It wasn’t long after Arus’ sun had set, that Allura found herself outside the room that had been given to Lotor. A maid was just emerging from inside the room, wheeling an empty dinner cart past her. The young woman paused to bow to the princess, but Allura barely took notice of her, finding her mouth was dry, and her hands felt clammy. And all because she caught sight of Lotor, the prince prowling closer to the open door.
They had given him new clothes, although nothing available in the castle was able to easily fit his tall frame. The shirt stretched tight across his chest, she could see the lines of his body through the thin fabric. His pants were just as snug, the thin cotton coming up short on his ankles. He should have looked laughable in the ill fitting clothes, but to Allura he was simple intimidating.
His right arm was still in it’s sling, heavy cast covering it from wrist to elbow. He was on his crutch, and yet somehow he made his movements graceful, Lotor smiling at her. That smile lasted long enough for him to look her over, and then it turned into a frown, Lotor noting the dress she wore was definitely not short, and not backless. But it was off the shoulder, the closest to sexy that she owned in a gown.
Not that Allura wanted to cater to him, but she was conscious that she had to appear to be making some effort to please him. Especially if she wanted him to reveal the secrets he knew involving the Keraclon and their destruction.
“You didn’t wear the dress…” Lotor noted, and she flushed.
“I don’t have the kind of dress you asked me to wear.” Allura said, making it sound like it had been a simple request, and not an order.
“A pity.” Lotor answered, and limped forward. Somehow he maneuvered it, so that he was able to keep the crutch from falling to the floor, as he took hold of her hand. Lotor kept his eyes on hers as he raised her hand to his lips, the Drule brushing a kiss over her knuckles. “We’ll just have to work on expanding your wardrobe options for the future then.”
She snatched her hand back from his, Allura fighting to keep the glare off her face. “My wardrobe choices are just fine.” She said, and he raised an eyebrow at her. “They are! Really!” She insisted, and he chuckled.
“At the very least, you could do with some other color than pink.” Again that leer, Lotor looking her dress over, his gaze lingering on her cleavage.
“What’s wrong with pink?!” Allura demanded, crossing her arms over her chest in an attempt to hide her breasts.
“Nothing.” Lotor answered, then smirked. “In moderation of course.” She didn’t know what to say to that, knowing it was true that almost every outfit she own had at
least traces of the color on it. “Well, Allura, are you going to come inside?”
She gave him a look, still hesitant and uncertain about this whole arrangement. But out loud she exuded confidence, her blue eyes challenging as she brushed past him. “I said I would dine with you, didn’t I? And unlike you, I don’t renege on my deals.”
He actually touched her hair as she moved past him, Allura having to fight not to whirl around and glare. “When have I ever renege on a promise?” Lotor wanted to know, and she shrugged.
“Where should I start? It’s a long list of people you’ve disappointed and betrayed.” She was looking around the room, noticing that yes, Nanny had indeed brought fresh flowers to him. But the roses still had their thorns, Nanny purposefully forgetting to trim them of those sharp tips. It would be nothing but an annoyance to Lotor, Allura doubting Nanny’s petty vengeance would even register with him.
It was one of the larger guest bedrooms, it’s cream colored walls decorated with examples of art of the local artisans of Arus. One of the paintings showed the lions soaring over the castle, the colors bold and bright. Exquisite oriental rugs were spread out on the floor, positioned at the foot of the bed, and beneath a small table. That table was located near the open window, it’s curtains billowing in the gentle breeze.
There had been no need to bar Lotor’s windows. It wasn’t as if he intended to go anywhere, not now that he had gained access to the castle of lions, limited though it was. Lotor had yet to complain about the fact that he wasn’t allowed to travel alone through the castle, the prince surely realizing that his bargaining chip only extended so far when it came to Arusian secrets.
“Now Allura.” She jumped, Lotor behind her. She hadn’t been aware of him moving, and as she turned to face him, she saw that he had closed the door to the room. “Do you personally know anyone I have disappointed, or is that all rumor and hearsay you are basing that information on?”
“I know a few.” She answered coolly. “My cousin being one of them.”
“Ah Romelle.” His smile didn’t reach his eyes, leaving Allura to wonder what sort of memories he had when it came to the princess of Pollux. “Such an unfortunate acquaintance.”
“Unfortunate?! That’s putting it mildly!” Allura exclaimed. “You kidnapped and held her prisoner for months. You tortured her, in ways my cousin is loathe to talk about. You…”
“I’m sure Romelle has exaggerated some of what went on.” Lotor interupted her. “Allura really, do you honestly want to spend our evening discussing Romelle’s lies and accusations?”
“My cousin is not a liar!” defended Allura, feeling angry.
“Everyone lies sooner or later Allura. Even you.” Lotor retorted, and she flushed. He noticed, smirking, though she didn’t bother to supply him with an example of the times she had fibbed.
“At least my lies never hurt anyone.” She muttered, then wondered. Was her planned manipulation of Lotor any less of a lie? It would hurt him to be betrayed like that, even though she felt certain it was for the good of the galaxy that Lotor be locked away.
“I’m sure you lie with nothing but the purest of intentions.” Lotor told her, and maneuvered himself over to the table. An extravagant meal was laid out on it’s surface, almost too much food for just two people to eat, even if one of them happened to be a healthy Drule male!
Lotor carefully lowered himself into the chair, and then gestured for her to take a seat across from him. “You’ll excuse me if I don’t pull out your chair?” He asked, and she nodded.
“It must be difficult to move about with your arm in a sling.” Allura said, and he nodded.
“You have no idea.” He sighed then. “It’s so limiting, I can barely accomplish anything with my arm like this. I look forward to the day the cast comes off.”
“How long does a broken arm take for a Drule to heal?” questioned Allura, curious about this. She didn’t know much about the Drules’ healing properties, and was wondering if they could somehow mend a broken bone faster than a human.
“Little more than a month.” Lotor said with a grimace. “Not that different from you humans.”
“I guess we’re not that different, at least when it comes to healing.” Allura noted, and Lotor nodded.
“We have more in common than you think. And we are a compatible species sex wise.”
She had been reaching for a glass of juice, and now she nearly spilled it, shocked by what Lotor had said. “Lotor!”
He chuckled, amused by her reaction. “It’s true Allura. I’m proof enough of that.”
“Because of the harem you keep?” She asked sarcastically, noting his grin widened.
“Well, that too.” He paused to pick up his glass, nodding at the uncorked bottle of wine. She took the hint and opened it for him, pouring him a glass of the white liquid. “But what I meant was the fact that my mother was a human.”
She almost overflowed his glass, so taken aback by what he said. “You mean your father…and a human….?” It was too horrific to contemplate, Allura trailing off.
“It wasn’t consensual on her part, if that’s what you’re thinking.” He was almost casual as he drank, acting as if the idea of his mother’s rape didn’t bother him. But the tightening around his eyes hinted at the exact opposite.
“I see.” She began uncovering the plates to distract herself, not wanting to think about his mother any further. The foods revealed were mouth watering, succulent pieces of meat. The cook had gone all out, preparing his signature dish of broiled lamb with a honey sauce. Salads and other side dishes were present, and there was even a desert laid out, chocolate covered strawberries. “Cook has outdone himself.” She commented out loud, spearing a generous amount of salad onto her plate.
“I’ll be lucky if that maid of yours didn’t have him poison my meal.” Lotor muttered, and Allura frowned.
“Do you mean Nanny?” He nodded, and she shook her head. “Nanny wouldn’t do that! She may get upset, but she’s not exactly murder minded!”
“I suppose I’ll have to take your word for it.” Lotor replied, and began cutting into the lamb, his actions surprisingly smooth considering it wasn’t his dominant hand he had use of.
“You’re very good at that.” Allura noted. “Even when facing the Keraclon, I saw you were able to wield your sword effectively with you other hand.”
“I’ve been fortunate to be ambidextrous.” Lotor smiled. “It’s a blessing for a warrior to be able to use both hands in battle.” He paused to taste the meat, then nodded his approval. “Speaking of my sword, I would like it back.”
“At your earliest convenience.” Lotor told her. “Is it still in your lion?”
“Yes, I had no reason to remove it.”
“Perhaps then we could go together to fetch it.” Suggested Lotor, and she gave an unlady like snort.
“You must think me incredibly naive, if you think I would agree to that. Honestly Lotor! I would not enter my lion with you a second time, especially if you had access to a weapon!” Allura told him, noting he seemed to be pouting.
“Allura, you wound me.” Lotor told her. “I have no ulterior motives save for the pleasure of enjoying a moon light stroll with you.” She fixed him with a disbelieving look, which caused him to amend his statement. “And to fetch my sword. It’s very valuable.”
“Oh? Did it cost a lot to make?” She inquired, and he nodded.
“A small fortune. But that’s not why it’s so valuable.”
“Care to elaborate?” Allura asked.
“It was a gift. A token to show I had earned the valued esteem of one of Doom’s greatest warlords.” Lotor explained. “He had trained many men and women, and few had met his demanding expectations.”
“But you did, I suppose?” Allura arched an eyebrow at him, and Lotor frowned.
“Why do I get the feeling you think I only got the sword because of my status as prince of Doom?”
“I didn’t say that!” Allura quickly retorted, but it didn’t lessen Lotor’s frown.
“Well, you’re wrong. I earned my sword through blood, sweat and tears.” Lotor viciously jabbed his fork into the lamb on his plate, it’s juices actually spurting out. She was silent for several seconds, just staring at him as he angrily began to eat. His fangs gnashed the meat almost violently, leaving Allura to wonder why he was so upset.
“I’m…sorry I guess. I didn’t know..”
“No, you didn’t.” Lotor answered, seeming hardly in the mood for her half hearted apologies. “We Drule are not like you humans when it comes to learning how to fight.”
“I won’t argue that.” Allura said quietly. She began to eat, and for a while they said nothing, focused on their meal. But the silence was getting to her, Allura unable to stand his glowering expression. She finished chewing her bite of the meat, then cast a thoughtful look at Lotor. “So tell me…” She tried for a casual tone, Allura wondering if she could trick Lotor into admitting what she wanted to know. “Just how did you come across the Keraclon’s weakness?”
He busied himself with drinking his wine, gazing back at her. “You want to know the whole story?” She nodded, and he set down the glass, patting his lap with his good hand. “Then come here.”
She blinked, her eyes widening. “What? There?” Lotor nodded, and Allura gasped. “You can’t be serious!”
“Oh I’m very serious.” Lotor told her. “Maybe even more than you are about finding out about how to destroy the Keraclon. So let’s put it to the test. Which do you value more? The knowledge to protect the galaxy, or your….maidenly modesty?”
“That’s hardly a fair choice to be giving me!” Allura exclaimed, her upset visible.
“But it’s a choice nonetheless.” Lotor smirked, his eyes lowering to give him a sleepy look. But he was no less alert, waiting to see what she would do next. She turned away from him, looking longingly at the door that led out into the hall. She knew with his injuries, he wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to stop her from leaving, and yet Allura couldn’t make the move to leave him. Not with so much at stake.
“I’m not doing this for you.” She announced, rising from her seat. He watched her, reminding her of a predator stalking it’s prey, Allura keeping her chin held up high.
“Truthfully I don’t care why you are doing it.” Her cheeks burned at his words, Allura wearing an angry blush as she came around to his side of the table. He shifted his chair back enough so there would be room for her to fit on his lap, but it would be a snug fit against the table’s edge. She gritted her teeth, and slowly lowered herself down onto his lap, Allura sitting stiffly on him.
“That’s a good girl.” Lotor purred, and his good hand reached to pet her hair, the prince bringing some of the long strands to his nose. “You always smell so good Allura…like the sunshine and flowers Doom does not have.”
“I wasn’t aware sunshine had a smell.” Allura murmured.
“Oh but it does…” Lotor insisted, but did not elaborate. “Now, I believe you were asking me how I made my discovery…?”
“Yes.” She was carefully not to move too much on his lap, sitting so that she stared at the door, rather than at Lotor. He leaned in to her ear, warm breath coasting along her skin. It made her shiver, Allura sure her flesh was breaking out into goose bumps from his nearness.
“My father has had his best people at work on a solution for months.” Began Lotor, voice a throaty whisper in her ear. “The most brilliant minds that science has to offer, along with those of outstanding magical capabilities.” As he spoke, he would occasionally pause, nibbling on the lobe of her ear. His bite was gentle, but no less shiver inducing, Allura biting back a gasp at his actions.
“It would take forever for them to come up with the key, and even longer for them to get close enough to the Keraclon to test it out.” Continued Lotor, his fingers shifting through her hair, petting her as though she was a kitten.
“How did they manage to test something like that without the rest of the galaxy knowing about it?” Allura wondered out loud.
“We Drule have always been good at sneaking around.” Came Lotor’s answer. He had finished with her ear, and was now kissing down the side of her face, Allura studiously ignoring what he was doing. Each kiss was a little tease, and Lotor sometimes tasted her with the tip of his tongue, leaving moist rings on her skin. “There are dozens of Doom outposts spread throughout the Denubian, all working away on secret projects.”
“Like the outpost you wanted me to fly blue lion to?” She inquired, and he kissed his way down the line of her jaw.
“Yes. But this one was special…Devoted to the single minded pursuit of ending the Keraclon threat.”
“Was?” She seized upon that word, actually turning to him, his kisses straying in the process. A dark look flashed in his eyes, Allura sensing it had something to do with the outpost.” “Lotor, what happened?”
“It was my father’s wish that I attend the….testing. He wanted first hand confirmation that the experiment was a success.”
“And was it?”
Allura noticed he avoided answering that question, the prince burying his face in the crook of her left shoulder. He sighed, and nuzzled his lips against her skin, and then his muffled voice came out. “I was to return with the information obtained…indeed, if I hadn’t been ambushed, I’d already be on Doom, informing my father of all that had happened.”
“Why were you ambushed?” She asked, and risked touching his hair.
“For the knowledge I possess.” Lotor had raised his head at her touch, and she trembled at the intense look he gave her. “Allura, the Keraclon destroyed that outpost just minutes after I left. They made sure there was no survivors, not a man, or woman left alive. But more than that, they destroyed all the research, burnt down the labs, and shredded the documents, unleashing a virus into the computers.”
“So that means you’re the only one who knows?” She questioned, trying not to focus on the horror of the Keraclon unleashing their devastation on the Drule outpost.
“I’m the only one.” He agreed. “If I had delayed, even just by a few seconds, I too would have died in their attack.”
“Why didn’t you send a broadcast to Doom?” Allura asked. “Let your father know of the knowledge before the Keraclon shot down your ship.”
“And risk that information falling prey to an intercepting signal?” Lotor demanded. “No, Allura, my father doesn’t want anyone else to have this advantage over the Keraclon. Not when he can use it to further tighten his hold on the Denubian Galaxy.”
“How horrible of him! How greedy and self serving!” Allura exclaimed, and Lotor let out a bitter laugh.
“My father has always been an opportunistic bastard.”
“At least we can agree on that.” Allura murmured. “Lotor….so what is the key to the Keraclon’s defeat…?”
“These strawberries look wonderful.” The abrupt change in topic had Allura blinking, confusion in her eyes. Lotor shifted, reaching for one of the berries, and bringing it to his lips to taste.
“The Keraclon Lotor….tell me…” She urged, watching as he bit slowly licked some of the chocolate off the strawberry. It was almost obscene the way he used that tongue of his, Allura feeling heat rise to her cheeks.
“Did you know chocolate is an aphrodisiac?” Lotor asked, and brought the berry to her lips. She didn’t part them, staring at him, even as he began nudging the fruit insistently against her lips. “Eat Allura, I command you.”
“You command me?” She demanded with a frown, and he nodded.
“For tonight I do…for tonight and the nights that follow, so long as you are beholden to me to learn the secrets to the Keraclon’s defeat.” This time she bit into the berry, an explosion of it’s juices and taste assaulting her taste buds. Lotor leaned into her, and bit on the other side of the strawberry, letting out a moan of pleasure. Their lips touched as the berry was devoured, and though Allura tried to jerk back from the kiss, Lotor’s hand was suddenly on the nape of her neck.
That hand of his was keeping her from straying, Lotor insistent as he kissed her. The fruit’s sweet juice, along with the chocolate on their lips added to the taste of his kiss, Allura letting out a squeak as protest. Her hands came up, pressing against his chest, trying to hold him at bay, but he was unstoppable, his passion growing as he tried to consume her from the mouth down.
The kiss didn’t end, not completely, Lotor kissing at the corners of her frowning mouth. He seemed intent on licking up the stray bits of chocolate from her lips, and she held herself still, telling herself it was only for the knowledge that he possessed, that she must endure this.
“Lotor..” She tried to speak, to demand he answer her, but as she said his name, his tongue probed forward. It cut off her words, Allura gasping. She pushed harder at him, and heard him growl softly, Lotor’s mouth hot and needy. It wasn’t the only part of him, she could feel something prodding into her from below, and Allura wasn’t that naive as to not know what that something could be.
She realized this dinner was rapidly getting out of control, Allura deciding she should have never given in to sit on his lap. This dinner was a mistake, maybe bringing him to Arus was an even bigger one, Allura quick to realize Lotor wouldn’t be satisfied until he got everything from her. She mewled in protest, his hand now on the back of her hair, holding her in place as he continued his mouth’s assault on her.
When he pulled back for air, she managed a breathless protest. “Lotor stop! You’ve had your fun, now tell me what I want to know!”
“Of course I will Allura.” His own breathing was heavy, the slits of his cat’s eyes thinned out, giving him an almost blind look. “After you marry me.”