Allura and the other females, ten in all, were lined up single file, wrists cuffed together. A long metal chain was linking the slaves to each other. Mika’s ship had been docked in the castle’s private hanger, the women led off it by an armed escort. The princess paused, staring longingly at the spot she had parked her Lion in. The urge to make a run for it was strong, though she knew it was currently an impossible dream to fulfill. Several others turned to see what had captivated her attention, but to them, the invisible Lion was just a blank wall, not even near a door or window to freedom near it.
“Keep moving!” ordered Salteris, a gesture from him causing the chain to be jerked forward. The women were yanked forward, fast and hard, bumping into each other’s backs. Caught unaware, Allura tripped, just managing to keep from scraping her knees against the floor.
“Careful there.” advised Humi, her hands a steadying source of comfort to Allura. “That was too close…”
“Yes.” nodded Selina. “Lord Mika is known for presenting the best to his clients. He doesn’t like any visible flaws on his pleasure slaves. Knees will heal given time, but that would have gotten you tossed out of the party.”
“What a terrible thing that would be.” Humi said sarcastically.
“I’ll be sure to be more careful.” Allura said, her skin a shade paler than it had been before her near mishap.
“Just put one foot in front of the other.” advised Selina. “We’re almost there.”
Exactly my sentiments.
thought Allura. Almost there.
The bachelor party procession was led through the castle, allowing Allura to see more of than she had even managed to see during her stint as a kitchen maid. All too soon they were outside the room the night’s celebration was being held in. Handcuffs were unlocked, wraps removed. Allura’s face was a blazing bright red as the guard’s eyes fell upon her body. It wasn’t often she got too display this much flesh! The one time she had dared to wear a bikini, Nanny had publicly reprimanded her. She had then been dragged back inside, and the bikini was tossed into the castle’s incinerator.
If only her Nanny could see her now! Her top was no skimpier than her long gone bikini top, made of a silver colored vinyl that clung to her breasts, as form fitting as a second skin. Bright green thread, chosen to match her contacts, etched out leave shaped designs on the vinyl. A similar pattern was over her hips, a opague skirt of smoky white descending from the belt, falling across the front and back of her legs. The skirt was see through, designed to show rather then hide her legs, and was slit open on both sides, revealing her thighs. She was barefoot, and had little jewelry, aside from some silver armlets. A veil, similar to her skirt, was over her mouth. The black strands of her botched dye job had been woven into intricate little braids, with colored beads tied to their ends.. Most of the braids had been tied back, her blond hair flowing in a loose waves.
Shivering, she rubbed her arms, astonished to discover how slick with sweat her palms had become. I’m more nervous than I thought.
“Good, you’re here!” Mika, this time dressed in a color scheme of purple and orange, stepped out into the hall. Before the doors flew shut, Allura heard music playing, loud voices, many sounding drunk, talking and laughing. “They’re getting restless.” He had a pained look on his face. “Zarkon is egging them on.”
Allura felt ready to jump out of her skin. She hadn’t been prepared to run into the tyrant, especially not dressed like this!
“King Zarkon is acting like a prepubescent boy.” Mika continued.
“Heh…who knew the old fart still had it in him to be interested in anything besides conquest!” snickered Salteris.
“What he has is about a gallon of alcohol pumping through his system.” Mika looked disgusted. “That man can drink like a fish!”
A particular loud scream of, “Bring on the women!” echoed out into the hallway. Loud approving cheers erupted, some of the men taking up the chant.
“Nobles!” Mika rolled his eyes. “Get them drunk and most reveal themselves to be just as insipid as the common man.”
“No reason to keep them waiting.” Salteris said. “The ladies are ready to put in an appearance.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” Mika said fussily. He began going down the line, adjusting outfits, rearranging hair, urging big smiles from everyone. “Oh yes…” He breathed upon reaching Allura. “I knew lurking underneath that drab dress there had to be a real woman!”
“The Prince should be very pleased.” Salteris said over Mika’s shoulder.
“Hmm…yes…” Mika frowned. “If he wasn’t mopping about in a bad mood, I’d say you were right. At this point, I’m not sure if anything could put a smile on his face.”
“I bet I could!” Selina whispered into Allura ear’s once the two men had moved away from them.
Prepare to lose that bet.
Allura thought. She felt pretty confident only SHE could make Lotor happy. She wondered what had upset him so. The last time she had seen him, he had certainly seemed to be enjoying himself…enjoying Corral’s company…Don’t start getting jealous now! She ordered herself.
“Okay, show time ladies!” Mika clasped his hands together. “Do your best to dazzle them!”
Allura thought grimly, recalling the little speech Salteris had given them earlier. How they better behave and do whatever asked of them. Or else risk their disobedience being punished with a beating later on.
The doors were pulled open, and the women rushed into the room. Allura let out a startled squeak as a grinning Salteris goosed her rear as she passed by him. “Smile.” He said tauntingly in reply to the murderous glare she shot his way.
Lotor sat off to one corner in the dimly lit room, trying to ignore the smoke issuing out of many different pipes. The smoke offended his sense of smell, as did most of the men in here, talking too, too loud. He reclined in a leather chair, wine goblet in one hand, although for once he did not feel like drinking. Not even the fact Anador had stockpiled plenty of Lotor’s favorite brand of Tyrusian wine could get the Prince too indulge himself.
If anyone were to ask, he would outright admit he was sulking. Not that anyone was paying that much attention to him. They were to focused on having a good time, perhaps smart enough to know not to get the young Prince started on his lengthy list of grievances. The arrival of Lotor’s father, rather than help his mood, only made an already tense situation a million times worse! Zarkon hadn’t come to Demos with any intentions of saving Lotor from this farce of a marriage. Instead coming here to witness the union become official, bringing even MORE guards into the castle. Zarkon claimed he did not feel safe with Anador’s men, insisting on allowing Drule soliders into the castle, for his protection. The castle was crawling with them, making Lotor’s chances for a successfully escape creep ever closer to zero percentile rate.
He sighed morosely, staring at the red liquid. It was several shades too dark to match Corrals’ hair, but still he could not help being reminded of her. His bride to be. How funny that sounded, especially given the fact Corral was now refusing to talk to him! Even in the presence of their fathers, she ignored him. It was ironic given that was how he had treated HER for most of his time cloistered here. But she went even further, acting like they were complete strangers! He couldn’t blame her for being paranoid. Given the chance he would most likely attempt to sweet talk the princess onto his side, all in another escape plot. One that would probably fail…
At last he took a gulp of his drink, the bitter sweet liquid tasting like ashes on his tongue. He was still on his first glass, while everyone else…it was accurate to say none of them seemed capable of holding their liquor. Even the Demosian King was overindulging. At first Anador had tried to hold back, but then pride got to him, when Zarkon challenged him to a drinking contest.
Was it strange to feel all alone in a crowded room? At one’s bachelor party no less? He didn’t know anyone here, big surprise. It was a small crowd, only a select few had been invited. All close to his father’s and Anador’s age. He didn’t even know why they bothered to have him here. Except for earlier introductions, no one had tried to speak to him, or even look his way. The guest of honor was being completely ignored! For all intents and purposes, the glowering prince gave off the aura of a man condemned to death. No one wanted his misery to spoil THEIR good time!
So caught up in his thoughts, Lotor failed to notice when the slave girls were brought in. He finally tore his gaze away only because the shouting grew loud enough to drown out the music. Ten women, swaying their hips in time to the beat, arms gesturing as they danced. They must have been at it for some time, for the choreographed number was coming to an end, the females separating. Bouncing over to the men, laughing and flirting, touching and groping. His father was laughing, bright eyed, and grinning like the idiot Lotor KNEW he was, chasing some poor girl about the buffet table.
He was debating if he should get up and intervene on her behalf, when an exposed stomach planted itself in front of his face. He blinked and looked up, the woman’s massive breasts obscuring her face. All thoughts of coming to the other woman’s rescue evaporating from his mind, his reasoning being his father would just latch onto some other, undeserving girl.
He thought, as the woman dropped down to her knees, blue hair falling forward to brush against her large assets Even a condemned man deserves a last meal. And he intended to enjoy his last night as a single man to it’s fullest potential.
“Would the Prince enjoy a private dance?” The woman was asking. He gave a slight bow of his head, silently indicating yes.
Giggling, she stood, pulling off the lacy veil on her right shoulder. Lotor correctly guessed she was about to do the Dance of the Seven Veils. She wasn’t the best dancer, but her enthusiasm made up for it. She pulled out the second, longer veil from between her breasts, throwing it over his head. It slid down his hair, ending up around his neck, and she pulled it tight with her hands, reeling herself in. Face to face, she boldly claimed his lips with her, before she released him, and continued on with her dance.
She was down to her sixth veil, the gauzy material that acted as the front of her skirt, when something gold caught his eye. He frowned, trying to ignore it. Why should he be concerned with anything else when there was a beautiful woman in front of him?
And yet now that it had gotten his attention, he kept being distracted from his blue haired siren. Till at last he had to tear his eyes away to get a better view of the gold thing. It turned out to be another slave girl, with golden blonde hair making her way towards him. She was making slow progress, having to dodge the clutches of the randy old men. For the most part they left her alone, intent on harassing some of the other women. A few this blonde slave had to actually speak to, making Lotor wonder what she said to get them to back off. Her spunkiness intrigued him, and annoyed his dancer.
The blue haired amazon, uttered a torrent of admonishments at him, playfully reprimanding him for looking elsewhere. He was only half listening to her, missing how she narrowed her eyes, jealous of the distraction. She slipped another veil around his neck, jerking him almost painfully hard out of his seat, plastering him against her bosom. Lotor didn’t mind, almost entirely forgetting about the other slave girl. Her blonde hair had been a painful reminder of what he was about to lose tomorrow, marriage to Corral blocking Allura from him forever. He sighed, the blue haired slave’s fingers in his hair. It would be all too easy to let this Amazonian soothe away his heartache.
“Excuse me…” A voice said, soft and innocent, yet there was an inherent strong quality to it.
“Go away Rommie!” hissed the woman clutching Lotor to her.
“The prince has already made his choice for the night.” The woman said possessively, perhaps sensing Lotor wouldn’t punish her for daring to assume she knew what was on his mind. And did it really matter? Lotor didn’t want some pale imitation of Allura. He wanted the real thing! And if he couldn’t have her, then he’d go for a woman that was completely different from her in looks and personality.
“Yes, go away.” ordered Lotor. “I have what I want.” Then why did he sound so miserable?
“Lotor!” gasped the slave, her pain a mirror of his. “I…”
“I said go away!”
“Beat it Rommie! Go work one of the other guys…I see King Zarkon is all alone over there…”
“NO!!” Instead of backing away, she took a step closer, and inhaled deeply. “Lotor no irrusu?” She spoke spoke slowly, but clearly. “O…Oserbalim?” She had spoken in Drule! He pulled out of the blue haired dancer’s embrace to gaze at the woman who knew his language.
“There is not many humans who can converse in Drule.” He replied, also speaking in Drule. “Where have you learned it?”
“I’m not…” She stumbled over the pronunciation, not knowing the word for fluent. “Good at it. Only know a little.”
“Still it’s impressive.” Lotor replied. Humans didn’t bother to learn Drule, claiming it was too hard, their tongues no being made to be able to pronounce some of the sounds. These days no one even bothered to learn other planet’s languages. Everyone used Basic to communicate with aliens. And even then there was still miscommunication problems, only a small amount of people on each planet bothering to educate themselves in Basic.
Selina, not being able to follow their conversation glared at Rommie. Her cheeks were red with anger over being ignored so easily. “I said go away!” Her voice was dripping with danger, eyes full of threats.
“No!” Lotor snapped, glaring at Selina. “I would converse with this girl.”
“Leave us!” ordered Lotor. It was direct enough for her to not dare pretend she misunderstood. Not having anything else to recapture his attention with, she was forced to concede defeat to Rommie. With a muffled curse, she hurried away from the pair, mingling into the crowd of guests.
“Now explain.” Lotor said in basic, not bothering to switch back to Drule. “How did you learn Drule?”
She started to reply in Drule, but he told her to speak in the language she was more comfortable with. She chose Basic. “From an…acquaintance…a friend…”
“A lover?” Lotor asked teasingly. He couldn’t see her face underneath that veil, so missed seeing how she reddened over his words.
“No…” She vigorously shook her head. At least…not yet… She thought, feeling a tad naughty. “Just a friend.”
“I see. So no jealous boyfriend to come after me if I do this!” He suddenly reached out, grabbing hold of her. He sat back down, pulling her into his lap. She let out a startled squeal, goose pimples breaking out on her arms. Chuckling, Lotor grazed the back of her shoulders with a kiss. He smiled as he felt her shiver.
“Somehow I don’t think you worry much about what a boyfriend’s reaction would be.” She said softly.
“Hmm…yes…you know me so well…” Upon closer inspection, he noted her hair wasn’t completely blond after all. She had black braids interwoven into her blonde mane. He took one between his fingers, playfully tugging on it. “There’s not many men I’m scared of.” He smiled, his first real smile of the night. “I actually haven’t met the man who could cause me to fear him.”
“Well, what about a woman?”
“A woman?” He repeated musingly. Normally he would say something chauvinistic, but for some reason he felt compelled to speak truthfully. “Well, there is one…but I don’t fear her…not in the way you mean.”
“Oh?” She blinked. “Then in what way?”
“It’s the intensity of my feelings for her that frighten me so.” He said this so softly, almost as though he was speaking for his benefit alone. “I never dared believe I could care so much, love someone so deeply…”
“Are you talking about Princess Corral?” The question jarred him to the nerve.
“What? NO!!” He protested vehemently. “I could NEVER feel that for her!”
But he didn’t say her name. “What does it matter now? I’m getting married tomorrow.”
“To someone you don’t love.”
“Yes…” He let out a deep sigh. “Someone I’m not even sure I like very much…”
“Then don’t marry her.”
Lotor laughed, though the bitter pain in it made her think the sound was more suited to sobbing. “If only it was that simple.”
“You wouldn’t understand. You CAN’T. What do slaves understand about royal obligations?” Lotor asked. “Of duty to your people/”
“I understand a lot better than you could imagine.” She let out a world weary sigh. “What about duty to your heart?”
“My heart…” repeated Lotor.
“If you could choose, who would you marry? Your true love?”
“Aren’t you the persistent one!” Lotor cried, burying his face in the nape of her neck. “I grow tired of this conversation. It only serves to depress me.” He kissed her neck, arms circling around her waist, pulling her tighter against his chest. “Why talk of such things, when there are better things to do with our mouths…” His hands were moving, everywhere, stroking her bare midriff, the tops of her breasts…
She let out a little cry of dismay, but refused to be distracted. “If you..” She squirmed, trying to ignore his wandering hands. “If you could choose, would you marry a princess?”
“I AM marrying a princess.” He said somewhat impatiently. He grasped her arms, twisting her around so they were face to face. “Now enough! Speak no more about this!”
“Or would…” She continued, ignoring his pleas. Her hands reached up to her veil. “Marry someone…” She pulled down the veil, exposing pouty lips he knew all to well, a small button nose he found very cute, cheeks that were not overtly skinny, but had a pleasant fullness to them. A face he had dreamed about for a thousand nights since having met her. “Like me?”