The day had started off like so many others, Lotor awakening alone in his bed. For one brief instant he had born the groggy disorientation of sleep, Lotor blinking his eyes rapidly as he had gazed at the empty spot besides him. The bed sheets had been cold, missing the warmth that a companion would have granted him. He knew he could have summoned a slave from his harem to spend the night with, but he had abstained, Lotor demonstrating an odd sense of loyalty to his soon to be bride.
He savored the word, Lotor hardly daring to believe that that was what Allura soon would be. He couldn’t wait for that moment, the King eager to tie them together with the bonds of matrimony. She’d never be able to leave him then, she would be his for a lifetime of wedded bliss. And it would be blissful, Lotor determined to make every day a joyful one, Allura’s true feelings be damned.
He always made an outward show of not caring how Allura felt about their impending nuptials, Lotor cold, almost cruel as he prepared her for the wedding. At times he was downright hostile, his anger quick to burn in response to her upset. Allura made no attempt at pretending she was happy, the girl tearful one moment, angry another. But other times, the times that worried him the most, she simply was, a defeated air around her as she sat and stared.
Her eyes were always distant in that moment, Allura thinking thoughts that Lotor could not fathom. She barely responded to his voice, so lost inside herself was she that he had to grab her by the shoulders and shake her back to reality. She always looked so disdainful in that moment, attempting to hold back her revulsion of him. It only made him angry, Lotor thinking she wasn’t doing a very good job at accepting the situation.
And so to punish her, he kept their daughters from Allura, holding them hostage to her good behavior. It seemed to make Allura succumb even more to despair, the girl weeping for her daughters. Daughters he was quick to point out she abandoned, Lotor realizing he held a kind of grudge against her for her easy ability to leave them. His hurtful words only made Allura cry harder, the girl unable to muster up a good defense of her actions.
He had long since grown tired of her tears, Lotor wondering how much more he would have to endure before she came to accept their reality. Would the continual separation from their daughters finally break her? Would she learn, if not to feel happiness, than to fake it? He did not know, and that made him worried for their wedding night.
Tears were to be expected of a new bride, the woman overcome with emotions. Even nerves could bring a new bride to tears, but they were usually ones of joy not this all consuming grief Allura experienced. And it only seemed to grow worse as the days passed, leaving Lotor to wonder what sort of emotional mess Allura was experiencing on the actual day of their wedding. He worried about it, unable to show his concern to her and to the public, but inwardly tormenting himself with concern.
It was easier to think about her, than to be around her, Lotor knowing he was quick to lose his temper. He never struck her, though he did shout at her, but the results of his angry words only served to quicken her tears. Allura insisted over and over they would not have a happy marriage, that she would not be able to go through with marrying him. She begged and pleaded with him to let her go, Lotor growing angry that she could even speak of leaving a second time.
Lotor sighed, reaching up to play his fingers against the cravat of his shirt, the King giving a careful inspection of his reflection. He couldn’t find an inch of disarray in his clothing, Lotor the image of impeccable perfection. None of his inner turmoil, the worries seeped into his face, but his eyes were joyless on this special day. His lips were set into a line, neither smiling nor frowning, the King serious as he contemplated what tonight would hold.
He should have felt the flush of anticipation through him, Lotor knowing that with the ceremony would come the consummation of their promise to each other. He still held an all consuming lust for Allura, a simple thinking of her beneath him in bed could make the blood rush to his groin, Lotor fighting arousal. It was quickly tempered by the thoughts that she would most likely scream and cry through out it all, acting as though it was some great chore to bed him. Ordeal would be the more likely word, Allura so frightened of him and his desires.
Lotor wanted to get the nasty business over with, the King hoping that after a quick fuck, she would remember the pleasures he had given her. The passion he inspired in her, Allura becoming the wanton slave of yesteryear. He wanted to enslave her, reawaken the woman inside her, the woman who could match him in desires. He had meant it when he said he’d chain her down, absolutely serious in doing whatever was necessary to make her respond to him in a favorably way.
He wondered how long it would take, Lotor not sure he wanted the drama of months long battle of will with Allura. It worried him, in a way he did not like, the King keeping his doubts private. He didn’t even share with Haggar, the witch his closest confidante since the death of Cossack and Allura’s abandonment. It didn’t mean Haggar kept quiet about what he was doing, the witch tsking and shaking her head, disappointment in her eyes.
She didn’t say much, but he knew she felt he was acting as badly as his father had behaved. At least his temper had cooled somewhat in regards to his actions around the castle, Lotor no longer so quick to kill for slight offenses. The nobles were certainly breathing a sigh of relief, surely crediting Allura’s return to the return of their King’s good mood.
Seemingly good mood, Lotor throwing himself into the planning of the wedding festivities. Hastily arranged though it was, no expense had been spared, his servants making do with what could be found on Doom. Flowers had been taken from the private garden he had built for Allura, the many different colored blooms being used to decorate the throne room.
Flowers sat on each table, beautiful centerpieces to the food spread around them. All manners of meals had been prepared, a mix of Doom cuisine and Arusian delicacies. The best cloths had been draped on the tables, pretty patterned butter cream colored fabric. The silver and purple rugs and drapes had been replaced for the moment with off color white, with the lightest of blues adding accents to the material.
Doom’s official flag hung overhead, enlarged by three sizes so that it covered the wall behind the throne and it’s dais. Flower petals covered the dais steps, and were crushed into the rug itself, making a perfume scented pathway to the priestess who would perform the ceremony. The priestess herself was dressed in loose flowing robes of silver, her hair covered under a veil. It was short in comparison to the veil he had ordered for Allura, the thing extending beyond floor length so that it would drag out behind her for several inches.
Allura hadn’t picked out her wedding gown, Lotor rushing the seamstresses to make her one. Off white in color, with silver and purple accents to mark his possession of her, it would cling form fittingly to her body. He couldn’t wait to see her in it, almost as much as he looked forward to taking the dress off her, tears and all.
His own suit was dark in color, with just a splash of white appearing on the jacket from the shirt he wore underneath it. He couldn’t stop running his hands over the fabric, fingers fidgeting with buttons and imaginary wrinkles. It was the only sign he allowed of his nervousness, Lotor knowing as King of Doom he couldn’t be seen pacing about, couldn’t allow any sort of tension to be seen in his actions.
He kept sneaking glances at the chrono meter, trying to see what time it was. He had given strict orders that Allura was to be brought to the throne room by a certain time, the ceremony would not be delayed by her, no matter the tears and protests she might muster. The nobles had already arrived, he could hear the murmur of their voices, echoed from a distance of a hall away.
He was in one of the side chambers that bordered the corridors leading to the throne room, waiting for the signal that would mean the ceremony was to begin. He had chased away his servants, Lotor wanting to be alone with his thoughts. He didn’t even partake in drink, Lotor enduring the wait on nerves of steel. Nerves that didn’t stop him from rushing to the door in a hasty manner, Lotor being surprised to see Haggar before him.
She wasn’t alone, holding the twin princesses in her arms. They were dressed for the wedding, wearing matching white dresses with silver ribbons in their hair. They squealed and cooed to see him, Lotor unable to frown in front of his daughters. Not when they were so happy and excited, the King reaching to pick up Adora from Haggar.
“Careful.” The witch cautioned. not quite smiling at him. “They’ve just eaten. The last thing you need is for Adora to spit up on your nice new suit.”
“I’ll be careful.” Lotor promised, walking over to fetch a towel and drape it over his shoulder. He then rested Adora against the towel, confidant if an accident should happen it would not end up on his suit.
Haggar hadn’t changed for the wedding, still dressed in her silver and purple robes that marked her position as part of Lotor’s trusted inner circle. She looked at him now, deadly serious was her expression, the woman unblinking as Alessandra patted her face with one tiny hand.
“What?” Lotor asked, tone guarded. He didn’t want the witch to ruin this day, didn’t want her to cast him in any more doubts. He had plenty of those as it was.
“Are you sure about this?” Haggar asked, shaking her head when Alessendra made to grab at her nose.
“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.” Retorted Lotor. “Allura is the woman I want to marry. The only one I want, the only woman I will ever love. It’s right that we make vows to each other.”
Haggar sighed at that, a heavy breath escaping her. “I think this is a bad idea.”
“This. What you are doing.” She gestured with one hand, trying to encompass a whole variety of notions. “This wedding, this holding her captive. Refusing to let her see the princesses. It cannot end well. Especially if you intend to bed her.”
He stared at her, mustering up a confidant tone. “Unless you have foreseen something that will convince me not to wed Allura on this day, then I won’t be convinced that this is a bad idea.”
“It’s just a feeling I have.” Haggar said, shifting Alessandra in her arms. “This whole week has been a trying one….for you as well as Allura. There’s an air around the castle, a dark one.”
“I hadn’t noticed.” Lotor lied, and Haggar glowered at him. “It’ll be okay.” He added, trying to reassure her. “Allura just needs some pushing, but once tonight is over, she’ll have accepted her role in my life. In our life.” He glanced down at Adora, the girl having fallen asleep with her cheek pressed to his shoulder.
“Sex with you won’t make everything better!” Snapped Haggar. “If anything it will exacerbate the problem!”
“We’ll survive.” He said. “We always do.”
“I wonder….” She trailed off with a thoughtful look on her face, Alessandra starting to fuss in her arms. Lotor was in no mood of any of her lectures, the King not prodding her to finish her sentence. Instead he glanced at the chrono meter, nearly doing a double take when he realized the appointed hour was upon them. And no one had come to let him know.
“Here…take her…” Lotor said, gently easing Adora away from his shoulder. “It’s time for the ceremony.” Haggar took the child from him, the girl too sleepy to even muster up a protest though Alessandra continued to fuss. Lotor placed a tender touch on her curls, trying to soothe his daughter, but even that did not calm her.
“It’s a sign.” Haggar proclaimed, and Lotor made a scoffing sound. She gave him an annoyed look, juggling her hold on the two babies. “She can tell. She picks up on the mood and it disturbs her greatly.”
“She’s only a baby.” Lotor retorted. “Too young to know much of anything let alone be bothered be it.”
“You forget who her mother is.” Haggar replied. “I think Alessandra will be graced with Allura’s gifts.”
Lotor wasn’t sure how he felt about one of his daughters having the capability to do magic, the King actually scowling in response to Haggar’s words. “It’s probably just indigestion.” He was trying to dismiss what Haggar had said, striding towards the door. “Once her body settles down, so will she. You’ll see…”
Haggar didn’t bother to respond to him, instead murmuring soothing nonsense to the twins. Lotor jerked open the door, and stepped out into the hallway, his scowl deepening to see it empty. He had expected to see Allura and the guards he had assigned to her, the soldiers having strict orders on when to arrive with the girl. Instead there was no sign of them, Lotor all but growling as he reached for the communicator in his jacket’s pocket.
His call was not answered right away, Lotor listening to the sound of static on the air waves. He kept on speaking into the device, growing angrier as he waited for a response. Finally one came, and even with the hiss of static, the man sounded nervous.
“What is the hold up sergeant?” Lotor demanded, and there was a pause, the man not wanting to answer. “Well?”
“Your highness….er..that is…King Lotor, there is nothing to worry about. Not really.”
“Not really?” Lotor echoed with a frown.
“Yes. It’s just a temporary set back. As soon as we get the door open, we’ll be there with your bride.”
“Get the door open?” Lotor questioned, then hissed. “And just why was Allura allowed to lock you out of the room in the first place? Where are the servants, the women helping her to get dressed?”
“She uh…she needed a moment to prepare…” The guard answered, and the nervous note in his voice said the man knew how lame a reason that was. “She was already dressed.” He added defensively. “Just needed to say a prayer. Said it was part of her culture’s custom.”
“Custom or not, she is not delaying this wedding!” Lotor snarled. “Keep working on the door, I’ll be down there shortly.”
“Yes, King Lotor.” The communicator went silent in his hands, Lotor turning in time to see Haggar. She seemed to be shivering, hugging the two girls to her chest.
“This is not good….not good at all.” The witch said, and Lotor had to agree.
“Stay here.” He ordered, and she seemed relieved to do it. Alessandra had broken into a cry, a thin voiced wailing that left him shaken to hear it. Adora was quick to wake up, and add her voice to her sister’s distress, the cries chasing Lotor as he stalked through the corridors. Even when he was out of the range of their voices, he still remember the sound Alessandra had made, Lotor hoping to never hear it again.
He soon arrived in the hall that housed the nursery and the two apartments, several guards milling about uncertainly before Allura’s door. Another man had a blow torch, and he was working on the hinges, the flame detaching them from the door. But slowly, Lotor wondering if they had ever intended to alert him to this debacle.
“What’s going on?” Lotor said, the guards turning to look his way, guilt in their eyes. They had to know they would be reprimanded for their poor judgment, but right not Lotor was more concerned with getting Allura out of the room. “Why isn’t anyone talking to her?” He stepped towards the door, careful to avoid the blow torch as he banged a fist on the surface. “Allura! Cease this foolishness at once! You only delay the inevitable!”
No answer to his angry words, a guard clearing his throat. “She hasn’t been answering.” He was nervous, Lotor banging harder on the door. “She hasn’t said one word since we realized she wasn’t coming out.”
“Not one word?” Lotor stepped away from the door, seeing the soldier start work on the last hinge. A bad feeling started in his stomach, Lotor recalling how this echoed a moment a few weeks back. When that nanny, the woman’s name already forgotten to Lotor, had barricaded herself inside her room. “Get this door open now!” Lotor shouted, fighting the urge to pace back and forth.
He glared at his men, the guards shifting about, heads turning to avoid looking at their King’s angry expression. Time seemed to slow, the work at the door taking too long, but at last the hinge was torn free, the door able to be open. Lotor was already stepping forward, seeing the furniture that had been shoved in front of the door. The hastily erected barricade was no match for his strength, Lotor shoving a chair over so hard it’s legs shattered against the floor.
His eyes swept the layout of the outer chamber, but there was no sign of Allura. But her handiwork was apparent, the room smashed about, flower vases destroyed, and food overturned, ground into the carpet. He would have tsked to see her tantrum at work, but he was already hurrying towards the closed door that led into the bedroom.
He nearly tripped when he stepped through the now open door, the darkness hiding the object that lay before it’s threshold. Lotor’s reached out with his arm, hand sliding over the wall to find the light switch. The room flooded with light, and he gasped, spying the blood on the floor. For too long, his eyes refused to see anything else, his mind not wanting to register what he had tripped over.
Instead details filled in, Lotor seeing the blood soaked veil tossed haphazardly by the bed. Shreds of white littered the floor, Lotor slow to realize it was Allura’s wedding gown that had been viciously torn apart. Here too things were smashed, vases and bottles of perfume and brandy, make up overturned to stain it’s powder into the carpeted floor.
And on the floor, laying right in his path was Allura, the girl clad only in a knee length white slip. It could almost pass for a nightgown, and it too bore the red stains of blood splattered. “Allura!” He was almost in denial at what he saw, Lotor dropping down to his knees to hover over the girl. His bride lay on her side, back to him, an arm stretched out before her. The other lay on top of her hip, and he realized the stain of blood originated from where her wrist was.
Another puddle of blood was around the hand on the floor, Lotor realizing the girl had slit both her wrists. He grabbed at her arm, desperate to stop the bleeding, and saw how deeply she had cut into her skin. It wasn’t just one cut, lesser wounds, jagged and uncertain looking surrounded the gash, Allura having made several attempts before she worked up the nerve to do a deep cut.
The guards were in the outer chamber, standing about uncertainly as they peered into the bedroom. “Do something!” Lotor snarled, lifting Allura up to clutch her against his chest. She flopped about bonelessly, no life to her body. “Get a doctor, a nurse, someone!”
A guard swore, and another hurried out of the room, presumedly to get the help Lotor so desperately needed. He couldn’t think straight, holding Allura possessively, whispering things into her hair. “It’ll be all right.” He said. “We just need to get you to a doctor. He’ll fix you up as good as new. You’ll see…..and then…then we’ll take you to see your daughters. Would you like that Allura? Alessandra and Adora have missed you. I show them your portrait every day, and tell them all about the wonderful woman their mother is. So just…hang on…”
He didn’t know how long he babbled, exposing weakness as he talked and fought back tears. Someone touched his back, and he growled like a wounded animal, his one arm lashing out to knock the person away from him. He just barely registered a guard shouting, the man pointing out that it was a doctor.
“Help her!” Lotor said, his eyes brimming with tears. He held on to Allura, not willing to part from her for even an instant. The doctor took in the sight of his hastily made bandages, the material tied tight around Allura’s wrists. He was without comment, reaching for the stethoscope around his neck. Lotor waited impatiently, the doctor listening for her heart beat.
Seconds passed, the doctor letting out a regretful sigh. Silently he pulled back from Allura, and began putting away his stethoscope, Lotor snarling at him. “What are you doing?! I commanded you to help her!”
“I’m sorry.” The doctor said, in his gravely serious voice. “There’s nothing left that I can do.”
“What do you mean?” Lotor said, shaking with his anger. “You have your bag with you. Surely you can find some trick of the trade to help her!”
“No. I can’t.” He sighed again, the doctor looking sad. “I’m afraid she’s gone.”
“Gone?” Lotor echoed, suspicion in his tone.
“She’s passed on. Her heart beats no more.” The doctor looked away from Lotor, his eyes taking in the room and all the blood that covered the floor. “She bled to death long before I arrived.”
“No.” Lotor said, the words all too final in his mind. ‘NO! Do you hear me?! Allura is not dead! She’s not!” He started to shake her, voice going from growling to begging. “Allura please! Open your eyes…..for me…for our daughters…please…I beg you…”
“Open them! Wake up!” But she continued to lay there, lifeless in his arms.
“I’m sorry.” The doctor said, Lotor tightening his arms around her, crushing Allura to him. “I truly am.” Somehow the doctor’s regret got through to Lotor, when his other words had not, Lotor feeling the tears spill down his face. He didn’t sniffle, and he didn’t break down into sobs, though he let Allura go, the girl falling in an awkward heap at his knees. A long and loud howl followed his release of her body, Lotor screaming out his pain.