He was aware of someone curled up against him, tucked in tight so that their body was pressed against his, the silk of their nightgown a pleasant coolness against his skin. Lotor blearily wondered who it could be, the prince fearing he had done something stupid, such as cave in to the temptation to sleep with a harem slave. The worry made him awaken even further, Lotor hesitating to open his eyes even as he felt an arm tightened over his waist, the person snuggling against him.
~Oh please.~ He thought, counting to ten under his breath. ~Please don’t let me have screwed up after coming so far.~ He finished his count, and screwed up his fleeing courage, snapping his eyes open and stopped. Allura lay next to him, eyes closed, lashes dark against her pale skin. Her lips were curved in a slight smile, the girl relaxed in her sleep.
Lotor lay there for an instant, just taking her in, wondering if he was dreaming. He had to be, reasoned Lotor, this was a moment he had often pictured in his head, both asleep and awake, although in his fantasies Allura was usually wearing a lot less than the wrinkled night gown she had on. ~A dream?~ Lotor wondered, his arms loose around her, hand on her back.
He bent his head to sniff at her hair, smelling the faint scent of flowers. It was an innocent move, but his blood quickened at smelling Allura’s familiar scent. Lotor couldn’t help the wistful thoughts that came, the prince doing his best to remain still as he thought that if this was a dream, he could do what he wanted without consequence. But it felt too real, Allura warm and soft in his arms, chest heaving slightly as she breathed.
His eyes drifted downwards, focusing in on her breasts, seeing the way the fabric of the nightgown pulled tight over her chest. She would probably need some new clothes soon, Lotor making a mental note to contact the seamstress to see about maternity wear. But except for that thought, his attention was all for Allura’s breasts, Lotor licking his lips and battling with himself to behave.
He groaned inwardly, the ease in which Allura lay next to him not lost on Lotor. He knew if he tried to molest her now, she might never trust him enough to sleep by his side, Lotor fighting against his every effort to flip Allura on her back and have his way with her. ~Be strong.~ He hissed inwardly, arms tightening around the sleeping girl. She made a sound, a sleepy protest though she wiggled against him rather than trying to get away.
Lotor gulped at feeling her squirming movements, willing himself not to get any more excited over the situation. ~Look at her face.~ He ordered himself sternly, thinking it a safe zone. But his gaze turned longing, Lotor staring at her parted lips, a pale pink bow that promised pleasure in more than one way. ~Don’t think about that!~ He snapped, and almost growled, incensed with himself.
And yet his one hand was brought to her face, thumb extend to touch her bottom lip, tracing it’s outline gently. Another sound from Allura, her breath warm against his finger, and then her eyelids were fluttering open. He saw the blue of her eyes, Allura looking disoriented for a second.
“Morning…” Lotor said, quickly dropping his hand away from her mouth. She did a slow blinking of her eyes, considering him carefully.
“Good morning.” She answered, voice sounded a little husky from sleep. Allura made no move to pull back her arm from around his waist, staying pressed against Lotor.
“Did you dream?” He asked, and slowly Allura shook her head no.
“Not really.” A pause, Allura looking as though she was trying to remember. “Just bits and pieces here and there. Nothing concrete….nothing worth remembering.” He let that be, figuring if anything had truly upset her, she’d tell him. “What time is it?”
“Don’t know.” Lotor admitted, making no move to look towards the chrono meter. “Don’t really care.”
Her eyes widened, Allura asking, “But don’t you have work to do?”
“I find I much rather spend all day here by your side.” It was his turn to snuggle, wriggling against her.
“All day?!” She questioned, sounding amazed. “Isn’t that a little excessive?”
“Well…..all morning at least.” He grudgingly allowed. That seemed to be the better answer, Allura smiling at him. His heart melted a little at the beauty of her expression, Lotor fighting back his urge to lean in and steal a kiss from her.
“Do you intend to keep me in bed for the duration of this morning?” She inquired, and he made a show of thinking about it.
“Would it really be so bad?” Lotor wondered out loud, and Allura giggled.
“I suppose not.”
“You suppose?” He arched an eyebrow at her, and as her giggles increased, Allura not answering, Lotor became mischievous. Moving his arms, he brought his hands to her waist, fingers making tickling motions. That set her off laughing, the sound bordering on the hysterical as she squirmed and tried to escape his tickling.
“Lotor no!” She gasped in between giggles, managing to push away from him by about an inch. “I’m too ticklish! Stop that!” But he was merciless, laughing as well, watching her squirming with great interest. She tried to roll away, and Lotor followed, ending with him pinning Allura to the bed with his body. They both stilled at the same time, things turning awkward at their new positions.
“Lotor…” She was no longer laughing, his fingers dying mid motion as he stared down at her, conscious of the way his body was pressing against hers.
“It’s good to hear you laugh.” He said, tone serious as he stared down at her, noting the sparkle hadn’t faded from her eyes. “You don’t do enough of it.”
“Haven’t really had much reason to do it.” She said quietly, looking just as serious as he felt.
“I want to change that for you.” Lotor told her, wondering if he could. “I want to fill your life with laughter and light, and…and love…”
“I thank you for that.” It was a bit formal the way she replied to him, Lotor frowning at her. “What?”
“Nothing.” Lotor shook his head, considering his next words. “I just…I just don’t think you realize how serious I am when I tell you these things.”
“Then explain it to me.” Allura challenged, her words causing a silence to develop between them.
“I do mean it.” He said at last, lowering himself closer to her. “With every fiber of my being. I want to give you only happiness and pleasure, give you all the positive things in life.” She stared without speaking, but there wasn’t tension between them. “It’s really hard for me.” Lotor confessed, focusing on her eyes and not the nearness of her mouth.
“Being close to you like this.” He clarified, seeing her eyes widen in understanding. “Being this close and not doing anything about it. It’s hard to behave…”
“I appreciate the effort you are making.” She gave him a nervous smile, her hand lifting up to touch his face. He grabbed at it before she could make contact, stopping her fingers’ caress before it began.
“I think…it would be wrong to touch me in this moment.” Lotor explained to her confused look. “I have so little control….I might ruin things between us if given even a little encouragement.” Her hand went limp in his, Allura no longer trying to reach out to him.
“I understand.” She said, and Lotor sighed, letting go of her hand. She dropped it back to the bed, and just lay beneath him, wide eyes staring up at his face.
“This is torture…” He breathed out, making no move to get off her.
“Then why do you stay?” Allura wanted to know.
“Because it’s both agony and sweetness, being this close to you without doing anything further.” Lotor explained.
“Oh.” One word, a sound really, that conveyed so much understanding in that instant.
“But you’re right.” Continued Lotor, wondering if she appreciated everything he was saying and doing. “We can’t spend all day in bed….not so long as there’s this…tension between us.” With a sigh, he rolled to the right, moving off her to lay on his back. He threw up his arm, positioning it just above his eyes as he stared up at the ceiling.
“I’m sorry.” Allura said, breaking the quiet between them. He felt her sit up, a glance out the corner of his eyes showing the girl smoothing down her rumpled night gown.
“Don’t be.” He told her, a wry twist of his lips making him look rueful. “It’s just me expecting too much of you again.”
“I wish I could be what you need…” She began, but he interrupted her.
“But I can’t do everything you require..” Allura pointed out. “Not yet….maybe not ever…” The bed was shifting with her weight, Allura inching off towards the side. “I don’t know how you don’t go mad from waiting.” She was off the bed now, staring across the mattress at him.
“Believe me it’s hard.” Lotor admitted. “But I have to have faith you’ll come around.”
“Why?” She asked softly. He rolled onto his side to stare back at her.
“If I didn’t…..I feel I’d do something terrible…” He trailed off at that ominous word, seeing Allura’s eyes resembling two saucer plates, so wide did they get. “Ignore me, I’m rambling. It’s far too early to be up.” He grumbled, even though he had no idea what time it actually was.
“It sounds more than rambling to me.” Allura said, staying rooted by the side of the bed. “Lotor…would you ever even really let me go?”
“I’d try to.” He was as honest as he could be, seeing her look thoughtful. “But Allura…..do be careful that you don’t break my heart.” That got her to shiver, Allura wrapping her arms around her, hands rubbing at her bare skin.
“I’ll be very careful with it.” She promised, backing up a step. She seemed to want to say more, than thought the better of it, Allura retreating to the bathroom. The door clicked close behind her, and Lotor sighed, rolling onto his back.
“Bloody hell.” He cursed, thinking he had botched things up with the menacing way he had last spoken to her. He didn’t mean to scare her, didn’t mean his words to come off as a threat. And yet a part of Lotor feared she needed the warning, the prince not knowing what he would do if she rejected him after all they had been through.
“Don’t think about it.” Lotor muttered, and got up out of bed. He paused to stretch, working the kinks out of his muscles, then walked over to the outer chamber. The pitcher of water was still there, and it was cooler in temperature than last night, Lotor realizing the castle’s climate control functions must have finally come back online. “Thank goodness for small miracles.” Lotor grumbled, and downed a glass of water.
Setting the empty glass aside, Lotor picked up the remote that controlled the room’s view screen, the prince pressing buttons that had the monitor lowered from the ceiling. He wasn’t hoping for much, fiddling with the input and heard the sound of static. “Figures…” He started to say, but then the static cleared up, the noise replaced with the sounds of ships and lasers.
Lotor looked at the screen with surprise, seeing the image was grainy, and lacked color. But it showed the outside of the castle, plain as day and in black and white, all but the largest of Merla’s armada still in the air. The ships looked badly damaged, the lions tearing apart their remains. Doom star cutters were in the sky, acting as back up to the lions, though there was little they were needed for.
On the ground, there was a lot less people, the fighting there ended. Hundreds of bodies littered the plains, and medical tents were set up to tend to the wounded. A fire was being built, no doubt the surviving Doom soldiers intended to burn the dead from Amazonia. Doom’s soldiers would get a proper burial once they were identified, though Lotor shuddered at the thought of the clean up it would take and the money that would be spent on getting the bodies to their families.
“Just another expense of this blasted war.” Annoyed Lotor turned off the monitor, wondering when news about Queen Merla would come in. The computers must also be close to functioning at one hundred percent. That meant ships could come and go whenever they wanted, and a grim smile crossed his face, Lotor wondering when and if his father would come waltzing back into his castle.
Would the Drule be so foolish as to come back? Lotor hoped so, if only to allow him the chance to get his hands on Zarkon all the sooner. He smiled, blood thirsty at the thought of it, and heard the bathroom door open, Allura finishing her business inside that chamber.
“You’re in a good mood.” She noted as she entered the room, Lotor still wearing that wicked smirk of his.
“You’re smiling like you are.” She pointed out, and Lotor shrugged, deciding to avoid the subject of just why he felt so good.
“The monitors are working again. The picture is not the best, but we can see outside the castle now.” Polite interest from Allura, someone knocking at their door. “The war is pretty much over. Just some loose ends for the lions to tidy up and then it’ll be safe to travel to and from Doom once more.” Lotor was already walking towards the door, wondering if it was a servant with breakfast.
To his surprise it was not, a wheelchair bound Haggar siting before the doorway. A hospital orderly stood behind her, gripping the back of her chair, and Haggar looked Lotor over, impatience in her eyes.
“Well?! Aren’t you going to invite me in?!”
“Oh, of course, of course!” Lotor said, stepping back so the orderly could wheel the witch into the room. Allura smiled at Haggar, murmuring a happy greeting to the Drule.
“I need to talk to you…both of you….in private.” A meaningful stare at the orderly, Haggar waiting impatiently for him to leave the room. He sighed and walked out, but not before Haggar called out some orders. “Don’t go too far. I’ll be needing you to take me back to my room.”
“Yes, Haggar.” The orderly said, Lotor closing the door in his face.
“Haggar, are you sure you should be out of bed?” A concerned Allura was asking, coming to sit near Haggar’s wheelchair. The witch smiled, and patted Allura’s hand.
“Don’t worry about me, I’m a lot stronger than I look.”
“You said you wanted to speak to us…” Lotor drew Haggar’s attention to him, the witch openly ogling him in his shorts. Lotor frowned, crossing his arms over his bare chest, not liking the way she was looking at him. “Haggar…” He said warningly, and she sighed.
“Can’t blame a woman for looking!” A cackle then, the witch amused. “Even at my age we appreciate eye candy.”
“Haggar!” He was displeased, even as Allura giggled.
“Oh all right…” She sighed, hands gripping her wheel chair’s arm rests. “I’m here to make sure you don’t do any boneheaded moves.” Lotor lifted a brow at that, and Haggar tsked. “Don’t give me that look! It doesn’t take the wind whispering in my ear, to know you are plotting something!”
“I don’t care who knows at this point.” Lotor admitted. “My father is a dead man walking.”
“Ah so you intend to go through with murdering him?” Haggar asked, and Lotor nodded. “I suppose that’s good…better than fleeing the castle with Allura.” Lotor kept quiet that his first instinct had been to do just that. Haggar continuing. “The last thing Doom needs is to be plunged into a civil war.”
“The planet’s seen enough war.” Allura softly said, Haggar nodding.
“You’ll have to be careful….” She said, stroking her chin with her sharp tipped nails. “You’ll have to maneuver things into place before you kill him, else you’ll just fail. And then where will that leave Allura?”
“Sacrificed to form Voltron no doubt.” Lotor muttered, and Haggar screeched.
“Oh, don’t you know?” Lotor was surprised, recalling the witch had been too busy working for the war effort to learn of the latest developments concerning the lions. “Allura translated the final message. The lions require a blood sacrifice, Allura’s blood, to form Voltron.”
“Is that what you think?!” Haggar exclaimed, voice hissing out in an odd sort of laughter. He frowned, but nodded, Haggar seeming to wheeze for breath in her amusement. “And did Cortana believe this as well?”
“Yes.” Answered Allured. “It’s why she kidnapped me. She wanted to win the war for Zarkon.”
“Ha ha ha ha!” laughed Haggar, Lotor glaring, not finding it at all amusing. He was even less pleased when she screeched, her voice a harsh accusation. “Imbeciles! ALL of you!”
“Just what do you mean?!” Lotor demanded, hands on his hips as he glared at her.
“Do you really think a robot built for peace would require a sacrifice of such great magnitude?! That Voltron would run on the shed blood of an Arusian?! Hmph!” scoffed Haggar. “What kind of monsters do you take your ancestors for Allura?”
“But…but I saw the symbols…” Allura began, voice hesitant.
“You must have read them wrong!” Haggar snapped, turning back and forth from Lotor to Allura, an ever present glare on her face. “Why didn’t you come consult with me immediately?”
“You were busy, remember?” Lotor asked, tone dry.
“That I was, but you could have called me off the shields to ask about THAT!” Haggar sighed, then laughed again. “Poor foolish Cortana….believing that hogwash. How she must be spinning in her grave to know she died for something that was a mistake.”
“She won’t be alone long.” Lotor said grimly. “I’ll send my father to join her for that same mistake.”
“That you will. But it won’t be today or tomorrow that you kill him.”
“What?!” Lotor roared, but Haggar did not so much as flinch.
“It’s like I said earlier. Things have to line up….the time is ripe for failure if you move now. What do you think will happen if you strike now?” Haggar demanded, then answered for him. “I’ll tell you. You’d fail. Why? because his men outnumber yours substantially. Even if you get close enough to Zarkon, they’ll kill you in retaliation. You’ll never get to sit on the throne. The nobles will have a field day taking control of Allura and your heirs.”
“Then what do you suggest I do?!” Lotor demanded, not liking the thought of waiting what so ever.
“Embrace him with open arms when he comes back. Act like you don’t suspect his hand in Cortana’s actions.”
“I don’t think I can do that.” Lotor said stiffly, and Haggar sighed.
“Do you even have any proof that Cortana was working under your father’s orders?” Lotor shook his head, Haggar making a mocking sound. “No, because he’s too crafty for that. You know he’ll deny any wrong doing in this matter…”
“Leaving him alive will encourage him to make another attempt on Allura’s life!” Lotor roared, seeing Allura twisting her fingers together anxiously.
“That is why you will go and form Voltron on your own.” A calm Haggar said.
“And how will we manage that?!” Lotor demanded.
“Take Allura with you when you inspect the lions. I suspect the answers will come to you on their own.” Replied Haggar, smiling at the nervous Allura. “With the secret of Voltron out of the way, the attacks on Allura will stop. And then you can begin your preparations, replacing the guards of this castle with men you can trust.” She was back to staring at Lotor. “You have allies you can call on, those secretive nobles with their private armies. Get the men from them, and then when they are in position, you will make you final move against him.”
He was frowning, but trying to see the truth in her words. “I don’t like it.” Lotor said at last, and Haggar laughed.
“You don’t have too! But you’ll do it, because it’s the smart route to take.”
“I…” Allura spoke up, drawing both Drules attention. “I think she’s right. Lotor, I would rather you wait and go about this in a safe manner than risk everything in a moment of angry passion. And Haggar is right….Cortana never specifically stated she was working under Zarkon’s orders. He’ll be able to claim she acted on her own…” She clasped her hands together, blue eyes wide and earnest as she looked at him. “So please…do as Haggar suggests. For me….for our babies…for the kingdom…”
“Fine..”He grumbled, teeth clenched tight together. “I’ll do it….but I don’t have to like it.”
“Babies?” Haggar was looking at Allura, studying her carefully. “So the wind was right….there is more than one child in your future!”
“Yes.” Allura allowed a glowing smile to cross her face, her hands now resting on her belly. “We got the confirmation last night!”
“Wonderful news!” Haggar said, Lotor tuning them out to stalk back into the bedroom. Their low chatter followed him, Lotor grumbling to himself, ill at ease with this whole cat and mouse game he was about to start with his father. He wondered how he’d ever be able to relax so long as Zarkon lived, knowing the king was a danger to all the people he valued and loved.
~I hope you’re right about this, Haggar.~ Lotor thought to himself, knowing he would worry endlessly for quite some time now.