, and reached to touch arm. He couldn’t help his reaction, especially when she moved her hand to stroke along the length of his arm. His shirt was thin, he could feel the warmth of her skin, and he shivered perversly. It thrilled him to be touched by her, no matter how slight or innocent the gesture might be.
It almost distracted him from what she was saying, Lotor barely able to concentrate in the moment about the war. He knew that even now, the Arusian ships were on their way, traveling as fast as they could to reach Arus’ moons. It would be only a scant few hours before they would reach their destination, and begin the first of an attack that would lead to all out war. And with it, his free time would be at an end, Lotor needed to oversee much of the battles. Especially the early parts, where he would have to lend advice and tips, and detail what ways were needed to combat the Drule armada.
Lotor wanted to be useful to the Arusians, he truly did. But he also didn’t want to miss out on any his time with Allura. These moments were precious to him, and from the sound of things, they meant the same to Allura.
“Savoring sounds good.” He said out loud, thrilled when she shifted on his lap so that she snuggled against his chest. She was tucked in close, and her hands were not idle, Allura pressing one to his abdomen. He wondered if she realized what she was doing, Allura’s handle rubbing circles in place over his flesh. It was a highly intimate and arousing touch, and he reacted to it with pleasure.
Though perhaps not as much as he would have done had she touched his ears, Lotor trying not to moan foolishly. Apparently she noticed his attempts, Allura lifting her head to glance up at him. “What’s wrong?” She asked, and he tried to play it off cool.
“It can’t be. You’re trembling.” Allura pointed out, and he almost turned defensive, wanting to insist that grown men did not shiver and shake like a newborn babe just because their woman touched them. And yet she had the undeniable proof that he was doing just that, Lotor reaching to cover her hands with his.
“Fine…I am. But only because you’re touching me.” Her hands went still, she would have taken them away if he hadn’t trapped them against his body. “No, Allura, don’t stop!” He was almost begging, and words were blurted out, Lotor laying open his desire. “I am starved for your touch…I long for it every second I am with you, and think about it when I am separated from you.”
Her soft oh didn’t seem enough, Allura blushing and looking down. He shifted one hand, reaching up to tilt her chin back so that she would continue to look at him. “I want you to be able to touch me. To feel free to do it when you like, wherever you like.”
“You wouldn’t mind?” She asked, and he quickly shook his head no.
“I would welcome the affection! Allura…” His thumb caressed the bottom of her lip, he stared longingly at her. “I am thristing in a desert, your touch the water I need….please…do not ever hesitate…”
“I’m sorry…” Allura said, and he thought she was going to pull away, Lotor fighting not to hug her to him. “I’ve made you feel this way, made you feel neglected….” Her right hand lifted to his cheek, and he closed his eyes, leaning into the touch and warmth of her palm. “It’s not right…” She continued, eyes serious. “Taking so much from you without giving of myself…”
He wasn’t sure what she was going to say, and he didn’t dare hope or speak. “You’ve been more than kind.” Added Allura, and now she smoothed back her hand, moving her fingers into his hair. Her other hand joined the right one, both sets of fingers stroking down the length of his mane. He tried not to moan, the sound came out anyway, a strangled noise of pleasure.
“I shouldn’t let you do all the touching.” She said, and now he looked at her, and saw her offering him a shy smile. “I should be more proactive, and take what I want too.”
“And what is it you want?” He whispered, finding her shifting on her lap, so that she was straddling him with her knees touching the grass.
“Kisses and hugs….and touches….and things…” She told him, and as she pressed against him, Lotor wrapped his arms around Allura. He tried not to be too possessive, but it was difficult not to crush her completely to against him.
“Things?” he echoed, and he saw the struggle in her, Allura trying not to shy away from what she was about to say.
“I dreamt again about you. It left me…” A slight pause, Allura blushing. “Unsettled to say the least.” She stroked his hair one last time, and moved her hands to his shoulders, sliding them down over the front of his chest. He arched into her touch, and she actually looked satisfied at that.
She said something else, but he could barely concentrate, muttering a confused sound as he writhed under her hands which were gliding ever lower down his body. “What?”
“The dreams…” Allura stated patiently. “They’re almost more than I can bear. They leave me aching and wanting…and terrified.”
“Terrified?” He blinked, almost coming to his senses. “Why?”
“They feel so intense…and when you touched me, those feelings the dreams gave me? They were amplified twice, maybe three times more. I thought the ache was bad enough from the dreams alone, but the night you spent touching me…I thought I would go out of my mind with pleasure. And if that could happen with only a touch, how much stronger would it be if we went further?!”
“Allura…” He reached to pet her hair, trying to think of what to say. “You shouldn’t be afraid of pleasure…it may drive you senseless in the moment, but if you are with someone who loves you, who you can trust, they will take care to make sure nothing bad happens to you.” He touched foreheads with her, Lotor speaking seriously. “I would never let you fall, and if by some chance you did, I would be there to catch you.”
“I think I believe you…” She whispered.
“I’ll wait until you KNOW you believe.” He answered.
“Thank you, Lotor.” Allura said, and he smiled, rueful.
“There’s no need to thank me, Allura.”
“But I want too.” She insisted, and placed her hands on his sides. She was surely endeavoring to touch as much as she dared, and he thanked his lucky stars for this fact. His body couldn’t help reacting, Lotor growing half hard in his pants, though Allura thankfully remained without comment about his aroused state. He knew once that would have been enough to send her fleeing his arms, but now she seemed to accept that part of him.
He shifted his hold on her, making her cuddle once more against him. It was nice this way, just holding and petting her, and he begged the Gods to allow them a few more minutes together. His prayers would be answered, Allura remaining in his arms long enough for the two of them to fall asleep in each other’s embrace.