Pause 17

The water in the bathtub was rapidly cooling. It didn’t help the shivers that was going through Allura’s body, the princess lingering inside the tub. She was more than a bit dismayed to have discovered Lotor had left with her clothing. Even worse, he had yet to come back, not even to offer her an alternative to her clothing dilemma. She began to wonder if he meant to keep her from running in a different way, Allura knowing there was no way she would attempt an escape so long as she was naked. And with that thought she began to grow angry, feeling something very much like hate fester within her.

She found herself damning Lotor. It wasn’t the first time, and she very much thought it wouldn’t be the last. Any act of kindness he had done her in treating the cuts on her hands was now lost to her fury over losing her clothes.

When she sneezed, Allura decided enough was enough. It was time to get out of the cold bath. The room’s door was closed, and she quickly began exploring, but not before she slipped a large towel around her body. Another one wrapped up her hair, Allura opening the cabinet over the sink and looking for something to use against Lotor. But he had planned ahead. There was no clippers, no scissors, not even anything with a spray she could pump into his face.

She found herself grumbling, searching around the bathroom for any other hidden cabinets. But the tub, grand and huge in size, took up most of the space. There simply wasn’t much room for anything, hidden or otherwise to exist. Her expression turned disgruntled, Allura adjusting her towel around her as she glanced at the door. Lotor hadn’t locked it, there was no reason for her to delay leaving the bathroom any longer. But she was loathe to face him, especially when she was at such a disadvantage.

In the end, Lotor took the decision out of her hands. Entering the bathroom, his eyes did a slow travel from head to toe and back again of her body. She seethed in response, giving him a stone face look at his blatant lack of respect. But why should she be surprised, he had always been so disrespectful when it came to her body!

“What have you done with my clothes?!” Allura demanded, crossing her arms over the towel.

“Those frumpy old things?” Lotor asked. “I had them burned.” Her jaw dropped, Allura shocked at his audacity.

“What am I supposed to wear then?!” She wasn’t reassured by his smirk, Lotor practically licking his lips as he looked her over once more.

“The towel is a good choice.” He said at last. “Or perhaps you’d prefer the silk of my bed sheets?”

“Neither!”

He shrugged. “Of course you could always lounge about nude.” A smile to show how much he liked that thought.

“I would never do that!”

“Why not?” Lotor asked. “I keep my room at a comfortable enough temperature. You wouldn’t catch a cold.”

“That isn’t an issue as you’re well aware of!” Allura exclaimed. “You can’t possibly be thinking of depriving me of clothing this entire trip!”

A smirk, and then Lotor was turning his back on her. “It would certainly cut down on the escape attempts, wouldn’t it?” With that he walked out of the bathroom. Allura’s jaw dropped, and then quickly closed. Something very much like an angry moan escaped her, Allura fuming as she realized her earlier guess was right. She wanted to scream, to kick something. She settled for stalking out of the bathroom, and immediately glaring at Lotor.

“This is inhumane treatment and you know it! I have rights!”

“Inhumane? Hardly.” Scoffed Lotor. “I’ve cleaned you, I’ve tended to your wounds, and I’m about to feed you. I’ll even let you sleep a few hours in my bed provided you behave yourself…”

“Sleep?” Another suspicious look, one that made Lotor laugh. “With or without you?”

“With me of course.” Lotor smiled, but she wasn’t charmed by that expression. “‘I’ll hold you close, and keep you safe in my arms.”

“Your arms is the last place I’d be safe in on this ship!” Allura exclaimed.

“Regardless of what you think, in my bed and in my arms is exactly where you’ll be sleeping.” Lotor was calm in the face of her agitation.

“You’re not giving me any choices!”

“Oh? I wasn’t aware prisoners had those.” Lotor walked over to the table, the cart from earlier situated next to it. “Allura, once you would have been my honored guest. I would have turned the galaxy on it’s head to please you…to cater to your every desire…” He began to uncover the plates on top of the cart, though at first Allura paid no mind to what he was doing.

“And now?” Even to herself she sounded anxious.

“And now, if I was you, I’d focus on rebuilding the trust between us.” Allura scoffed at that. “Getting me to trust you is the only way you’ll earn back certain….privileges.”

“Like the right to wear clothes?” She demanded heatedly. He nodded, earning another scoffing sound from her. “You do realize how insane this all is?” He glanced at her, but his expression was devoid of any understanding. “You’re not even treating me like a person but…but a thing…an object….some toy for you to do with as you please!”

“Maybe this experience will let you better appreciate what I have to offer you.” Lotor was calm as he said that. “It’s a lot better to be my bride than to be as you put it, a toy.”

“Somehow I doubt it.” Allura grumbled under her breath. Lotor was moving things from the cart onto the table, and now her eyes were drawn to the things he handled. And with it, her stomach practically growled, Allura’s mouth watering as she realized it was food. And what a feast it was, all manners of delicacies on the cart. It almost looked as though Lotor had had the ship’s cooks make a little of everything available onboard the ship, though surely that was an absurd thought.

“Come Allura…you must be famished.” Lotor was smiling, having noticed her reaction to the food. She blushed in embarrassment, and quickly shook her head no.

“I’m not hungry.”

A disbelieving look was flashed her way. “Do you honestly expect me to believe that?”

“It doesn’t matter what you believe, I’m not eating!”

He frowned. “And what purpose would that serve?” He set down a plate, and began to walk towards her. “Allura, if you don’t eat, you will become hungry and weak. You will suffer, what’s more the baby you carry will suffer….”

“What do you care about my baby?” Allura asked. His lips flattened into a thin line. She could tell he was holding back some biting remark.

“I don’t.” He said flatly. “But I care about you.” She scoffed again, and Lotor sighed. “If you don’t eat, I will tie you up again.”

“You wouldn’t!” She gasped, though Allura wasn’t that surprised. “You…you fiend!”

“I’ll do it, Allura.” Lotor warned. “And then you’ll be truly helpless.” His look was unreadable then. “Wouldn’t it be better to have your hands and legs free. It would give you the illusion of being able to fight back.”

“I’d fight you even tied.” Though her voice sounded uncertain.

“I’ll make a deal with you.” Lotor began. “No more ropes for the remainder of this trip. And all you have to do in return is eat what I provide for you.”

“How about you throw some clothes in on that deal!” Allura demanded.

“I don’t have to make deals with you.” He reminded her. “I could tie you up, and force feed you.” She flashed him a dark, challenging look. It earned her a sigh. “Fine…I’ll let you have bathrobe. But that’s the best you’ll get for now.”

It wasn’t her ideal solution, but a bathrobe would be infinitely better than a towel she had to keep adjusting. “Fine.” She gave him a stiff nod, Allura walking over to the table. Lotor pulled out her chair, Allura rigid as she sat down on it. She ignored his closeness, and the way he paused to touch her bare shoulders. Instead Allura focused on the food on the table, inhaling the rich, tantalizing aromas. This time her stomach did growl, much to her embarrassment.

“At least your body is honest.” Lotor murmured in her ear. She flushed even more.

“If I’m hungry, it’s because some brute had me kidnapped, then neglected to feed me for so many hours!”

“That brute is working to amend that oversight.” Lotor was unperturbed. He stroked down her bare arms with his hands, and she shivered. She continued to stare at the table, and eventually noticed there was no knife or fork for her to use. It figured Lotor wouldn’t trust her with one of those, after her attack with a glass shard. Allura tried not to lose herself to fantasies of how much damage she could have done with a knife.

“And how am I supposed to eat?” Allura demanded. “I can’t even cut the meat.”

“I’ll do it for you.” He stayed pressed behind her, his arms having a longer reach than hers. A knife was procured from the cart, and he began slicing into some meat that was juicy, succulent, and well cooked on the inside. He didn’t just carve slices off, Lotor went to the trouble of cutting them into smaller, bite size pieces. Ones she’d have no trouble handling with her fingers. But it made her angry to have to rely on her hands and fingers to feed herself, Allura sullen as she ate.

Lotor kept right on standing behind her, fingers caressing up and down her arms. It was distracting, Allura trying not to shiver in response. “Stop that.”

“Stop what?” Lotor asked, trying for an innocent tone of voice.

“That!” She exclaimed, when he nipped at the nape of her neck. She hadn’t gotten all the drops of water off her, Lotor finding a damp spot and licking up the moisture. It made her sputter, Allura nearly choking on her drink. Lotor began rubbing her back, voicing concern about her reaction. “I’ll be fine once you stop touching me!”

No voice response to that, though Lotor finally took mercy on her and came to sit besides her rather than stand behind her. Of course he sat too close, his bare leg touching hers. His loosely belted robe fell open, flashing a generous amount of thigh. Allura quickly averted her eyes before she saw anything else.

“Aren’t you going to eat?” Allura asked, trying for a conversation topic that would be safe.

“Maybe later.” Lotor demurred.

“You’re not hungry?”

“Oh I’m plenty hungry.” The way he drawled out those words had her glancing at him, Allura catching the sudden heat in his gaze. “But it’s not for food.”

She choked again, then stammered. “I..I won’t sleep with you!”

“Going to sleep is the last thing on my mind.” Lotor told her. He was trying to sound reassuring, but it had the opposite effect on Allura.

“Is sex all you think of?” She wanted to know.

“No, it’s not.” Lotor said. He seemed to be hesitating with something. She turned back curiously to him, but he offered no further explanation. She ate some more, feeling increasingly nervous. Her headache was coming back, stronger than the faint strains that had existed earlier in the bath.

She chewed another piece of meat, the silence lingering between them. It wasn’t a silence she wanted to fill. So she concentrated on her meal, noticing everything had a generous amount of garlic sprinkled into it. It made her wonder if the Drules favored garlic for some reason, but she didn’t ask Lotor that.

The silence was getting to her though, Allura finding her nerves were increasing during it. Especially with Lotor just watching her, his avid interest focusing on her mouth and the dainty bites she took of her meal. She noticed the way his eyes seemed to dilate when she licked up stray sauce, and it disturbed her.

To the point she started to talk, Allura scrambling for a topic. Unfortunately for her, the first thing that came blurting out of her mouth was hardly safe, Allura instantly gasping. “What did you mean when you said that sometimes you think I’m the cruelest woman you know?”

Lotor looked at her a long moment, as though carefully considering what he was about to say. “Does it bother you to think someone could find you cruel?”

“Yes.” She answered honestly. He didn’t smile though. The silence that followed made Allura fidget, the girl finding her tongue was made looser in the face of it. “I’ve always tried to be a good person….always tried to do what was right, and to treat people fairly. I…” She trailed off at his snort, a questioning look filling her eyes.

“You’ve never treat me fairly.’ He told her. and her eyes widened.

“I…” But she couldn’t insist she had. “I treated you the way you’ve deserved!” A spike of anger in his eyes, Lotor narrowing them at her. “I have! You are a cold, callous Drule. A war mongering, planet invading, people enslaving dictator! You have committed so many crimes, I can’t even begin to list them all.”

“And that excuses you the right to deal with me on fair terms?” Lotor demanded. She wasn’t sure, shrugging helplessly. “You speak of treating people fairly. Was it fair to sign a document you had no intention of honoring?”

“That’s not a good example and you know it!” She exclaimed. “You had taken away my choices, left me with no other option but to sign your document or watch my world be enslaved!”

“I gave you the lesser or two evils….Arus was going to be conquered…it was up to you to see that it was done in a peaceful manner.” Lotor was cool as he retorted. “You should have honored the documents….”

“You should have known I would have never honored something I was forced into!” Allura told him. His eyes seemed to flash, the gold brilliant in the light. “There is no way I could condemn my people to a life under the heels of the Drule. Not if I could prevent it.”

“Those documents would have kept your people safe! You went over it with a fine tooth comb. You saw the allowances I made, the generosities I would have given your people!” She went silent at that, “Allura…signing that document was the best thing you could have done, for all concerned.” He sighed when she said nothing. “Why did you even agree to marry me if you had no intention of upholding the document?”

“It wasn’t a matter of agreeing.” She replied. “You had taken all my choices away. It’s the only reason why I would ever enter into a marriage with you.” A quirk of his lips, though he didn’t look happy at what she had said. He surely realized as well as Allura did that Lotor had once again placed her in a situation where her choices were being taken away from her.

But he didn’t point that out. Instead, in a soft tone, Lotor’s eyes rapt on hers, he asked her a new question. “Did you intend to go through with the marriage? To honor and uphold it?”

“Y….yes.” She answered truthfully. “I take those kind of vows very seriously. At the time, I had no way of knowing a rescue was coming. I was truly prepared to commit to you.”

Lotor seemed satisfied by that. “So if the captain hadn’t interrupted the ceremony…..you would have agreed to be mine?”

“Unequivocally.” She flatly answered.

He seemed to ignore the lack of emotions in her response. “And it would be the same if you were to marry me now?”

“But I don’t want to marry you!” She protested, then quickly added. “And you don’t want me. I’m…I’m pregnant…”

His eyes seemed to darken at that. “Ah yes, there is that….” Her anxiety seemed to increase, Allura not liking the look in his eyes. “When did you first realize you were pregnant?”

“When….?” She shrugged. “I first began to worry, to suspect something two weeks after my escape from you. I wouldn’t know for sure until a month later…” She recalled that time, the fear and anxiety. Pidge had been the one to procure an over the counter pregnancy test for her. Allura’s world had briefly ended when the test results confirmed her fears.

“You can’t imagine my fears…I spent months hiding my condition from everyone. I was afraid you see….afraid they would judge me, afraid they would hate me…” Too late did she think her words might be damning in another way.

“Why would they hate you?” Lotor asked. “What reason is there to judge?”

“It’s different for a princess…..at least on Arus.” Allura told him. “There is an image to maintain. An unwed mother….it would be frowned upon. What kind of role model would I be…pregnant and alone…carrying my enem…” She abruptly broke off, realizing she had said too much. Lotor gave her a knowing look.

“Carrying your enemy’s child? So there was a time when you believed the baby to be mine?”

Her jaw clenched, her answer coming out a hiss through gritted teeth. “Yes.”

“What changed?”

She fought not to answer, trying to change the topic. “The Voltron Force will come for me…”

“There’s little they can do.” Lotor looked annoyed at how she had ignored his question. “Even if the lions come, they are short a pilot. Our forces will make mincemeat out of them.”

“We’ve been training replacement pilots on all the lions.” She suddenly gasped, slapping her hands over her mouth. What was wrong with her to blurt out a secret Arus had been trying to keep?!

Lotor looked interested at that. “Replacement pilots? Not just for blue lion?”

She found herself nodding before she could stop herself. “We want to be prepared. Too long have we relied on miracles when one of the pilots is injured or incapacitated. We need to be better prepared, to have back up in case a current pilot can’t fight…We…” Allura shook her head, biting down on her injured lip so that the pain would force her to stop talking.

“Interesting…..so they’ll still be able to form Voltron, even with you here…” Lotor murmured. Allura nodded again, fighting not to make some gloating remark about how the Voltron force would tear apart his ships in an effort to rescue her. “I’m sure a great deal of men jumped at the chance to pilot the legendary lions….”

“Women too.” Allura said.

“I’m more interested in the men that may have been around you.” Lotor told her. “Tell me…are any of the pilots of Voltron….your lover?”

Her cheeks flamed, Allura shaking her head no. “No….no of course not.”

“Of course not?”

She tried to explain. “They’re my friends…my family…”

He smiled. “In other words, you don’t see them as perspective partners. They hold no sexual attraction for you.”

Now she was really blushing, Allura nodding miserably. “No…it’s not like that…they’re like brothers to me….” His smile widened even farther. “You don’t sleep with family.” Allura finished up lamely.

“Then who? Who did you sleep with?” Lotor demanded.

“You.”

“Besides me!!” He was impatient then. She fought to remain silent, Lotor’s frustration and questions agitating her. “Allura, did you dally with one of the people who have come for the chance to become a replacement pilot for the lions?”

“N…..no….”

“Then who was it? Who did you sleep with?” She started to turn away, Lotor catching her and forcing her to look at him. “Tell me. Who is the man that is the father of your baby?”

“Y….” Another bite of her lip, Allura squeaking in pain. Why did she feel like she wanted to tell the truth to each of his questions? The truth was dangerous, it would leave an opening for Lotor to stake his claim. On her, the baby, and Arus.

“Answer me, Allura!” ordered Lotor. “Tell me who else you slept with! Or was it so many you can’t remember?!”

“NO!” She was indignant then. “I am not some whore! You think I would take a lover lightly?”

“I don’t know what you’d do!” Lotor growled. “But the fact remains you’re pregnant, and insisting I am not the father. So that means you had to sleep with someone else!”

“You’d never make a good father for my baby!” She exclaimed. His expression turned even angrier. “It’s the truth!” Allura insisted. “Why would I ever let you be the father, when there is a dozen more men suitable to be one? You may have…” She gasped, and went silent.

“May have what?” Lotor was shrewd, seizing upon her words. “What were you going to tell me?”

Her headache was worsening, temples throbbing with pain. What’s worse nausea was upon her, the room seeming to spin. “Leave me alone.” She told him. “I need to think.”
“What’s there to think about?” Lotor demanded. “Answer my questions, Allura!”

She placed her hands to her head, frowning all the while. There was a strange compulsion upon her, one that made her come perilously close to answering everything honestly. She was chatty, words coming out too fast at times. She didn’t understand it, and she stared down at her plate. The food there was gone, she had eaten up every bite he had given her while Lotor had ignored his own appetite. It had seemed strange that he hadn’t wanted to eat with her, and now she gasped.

‘The food….you did something to the food!” She accused.

He didn’t even try to deny it, Lotor nodding. “A liberal lacing of Thiopental. It lowers the defenses, makes a person more honest and talkative.”

“Damn you!” Allura snarled. “Why would you do that?”

“You’ve told me things, things I needed definitive answers for. What’s more, I needed you to be truthful.” Lotor retorted. “It’s a dangerous for the child you carry to be sired by someone other than me….”

“Dangerous how?” Allura was fearful, dropping her hands to her stomach in a protective motion.

“I’ll spare you the details.” Lotor told her. “I can protect you Allura…protect you and the baby. But only if you’re honest with me.”

“I think I said more than enough this night.” Allura muttered.

“That’s up for me to decide.” Lotor retorted. “Now, I’ll ask you flat out. Am I the father of your baby?”

Shaking, she lurched to her feet. Lotor also rose, but not in time to stop her from making a run to the bathroom. He followed though, the door nearly hitting him in the face as she slid to a halt before the toilet. She began to gag and cough, trying to throw up the meal she had just eaten. Lotor barged in after her, glaring at her as she hovered over the toilet bowl.

“You won’t be able to hide the truth for much longer.” She didn’t even try to ask what he meant by that, too focused on getting the truth serum out of her. “I’m taking you to one of the Empire’s many worlds.” Continued Lotor. He began to speak on how they would perform a risky procedure, extracting DNA samples from the fetus growing inside her. It was the final push she needed to be sick enough to vomit up her dinner, Lotor making a disgusted sound before walking out of the bathroom.


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