Her first sight of the new day was with tears in her eyes, Allura blinking rapidly to dispel them. She wanted to bring up her hands to brush them away, but something prevented her from doing just that. For an instant she panicked, trying to jerk her arms forward, feeling something tighten around her wrists. It made her whimper, Allura letting her hands fall back in place, arms stretched up over her head and resting on pillows.
She remembered now, the fog that sleep had brought onto her memories chased away by the pain in her wrists. She had been tied to the bed, black satin cord wound around her wrists, just loose enough to prevent any circulation from being cut off. It wasn’t the first night she had spent tied to the bed, and Allura suspected it wouldn’t be the last either.
She let out a shuddery sigh, a slight hiccup escaping her as her silent tears trailed down her cheeks. She hated being in this bed, hated the reminder it served to be, the stage for numerous torments at the hands of one cruel prince. Thinking of Lotor, and what he did to her set her heart racing, Allura lifting her head to peer through the curtains of the bed’s canopy, anxiously scanning the room.
There was no sign of Lotor, Allura relaxing somewhat to find she was all alone. It wasn’t often that he left her side, Lotor alternating between attentive and demanding, as greedy and consumed in his personal lusts as he ever was. She fought back a shudder, her body remembering what he did to her, what he kept doing to her, again and again.
She wondered how many days it had been, how much time had past since Avok had been killed and Lotor had forced himself so brutally on her. Time seemed to have little meaning while she was trapped in this bed, Allura slipping in and out of consciousness, stealing what sleep she could manage when Lotor was done using her body. He never seemed to get tired of her, Allura wishing she knew what she was doing to keep his interest so firmly fixated on her.
She shook her head, trying to keep the flashbacks from occurring. She got enough of Lotor forcing himself on her to not want to waste time thinking about it. And yet she found if she didn’t think about him, other troublesome thoughts found their way into her mind, Allura seeing the moment the light went out of Avok’s eyes again and again.
She bit her lip, not wanting to scream, scared if she made too much noise Lotor would return to her. No noise, not from her, and not from outside the bedroom’s walls. The sudden absence of it left her puzzled, Allura having learned to sleep with the hum of the ship’s engines as backdrop to her dreams. Even inside the castle it wasn’t normally this quiet, occasional screams could be heard, women crying as they suffered some horrible fate, and the drunken laughter of the partying soldiers.
Now it was quiet, almost deathly so, Allura wondering what had changed this morning. She didn’t delude herself into thinking a rescue had come, knowing the castle wouldn’t be so quiet. It would be filled with the sounds of fighting, lasers exploding and challenges shouted out. Allura wondered if there even was a resistance left on planet Pollux, knowing the people had had little time to react to Doom’s sudden invasion.
She wondered if perhaps Lotor and his men had left the castle, maybe even left the planet. She didn’t feel much hope at the thought, though nothing more could have lifted her spirits than Lotor leaving her behind on this planet.
A noise alerted her to a presence approaching the room, footsteps clicking on the tile outside the door. Allura stiffened in anticipation, expecting Lotor to burst into the room at any second. But the woman the door admitted was most definitely not the Drule, her skin a tanned peach, and her gray streaked hair tied back in a bun. She had a good thirty years on Allura, and her figure was lumpy underneath the castle uniform she wore. Allura looked at her, trying to place a name to the face, but try as she might the woman remained a stranger to her.
Allura watched the woman close the door behind her, the maid moving with an air of defeat around her. Her shoulders were hunched, and she kept her head low, moving across the carpet towards the bed. Her hands reached for the curtains, purple ribbon tying them back so that Allura no longer saw things through a white veil.
Her silent visitor stepped away from the bed, disappearing into the bathroom. Only to appear minutes later with a large pitcher of water and a towel in hand. Allura licked her lips at the sight of the water, recalling how dry her mouth was. But she refused to beg for a drink of water, having steadily refused food and drink so long as Lotor kept her trapped in this bed.
And still she watched, keeping careful track of the pitcher as the maid set it down on the night stand next to the bed. Now she turned her attention to Allura, a brief glance at her face before she looked away, hands reaching for the blanket that covered her. She wrenched it forward, yanking it off Allura to reveal her naked state. Lotor had removed the beautiful gown she had been wearing, carefully cutting it off her in pieces with a sharpened dagger.
He hadn’t bothered to dress her since, leaving her naked to his touch, vulnerable to his every whim. The maid said nothing in response to Allura’s nudity, merely dropping the sheet on the floor, the barest trace of a blush on her cheeks. The towel was brought forward, the end of it wetted with the water from the pitcher. She brought it to Allura’s face, dabbing at her skin, water cool to the touch as it dribbled down her cheeks and into her hair.
They stayed like that for a while, Allura staring upwards at the canopy of the bed as the woman did her best to bathe her. Allura lost herself to the patterns that were sewn into the canopy, tracing the lines of stars and rainbows in a dreamy half awake state.
She nearly slipped back into sleep, lulled by the soft hesitant touch of the maid, and the sheer boredom of her situation. But the bedroom door slammed open, causing both Allura and the maid to jump, Allura turning her head but not before she saw the maid drop into a low curtsey.
Lotor was in the room, dressed in a fresh uniform, a sheaf of papers in one hand, a data pad in the other. He didn’t even look their way, stalking towards an overstuffed chair. A servant was behind him, wheeling a cart full of food, the delicacies containing a mouth watering aroma. Allura’s stomach growled, reminding her of how empty it was, the girl clenching her fists as she cursed her traitorous body for it’s reactions.
The cart was wheeled over to the bed, the servant slow to uncover the plates. Allura tried to pretend to have no interest in the food, but truthfully all her attention was focused on it. She was surprised to see what looked like Arusian delicacies out on the plates, the sight and sounds reminding her of home, and bringing a wistful tear to her eyes.
The servant finished uncovering the final platter, revealing sweet meats surrounding by honey glazed lamb, Allura digging her nails into her palms as she recognized her favorite meal. A curtsy in Lotor’s direction, the servant leaving the cart behind as she exited the room. The maid had finished her washing of Allura, setting aside the towel, and reaching for a comb. She set to the task of combing out Allura’s hair, the golden curls limp and unruly from days of neglect.
Allura winced as she hit a particularly painful tangle, the woman trying to be gentle but failing. She kept focused on the gnarls in Allura’s hair, making slow but steady progress to smoothing it out. And all the while Allura eyed the food on the cart, a war waging inside her as she fought her desire and the need to eat.
Lotor continued to ignore her, more focused on whatever his data pad told him, the machine occasionally letting out electronic beeps as new information was received. He rifled through the papers, reading them carefully, occasionally writing something down on the documents. His face was a studious mask, the busy ruler with his latest conquest and it’s affairs to see to.
One last comb through her hair, the woman finding no more tangles in her mane. The maid then gathered the bed sheets, once again disappearing into the bathroom. She returned with fresh linen, bending over to tuck the pale blue sheets over Allura’s body. She fussed for a moment longer on Allura’s hair, artfully arranging it around the princess’ shoulders, before turning away and seeing to the rest of the room.
Allura’s eyes slid back to the cart, eyeing the food even as the maid began dusting off the book shelves. The only noise was the rustle of Lotor’s page turning, and his data pad humming. It left Allura to wonder if the food would be left to grow cold, the girl nearly speaking up to question the motive behind the meal. But she held back, not wanting to profess even the slightest interest in the food.
The maid was now at the balcony window, washcloth scrubbing at the glass panes that were inserted into the doors. A hesitant knock sounding at the door, Lotor barking out a short command. A soldier entered, not bothering to look around the room as he walked towards Lotor’s seat. He bowed before the prince, and then leaned close to whisper something in Lotor’s ear.
Allura tried to pretend she wasn’t watching them, but out the corner of her eye she saw Lotor nod, the prince handing over the papers he had been writing on. The soldier nodded, bowing once more before hurrying out of the room. Lotor himself stood, taking a moment to stretch his arms over his head, shoulders rolling as he worked out kinks in his muscles.
“You there.” His voice made the maid freeze, the woman turning to look nervously at the prince. Allura wondered if the woman even understood him, or if she merely responded to the tone of his voice. “Leave us.” Lotor said, jerking his thumb in the direction of the door.
The maid didn’t hesitate, dropping a hasty curtsy before hurrying out of the room. Lotor didn’t even watch her go, fiddling with the cuffs of his sleeves. He loosened them, pocketing his cuff links, and set to unbuttoning the top most fastening of his shirt, exposing a hint of blue skin. Before he turned to her, Allura quickly looked away, feeling apprehensive at his actions, and trying not to show it.
She listened to him move, the man taking his time as he walked towards the bed. He actually paused to fix himself a drink, Lotor taking a long sip of his wine before coming to perch on the edge of the bed. Allura continued to stare up at the canopy, but she was all too aware of Lotor and his nearness to her.
She nearly jumped out of her skin when he touched her, Lotor bringing wine drenched fingertips to press against her lips. Almost without thinking, Allura found herself opening them, eager for the liquid relief the wine would provide her. She got just a taste, a mere drop before she remembered herself, sealing her lips tight, Lotor tracing her mouth with his soaked fingers.
“Drink Allura.” He commanded, and now he brought the goblet to her, his hand behind her head, lifting her up as he pressed the goblet to her lips. “Drink! Drink!” He urged, tilting it back. She nearly choked, wine rushing down the sides of her face, dripping off her chin and onto her chest. Her skin was stained with the purple drink, undoing all the washing the maid had done.
Lotor sighed in frustration, muttering something to her. He pulled the cup away. and considered her for a moment. He actually bent down over her, his white hair sweeping forward, his eyes staring down into hers. “Why won’t you drink?”
She didn’t have all the words, she told him as best she could that she wasn’t thirsty, “No drink!” issuing from her lips. He sighed again, an instant before he licked her cheek, Allura squealing in surprise as he lapped at the spilt wine. The cup was quickly placed to her open mouth, Lotor tilting a generous amount into it. Allura could not help herself, her throat too dry and grateful for the liquid.
“Better.” Lotor said approvingly, watching as she drank the cup empty of it’s contents. She glared at him, angry that he had tricked her, angry at herself for letting him do it. He turned away from her, refilling the goblet with water from the cart. “Drink more.” He ordered, holding the cup to her mouth.
“Hmph!” Allura made a rejecting noise, turning her head to the side. His own hand tightened on her hair, forcing her head to turn back to the cup.
“Drink!” He demanded, pushing the edge of the goblet against her lips. She tried to shake her head no, fighting against the grip in her hair, eyes angry. She already cursed herself for drinking the wine, hate and loathing coursing through her at her actions and his.
It was a contest of wills, the two staring hard at each other, goblet firmly in place against her lips. He seemed to break first, pulling the bronze cup away from her with an angry snarl. It shattered on the floor, half a dozen or more pieces lying broken on the carpet.
The act of breaking the cup seemed to calm Lotor down, the man turning his attention to the food on the cart. He reached for a crystal bowl, an orange gelatin like substance contained inside. A small spoon was dipped into the spongy substance, Lotor bringing it to her lips. “Eat!”
“No eat!” Allura retorted, even as her stomach growled at the sweet smell of the gelatin. “Allura no eat!” She repeated at his growl, wishing she could bat his hands away.
He took the gelatin away, and reached for the honey glazed lamb, cutting off a generous sized piece. “Allura’s favorite!” Lotor pointed out, all but waving the meat in her face. “Eat!”
It left her wondering how he knew, Allura slow to realize he most likely interrogated the servants in the castle to find out what kind of meals she would like. Allura wondered why he even went that far, why he even cared if she withered away from hunger and thirst.
“Eat!” Again he was urging her, his voice rising in volume. “Allura eat or else!” She just stared at him, eyebrow quirked in surprise as she wondered what his threat would be. Lotor swore, and threw the meat onto it’s plate, his voice rising as he shouted.
His cries were answered in an instant, Drule soldiers ushering in several frightened men and women. Allura frowned, even as Lotor smirked, pointing at the gathered group of prisoners. “Allura eat or they die.”
“No!” Allura gasped, horrified.
“Yes.” Lotor said, expression grim as he looked at her. He picked up the spoon, bringing it to her mouth. She hesitated for an instant, and he barked out an order, soldier grinning as his sword was brought to stab into the stomach of a man.
Allura cried out in horror, but she wasn’t the only one, the people panicking, trying to rebel against their captors. “For every bite…” Lotor began, Allura unable to understand what exactly he was saying. “Every morsel of food you refuse to eat, I will kill an innocent in retaliation. Now eat!”
Her eyes were wet again, but she obediently opened her mouth, letting him push the gelatin inside it. She made an exaggerated show of chewing, Lotor smiling and nodding in approval. It was bitter as it went down her throat, Allura hardly able to enjoy the food with the threat against the innocent people before her. But one way or another, she got the food down, and soon Lotor deemed she had eaten enough to his satisfaction.
It was a moment coming none too soon, Allura feeling full and as though she might be ill at any moment. She lay back against the pillows as Lotor turned to his men, giving them orders. The people were dragged out of the room, sobbing with relief that their lives had not been ended. The cart with it’s remains of food was also taken away, Lotor waiting until the door was closed to look at her.
“Lotor…” Allura said, and he leaned closer to her, straining to hear her whisper. “Sick…” He frowned, not getting her meaning so she repeated herself more urgently. “Allura sick!!”
She fought to hold down the contents of her stomach, her eyes seeming to cross as her cheeks bulged. Lotor’s eyes widened in understanding, the man quickly cutting her free of her bonds. She was already scrambling off the bed, making a mad dash for the bathroom. She all but slid across the cold tiles, knees thumping on the floor as she knelt before the toilet.
It seemed all his efforts were for not, the contents of her stomach being emptied out with a bitter choking sound. Allura gagged and gasped on the taste, faintly aware of Lotor entering the room. He actually hunched down beside her, his hand touching her back, rubbing soothing circles into her skin. His touch set her off vomiting once more, Allura repulsed by even the gentlest of his touches.