Papers were spread all over his desk, diagrams and blue prints of the castle back on Arus, along with spreadsheets that gauge the performance of the latest lion that had been found. The lion itself was living up to all expectations, going so far as to exceed them when it came to matters of speed and power. If the previous found lions were considered machine marvels, black lion was truly in a class of it’s own.
It could run circles around the planet, outdistancing the other lions by several dozen miles. When it’s paws tread across the ground, thunder seemed to rumble, a distinct warning that the lion was approaching. And yet it could slip into stealth mode in an instant, feet hovering in mid air as it stalked it’s prey on wind drafts, cloaked in a force field that rendered it invisible.
It was hard to imagine that such a large ship could be so agile, it’s black and white metal frame bordering on bulky. It wasn’t the sleek design of the other four lions, and yet everything about it was somehow better. They had pilots clamoring for a chance to fly the lion, though in truth the controls were different, more difficult to handle than what had previously been seen. A novice pilot would be hopelessly outclassed, and right now they couldn’t spare the time to allow them to train.
At the moment, they were trying out seven candidates for the right to pilot black lion, each man and woman having cut their teeth training on the other four lions. A winner had to emerge and soon, the one best suited to fly black lion into the heart of the war with Merla. The time was fast approaching when the lions would come to Doom, ready to turn the tide of war in their favor. Lotor only hoped the pilots would be up to the task.
There was work to be done at the castle on Arus, the secret rooms revealing their true nature, a command center for the lions. As surmised by Allura, each chute led to a lion, a much needed short cut to it’s lair. As things stood, the castle could not be left alone, nor could access to the secret passage way be blocked. It would seem the castle of lions would get some much needed renovations, money being sent it’s way to shore up it’s foundation and clear the rubble out of the way.
It was what he was currently discussing with Cossack, the two Drules studying the castle blue prints, paper work that had been sent over from Arus. Fortunately for all involved, the records stored in the central computer of Arus were still intact, General Labreaza calling up the schematics for the castle. Lotor was marking the blue prints up with a piece of chalk, making notations over which rooms were essential to the renovations.
“It’s going to take weeks before the crews can complete construction on these rooms.” Cossack pointed out, giving the plans a critical look over. “Are you sure there’s not a room we can skip to cut the process in half?”
“Already been through the what if scenarios in my head.” Lotor replied, a finger hitting a specific room on the paper. “This room needs to be shored up, it’s foundation made stable before they try to bring down that wall of rubble. Otherwise the floor above it will collapse downwards, blocking us further off from the secret passage way.”
Cossack frowned, turning his head to the side as he studied the plans. “I guess you’re right….and we have to get to these rooms…” His fingers tapped the box that represented the room beneath the hidden command center. “We have to make them stable so that nothing happens to the rooms above it.” A nervous laugh from the commander, Cossack continuing. “After all…we don’t want the room with the chutes to be destroyed.”
“No….we don’t.” Lotor agreed with a sigh. “I’ve tried to plot out the quickest route to the parlor that leads into the secret passageway but….it’s still so many rooms!” He dropped the chalk, wiping his fingers absentmindedly on his pants.
“At least we can still access the lion’s lairs the long way.” Cossack pointed out, Lotor nodding.
“I appreciate you casting light on the positive.” Lotor told his friend, offering him a thin-lipped smile. “We won’t have to wait for the castle to be made useable to launch the lions.”
“I can’t wait to see the lions in a real combat situation!” Cossack exclaimed, and Lotor had to laugh at that.
“Cossack, you have seen them fight before.”
“Yeah, but this will be different.” Retorted the Commander. “They’ll be fighting a real battle, not controlled situations set up to test their skills.” A crooked grin from Cossack, the man pumping his fist excitedly in the air. “They’ll give that bitch Merla the ole’ heave ho! You’ll see!”
“I’m counting on it Cossack.” Lotor told him, eager to have the Queen’s forces gone from his home world. “I just hope nothing goes wrong when it comes time for the lions to fight this war for us.”
“What could go wrong?” Cossack wanted to know, looking confused. “The lions are sheer power, there’s no way Merla’s armada can hope to contend with them. Even with that stupid ultimate weapon of hers.”
“They may be powerful, but they are still piloted by our Drules. People are fallible…” Lotor sighed, a hand brushing back his hair. “What if the pilots freeze up during battle? What if they forget their training, and trigger the wrong controls? Mistakes could happen…..and in this war we cannot afford them!”
“It’s not like you to be plagued by doubts. Least not when it comes to fighting.” Cossack was frowning, and Lotor shrugged his shoulders.
“I guess I’m just tired.” He glanced down at the schematics for black lion, his eyes reading off some of the impressive aspects of the ship’s qualities. “It’s just hard Cossack. When I have to rely on factors that are untested in battle….it leaves me worried.”
“Worried?” Echoed Cossack, and Lotor nodded.
“Even a super weapon can disappoint.” He had more to say, but as the words started to come out, an insistent rapping sounded on his door. Both Lotor and Cossack turned toward it, spotting through the thick glass a brown colored blur. “There can only be one person who would dare disturb me at this time…” Lotor said, and stalked over to the door. As he was reaching for the knob, the door suddenly flew open, Haggar the witch barreling into the room. “Make that two.” He muttered under his breath, turning to track the witch’s movements.
“Hello Haggar.” Lotor said, trying for a civil tone as he watched the witch amble up to his desk. She stared down at the blue prints, yellow eyes narrowing into a glare. “What brings you by?”
“It’s the current state of affairs, and how you’re bungling things!” Cossack’s jaw dropped open at her insolent tone, the Drule glancing at Lotor to see what the prince would do.
“Whatever do you mean Haggar?” Lotor asked, closing the door shut behind him.
“This!” She said, a gnarled finger being pressed into the diagram of the castle. Lotor was in no mood to play at guessing what she meant, the prince crossing his arms over his chest as he frowned at her. It clearly wasn’t the reaction the witch wanted, the Drule turning back towards Lotor with a frown. “How can you be wasting time on castles and renovations when there are more pressing matters to attend to?”
“I agree the castle restoration is a secondary concern, but fear not old witch. The lions are going through rigorous training, and the pilot candidates are competing for the chance to fly black lion in the war.” His expression was wry, Lotor shaking his head. “I can work on more than one project at a time you know.”
“That remains to be seen.” Haggar said, then made a tsking sound. “You spend far too much time concentrating on the war, and the tactics needed to be employed to win it.”
“And just what should I be concentrating on, old witch?” Lotor demanded, surprised to see her grimace at him.
“It’s worse than I thought if you have to ask!” Haggar cried out, taking an agitated step towards Lotor. “You’re so like your father in this regard. Neglecting everything else in your zest to win this war.”
“Just tell me what is on your mind and be done with it.” Lotor snapped, annoyed that she dared to compare him to his father.
“What about Allura?” Lotor asked, noticing Cossack was leaning against the desk, watching the encounter with faint amusement in his eyes. Amusement that faded at the mention of Allura’s name.
“Is she hurt? Did something happen when you took her back to her room?” The commander wanted to know, Haggar turning to fix him with a withering glare. “Hey, I’m just asking out of concern!”
“She’s fine…or at least, as fine as one can be considering she just saw her home in ruins.” The witch retorted. She turned her attention back to Lotor, lifting her staff to poke him in the chest. “She shouldn’t be saddled with translation work….she shouldn’t be alone with her thoughts right now. She should be with someone who cares for her.” A stern look at Lotor, her eyes narrowed. “That someone should be you prince Lotor.”
He pushed at her staff, chasing it away from his chest. “If Allura needs me, I will go to her.”
“It’s more than just need.” Haggar began, lowering her staff to the floor. “It’s this whole situation. You’ve been neglecting her in favor of this war.”
“She said that to you?” A stunned Lotor asked, and Haggar shook her head no.
“It doesn’t need to be voiced to be obvious. You’ve hardly spent any time with her since Merla brought the fight to Doom’s doorstep.”
“I’ve needed to keep an eye on the battle.” Protested Lotor, gesturing wildly at the view screen by his desk. The current progress of the battle was clearly displayed on the monitor, ships exploding and shooting lasers and missiles at each other. “The violence upsets Allura. I thought to spare her from it.”
“I think your diligence to the war may cost you Allura in the long run.” Haggar muttered, words clear and carrying across the room.
“What do you mean?” Lotor asked, his look worried. “What do you see?”
“I see what’s obvious!” Haggar retorted. “If you spend all your time on the war, how will you ever persuade Allura to love you back? Your time is so limited, and this fight with Merla is eating into it, preventing you from fostering a proper relationship with her.” She shook with agitation, both hands tightly gripping the knob of her staff. “The months go by so quickly, and you have yet to show any progress with her! You do realize that, don’t you?”
“I’ve been a blind fool.” Lotor muttered, hearing Haggar make an agreeing sound.
“Yes, but there’s still time to fix it.” It was hard to turn his back on the war effort, Lotor knowing there was still a lot of work to be done, even with the final lion found. Haggar saw his hesitation, eyes an angry glower as she raised her staff, looking as though she wanted to strike him with the business end of it. “If you can’t put aside your work for even a few hours, you deserve to lose her!”
Lotor opened his mouth to protest, but the witch was already shoving past him, stepping out into the hall. She slammed the door so hard behind her, Lotor was surprised the glass didn’t shatter in the process.
Silence descended on the room, Cossack looking awkwardly at the floor. The seconds seemed to tick by, and then the commander was speaking, faking a cough to get Lotor’s attention. “She’s got a point you know.” He turned sheepish at Lotor’s glare, shrugging his shoulders. “No disrespect intended sire.”
“None taken.” Lotor said at last, sighing deeply. “I haven’t been spending as much time as I should with Allura….”
“But you can change that!” insisted Cossack, his voice a passionate exclamation. “Starting right now. Go to her your highness. Show her that you value her for more than just sex and her talents at deciphering those symbols.”
“Can you handle things here in my absence?” Lotor asked, already turning towards the door.
“No problem Prince! Leave everything to Commander Cossack!” He said, voice excited. “You just go to Allura, and I’ll handle the rest.”
“Thank you my friend.” Lotor said, and slipped out into the hall. There was no sign of Haggar, the witch having grown fed up with Lotor’s indecision, and fleeing the area. He hoped she hadn’t gone back to Allura’s room, the prince not wanting to deal with the witch again so soon. Nor did he want to deal with his father, Lotor knowing the king would be angry to learn that his son had in effect temporarily ditched the war to pay a visit to Allura. He’d deal with the repercussions when they came, knowing his father would most likely demand an explanation for his actions.
It took time to reach the patch of hallway where his and Allura’s room was located, Lotor barreling past startled guards as he rushed towards her room’s door. Now that he was aware of how much time he had wasted with her, Lotor wanted to make up for each and every minute. He wasn’t sure how he would, but he as determined to make the effort, hoping Allura would notice and appreciate it.
He knocked on her door, pausing an instant to listen for her voice. It did not come, leaving him to frown as he put in the over ride code to the door’s lock. The door had barely opened, and already he was stepping into the room, Lotor casting his gaze about his surroundings, looking for Allura. To his relief he spotted her near the far wall, the girl leaning back against the plaster.
Her eyes were closed, her legs curled under her. A note pad was half off her lap, her one hand barely holding onto the pen that was leaking it’s ink onto the paper. She had drifted off to sleep in the midst of writing something, and Lotor could see she had several of photos spread out before her, showing the newest findings in black lion’s lair. She had apparently been hard at work on deciphering the new symbols when lack of sleep finally caught up with her.
“Sweet thing…” Lotor murmured, a fond smile on his lips as he crept closer to Allura. It meant the world to him that she would work herself so hard to help him get the answers he needed, the prince kneeling down to edge the photos out of his way. He then crawled towards her, plucking the pen out of her hand. He recapped it, and slid it into the pages of the note pad, setting the book down on top of the pile of photos.
She stirred when he touched her, Allura making a sleepy protest as he gathered her up in his arms. For one-second he just held her close to him, breathing in deeply of her hair’s shampoo. It brought with it sweet memories, Lotor smiling as he remembered how much he loved the scents associated with Allura.
The act of standing brought Allura further awake, her eyes fluttering open. “Hi there.” Lotor said softly, and began carrying her towards the door that led into the apartment’s bedroom.
“Hi…” She blinked and looked around, spying where they were going. “I don’t need to sleep…”
“I think you do.” Lotor said, stepping through the doorway. “You passed out on the floor.”
“I only closed my eyes for a minute.” She protested, her gaze growing heavy even as she argued with him. “I’m good for another hour or two.”
“You shouldn’t push yourself.” Lotor told her, shushing her when she tried to speak. “It’s no good to work yourself to the point of collapse. A wise woman told me that.” He said, recalling how she advised him of the same thing days earlier. “Rest Allura…The symbols will still be here in the morning.”
“But….we need to know how to form Voltron…”
“There’s no rush for that.” Lotor was quick to assure her, finally reaching the bed. He gently lowered her to it’s mattress, untangling her arms from around his neck. Allura was eased onto the pillows, her blonde hair spread around her like a yellow cape. He couldn’t see the blue of her eyes, they were covered by her eye lids, the girl almost asleep once more.
He couldn’t resist reaching out to touch her once more, his arms missing the feel of Allura. Her lips curved into a smile as he brushed his fingertips across her mouth, feeling their petal softness. He traced that smile with his fingers, and then Lotor was working to smooth back the curls from her face, tucking the golden strands behind her ears. She giggled as he touched her, Lotor sharing in her mirth as he petted her hair.
“You must be uncomfortable.” He said, eyeing the tight dress she was wearing. It was the one she had been wearing since yesterday, the silk fabric badly wrinkled in places.
“Hmmm?” The sound showed she was still awake, sleepily responding to his voice.
“Here…” Lotor said, coming to a decision. “Let’s get you changed for bed.” She was relaxed as he lifted her into a sitting position, resting her front against his chest as he reached behind her back. Her dress had a velvet sash around the middle, the ends tied into an elaborate bow. His fingers worked to untie the sash, the dress loosening somewhat the instant it’s bow came undone.
Pearl buttons were sewn down the back of the bodice, Lotor’s nimble fingers easing them open one by one. He had to move Allura’s hair out of the way, and each button opened allowed another inch of her bare back to be revealed to him. He couldn’t resist caressing his fingers against her soft skin, feeling the heat of her against his finger tips.
She started to stir at his innocent touches, making protesting sounds as though she realized what he was doing. “Shhh…” Lotor murmured soothingly, getting the last button open. From this vantage point he could peer down the back of her dress, see the top band of her panties. He shook his head to chase away the image, his hands feeling blindly for the sides of her dress.
He was far gentler than he had ever been when undressing a woman, taking care to keep her garment from tearing as he began tugging it upwards. “No….Lotor…no…” Allura protested, voice muffled as he dragged the dress up over her head. Free of it, her hair came tumbling downwards, Allura falling backwards onto the bed. Lotor couldn’t help gasping as he caught his first sight of her breasts in what had to be months.
They were larger than he remembered, pregnancy surely being generous in gifting her already ample charms. The tips were a rosy color, such a dark contrast to her skin that was so pale. When he had first found her in his bed all those months ago, Allura’s skin had been sun kissed, faintly tanned to golden perfection. Now she resembled pale porcelain, and seemed just as fragile to the touch.
“You’re beautiful.” He told her, tearing his eyes away from her chest. He could see Allura was struggling to keep her eyes open, wary of his intentions. He knew he had earned her suspicion, and yet he couldn’t turn himself away from creeping closer to her. His hand reached out, starting with a somewhat innocent touch as he placed it on her belly.
It was as soft as the rest of her, Lotor letting out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. His hand caressed circles into her skin, moving up her waist to touch between her breasts. The touch there immediately set Allura off wiggling, her hands moving, grabbing at his wrist. It didn’t deter him, Lotor grabbing at her hands, gathering both of them up into a one handed grip.
That left his other hand free to do as he liked, Lotor unable to resist touching her some more. “N….no…” Allura said, voice clear in her refusal.
He ignored her, ghosting his fingers along the swell of her breast, hearing her gasp. That gasp became drawn out when he pressed down on her breast, Allura making a low keening sound that set his cock off twitching in his pants. It was then Lotor knew for certain it had been too long since he had been with her, if just a little touch and a sound, even one as delicious as the one she had just made could get his cock reacting so strongly.
Eyes on her face to catch the next moan as it slipped past parted lips, Lotor grasped firm hold of her breast, using his hand to confirm what his eyes had told him. She was bigger, and by the sounds of things, very tender and sensitive, reacting remarkably well to his manipulations of her flesh. Even as he played with her breast, fingers squeezing and kneading, Lotor told himself to stop, insisting that at any second he would pull away and fetch Allura her nightgown.
But the more noise she continued to make, the harder Lotor found it to pull away from her, the prince bending his head over her chest so that his hair brushed it’s ends over her skin. The touch of his hair over her nipples made them grow stiff and inviting, Lotor bringing his mouth closer to take just a taste of one. At his tongue’s touch to that pearled flesh, he lost all reservations, letting go of her hands to grip hold of her shoulders, pinning them to the bed.