Enemy 10

For an instant nothing was said, Allura just staring at Lotor, who was smiling. With his eyes’ slits almost swallowed by the lust consuming him, he looked almost blind, and yet she knew Lotor was able to see her clearly. To not just see her, but notice the stiffening of her body, the way she squared her shoulders, her chest heaving as she took an angry breath.

With the expelling of that breath, came her words, Allura not quite sneering. “I see your father is not the only opportunistic bastard housed among the Drule.” A slow blinking of his eyes, Lotor’s pouty, kiss swollen lips smirking at her.

“I would be a fool not to use what I know to all of my advantage.”

“You would be a bigger fool to try my patience!” Allura retorted, and attempted to get up off his lap. His hand quickly transferred from the back of her hair to her waist, hold possessive in an attempt to trap her there. Even with the use of only one hand, his strength was impressive, making it seem as though it was effortless to keep her struggling body in place. “Lotor, let go of me!” She said heatedly, voice coming out louder with her anger.

“There’s no need to be upset.” Lotor’s tone was silky, practically oozing seduction. “What I propose would benefit you in so many ways.”

“HA!” An angry, hostile snort, Allura glaring at him. “The only benefits I can see, are ones to yourself!”

“You’re not thinking of the big picture then, Allura.” Lotor said, trying for a reasonable tone. “Think of it! The war ended, your people thriving, no longer scared and forced to suffer!”

“And what of the rest of the galaxy?!” Allura demanded, sure her eyes were flashing with her heated emotions. “Am I to just sit blindly aside, while you and your father use Voltron to continue terrorizing other worlds?!”

“Doom’s threat is minimal when compared to that of the Keraclon.” Lotor retorted. “The Keraclon will leave nothing and no one behind, they’ll suck this galaxy dry, and move on to the next one. They’ve done it once, they’ll do it again!”

“Which is why you should stop wasting all of our time, and tell me what I need to know!” Allura said, and shoved at his chest hard. She thought she caught him off balance, Lotor shifting, his grip loosening enough for her to slip off his lap. A growl followed her escape, and suddenly a vise like grip was around her right arm, Lotor’s fingers locking into place.

She managed a startled sound, and then he was throwing her down on top of the table, Allura hearing the dinner wear rattle. Something squished beneath her, he hadn’t bothered to clear a space for her. She could feel liquid dampening the back of her dress, and she was sure the chocolate of the strawberries was staining her hair. Allura registered all this in an instant, more concerned with the fact that an agitated Drule male was leaning over her, his good hand holding her down.

“What do you think you are doing?!” Allura demanded, trying not to flinch as he lowered even further over her. “Get off me!” She added, hissing out her command. He didn’t comply with her order, sniffing at her neck. Her voice raised in pitch, Allura angry as she shouted. “Lotor, stop!”

Her cry died down with a startled gasp, Lotor putting his fangs to her throat. She felt a very real moment of fear, his fangs scraping gently over that delicate flesh. She rolled her eyes to the side, looking for something, anything to use against him. It was just her luck that most of the knives and forks had fallen off the table and out of reach, the remaining soup spoon would hardly be a deterrent to the amorous prince.

He was still doing that thing with his fangs, doing gentle nips and bites as he worked to mark her skin. It made her seethe, her one hand shoving at his shoulder, trying to dislodge him even as she heard a faint commotion coming from the corridor outside this room. It was so much background noise to her, Allura stretching out her other arm, fingers closing around the stem of a glass.

“Lotor…” It took great effort to make that throaty purr, the change in her voice causing Lotor to raise up to look at her. She smiled at him sweetly, and he grinned back, making her wonder why he assumed he had won a victory over her. She dashed the triumph in his eyes, flinging the contents of the glass into his face. She aimed for his eyes, the sickly sweet juice spilling everywhere, Lotor cursing viciously as he scrambled to use his sleeve to wipe at his eyes.

She was about to slip out from under him when it happened, the door to the guest room slamming open. Allura gasped in surprise, freezing, her attention going to the door. Keith was standing there, visibly vibrating with anger, his dark eyes going to stare accusingly at the scene Allura and Lotor made at the table. It seemed to steal his words away, the captain sputtering, and it was only the fact that he had Hunk gripping his arms, Lance and Pidge on their knees, trying to hold him back by the legs, that kept Keith from pitching forward across the room.

“Keith!” Allura exclaimed, feeling both relief and mortification to be caught in a scene like this. Especially with Prince Lotor, Allura flinging the glass, watching it bounce off of Lotor’s forehead. That and the juice in his eyes, distracted Lotor enough for Allura to slip out from beneath him, the princess scrambling to put distance between them.

“I knew we couldn’t trust you!” Keith had found his words, screaming hostility at Lotor. “You conniving, Drule scum! Molesting the princess like that!”

“I’m fine Keith!” Allura said, but the captain didn’t seem to hear her.

“We heard you scream Allura.” Hunk began, looking sheepish. It was then she thought to wonder how they had been near enough to hear any of what was going on in this room, for the corridor had been empty when she had arrived for this disastrous dinner.

“You were checking up on me?” She didn’t mean for it to sound accusing, Allura grateful that they cared enough to do that. Hunk actually blushed, flustered by her question.

“Something like that…” He muttered, his words almost lost to Keith’s shouting. He continued to call Lotor names, the descriptions and words he used colorful, and yet somehow he managed to avoid the more potent curses. Lotor was growling, having snagged hold of a cloth napkin, to wipe the juice off his face.

“Oh do shut up!” The prince snapped at Keith, flinging the wet napkin onto the floor. He was blinking rapidly, surely his eyes must sting from the juice, and his gaze sought out Allura’s. The blinking ruined his attempts at a glare, but his words held all the anger his expression lacked. “Allura, that was a very stupid thing to do!”

“The stupid thing would have been to just lay there and take your abuse!” She retorted.

“You tell him princess!” chirped Pidge.

Lotor did not bother to look Pidge’s way, still staring at Allura. “You haven’t begin to see true abuse if you think that is what that was!”

“OH? Then what was it then?” Allura demanded, snidely.

“It was merely a persuasion tactic.” She seethed at Lotor’s response, especially when he said the following. “To help you better understand the benefits of marrying me.”

“Marriage!?!” exclaimed three of the Voltron Force members, Keith silent though his expression turned furious.

“Allura’s not going to marry you!” added Pidge, the others nodding.

“Ah but she will!” Lotor insisted. “Especially if she wants the Keraclon to be stopped!”

“You vile villain!” Keith snarled. “The fate of the galaxy is in your hands, and you’re more concerned with manipulating Allura into your bed!”

“How can you be so selfish?!” Hunk wanted to know, still holding onto Ketih’s arms.

“If it’s selfish to want to marry the woman I love, then I wouldn’t want to be any other way!” Lotor retorted, his blinking lessening. “And it wouldn’t be so bad, Allura, marriage to me. I’d treat you good, take care of your needs and treasure you.”

“It’s not going to happen Lotor!” Allura snapped, hands on her hips. “I will never, ever marry you!”

“Never is a long time princess.” Lotor said darkly. “And need I remind you, time is not on our side?”

“I know that!” Allura retorted hotly. “Which is why I agreed to humor you this far! But there are certain things I am not willing to do…”

“Not yet you mean.” Lotor interrupted her, leaning against the table. “But how long will it be before you get so desperate for my information? How long before you cave in to my demands, and accept my affection?” She made fists out of her hands, trembling with her anger. “You see Allura, it’s all just a matter of timing…eventually my offer to you will look viable to you. After all, marriage to me is so much better than complete annihilation at the hands of the Keraclon.”

“It was a mistake to consider your conditions even for a second!” Allura announced, and turned from him. “This dinner is over with!” She stalked determinedly past the Voltron Force, heading for the open door. Her skirt flounced as she moved, and she very much thought she might turn and attack Lotor if he so much as said one more word to her.

She would have slammed the door shut behind her, as further manifestation of her anger, but suddenly the Voltron Force was there, attempting to follow her out into the hall. Even Keith had been turned away from Lotor, though his face was still angry and red. The rest of her team mates were more subdued, their eyes flashing with concern as they followed her through the hall.

She didn’t head to her bedroom, even though she badly wanted to rip off her ruined dress, wash the chocolate out of her hair. So angry was her upset, she envisioned herself savagely tearing apart her dress, all to destroy the memory of the treatment she had suffered at Lotor’s hands.

“Princess…” Hunk spoke when it became apparent her wandering was aimless, Allura having no known destination in mind. “Are you okay?”

“Oh I’m fine Hunk. Just fine.” She answered, her tone and words sarcastic. “I not only failed to get the information we need, I was humiliated in the process!” She wanted to punch the wall, so frustrated and angry was she. “The galaxy is doomed so long as we rely on that pervert!”

“But what can we do?” Lance wondered out loud. “I mean, you can’t marry him, that’s out of the question! But we can’t let him keep that knowledge to himself.”

“I say we beat it out of him.” Keith said darkly, turning as if he meant to head back to Lotor’s room. “Eventually he’ll break…”

“Could you really do that Keith?” Allura asked, turning to look him in the eyes. Her gaze was searching, noting the ugly hatred that shown in his expression. “Beat an injured man?”

Keith hesitated, and then expelled a deep breath, hand going up to ruffle his hair. “I don’t know. I’d like to think I couldn’t, but Lotor makes me so angry, I see red. I think I am capable of anything so long as it involves him….”

“Violence won’t be the answer…” Hunk said wisely. “It’s not our way. It’s what separates us from the Drule. If we beat him, torture him, then we’re no better than Zarkon and Lotor.”

“But then what do we do?” demanded Keith, his voice rife with angry passion. “He’s holding all the cards. He won’t betray what he knows without getting what he wants, and that something is Allura!”

“I’m not a thing to be given away!” Allura exclaimed. “That’s something I think Lotor will never understand.” She shuddered then, remembering his lewd conversation with Lance about his harem. “He treats women as mere objects, as possessions! Something to be owned and then tossed away when he’s through with them.”

“We won’t let him do that to you.” Lance said, trying to sound reassuring. She frowned, surprised to note her eyes were wet with frustrated tears.

“I don’t know if you’ll be able to stop him.” Allura sagged against the wall, tempted to sink down to her knees. “I may have to do what he wants, damn him!”

“Don’t.” Keith protested. “Don’t even consider it! He’s playing on your self sacrificing nature, and this is one thing we won’t let you do!”

“Not even to save the galaxy?” She inquired, and all four guys shook their heads no. “Be realistic my friends. What if it was your home world that was threatened, what if it was Earth, Keith? Would you really let it be destroyed, all to spare me the pain and misery of taking Lotor for a husband?”

“I…” his look was uncertain, Keith fighting to find the right words.

“No…it may come to sacrificing for the greater good…” Allura sighed then, feeling her anger leave her, a weariness settling in it’s place.

“Don’t give up princess!” Pidge said, creeping closer to touch her hand. “Not yet. Not until we explore all our other options.”

“Yeah.” Agreed Lance. “is there anything you learned from that creep? Anything at all, anything that might be of use to us?”

She paused a breath, trying to think past the last minutes of the dinner, and Lotor’s attempts at molestation. To think not of his forced kisses, and when he had flung her on top of the table, but the words he had been speaking. “There was an outpost…” Allura began, chewing her lip uncertainly. “Some military facility of Doom. Lotor says there’s plenty of them, off the maps, working on secret projects.”

“Great, more trouble for us and the rest of the galaxy.” Grumbled Keith.

“They’re probably working on more robeasts!” added Pidge, and Allura shrugged.

“I don’t know about that. He didn’t elaborate on any of them except the one focused on researching the Keraclon.”

“The Keraclon!” exclaimed her teammates, the boys seeming to step closer to her in their eagerness to know more. She nodded tiredly.

“Yes, the best and brightest scientists and magic practitioners Doom has, all concentrating their efforts on discovering a way to somehow defeat the Keraclon.” A grim smile then, but Allura felt no pleasure in what she had to say. “Apparently they succeeded, though it still didn’t stop them from the Keraclon’s vengeful hand. I’m not sure why the Drules didn’t use the knowledge against the Keraclon, or maybe even with the weapon in place, the Keraclon was still able to fight.” She shrugged. “All I do know is Lotor had gone to that outpost, to obtain the information, and return to Doom with it.”

She raised her hands, fingers massaging at her temples to ward off the headache that she felt coming on. “Lotor managed to just avoid the Keraclon’s attack, they decimated the outpost, killing everyone, destroying the evidence of their research. Lotor’s the only one alive that knows the outcome of months of research, and the Keraclon want him badly.”

“Where is this outpost of Doom’s?” Keith asked, a shrewd look in his eyes.

“Don’t know.” Allura said, and the guys deflated except for Keith.

“It must have been close to the planet he crash landed on.” Mused the captain of the Voltron Force. “I bet if we search around in that area, we could find it.”

“Do you really think we could?” Hunk asked, sounding surprised.

“I’m confidant we could, though it would take time!”

“What would that accomplish though?” Lance asked Keith, reminding him of an important fact. “Lotor said the Keraclon destroyed it.”

“That may be true, but maybe just maybe I could find something…some small piece that would point us in the right direction.” Allura refused to feel hope at Keith’s words, thinking it hopeless. “Pidge…” Keith turned his attention to the young boy now. “Can you map out the area for me? Figure out the most likely spots that outpost could have been on?”

“I could try…” But Pidge didn’t sound very certain.

“Then do it. Do it now.” Keith ordered. “I’ll leave as soon as you have that information ready for me.”

“You’re leaving?!” Lance exclaimed surprised. “You’re actually gonna go on this wild goose chase, and leave us to deal with Lotor?!”

“I have to Lance. And I have the utmost faith in your abilities to protect Allura from that Drule.” A grim smile then. “I’d stay and do it myself, but we need someone with a dogged, single minded determination, someone with the patience to chase down all leads, even if they take him to many dead ends.”

“Someone like you, in other words.” Lance said wryly, and Keith nodded. “Well!” Lance clapped Keith on the back, cracking a humorless grin. “Better you than me! Try not to get killed as you go hunting for answers.”

“Thanks for your vote of confidence in my abilities.” Keith grumbled, and the other guys laughed. He then met Allura’s eyes, giving her a smile which she returned, albeit weakly. “Don’t worry Allura. If there’s something to find, I’ll find it. Till then try not to kill Lotor.”

“I don’t know if that’s a promise any of us can keep.” Joked Allura, to more laughter. That laughter drew attention to them, several maids and guards looking their way. They noted Allura’s disheveled state, and she realized it wouldn’t be long before the whole castle was talking about her, the gossip bound to reach Nanny’s ears. She nearly groaned at the thought, not looking forward to having to explain it all to the overprotective woman.

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