Lotor had frozen against her at the scream, his fingers leaving the waistband of her pants alone. Allura could only be grateful that things hadn’t progressed to the point of their disrobing, the princess not wanting to think how much worse the situation would seem to Nanny if that were the case. Regretfully, Allura unlocked her legs from around the prince’s hips, allowing Lotor the freedom to move away from her. He couldn’t blush, but he seemed flustered, and it surely had to do with the noises Nanny was making.
Not sure what to say to the woman, Allura braced herself for the worse, spying Nanny’s eyes narrow. They seemed to lock onto Allura, and she was confused as to why. That confusion lasted long enough for her to realize it was her rumpled top Nanny was glaring at, her nipples partially revealed. Growing even more embarrassed, and feeling like a child who had done wrong, Allura quickly adjusted her top.
Nanny seemed to inhale, the sound sucking all other noise from the room. For one moment, silence was retained, and then Nanny exhaled a torrent of angry words. “Just what do you think you are doing?!” She demanded, her loud voice making Allura wish the woman would close the room’s door. “Have you no sense of propriety, no shame?!”
“Madame I…” Lotor began, and Nanny talked over him.
“I thought I raised you better than this!” It was then Allura realized Nanny was asking those questions of her, the princess startled at the woman’s admonishments. “I thought I taught you what it meant to be a lady! To not shamelessly run around, to not…”
Lotor had growled at Nanny’s words, the sound loud and holding a dangerous edge to it. Nanny had gasped to hear it, but before she could issue out any retorts about his behavior, Lotor was speaking.
“How dare you question Allura’s behavior!” He snapped out with a toss of his hair. “And how dare you imply she is less than lady like for spending time with her mate! There is nothing wrong or shameful about being with the one you love, and I will not have you making her feel otherwise!” Allura saw that Nanny’s jaw had dropped, her face turning an angry red color. “Now.” Continued Lotor, snapping his fingers at the woman. “I want you to apologize to your princess.”
“You…you arrogant, overbearing….” Nanny began, and all thoughts of protesting the need for an apology fled Allura’s mind.
“Nanny, don’t insult my husband!”
“He’s not your husband yet!” Nanny’s anger did an about face to focus back on Allura. “And until the time you are legally wed by the customs of our people, the marriage recognized by the church, I expect you to behave with some decorum!”
Allura frowned at her, realizing Lotor was right in that Nanny was trying to make her feel bad about spending time with him. “Nanny, by the customs of Lotor’s people, we are already a recognized couple. It just a matter of formality that we need to go through with another ceremony.”
“It’s a formality that the people of Arus need!” Nanny exclaimed. “Honestly Allura, what are you thinking?! You know they don’t think of you as wed, if someone were to come along and see you behaving like this with him…your reputation would be ruined!”
“I think you need to spend less time worrying about my mate’s relationship, and more time on the household duties.” Lotor was snide as he said that, Nanny fixing her glare on him.
“You would think that wouldn’t you.” Nanny sneered, and Allura held back a sigh.
“We have done nothing wrong.” She insisted. “Yes, we could have picked a better time and place to be intimate together, but it doesn’t excuse your behavior!”
“My behavior?” Nanny asked, taken aback.
“Yes. You are being rude, hostile, and downright paranoid.” Allura pointed out. “Why worry about my reputation when it’s clear it’s not an issue for me?”
“Someone needs to!” Nanny insisted.
“The people will understand.” Allura replied. “We are in love, and well on our way to making a commitment that is legal by Arusian laws. And those who don’t, those who judge? They really aren’t worth a second thought!”
“He’s got you all twisted up inside and confused if you think that way!” Nanny snapped. “You have obligation to your people, and part of that duty is to be the proper princess they so desire.”
“So what? You think they just want to put Allura up on a pedestal, untouched and to be admired but never loved, never wanted?” Lotor asked, moving close enough to touch hands with Allura. “She’s a person not just an image of some ideal! She has wants and needs…she deserves to be more than just a figure head!”
Nanny didn’t seem to know what to say to that, just glaring at them. Allura took hold of Lotor’s hand, their fingers entwining. “Nanny….I’ve found love. It’s more than we ever expected for my marriage. Why can’t you be happy for me?”
“Allura…” Nanny said her name softly, a pained look in her eyes. She then jerked her gaze to Lotor, glaring at him fiercely. “If you hurt her…”
“That won’t be a problem Madame.” Lotor raised Allura’s hand so that he could plant a kiss on the back of it. “I love her, and would sooner kill myself than ever do harm to her.”
“Sometimes we can’t help but hurt the ones we love.” Nanny grumbled. “And if you so much as make Allura cry, even one time, I will hunt you down and make you pay!”
Wide eyed Allura glanced at Lotor, seeing how serious he looked in the moment. “Madame, I will make you a promise to hold still for your punishment if I do indeed make my mate cry.”
“Hmph.” Nanny nodded her head slowly, hardly seeming satisfied by his words. “I still don’t trust you….especially where Allura is concerned. But I…” She hesitated, looking as thought whatever she was about to say would kill her. “I will try not to get so upset when I see you near her…”
“But!” A dramatic point of her finger. “It doesn’t mean I am going to let you two run wild all over the castle with your love making antics! There are things to think of, you must exercise the proper restraint and decorum. At least until after the wedding.”
“What does that mean?” Allura asked, already having a good idea the kind of rules Nanny was trying to set down.
“I want you two to abstain from…from being together intimately until after the wedding.” Lotor made a sound, a low grumble of discontent that showed how unhappy he was with the idea. “Allura please….I ask not only for myself, but for the image you’ll give your people.”
“I don’t know…” Allura began, and Nanny quickly spoke.
“The wedding is in just a few days. Surely you two can hold back that long…”
“I…” Allura glanced at Lotor for some guidance. “I suppose we could…” His eyes quickly turned upset, Lotor shaking his head no. Allura flashed him an urgent look of her own, begging him not to argue with her. “It would just be for a few days.” She continued. “And the anticipation would make the wedding night even more special.”
“It would be special regardless of what we do or do not do.” Lotor retorted, an edge of upset in his voice. Nanny seemed not to notice, almost smiling then.
“Good, then it’s decided! No more intimacy until after you are officially wed!”
“Er…right…” Allura turned sheepish at Lotor’s annoyed growl, the princess gesturing for Nanny to leave. “Would you leave us alone for now?”
Nanny didn’t look as though she trusted them to be alone together for any length of time, but she nodded all the same. “All right…But don’t take too long…” With that bit of warning, Nanny turned and left the room, leaving Allura alone with Lotor. She looked at him, and saw how displeased he was, Allura exhaling slowly as she squeezed his hand.
“Allura, how could you make such a promise?!” The words practically exploded out of him, Lotor visibly agitated.
“I just thought…” Allura hesitated, trying to think of the right words. “Maybe she is right. Maybe we should practice some restraint…”
“You didn’t think that until she opened her big mouth and started harassing you!” Lotor protested. “She didn’t even apologize to you for her behavior.”
“I know.” Allura sighed. “It’s typical behavior of Nanny, but really…she does have a point. It would lend an air of respectability to the wedding if we waited to make love until after we were official.”
“We already are official!” Lotor tossed back to her, looking more and more upset.
“But only in the eyes of your people!” Allura protested.
“That didn’t seem to matter to you aboard the war ship!” Lotor was snappish, raising his other hand to push back his hair. “Why do you let these people, this woman’s, opinion affect you so?”
“I’ve been raised all my life to value what my people think of me.” Allura answered softly. “I can’t just shake it off without another thought. And people would talk…”
“Only if they found out.” Lotor pointed out. “We were careless today. We didn’t lock the door. We won’t make that mistake in the future.”
“Yes, we won’t.” Allura agreed. “But…still. There’s a risk in what we do. Just being seen together is enough to get some people talking.”
“Let them talk!” Lotor exclaimed, with a wild gesture. “We love each other, there should be no shame in that.”
“I’m not ashamed!” Allura quickly replied. “But I don’t want them thinking badly of us.” Lotor still looked like he didn’t understand, and she risked reaching up to caress his cheek. “Lotor, it will just be a few days. And we will have plenty to keep us busy until then.”
“I doubt there’s anything that could distract me from wanting you.” Lotor muttered.
“And I you.” He gave her a reluctant smile at those words. “Lotor, I meant what I said about it building up anticipation. Don’t you want our wedding night to be special?”
“Every time I’m with you is special.” Was his answer, and she was torn between sighing and giggling. He made it so difficult, especially when he said such heart felt, flattering words.
“You don’t make this easy.” She chided, and now he grinned.
“If that means you will reconsider this suggestion of your Nanny’s, then I will continue to be difficult.”
“Lotor!” She gasped out his name when he stole a quick kiss from her, Allura pushing gently but insistently at his chest. “You’re incorrigible!” She exclaimed, and he laughed.
“I’m still a Drule…and we are a wicked lot.”
“As well I know!” Allura replied. “Please…” She put a pleading note into her voice, staring at him imploringly. “Agree to do this for me.”
“Somehow I don’t think I have much of a choice.” Grumbled Lotor. She smiled her victory, touching his cheek one last time. “Thank the Gods the ceremony is in only two or three days from now!”
“Just be glad we aren’t going all out for the wedding.” Allura took special pleasure in watching Lotor’s reaction. “A typical royal wedding usually takes months to plan!”
“Yes. We’re really having a bare bones ceremony all things considered.” Allura said.
“You’re not…disappointed you’re not having a more lavish wedding are you?” Lotor looked worried now.
“Of course I’m not!” She quickly assured him. “I don’t need an expensive, over the top wedding. Just so long as I marry you, I am happy, no matter what the ceremony is like!” She pulled him to her, hugging him close and kissing at the corner of his mouth.
“Allura…” Lotor surprised her by distancing himself from her. “If you keep touching and kissing me, then my agreement to wait be damned, I will seduce you right here and now!”
“Oh…oh my…” She murmured, wondering if she blushed. “Perhaps this waiting thing will be more difficult than first thought.”
“It will indeed.” Lotor gave her a look that seemed to say he would enjoy testing her limits of endurance towards resisting him. This time she was sure she turned red, and she quickly stepped toward the box with Romelle’s books.
“Well…I suppose you better take one or two of these and go give them to Sabbath.” She said, bending over the box. She grabbed two of the more used looking books, the well worn copies almost ready to fall apart at her touch. Lotor took them from her, glancing at the covers with a smirk.
“I will see about getting a translated copy of these, just in case.” Lotor told her. “It shouldn’t be that difficult a matter to have the translation downloaded onto a data pad for Sabbath.”
She nodded. “I just hope he finds them useful….”
“I’m sure he will.” Lotor said, tone confidant. “They will certainly open up his perceptions.” He smirked then, eyes dancing with laughter. Allura smiled nervously back at him, but inwardly she was worrying that this might be a big mistake. She didn’t want to think of what sort of ideas they would give Sabbath, the image he would take back of Romelle. Allura couldn’t even begin to imagine how much trouble the books might lead to.