Pause 21

She had been alone for hours. A good portion of that time had been spent hiding out in the bathroom. It was as close to a safe haven as she could get to, here on Lotor’s ship. But it was a safe haven that was flawed, Allura recognizing that sooner or later Lotor WOULD break down the door. Given his Drule strength, it would be an easy feat to accomplish. As much as Allura didn’t want to spend any more time with Lotor in close approximaty, she had known she would rather make the choice to leave the bathroom, then be dragged out kicking and screaming.

Fortunately for Allura, Lotor had not been waiting for her. That surprised her, Allura having assumed he’d wait her out inside the infinitely more comfortably bedroom. She didn’t linger long on wondering where he had gone, Allura hurriedly examining the room and it’s contents. The bar was back to being hidden, it’s awning locked into place so she couldn’t get at the glass bottles beneath it. His desk drawers were also locked, and the few papers that were left out, were either unimportant documents, or written in a language she could not decipher.

One thing she took advantage of was his open closet, Allura discarding the robe to slip into one of Lotor’s shirts. It was oversized on her, and had the faintest scent of Lotor’s skin. But she felt halfway to being decent again, the shirt almost like a short dress or tunic on her.

A meal was delivered, Allura watching suspiciously as the Drule servant began laying out the plates. The plates were paper, and absolutely useless for her to use in any way but holding her meal. The servant took the time to cut apart the bigger items, the only knife being taken out of the room once he was done. Allura grumbled and glared at the meal, loathe to eat it. But eventually her hunger won out, Allura grudging as she began to eat.

Every bite tasted like what she imagined sand to be, Allura too upset to take pleasure in the meal. She ate anyway, out of concern for her baby, not wanting to starve it just because she was in a bad mood.

By the time Lotor would come back to the room, she was done with the meal. Curled up in a chair that was as far away from the bed as she could get, Allura greeted Lotor with her most angriest of glares. He sighed in response, as though he had expected her to be in a better mood after hours spent apart.

“Well, at least you’re out of the bathroom.” He muttered, walking over to the table. There was still some food laid out, the cooling remains far more than Allura could have eaten in one sitting. Lotor began to help himself, lading a plate with choice tidbits. It was perverse, but she was pleased to see him eat. If only for the fact it confirmed that the food hadn’t been laced with any new drugs.

She continued to glare as he began to eat. He was not a messy eater, each bite and lick of the food a sensual experience. Her cheeks began to burn, Allura wondering if he was eating that way on purpose. She refused to let him get to her, Allura abruptly breaking the silence.

“Where are we?”

He didn’t answer right away, Lotor finishing off a piece of fruit that had it’s juices dripping down his hand. He actually licked up his way from wrist to palm, staring at her as he used his tongue. “We’re in the orbit of planet Sarook.”

“Sarook?” Allura wasn’t familiar with that world.

“It’s part of my Empire.” Lotor explained. “It’s been a Drule world for several decades now.”

No wonder she wasn’t familiar with it. If it had been settled by the Drule so long ago, the people must have grown compliant. She doubted they would rebel, having grown used to the Drules and their way. Allura knew there was many worlds in the Doom Empire, and for every world that tried to break away, there were others who were happy with their subjection. Planet Tyrus had been one of those worlds, the humans and Drules existing together in relative peace, and prospering under the Empire’s rule.

“Sarook is a safe world.” Lotor continued. Allura nearly snorted, knowing safe was a relative term. If Sarook was a happy part of the Doom Empire, than no one from the Galaxy Alliance would be able to go to that world without fear of harassment, capture or murder. Allura herself wouldn’t be safe on such a world, not as a visible figure in the resistance against Doom.

She sighed, realizing that if she were to attempt an escape on Sarook, she’d find no allies to aid her. If anything, if she stepped away from Lotor’s protection, the people of Sarook would prove a danger to her. She hated the idea of being so dependent on Lotor for her safety. Almost as much as she hated the idea of what would happen on Sarook.

“And this planet, this Sarook….this is where the procedure to ascertain the paternity of my child will be done?” She asked, trying to sound calm. Inwardly, Allura shuddered, not knowing what to expect in regard to the procedure. She just knew enough to know it was dangerous, a high risk involved towards her unborn child’s life.

“Yes.” Lotor nodded, setting down his plate. “Sarook is where the truth will come out.”

She almost bitten her lip then. “I’ve told you the truth….”

“No, you haven’t.” Lotor retorted. “You’ve told me a story…one I’m sure you wish was the truth.” Her cheeks flamed with an angry blush. Lotor didn’t look any happier. “Would it really be so bad? For me to be the father of your baby?”

She nodded. “You’re awful!”

He sighed, his lips turning down in a grimace. “What I do in public is different from how I am in private.” She snorted at that. “The dread prince of Doom is only one half of who I am….I am ruthless, yes, a killer, an invader of worlds. But I do so for the good of my people, to keep the Doom Empire thriving. But there are other sides to me….the attentive lover, the hopeful father. I could be so much more, WE could be so much more than just enemies. We could be a family, our marriage a partnership and friendship….”

“I’m not friends with people I can’t stand!” Allura snapped. “And Lotor, I despise you.”

“Your hate can be turned aside.” He replied. At some point he began inching his way closer to her chair. Allura stay seated, watching him like a hawk. Her body tensed, she was poised to flee, and yet she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of always running during their talks and arguments.

“No, it can’t.” Allura said out loud. “You’ve done too much. To me, to my people, to so many worlds.”

“That was war. It’s separate from what is between us.”

“There’s NOTHING between us!” Allura told him.

“There’s passion.” He ignored her scoffing sounds. “There’s attraction, many sparks of it. We can build on that.” She was shaking her head no, again and again. “There’s my love for you.” He said at last. “It may be one sided now, but if you just gave me a chance…”

“Lotor, you don’t even know what love is!” Allura was shocked to see he looked hurt at that, but she refused to soften to him.

“You’re wrong.” Lotor insisted. “I do know. I knew it with my mother. And I knew a different, more powerful kind of love when I began to know you.”

“How can you say you know me?” Allura wanted to know. “If we add up all the time we’ve spent in each other’s presence, I don’t think even a whole two weeks would add up, even with all the times you kidnapped me!”

“It doesn’t take long to recognize the other half of your soul.” Lotor said, seeming serious.

“How can you even say such a thing to me, and still maintain a straight face?” She demanded.

“Because it’s the truth.”

“HA!” She let out a rude snort. “And this is how Drules treat their soul mates? They stalk and kidnap them. They attack their planets. They drug and rape them!”

“I was desperate.”

“You still are!” She pointed out. “And you’re not at all sorry for what you did to me. What you continue to try and do!”

“What do you want me to say?” He asked.

“A sincere apology would be a good start.” She cut him off before Lotor could reply. “But we both know you won’t mean it. Oh I know. You’re sorry that drugs is what it took to sleep with me the first times, you’re sorry that I’m not willing. But you’re never sorry enough to stop. Or to let me go!”

“I can’t let you go.” Lotor quickly said, and she almost screamed. She still let out an infuriated sound, Allura even angrier.

“You don’t love me at all! That proves it!”

“It does not.” He protested.

“It does too!” Allura insisted, pointing a shaking finger at him. “If you love someone, you want what’s best for them.”

“But I’m what’s best for you!” Lotor’s sincere show of belief had her silent, Allura staring at him in disbelief. “And not just for you. But for your baby, and your people. Together, we could end this war between our worlds. Working with me, you could ensure your people are safe and happy. Arus would thrive under our rule…”

“What of the cost to the rest of the galaxy?” Allura asked. “I couldn’t in good conscience let the rest of the Denubian fall prey to your Empire…even if it meant giving Arus the peace it hasn’t had for the last eighteen years!”

“Why must you concern yourself so with other worlds?” Lotor was frustrated now. He ran a hand through his hair, badly mussing it in the process.

“I wouldn’t be a very good person if I turned my back on other people’s problems. I wouldn’t be the Allura you claim to love if I acted anyway else!”

His frustration didn’t diminish. “Don’t you ever get tired of worrying about other people and planets? Wouldn’t you like a reprieve from it all?” He crossed the last distance to her chair, dropping to his knees before her seat. “Allura, let me take care of you. Let me worry and let me be the one to shoulder the burden of decisions that are too hard for you….”

“Lotor….” She felt so tired then. “I couldn’t…I wouldn’t…because I know you would make the wrong ones. The selfish ones that would benefit your Empire at the expense of all others.”

“I could change…” Allura couldn’t even muster up the energy to make a rude sound. “You could help me…together we could usher in a new era for the Doom Empire and the Denubian Galaxy.”

“And what would your father think of that?” Allura asked, instead of answering his plea.

“That old fool? He can’t live forever.”

“So…I’m supposed to just wait until Zarkon dies before we can enact change?” Allura asked with a frown. Lotor nodded a yes. “Lotor, he could live for decades more! That’s years of suffering for far too many people!”

“But there would be an end to the suffering in sight. You’d just have to be patient.” He frowned when she shook her head no, a crafty look in his eyes. “Then the only other option is to help my father to his grave….”

Allura gasped. “Lotor!”

“Surely you don’t have any protests?” He arched an eyebrow at her. “It’s what the Alliance and Garrison has wanted to do for years.”

“But he’s your father…”

“If that is what it takes to get you willing, then he’s an obstacle I would be only too glad to remove for you.” Lotor told her, and she felt hot tears burn at her eyes.

“I don’t want to be with a man who can be so casual and accepting of killing his own father! Is that the kind of values you would pass on to your child?”

Lotor blinked, confusion coloring his eyes for one moment. “It would be different with our child. I’m not the man my father is…our child would love me…love us both…”

“The more you speak, the more I am convinced you are not the ideal candidate to be a father to any child!” Allura saw how that wounded him. A wound he was quick to hide with his anger, Lotor growling.

“You can’t know the future, and you refuse to get to know me! I can and will be a good father to your baby!”

“That baby isn’t even yours!”

“Oh we back to that lie then?” Lotor demanded harshly. He rose up off his knees, but didn’t move away from her chair. He placed his hands on the arm rests, and loomed over her. “I never would have thought you were so prone to lying, Allura.”

“You don’t know me as well as you like to pretend you do!” She shot back bravely.

“Hmph….you’re not a very convincing liar.” She gasped at that. “You never even one told me how you could know for sure the baby is not mine. Even if you slept with another man, a thing I highly doubt, you have no concrete proof that anyone else could be the father. But don’t worry, tomorrow we will know.” A ruthless smile was given her. “And then you will have no more lies to hide behind.”

She didn’t know what to say to that, partly because he was right. After the procedure, the truth really would come out. Lotor would know for sure he was the father of her baby. She’d be trapped even worse than she already was.

“Lotor….”

“I need a shower.” He announced, and walked away from her. The bathroom door would close behind him, Allura once again alone with her thoughts. She stayed huddled on the chair, hugging her legs to her as she shuddered. Time was running out, and she didn’t even know if the Voltron Force or Garrison was any closer to rescuing her. Or what was happening to her beloved Arus while Lotor dragged her around the galaxy to get the answers she refused to give him.

When Lotor walked out of the bathroom, he was only clad in a towel. She eyed him with a nervous look, Allura wondering if he meant to seduce her some more. But instead of coming to her, he walked to the bed. There he dropped the towel, Allura quickly averting her eyes before she saw more than his strong, muscled back and his firm buttocks.

“We’ll have a busy day ahead of tomorrow.” Lotor said, sliding in under the silken sheets. “I suggest you get some rest.”

“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.” Her voice was raw with honesty. “I’m…I’m scared.”

“Scared?” He sat up against the pillows. “Of what? The procedure?”

Let him believe that was the only fear she had, Allura nodding slowly. “It could hurt my baby…”

“There is that risk….” He agreed. “But I’m taking you to the best doctors Sarook has…they’ll minimize any risks to the baby you carry.”

“It doesn’t mean the danger is not still there.” She hugged her knees to her chest.

“If you had only been honest with me from the begginning, this test would never have been needed.” Lotor sighed. “And now it’s too late. If not me, then Haggar and my father will demand proof of paternity. There’s a great deal of interest in the child you carry….”

She felt even more miserable to hear that, Allura trying not to start crying. “What’s going on with Arus?” She hoped a change of topic would at least calm her down some.

“With Arus? Nothing much has changed.” Lotor told her. “The siege is still continuing. The lions are desperate to get off the planet, but our fleets’ barricade is making that impossible. They won’t be able to get past it in time to prevent us from returning to Doom. Hmph. They might as well give up now….”

“The Voltron Force would never just give up!” Allura exclaimed, alarmed. “They’ll keep trying and trying, until they find a way to beat Doom!”

“Pity for them there won’t be any way to defeat us. You know as well as I do, that once I get you on planet Doom, rescue will be impossible.”

“Nothing is entirely impossible…” She whispered, but Allura was fearful.

“The Alliance is pushing for the judge on Amestris to make a decision regarding the documents you signed.” Lotor said. “They feel your abduction should null and void the documents completely. The fools.” He snorted. “They don’t realize that even if that comes to pass, with you and your baby on Doom, the Empire will retain control of Arus. And with it Voltron.”

Allura was silent to that. She understood why the Alliance was pushing for a decision to be made. If they could overturn the documents, and rescue Allura, Arus would be one step closer to be free of Doom’s control. She didn’t feel hopeful, but Allura thought the Alliance must be planning something towards her rescue. Otherwise all the court manipulations would prove pointless in the end.

“Think about what I told you earlier.” Lotor ordered her. “Think about the future we could create if you worked with me rather than against me.”

“And where would Voltron fit into this?”

“That would be up to you to decide.” Lotor told her. He then patted the spot besides him. “Come to bed, Allura.”

“I’m not tired.” It was a lie, but as tired as she was, Allura didn’t think she’d be falling asleep any time soon.

“Come here Allura. I want to hold you.”

She gave him a look. “Now I’m definitely not going to bed.”

“Not even if I promise to do nothing more than hold you?” Lotor asked. She still refused him, the prince sighing. “I could force you, you know.”

“Yes, I realize that.” She was sad then.

“Don’t give me that look Allura.” Lotor sounded as though he was pleading. “It tears at my heart to see you so sad.”

She didn’t retort that he had no heart. But her response was just as cutting. “I think you will have to get use to the pain.”

“Is that a round about way of telling me you’ll never be happy with me?” Lotor asked, then growled at her yes.

“Go to sleep Lotor.” Allura advised.

“Only if you join me….” He was already moving to get out of the bed. His look was determined, Lotor staring purposefully at her. Allura didn’t want to lay down with him. Any more than she wanted to fight with him, or be carried against her will to that bed.

“Fine.” She sighed to show how exasperated she was. “But all we will do is sleep.” It seemed absurd to be dictating that to him. He was so capable of overpowering her, and they both knew it. But Allura felt better to see Lotor nodding in agreement, the prince holding out his hand to her. She ignored it when she reached the bed, climbing onto the mattress.

Lotor would settle in besides her, pulling the covers over them. Allura turned on her side, but Lotor still pulled her against him. She sighed, but resigned herself to spending another night in his arms, hoping he would be able to behave.


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