“Easy now…” Allura said softly, easing Lotor down onto the floor of the cave they had taken shelter in. She left his side, to dip her hands in the small stream of rain water that had settled into a puddle along the cave’s bottom. “This might sting a little…”
“AH!” Lotor jerked his face away from her cupped hands. “It stings ALOT!” He accused her.
“Don’t be childish!” A giggle escaped Allura’s lips. “Now come here.”
With a resigned sigh, Lotor forced himself to sit still. “The pains I go through to once again be able to look upon your breath taking visage…”
“You only made things worse…” She told him, tipping water into his eyes. “By scratching at it…it forced the dirt in deeper. I thought fearless warriors were supposed to know better!”
“Ah…” Eyes tightly closed, Lotor shook his head.
“Well?” asked Allura, more than a little anxiously.
He tentatively opened one eye, than the other. Blinking he looked at her, before letting a dazzling smile of joy appear on his face. “Now there’s a sight for sore eyes!!” He proclaimed, scooping her up into his arms.
She squealed in delight before remembering to distant herself from him. “I’m happy for you Lotor…now put me down.”
“What if I don’t want to?” asked Lotor. “My ship’s parked somewhere along the ravine…by day’s end we could be vacationing on one of the many moons of Riata-Zel.”
“Riata-Zel…isn’t that a popular honeymoon spot?” His grin was an obvious enough answer to her question. It was time to put the brakes on whatever he was plotting. “Okay, Romeo…”
He interjected with, “Guess that makes you my Juliet.”
“Quit joking Lotor! Put me down!”
“What will you give me if I do that?” He asked, a sly look in his eyes.
“LOTOR!” She smacked his shoulder.
“ALLURA!” He mimicked her tone precisely.
“I don’t owe you anything. I SAVED you, remember?” Allura reminded him.
Lotor let out a heavy sounding sigh. “That you did…” Allura’s feet touched the ground, although he did not remove his hands from her waist. “Although, I DID save you too.”
“Oh yeah?” Allura arched an eyebrow. “How?”
“From making the biggest mistake of your life!” exclaimed Lotor, his eyes looking angry. “I can’t believe you almost gave yourself to–”
“I thought he was YOU.” interrupted Allura.
“Well you…” He paused. That really was a compliment she had just given him…back handed as it may be. “There is that.” Lotor smiled. “One silver lining in all this, is your wanting to do it with me.”
“It?” Allura’s cheeks flamed. “I was going to do NO such thing!”
“That’s not what it looked like to me.” He said smugly.
“I was just lulling you–him, into a false sense of security!” protested Allura. “The instant your–his guard was down–WHAM!!”
“I think the lady doth protest too much.” He murmured, lowering his mouth to hers.
“What was that for?!” Lotor demanded, fingering the cheek her hand had just slapped.
“You go to far!” Allura snapped.
“Oh, I go to far?!” He demanded incredulously.
“YES! Thinking you can just kiss me anytime you feel like it!”
“From that scene by the river, I think you wanted me to kiss you. That and a whole lot more!” This time he caught her hand before it could connect with his face.
“Why you arrogant…”
“DON’T SHUSH ME!!” She snapped.
“Allura, be quiet.”
“NO!” Her voice raised in volume. “You don’t own me! And you certainly can’t tell me what to do!”
“My love, sometimes you are entirely too head strong for you own good.” He muttered, sounding slightly annoyed. With a flick of his wrist, he spun her forward, pressing her back against his chest. One arm slid across her chest, brushing against the top of her breasts, as he pinned her to him, trapping her arms.
“What are you doing now!” demanded Allura, just before he covered her mouth with his left hand. “MPPH!!”
“Shh…” He whispered into her ear, pulling them deeper into the cave’s shadows. “He’s out there.”
“MRPHG!” Her eyes widened in fear, and she stopped struggling, even allowing him to pull her down with him, sitting in his lap. For five minutes they just sat there, for once not aware of each other’s appeal, all their attention being channeled onto focusing on the cave’s mouth. Just as Allura was beginning to think this was just a ploy of Lotor’s, a twig snapped, something heavy had trampled over it.
The two froze, not even daring to breathe as they waited. No more revealing footsteps sounded, the walker now taking extra care in his tread. And then…then the clone appeared, bathed in sunlight, as he stood before the cave. Gazing into it’s maw, he gave it a quick once over before moving on.
Lotor’s hand slid from her mouth, but neither spoke, fearing he would hear, and return. “You…you think it’s safe?” She finally whispered, as he relaxed his grip on her.
“No…no it’s not…” He whispered, a light chuckle emitting from his lips.
“How…how can you tell?”
“Because…” His breath tickled her ear. “He’s ME.” He smiled, as he felt her shiver.
“Wh…what…” She asked, not liking his answer. He was supposed to be reassuring her, not scaring her witless!
“It’s a trap.” Lotor explained, reaching out to finger the curls that framed her face. “He wants to lull us into believing it’s safe…” When she didn’t protest, he grew bolder, transferring his fingers to her smooth skin.
“How can you be so sure he knows we’re in here?”
“For one thing, he didn’t even bother to search the cave.” He continued to caress her face. “We weren’t hidden very well. And Drules can see very well in the darkness.”
“Like…like a cat?” murmured Allura, thinking of Lotor’s golden eyes…beautiful, and so
expressive one moment, guarded the next.
“Hmm yes, I suppose so.” He agreed. “We also have amazing hearing. If he somehow missed spotting us, he should have heard the rapid beat of your heart…” His fingers lightly traced the pulse in her neck. “The breath…escaping past your lips…” Now he gently rubbed her lower lip.
“You’re…you’re making that up.” It had always been a nervous habit of hers to wet her lips…and she did it then, tasting him.
“Am I now?” Lotor asked, amused as she shook her head, quickly moving away from his hand, only to end up pressing closer against his body.
“Yes…yes you are…” She blushed. It was only a brief taste, but she was surprised he had tasted of…berries…not at all like the blood and ashes, she assumed a violent warrior should be associated with. “No one can hear a heartbeat that far away!”
“No one?” His hand hovered over her neck again. “No one human perhaps. Tell me, my beautiful Allura..” He felt the goose pimples his touch caused to rise on her flesh. “In all your books, the lessons your Nanny forced you to study…” His hand slipped lower, playing across her collarbone. “All those different cultures, the how to and how not, of customs and courtesy when dealing with interplanetary dignitaries…did they ever let you study up on MY people, the Drules?” His hand paused, hovering over her chest.
“There was no point.” Allura said, eyes tightly closed, having to force herself to not lean into his touch. She wondered if he wore some form of aphrodisiac…activated through scent…but smell did not carry beneath the water’s surface…
“No point?” He sounded insulted. “Because everyone views us as uncivilized, conquest driven savages?” He sighed. “No, you never bothered to study up on your enemies…so you have no idea what we’re capable of…what I am…how I can read you…the flush of your cheeks, the heat of your body…the way your scent carries your moods…your heart…beating for me…” He placed his hand on her breast, not fondling but resting against the skin…feeling for the heart’s vibration…as if in response to him, it began beating faster, thumping a message against his skin’s nerves.
“I…I…” Touch, it had to be touch. She just couldn’t believe that she would be reacting this way on her own…not to the son of the man who had killed her father.
“Yes…you…?” His other hand gently gripped her chin, turning her face towards his.
“I…” His breath was on her face. She realized he meant to kiss her, and panicked. “I have to go–NOW!!” Allura leapt to her feet, rushing forward into the light.
“Oh no, Allura!” Loto caught her easily enough, pulling her back into the shadows. “It’s not safe out there!”
“It’s not safe IN here!” She cried, beating her fists against his chest.
“What are you talking about?” Lotor was very confused. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Yes you are!” Allura insisted, burying her face against his chest. Her shoulders shook, and she let out a little sob, causing Lotor’s soul to twinge in pain, responding to her suffering, even though he couldn’t comprehend these sudden mood swings of hers.
“This is all a big game to you…” She murmured.
“Isn’t it?” She demanded sharply. “Playing with my feelings…you’re just toying with me…I’m a diversion to you, and a passing one at that!”
“Don’t say that!” exclaimed Lotor. “I love you! Enough so, that I would lay down my life for you!”
She snorted. “Your life yes, but not stop your attacks on my planet.”
“Oh, I see what you’re doing.” retorted Lotor. “Falling back on that old argument, because you’re too afraid to face what you’re feeling.”
“You don’t know anything!”
” I know you’re commitment shy!” He snapped. “By the Gods, Allura! What is with you and this emotional roller coaster?! One minute you’re up, the next you’re down…why don’t you make up your damn mind about how you really feel, and stop toying with me!”
“I’M toying with you?” She scoffed. “Just because I don’t react the way you want me to…” Allura trailed off. One of the disadvantages to growing up in a sheltered lifestyle was that it had left her ill prepared to deal with the opposite sex…especially on anything approaching an intimate level. And if no one had sat her down, and explained to her all the turbulent joys and sorrows of love, then no one had ever tried to explain to her why she might be having warm tingly feelings for a man she knew as her enemy. “I’m leaving!” She hissed, deciding this was the only way to put an end to her turbulent emotions. “And you won’t stop me Lotor!” She dodged his hands, and stepped away.
“Where are you going to go Allura?!” demanded Lotor. “He’s out there somewhere!”
“Whoever that is, is probably long gone!” She backed away from Lotor. “I think this is just a lie of yours to keep me near!”
“You are sadly mistaken on that account, my dear.” Lotor advanced forward.
“Stay back!” She unhooked her laser pistol from her belt.
“You’re not going to stop me! Now back off!” She ordered.
“Fine.” He said tightly.
“And don’t try to follow me!” She added. “I have more than enough blasts left in this catridge to deal with you.”
“Fine.” He repeated. “Go ahead and leave.”
“I will…” Keeping a wary eye on him, Allura backed out of the cave. Once outside, she turned and ran off into the brush.
“Stupid!” Lotor muttered, watching her go. “So stupid!” He was not sure if he was talking about her or him.
He heard a noise, and glanced in it’s direction. From behind the trunk of an oak, the clone emerged. The two men made eye contact, and a smirk spread across the clone’s lips. “Don’t interfere with me!” The clone screamed into his mind, and then, having issued the order, the clone slinked off. Apparently he had dismissed Lotor as any form of threat. He didn’t even give him a backwards glance, as he took off after Allura.
Open mouthed, shocked from the insult of being ignored, Lotor stood there, watching him go. One gloating thought of being right, passed through his mind. “I knew it! I knew he was there! Waiting for us…for her…” The thoughts of the clone getting his hands on Allura, sprung Lotor into action. Issuing a scream of challenge, he rushed off after them.