It wasn’t often that Lotor arrived early enough to breakfast to catch company with his meal. Most days he preferred it that way, Lotor never one for gossip and politics while he was eating. But this day was rare for him, Lotor walking into the private dining room and catching sight of Haggar the witch. She wasn’t the only one of his father’s inner circle that was present, several key advisors were there, surely eager to pester the King with matters of the kingdom.
Lotor wondered if Zarkon would even be interested in work, the Drule had after all just taken his bride the night before. The newness of Allura would not have worn off, and even if it had, after a night of sexual debauchery, he knew work would be the last thing on his father’s mind. Indeed, this morning was a rarity, Zarkon not having put in an appearance yet. Everyone talked about it, speculating whether he was still sleeping, or if he was engaging in the affections of his young bride.
Lotor felt sick to even think of his father touching Allura, his hand curling into a fist around the stem of his goblet. No one seemed to notice the way he glowered at his plate, Lotor tipping back the drink, and wishing it was something stronger. And yet even the most potent of wines hadn’t been able to numb him to the point of being unable to think, Lotor downing glass after glass in an attempt to forget what he father was doing. Or rather WHO.
He wasn’t sure how he had made it through all the wedding day festivities, the celebrations seemingly endless as ceremony after ceremony occurred. His father had gone over board, Zarkon sparing no expense in parading his new bride before the people. And they seemed to already adore her, judging by the reactions to Allura. He held back a snort, disgusted that his people could be so easily bought by a pretty face, even as Lotor knew that same face was working her magic on him.
Lotor didn’t like that he could not stop thinking about Allura, that he worried for her, and felt pity for her situation. Nor did he enjoy being plagued by thoughts of her in his father’s arms, enduring his kisses and lecherous touches. Such thoughts were enough to make him lose his appetite, Lotor aimlessly pushing his food around his plate. He hardly bothered to join the conversations around him, mustering up suitable sounds of noise in an effort to pretend he was listening.
It nearly worked until one of the advisors asked him point blank about something, Lotor realizing the conversation had stopped. Everyone was looking at him, waiting expectantly for his answer. An answer he couldn’t give, nor would he admit to having not heard the question, Lotor preoccupying himself with taking a long sip of his drink.
The sound of approaching footsteps saved him any further embarrassment, everyone turning to look at the soldiers entering the room. They wore the colors of his father’s personal guard, the men spreading out about the room. Haggar and the advisors were already rising to their feet, anticipating their king’s arrival. Lotor stood more slowly, taking care to finish off his drink as he waited for his father to walk through those doors.
He was of mixed feelings when he saw Zarkon enter alone, Allura not by his side. He wondered why, and worried his father had left the young Queen in no condition to move about the castle. His fears increased when two slaves entered with the bed sheets from the king’s bed, the royal silk stained in spots with blood. It was an old custom of the Drule to display the proof of the spent virginity of a noble’s bride. But this? There seemed more blood than should be possible for a torn hymen.
Haggar and the advisors were bowing to their King, Lotor so taken with the bed sheet he forgot his manners. It wasn’t until Zarkon turned to him, eyebrow arched in annoyance, that Lotor remembered to offer submission to the king. The scowl did not quite leave Zarkon’s face, but he nodded all the same, and moved to take his seat at the head of the breakfast table.
The slaves were hanging the silk on the near wall, it was custom to leave it displayed where any and all could come and see it. Once upon a time Drule custom had made use of the blood stained sheets as a table cloth for the wedded couple’s first breakfast together. That custom had fallen out of practice more than a hundred years ago, and Lotor found himself wishing the sheet itself had been abolished.
King Zarkon had the best silverware laid out before him, a slave girl selecting breakfast tidbits to place on his plate. Zarkon ignored the slave for the most part, grinning jovially at his companions. Lotor found himself wanting to wipe the grin off Zarkon’s face, knowing it was put there by whatever he had done to Allura.
“You seem in good spirits my king.” Haggar noted, lifting a withered date to her lips.
“And why shouldn’t I be, witch?” Zarkon demanded, never losing his grin. “I just spent the night with the most beautiful woman in all the galaxies. A woman who is my sole property, her every charm devoted to my pleasure alone. Of course I am happy!”
“Yes.” One of the advisors agreed, mirroring the king’s smile. “It would not take much effort to smile when you have one such as she in your bed.”
“Indeed.” Zarkon began to bite into a hunk of meat, his teeth chomping and gnashing, tearing apart the cooked flesh.
“And how is the young Queen?” Inquired the second advisor, a man with a reddish orange mohawk stripe down the center of an otherwise bald head. “Will she be joining us for breakfast this morning?”
“Aye she should.” Zarkon answered, smirking around his messy mouthful. “I left her to the tender care of her ladies. Other than shedding a few tears and some blood, she will be fine.”
“Oh?” Lotor could not help himself, seizing a foothold into the conversation. “Did you make her cry father?” His words came out sarcastic, Lotor not at all surprised Allura would have cried to be embraced by Zarkon.
“Virgins tears.” Grunted Zarkon, fixing Lotor with a look. “They are the best kind.” His annoyed look vanished, Zarkon displaying his fangs. “But then you would know all about that, wouldn’t you Lotor?”
Lotor nodded, knowing he had been fortunate enough to introduce several women to the pleasures of the body—his. And yet Lotor would bet the entirety of his private fortune that Zarkon had neither been nice nor gentle when taking Allura’s innocence.
“It’s even better when they cry.” Laughed the advisor with the mohawk. “Let’s you know they’re really feeling it.”
“Feeling what?” tsked Haggar with a disapproving look. “A skilled lover need not hurt his partner to make her feel anything.” The advisor scowled at her, not liking what the witch had said. Lotor chuckled behind his glass, stealing a look at his father who was still grinning.
“Of course, when you’re as generously endowed as we Drule are, we can’t help but hurt our human lovers.” Lotor lost all amusement then, trying to look anywhere but at his father. “And let me assure you…those who’ve never had a human before, the fit is like no other.” Zarkon going into detail about how it had felt when having sex with Allura was the last thing Lotor wanted to listen to, the prince inwardly scowling.
Haggar looked just as displeased as Lotor felt, though she raised no objections to what the king was saying. The two advisors sat up straighter, listening intently to Zarkon’s words.
“I could barely fit all of myself inside her…” continued Zarkon, his tone boasting. “Humans are so small, so delicate and fragile.”
“Did she scream a lot?” One advisor dared to ask, and Lotor shot the man a murderous look.
“Oh yes.” Zarkon chuckled then. “If it’s one thing my bride is not, it’s silent! Nearly busted my eardrums a few times, though the rest of me didn’t mind!” More laughter from the advisors, Lotor couldn’t tell if they really enjoyed this kind of talk, or were just pandering to their king.
“Ah you know what they say….” The first advisor began when the laughter died down. “Better she be vocal in bed, then vocal about the affairs of state!”
“Yes.” agreed the second Drule. “We do not need her getting ideas, making suggestions on how you should run your empire.”
“Didn’t you know?” Lotor broke in sharply. “Allura of Arus has no ambition, least of all where Doom’s throne is concerned.”
“That remains to be seen.” Muttered Haggar, laying her knife down.
“Oh? You think the new Queen will be trouble?” questioned one of the advisors, and everyone turned to stare at Haggar. She took her time answering, sampling the wine that was offered with the day’s breakfast.
“She just might.”
“I’ll keep her leash so short she won’t have time to do anything else but please me.” Zarkon replied, his grin hinting at just what sort of pleasing Allura would do.
“Even a leashed Queen still retains some power.” Haggar murmured cryptically, and Lotor wondered if she had had one of her visions. But before he could ask, Zarkon gave a dismissive snort, and footsteps heralded the arrival of the Queen’s entourage. The seven women piled into the banquet room, each one taking the time to curtsey to the king. Allura was the last to arrive, and all save for Zarkon rose to greet her, offering low bows of the proper amount of respect for one of her station.
Allura had yet to notice the stained bed sheets, dutifully walking towards her husband’s seat. Her path took her past Lotor, and he found himself unconsciously drawing in deep breaths in an attempt to smell her perfume. He wanted to scowl when he realized what he was doing, Lotor waiting impatiently for the signal that they could retake their seats.
When Allura placed a kiss on her husband’s cheek, Lotor had to fight not to make fists, his fingers twitching from the restraint he was showing. It grew worse when Zarkon turned his face to her, catching her on the lips with an open mouthed kiss. Allura stiffened at that, but to her credit did not jerk away, enduring Zarkon’s tongue. The advisors chuckled softly, and Haggar made a nose, shifting from foot to foot. Lotor glanced the witch’s way, and saw the displeased expression she wore, hinting that she wasn’t the only one unhappy with this union.
At last Zarkon was done forcing attention on his bride, Allura’s expression not betraying how relieved she felt to be able to separate from him. She turned to face the table, surely about to say some greeting, when her face paled noticeably. Lotor didn’t have to turn to guess what she had seen, the girl staring at something at the opposite end of the table.
To his amazement, except for that whitening of her skin, she kept her composure, Allura taking the seat besides Zarkon. The old King had a wicked smirk on his lipstick stained lips, and he reached over to pat Allura’s hand solicitously. She barely reacted, still staring at the blood covered bed sheets, hardly taking notice when a slave began filling her plate with the morning’s meal.
“I was just speaking about you.” Zarkon had switched to basic, Allura recovering enough to make a sound.
“Oh? All good things I hope.”
“Only the best.” He assured her, and winked at his advisors. “Come eat…” He had noticed Allura had yet to actually touch her meal, the King’s urgings just short of an official command. “You need to rebuild your strength, especially after last night.” He chuckled wickedly at her blush, Allura gripping a fork and spearing it rather viciously into some kind of gelatin substance.
Her eyes kept straying to the sheet, and though Lotor did not look at her ladies, he could hear the oldest, Nanny, whispering heatedly in her native tongue. She sounded furious, and the other two girls from Arus worked to calm her down, and quiet her. It was surely a sign of Zarkon’s good mood that he did not take to whipping the women for speaking without permission in his presence.
“I’m glad you could join us.” Zarkon was saying, and with a clap of his hands, the slaves hurried away from the table.
“It is my honor to be here.” Allura said graciously, and Lotor marveled at her cool composure.
“Speaking of honors…I thought it fitting I bestow some gifts on my new bride.” Zarkon looked satisfied as the slaves hurried back, boxes carved out of wood in their hands. It seemed Allura was not immune to gifts, she actually lit up with her interest.
“Gifts? You shouldn’t have…” She protested demurely.
“I wanted to.” Zarkon told her, the slaves lining up behind him. “It is only right I give my new queen tokens of my affection. Especially after she’s pleased me so thoroughly.” Allura seemed to twitch, and it was then that Lotor realized Zarkon’s hand was under the table, no doubt touching some part of his bride. Lotor angrily grabbed his refilled goblet, tossing back the drink as though that would chase away the sour taste in his mouth.
Zarkon took a box from one of the slaves, this one about medium sized in length. He presented it to Allura, an expectant look in his eyes as he urged her to lift the lid. She did so with the proper amount of hesitation, neither indifferent nor over eager to what was inside. Haggar and the advisors leaned forward, eager to see what the gift was, Allura carefully lifting an object out of the box’s velvet insides.
It was a circlet, carved out of pearl, with three blood red rubies set in the center of it. It was much different from the ceremonial crown Allura had been forced to wear for the wedding, this circlet being light enough that she would grow comfortable with it’s presence on her. Allura stared at it a long moment, fingers handling the pearl circlet carefully, even touching the rubies before she inclined her head in a bow.
“I thank you husband.” She said, and he nodded.
“It’s not much…” Lotor nearly sputtered out his drink at that, knowing the pearl and ruby circlet had to have cost a fortune. “I merely wanted you to have a crown befitting your status as Queen of my Empire.” Zarkon gestured for Allura to hand over the circlet, one of the Drule ladies approaching to help pin it in place in the Queen’s hair. Zarkon looked her over with satisfaction, nodding to himself.
“Yes…you are one step closer to looking like a true Queen of Doom.” A snapping of his claws had the second box presented to him, and it had to be heavy for even Zarkon struggled with it’s weight. He ended up resting it on the table, watching as Allura opened up what was a chest full of gold. She stared amazed at it, Lotor wondering if she had ever seen so much money before.
“Our newest currency.” Zarkon was explaining, pushing coins into Allura’s hands. “Newly minted, and spread through out the kingdom.” He traced a claw over one coin, and Lotor heard Allura murmur something.
“It’s…it’s me…” She whispered, staring at her face on the coin.
“This is the sum of your monthly allowance.” Zarkon told her. “You’ll be using some of it today to buy yourself a new wardrobe.” He cast a critical eyes over Allura’s spring colored gown, then snorted. “Pretty as Arusian fashion is, it won’t do for Doom’s court.”
Lotor was already mourning the loss of Allura’s pretty dresses, thinking how what passed for fashion for a Drule noble would never looked right on the young queen. But he knew it wasn’t his place to complain, Allura wasn’t his, but his father’s to dress and do with as he saw fit.
Allura herself had glanced down in dismay at her pale blue dress, surely wondering what was wrong with it. Zarkon was already closing the lid of the chest, speaking to her. “Your financial affairs will be monitored by my accountants of course.”
“Of course.” She said meekly.
“You’ll have to clear it with me before you make any big purchases.” Continued Zarkon, and Lotor realized that even in this way the king meant to control Allura. This was not the Drule way, to put a strangle hold on their Queen’s money, but it was something Zarkon would think to do. “I won’t have my Queen foolishly throwing away her money.”
“It’s her money to spend.” Lotor muttered under his breath, Zarkon glaring at him.
“It is MY money!” Zarkon growled, banging a fist so forcefully on the table, that all the plates rattled. Allura jumped, and Lotor wondered if she knew what was being said, the exchange between father and son being in Drule. “Anything she has, anything she is given is all earned on my generosity. I will not have you, nor she, entertaining otherwise!”
“Fine, point taken.” Lotor said moodily, fighting not to slump in his seat.
“The third gift, sire?” Haggar had expertly read the mood, and was urging Zarkon to direct his attention elsewhere.
“Ah yes.” Zarkon smiled, though his eyes still flashed with his anger. “The final surprise of this morning.” This box was the smallest of them all, the king needed only one hand to lift it.
Allura lifted the lid, and a puzzled look appeared on her face. She reached inside, pulling out a silver key, and all could see she didn’t understand what it was for. “I’ve given you your own booth at the arena.” Zarkon was explaining, and Allura blinked, fighting to keep her true feelings off her face. “Along with the booth, there are gladiators assigned to you. It’s time you personally partake in the national Drule past time, and pit these warriors against man and beast.”
“Oh…oh thank you husband.” Allura said, placing the key back in the box. One of her attendants, a pretty Drule female Lotor was sure he had seen at court, came to pocket the key box, surely intending to stow it away until Allura had use for it.
Zarkon was beaming, in amazingly good spirits over the gifts and Allura’s reactions. He didn’t seem to notice, or care that she hadn’t acted overly pleased with the last gift, and Lotor knew that could be written off as her human sensibilities becoming upset at the thought of the bloodshed of the arena.
“Will you be coming with me to choose my new wardrobe?” Allura suddenly asked, and wore an odd expression when Zarkon shook his head no. The king surely misread that as distress, patting her hand soothingly.
“Fear not bride, I won’t send you to town alone.” Zarkon suddenly looked straight at Lotor, and the prince felt a sinking feeling of dread over take him. “Prince Lotor would love to accompany you. Right son?” The last was hissed sharply, and Lotor could only nod his head glumly.
“Right father.” Helping his father’s woman pick out clothing meant to please Zarkon was the last thing Lotor wanted to do, but he didn’t know how to get out of it without giving offense to the king. Nor did he want to see the hurt look on Allura’s face if he openly refused to help her.
Allura glanced at Lotor, her face hidden from Zarkon so that she risked a small smile at him. Lotor kept his expression bland, listening to her speak. “I thank you for any help you can offer me.” She gave a slight incline of her head, bowing her thanks to him. Lotor returned the bow, trying to appear gracious, even as everything in body screamed and protested what a bad idea this excursion into town would be.