Allura didn’t quite sigh as Lotor kissed her, the girl giving up her lips without complaint. It was no hardship to be kissed by him, especially when he was being gentle, his mouth almost shy as he molded his lips to hers. Contrary to his mouth’s actions were his hands, fingers clinging to her shoulders in a bruising grip. It left no doubt towards her chance of flight from him, Allura reminded of just how strong Lotor was.
The kiss continued, Lotor growing more urgent, lips pressing more firmly against hers as he began to demand something from her. Allura thought he wanted her to yield to him, the girl relaxing her mouth to open to his tongue. She felt Lotor hesitate at that, lips a soft flutter against hers, and then he was pulling away, a half an inch worth of space between them.
“What’s wrong?” Allura asked, pleased her voice didn’t betray how shaken she was. “Don’t you want this?” That earned her a strange look from the prince, his head bowed forward so that his forehead rested against hers. It left them staring into each other’s eyes, Allura gazing into golden pools that look troubled and confused.
“I do…” Lotor admitted, looking as though he wanted to kiss her again. “But…”
“But what?” She asked, resisting the impulse to lick her lips and experience his lingering taste. He didn’t respond, just stayed there staring at her, looking as though at any second he’d bring his mouth crashing down on hers once more. His lips moved, forming words that did not want to be voiced.
“I just don’t want to kiss you…” His voice sounded as hoarse as a whisper, Lotor not quite stammering out a reply.
“Yes, I know…” Allura told him, breath huffing out in a sigh. “It’s always more than just a kiss with you. Lotor…there’s more to a relationship than physical affection!”
“You’re wrong!” He exclaimed, and now he straightened, though his fingers still held on to her shoulders. “I didn’t kiss you because I wanted to have sex with you.” Now she stared at him, eyes wide with surprise. Lotor let out a strangled laugh, but his eyes weren’t amused.
“Then why?” Allura asked, wanting to understand. “Why did you kiss me?”
“I….I kissed you because…well I wanted you to understand.”
“Understand?” She echoed, her voice a question.
“Yes.” Lotor nodded, and now his hands relaxed their grip, rubbing her flesh as though to soothe the sting from his fingers’ hold. “I wanted to show you how much you mean to me. I wanted to show you that I love you, how much of that love I feel for you!”
“And you thought you’d do that by kissing me?” She asked the words slowly, trying to understand his reasoning. He nodded, and she sighed, Allura taking a step back from him. “Oh Lotor…love is more than just the physical…You don’t just express it through kissing and sex!”
“That’s the only way I know how…” He sounded like a man lost, face almost crumpling in despair. His sorrow touched her heart, Allura reaching up to caress her fingers against his cheek. He seemed to melt at her innocent touch, leaning into her finger’s stroking motions.
“Have you never known love of any other kind?” Allura asked, though she was sure she already knew the answer. She remembered him telling her how he had always dallied with pleasure slaves, never taking the time to foster a meaningful relationship with a woman.
“No…” Lotor answered her, eyes searching hers for a sign of something. She wondered if he expected rejection to show on her face, but she could only smile sadly at him, fingers never pausing in their touching.
“No? Not even the love of your father?” It was the wrong thing to ask, his expression rebuilt itself, becoming guarded once more.
“He has no love left to give.” Lotor told her, and that made her want to cry. It must have shown on her face, for Lotor was lifting a hand towards her, fingers hesitating to touch her cheeks. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s just so sad…” Allura said, willing herself not to break down. “Everyone should know love….especially that of a parent child relationship.”
“Not everyone is as fortunate as you.” His words had her dropping her hand, Lotor quickly grabbing hold of it as though he couldn’t bare to go without her touch for even a few seconds.
“Yes…I had two loving parents…my mother may not have lived long, but I can remember the love she had for me…” Allura laced her fingers with his, letting him hold her hand. “My father taught me much about love…but Lotor…what about servants? Surely you had someone…..even a caretaker who cared for you?” He was shaking his head no, leaving her to frown at him. “No one?”
“No one.” He confirmed, then laughed, the sound bitter. “Those entrusted to care for me only cared about one thing. How much money they would be paid for their services.”
“Oh.” It was a sad sound from her, Lotor pulling her into a hug. Alllura thought she understood Lotor just a little bit better now, feeling bad that he had such an unfortunate upbringing. She held him, returning the hug, wanting to make everything better for him even as she quaked at the thought. It was a big burden to undertake, to try and teach this confused man how to love.
“What are you thinking?” Lotor asked her, pulling back just enough so they could peer into each other’s faces.
“Just….that I think I understand why you are the way you are.” She couldn’t resist touching him, fingers playing with the ends of his hair. “So many things make sense to me now…”
“Like what?” He asked, eyes curious.
“Well….like how you can so easily speak of killing your father. If there is no love there, no ties to bring you two together…” She shrugged. “I can’t imagine the upbringing you had….what it was like to be a child living without love.” A shudder shook Allura’s body, Lotor tightening his arms around her in comfort. “I don’t think I could have survived in such an environment..”
“You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.” Lotor told her, and she looked at him doubtfully.
“Maybe. But…I would be a different person growing up under that kind of loveless situation.” It was leaving her to wonder what kind of person Lotor would have been if there had been just a little love shown to him when he was a boy. Would he have grown up to be someone like Avok, someone she could fall in love with? Her thoughts brought up too many what ifs, Allura mourning the person Lotor could have been.
“Maybe, maybe not.” Lotor said, startling her out of her thoughts. “I think you’re a good person, it’s part of who you are. It would have shined through no matter what sort of circumstances surrounded your upbringing.”
“You give me too much credit!” A flustered Allura exclaimed, and Lotor chuckled at that.
“I give credit where credit is due.” He relaxed his arms, left hand reaching to grasp gentle hold of hers. She moved where he urged her, Lotor leading Allura towards the couch. They sat down together, the sides of their bodies touching, Lotor still holding onto her hand. “Is this more like the love you have known?”
She cocked an eyebrow at him, and he held up their joined hands. “Yes…I used to hold hands all the time with….with Avok…” She saw him fight to keep the jealousy from flaring up in his eyes, the prince so quick to envy her lost love.
“It’s difficult for me to be near you and not act on the feelings I have for you.” Lotor confessed, tone urgent. He squeezed her fingers, and she could feel the heat of his hand around hers. “I have all these desires, urges of what I want to do to you.” That set Allura off blushing, the girl turning her eyes downward to focus on the design pattern on her skirt. “Is it wrong of me Allura?” Lotor asked, still holding onto her hand. “To want that I mean?”
“No..no…sex…” The word alone was enough to still get her flustered, Allura risking a side long glance at Lotor. “Sex IS a part of love. But…you shouldn’t base the total experience of love on sex alone. There should be balance.”
“Balance…” Lotor repeated, sounding thoughtful. The both of them were quiet for a few minutes, and then Lotor was speaking once more. “Can you help me to find that balance?”
“I can try.” Allura told him, and he smiled, looking relieved.
“I want to be a good man to you….a good lover..” His thumb caressed over her knuckles, Lotor staring down at their hands. “This is a step in the right direction, isn’t it? Being able to talk like this with you?”
“Yes Lotor, it is.” She agreed. Another silence followed her words, the two comfortable with the quiet. Allura began to chew on her bottom lip, a nervous habit that did not go unnoticed by Lotor. “It meant a lot to me…” She began, shyly staring down at her lap.
“Hmmm?” She already had his undivided attention, Lotor waiting for her to continue.
“It meant a lot to me…” Allura tried again, fingers squeezing his back. “That you stopped last night.”
“Ah…” Lotor had a strange look on his face, she’d almost swear it was embarrassment that was darkening his eyes. “It was difficult..” He admitted, a nervous chuckle following his words. “It took all my will power not to follow through.”
“Still I appreciate it…It wasn’t what I needed.”
“What did you need?” Lotor asked, and she appreciated his interest.
“To be comforted…” Allura told him.
“I don’t think I did a very good job of that.” Lotor sighed with his admission, and though Allura did not confirm his words, she privately agreed with him.
“You could make up for it now…” She said, and he looked intrigued.
“What do you suggest?”
“Well…” She shifted closer to him, almost climbing onto his lap. “Just…just put your arms around me.” Allura let go of his hand, resting her back against Lotor’s chest. He did as she asked, and she touched his arms, liking the tight way he enveloped her in his embrace.
“I…I didn’t realize a comforting touch could be so pleasant.” He admitted, and she had to giggle at that.
“It can be.” Allura said, snuggling against his chest. “You’ll have to learn lots of comforting touches for our child.”
“You’ll teach me won’t you?” Lotor sounded so hopeful it made her smile, Allura nodding her head.
“Of course I will.” She knew now more than ever it was important to educate Lotor on love, especially if he was to be a good father to their child. “I’ll teach you everything I can….”
“Thank you Allura.” She felt him press his lips to the top of her head, planting kisses in her hair, and that too made her smile. “Our child is lucky to have you for it’s mother.” She grew flustered at that, and he laughed, nuzzling her hair. “It’s the truth. I’m practically hopeless without your help. But I want to be worthy….of both our child’s love, and yours.”
“You can be.” She said warmly. “You will be. I have faith in you.”
“I wonder what our child will be like…” His one hand ended up on her belly, rubbing circles on top of it. “Who he…or she will take after in looks and temperament.”
“Do you have a preference when it comes to gender?” A curious Allura asked him, tilting her head backwards so she could peer up at Lotor’s face. He smiled and shook his head, still rubbing her belly.
“I will love our child be it a boy or a girl.” Lotor told her, and she nodded, feeling the same way. “Though I would love it if we had a little girl, one who took after you in looks.”
Allura couldn’t resist teasing him upon hearing that, doing her best not to giggle as she spoke. “She’ll have men coming to court her from all the sectors around, regardless of who she looks like. She might even attract the attention of a man who is just like her father…”
“Absolutely not!” Lotor looked upset at the thought, shaking his head no. “I won’t allow it. I’ll lock her away from prying eyes if need be.”
“She can’t stay locked up forever.” Pointed out Allura, a giggle slipping past her lips.
“You’re right.” Lotor sighed, defeated for the moment. “But we’ll have to be careful. Some of those men you speak of will have bad intentions. They won’t want her for her, but have an eye towards the crown of the Doom Empire.”
“Would your people allow a girl to rule over them?” Allura asked, and Lotor hesitated.
“I’ll make them accept her!” He sounded so sure of himself, Allura smiling.
“What if we have a boy? hmm?” She asked, lowering her hand to cover his on her belly. “A strapping lad just like his father. Will you guard him too from treacherous women?”
“Well, there are such things as fortune hunters out there.” Lotor pointed out. “Women who seek to marry a man based on his financial assets. Any lady who wanted to marry my son would go through a strict background check, my people thorough in ferreting out the truth behind her motives.”
“Ah…” She stared down at her hand on top of his, noting the way the two colors complimented each other. But the blue seemed like the stronger color, and she wondered if there was any chance for the baby to take after her in looks.
“Do you want to wait until the baby is born to find out what it will be?” Lotor asked her, and she shrugged.
“It might be nice to be surprised.”
“Although it would make shopping for the baby easier.” Lotor said, and she glanced at him, eyes excited.
“Shopping?!” He laughed at that, nuzzling her hair once more.
“So like a woman, to be excited at the prospect of buying things.” She didn’t mind the statement, for in this instant it was true. “I’ve been putting some thought to getting the nursery ready.” Continued Lotor. “It’s early but…time seems to be flying by. Before you know it, our little girl or boy will be born.”
And with it would come her decision, to stay with Lotor, or to leave him and her baby behind. The thought pained her, Lotor once again holding her tight in his arms, doing a slight rocking motion to comfort her. In this moment, with Lotor expecting nothing more than to hold her, Allura thought she might be able to stay after all. And the thought scared her, a thousand what ifs running through her mind.
She wondered if he truly loved her, wondered if it wasn’t just infatuation. An infatuation that would fade over time, Lotor tiring of her and tossing her aside. Would it not be better to leave now than risk everything on the hopes that this man, this Drule, could learn to properly love a person?
Allura just didn’t know, and her heavy thoughts had her sighing, a deep huff of air. “What’s wrong?” Lotor asked, but Allura simply shook her head no. He accepted that, casting about for something else to talk about. “Have you thought about names for our baby?”
“It’s too soon for that.” Allura replied, and Lotor chuckled.
“It’s never too soon to think about the future.” He was touching her belly again, fingers gentle as he rubbed. “I know the nursemaid’s been using magic to keep abreast of the baby’s growth but…I’d like for you to get checked out by a doctor. I’d feel better if we had a medical professional’s opinion on the health and growth of our baby.”
Allura had no objections to that. “All right. We’ll do that soon.”
Lotor nodded, satisfied. “How go your magic lessons? Are you getting any better at making that shield?”
“Yes. Haggar is pleased by my progress. I can maintain it for a lot longer now, though it’s difficult when I get frightened.” Allura said. “Lotor? Do you really think there will come a time when I need to use the spells she has taught me?”
He was silent for a few seconds, Allura twisting in his embrace to peer worriedly at his face. “It’s best we stay prepared for any eventuality.” Lotor said at last, and she sighed. “Especially now that we are plotting against my father. That witch of his won’t hesitate to try and get revenge….I’ll have to take care of her too.”
“Can you do that?” Allura asked, growing worried for him. “Isn’t she very powerful?”
“She is…but…I’ll have magic on my side too.” Lotor was quick to reassure her. “Don’t worry Allura….nothing bad will happen so long as you are in my care. I’ll keep both you and our baby safe from all regardless of who they are, and what power they wield. I promise!”
“I…I believe you…” She started to say, only to have her words get drowned out by the sound of a rumble. Both Allura’s and Lotor’s eyes widened in alarmed, the two staring shocked at each other as the sound grew in volume. It wasn’t enough that it deafened their ears to their cries, a fierce shake shook the castle, Lotor nearly falling off the couch, and bringing Allura with him.
Somehow he steadied himself, clutching Allura to him in a protective hold. Allura couldn’t quite keep from screaming, the sound faint in the midst of the great rumble that sounded out through the castle. It seemed to go on and on for hours, though in truth it lasted but a few seconds.
Allura was out of breath from her scream, staring at Lotor, wanting answers. He frowned and slowly released his hold on her, but she wouldn’t let him get up, Allura clinging to his shirt. “What was that?” She demanded, and felt him run his hand though her hair. “An earthquake?”
“I don’t know.” Lotor said, and this time he rose, pulling her up with him. “But I intend to find out.” Holding onto her, Lotor walked over to the com unit that was attached to the wall by the door, the prince pressing down on a button. Static hissed to life, and then they could hear people shouting, panicked questions and commands, Lotor frowning to hear the chaos on the air waves.
“This is crown prince Lotor.” He spoke clearly into the com unit, voice loud to carry over the yells. “What is going on? What happened?!”
Silence stretched on for so long that Allura thought no one was going to answer him, the girl waiting for another tremor to shake the building. At last a faint voice was heard over the airwaves, the man sounding shaken and nervous. “Prince Lotor….this is Sergeant Dumeris…”
“Dumeris!” Lotor exclaimed, one arm around Allura as he pressed closer to the com. “Just what is going on? Don’t tell me we had an earthquake?”
“No…no earthquake.” The sergeant answered, voice sounding as though he didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news.
“Then what was it?” Lotor demanded, and Allura spoke up.
“Do we even know what that was?”
“It was the Queen’s ship.” Dumeris answered at last. “Her armada is in the midst of landing on the surface. One of the ships opened fire on the castle!” Allura clung tighter to Lotor, hearing him let out a swear word in Drule. She was frightened to think the Queen’s forces had arrived on planet Doom, and even more shaken by the thought of her using that strange but powerful weapon on the castle.
“Lotor…” She whispered his name, the prince looking at her. “What are we going to do?” She felt all the more disturbed to see him looking as lost as she felt, the prince having no answer for her.