He fell back against the pillows with a laugh, his body experiencing a satisfied exhaustion. Next to him lay his wife Adaline, the woman unmoving for the moment save for the rapid rise and fall of her chest. She hadn’t even released her tight grip on the bed sheets, fingers clenching around the silk. He had warned her to be careful, whispering of the silk’s thread count, the price of which was worth more than a dozen healthy human slaves.
It was hardly the most extravagant expense in the room, Zarkon knowing he allowed Adaline nothing but the best. Not that the chit appreciated it, the woman turning up her nose at the wealth he surrounded her with. It was something that frustrated him, this lack of understanding that followed Adaline’s lack of greed. Where others, be they human or Drule, slave or noble, could appreciate the value of money, Adaline remained unimpressed by the way he spoiled her.
Not that it stopped him, Zarkon having an image to uphold. His standards were exacting, the displayed wealth meant to inspire envy and greed in all who knew his name. Even his slaves were outfitted in the finest scraps of material, with heavy gold collars around their necks. It was no different for his wife, who was more possession than person to him at times.
But then, he often looked at the people and slaves of his Empire as mere belongings. After all, he considered none his equal, the Drules and humans of the Denubian Galaxy nothing more than pawns to move around on the chessboard of his ambitions. Planets were resources, whole worlds mined for their wealth and goods then tossed aside once their value was depleted.
People last longer than worlds, but even they eventually broke, becoming dried up husks of their former selves. Some just took longer than others, his wife chief among them. Sometimes it rankled on Zarkon’s nerves, but most days he was content, finding satisfaction in the bride he had stolen for himself. Today was one of the good days with her, Adaline having performed beyond his wildest expectations.
It was always more than just sex with Adaline, Zarkon finding he liked the feelings she brought out, both in him and in her. Lust, rage, wanting, needing…it was all there and more, waiting to come out in their interactions. His wife stirred his blood like no other, and though he could not inspire genuine affection in her, there were other things Adaline could give him that was just as warm as love.
But she always made him work for it, Adaline maintaining an icy demeanor, giving him blank eyes and false expressions. She made him chip away at her armor, forcing Zarkon to only get small pieces at a time. It had been ages since he had had the weapons needed to shatter her completely, and he was almost disappointed the moment was over and done with.
Still he smiled, cherishing the memory, recalling with good humor the way she had cried out. It had not been lustful passion, Adaline wouldn’t allow her voice to distort that much for him. But it had been real, and earnest, Adaline unable to hide her horror when he began detailing the abduction of Alfor’s brat. How she had twisted under him, forgetting her bargain as she tried to get away.
He had easily held her down, and tempted though he was to whisper in her ear, he hadn’t wanted to miss one moment of the pain that flashed in her eyes. So he stayed hovering above her, his body moving in and out of hers, Zarkon finding twisted glee in listing the dozen people who had died that day. Murdered before the princess’ very eyes, their blood splashing on her, men of her father’s employ, her governess, and even the handful of children that had been brought to the park to play with the girl.
Adaline had tried to cover her ears, only to have her hands snatched away, Zarkon pinning her wrists to the bed. Her upset excited him, made him more vicious, more vigorous in bed, the details becoming more explicit with each thrust of his body. He didn’t stop, not even when she started to wretch, Zarkon painting a vivid picture of the horrors witnessed by Allura. Of how certain bodies had been torn apart, limbs tossed here and there, a tribute to Drule savagery.
He made certain she understood how damaged the girl’s mind had surely become, and only then with Adaline’s screams resounding in his ears, did he reach his release. She called him names, monster being the least of the vile epitaphs strewn from her lips. It wasn’t often that Adaline lost her composure so completely, her anger something to behold, giving him the feel that she would have struck him with her fists if not for his grip on her wrists.
It wasn’t enough to take her just once, or even twice, Zarkon enjoying the pleasures of Adaline’s body four times in all. At some point she had gone limp, ceasing her struggles and staring up at him with a glassy look in her eyes. It was only then that he lost his desire for her, realizing the fun he had found had come to an end. An unresponsive woman was hardly his ideal enjoyment, Zarkon doing a quick finish then falling next to Adaline’s unmoving body.
There was a dozen things he could have said to her in the moment, Zarkon rolling onto his side to study his wife. The light of coherency was coming back to her eyes, and he almost reached out to give her a fond touch on her cheek. He stamped down that impulse, he was not a man of gentle actions, his affection revealing itself in other, more carnal forms.
“Is the child really worth it?” Adaline had not had time to rebuild the holes in her armor, his wife flinching at the sound of his raspy voice. Slowly she turned her head, gazing at him with blue eyes that shined bright with determined emotion. “Really Adaline…you should worry more about being a good mother to Lotor, and not about some brat of Alfor’s!”
Her voice was hoarse from screaming, breath practically hissing out of her. “I can do both.” Was her stubborn answer. “Allura needs me.”
He almost regretted speaking to her, feeling his good mood start to evaporate as his grin became a frown. “She doesn’t need you. She’d accept help from anyone, anyone at all!” Not that there was many on Doom who would give it to the girl.
“Nevertheless, I am going to help her.” Came Adaline’s insistent response, leaving him further frustrated. Zarkon certainly didn’t understand, and he definitely didn’t like
it. But he’d use that need of Adaline’s to his advantage, gaining his wife’s compliance in and out of bed.
“Make sure you’re waiting for me in my chambers tonight.”
“Tonight?!” She looked startled, surely having assumed he would have been sated after four rounds of sex.
“Aye.” A nod of his head, Zarkon allowing a curving of his lips. “I want you naked and ready for me.” She looked about ready to protest, Zarkon smirking. “Do you have any objections Adaline? Or are you ready to send the brat back to the dungeons?”
“No. It’s just sex.” Adaline sat up, and even in her torn and rumpled dress, she managed to look regal and composed. “It doesn’t mean anything.”
“I’d be more impressed if you could say that without any inflection in your voice.” Zarkon told her. He sat up too, and inched towards the edge of the bed, looking for his belt. “No matter, our fun is just starting.” He heard the rustle of her clothes, Adaline rearranging her skirts though what she was in need of was a hot soak in a tub. Zarkon could use a cleaning himself, the Drule reaching for tissues, wiping at his groin.
“Wear your hair down.” He continued, listing what he wanted from her. “Make sure you don’t wear that cloyingly sweet perfume that you favor so.”
“Anything else?” She demanded, some trace of her previous fire returning to her.
“If I think of it, I’ll send a servant to tell you.” He smiled then, buttoning up his pants. The servant coming to deliver such a request would only serve to further humiliate his wife, and it wouldn’t be long before everyone knew, news like this traveling fast through his castle.
Stony silence met his words, Zarkon rising to stand. A glance Adaline’s way showed her trying to be indifferent, her emotionless mask not yet in place. Before he was through she would find it more difficult to play the ice queen, Zarkon not having begun to do his worse. It wouldn’t just be sex she’d have to endure, he’d keep finding new ways to add to her upset and humiliation. He’d enjoy the feelings he stirred up in her, thinking she never looked more beautiful than when she was caught in the cusp of
He didn’t even bother to say good bye to her, Zarkon stalking from the room. He kept his back towards her, but strained his hearing for her sounds, waiting for her to start sobbing or screaming. She didn’t crumple, Adaline not yet there to be so broken as to cry over what had happened. He missed her tears, remembering those first months when she had been brought to Doom.
Back then she had been easy to rattle, a cruel word or vicious glare could send her to tears just as easily as the sharing of his bed. Somewhere within the first year of marriage, she had started to change, her tears drying to the point she had none left to give. It had taken even more years for her to perfect her response, expressions always carefully composed to not betray what she was feeling. To most of his court she was an enigma, the unfeeling human witch that had bespelled their King.
But Zarkon knew better, his senses sharp, not missing much when it came to his wife and her hidden responses. She feared him now as much as she had then, the woman always on edge when it came to him and his temper. She hated him, hated Doom and it’s people, and for the longest time Zarkon had though she become a dried up husk, capable of only negative emotion.
But that was before their son was born, Lotor bringing forth the love Adaline had harbored in some hidden recess of her heart. Lotor could make Adaline react, but more importantly, the boy could be used to get a response from her both good and bad. And now he had a new tool, a wonderful toy that left Adaline indebted to him for it’s upkeep.
The smile was back on Zarkon’s face, the King striding through the corridors of his home. Allura was proving to be much more valuable than initially thought, the girl gaining him not only Arus, but a weapon to devastate Adaline with.
“You’re in a good mood sire.” A voice cracked with age interrupted his thoughts, Haggar his witch having fallen in step with him.
“And why shouldn’t I be?” Zarkon demanded, not slowing down. “Arus is finally mine in almost every way that counts. Alfor and his ilk have left the castle, the man dethroned, his crown and his riches mine to do with as I please. And soon that troublesome robot of theirs will be mine as well.” He had big plans for that robot, Zarkon intending to have his scientists take it apart, study it’s secrets. And once it was understood, Voltron would be manufactured, Zarkon holding a small army of the robots and unleashing them on an unsuspecting galaxy.
“You think the Arusians can be trusted at their word?” Haggar asked. Like so many of the Drule, she couldn’t understand how the humans King would enslave his people, allow his planet to fall into the hands of the enemy he had fought for so long, all for the life of one little girl. Zarkon could not claim to understand any better than she, but he knew enough to capitalize on it, an act that had him reaping in the benefits.
“I trust no one save myself.” Zarkon retorted, fixing her with an annoyed look. “But when I see a weakness I use it.” And got results, Zarkon smirking as he thought of the images he had seen of Alfor in filthy rags.
“And you do it well.” Haggar said, surely to flatter him with her easy agreement. “But my King, a word of advice. Kill Alfor and his wife now, while you have the chance. Send word to your ships, have them execute the former royals the instant they land on Arusian soil.” It was sound advice, but one thing Zarkon did not want to be denied of was a chance to see his enemies suffering and humiliation.
“They’ll die in time.” Zarkon answered, thinking that the decades spent trying to capture Arus earned Alfor a special kind of hell, one that should not be ending prematurely with his and Diana’s deaths. He wanted them to toil as beggars, to exist as something less than slaves. To see them let loose among their former subjects, reviled and hated, and rightfully blamed for the planet’s new state of affairs.
“If we’re lucky…” smiled Zarkon, delighted by the thought he was about to voice. “The Arusians themselves will kill that pair. It would be….poetic, do you not agree? The downtrodden fallen rising up one last time to take a much needed revenge.” It was what the Drules would do if they had ended up in Arus’ situation, but then his people would never have allowed a king so weak as to be swayed by a child’s life hanging in the balance.
“Yes sire.” Haggar nodded, but he sensed a hesitation about her.
“‘What now?” Zarkon demanded, giving her leave to speak her mind.
“I’ve heard troubling things….Is it true Lady Adaline visited the dungeons?”
“Aye. She did more than visit. She took Alfor’s brat and brought the girl to her chambers.” Haggar’s eyes widened at that, the witch clutching at her staff.
“What madness is this?!” She breathed out, and Zarkon shrugged.
“She wants to take care of the girl. I see no harm in letting her do as she pleases….so long as she acquiesces to the demands I make of her.” He smirked, letting the silence between them linger, certain that Haggar was imagining just the sort of things he would make Adaline do. Haggar appeared to grow flustered, actually looking away from him.
“So that’s where you were these last few hours…” Haggar murmured. “Where’s the girl now?”
“Playing with my son, last I heard.”
“Sire! Are you sure that’s wise?!” Haggar was gasping, and the look she gave him bordered on disrespect. “The boy is already weakened by Adaline’s blood running through him….he’s easily crippled by human emotions…such a condition can only be exasperated by prolong contact with humans.” Her voice turned wheedling. “Adaline already coddles him too much, she allows weakness to fester in him. A second human influence cannot be allowed, not if he’s going to be fit to one day rule the Doom Empire.”
She made a good point, Zarkon knowing he would have to keep a closer eye on his son’s behavior. He was ashamed to even think this, but his son was prone to tears, a fact Zarkon took to remedying with his fists. Sometimes this method work, but other times it only serve to make the boy hysterical. “It won’t be a problem.” He said out loud to Haggar. “The girl is far too traumatized by the events she has witnessed. Why she’s little more than a broken doll, so unresponsive is she.”
“What if she recovers?!” persisted Haggar. “Recovers and starts to affect the prince?”
“It’ll be an easy enough solution if that’s the case.” Zarkon told her. “Separate them and their won’t be a problem.”
“It would go better for the prince if you killed her….killed her AND Adaline.” His hand was suddenly on Haggar’s throat, Zarkon squeezing down tight, choking the breath out of her.
“You go too far witch.” He said levelly, staring into her bulging eyes. She made a rasping sound, trying to get out a word, some earnest plea for her life. He merely tightened his fingers in response, thinking it a pity that a Drule’s skin didn’t allow for it’s color to change. “Adaline is mine! My wife and my property, and I will not let anyone take her from me, let alone some over anxious bitch who thinks she can dare tell me what to do!”
Haggar’s zest for survival, over rode her other instincts, the witch bringing up her hands to claw at his arm. She actually slashed open his shirt, red rivulets of blood appearing on his arm. His eyes narrowed, Zarkon incensed that she dare hurt him. “What’s this? You dare lift a hand against me? Haggar, you know this is treason you commit!”
He shook her like she was a rag doll, watching with satisfaction as Haggar dropped her arms to her sides. Her tongue was starting to hang out of her mouth, and only then did he drop her on the floor. He stood watching her catch her breath, the witch lifting her hands to her sore throat, feeling for damage.
“For..forgive me…” She wheezed, voice distorted to the point of being unrecognizable. “I meant no harm or disrespect…”
He wasn’t in a forgiving mood, Zarkon shouting for the nearest guards to come to his side. “I think you need some time to reflect on your actions.” He hissed to her, the guards surrounding both Haggar and him. “Take her to the dungeons and leave her in it’s master’s tender care.”
“No!” Haggar gasped in horror, trying to struggle when the guards dragged her to her feet. She was still so weak from her near suffocation, legs barely able to support her standing form on their own.
“It’s for your own good Haggar.” Zarkon told her. “Your reckless words nearly cost me my best witch.” One of the guards slapped a manacle onto the witch’s wrist, archaic runes glowing on the silver, words of power that would prevent Haggar from using her magic so long as she wore the band.
“Sire forgive me!” She called out, but Zarkon was already turning, ready to leave her to her fate. “Please!” He merely laughed at her expressed terror, his thoughts gleeful as he realized he had had more fun today than he had had in a long time.