He was such a fool. That was the thought going through Lotor’s mind, repeating itself over and over, mocking him. He had no words to defend against the thought, Lotor privately agreeing with the statement. He was a fool, he knew it with every beating of his heart. To have fallen for a slave—any woman really, but especially a girl like Allura, how the fates must be laughing at him. He grimaced at nothing in particular, his thoughts coming fast and furious.
Lotor could hardly believe it, the depth of his feelings for her. Allura made him feel things, new and conflicting emotions, ones he had never wanted, never asked for. He had always scorned at love, at the emotion and at the people who claimed to feel it. And yet, now here he was, caught in the grip of something that could very well be love. He had no other name for it, knew it could not be anything else, even as he fought and rallied against it.
Love. Just thinking the word made his lips curl, a disgusted sneer on his face. How could he have let this happen….why didn’t he fight harder? What was it about Allura that weakened him, made all his defenses cave in and allow such a pitiful emotion to blossom in his heart? Even worse, he hurt her, this time with his words, making her eyes blur with tears as he coldly informed her he wanted her only for sex.
Such lies made him feel terrible, remorseful that he hadn’t confessed his true feelings. But he had been protecting himself, and her. She could not know, he feared her reactions to such a claim, feared his own reactions should she laugh or deny his feelings. But more than that, he feared what would happen if word of it got to his father. Zarkon would not be thrilled, quick to place blame and take action. It left Lotor scared for Allura, frightened for her life.
He could never tell her. He knew that, and yet part of him refused to accept that. It was a part that ignored all his attempts at rationalization, insisting they’d make it work somehow. Lotor let out a bitter chuckle, knowing that was not true. They couldn’t, so long as Zarkon was alive, so long as the barrier between stations existed. She was supposed to be his slave, and nothing more, and damn everyone for making it be that way!
Lotor had to fight to keep from growling, his hands making fists as he stalked through the halls of the castle. He both praised and damned his father, feeling an odd mix of gratitude at the king for bringing Allura into his life. Without him, he would have never known her, would never have known what it was like to get lost in soulful blue eyes, or feel the silken caress of her hair. But at the same time, if his father hadn’t acted against Arus, perhaps things could have been different. Perhaps he could have gone to her in the normal fashion of a suitor, courted her, stole her away from Avok not through force and deadly means, but through gentle actions.
He wondered what his father was thinking, wondered if the crafty old fool even knew of Allura’s current state of health. That first night of her collapse, Lotor had not been thinking straight, mind too withered away by drink to be of use. His private guards had covered for him, Cossack sending out word that Lotor was seclustered away in his chambers, busy cavorting with wine and women.
That excuse was only good for one night, Lotor knew Zarkon would expect him to put an appearance in at court. Especially when they had visitors from the far reaches of the Doom Empire, some Queen and her son. It was rare for a woman to rise to power in the Doom Empire, but somehow this one had done it, managing her affairs quite ruthlessly as she ruled over a planet awarded to her dead husband by Zarkon. She was just the kind of vicious blood Zarkon liked, Lotor having a sinking feeling his father wanted to play matchmaker between him and this upstart queen.
He had no time for Zarkon’s games, and yet the truth of the matter was he must play. Play or pay a price, Lotor’s mind working desperately to come up with a cover story that would explain his absence from the court. He had Cossack tell Zarkon he was working on his next strategy, his eyes already on the next planet he would acquire for his father’s collection. His men were working around the clock, running interference, keeping the servants and even Zarkon himself away from both Lotor’s private chambers, and the medical wing of the castle.
It was all being done under the cover of stealth, the medical staff forbidden to leave, and sworn to silence under the threat of death. Even the patients who had been present when Allura was brought in, they too were now imprisoned in the hospital, unable to leave. From news relayed to him by Cossack, Lotor knew that rumors of a quarantine circulated itself throughout the castle, the servants worried that they too would fall to some deadly illness.
Lotor moved from shadow to shadow, noting the closer he got to the medical wing, the less chance there was of seeing anyone but his own guards walking the halls. They pretended not to notice the prince skulking about, turning an oblivious eye to his actions as he hurried down the corridor. He had taken the doctor’s advice, returning to his bedroom to take a quick meal, rations snuck to him by his personal guards. It had been bitter tasting, hardly the expensive feast Lotor was used to eating, but he had ate with little complaint.
He had also showered and changed his clothes, wanting to be fresh when he returned to Allura’s side. The separation from her pained him, the distance an agony of torments, Lotor practically counting out the seconds he spent away from her. She had bound him to her, more securely than any chains, her smile, her soul calling to him, demanding they never be parted.
He was all too eager to comply, even as he realized the problems that would arise from keeping the girl in his chambers. Zarkon had been tolerant at best of such actions on Pollux, Lotor had no such hope here on Doom. The king was ever in his business, ever watching him, and it wouldn’t be long before word got back to him of Allura’s new situation.
“Such a fool!” Lotor muttered under his breath, his footsteps echoing as he crossed the threshold into the medical wing. He walked even faster, just short of running as he kept his eyes on the room at the end of the hall. His thoughts were no less calm the closer he got to Allura, if anything they came ever more furious. He was still mulling over the problems that would be caused by his insistence to keep her in his bedroom, when he reached the room. He flung open the door without knocking, stepping into the room with an anxious flair.
His eyes immediately sought out the bed, his heart stopping to see it empty. “Allura?!” His voice came out a loud shout, Lotor eyeing the discarded wires that hung off the side of the bed. The machines were silent, the room too quiet. He took a step deeper into the room, and then he heard it. The sound of water running, and even fainter, the noise of a person moving about in the bathroom.
Lotor relaxed with a sigh, walking over to the bed. Allura’s clothing lay rumpled on the sheets, he touched them now finding himself cursing at not thinking to bring her a change of clothing. She had been wearing the same strips of lace for days, surely she would be glad of the chance to wear something new.
Lotor looked away from her clothes, though his fingers still absentmindedly ran across the lace of her bra. He found himself having to fight the temptation not to burst in on her shower, Lotor swearing to himself that he would behave around her. At least while she was still recovering! It was an effort though, Lotor having been without a woman in days, and without Allura for even longer.
A knock sounded at the door, a loud rap that issued three times in quick succession. Lotor looked up and saw Cossack standing in the entrance, the man’s normal smirk gone from his face. It was rare to see the commander so serious looking, he usually took everything in stride, seeing the world through a humorous slant.
“Begging your pardons your highness….” Began Cossack, Lotor nodding at him to come closer. “But I thought you’d be wanting to know the latest with King Zarkon.”
“Yes, of course.” Lotor said, wondering what his father had done now. “Is he still snarling over my absence from the court?”
“His growls are getting louder and more volatile every day.” Cossack confirmed with a sigh. “I don’t know how much longer my men can give him the run around. He’s bound to start heads rolling if this keeps up.”
“Great.” Lotor let out an exasperated sigh, bringing his fingers to his forehead. The last thing he needed was Zarkon to be even more surly than he normally was, the mere thought made the first flickers of a migraine start.
“…I don’t mean to pry your highness….” Cossack began, his hands coming together to fidget fingers against one another.
“But you’re going to do it anyway, aren’t you?” Lotor asked with a wry smile.
Cossack nodded, a grave expression on his face. “Is she really worth all this trouble? I mean…” His words came out hasty, Cossack reacting to the angry look on Lotor’s face. “She’s just a slave….surely there are other girls who can catch your fancy? No? Didn’t think so.” A sigh then, Cossack dropping his hands to his sides. “Always knew when you’d fall, you’d fall hardly then most.”
“Are you done?” demanded Lotor with a lift of his brows. “If you’ve come here merely to…..chastise me about my choices, I can assure you I have no need. I know how it looks, and I know how foolish I’ve been behaving.”
“Just so long as you know…” Cossack said, shifting from foot to foot. “But Prince Lotor…that’s not all that is going on. Your father’s witch has come up with a new chemical weapon….He wants to offer it to you to use in your latest conquest.”
“Since when does Doom rely on chemical warfare?” demanded Lotor. Cossack gave a shrug before answering.
“I guess when the people of a planet are being especially successful at holding back our attacks. I don’t really know, I just know that Zarkon is aiming to have you take it to a testing ground before he unleashes it on his real target.”
The water in the bathroom had stopped, Allura having finished with her shower. “A testing ground? Why even bother? Just dump it on the planet and be done with it.”
“Fraid it’s not that simple.” Cossack shook his head, dirty white hair falling over his eyes.
“It never is.” Sighed Lotor. “All right, out with it….why does this chemical need to be tested?”
“Seems it has side effects….bad ones.” Cossack said, falling silent as the door to the bathroom opened. Lotor glanced that way, seeing Allura emerged clad in a white towel that covered her from the top of her breasts to the bottom of her knees. She made a surprised sound, looking at Lotor and his visitor, the prince gesturing for her to be quiet.
“What kind of side effects?” Lotor asked, and Cossack flashed a humorless smile.
“Let’s just say death would be preferable to the kind of illness and mutations the chemical would cause.”
“I see…” Lotor frowned. “So the planet Zarkon is after, he’s not looking to take any slaves this time?”
“Guess not. They’ve proved too troublesome for their own good.” Cossack said. “The witch however, is hoping she can refine the weapon into something that will stop the humans in their tracks, but not deform or kill them. Doom can always use more slaves, we shouldn’t have to waste the resources a new planet offers us.”
“Yes.” Agreed Lotor. “So what planet will be the testing ground?” He asked it almost absentmindedly, thinking to himself how this was a waste of time. Of how he didn’t want to be the one to transport such a deadly toxin onboard his ships. He almost didn’t register the importance of the planet Cossack named, hearing Allura let out a gasp, a shocked sound that couldn’t hide the horror she felt.
“Arus?!” Lotor fought to keep from glancing at Allura, his brows drawing together. “Why that planet? It may not offer us much in the way of value, but it still produces slaves and a source of food to feed our armies with.”
Another shrug from Cossack. “King Zarkon says Arus. Who am I to disagree?”
“No one.” Lotor said, realizing that few people could argue against one of Zarkon’s ideas and live. “All right…..tell my father I have heard, and I am considering his plans to use Arus at the testing ground for the witch’s new weapon.”
“All right.” Cossack nodded, then hesitated. “Your highness…you won’t be staying down here in the medical wing for much longer will you? We really are running out of excuses that will work on King Zarkon.”
“I shouldn’t be but a day or two more.” Lotor answered, and Cossack sighed.
“Great. I’ll be taking my leave now.” He dropped into a bow, dirty hair sweeping forward to hide his expression from Lotor. When Cossack straightened, his face was once again a mask, not betraying what he felt. Lotor barely watched him go, turning to look at Allura who was staring wide eyed at him.
“Lotor…” She began, the door slamming shut behind Cossack. “Arus is in danger?”
Inwardly he cursed, realizing he had grown too reliant on her not being able to follow his private conversations. He had spoken and allowed Cossack to speak freely in front of her, never dreaming she’d understand and be worried by what the commander had to say.
“Arus is in danger?” She repeated more urgently, staring across the bed at him. He schooled his expression to be indifferent, giving a brisk nod of his head. A nod that had her face crumpling, worry in her eyes. “Why? Why Arus?”
“Why not?” Lotor asked, giving an uncaring shrug of his shoulders. His flippant half answer upset her, Allura shaking her head no.
“Arus has already fallen…the people will not give you any trouble….so why must you do this?”
“It is what my father wants.” Lotor told her. “We need a testing ground, one that is expendable. Arus has been deemed the perfect planet to test out this new weapon.”
“It’s wrong…” Allura protested, passion flaring at her words. “Wrong! My people are innocents….they’ve done nothing to deserve this.”
“Your people no longer.” He reminded her, seeing her flinch from his words.
“Lotor please….don’t do this. Not to Arus.” Allura’s tone turned begging, the girl looking at him pleadingly.
“To save Arus is to condemn another planet to suffer it’s fate in it’s stead.” Lotor pointed out. “Would you be willing to do that?” She closed her eyes, but not before a tear slipped down her cheek, Allura seeming to tremble in place. “Didn’t think so.” Lotor sighed. “It’s going to happen Allura. One way or another.”
“No…I couldn’t bear it…” She moved, coming around the bed to approach him. “Lotor please! If anyone can stop this….it’s you…” She touched his arm, never breaking eye contact with him. “You have the king’s ear…you can make him listen to reason…” She made a frustrated sound at his stoic expression, Allura bowing her head to rest it against his chest.
Lotor was tempted to offer her comfort, his hand lifting, hovering behind her head. But he dropped it an instant later, just standing there as she trembled against him. “Why must Arus continue to suffer?!” She demanded, a wavery note in her voice.
“It’s nothing personal.” He told her, seeing her react to his words.
“Nothing personal?!” She pulled back to stare at him, eyes flashing with emotion. “Lotor, it’s my home!”
“You’re home is with me now.” He retorted.
He fought the urge to grab at shake her, Lotor all but hissing as he spoke. “Yes. You can’t ever go back…I won’t let you. Forget about Arus, forget about your people, your past. Concentrate on your present, here on Doom with me.”
“I can’t….!” An urgent whisper from Allura.
“Then you are condemning yourself to be miserable.” Lotor told her, frustrated at her response. She seemed to wilt before his eyes, her hands going limp on his body as she slid down to her knees. For a second she just stared at the floor, not saying anything.
“I beg you…” Allura whispered. “Lotor, I beg you!” Her voice louder now, stronger. She touched his thighs, pressing her face against his legs in supplication, her words muffled against his pants. “Save Arus….save my….my birthplace…”
“Begging doesn’t become you my dear…” Lotor said, and now he touched her, gentle as his hands landed on her shoulders.
“It’s all I can do….” Her hands were moving, a soft touch on his thighs, innocent but it had him reacting. She seemed to notice, letting out a shuddery breath, head still bowed against him. “Lotor please…spare Arus and I will do anything….I’ll debase myself, degrade myself, let you humiliate me in whatever manner you see fit….just please….don’t unleash that weapon on Arus!”
Her hands were reaching towards his belt, manicured nails picking at the clasp. Lotor stiffened at her words, but she didn’t seem to notice, getting his belt open. Allura was in the process of pulling the leather loops free of his pants when his hands tightened on her shoulders. “Allura don’t…”
She said nothing, just pressed her face against his covered groin, nuzzling her cheek against it. Lotor let out a curse, shifting his hands onto the upper portion of her arms, hauling her up to a standing position. Her tear stained face looked back at him, her lips trembling as she gasped.
He wanted to kiss her, and yet he dared not move, frightened of what he’d agree to if he completed that action. She struggled against his hold on her, her hands reaching out to him. “Lotor!” Allura cried out his name, a low pitched sob accompanying it. “Please…..!”
Her towel loosened, seeming to slip down her body in slow motion. He barely watched it flutter to the floor, taking in a drawn out breath to see her naked and vulnerable before him. Allura watched him stare, taking a deep breath that made her breasts all the more prominent. He dragged his eyes away from the enticing image they made, looking into her face and saw the realization in her eyes.
She knew. Knew that she had power over him. Power she accepted, the girl slipping free of his numb hands to press against his clothed form. Her arms wrapped around him, her hands pulling him down so she could capture his lips with her own. He was lost the instant she kissed him, red hot flashes of desire shooting through him as he wrapped his arms around her.
Lotor swore against her mouth, his hands tightening on her body. Without breaking the kiss, he scooped her up in his arms, quick to ease her down onto the bed. She sank against it’s mattress, clinging to him as though she needed him, as though he was her very life. He was no different, when he breathed, it was the essence of Allura that gave him air, Lotor’s lips molded perfectly against hers.
“Allura…” For once he was breathless, the girl being in control of the kiss, not pulling back until she was satisfied she had stolen his breath away. “You’re still not recovered….” It was a half feeble protest, an attempt to save them both from what he knew to be a ruinous action.
Allure offered a half smile to him, fingers stroking through his hair as she gazed up at him. “I am recovered enough for this.” That was all the incentive he needed, he kissed her again, even as he knew his father would be angry, pissed beyond reason when Lotor informed him that they would simply have to find another planet to test the new weapon on.