He had spent a fitful, restless night, tossing and turning in bed, his mood black, angry. His whole body had been tense, tightly wound that no matter what position he contorted himself into, relief eluded him. It was no surprise that the bed sheets were tangled around his legs, a result of his constant movement, Lotor stealing the sheets away from the woman that shared his bed.
She wisely did not complain, not even though she was shivering, a chill working it’s way through the room. He gave no thought to her comfort, all but ignoring her as he sat up, giving the room an angry glare.
It was not the room he had claimed as his own for these past two weeks, but some guest chamber he had taken from one of his commanders. He hadn’t been able to bring himself back to his bedroom, knowing if he saw Allura he would surely do something terrible to her. At the same time he wondered why he even cared, why he wanted to spare her any more hurt.
“I’m getting soft.” He muttered under his breath, his right hand going to his hair, smoothing it back. The woman next to him stirred, risking a glance over her shoulder at him. He had selected her from his harem, grabbing the first slave he had come across, hands rough on her arms as he dragged her out the room and into his bed. She had not complained, reacting in the manner of an old practiced hand when it came to pleasure.
He had leaned back, resting against pillows as he made her do all the work, forcing her to be uncomplaining as she touched and kissed him. He had barely reacted, in a state of agitation as she reached for his belt. His foul mood had affected her performance, the woman’s teeth scraping in place, eyes peering up nervously as she sucked him off. He had to fight to keep from cuffing her on the head, annoyed at her sloppy actions and clumsy handling of his length.
And all the while he kept thinking of Allura, body growing heated as he recalled the gentle way she had touched him. The way her hands had felt, soft and warm, her lips leaving moist imprints on his skin, her silken hair gliding across his skin as she moved about. Just thinking of the way she had sucked on his ear had Lotor moaning out loud, a frustrated groan that left the slave in his bed staring wide eyed at him.
With a curse, Lotor untangled himself from the bed sheets, bending down to retrieve his pants from the floor. The slave behind him cautiously moved, going to sit up on the bed, alert for any orders from him. Lotor had none for her, his thoughts all on Allura, and what had happened the night before. Again he wondered why he hadn’t return to the bedroom, why he hadn’t held her down and taken what he wanted, what he NEEDED from her.
It wouldn’t have been the first time he had used force on her, and Lotor was pretty damn sure it wouldn’t be the last. He just couldn’t help himself when he was around her, Allura got his blood boiling, her reactions to him making him lose all sense of thought and reason. She reduced him to nothing more than an animal driven by desires, and the worse part was she wasn’t even trying to!
He stood and began pacing, his thoughts in an endless loop, all centered on Allura. He conjured a picture of her in his mind, of smooth, peaches and cream complexion, and long golden curls that trailed down her back. Of her blue eyes, seeming in a constant state of widening when she looked at him. Of her sweet bow shaped mouth, always drooping in sadness. He longed to see her smile, wishing she would look at him the way she had looked at Avok.
It was funny, but Lotor was jealous of a dead man, envying him for breaking through Allura’s defenses and winning her love and adoration. Even now she clung to his memory, Avok a blight on whatever Lotor tried to do with Allura, the girl using him as an excuse to hold herself back from Lotor.
“Damn him.” Lotor made a fist, imagining crushing Avok’s wind pipe with his bare hands. “And damn her for loving him!” He felt his lips curling, a sneer settling into place on his face as he thought of the emotion. He didn’t truly believe in love, not for men like him and his father. There was a price to pay for power, and love seemed the cheapest to sacrifice. And yet Avok had seemed to have had it all, power, wealth and love—Allura’s. It just wasn’t fair!
He could practically hear his father now, the man’s voice amused as he pointed out that Lotor was pouting, carrying on like a brat when things didn’t go his way. His father was always quick to extoll the virtues of living a loveless life. Zarkon had never known real love, not even his parents had been able to care for him. It made him nasty, made him hard, ready to do anything and everything to get power and hold onto it.
Lotor tried to mold himself after his father, following his example religiously. He had thought he had been successful, but that was before Allura had come into his life. The little slave was quickly unraveling him, making him weak and foolish. Last night was a perfect example, Lotor remembering the sheer pleasure he had felt at the simplest of her touches. It meant he had given Allura power over him, power he had to take back, one way or another.
He stopped in front of the window, gazing out on the inner courtyard. It was late morning, a few soldiers out practicing maneuvers, playful as they laughed and fought each other. Moodily he looked away from them, noticing the windows across from his, the castle walls curving inwards so that they enclosed a small space of green, a private sanctuary for the castle denizens.
Lotor wasn’t examining the building due to any architectural interest. No, his eyes were seeking out a certain window, peering past the open curtains into a bedroom. It was the room he had shared with Allura that he stared into now. It was ridiculous, but he found himself holding his breath, desperate to catch a glimpse of her. His eyes narrowed, Lotor annoyed at the neediness he felt, even as he found himself unable to turn away.
But no movement was discernible in the room, Allura either still asleep, or sitting just out of sight of the window. Lotor actually gave a wistful sigh, wondering if her sleep had been as troubled as his was. Probably not, he thought to himself. The little slave would be glad to escape his grasp for once, Lotor knowing his need for her manifested itself in constant touches, holding her close, and coupling with her frequently.
He was still standing at the window, when a loud knock drew him away from his musings. “Enter.” Lotor called out, forcing himself to turn away from the window. A low ranking soldier stepped into the room, eyes wide and wild, his uniform rumpled and bearing blood stains on it. He dropped a hasty bow to his prince, seeming to vibrate in place with excitement.
“What is it?” asked Lotor, taking a concerned step forward. He let out a hiss at the youth’s answer, a pleased smirk crossing his face.
“Your highness…We have found the informant.”
“Take me to him at once.” Ordered Lotor, already striding towards the door. The soldier turned, hurrying to follow his prince, voice almost breathless as he spoke.
“We have him in a room off to the side of the soldier barracks.” A disdainful addition. “It was the best we could do as a last minute cell.”
“It’s fine.” Lotor assured him. “I expect this matter to be kept quiet in case he has accomplices.”
“Yes, sire.” The soldier nodded, the two Drules heading down a staircase. “Me and the boys managed to smuggle him into the room before anyone could see. Although…” A grim smile then. “I expect the men are wondering about the screaming.”
“They’ll just have to keep on wondering.” Lotor chuckled, clearing the last step and moving to the right. He had been to the castle’s barracks before, a brief visit as he explored the castle’s many rooms. The soldier quarters had been cramped, cot after cot squeezed in to accommodate the many Doom soldiers that were staying at the castle. They spilled out of the barracks, and into other rooms, every available space being allocated to the soldiers.
A few more steps, and they turned a corridor, the buzz of talking filling the air. There was too many voices speaking at once to distinguish what was being said, the soldiers just out of sight as the one who accompanied Lotor led him past the open doors of the barracks, and towards a door that had two men guarding it. They reacted to the sight of prince Lotor, bowing their heads as one turned to open the door.
Lotor swept past them, the soldier his shadow as he stepped into the room. It was small, some kind of office, it’s furniture shoved against the far wall to make room for the soldiers and their prisoner. The man lay on his side in a puddle of his own blood, his body stripped off all it’s clothing. His back was to Lotor, he didn’t even acknowledge that someone had entered the room, seeming to be unconscious for the moment.
He had a scraggly amount of hair on his head, the Drule in the early stages of going bald. His hands were bound behind his back, a length of chain winding about his wrists and arms. He wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the other soldiers had seen to it.
They had straightened up at the sight of Lotor, faces going serious as they bowed to their prince. Lotor had nodded briskly at them, his expression betraying nothing as he walked over to the bound Drule on the floor. He pressed his bare foot against the man’s left shoulder, pushing down with his full weight. There was no reaction, not even a moan of protest, Lotor shoving him to lie flat on his back.
A familiar face looked up at him, skin a bluish green signaling the man had some mixed blood in him. That alone distinguished him, Lotor knowing it was rare for such a mongrel to be allowed into Doom’s military. Other marks covered the man, a cross shaped scar under his right eye, and a complicated dragon tattoo on his chest, wings spread so that the tips of them brushed against his arms.
Lotor was silent as he stared, ignoring the many cuts and bruises that were spread out on the Drule’s body. Inwardly he was already placing him, remembering the man had been present in the room when Lotor had killed Avok. Lotor frowned, recalling the way he had taken Allura into his arms, hugging her in front of his men, gentle when he should have slapped her for attacking him with her fists.
That alone was damning, but there had been plenty of soldiers in the room, any one of them could have relayed the tender scene to his father. He needed more, needed proof beyond the fact that this man had been present when Allura had struck him.
“Shall we wake him for you, prince Lotor?” An eager soldier asked, a bucket of ice cold water held in his hands. Lotor looked at him for a moment, his stare unnerving the guard into losing his grin, the man sorry for having spoken up in the first place.
“No….no yet.” Lotor said. “You there…..captain…?”
“Dracma sire.” Supplied the soldier, stepping closer when Lotor gestured him near.
“Just what proof do you have of this man’s guilt?” Lotor asked, and saw the captain blink. Surprise was in his eyes, Dracma glancing at his men before answering.
“We found some things…:
“Things? What things?” questioned Lotor.
“Er…suspicious things.” Dracma gestured, and a soldier bent down to retrieve a duffel bag at his feet. It was clear he brought it to Lotor grudgingly, slow to reveal it’s contents. When Lotor saw the gold, the hundreds of coins with King Zarkon’s face stamped on the center, he understood why. The fool guards had hoped to hide this from him, wanting to split the gold among themselves.
“That’s an awful lot of gold for a mere soldier to have.” Lotor commented, nodding that the bag could be sealed. “Certainly more than what Doom pays as a wage for a low ranking soldier.”
“That’s not all.” Dracma said, and now he produced a document, unrolling the papers to reveal the wax seal of King Zarkon. “He also had this….if you read it, you’ll see it entitles the holder to the sum of another fifty-thousand gold in Doom’s currency.”
Wordlessly, Lotor took the document from Dracma, eyes quickly scanning the writing on the page. It was written in such a way to avoid naming names, an ambiguous document that anyone could use to claim the money. “Looks like he’s been well paid for his time.”
“Yeah. Stinking spy.” The captain spit on the man on the floor, disgust in his voice.
“What else?” Lotor asked, handing the document back to the man.
“Pardon?” Dracma looked blank, reaching up to scratch at the topmost ridge on his head.
“Besides the money, what other reason do you have for suspecting this man of being the spy?” More confused looks at Lotor’s questions, the prince sighing. “Did you catch him in the midst of a communication to my father?”
“Oh no.” Dracma shook his head. “Such a low ranking soldier would never be granted an audience with the king, even via electronic transfer.”
“That’s my point exactly.” Lotor said. “My father does not deal with grunts, nor does he place his trust in someone who would be so messy as to leave his money lying around where it could be found during a random inspection.”
“So tell me captain. Who exactly clued you in on to the money in this man’s possession?” Lotor stared at him, Dracma hesitating.
“He wanted his name left off of this…” He began, once again scratching at his head ridge. “Said he was….too busy to deal with a lowly spy.”
“No one is too busy to claim the reward I offered for catching the informant.” Lotor pointed out. “Now captain, the name. Give me the name.” He advanced on Dracma, expression menacing. The Drule gulped, and reached into his breast pocket, producing a handkerchief. He dabbed at his sweat covered brow, lowering his eyes as he mumbled something.
“Donovan. It was Commander Donovan that alerted us to the spy.”
“Donovan!?” Lotor drew back, a hiss of air escaping him. Surprise coursed though him, but more than that was anger, a cold rage that was slow to build. Donovan was one of his most trusted men, always around for whatever schemes Lotor had in place. He was someone Lotor kept close confidence with, Lotor trusting him with many secrets. He was someone Lotor would have never suspected, and that made him all the more angry to think Donovan had been speaking to his father about his private dealings with his slaves.
“Your highness?” Dracma was looking at him, surely apprehensive at the way Lotor had fallen silent.
“Free this man and get him to a doctor immediately.” Lotor ordered, an absent minded gesture at the man on the floor.
“But prince Lotor, isn’t he the spy? Shouldn’t we….do something to prevent him from contacting King Zarkon with any more information?”
Lotor held back a curse, realizing the man on the floor would have to be dealt with to avoid Donovan growing suspicious. He would have to believe Lotor thought the informant was silenced, Lotor’s mind already thinking of ways to entrap the commander. He didn’t look at the man on the floor, already knowing he was a dead man, innocent of this crime and yet he would pay the price due to Donovan’s machinations.
“Kill him.” Lotor ordered, seeing the nods of approval from the soldiers. “And make it quick.” That was the least Lotor could do, granting the poor mongrel a swift death.
“What do we do with the gold?” One of the soldiers foolishly asked, another hissing at him to be quiet.
“A good question.” Lotor took the duffel bag from the soldier, sliding it’s strap across his shoulder. “I’ll be seeing this returned to my father…” A humorless smile, Lotor adding, “Perhaps next time he can use it to buy a better spy.”
“Why would you want him to do that?” The young soldier asked, and another rolled his eyes.
“He’s being sarcastic fool!”
Lotor had already snatched the document from captain Dracma, stuffing it into the bag. “Tell no one of what happened in this room.” Idly he wondered if they’d keep quiet, Lotor not caring either way. He stepped towards the door, hearing a resounding chorus of yes sirs from the gathered men. A choked out gurgle rang in his ears as he opened the door, someone having slit the man’s throat.
Lotor barely reacted, stepping out into the hall, his thoughts coming fast and furious. Donavon would pay, Lotor would see to it himself.