He moaned just imagining it, imagining her, knowing he was needlessly tormenting himself and yet unable to stop. Lotor wondered if he was a fool, setting up a situation that could only end with one of them unsatisfied. He was lucky he hadn’t lost control, Lotor knowing he teetered on the brink of forcibly claiming Allura once more. He knew it would be disastrous if he did, and yet he couldn’t stop pushing them both, testing her to see if she’d give in and accept him bodily to her.
“I’m a glutton for punishment.” Lotor muttered under his breath, carefully shifting onto his back. There wasn’t much room for his frame, Lotor choosing to sleep on the couch in the room outside Allura’s bedroom. He insisted it was for safety reasons, though he feared it was just another form of torture, Lotor wanting to be near her. At least he needn’t lie completely about his intentions to Allura, for the guards had yet to return, leaving no one to patrol the corridor outside their rooms.
Not that he would trust anyone at this point to safeguard Allura, Lotor deeply suspicious of almost everyone in the castle. He needed his own men, and not agents of his father, and until he could replace them he’d settle for guarding Allura himself. Even if it meant sleeping on an uncomfortable couch
It was strange but what was a pleasure to sit on during the day, now seemed too small and cramped, Lotor’s legs dangling off the edge. He would have more room if he stayed on his side, but Lotor was constantly shifting, trying out positions. He wondered if he’d have a better chance at sleeping if he were to lay down on the floor, Lotor eyeing the carpet in consideration.
“Bother!” he exclaimed, and threw his pillow onto the floor, sitting up to glare at the room. He had no blanket, the castle had yet to reset it’s climate control functions, the room stifling in it’s heat. The humidity irritated him, leaving Lotor to sit clad in nothing but a flimsy pair of shorts.
Sighing he got up, and strode over to the table, reaching for the pitcher of ice water. The cubes had already melted in this heat, the water warmer than he liked. He poured himself a glass anyway, and stood brooding over it, desperate to think about anything other than Allura. If he could trust that she’d be all right, he’d take a trip down to the command center, ready to pester the technicians to work faster into restoring then castle’s functions.
It was all quiet on the war front, Lotor eager for news on how the lions were doing. Not that he suffered doubts at their chances for success, but he wished he could actually see their progress in action. But the view screens remained down, the people of the castle fortunate that their hand held, voice only communicators even worked within the building’s walls.
The castle had been searched as best it could, and there was little doubt that his father had fled at the first convenient moment. He couldn’t have stayed hidden all this time, and with the battle turning in Doom’s favor, Zarkon would surely have put in an appearance. If only to berate Lotor for the current messy state the castle computers found themselves in.
His fingers tightened around the glass, fiber thin cracks appearing in the surface. Lotor very much wanted to speak with his father, although the concept of talking was too mild a description for what he wanted to do to the Drule. He imagined painting the throne room red with Zarkon’s blood, instilling the same fear in the king as Cortana had done to Allura. His mind took fanciful trips, delighting in the various ways he wanted to torture his father before killing him. If Zarkon knew even one iota of what Lotor was considering doing, the man would stay far, far away from Doom.
Not even the thought that Lotor would be king calmed the murderous rage that came with these thoughts, Lotor considering composing a list of each thing he would do before ending his father’s misery. He knew there were experienced torturers on Doom, men and women skilled in their art, and employing a great many methods to keep their victims alive for as long as possible.
Revenge would be sweet, Lotor’s lips twisting into a smirk at the precise moment he heard Allura scream. Her panicked sounds startled him, Lotor dropping the glass to shatter against the table top. He was already running towards the door that separated the bedroom from the outer room when her scream sounded again, fainter but no less panicked.
“Allura!” He burst into the room, door slamming into the wall and saw her sitting up in the bed. The bed sheets were kicked aside, and her face was covered by her hands, shoulder shaking. She wasn’t screaming any more, but she seemed to be panting, harsh panicked breaths that were nearly a hyperventilation. “Allura….” He hurried towards her, but she didn’t look up at him, still cowering in place.
“Allura, look at me.” Lotor said, reaching for her wrists as he knelt on the bed. A gentle tug did not move them, Allura forcing Lotor to exert strength to uncover her face. Her eyes were wide, wet with the tears that were streaming down her pale cheeks. “What happened?” He demanded, looking her over for some sign of attack. But her nightgown was intact, no wounds on her body though she kept right on shaking.
“Allura tell me…” Lotor insisted, voice taking on a cajoling quality to it. He saw her blink, composing herself as she recognized who was before her, and then Allura was flinging herself against his chest. She ended up straddling his lap, Lotor touching her back awkwardly, trying to ignore the fact that this was Allura in his arms.
“It was Cortana…” She began, and Lotor lifted a brow at that.
“The witch is dead.” He gently reminded her, and Allura shook her head.
“I know that but…” He felt the shudder go through her, Allura’s voice hoarse as she whispered. “It felt so real.”
“Ah…” His hands were rubbing circles into her back, Lotor trying to quell the shivering of her body. “You had a dream about her.”
“A nightmare!” Allura corrected, her hands clinging to his bare back. “It felt so real…No.” A shake of her head, Allura continuing. “It was real.”
“You were reliving what happened.” Lotor guessed, and she nodded.
“Up to a point at least. Only…” A half sob escaped her, Lotor reaching up to touch the back of her head. “This time no one came for me. Cortana was successful in her attempts to kill me and my babies.”
“Oh Allura…” He listened to her cry, her face buried against his shoulder, Lotor holding her there as she shook. “It sounds terrible. But you know that’s not real.”
“What if…what if someone else tries to kill me?” She wanted to know, and he allow her enough room to pull back to peer at him. “What if another one of your father’s minions is successful next time?”
“They won’t be.” Lotor said, voice sounding confidant where he did not. “My father will die….along with anyone who seeks to aid him.” Allura didn’t seem mollified by his words, seeming to tear up even further.
“What if you die instead?” Allura wanted to know. “Then what?”
“I won’t die.” Lotor assured her, and Allura shook her head.
“How can you be so sure, especially now?!” She didn’t wait for him to answer, expression growing more troubled. “I heard what Cortana said. About how even you could be replaced. She didn’t seem to think twice about trying to kill you. Why? Why would she act that way unless she was confidant your father would not care?!”
“He probably doesn’t.” Lotor admitted, knowing it was hardly the soothing words Allura wanted to hear. “I’ve never been mistaken about my father’s sentimentality when it comes to doing away those who would interfere with his plans. But I won’t die so easily. I have too much to live for, to fight for. To protect.” He placed a hand on her belly, holding it there. “I’ll be more ruthless than him because I have a family to fight for. That will out trump Zarkon’s greed and desire for more power.”
She was looking unconvinced, placing her hand over his. “I don’t think it’s that easy…”
“I never said it would be!” Lotor told her, resisting the urge to chuckle.
“Desire to win…desire to protect….it doesn’t always translate well in intent.” Allura was serious, gazing into his eyes. “My father wanted nothing more than to protect me, to protect the kingdom. He failed. And with that failure, it cost him his life. I don’t want to see the same thing happen to you!”
“Poor thing…” He murmured sympathetically, realizing everyone who had ever wanted to protect Allura had died. Even Avok had suffered in his quest to rescue Allura, dying at Lotor’s own hands. Lotor put that down to both his skill with the sword, and the feeling that his desire to keep Allura had been stronger than any desire Avok had had for the girl. “It’ll be different though.” He said out loud, hugging her to him once more. “I’ll prove it to you.”
“I wonder if you can…” Allura said, sighing.
“We’ll just have to wait and see.” Lotor said finally. “Ah Allura….you’ve seen so much violence, so many horrible things in so short a span. It’s a wonder you can even sleep without being plagued by nightmares….”
“Sometimes I am.” She admitted to him. “Especially when I’m alone at night….”
“You should have asked me to stay with you then.” Lotor said, tone fierce. “I’d gladly remain by your side to chase away the bad dreams.”
“Oh I couldn’t!” Allura exclaimed, and he frowned, freeing her from the hug.
“Why not?” She looked downwards, fidgeting on his lap, mouth hesitating to give her answer. “Allura?”
“I have no right to ask you to sleep with me….not after turning you away in the bathroom…!”
“Oh Allura….” He chided, trying not to smirk. “I won’t turn away from you just because you’re not ready to have sex with me.”
“Really?” She asked in a small voice, still not looking at him.
“Really.” He promised, fingers reaching for her chin, slowly tilting her head back towards him. “I may be disappointed, but I won’t be angry. Not with you.”
“Thank you.” Allura said softly, Lotor leaning forward to kiss her forehead.
“Now let’s see about getting some sleep.” He was already easing her back down to the bed, shifting her legs off his lap. Allura gazed up trustingly at him, Lotor smiling down at her before shifting to lay next to her. They were both on their backs, staring up at the bedroom’s ceiling, which was a pleasant blue and white colored in a speckled pattern.
“Lotor…?” Allura asked, breaking the silence. He glanced at her, and saw her staring at him. “You’re still wearing Haggar’s charm.”
“So I am.” Lotor said, reaching up to touch the tiny bag of herbs that hung from the chain around his neck.
“Please promise me you’ll wear it always.” Allura was urgent, rolling onto her side to look at him. “At least until your father has been….defeated. He may not have Cortana but what if he hires another witch? I want to know you’re protected from black magic.”
Lotor was touched at the depth of Allura’s concern, the prince rolling onto his side so that they faced each other. “All right Allura. I will.” His hand tightened around the bag, releasing some of the herbs’ scent. Allura’s nose wrinkled cutely, the girl scenting the smell. “Can you tell what herbs she used?”
“No…I’m not that good.” She admitted ruefully. “Maybe in time I will be.”
“Perhaps Haggar should work on teaching you how to make protection charms.” His suggestion had Allura’s eyes widening, Lotor laughing as he reached to brush the curls back from her face. “What?”
“It’s still so surprising to me to hear you want me to learn any kind of magic.”
“I guess my eyes have been open to the value of your learning.” Lotor told her, fingers still smoothing back her hair. “Plus it seems to give you pleasure to learn Haggar’s secrets.”
“It’s fascinating.” Allura told him. “Haggar opens up a whole new world to me with what she has shown me.”
“I’m jealous.” Lotor said truthfully, Allura staring surprised at him. “She shares with you something I will never be able to….something I don’t even understand really…”
“You could learn.” Allura suggested, looking excited. “I could teach you what I know!”
He smiled, faint amusement on his face. “I wonder if it’s too late for me…”
“It’s never too late to learn!” insisted Allura, and she reached out to touch his arm. “Haggar told me everyone has the power in them, but not everyone can access it in a way for it to be any use to them.”
“Everyone huh?” Lotor said, liking the way Allura was stroking her fingers down his arm. She nodded, fingers reaching to circle around his wrist, Allura tugging it towards her.
“There is energy all over the body.” She said, studying his hand. “From the top of your scalp, to the soles of your feet. Most practitioners focus it through their hands or fingertips, but that takes a lot of effort to gather the magic into that one spot.” She was guiding his hand towards his chest, pressing it firmly over his heart. “There is power in all your organs.. But the key points are here….in your heart…” She reached up to graze her fingers against his temples, Lotor smiling at Allura’s gentle touch. “Your brain…..and…” Her hand dropped, Allura turning hesitant.
“And what?” Lotor asked, curious.
“Your sex.” She whispered, embarrassed. “Those are the three points that contain the most power.”
Lotor couldn’t resist teasing her, fixing her with a wide smirk. “Then I must be very blessed in that regard.” Cutely, she turned even redder, catching his meaning.
“I dare say you are.” Allura agreed, breaking eye contact with him. “We could always ask Haggar to test you….to see if your energy is compatible to use.”
“Perhaps we will.” Lotor said, not wanting to commit to anything just yet. “So sex plays a part in magic?”
She nodded, hands clasped before her, fingertips touching one another. “Not just in containing power, but in using it as well. Sex can rejuvenate, can heal…there are some powerful spells that actually call for the act to be performed.”
“They can’t be very useful for battle, those spells.” Lotor was thinking how easy to attack one would be if they engage in sex in the midst of battle.
Allura nodded, the act of discussing magic calming her greatly, to the point her shoulders relaxed of their tension. “There’s even a kind of magic that comes from being fertile…”
“Does that mean you might be more powerful because you are pregnant?” Lotor asked, and Allura nodded.
“Even more so because I am carrying twins….” She trailed off for an instant, then looked at him thoughtfully. “Do twins run in your family Lotor?”
“I don’t believe they do.” Lotor answered, trying to think of his family tree. “I can’t really recall many instances of there being twins. But…our records are foggy at best, going back only so far.” He left off that there had been a lot of murder and death in his family, sons dying before they could pass on their genes to a woman.
“Twins aren’t exactly rare in my family line either.” Allura told him, and Lotor smiled.
“I guess our twins are special then.” He could see that she liked that thought, Allura reaching down to touch her belly once more. “Do you ever feel them?” Lotor asked, and Allura glanced up at that question.
“Sometimes I think I do.” She admitted. “It’s not much, but I feel this sort of fluttery feeling in my stomach. I think it’s them, moving about, trying to get comfortable.”
“I wish I could feel them…” Lotor said, feeling a tad envious.
“You will.” Allura assured him. “When they get older they will kick, strong enough that placing your hand on my belly will allow you to feel their legs at work.”
“I can’t wait for that then!” Lotor exclaimed, and Allura let out a truly delighted laugh.
“I’ll be sure to come get you at the first sign of any kicking.” She promised him, making him grin. “Do you ever wonder what our babies will look like?”
“I’m not sure…for so long I thought there was only one. I’m still getting use to the idea of there being twice as much love to go around.” Lotor replied.
“I haven’t been able to picture them either.” Allura admitted. “I wonder if they will resemble me at all…”
“I hope they do.” Lotor said seriously, which made her smile.
“I don’t know much about Drule half breeds. Is it normal for the Drule genes to overpower the other race’s?”
“Seems that way…” Lotor couldn’t tell if that was disappointment on Allura’s face, the prince hurrying to cheer her up. “But the other race’s seem to have a softening effect on the Drule DNA. Just look at me, and the lack of resemblance I bear to my father.”
“True…you don’t look anything like him.” Allura looked relieved at that, and truthfully so was Lotor, feeling blessed for his natural good looks.
“I have his eyes though.” Lotor pointed out, Allura studying them.
“That wouldn’t be so bad.” She allowed, even as her own eyes looked sleepy, eyelids starting to droop. “I always thought your eyes were pretty….pretty like a cat’s.” Another droop of her eyelids, Allura’s words starting to slur. “Wild like one too…holding their mystery and ferocity deep inside…”
“You should get some sleep if you can.” Lotor suggested and Allura nodded. To his surprised she inched closer to him, actually going so far as to curl up against his chest, her hand pressed over his heart. For one instant he did not move, hardly daring to breathe as he wondered if he was dreaming. She seemed so trusting of him in this moment, closing her eyes with a half smile on her lips.
“Lotor…” She said it so softly, he almost didn’t hear.
“You’ll keep the bad dreams away won’t you?” She asked, and now he risked touching her, enveloping her in his arms.
“I will do my best.” He promised, nuzzling his face into the top of her hair. “And just know if they do come, I’ll be here. Waiting to comfort you.” She made only a sound, barely awake now, Lotor staring down at the treasure he held in his arms. He knew it would be a while yet before he’d be able to sleep, but suddenly he didn’t find the wait so unbearable.