Trade 06

His last words spoken were repeating through her mind, bringing an angry flush to her cheeks as Allura glared sullenly at the carpeted floor. She didn’t like how Lotor had spoken to her, his words cool, almost uncaring as he laid down the rules of their so called relationship. He seemed to think his words were law, as if they alone would have the power to compel her, to force her to accept the situation at hand.

But she wouldn’t. It simply wasn’t in Allura to sit back and meekly go along with the fate others had planned out for her. She tried to tell herself it was more than rebellious nature that had her ire raised, Allura reasoning that it was the fate of her planet, her people’s lives at stake.

So she had said nothing to his icy proclamation, turning away in a show of meekness. Lotor seemed to take her silence as a sign of reluctant acceptance, the prince turning almost pleasant as he moved about the room. He had yet to get dressed, content to remain clad in only a towel so long as Allura went without clothing. She wondered how long it would be before they found her something suitable to wear, a wet towel around her as she sat in one of the high back chairs besides a table.

Even as she thought about how angry she was at him, she couldn’t quite keep the drug’s effect on her from worrying into her notice. The arousal wasn’t as bad as it had been an hour and three climaxes ago, but it still had her gritting her teeth at unexpected moments. Allura worried that it would get worse, fearing what would happen should the heat inside her escalate to the point where she needed Lotor’s aid once more. She was determined not to sleep with him again, Allura making a private vow she would get through this on her own.

Allura shifted in her seat, thighs clenched tight together, a subtle movement meant to ease some of the tingling she felt between her legs. Lotor appeared not to notice, the Drule prince occasionally speaking to her, words she barely paid attention to. She made sounds, pretending interest at what he was saying, her fingers gripping the armrests of her chair as she tried to ignore the arousal and think on her own plans for the future.

Allura knew the first step would involve getting some actual clothing, or else she’d never be able to leave this room. Much as she desired to escape, the thought of parading around in just a towel embarrassed her. Almost as much as when they had stripped her in front of the crowd at the auction house. Her cheeks still turned pink in humiliation at the memory, Allura shaking her head to chase away the thoughts of the horror and mortification she had gone through on that stage.

She was wondering how she was going to get away from Lotor, when a knock sounded at the cabin’s door. Lotor immediately walked over to the doors, pulling them open, while Allura made sure her towel sufficiently covered her up. Towel in place, she peered in the direction of the doors, spotting a tall Drule whose horned helmet added height to his already impressive frame. His shoulder length hair was a dirty white, reminding her of snow that had time to collect grime on it’s surface.

~Cossack the terrible.~ She thought to herself, and a shudder ran through her as she recalled he had been at the auction house, witnessing her moment of shame. The commander hadn’t noticed her yet, grinning a wide smile at the prince as he held up some sort of device.

“Look what I found.” He said, and Lotor reached for it. “Took me a while, there’s not a lot on this ship for cutting through a slave’s collar.”

“Lower your voice Cossack.” Lotor hissed, snatching the device from the Drule’s hand.

“Oh right! This was a top secret mission!” Cossack said, voice a staged whisper as he followed Lotor into the room. He looked this way and that, surely trying to locate Allura. She cringed back in her seat, but otherwise made no sound, watching as Lotor strode towards her with the device. She eyed the item in his hands, noticing it sort of resembled shears, although the thick black metal seemed designed to cut through something more substantial than paper.

Cossack finally looked in her direction, Allura sure she pinkened all the way to the tips of her ears at his appreciative leer. Thankfully Lotor stepped into her view, his body blocking out Cossack’s. Lotor looked her over in consideration, a finger being raised to touch the band of metal around her neck. “Hmm….there’s just enough room…” Lotor said, wiggling a finger in between the metal and her skin. “Hold still Allura.”

“All right.” Her first words since his cold proclamation, Allura hating that they were an agreement. She forced herself to stop wiggling, watching Lotor nervously as he brought the metal breaking shears to the collar around her neck. Each side clamped onto the metal, and with a flexing of Lotor’s hand, it broke apart, the iron halves landing on her lap.

“I bet that feels good.” Cossack’s comment had Lotor turning towards the Drule, the commander hastening to explain. “To be free I mean. Those slave collars can’t be the most comfortable thing.” They weren’t, Allura giving a slight nod of her head in acknowledgment to the commander’s words. “I bet you’re grateful to prince Lotor.” Continued the Drule, Allura having to force back the disagreeing snort that wanted to come out at his words. “If he hadn’t bought you, who knows what would have happened.”

She didn’t even want to think of the alternatives, drugged and out of her mind with desire, bought by someone unfamiliar who probably wouldn’t have cared for her even half as much as Lotor claimed to do.

“I mean…” Cossack didn’t seem to know when to shut up, continuing to spout off ideas that brought anxiety flaring up in Allura’s face. “There’s all kinds of sickos out there. With all kinds of ideas for a beautiful princess. You could have been made someone’s private pleasure slave, or ended up in a brothel, whored out to all the men of the galaxy. Why even…”

“That’s enough commander.” Lotor’s voice broke in through Cossack’s outward musings, the prince sounded angry and tense.

“What?” Cossack asked, seeming not to pick up on his prince’s annoyance. “I’m just saying. After all, she ought to know what a sweet deal she’s getting, being owned by you…”

“I said enough!” snapped Lotor, and even Allura flinched back from his growl.

“Okay…fine…” Cossack muttered. “I can see you’re touchy about the subject.” A glance in Allura’s direction, the commander adding. “The both of you are.”

“Cossack, have you talked to Doctor Szehban? Is he any closer to identifying the drugs in Allura’s system?” Lotor asked, and she perked up, interested to hear the commander’s response.

“Afraid not.” Cossack’s answer had Allura sighing, Lotor turning towards her to place a consoling hand on her arm.

“Do not worry Allura. We will discover what this drug is, and the cure that it requires.” He said soothingly to her. She merely gazed at him, feeling hopeless as the tingling feelings of arousal continued to dance throughout her body.

“It’ll take time.” Added Cossack, taking his cue from Lotor. “But the doctor is hard at work on it as we speak.” Allura said nothing, simply wondering if an antidote would come before the need for sex became so pressing that she jumped Prince Lotor.

“At this rate the effects may wear off on their own…” Lotor muttered, leaving Allura to wonder how many hours that would take.

“You think so?” asked Cossack, and Lotor nodded.

“Allura has already confirmed that the feelings have subsided some.”

“Well….that’s great news, right?” She shrugged as Lotor made an agreeing sound, the prince otherwise silent. His silence bothered the commander, Cossack frowning. “Oh hey…have you thought what you’re going to tell everyone?”

“Tell everyone?” Allura asked, unable to keep the curiosity out of her voice. “About what?”

“No not yet.” Lotor’s words didn’t shine any light on the answer to Allura’s question, leaving her to frown.

“Heh…I suppose that’s to be expected.” Cossack was smirking, his yellow eyes twinkling with amusement. “You had other things to see too…bet it didn’t leave much time for thinking!”

“No, it didn’t.” Lotor agreed, and he stepped away from Allura’s side.

“Well, I suppose there’s still time.” Cossack said, following after Lotor without a backwards glance at Allura. “But, people are already starting to talk. You won’t be able to avoid not telling them something for much longer.”

“I’ll handle it Cossack.” Lotor told him, and pulled open the cabin’s doors. “In the meantime, continue to maintain the crew’s ignorance on the matter. If they have time to gossip, it means they don’t have enough work to do.”

“Right. I’ll keep them busy. Count on me!” grinned Cossack as Lotor waved him out the door. It had barely clicked closed when Allura spoke, her question causing Lotor to go still.

“Is that what I am?” She asked, eyes boring a hole into his back. “Just your property?” Lotor didn’t turn right away, staying facing the door as he considered her words.

“What makes you ask that?” He wanted to know, his causal tone hiding his true feelings.

“You didn’t correct Cossack when he said I was owned by you.” Allura pointed out, her fingers curling into fists as she tried to control her shaking.

“Ah.” Just a sound, Lotor’s expression unreadable in this instant. It made her frown, Allura wanting a straight answer from him.

“I’m just a thing to you, aren’t I? Just another someone you can own.” To her surprise his expression hardened, the prince looking very much angry at her words. But still she pressed on, almost bitter as she spoke. “I should have known. You…”

“I wouldn’t marry property.” Lotor’s cold voice interrupted her, for a second startling her into silence. “A slave for a bride would be meaningless….”

“Are you sure about that…?” She asked, tone tart. “You’ve already made it clear I have no choice when it comes to marrying you. You’re making all my decisions for me…Leaving me to feel nothing but like a toy you’ve bought….a toy you’ve…” He was growling, the sound angry and animalistic, causing Allura to trail off.

“You’re wrong.” He hissed, eyes smoldering into hers from across the room. “You’re more than that, you’ve always been more than a possession I wanted to own. But..,”

“But?” She whispered, a lift of her brow urging him to continue.

“There is a matter of your continual bad decisions.” She gaped at that, mouth opening in shock as she stared at Lotor. He wasn’t smiling, deadly serious in expression and tone. “The worst of which is refusing to come to your senses and see the benefits a marriage between us would have.”

“Benefits?” Allura sputtered, noting that in her anger the heat of arousal seemed to lessen it’s hold on her. “What benefits?!”

“There would be peace between our two planets!” Lotor retorted, ignoring her rude snort. “Your planet would prosper under our rule, your people would no longer need to cower and hide. Advancement would come to Arus, the planet being made to maximize it’s capabilities.”

“I don’t believe that! I know what has been done to other planets under the rule of Doom. People enslaved, or killed. Planets mined of their resources. War and devastation wherever the Drule roams!”

“That is only the fate of those planets that continue to resist us!” Lotor snapped back, maintaining his distance from her. “Have you ever bothered to check on the other planets, the ones who peacefully aligned with Doom? Tyrus and Wervulvia, Daneg and Sumelia? All have known increased wealth and power, and prospered into a veritable paradise under Doom’s rule!” His face softened, losing some of that heated look in his eyes. “Allura….that is what I offer you…what I want to give you. Why won’t you take it?”

“Arus would be untouched?” He nodded, leaving her to hesitate. “What about the worlds that neighbor it? What about our sister world, Pollux?”

“They would have to broker their own deals with Doom…” Lotor began, but she cut him off.

“Do you really think I would ever be content to sit back and watch others suffer when I could do something about it? When I could use Voltron to free them from Doom’s grasp?!” His face hardened, Lotor not liking her questions.

“It would be foolish of you to keep fighting a war you cannot ever hope to win! Don’t you realize that?” He demanded, hands on his hips. “All it takes is one victory, one error on Voltron’s part, for Doom to win. And then you will be all out of options. Allura…if tomorrow was to come, and Haggar’s robeast defeated Voltron, do you think you’d get a choice in your planet’s fate? No, you would not. My father wouldn’t allow it! But if you came to me, willingly, we could approach him together, and tell him of how Arus would merge with Doom to foster in a new age of advancement into the empire.”

“No….we’ll keep fighting you…no matter what.” Even to Allura, she sounded like a stubborn child, refusing to see the truth of his words. She heard him exhale, a deep heavy breath, his hand raising to palm his face.

“Now who is the selfish one?” Lotor asked, and she colored at that. “Think of your people, truly think of them and what would be best. To fight to maintain their limited freedom of the moment, or to give in to me, and earn them a peace that would be lasting?” She broke his gaze, staring down at the halves of the slave collar on her lap. “Allura, realize the Doom Empire is endless. We have more weapons and people than Arus, we have infinite resources, gathered from over a hundred planets to continue our campaigns against your world. We won’t tire, we won’t ever stop until we have Arus in our grasp. Your resistance only delays us at best.”

“I’m so tired….” Allura began, and a knock sounded at the door. Lotor made no move to answer it, the prince staring at her with steel in his eyes. “I’m tired of the war, of the fighting…I just want it all to stop. Stop and let Arus be at peace…”

“I can give you that!” He was quick to answer, taking a step in her direction. “You’ve fought long and hard, but now you deserve peace….let me help you achieve that.”

“I…” The knock sounded again, and Allura shook her head. “You better answer that.” His look was immense frustration, Lotor pausing to stare hard at her. Allura turned her gaze downwards, avoiding him, a move that had him letting out another sigh.

His footsteps padded across the carpet to the door, Lotor wrenching it open with a growl. “What?!”

“Ah…so…so sorry to disturb you, my Lord.” A timid female’s voice stuttered, Allura raising her head to look curiously at the door. A woman in a drab gray dress was standing before a metal cart, covered platters of food laid out on it’s surface. “But the meal you requested is here…”

“Ah yes…” Lotor stepped back, allowing the woman to enter the room. She kept her eyes downcast as she wheeled the cart towards the table Allura sat before, the princess catching a small whiff of the hidden food’s aroma. Her mouth watered, Allura recalling it had been hours since she last eaten, and even then it had only been a small scrap of bread and a cup of water. The slavers had been determined to keep her and the other slaves weak, wanting them docile before the actual auction began.

Allura realized she was holding her breath, eyes locked onto the covered platters as she waited anxiously for the food to be put down before her. She didn’t even notice Lotor taking note of her reaction to the meal, Allura forcing herself to remember her manners as she waited for the prince to join her at the table.

“Did you bring the spare uniform that I requested?” Lotor asked as the female servant began uncovering the platters on the table. Allura saw red colored soups, and brown baked meats, along with salads and a fruit platter, leaving her to wonder what to sample first.

“Yes, Prince Lotor.” The woman reached under the cart’s top shelf, pulling out a small bundle of clothing. Lotor took it from her, and gestured at the bed, the woman nodding and stepping towards it. She began stripping the bed of it’s soiled sheets, quiet save for the sound of the fabric rustling.

“I’m sorry I don’t have anything better for you to wear.” Lotor said, speaking as though the woman wasn’t in the room. “It’s not my intent to see you garbed in the clothing of a servant, but until we get to Doom, I’m afraid your choices are limited.”

“It’s fine.” Allura reassured him, watching as Lotor took a seat next to her. He set down the bundle of clothing on the edge of the table, well away from the rest of the food. The servant had finished making up the bed, the woman turning to bow in Lotor’s direction. He barely noticed, all eyes for Allura as the servant exited the room.

“Eat up Allura.” Lotor told her, reaching for a plate. She followed his actions, and began piling salad and fruit onto the dish, hearing her stomach growl. Thankfully Lotor did not comment on that sound, the prince busy slicing into a large hunk of meat. “They didn’t feed you much did they?” He asked, watching as Allura forced herself not to shovel food into her mouth.

“Not really no.” She admitted, and saw his hand clench around his knife.

“When is the last time you ate?” She could see Lotor was trying to maintain an air of calm, even as his hands made tight fists around the utensils.

“Counting or not counting the ration bars inside blue lion?” Allura asked, then sighed. “I dunno….time kinda got lost in that place. The closer it go to the auction, the less they fed us…”

“It must have been horrible.” Lotor mused, piling meats onto his plate. “The things you must have gone through….”

“No worse than what any slave of Doom has been through, I am sure.” Her retort caused him to frown at her, Allura hurrying to continue. “I think we got off easy, all things considered…I mean…well…they wanted us in good condition to sell. So they weren’t as rough as they could have been.”

“Just what did they do to you Allura?” Lotor questioned, as she busied herself chewing on a peach. “I found the bruises on your body, hidden away by concealer. Just who hurt you like that?”

“It was my own fault.” She said, staring at the peach in her hand. “I kept trying to escape…obviously they caught me…” She was trying not to remember, but his questions stirred up unpleasant memories, Allura shivering. “The worst was when they examined me…” A side long glance at Lotor’s face, showed he was familiar with the idea of examining a slave.

She shook her head, not wanting to remember the sensation of being strapped down to a table, naked with her legs spread so some grinning fool could check on the state of her virginity. She had feared they would rape her, and only the presence of the mysterious host had kept the men in check, reminding them of her virginity’s value up on the slave block.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that.” Lotor told her, touching the back of her hand with his. She didn’t quite smile at him, voice equally as soft as his in the moment.

“I am too.” They resumed eating, forks making sounds as the metal tines were scraped against the dish’s porcelain. Occasionally Allura would shift in her seat, trying to get comfortable as the tingling of arousal persisted. It seemed as though the act of filling her stomach was making her more aware of other needs, the princess trying not to sigh out her frustration.

“Tell me Allura…” Lotor began, tone casual as he licked the meat’s sauce from his lips. “You say you and the captain were split up from the rest of the Voltron Force. Just what happened to the lions?”

“The lions?” She echoed, recalling how she and Keith had parked them on the edge of a crater, using ropes to scale down inside the deep depression. A transmission had led them to those coordinates, a single cry for help from a desperate group of people. They had expected to find a small party of a crashed ship inside the crater, but what had awaited them had taken them by surprise.

The cry for help had been faked, engineered to lure them into a trap. Space pirates had been waiting, lurking in the shadows. Their vast numbers easily over powering even a man as skilled as Keith. Never a strong fighter, Allura had been quickly taken down, left to scream as she watched Keith fight unfair odds of seven to one. He had gone down with a groan, a pirate quickly whipping out a laser pistol to shoot a stunning ray into his back.

Allura wasn’t sure what had happened to the lions, having noted the pirate’s ships weren’t large enough to transport the metal felines. “I don’t know.” She admitted at last to Lotor. “They were left where we parked them. On the crater’s edge of planet….”

“Of planet what?” Lotor prodded her, and he couldn’t keep the eagerness out of his voice. “Tell me Allura. What was the planet’s name?”

“No. I won’t tell you.” She was immediately on the defensive, turning to glare at him. “You won’t get the lions because of me! Black lion and blue lion will remain free!”

“Allura…there’s no reason to hide this information from me.” She could tell Lotor was trying to be patient, the man setting down his fork and knife. “It’s been how long since you’ve been taken? If the host hasn’t taken the lions, to keep or sell for profit, someone else is bound to come across them.”

Allura hoped that someone else would prove to be the rest of the Voltron force, the girl stubbornly keeping quiet about the information the prince wanted to know. Lotor stared at her for a few seconds longer, than made a disgusted sound. His fist hit the table, making her and the dishes jump, the prince rising. “Go ahead.” He retorted, annoyance dripping in his tone. “Keep your little secrets. In the end it won’t matter. It won’t change a thing, do you hear me?”

He didn’t wait for her response, stalking over to his closet, where he jerked out a spare uniform. Without a hint of modesty to his name, Lotor dropped his towel, Allura quickly turning away from the sight as he got dressed. Instead she poked at the food on her plate, actions listless as she listened to his clothing rustle.

“Where are you going?” She asked when he approached the cabin’s doors.

“I’ve got work to do…” He answered, and glanced at her. “You may not want to tell me where the lions are, but I have other ways of tracking down information. I intend to put them to use now.”

“Oh.” She said it softly, Allura wondered if Lotor heard her, the prince angrily slamming the doors shut behind him. She continued to poke at her food, hearing the sound of the locks clicking close, Lotor not trusting her enough to allow her to roam the ship freely. With a sigh she pushed away her plate, appetite long gone, as Allura wondered just what her next move should be.

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