For once she awoke before Lotor, Allura taking a quiet moment to just study his sleeping face. He looked much changed in sleep, face losing some of it’s intensity to reveal a more youthful appearance. It almost startled her, Allura realizing that for all of Lotor’s worldly nature, he was only a few years older than she. But what a difference a few years could make, Allura feeling childish and naive compared to Lotor’s confidence.
Of course, she felt one step closer to being an adult after the experience she had shared with him last night. Allura felt her cheeks grow warm, the princess blushing as she remembered how they had wrapped their bodies around each other, grinding together in a furious race for completion. It was the first time she could ever recall climaxing, and she shivered, just remembering the sensations that had coursed through her body.
It was all thanks to Lotor that she had had that experience, and she smiled down at his slumbering form. Her hands were not idly, she began fingering his hair, working it from a sleep tousled state to a semblance of order. That included tucking long strands behind his sensitive ears, Lotor parting his lips on a sigh at that touch. By the time he opened his golden cat’s eyes, she was snuggled against his side, fingers of her right hand caressing patterns over his chest.
“Morning….” His voice was a low croon, almost hoarse from sleep. She smiled at him, turning her face to press a kiss into his side.
“Morning.” She answered, and continued tracing patterns with her fingers. “Did you sleep well?” She asked that with a twinkle in her eye, one that said she already knew the answer. After all, how could he have not after what they had shared?
“I slept good.” He confirmed, his hand reaching up to play with her hair. “Better than I have in a long while.”
“I’m glad.” Allura told him, caressing a pattern over to his heart. There was a pocket in place over it, and as she played her fingers across that added bit of fabric, she found the lump she had noticed briefly the night before. As curious as ever, she dipped her fingers into the pocket, and felt cold metal. She already had an inkling of what it could be, so wasn’t entirely surprised when she pulled out the gold ring with her mother’s name inscribed on the inside.
It was the ring she had given him, the token meant to keep him safe when she wasn’t around. She was pleased to see he kept it on him, and she was already smiling before he spoke.
“It’s my good luck charm.” Lotor announced, and she lifted her eyes from the ring to his face. He looked a bit sheepish as he talked, as though fearing she didn’t believe in such things.
She just smiled, rubbing her thumb over the inscription on the ring. “I’m glad to see you keeping it close. Take good care of this ring for me.”
“Of course!” promised Lotor, looking surprised at her order. “I will always be careful with anything you choose to give me.” He was watching her carefully, and Allura wondered if she blushed. She knew he meant it, and had a feeling he was implying that he would be careful with more than just the ring.
“Last night was wonderful….” She said, pushing the ring back into his pocket. His fingers resumed their stroking motion, traveling downwards over and over again.
“It was.” He agreed, and a tension she hadn’t been aware of left him. “I was worrying you’d find something to regret about it.”
“Put those worries out of your mind.” Allura ordered sternly. “There’s nothing to regret….I made my choice, I let you show me a way we could both have pleasure.” It was high time too, she thought, Allura knowing she had let Lotor indulge her for far too long without giving anything back.
“There’s so much more to love making then what we just shared…” Lotor seemed unable to resist pushing for more, cracking a grin at her. “That was just the beginning Allura….and I can promise you, the things I want to show you?” His hand left her hair to touch her cheek, Lotor’s fingers gripping her lightly so she would not look away. “They will be a dozens times more intense in feeling.”
She believed him then, Allura feeling her face flame in response to the thoughts he stirred up. Flashes of her dreams played out in her mind, and it was then she realized she had slept through the night, unplagued by dreams since meeting him. She frowned then, Allura unsure of how she felt about that, and Lotor noticed, his fingers tracing the lines of her lips.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, and she shook her head.
“It’s nothing…I just realized….I didn’t dream this past night. Why?”
He considered her question for a few moments, and then was answering. “Maybe…you don’t need to anymore. Maybe your subconscious knows you’re that much closer to making the dreams a reality.” A graceful shrug of his shoulders, Lotor looking uncertain. “Maybe your climax was enough to suppress those dreams. I truly don’t know….human mates and their reactions to Drules are still so foreign. This is undocumented territory we’re in.”
“Is there anyone who would know for sure?” Allura asked, earning another shrug from Lotor. “I suppose not.” She sighed then. “Drules who have mates that are others, are still pretty rare…”
“But no less precious!” Lotor insisted, and she smiled at him. He grinned back at her, and she inched upwards so she could lean in and kiss his cheek. “What was that for?” Lotor asked, and she pulled back.
“For everything.” Allura answered. “For what has happened, and what has the potential to happen.” She felt almost positive that potential was their coming together, that she would become Lotor’s mate in every sense of the word. It still frightened her a little, to think of making such a big commitment to him, and yet more daunting was the thought of not having Lotor in her life.
“Is there an estimate on when it will happen for certain?” teased Lotor, his smirk making her want to smack him with a pillow.
“Perhaps….soon.” She allowed, and his grin widened.
“Soon? Like tonight?” He looked so hopeful, she didn’t want to dash that. But her hesitation was enough, he sighed. “I suppose it will happen when you’re ready, and not a moment sooner.”
“Sorry…” Allura lowered her eyes, feeling bad for making him wait like this.
“I will admit to feeling a certain impatience…but I want you to be sure.” Lotor told her. “I don’t want you to feel you were rushed into making the wrong decision where we are concerned.”
“I don’t feel rushed!” Allura exclaimed. “You’ve been more than kind about going at a pace I feel most comfortable at.”
“I suppose I have been.” Agreed Lotor. “Certainly, if I had been allowed my way, we would have consummated the relationship the instant I got you alone in that cabin.”
“Are all mates so eager to….to make love upon first meeting?” Allura wondered out loud, cheeks red with her blush. “Do you not wait to get to know each other first?”
“Why would we have to?” Lotor looked confused at the notion. “A Drule’s mate is the other half of their soul, the loved one they’ve been born for. Both mates would be eager to be with each other. In fact, it would be hard to keep them separate those first days of bonding.” He picked up the ends of one curl, and rubbed it teasingly against her nose. “The love making would be intense…they would neither want to part, nor be able to go long without touching each other.”
Her eyes were wide with amazement, Allura trying to imagine it. “It’s expected Allura.” Continued Lotor. “Drule lovers, especially a newly mated pair, are very much a touch starved couple. It is not odd to see them do public displays of love, and it is exceedingly difficult to distract them from each other.” He chuckled then. “It used to make me sick, to see a mated pair cooing at each other, to see them hanging all over one another. I wonder if I was secretly envious of them.”
“I don’t know about this public display of affection…” Allura admitted. “It’s not the human way at all. We’re taught such things are better kept in private, away from prying eyes.”
“I suppose I can understand that. Though having to refrain from showing affection…does it not make you more crazed when you do get to be alone with your love?” He smiled then, and she wondered if he was imagining her in a crazed state.
“I don’t know…” Allura confessed. “It’s not like people talk that much about what they do with their lovers. At least not to me…” She giggled then. “My cousin reads books, these trashy romance novels that Nanny would have a fit to know about. Sometimes Romelle tells me about them, and the kind of things that go on between the couples in them. That’s about the limit of my knowledge of couples in love. At least, until I met you that is!”
He gave her a considering look, and then smirked. “I would like to read one of these romance novels of your cousin. Do you think she would lend one to me?” Allura was already giggling out a no, shaking her head at the very thought of Lotor reading one of the steamy scenes inside such a book.
“You can’t!” She protested out loud, trying not to out right laugh in his face. “They’d only give you ideas. And you have enough of those!”
“So I do.” Agreed Lotor, still smirking. “I certainly have many idea when it comes to you, and how I would like to spend our time in bed together.” The heated look in his eyes had her giggles dying down, Allura growing flustered. Thanks to those dreams of hers, she could imagine some of what he wanted to do, and it made her grow hot with anticipation.
Lotor’s nostrils flared, and she realized he had scented her interest, a mortified Allura rolling away from him. As she sat up, he took hold of her arm, trying to keep her from fleeing the bed. “Allura?”
“It still takes some getting used to.” She said, not looking at him. “That you could scent my…desire so easily.”
“Is that wrong of me?” He sounded confused.
“It’s just unsettling.” Allura told him. “Humans can’t do that. Our noses aren’t as sensitive as yours is. We rely on looks and words, on reading the atmosphere to guess at how to proceed.”
“It sounds a lot more complicate.” He complained. “The Drule way is easier.”
“I suppose it is.” She agreed. Allura didn’t complain that she couldn’t smell his desire, not when she could read it so apparent in his eyes, and the way his pants
would grow tight over his erection. She was alert to the signs in him, just as he was attuned to her own body’s signals. It would still take some getting used to, and she thought she might always be embarrassed that he could smell her reactions to him.
She turned to face him, seeing the lost look on his face. He didn’t understand why the smelling thing could bother her, and she sighed in apology. “Forgive me. I’m being silly.” She leaned in to kiss him, Lotor’s expression turning bemused. It was just a quick peck, and then she was pulling away, gesturing for him to follow her off the bed. “You should probably get back to your room before you’re missed.”
“We made it this far without getting caught…” Lotor boasted. “I’m sure we can last a few more minutes.”
“Still it’s risky.” Allura pointed out. “Especially during this time. We were lucky no one came looking for you last night…that they didn’t need your advice on a battle.”
“Fortune favors us.” Lotor said, but he got out of the bed.
“Let’s hope it continues to favor not only our meetings, but the warriors fighting for Arus as well.” Allura told him. “I wonder what the state of the battle is like….”
“I haven’t’ given it much thought…” he admitted. “I was too consumed with you. But I realize now is the time to get serious and check up on things with the war. Maybe
Pardust will have come through, and the Drule loyalists will have taken action during the night.”
“Oh I hope so!” exclaimed Allura. “It would bring us one step closer to ending this war!”
“And that would free us of one worry.” Lotor pointed out with a smile. She nodded, and let him hug her, Allura clinging to him for support. “I’ll see you at breakfast.” He said, and together they walked over to her window.
“Be safe.” She whispered, not liking the danger he put himself in when he navigated the ledges between their rooms.
“I always am.” he quipped, then was climbing out onto the ledge. She leaned out the window to watch him, holding her breath, and praying he would not fall. It wasn’t until he disappeared inside his room, that she relaxed, Allura breathing out a sigh of relief.
Once Lotor was safely returned to his room, she set about to starting her day, Allura taking another cold shower. The chill helped chase away any lingering desire she had been experiencing, and she was humming a merry tune as she set about to getting dress, and fixing her hair. Once that was taken care of, she left her room, and headed towards the room that was Romelle’s.
She wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, and yet she found it all the same, Sabbath slumped over on the floor. She gasped out his name and hurried towards him, noticing how he was sleeping in an upright position, pressed against Romelle’s bedroom door. He woke almost immediately upon her noisy arrival, Sabbath’s eyes flickering open. He looked disappointed to see her, and she realized he’d rather she be her cousin.
“What are you doing here?” Allura demanded, voice a furtive hiss. She looked both ways in the hall, but saw no one, not even Nanny was about.
“I was…” He struggled to put it in words, seeming almost embarrassed at being caught by her. “I had to be near her. If she won’t let me in, the least I could do was stay guarding her door.”
“Oh.” She blinked slowly, taken aback. “That’s rather sweet of you. But, you should really go back to your room now. I don’t think my cousin will be pleased to find you lurking here…” Her words earned her a look of pure misery, Sabbath nodding his head as though it pained him to do so. Concerned, she spoke, noting his odd color. “How are you feeling?”
“I will…survive.” he said, body’s movements stiff as he rose to his feet. His blue skin really did look shades lighter, as though the hangover was making him pale. She hoped he’d learn from this, and never take to drinking so badly again.
“Er….I will try to talk to my cousin for you…” Allura began. “I don’t know if it will make any difference, but maybe…”
“All I have is maybes…” Sabbath sighed, looking sorry for himself. “I keep waiting and hoping…” He trailed off, and no amount of prodding could get him to finish that statement. “Lotor is lucky.” Sabbath looked at her now, though he wasn’t smiling. “To have a human mate who is so understanding.”
“I wasn’t always.” Allura argued, embarrassed. “I fought him, much like my cousin is fighting you. It was a difficult time, but I think for all the hardships, we have forged a good relationship. I’m sure if Romelle can be persuaded to give you a chance, you too will come away richer for the experience.”
“Perhaps.” Sabbath said, and nodded a good-bye to her. She paused, waiting for him to disappear from sight before knocking on her cousin’s door. A moment’s pause, and then Romelle’s voice was heard.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, Allura.” She said, and the door opened. Romelle was still in her nightgown, and she cast a suspicious look past Allura, searching the empty hall. “I come alone.” Allura told her, and Romelle seemed to relax visibly.
“Well, come in!” She said, inviting Allura inside. She could see several dresses on Romelle’s bed, the girl in the midst of deciding what to wear. Allura couldn’t help but notice they seemed to be Romelle’s finest dresses, and she hid a smile, wondering if the girl was unconsciously trying to look her best for Sabbath.
“I think you should wear the blue.” Allura said, fingering a powder blue dress that had a modest neckline. Darker blue swirled patterns on the bodice, along with ribbons that did up the back of the gown. “It really does make your eyes shine their best.”
“You think so?” Romelle had closed the bedroom door, and she stared at the dresses on the bed. “I was thinking of wearing the white one….but then the emerald one also appeals to me.” Her cousin frowned then, walking over to glare at her dresses. “I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time deciding.” Allura withheld comment, watching as Romelle held up the blue one to her. She seemed critical of it, walking over to the mirror to stare at her reflection.
“Have you apologized to Gloria yet?” Allura asked, making room on the bed so she could sit down.
“That comment you made about her needing to lay off the desserts” reminded Allura. “It was awfully mean of you.”
“Oh that.” Romelle sighed. “I don’t know what came over me.” Allura had a good idea she knew, figuring her cousin was angry over Sabbath and lashing out at any available targets. “I’ll make it up to her somehow…provided she stops talking about how good a singing voice that Drule has!”
“But he does have a good singing voice.” Allura pointed out with a smile. Romelle scoffed at that, still studying her reflection anxiously. “And he put all his heart and soul into his songs.”
“How do you know?” Romelle wanted to know. “Did you understand what he was saying?!”
“No, but Lotor explained the intent behind it.”
“Hmph! And you believe him?” A doubtful Romelle asked. “Allura, for all I know, he could have been speaking about the vulgar things he wanted to do to my body!”
“But he wasn’t! And you’re blind if you couldn’t see the sincerity in his eyes! Romelle, he loves you. He just wants a chance to adore you, to please you. What would it hurt to be nice to him?” Allura said.
“And just what doe nice qualify?” Romelle questioned, turning to peer knowingly at Allura. “Letting him sneak into my room at night? Just what are you and Lotor up to, during your nighttime visits?!”
She tried not to color, Allura forcing herself not to react defensively. She told herself she had nothing to be ashamed of after all. “Just cuddling. We talk and hold each other…”
“And he doesn’t try for more?”
“No. Not really. He’s….content with what I can give him.” Replied Allura. Romelle let out a mean snicker of sound, Allura trying not to glare at her. “He is!” She insisted, and Romelle outright laughed at her.
“Oh honestly Allura, you’re so naive.” Romelle said with a sigh. “Can’t you see he’s merely lulling you into a false sense of security. He’s building you up, ready to trick you into doing more.”
“He’s had plenty of chances to try for more with me!” Allura blurted out, then colored. Romelle arched an eyebrow at her, but Allura refused to elaborate. “Besides, I didn’t come here to talk about Lotor and me. I wanted to get you to see Sabbath in a different light.”
“I think you ask the impossible.” Romelle had turned her attention back to the mirror, but she didn’t sound as confidant as she could be.
“Do I?” Allura asked. “Romelle, you have to see. He loves you! And he’s willing to do anything for you. What would the harm be in letting him? Please cousin. Just try to be civil…he’s trying so hard for a chance to get to know you better…let him!”
“I don’t see the point.” Romelle admitted, and came back to the bed. She exchanged the blue dress for the white one, and then walked back to the mirror. “I don’t intend to fall in love with him, so I don’t know why I should give him false hope.”
“Most people don’t intend to fall in love.” Pointed out Allura. “It just happens. And isn’t the best love the unexpected kind?” Romelle was silent to that question, and Allura continued, thinking of Romelle’s books. “Isn’t this a bit like those stories you read? The possessive male warrior and the feisty heroine? One who fights and resists with all her might, but eventually she gives in….”
“I’m different. I am not going to give in.” Romelle said, giving a haughty toss of her head. “I’m going to fall in love with a human, some Arusian noble who will take care and love me for the rest of his life.”
“I doubt an Arusian noble could be anywhere as exciting as a Drule warrior.” Allura retorted, and Romelle whirled around, gasping out an exclamation.
“Well, it’s true.” Allura said defensively. “I have first hand experience on what I speak about!”
“You’re not being very loyal to your own people to put a Drule male first over an Arusian!” Romelle snapped.
“I just know what’s right for me.” Allura insisted. “And I like to think I have an inkling of the kind of man you’d like. Otherwise you’d stop reading those books, and start pursuing a relationship with one of the nobles already!” Romelle just stared at her, and Allura moved forward, emboldened. “What are you waiting for, if not for a love that would be all consuming? What would the harm be in indulging Sabbath, in trying to see if you could be compatible with him?”
“You sound like Marie and the others now.” Muttered Romelle.
Romelle seemed embarrassed, fussing over the white dress. “Yes, they kept going on and on about that Sabbath’s singing. The whole lot of them act as though they are taken with him! Hmph!” She frowned, and angrily tossed the dress to the floor. “I suggested one of them take him off my hands, but they insisted it didn’t work that way. That I must be his mate, and how lucky I am to have such a fine male be infatuated with me.” A snort then, Romelle stalking over to snatch the green dress off the bed. “Ninnies, all of them! How quickly they forget their fear….”
“It might do you good to forget yours.” Allura suggested. “This is not a warship, you are not a prisoner here. And Sabbath is different, his love for you has made him a changed man. He can’t undo the past of what happened when you were held prisoner, but he can work to make you a safe and happy future.” No response from Romelle, the girl fussing over the ribbons on the emerald colored gown.
“Just…just think about it, will you?” Allura urged, rising to stand. “You’ll find no one can love you the way he can, no one will be half as devoted to you as your Drule mate is. It’s the kind of love most women dream of….you’d be foolish to turn your back on it without experiencing at least some of what he has to offer.” Allura paused, but the conversation seemed ended, Romelle not speaking or looking at her.
“I do hope I’ll see you at breakfast.” With those words, Allura was walking out of the room, but not before she cast one last worried look at her cousin. Romelle was standing as still as a statue now, just staring at her reflection, eyes troubled. She hoped that was a good sign, that Romelle was at least considering the things Allura had said.