Enemy 15

It had been well into evening before a priest could be found and brought to the castle, and to Allura every minute the wedding had been delayed was a blessing in disguise. She had been loathe to relinquish her freedom, especially to a man as foul as she found Prince Lotor to be. This forced marriage of theirs, only helped to reinforce Allura’s low opinion of the Drule prince, and she couldn’t begin to imagine how much more she would hate him once this farce led them to the bedroom.

Currently they were lingering in the castle’s ball room, the large chamber far too empty for it to be believed a royal wedding had taken place there. But there had been next to no time to send for guests, and truthfully Allura hadn’t wanted to encourage any celebration of what she view as her life being signed away. The people who lived and worked in the castle had felt much the same, many choosing not to attend.

In the end, it had only been a small handful of people present, Coran acting in her father’s role, to walk her down the hurriedly construed aisle. Pidge, Hunk and Nanny had sat in the front rows, all wearing somber expressions as they watched her be escorted down the aisle. When the time came for Coran to hand her over to prince Lotor, the advisor had hesitated, the Drule turning impatient and reaching for Allura’s arm. She had tensed at his uninvited touch, and a staring contest had seemed to occur over her head, Lotor’s gaze a direct challenge that suitable cowed Coran into letting go.

With that act, Lotor ushering Allura to stand before the priest’s podium, Nanny had lost the last vestiges of her restraint. She burst into loud, raucous tears, her sobs seeming to echo in the cavernous room as Hunk fumbled to produce tissues for the woman. She all but snatched them from the pilot, dabbing at her eyes, and blowing her nose loudly.

As noisy and distressed as Nanny was, it didn’t stop her from vocalizing her disgust over the situation, the woman complaining loudly about the unfairness of it all. She sniffled and sobbed over Allura’s poor choice in groom, and bemoaned Lotor’s lack of decency and concern for the galaxy’s safety. She made such a commotion, it was difficult to hear the priest’s words, the somber faced holy man having to repeat himself several times.

The actual ceremony was short, a bitter sweet affair. Allura had chosen to avoid a long, drawn out exchanging of vows, all for the fear her legs might not be able to keep her upright for the time needed to stare into Lotor’s gloating eyes. He had been the only one to smile during the ceremony, Lotor somehow oblivious to the distress he was causing.

Or maybe, Allura’s dark thought whispered as she watched Lotor toss back yet another celebratory toast. Maybe he had ENJOYED the distress he was causing. She certainly wouldn’t put it past him, Allura shivering as she glanced at the time clock, the minutes counting down the hours. These past few days, she was always aware of the time, and now even more so, Allura knowing that at any moment Lotor could insist on ending this mockery of a celebration.

Her stomach was clenching continuously in anxiety, Allura unnerved at the thought of being alone with Lotor, of having to submit to his desires. She had never imagined such a thing would actually happen, her luck had always been such that she managed to evade all his traps. How unfortunate for her that he had finally found the right bait, goading her with the fate of an entire galaxy.

She didn’t want to go to bed with him, anymore than she had wanted to marry him. And yet one part of her knew that the sooner they got this unpleasantness over with, the sooner he would give up his secrets. She’d rest somewhat easier to know that the planet’s scientists and engineers would be hard at work on using that knowledge to devise the weapon that would help them fight against the Keraclon.

Allura wasn’t a blood thirsty person, she certainly didn’t want to encourage the destruction of an entire race. But the Keraclon were monsters, leeches and parasites that killed not only people, but whole worlds. It just didn’t seem possible to forgive them their crimes, any more than it was possible to allow them to live and continue their reign of terror.

Loud, pure masculine in sound laughter sounded, Allura blinking out of her thoughts to see Lotor shaking with his mirth. No one else was laughing, leaving Allura to wonder just what the prince had found so funny. Nanny was giving him a dirty look, her mascara smeared around her eyes, making her resemble a raccoon. She had stopped crying, as though she had run out of tears, and only had her anger left.

Allura could understand that, though she had not shed one tear during this wedding debacle. Not even at the moment when she had had to pledge herself to Lotor, the prince sliding on a simple gold band on her finger. There had been no time to get anything fancy, the rings being purchased from a jeweler who lived in the same town as the priest had come from.

Clothes had also been a problem, there was nothing even remotely formal that was available and could fit Lotor’s massive Drule frame. Allura had plenty of pink in her closet, along with a few black dresses she had worn one too many times to funerals of close friends lost in the war with Doom. She almost wore one of the black gowns of grieving to the ceremony, intent on sending a message of how she really felt about the wedding. But her mind had been changed when one of her maids pointed out that black was a color favored by Drules for important occasions, including weddings.

In the end she had gone with a simple pink dress, the shade as light as the hue could be without turning white. Allura had always imagined she’d either choose her own gown, or wear her mother’s perfectly preserved dress. But there had been no time for the first, and she didn’t want to dishonor her mother’s gown by wearing it in front of Lotor.

With a sigh, she drifted over to the table where a small amount of refreshments had been laid out. It wasn’t the typical feast of an Arusian wedding, the cooks having no time, and Allura feeling no incentive to waste money on such a miserable experience. There was only a few plates of food, mainly deserts, and a selection of drinks, including a brandy Lotor seemed to favor.

She didn’t know if it was good or not that he was drinking, Allura wondering if he would become even more overbearing if he ended up drunk. An ill humored thought hoped the brandy would inhibit his actions, Lotor taking her once and quickly, before passing out and leaving her to a brief relief.

She reached to pour herself a glass of juice, and was dismayed to see how badly her hands were shaking. It rattled the pitcher, the liquid coming dangerously close to sloshing over the sides. Allura hoped no one noticed, quickly pouring herself a drink, then turning. She nearly choked on the juice, finding Lotor was staring at her, an expectant look in his eyes.

She closed her eyes for one brief moment, feeling the shaking of her hands extending to the rest of her body. He couldn’t mean for them to leave the ball room now, could he?

“Allura…” Her eyes snapped open at his silky purr, Lotor still staring at her. Only now he was gesturing for her to approach, the man leaning heavily on his crutch. “How long are you going to continue to hide yourself from me?”

Coran and the others busied themselves with conversation, pretending not to notice the exchange between prince and princess. Allura slowly finished her juice before answering, her head lifting high. “You think I’m hiding? In plain sight?”

“It’s easier than you think.” He replied, and gestured again. She sighed as if this was the most annoying thing he had yet to ask her, Allura dropping her glass on the table before moving to his side. Tucking his crutch under his arm, Lotor balanced precariously to reach out and tug on a stray curl that had escaped her bun. The move was playful, and it left Allura bemused, blinking rapidly at him.

“I think it’s about time we start saying our good-byes.” His words made the bottom of her stomach drop out, Allura feeling nauseous.

“So soon?” She managed to sound calm, a direct contrast to the panic she was feeling inside.

“It won’t be soon enough for me.” Lotor purred, winding the curl around his finger. He pulled, and it resisted, the curl bouncing free of his finger. “And really, Allura, how much longer do you expect me to wait? To continue to make useless conversation with these people?”

“If I could, I’d make you wait until Hell freezes over.” Allura hissed softly in reply.

He tsked then, Lotor shaking his head. “You and I both know we can’t put off the inevitable forever. We’re MARRIED now.”

“I don’t need the reminder of that.” Allura retorted, her despair leaking into her voice. “You’ve gotten what you wanted….”

“Not yet I haven’t.”

Heat flared in her face, an angry blush adding color to her otherwise pale skin. “Must everything be about sex with you?”

“Why must you assume everything comes back to that?” Lotor demanded, and reached out with his hand to press a finger on her chest. He tapped it against where her heart laid, an odd look in the prince’s eyes. “I won’t be satisfied until I have your heart. But I suppose I’ll make do with your body for now.”

“You’re despicable!” Allura jerked back from him, but didn’t turn and run as her first impulse told her to do. She merely widened the space between them, glaring angrily at him.

“Name calling won’t change the situation.” Lotor told her. He adjusted his grip on the crutch, and for a second let his weariness show. “Allura, for one night can’t you put aside this one sided animosity that exists between us? Can’t you just…”

“Just what?” She asked, curious as to what he had been about to say when he trailed off.

“Can’t you just play at being a loving wife to me?”

“I wouldn’t know where to begin to accomplish such an enormous falsehood!” Allura retorted, and he frowned.

“Say your goodnights Allura. I won’t be kept waiting any longer.” With that he maneuvered himself over to the priest, extending his hand for a handshake. Allura could hear him thanking the priest, though the holy man had looked ill at ease for that which he had had to do.

Somber faced, Allura approached her friends, moving to pull Nanny into a hug. The woman was just as fierce, nearly lifting Allura up off the floor as they embraced. “I can slip some pills into his food.” Nanny whispered in her ear. “Doctor Gorma says they are ultimately harmless and will not only knock him out, but give him no memory of this night.”

Allura let out a distorted sound, it was meant to be a laugh but came out a choked out sob. “Oh Nanny, no.” She shook her head, a watery smile on her face. “Thank you, but…sooner or later it will happen. I’ll have to…give myself to him.”

Nanny paled, her red eyes standing out noticeably against the black ring of mascara around them. “He doesn’t deserve you. He doesn’t deserve anyone!” Reluctantly she let go of Allura, though she stayed near, as though her watchful eye could somehow protect Allura from her husband. Coran approached, and the hug he gave her was more reserved than Nanny’s, but no less affectionate.

“Stay strong princess.” He advised, seeming too choked up to offer any more words.

“She always does.” Hunk replied, and Allura reached out to clasp hands with him. “I know we tend to underestimate you, but you’ve always shown extraordinary strength as well as grace under fire. I know this isn’t the fate you’d ask for yourself, but I’ve no doubt you’ll come through it, a better person.”

“Thanks Hunk.” Allura said, then reached to touch fingers with Pidge. The young boy looked close to tears, and he seemed to be struggling with what to say. “Oh PIdge.” Allura sighed, thinking she might loose it if the boy did indeed start crying.

“I’m sorry Allura…I don’t mean to add to your upset.” He apologized. “It’s just, I can’t stand what happened….if only we had had more time. I’m sure the Alliance and Garrison’s scientists could have come up with something. I mean how hard can it be if the Drules discovered this weapon, whatever it is?”

“Are you saying you humans are smarter than we Drules?” Lotor suddenly demanded from behind Allura, Pidge stiffening in response.

“I’m just saying if the solution was capable of being discovered once, it could have happened again. There should have been no reason for Allura to bargain herself away to a monster!”

“Pidge don’t…” Allura said, and shook her head no. “Don’t waste your time. Don’t let him goad you into saying anything more.”

“But…” Pidge looked ready to protest, but it was Lotor who spoke, voice smug.

“You heard your princess’ command. Now obey it.”

“Come on little buddy. There’s no point in wasting your breath on him.” Hunk said, steering Pidge away from Lotor and Allura. Nanny seemed to sniffle, her hand reaching out to touch Allura’s arm one last time before she and Coran also walked away.

“Come Allura, it’s time we leave.”

“Fine.” Allura said through clenched teeth, and moved to walk out of the ball room. Lotor hurried as fast as he could behind her, though his pace still dragged considerably. Finally he chuckled, surely trying to insert some humor into what was about to happen.

“Slow down Allura! I know you’re impatient to be one with me but…”

She scoffed at that, Allura giving him the evil eye over her shoulder. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” But she slowed down, allowing Lotor to fall into pace besides herself. They walked the rest of the way maintaining silence, Allura neither wanting to talk to or listen to anything Lotor might have to say.

Even with her slowed pace, they reached the bedroom all too soon, Allura roughly throwing open the door to the room that had been Lotor’s for the past several days. She couldn’t bear the thought of bringing him back to the bedroom that had been hers since her childhood, Allura not wanting him to defile it’s memories in the same way he defiled her body.

She was saved from a despairing moan by the sound of the door closing, the lock being engaged. She whirled around to glare at Lotor, finding he was smiling at her, eyes holding a decidedly predatory look as he leaned against the shut door. “Alone at last.” He said softly, and she blanched, imagining his words held more threat than she had previously thought possible.

“Come now Allura, don’t give me such a look.” Lotor said, his words a gentle command. “I am your husband now…”

“Husband by force, and not of my own choice!” She reminded him, and he sighed.

“Will you never forget that?”

“No, never!” She insisted, and his eyes flashed with annoyance. But he beat back down to resume smiling at her, Lotor holding out his hand to her. She stared at it as though it was a snake, one who had bared poison coated fangs at her.

“Allura, you have to make the first step eventually.” Lotor told her. “And right now, all I ask is that you take my hand.”

“Is that really all you ask?” Allura demand suspiciously.

“Just take my hand, and let me lead.” Lotor amended, hand still outstretched. He was putting all his weight on the door, crutch propped under his arm. She stared at him a moment longer, weighing her options, then sighed. Begrudgingly she nodded, rasing her hand to brush fingers against his. He didn’t immediately seize hold of her hand, instead closing his fingers slowly around hers.

“There now.” Lotor said to Allura. “Was that so bad?”

“……….no…………” A moody answer, Allura knowing the worse was yet to come. Lotor’s smile grew, and now he tugged her against him, Allura trying to avoid brushing against his broken arm. His uninjured arm moved, raising her hand to his face. She stared in confusion when he forced her to touch his cheek, Lotor seeming to sigh and close his eyes in exaggerated pleasure.

“Don’t move your hand.” He told her, letting go of her so that he could brush his fingers against her cheek. Bemused, she allowed this, studying his face as he caressed her cheek. His fingers stroked back towards the unruly curls, sweeping those loose hairs over her ear. He then took the time to trace the round curve of her ear, the sensation a bit ticklish though Allura did not giggle.

One last touch on her ear, and then Lotor resumed stroking her cheek. His thumb extended towards her lips, brushing the fullness of them with that calloused pad. It didn’t ease the tension in her, Allura watching him and feeling confusion by his actions. “What are you doing?” She demanded, when his thumb lifted from her lips. “Why are you wasting time with this?”

“Shhh…” Lotor bent forward, pressing his forehead against hers. “Isn’t it nice Allura? To be touched?”

His face was too close to hers now, Allura narrowing her eyes at him. “You think to trick me!” She snapped. “To try and tame me with your fake gentleness!” She went to jerk back from him, and his hand dropped towards her arm, grip bruising as he hauled her back against him.

“It’s not fake!” He insisted, easily holding onto her despite her struggles. “I only wanted to show you…to prove to you it can be good between us!”

“I don’t want it to be good!” Allura retorted, her voice laced with pain and anger. “I want it to be over with!”

His eyes flashed, dark and unreadable in the moment. He always shielded his emotions in this manner, especially when he didn’t like what she had to say. “I will not be rushed, not for this! Not for you!”

“If you had any real feeling for me, you would heed my wishes and do what is needed in as quick a manner as possible!” Allura retorted.

“You should consider yourself lucky my feelings are so strong for you.” His tone was dark and ominous, almost threatening.

“What is that supposed to mean?!” Allura asked.

“Nothing. Just forget it and kiss me.” He ordered, and she glared harder at him. “Allura, you said once we were married, you’d not fight me when it came to your
wifely duty.”

She seethed at that, hating Lotor for throwing her earlier words back at her. “Fine.” Allura hissed, and went up on tip toe. Even in her anger, she was careful to avoid pressing against his sling, not wanting her weight to put unneeded pressure on his injury.

Allura had meant to keep the kiss short and chaste, just a quick brushing of her lips against Lotor’s. She should have known better, his hand clamping down on the back of her neck, Lotor holding her in place as he deepened the kiss. Fuming, she endured this, but not without a protesting squeal. Allura tried to ignore how soft his lips felt, Lotor moving them artfully against hers.

But it was no gentle kiss, she could feel the barely restrained passion within him, calling to Allura’s memory of the kiss he had stolen just before she went to face the Keraclon. Just like then, his mouth completely covered hers, possessive and commanding, with an undercurrent of need that still left her surprised. She wondered how many women he had had to practice on to get so good at kissing, Allura’s thoughts reminding herself she was just the latest in a long line of blondes as far as Lotor was concerned.

Thinking like that only fueled her resistance, Allura trying to flatten her lips into an angry line. It was difficult to maintain, Lotor’s tongue licking across that seam, tip trying to pry them apart. She refused to make it easy for him, her hands coming up to shove at his chest, but even with his injuries he was like immovable rock.

Allura didn’t know how long he worked at getting her to open to him, but his impatience reared, Lotor suddenly jerking on her hair. It was no gentle tug, nor was it exactly brutal. But it moved her enough to gasp, and when she did that, his tongue immediately swept inside her mouth. Allura wasn’t sure she liked the sensation of Lotor’s tongue moving about her mouth, even if it’s movements were sensual and with a purpose.

Another protesting sound from her, Allura trying to step back from him. He followed her, hand keeping them connected, and it was then she heard something slam into the floor. Lotor didn’t seem to care about that sound, but she did, and it was with a brush of her teeth against his tongue, that she got him to break the kiss. Allura quickly took the time to look down, and saw that his crutch had fallen and was responsible for that sound.

Breathing heavily, Allura felt Lotor’s fingers catch her chin. The prince raised her up, directing her attention back to him. His eyes were like twin, golden flames, the heat in them nearly staggering her back. “Let’s take this to the bed.” He said, and it was no suggestion he offered her. Allura could only swallow nervously, and nod, wondering how much more she could endure.

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