Candidate 04

It was exhausting work, having to dance with each of the fifty women clamoring for his attention. Each dance lasted for the duration of one song, each song lasting a good five to seven minutes in length. Even the fact that they hadn’t done any true dancing, more a slow swaying to the beat, could not prevent his feet from hurting, Lotor wishing he had worn different shoes.

It was a relief when the final dance ended, Lotor able to pull apart from a girl so young she had no business attempting to be anyone’s bride. Her young age made him uneasy, and Lotor could only be relieved the girl hadn’t attempted anything as inappropriate as flirt with him. She hadn’t even truly looked at him, keeping her concentration focused on their feet. Nor had Lotor tried to engage her in conversation, having already decided no matter how rich or powerful this girl’s planet was, he was not about to marry someone who was practically a child.

Fortunately the others who hoped to be his bride, were anything but! They were all past that awkward stage of youth, women who had blossomed into adults. With ample curves, many filling out their dresses in a way that was downright voluptuous. He had a wealth of lush femininity to choose from, the child already dismissed from his thoughts as he looked over the beauties who stood waiting for him.

They range in form from all manner of delectability. Tall beauties, short ones. Fair skinned, dark skinned, even one beauty that was as pale as moonlight with her silver hair braided back in a french twist. There was hair done up in every color and style imaginable, and even a few that were surprising, like Merla’s shocking pink locks. There were shapely figures, hour glass waists, and breasts that seemed to get bigger as he looked over the line up.

They were all such treasures, such visual delights to look upon. It would be difficult to base a final choice on looks alone, though Lotor was willing to try and narrow it down to those who pleased him best. And among his top choices, was the Princess Romelle, Lotor locking eyes with the beauty who immediately blushed.

A red hot lust filled him immediately, his reaction to Romelle simply that strong, that potent a feeling. He wanted badly, and he wasn’t content to wait until marriage to sample her charms. But then, wasn’t that to a lesser extent true of several of the women present? He forced his gaze elsewhere, seeking out the Queen who wore the white leather of her mini dress like a second skin. Even if her blue skin had allowed for a blush to show, Merla would not have reacted in such a manner to Lotor’s hungry look. Instead she smiled at him, her look inviting, her tongue flicking out to teasingly moisten her lips. Lotor almost groaned then, his eyes drawn to her tongue’s motion, to the plumpness of her lips.

He couldn’t stop from imagining just what he wanted to do to that sweet mouth of Merla’s. The queen knew exactly how to pull a reaction from him, to make him hunger with desire almost as strong as that which what he felt for Romelle. And one way or another, he was determined to have Merla, at least for one night under him.

Romelle and Merla made his choice just a little bit easier when it came to who he should keep. Lotor didn’t care at all that he wasn’t thinking with his head, that he was letting the strong lust he felt for both women guide him in this decision.

It was a deciding tactic Haggar did not approve of, the witch stepping in front of him with a frown. “Honestly Prince Lotor. Do try to have a little self restraint.” She grumbled to him.

Lotor slowly blinked his eyes, finding it jarring to go from staring at a sinfully sexy queen to a woman that was withered with age, and hideously scarred from her constant use of magic.

“I’ve done nothing wrong.” He said in response to her complaint.

“You are visibly lusting.” Haggar snapped. “Anyone can see you want to have sex.”

“Is that not the point of this whole scheme?” Lotor demanded. “My father wants me to make babies…..”

“To make legitimate heirs to the throne.” Haggar quickly pointed out. “You are not to bed any of these women, save for the one you intend to marry.”

“That’s unreasonable.” Lotor protested, narrowing his eyes at the witch. She narrowed her eyes right back at him, jabbing a bony finger in his chest.

“What’s unreasonable is you thinking you can whore around with some or all of the candidates!” Haggar made a tsking sound. “They are not here to make you a harem, to scratch the itch of your desire. These aren’t the slaves you are used too. These are respectable women, here on the hopes of making a match with you.”

“Respectable?” He scoffed then. “Aren’t they just selling themselves for the wealth and security the Doom Empire could bring their planets?”

“Well they are certainly not here because of your charm!” Haggar retorted. He scowled at that, but she continued on. “You’re not the most ideal material for a groom. You drink and sleep around, and your temper is atrocious. You’re a known bully, and infamous womanizer. You’ll be gone more than you’re around, off leading the Empire’s invasions. Really, whoever you chose will be getting the worst of the deal if it comes to emotional intimacy. The least we can do is compensate their planets for their marriage to you.”

“Tell me how you really feel, Haggar.” Lotor grumbled at her.

“You know I hold back little when it comes to the truths you do not want to hear.”

“Why my father ever lets you get away with such impudence, I’ll never understand.” Lotor muttered, and the witch laughed.

“Your father well knows the value of my services.” She said. “And if you were smarter, you’d come to appreciate what I can do for you as well. But I suppose you’re content to bumble along, make mistake after mistake until you finally wise up. Hopefully that will happen before you run this kingdom into the ground!”

“That’s assuming my father even gives me the chance to do anything more than lead his invasions.” Lotor complained.

“The King is still years away from having to step down from his throne.” Haggar reminded Lotor. “But perhaps if you make a good match, I will speak to your father about allowing you the chance to rule over your future’s brides planet. Call it a…test run for the day you do assume the throne of the Doom Empire.”

As far as deals went, it wasn’t his most ideal. What Lotor would have preferred, was for Zarkon to step down from his throne. Whether the King was willing to do that or not, did not matter. Lotor was all too eager to hurry Zarkon along, to put an end to his father’s rule so that he could begin his own glorious reign. He didn’t want to rule over just one planet, not when an entire Empire lay within reach. And just like he wasn’t content to settle for one little planet, Lotor wasn’t ready to commit himself to a wife.

A wife meant responsibility, oaths and vows. A promise to be faithful, Certainly it meant Lotor couldn’t continue his womanizing, at least not in a public manner. A little discretion would have to be learned, and Lotor was anything but discrete when it came to the fairer sex. He liked to take whoever he wanted, whenever he so felt like it. An actual wife would severely impede his womanizing.

Just like Haggar was trying to impede him now, the witch actually expecting him to behave by not following through any seductions that might have been started at this dance. Lotor thought it absolutely absurd to hold back, especially when a woman like Queen Merla was giving him an open invitation to do more! And just as tempting as the pink haired queen, was the princess Romelle though she hadn’t signaled any such interest. Not yet, but Lotor was positive he could seduce her into changing her mind, and willingly spreading herself open to his desire.

But there wasn’t any chance to do any true seducing just yet. As skilled as Lotor was when it came to women, even he couldn’t seduce all fifty at once! Not this bunch! A less pedigreed group would have been thrilled for any scrap of attention Lotor might give them, any lie and false promises he would make. But these women were all royal, or very close to it. Educated and holding far loftier expectations than some cheap bauble he might throw them. They wanted him, wanted the wealth, the power, the protection marrying the crown heir of such a mighty empire would give them. There would be no true sharing among the competition and it would take careful managing to keep these women from betraying any advantage they might feel they had earned, after Lotor’s seductions.

In a competition like this, with so much at stake, these women would surely be ready to boast the first chance they got over the interest Lotor showed any one of them. He really would have to be careful, downright discrete with his seduction attempts. The last thing Lotor wanted was to be the focus of fifty angry, POWERFUL women. Even one woman’s anger was more trouble than he wanted, Lotor blinking rapidly in response to the angry look the witch gave him.

“What?”

“You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve said!” snapped Haggar.

He didn’t try to deny it, merely shrugging his shoulders in response. It earned him a dramatic sigh from Haggar, the witch rolling her eyes.

“Honestly, your highness!” Haggar complained. “I know they’re a far prettier sight to look at then me, but you could at least try to listen to what I have to say!”

“I listened enough.” Lotor retorted. “And those potential brides of mine are growing restless.” He made to walk past Haggar, the witch grabbing at his arm. “Just promise you’ll try to think with something other than your lusts when it comes time to narrow down this group.”

“Lustful desire is as good a decider as anything else.” Lotor jerked free of the witch’s hand.

“Yes but….”

“But nothing!” Lotor snapped. “I am the one who has to marry one of these women. I will not saddle myself with someone I am not attracted to.”

“Sometimes sexual attraction is not enough reason for a marriage to work!” Haggar hissed in exclamation.

“But it is needed if my father gets the grandchildren he is so determined I make him.” With that Lotor stalked away from the witch, forcing his glower to recede into a warmer expression. The women, who had all been watching his conversation with Haggar, all smiled back at him. Well all but one at any rate. Lotor didn’t know why his eyes was drawn to the brown haired princess in the baggy white dress, but he noticed her all the same. As did he notice her lack of warmth, no smile gracing that extraordinary mouth of hers.

Instead she just stared at him, lips pressed together in firm disapproval. The tinted glasses hid her eyes well, from this distance he couldn’t tell what sort of look she gave him. But he had a feeling they matched the disapproval her lips showed him, Lotor starting to veer towards her. He wasn’t sure what he was going to say to her until the words flew accusingly from his lips.

“And I suppose you are one who believes a marriage needs more than sexual attraction to work?”

She didn’t react in surprise or embarrassment, those eyes hidden behind the tinted lens of her glasses, turning cold. “Sexual attraction does not build a lasting foundation, your highness. And desire can and will burn out without something else to give it the stability it needs.”

“And what does give it that stability then?” He asked her. That frosty look didn’t waver, Allura not pausing to consider her answer.

“Respect. Friendship. Love.”

“Love?” His eyebrows rose in surprise. “Don’t tell me you are like your cousin in that regard!” Was it his imagination, or did unease stir in her expression.

“In what regard?”

He was aware of the other women listening, the group not trying to be subtle in their eavesdropping. It kept him from scoffing completely, in making a complete mockery of the very idea of marrying for love. “In wanting to marry for love.”

The unease was still there, though it lessened gradually. “My cousin does harbor such dreams.” Allura said with a nod. “Unfortunately for her, it is rare that ones of our station get to marry for anything other than the benefit of our kingdoms.”

“Does it bother you?” He asked, watching her carefully.

“I am a realist.” Allura told him. “I know what my duty is, and what I owe my people. If I can repay them for the life I’ve had, then I will do so.”

“Repay them?” Lotor frowned then. “What if anything do you owe them?”

“Come now your highness. The lives we’ve both lead, the luxuries we’ve been allowed….it all has to come from somewhere, from someone’s hard work. Our people labor to make sure our every want is catered to, all to better facilitate life for us so that we can then make improvements to their lives.”

“Is that what you think happens?” asked Lotor, startled.

“Isn’t it?” challenged Allura. “The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the roof over our heads. They take care of it all, so that we can worry about running the kingdoms, or getting the education needed to do so. Even the wars we engage in, it is the people who bear the brunt of that burden, while relying on their leaders to make the decisions that will benefit the kingdom in the long run. Considering the sacrifices they make for OUR well being, it is a small price to pay, to give up romance for a practical marriage.”

“And that’s what brought you here then.”

She nodded. “I can do no better for my people, than to ensure peace between my world and yours. If that means I have to marry one such as you….”

“And what do you mean by that?” Lotor demanded.

“I have done my homework.” Allura answered. “I’ve read all about you, about the kind of man you are, and the kind of ruler you might someday be.”

“Why do I get the feeling you find me lacking on that front?”

“There’s not yet enough information to make a informed choice in that regard.” Allura retorted. “You’ve proven to be excellent when it comes to war mongering. But a warrior doesn’t always make a good husband….”

“Maybe to you humans.” It was the Queen Merla who spoke now, the beautiful Drule female having moved closer to him and Allura. “But we Drules know the true value of a husband who is as good with a sword as he is in bed.” She smiled then, but the look wasn’t without it’s own malicious edge. “But, I suppose just like with love, you don’t find much value in having a husband that is good at sex.”

Lotor looked away from the Queen to catch sight of Allura’s reaction. She didn’t so much as flinch, no blush to her cheeks as she looked the Queen in the eyes. “A good lover means nothing to my people. A good lover won’t keep them from starving, from getting the money needed to improve themselves and their cities. Most of all, a good lover won’t keep other worlds from attempting to invade….”

“You have to be selfish at least a little, human.” Merla said, reaching to wrap herself around Lotor’s arm. “After all, whoever you marry, you will be with that person for the rest of your life. And the well being of your people won’t matter at all, if you are unhappy with the match you make.”

“So are you saying you won’t marry the prince if he proves to not be satisfactory in your eyes?” Lotor felt Merla stiffen at Allura’s question.

“I’ve done my research just as you, and have found Prince Lotor to be an excellent match for me to make.” Her voice held an angry edge to it, that lessened as Merla pressed her breasts against Lotor’s arm. “And I have no doubts he will live up to all my expectations.” Her voice was now a sultry purr, Merla staring at Lotor with a hooded gaze. “All of them.”

Merla was staring at him as though he was a sumptuous feast that she alone wanted to eat. He couldn’t help reacting to that desire, letting his own heat reflect in his eyes as he smiled at the Queen.

“Come your highness…” Merla was already leading him away. “You needn’t waste anymore time on a princess so foolish as to give up all of her happiness to see to her people’s.”

“Better to be a fool in that regard, than to be a completely selfish bitch.”

Again that tension in Merla’s body, the Queen abruptly halting mid step. “You dare!?”

“I speak the truth as I see it.” Allura answered. “As queen you have or should have sworn an oath to your people. A promise to see to their happiness and security. It’s the least you can do in return for all they do for you.”

“I don’t owe them anything.” Merla gave a haughty sniff.

“And that is where you’re wrong.” Allura insisted. “The relationship between a ruler and their people is a give and take one. Ultimately you prosper and are happy, when your people are happy and prospering. An unhappy people lead to dissension, to rebellions and wars. If you cannot keep your people happy, they will strive to replace you with someone who CAN.”

“My word, what a barbaric kingdom you come from if that is the case.” Merla let out a mocking laugh. “Lotor, surely you agree, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

“Yes, I’m sure I can understand why a world like Arus would trouble you. After all, you’d never want to put the work in to win the trust of the people there.” Allura locked eyes with Lotor now. “My people are loyal, and work hard to those they serve. My family has spent several generations earning the faith of the people. We may seem….barbaric, but you’ll not find another people as eager to preserve and protect a kingdom as they.”

“That is admirable.” Lotor said, hearing Merla scoff in response. “I understand better just why you have come here. But, you will have to provide me with something more if you hope to win the chance of allowing your world a more permanent alliance with Doom.”

With that, he allowed Merla to drag him away. Allura did not call out to him, did not try to extend the conversation any further. But he felt her eyes on him, her gaze tracking him right up to the point he and Merla were surrounded by an eager group of bridal candidates.


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