Outside the command deck, there was soldiers out in the hall. They looked frightened, and did not relax to see that it was Merla not Lotor who had stepped into the hall. Merla supposed she couldn’t blame them. After all, her livid expression had to betray just how murderous a mood she was currently in. They feared for their lives, openly projecting that frightened emotion with their every reactions. But she was no Prince Lotor, Merla not quite as quick to kill in aggravated tantrum.
At least not when it came to the nameless grunts onboard this ship. In fact, there was only two people in the galaxy that could spur Merla on to react based purely on volatile emotions. The princess of Arus, and Merla’s own darling husband. Lotor. Just thinking his name made Merla’s lips curl, her hands wanting to clench into fists. If ever there was someone worthy of slaughtering in a moment of passion, it was Lotor.
She despised him. Without a doubt, hate ran strong within her. Unfortunately it was saddled with a strong dose of attraction, Merla lusting after Lotor with a passion that still took her by surprise. Never had she felt such strong emotion for anyone, let alone a man. Lotor affected her, left Merla twisted up on the inside. To the point she felt confusion, wondering what she wanted more. To love Lotor, or to kill him.
That last thought made her scowl. The Drules in the hall noticed, and wisely gave her space. They were treating her like the dangerous Drule she was, and even that couldn’t appease her anger and upset. And all because Merla was torn up inside by her conflicting emotions. This love hate pull she felt towards Lotor, it complicated everything. It left Merla confused, uncertain of just what to do.
She wasn’t used to any of this. To such strong emotions, to wanting so badly, to feeling such intense jealousy. She was a Drule, a beautiful, powerful Queen. Merla shouldn’t want for anything, should have had hundreds of men just like Lotor lusting after her. The prince of Doom should have been forgettable, easily ignored as she walked all over him in her bid for the Doom Empire. Instead she was all too aware of him, of the wanting he inspired within her.
It was idiotic. It was dangerous. Merla was making as big a fool of herself as she was of Lotor. And yet she couldn’t stop. Not so long as she felt such a strong attraction to him. She wanted so badly it hurt, in a way she had never wanted anything or anyone before. Not even control of the Doom Empire could compare to the feelings Lotor stirred in her. And frankly Merla wasn’t sure she liked it one bit.
Especially with Lotor’s attentions so devoted elsewhere. Oh sure, Merla could inspire him to have sex with her, could make him lust after her to the point he lost control. But it was never anything but anger, hate and lust. Lotor’s true desire lay with Allura, the man thinking he was in love with the princess. Merla had no real experience with love, but she didn’t need it to know just how deeply Lotor deluded himself about his heart.
Nor did she need to be a mind reader to know just how obsessed Lotor was with the princess of Arus. Nearly every waking thought of his was concentrated on Allura. On the having of her, on obtaining her. He dreamt about the princess, and he filled his days with fantasies and making plans to capture her. Allura was the driving force behind Lotor’s actions, and Merla despised the girl for that power.
It just wasn’t fair. Merla seethed, stalking through the corridors of the ship. To the right of her was windows, the pane reinforced glass that would not break during space travel. Through it, Merla could see what remained of their ships, less than a dozen hovering over the burning city. They were no longer attacking, hovering uncertainty as they waited for their commander to give them further orders on how to proceed. Merla already knew what Lotor would decree, the prince having made clear they should pull back and head to Doom.
But first he would speak with Allura. Of that Merla had no doubt. Lotor never missed a chance with Allura, always coming running at the snap of her fingers. Why should today be any different? Merla tried not to growl, her vision coloring red and green. And all because of the humiliation Lotor had dealt her, the man discarding her like she was nothing the instant he found out Allura wanted to talk with him.
It was upsetting. It hurt. But more than that, it made Merla livid. She was infuriated, and wondering what form her revenge could take. She wanted Lotor to pay, Merla wanted him hurting as much as she was. Even worse, Merla wanted him to finish what they had started on the command deck! Her body was yearning for his, wanting Lotor to take full possession of her.
Merla remembered how she had called Lotor a fool. She felt the real fool was she, and all because Merla still yearned for Lotor with every fiber of her being. Even worse, the prince was starting to catch on to how affected Merla was by him. Lotor couldn’t know for certain what Merla felt for him. Not when Merla herself didn’t understand her own feelings. But he knew she desired him, and that she was vastly jealous of Allura. That new realization of his, was enough to make Merla want to moan in mortification. And all because everything was starting to spiral out of her control.
She should have never agreed to marry him. Maybe then her heart wouldn’t be hurting so much. But Merla had been greedy, eager to stake a claim on the Doom Empire through her marriage to it’s heir. If she had known how complicated things would have become, she would have done things differently. She might not have stayed far away from Doom, but she would have made sure to kill Lotor that first night before infatuation had time to take root and develop a step closer to obsession.
Merla almost laughed then. Obsession was a good word for it. Was this sick depth of feelings she felt similar to what Lotor felt for Allura? She couldn’t, wouldn’t call it love. The great Queen Merla would never deign to feel such a crippling emotion. Bad enough her lusts made her wild and out of control, she didn’t need the agony of a breaking heart to further her torment.
She was riled up as it was. Lusting and angry, and needing an outlet to vent. And having none. No other man present on this ship held her interest the way Lotor did, and Merla wasn’t about to start cutting up random soldiers. She had to maintain control, be the perfect queen who hurt more with sharp words than her fists. If only to keep everyone else from discovering just how affected she was by Lotor and his dismissal of her.
That dismissal burned, Lotor’s preference for Allura wounding Merla in a way little else could. The sharpest knife could not cut as deep as her own jealousy did, her hurt and dismay over how Lotor would rather spend ten seconds groveling in Allura’s presence, rather than couple with Merla. She wasn’t the type to cry, no matter how heavy her heart felt. Merla would not break down because of Lotor, not in a way that left her sniveling with tears.
Merla had reached the commander’s cabin, a trio of rooms she shared with her husband. It was not any desire of Lotor’s to remain close to her. No, the shared quarters were all Zarkon’s doing. The King insisting that not only must Lotor bring Merla along on his conquest campaigns, they must spend as much time as possible together. That they must act like husband and wife in more than just name, sharing meals, a bed, and anything else that was expected of a married couple.
Lotor resented that he was forced to bring Merla along to Arus. They all knew that the prince had been using his attempts to invade Arus as a way to escape the harsh reality that was his marriage. Merla would have gladly let him continue on this quest alone, if only for the reprieve it gave HER from the emotions she was tormented with. Not that it stopped her from going near insane with jealousy as Merla imagined just what Lotor was doing to get close to Allura.
Lotor was right about one thing. Her every attack, every insult was provoked by her jealousy, her hatred of his desire for Allura. Every time Lotor got close to capturing Allura, to being anywhere near to her, it made Merla see red. It was all she could do to wait for Lotor’s return, Merla ready to unleash her anger on her husband. And all because she did not want to be some barely tolerated wife who was tossed aside for some brat human!
It wasn’t just Lotor’s attempts to kidnap Allura that got Merla’s blood boiling. Sometimes just hearing him talk about her was enough to set Merla’s temper raging. Even worse was the few times she had delved into Lotor’s mind, finding his thoughts full of Allura. She had never gone so far as to enter his mind when they were having sex. She simply didn’t have the courage to find out if Lotor was really fantasizing about Allura while with Merla. The suspicion that he was, was bad enough. Merla couldn’t stand it that she might not hold Lotor’s attention completely even at their most passionate.
Sometimes Merla wondered if killing Lotor would be the only way to free herself of the spell the prince had cast upon her. Or would she forever spend the rest of her life regretting his death? She simply didn’t know, and it was just one more thing she was troubled by.
Merla was visibly angry as she all but punched in the code for the door’s locking mechanism. The door opened with a hiss of air, Merla stalking forward into the room. Her eyes were already looking about, Merla wondering what if anything she could use as a weapon against Lotor. The prince had already removed the more viable objects. And all because he wisely didn’t trust Merla not to murder him in his sleep. He was right to that worry, and all because when Merla attacked him, she never did it halfheartedly. She meant the attacks, even if it would hurt her to lose him.
Merla was ready to sigh out her frustrations, when she heard a sound behind her. It wasn’t the door closing, but footsteps marching determinedly into the room. Merla tried not to tense, knowing only one would who dare come after her when she was in such a mood.
“Lotor.” Merla said, without turning to look at him. She listened to the sounds of his feet moving closer to her, and the door closing behind him. “That was fast.” There was a globe floating on jets of air before her, shaped and colored to be a miniature replica of the planet Arus. “Done begging Allura for forgiveness already?” She inquired, with a smirk he could not see. “Or did she curse you out for your latest attack on her planet?” Her hands were reaching for the globe, Merla intent on snatching it free of the air stream.
“I didn’t speak with Allura.” Came Lotor’s answer. Merla’s hands did not stop, the woman caressing her painted claws over the globe’s sides.
“Didn’t speak with Allura?” Merla echoed a variation of what he had said. “Why ever not…?” His answer would determine if she threw the globe at him, Merla waiting patiently for Lotor to speak. He didn’t immediately, sounding as though he was shuffling his feet in an awkward display of fidgeting. The very thought of Lotor turning nervous and awkward around her was absurd, and yet he was doing just that.
“I…I uh…was concerned about you.” He finally said. His tone though hesitant, had also been gruff, as though Lotor was embarrassed by his admittance.
“Concerned about me?” Merla played it cool, tone even and not betraying a hint of surprise. “Why ever for?” She still didn’t turn to look at him, but Merla could imagine him scowling at her back. And all because she was intent on making it more difficult for him, rather than melting at his show of concern for her.
“It’s just…just the way you left.” Lotor was still speaking in that hesitant manner, making Merla tempted to dive into his mind to find out just what he was feeling. But she held back from that impulse, a part of her afraid she’d find out he was doing this out of some sick pity for her. She didn’t want his pity. No, never that! Nor did she want him looking down on her for what Lotor thought he knew about Merla’s feelings.
She said nothing out loud, which prompted Lotor to sigh. “You were upset.” He stated, but she gave him no visible reaction. But the fact that she wouldn’t look at him had to be clue enough that Merla was still bothered by what had happened on the command deck. “You still are….”
“I’ve already put it out of my mind.” Merla lied. “Really Lotor, you needn’t concern yourself with me. It was just a stupid, silly moment…an irrational burst of anger.”
“You’ve had plenty of those irrational moments.” She heard Lotor point out. Merla didn’t try to hide the way she bristled at that. “Merla…”
“You’ve checked up on me.’ She abruptly said. “You can leave now. Go talk to with your princess.” The last came out more bitter than she intended, Merla unable to hide her jealous true feelings.
“Allura can wait.” Now that was surprising. It was words Merla had never expected to hear from Lotor. And all because the prince was too eager for the princess to ever dream of making her wait.
Merla still wouldn’t look at him, but she tried to voice sarcasm to cover her surprise. “Is this a new tactic you’re trying with Allura? Are you pretending indifference in the hopes she’ll come running to your arms?” She didn’t give him a chance to answer, Merla suddenly spinning the globe. “It won’t work. Nothing you do can ever get her to want to be with you.” Did he bristle at her words? But she wasn’t facing him to see.
“Allura will come around.” Lotor said at last. “Eventually…”
“The hells will freeze over before THAT happens.” Merla muttered, eyes on the spinning globe. If it went any faster, she might actually get dizzy from watching the globe spin.
“I didn’t come here to discuss with you my chances with Allura.” There was an edge to his voice, Lotor WAS annoyed now.
“Then WHY did you come?” Merla demanded.
“Can’t you guess?” Lotor asked. Merla merely shrugged her shoulders. “After what happened on the command deck…”
“Nothing happened.” Merla snapped. But that wasn’t entirely true.
“You can’t make this go away by pretending otherwise.” Lotor’s footsteps sounded directly behind her. She couldn’t bear it if he tried to touch her now, so Merla did the only thing she could do to protect herself. She turned, her arm lashing out to slap Lotor across the face. She thought him stupid for not expecting the attack, her blow turning his head to the side. But she didn’t feel satisfaction at landing the slap, just glaring at him angrily.
“You think you know everything, don’t you?” She sneered at him. Lotor lifted his hand, but it was not to strike her. Instead he touched his sore cheek, actually rubbing it briefly before turning to lock eyes with Merla.
“I know you’re jealous of Allura.” He said, and had the gall to smirk. Merla scoffed, but held back from slapping Lotor. Not when he was this close, watching her every move. He’d read her intent, and stop her before she could land a second blow.
“Jealous of that prissy pink princess? Don’t be absurd!”
“But it’s true.” Lotor insisted. “And it goes beyond hate, beyond her being an enemy of the Doom Empire.” Merla’s eyes narrowed, her lips curling back as she hissed at Lotor. But he didn’t fall quiet, merciless as he continued. “You’re jealous of her because you have feelings for ME.”
She wanted to beat him, to brutalize Lotor until that smug smile left his lips. What right did he have to such supreme satisfaction over what he assumed was her feelings? Even worse was that he assumed right, thought Lotor probably couldn’t hazard a guess to just how complex Merla’s feelings for him really were.
“Feelings for you?” She said out loud. “Don’t be….”
“Don’t try to deny it!” He interrupted her.
“I won’t!” Merla snapped, hands on her hips now. “I DESPISE you. I can’t stand you! I loathe you with every fiber of my being. I want you dead….no, I want worse than death for you. I want to see you suffer at my hands. I want…”
“You want me.” He said, and damn Lotor, but his tone was triumphant. She couldn’t stand it, Merla let out a vicious scream, the sound infuriated. The scream was unexpected, Lotor caught off guard by it. It allowed Merla to strike him, the heel of her hand hitting beneath his chin. It made Lotor bite his lip, the skin splitting under his teeth. She followed up that chin hit, with a vicious back hand across his face.
“You damn, overly arrogant idiot! What woman could ever want you?!” She shouted. “What fool could ever….”
“Lust makes fools out of all of us sooner or later.” Lotor retorted. She hit him again, Lotor refusing to back away from her. Instead he grabbed hold of her wrists, keeping her from hitting him a third time. “And you my dear, are firmly in lust’s grip.” He didn’t pull her close though, too conscious of her legs and how she could use them against him. “It all makes a twisted sort of sense now…” Lotor continued. “You’ve been driven to such extremes because of how badly you want me…”
“You smug, condescending prick! Get out of my sight!” shrieked Merla, struggling to get free of his grip.
“You want me Merla.” Lotor repeated. “It’s a want that driving you mad with jealousy. It makes you dangerous…not just to me….but to Allura as well.”
Merla stiffened then, no longer trying to get free. “Allura…?!”
He nodded. “You nearly got her killed today. What’s worse, I let you talk me into doing something against my better judgment. I actually let you goad me into letting Haggar’s robeast attack blue lion.”
Merla glared at him, tone insolent. “She is our enemy Lotor! Death is the least of the torments we should offer her!”
“Allura is going to be mine.” Lotor retorted. “I will have her, and we will be happy together…”
“And what about me?!” Merla demanded. “I am your WIFE! You made vows to me! You have responsibilities….to me, to us, to our marriage.”
“This marriage is a farce.” Lotor answered. “I never wanted it….it was my father who forced us to be wed…”
Damn, but it hurt to hear him say that. Merla forced a scowl, trying to hold back the wounded look she wanted to give Lotor. “We’re trapped in this marriage and you know it!” She told him. “You can’t be free of me unless I agree. And Lotor? I will NEVER agree.”
“You want me that badly!?” He seemed stunned, that damn, arrogant fool.
“I HATE you that badly!” She corrected him. It wasn’t a complete lie. In that moment she really did hate him. And all because he hurt her, and because she couldn’t stop wanting him even now. “You’ve deluded yourself into thinking I have feelings for you. Yes, I hate Allura! Yes, I may even be jealous of her! But those feelings have NOTHING to do with you! I just want the little bitch dead so that I can take possession of her planet and her robot! I would have that same wish no matter who I was trapped in marriage to!”
Lotor stared searchingly into her eyes. Merla tried to school her expression to show nothing but disdain and hatred. For one-second she succeeded, Lotor seeming uncertain. And then that damn smugness filled him, warning her that whatever he was about to say, to do, she would not like.
“Merla…you lying little witch.” But the words were more chiding than hostile, Lotor smirking at her. She didn’t have a chance to properly react, Lotor suddenly pulling her against him. Before Merla could think to kick him, Lotor was kissing her. A hard, crushing of their lips, Lotor’s mouth hot and demanding upon hers. Merla made a sound, muffled indignation at being kissed, at the fact that she wanted to melt against him and give herself over to Lotor’s mouth. But she didn’t want to give him that victory over her, Merla struggling against him. He just kissed her harder, lips firm, unyielding. They were trying to coax her lips open, and it would be all too easy to give in to his sweet seduction. And the only price would be her dignity, Lotor knowing he thoroughly owned her should she yield.
Blood and biting could be considered foreplay to a Drule. But even fangs can go too far, Merla parting her lips just enough to bite her teeth down on Lotor’s tongue. He yelped, Merla tasting blood. His grip on her wrists slackened, but not enough for Merla to break free. But he wasn’t paying attention to her legs, allowing Merla to bring a knee up to slam into his groin.
That got him to let go of her completely. Merla was trembling, shaking with anger and even her barely controlled desire for him. She was infuriated that he had tried to handle her into compliance through seduction. Just as she was turned on by what he had tried to do. Merla was all twisted up inside, conflicting emotions playing havoc with her feelings. But she was coherent enough to speak.
“Get out.” She hissed at Lotor who was still hunched over in pain. “Or I’ll do worse.” Lotor glared at her, a look she matched with a glare of her own. It betrayed nothing of her turmoil, of how Merla didn’t truly want Lotor to leave. She wanted him to want her, to care about her enough to stay and try and make things better between them. But Merla also knew he didn’t have any such feelings, the prince more concerned with Allura than his own wife. He had only kissed Merla to prove a point, and it was like a dagger in her heart to know he had only wanted to use her lust against her.
“Get out!” She repeated with an urgent snarl. Merla didn’t know what she would do if he grabbed her. Would she hit him again, or give herself over to his kiss? Would he even WANT to kiss her again after the way she had hurt him?
“Fine…” Lotor straightened as best he could. “I’ve kept Allura waiting long enough.”
That was the final straw, Merla grabbing hold of the globe. Lotor was awkwardly walking out of the room, when she threw it at his back. It smacked into arm, Lotor having turned in time to deflect the worst of it. The two Drules locked eyes for one instant, both so angry in the moment. No words were exchanged, Lotor merely kicking the globe out of his way as he left the room.