He had spent a terse half week watching over Allura, watching and waiting, his worry making itself known in every action of his. He barely left her side, Lotor ready and waiting for any sign, be it positive or not, that there would be some change in Allura’s condition. She was slow to improve, but equally slow to deteriorate, Allura hanging on to life by a single thread.
The fever had continued to run rampant on her body, Allura constantly covered in sweat, her body shivering as the chills took hold of her. Lotor was constantly alternating between keeping her warm, and keeping her cold, blankets being replaced by ice cold baths. Medicine was administered, the doctor in and out of the room, making a pin cushion of Allura’s arm as he injected drugs meant to combat the illness.
At one point she had been tapped for an IV, nutrients and medicine on a constant flow into her body. He wondered if that was what made the difference, her fever finally breaking. She was out of the danger zone, but had yet to awaken, Allura in a deep sleep as her weary body worked to recover from the battle it had gone through. She slept right through the entire trip to Doom, Allura not even rousing when Lotor carried her off the ship. He supposed it was better this way, a public scene avoided as he was sure she would be less than pleased to discover where he had brought her.
As of the moment she was back in her old rooms, Allura tucked in under the covers. The room’s lighting had been dimmed, casting shadows all along the walls. Lotor was cloaked in one such shadow, the King leaning back in an over stuffed chair, wine glass in hand. He was sure work was piling up, but his remaining aides had been hesitant to broach the subject with him, falling into a respectful silence at the sight of the girl in his arms.
It was a waiting game now, one that was approaching six hours since they had arrived on Doom, Lotor a mixture of impatience and tense nerves. He wanted Allura to open her eyes, to have her truly see him and not with the haze of fever clouding her thoughts. And yet he was nervous, fearing what her reactions would be, and what his response would be if she proved less than grateful for all he had done.
The odds were against him, Lotor knowing she would most likely lack the favorable response he so desired. He realized he was steering himself for battle, girding his heart to be ice so as not to weaken his resolve around her. He had much to tell her, decisions he had made, regarding her future, and his. Even now his plans were being carried out, details being seen to as his people got the throne room ready for the upcoming ceremony.
Lotor realized his actions could be seen as pushing Allura, rushing her forward to a future she might not even want. But he refused to be swayed by her attempts to deny him any longer, Lotor determined to make her realize this was the only option for her. He was the only option, the only choice. What’s more, Lotor considered himself to be the best choice for her, the King knowing as long as she lived separate from him the same nightmare would play out again and again.
“It’s the only way Allura.” Lotor muttered, glass poised before his lips. “The only way we can have a semblance of peace in our lives.” He finished up that sentence with a deep sip from his glass, Lotor tasting the sweet nectar contained within. He nearly choked on his drink when he saw movement on the bed, Allura seeming to react to the sound of his voice.
He held his breath, eyes narrowing as he watched her move, the girl rolling onto her back from her side. She went still shortly there after, Lotor unable to tell from this distance if her eyes were open. Her chest rose and fell in an even manner, Lotor watching the blanket slip slightly off her. Seconds ticked onwards, Lotor as still as a statue as he stared at the bed.
At last he was rewarded with another movement, the girl raising her right arm, reaching up to the ceiling. Her fingers splayed wide, she seemed to be grasping at the air. He heard her mutter something, Lotor not quite able to make out the words. Her voice was simply too soft, but there was no mistaking the pain wracked sob that followed her utterance.
Silently, he watched as she lowered her arm, bringing her hands to cover her face. She made the sound again, a heart felt sobbing that had him shifting, Lotor uncomfortable to hear it. And still he did not make his presence known, watching as her shoulders shook with the effort of her tears.
Eventually they subsided, Allura’s weeping dying down on a gasp. She still remained on her back, but she lowered her hands, fingers touching the clean gauze that was wrapped about her right wrist. “I’m on Doom.” She said, and Lotor took that as his opening to speak.
“Yes. You are.” Lotor confirmed, spying the startled reaction she had to the sound of his voice. She didn’t try to sit up, just lay there, studying the pattern on the ceiling. He let the silence grow between them, Lotor sipping at his wine as he waited for some kind of acknowledgment from Allura.
“Then it wasn’t a dream…” Her voice was faint, a hoarse whisper. It was as though she could barely muster the energy to speak, Allura letting her arms fall limp at her sides. “I really was on a ship…”
“How much do you remember of the journey here?” A curious Lotor asked.
“Not much…just bits and pieces, people talking around me.” She sighed then, the breath shaking her body. “I remember being naked in your bed….”
“It was more expedient to keep you naked.” Lotor quickly explained. “You had to soak in the bath at regular intervals.” His lips twitched, but Lotor kept his expression blank. “I did nothing to you except work to save your life.” He waited for the thanks, expecting her to be grateful. Instead Allura remained silent, leaving him to wonder at her thoughts.
“You were very sick.” Lotor continued, setting his glass on the floor besides the chair. “We nearly lost you…”
“Oh?” Lotor arched an eyebrow, feeling annoyance flicker through him. “Is that all you have to say about it?” He thought she was going to give him more silence, but at last she sighed out an answer.
“What would you have me say?”
“Thank you would be a start.” Lotor retorted, watching as Allura struggled to sit up. She squinted in his direction, surely trying to make his form out of the shadows, the girl propping herself up on elbows.
“Thank you.” She said at last, voice bland and lacking true gratitude in it. It made him frown, Lotor leaning forward in his seat, the shadows sliding across his face. His words came out snide, Lotor not sure if he was trying to hurt or shock her with his next question.
“Would you have preferred me to leave you to die in that basement?”
Another sigh from her, a deep exhalation that sounded so weary. “It depends.”
“On where we go from now.” Allura retorted. “You’ve taken me from the city, from the planet….that bodes ill for my chances of returning to the villa.”
“You’re right about that.” Agreed Lotor. “The location is too compromised, too dangerous for you to remain there. My enemies could strike again, I would be remiss in my duties to you had I left you somewhere that gave them easy access to you.”
“Do you?” Lotor demanded, voice heated in response to her lack of emotion. “I don’t think you realize how dangerous these people are.”
“Oh I realize!” Allura said, making a strange sound that he identified as a hoarse laugh. “I’d be a fool not to after the way they gunned down the people at the villa.” She made no mention of her own ill treatment, the girl too consumed with worry for others. “I have to go back you know…Romelle and my friends will be worried. We have to hold a funeral for Sasperella…for the people that died that day.”
“You’re not going back.” Lotor quickly snapped, with a shake of his head. “It’s too risky.”
“Then where?” Allura asked, Lotor making a quizzical sound. “Where will I go next? Where will you send me and my friends?”
“Don’t play stupid Allura. It doesn’t suit you.” Lotor said in response to her question. She frowned in his direction, not liking the snide comment he had made. “You have to realize there will be nowhere in this galaxy, in this universe that will be safe for you now.” He paused a beat, letting her digest his words. “Nowhere that is but here on Doom.”
“Doom….” She echoed, frown deepening.
“Yes.” Another nod of his head, though he knew the shadows hid the action from her. “You have to remain where I can protect you. You have to stay in my sphere of influence.” Allura was shaking her head no, over and over. “It’s the only way you can remain safe. You and the people around you.”
“I can’t stay here.” Allura protested. “I can’t….and I won’t!”
“You can and you will!” Lotor said, and now he pushed out of the chair, drawing to his full standing height. “There’s no other way, don’t you understand yet?” He recognized the stubborn set of her lips, Allura’s eyes defiant in the moment. “How many more Allura?” he demanded, seeing defiance turn into confusion. “How many more must die before you realize what I say is true?!”
“Twelve are dead!” Lotor all but roared at her, marching towards the bed. “Twelve murdered alone in your villa. The Gods only know how many died that day in the mercenaries hide out. All those lives wasted….”
“It’s not my fault…” Allura whispered, and Lotor stopped at the foot of the bed, allowing a twisted smile to cross his lips.
“Oh? Then whose fault is it? Not mine.” He made a scoffing noise, folding his arms across his chest. “It was not I who made the decision to leave Doom. It was not I who chose to abandon our family for a new life.” He could see her beautiful blue eyes tearing up, Allura bringing her hands to her ears in an attempt to block out his words. He wouldn’t let her, Lotor rushing to the side of the bed, lunging towards her even as she shrieked.
“This all happened because of you, Allura!” Lotor snarled, grabbing hold of her wrists, jerking her hands away from her ears. “If you had stayed….if you had been willing to be a mother to our children, a wife to me, none of this would have happened. Your friend would still be alive, and so would those servants. It was your decision that put you in the reach of my enemies. Your…”
Her pain filled shriek cut him off, the sound hurting his ears. Allura was beginning to struggle, jerking back violently against his grip on her wrists. Her body thrashed about, her legs tangling in the blankets. And still he did not let go of her, all but shouting over her shrieks, trying to make her understand the foolishness of her decision to leave him.
“You’re wrong!” Allura cried out, her short hair bouncing about her face as she struggled. “It’s not my fault. It’s NOT!”
“I only wanted…” She hesitated, taking a frantic gulp of air. “Wanted a chance….a chance at happiness.”
“You were selfish.” Lotor hissed, seeing her eyes widen in shock. “Abandoning your children, leaving your family behind.”
“No.” She denied, whole body starting to tremble. “I couldn’t stay here. I still can’t…!” She was still fighting, words being hissed out, a panic edge to them. “Nothing’s change. Not you…not I…not the way you treat women!”
He felt the stubborn set of his jaw, Lotor growing more annoyed at her words. “I will be good to you Allura. I will see to your care and comfort both in and out of my bed. I will be gentle with you…”
“Like you were with Romelle?” Her words were like a slap in the face, making him inwardly wince as he recalled that last night with the girl from Pollux. Gentle would not have described his actions, not when he was so angry, not when his need had been so violent. If Lotor had been a human, he would have turned an angry red, so flustered did he grow by her accusation.
“That was different.”
“How?!” Allura demanded, and it was all Lotor could do to not shrug helplessly.
“Romelle’s a different person…” She made a scoffing noise, but Lotor continued as though Allura had remained silent. “She’s not you!”
“You’re right! She’s not!” Agreed Allura, and he was shocked to see her glaring at him. “You should have never involved her in our problems.”
It all but killed him to admit Allura was right, Lotor almost sullen as he bit out a quiet agreement. “You’re right I shouldn’t have.” He saw her glare give way to surprise, Allura gaping at him. “But I…”
“But what?” Allura demanded. “What excuse could you possibly give to take an unwilling woman when you could have found someone who wanted to be in your bed?!”
“But they wouldn’t have looked like you!” Lotor snapped out in protest. “Damn it Allura, I was hurt. I wanted to…” He paused, trying to find words that wouldn’t incriminate him any more. “I wanted you! And if I couldn’t have you, I settled for a paltry imitation!”
“That doesn’t make it right!” Allura was shaking her head no, but at least she had stopped struggling against his hold. “She told me a little of what it was like for her…”
“I think your cousin talks too much.” Lotor muttered darkly. “Do I not score any points for letting her go when I did?”
A tired sigh from Allura, the girl seeming to deflate from much of her anger. “That was…an unexpected kindness. And I thank you for that.” Finally he noted some real gratitude in her voice. “Romelle’s been given a second chance at life. She wants to save up money to get her own home, not be so dependent on me….and your money.” She didn’t say it, but Lotor could read the hidden meaning in her words, Romelle wanting nothing to do with him, not even the comforts his money could bring her.
“What will happen to her now?” Allura asked, Lotor making noise to show he didn’t care. “Her and the girls from Arus? Will you send for them?” She seemed to shudder, shaking her head. “They wouldn’t want to come back to Doom. And they shouldn’t. They deserve a chance at a new life far from here.”
“I don’t really care what they do with themselves. They can stay at the villa, or come back to Doom and serve as your ladies in waiting.”
“Ladies in waiting?” Allura questioned, and he nodded.
“Yes…you’re soon to be my consort Allura.” His voice was stiff with tension, Lotor having waited for an opening to detail just what he had planned for her. “I’m sorry I can’t elevate you to a higher status than that….but a slave….even one that had been a former princess cannot attain Queendom on Doom.”
“I would not want to share your throne.” Her words made his face grow hot, Lotor feeling his anger shoot up several notches. But he tried to control it, maintaining his outward cool.
“Are you at all curious about my plans for us?” He asked, fighting the growl that was building up inside him.
“I think I can guess.” Despair was in her tone, Allura lowering her eyes from his gaze.
“Well, allow me to illuminate you completely.” Lotor all but growled at her. “You will remain on Doom. You will be a mother to our daughters. You will be a wife to me, and all that entails.” He saw the shudder of revulsion go through her, Lotor’s mouth turning into an ugly leer. “There will be no more balking me, no more refusals on your part. We will do more than sleep together, we will have intimate relations.”
She was already pale from the illness she was recovering from, but Lotor could have sworn Allura went several shades white in shock. “I’m through with being patient. Through with waiting for you to get over this hang up.”
“It’s more than a hang up!” She retorted, voice shaky in her anger. “It’s the result of months of trauma….you can’t make it go away. You’ll only make it worse if you force things to happen between us!”
“I wouldn’t have to force things if you would give me some hope that you’d come around!” Came his retort, Lotors’ fingers tightening on her wrists. “Allura, I was patient with you. I lasted nearly a year without sex. All because I was waiting for you to come to me. To be with me! Well I am through waiting. You will marry me! And what’s more, you will come to my bed, or by the Gods, I will drag you into it and chain you down.”
Her eyes were huge, silent tears dripping down her cheeks. “If I have to…” He continued, leaning into her face. “I will keep you tied down for as long as it takes for you to accept me, and this relationship!”
“It’s not a relationship!” She shrieked against his lips. “It’s nothing more than a fancier form of slavery!” She practically spit at him, tone dripping with derision. “Your wife? Ha! I rather you just kept me as your slave. At least then you wouldn’t be trying to pretty up what you are doing to me!”
In that moment, Lotor wasn’t sure what he wanted to do to her. He was aware of growling, the sound incoherent as he could not find the words for a smart reply. Allura stared at him, breathing a little harder in her upset, and suddenly all he could do was kiss her. He heard her squeal, Allura’s lips remaining close to him, Lotor pressing harder against her mouth.
His hands moved up from her wrists, gripping her arms as he began pushing her back down against the mattress, all the while using his tongue to pry open her mouth. Their voices mingles together, Allura’s panicked sounds and Lotor’s husky growlas, anger at the heart of it. The kissing wasn’t about sex, wasn’t about any love he had for her, but an attempt to force his will on her. To get her to shut up and accept what he had decreed.
She wasn’t giving in quietly, kicking out with her blanket covered legs, Lotor starting to climb on the bed. His intent was to straddle her, Lotor unsure of how far he intended to take things when he felt the sting of her teeth coming down on his tongue. He pulled back with a curse, tasting blood, feeling his tongue throb. They were left to glare at each other, Allura shaken but defiant.
“And this will make you happy? Assaulting me?” She demanded. He just stared at her, in this moment knowing it would not. “And how will you explain this to our daughters? How will this be healthy for them to know their father abuses their mother on a nightly basis?!”
“They need never know!” Lotor retorted. “Rape will be a foreign concept to them. It won’t be something they will ever have to deal with.”
“And why is that?” Allura asked. “Their mother will have gone through it….their father will be known for it. It will touch their lives…in ways you can’t imagine!” More glares from both of them, Allura having stolen any response Lotor could have given her about that. “You know I’m right…” She added, and he snorted.
“By the time our daughters are old enough to understand any of this, you will have grown to love me.” He jerked the blanket off her, staring down at her night gown clad form. “We’ll be happy at last…we’ll be a normal family, a loving and happy one.” She batted at his hands, Lotor reaching to grope at her breasts. “We’ll forget all about this troublesome time, this unhappy start to our relationship.”
“You’re delusional!” Allura exclaimed, trying to twist away from his squeezing hands.
“Am I?” He questioned, hardly perturbed when she gave a vigorous nod of her head. “If it’s delusional to want love, than I am happy to be insane.” He suddenly bent down so that he got right into her face, Lotor hissing at her. “This is how it’s going to be. Accept it. Or don’t. Either way, within a week’s time you will marry me.”
She surprised him by not arguing against his words, Allura’s lips a sullen pout as she made a request. “I want to see my daughters.” Lotor stared at her, hands massaging her breasts right up to the point they spilled out of the top of her loose fitting night gown. “Please?” She added at last, almost begging now.
“No…I don’t think so.” Lotor said, listening to her frustrated cry. “In your current mood you’d only upset them.”
“Then when!?” Allura demanded, expression anguished.
“Maybe after the wedding.” He answered, hearing her gasp. “Or maybe sooner depending on your behavior.” She got his meaning, holding still for the kiss that followed, her face wet with tears. It wasn’t enough, he wanted her participation, something Allura wouldn’t grant him. It left him pushing away from her, Lotor taking a stumbling step past the bed.
“Lotor?” A questioning note in her voice, Allura laying where her had left her.
“You’ve a week to prepare yourself.” He didn’t look at her, Lotor running a tired hand through his hair. “A week to build up tolerance….a week to learn to be happy with me.”
“It’s not enough time.” She protested, but her voice was tired. His was too, Lotor moving to walk out of the bedroom.
“Then learn to fake it.” A gasp followed those words, Allura shocked and sputtering nonsensical sounds. Lotor strode through the doorway, every inch the haughty king, and it was only when he was in the outer chamber, separated from her by the barrier of the door that he crumbled.
~That went as well as can be expected.~ He thought to himself, hands clenching into fists. He didn’t know if Allura would be able to do what he had ordered her to, Lotor knowing her emotions were too easy to read, her face too expressive. Even now her tearful eyes haunted him, Lotor a mixture of anger and remorse. It was not enough to make him turn back and apologize to her, nor would it allow him to release her once more.
~I’m sorry.~ he thought, wondering if that was sadness he felt. ~I’m just too selfish to let you go a second time.~ It was those thoughts that chased him out into the hall, Lotor wondering if he was not damning them all to never ending misery.
To Be Continued….
I also have to put a disclaimer on this. You can stop reading the story after this chapter. It would be better if you did, if you’re hoping for a happy ending where Allura learns to be happy with Lotor. The story won’t suffer if you don’t read the final chapter, and you’ll have a little hope.
I thought long and hard over wheter to write the true final chapter, and thank those who encouraged me to stay true to my vision for this universe…I don’t want to upset anybody though, so hence the disclaimer….