It had become difficult for Adaline to find true moments of peace, the demands her husband were placing on her consuming much of her time and attention. He was ever ready with requests, words pleasant even if the tasks he asked of her were not. If she showed even the slightest of hesitation he became threatening, Zarkon hissing out warnings of what would happen to Allura.
It wasn’t that she needed the reminder, Adaline well aware of the heavy burden that she had placed on her shoulders. Her husband simply delighting in torturing her, the man testing her resolve, searching for ways to crumble it. It was a game to him, Zarkon not giving one damn about the fate of the girl, the man too consumed with his teasing and torment of his wife.
The sex continued, Zarkon’s lusts renewed in a manner that she had not previously seen, not even in the first year of their marriage to each other. She never looked on that year with fondness, not even the passage of time could cloud over the feelings she had felt, the misery and terror. She had been young then, just barely into her twentieth year when she was first brought to Doom.
Little more than a fresh faced virgin, she had been terrified of the great demon King. But then, so had all the human girls that had been stolen from their homes, quivering and clinging to each other, some openly weeping. Adaline had not been one of them, though it wasn’t stubbornness that kept her tears from falling. She had simply been stripped of almost all emotions in that moment, terror squeezing her heart, and stealing her breath away.
Besides the fear and their humanity, the women had one more thing in common. They were all beautiful, stunning jewels with little to no physical flaws to be found. Adaline felt it was pure chance Zarkon fixated on her, an unfortunate trick of fate that had him choose her for his bed.
In the beginning, she had been nothing more than pure pleasure slave, one of the many brought to Doom for their King’s enjoyment. She’d never understand what changed, what kept Zarkon clinging to her, to the point he demanded she be his wife. There had been no refusing him, not then, not now, Adaline’s fate sealed the moment she had been brought onboard a Drule ship.
That would be her first and last time on any sort of space ship, Zarkon keeping her confined to the castle, it’s stone walls her prison. She could have wilted like a flower denied it’s sun, but somehow she persevered where the others did not. One by one they fell, some dying of homesickness, others falling to mysterious Drule illnesses that went untreated. Some even took their own lives, while a few simply vanished, Adaline never discovering the true fate of those few.
It wasn’t long before she was the only one left of the group she had been captured with. Zarkon praised her for her strength, his ardor for her increasing, even as more women were brought to him, tribute from the other Drules. His harem was an ever changing domain, old faces dying out as new ones were brought in. And though he made use of those women, it was Adaline he always returned to.
It was Adaline who he sired his one and only child with, much to the surprise of the court. They were even more outraged when he named Lotor his official heir, the Drules not sure they wanted a human halfing ruling over them. But their grumbles fell on deaf ears, forcing the nobles to take other measures to remove the weakness. Attempts were made, unsuccessful but no less scarring, Adaline terrified anew and this time for the life of her son.
Zarkon did not take kindly to assassination attempts, the King viewing his son as much a possession as any jewel, or slave had ever been. He flew into a killing rage, torturing to death several nobles. It didn’t matter if they were innocent of the crime, a lesson had to be learned, a message sent that one did not touch Zarkon’s things. It was a lesson the Drules took to heart, even after Zarkon began showing displeasure with Lotor.
Adaline knew Zarkon thought Lotor too quick to cry, the Drule disturbed by his son’s tears. It wasn’t just the crying that bothered him, Zarkon depising Lotor’s penchant for whining to get what he wanted, and his neediness towards the adults. Of course no one save Adaline humored Lotor’s need for attention, the Drules of the castle choosing to ignore the prince save for when he made a total nuisance of himself.
That wasn’t often, Lotor knowing the price to pay for causing too big a scene was his father’s anger, temper displayed in the form of free flying fists. Adaline tried to interfere as much as she could, to keep her son safe, healthy and happy. But the sad fact of the matter was the boy was being forced to grow up, the Drules coldness aging him beyond his physical years.
It seemed Doom aged them all, sooner or later, the harshness of life here forcing time to distort. Take the present for instance. It felt like a lifetime had gone by, though in truth only a week and two days had passed since the rescue of Allura. The girl had yet to talk, save for that one whispered word when Adaline had first approached her in the dungeons.
It was all right, her son Lotor talked enough for the both of them, the boy chattering away about toys and stories. At the moment the three them sat in his room, Adaline wearily perched on a recliner. It was there in this chair that she often read to Lotor, the boy sitting at her feet in rapt attention to the stories she told him. Of course Allura now joined in for story time, often sitting on Adaline’s lap, staring at the colorful pictures in the books.
Right now the pair was on the floor, toys spread around them though the objects were ignored for the most part. The children currently favored the building blocks, Lotor building tall towers that wobbled dangerously. Allura had come out of her shell enough to actually play with him, the girl sitting in quiet concentration as she pushed blocks around.
It was moments like this that made everything she had done worth it, Adaline feeling a warm feeling flood her at the sight of Allura playing with her son. She just wished the girl would smile, something that would allow her expressions to range more than solemn and terrified. But she seemed too exist in just those two modes, Allura switching between them sometimes at the drop of a hat.
Nights were the hardest for Allura, the girl often waking screaming, her body racked with violent shivers. With no way to get her to talk, Adaline was left to guess at what bothered her, the woman sure it was the violent murders the girl had witnessed. Adaline’s presence seem to stave off the dreams, and it quickly became ritual that upon her return from Zarkon’s chambers she would gather up Lotor and Allura, and bring them to sleep in her room.
Adaline herself wasn’t getting enough sleep, the woman forced to go late to bed, and rise up early. All because of her husband’s demands, Zarkon insisting on her presence both in his bed, and by his throne. She loathed attending the Drule court, perhaps even more than she did laying beneath her husband’s body. At least with the sex she had practice in distancing herself, in pretending it didn’t mean anything.
The high court of Doom was a different matter entirely, it’s nature seeming to change daily, but never failing to live up to it’s dangerous reputation. Treachery abounded, the nobles always plotting, always working some kind of scheme to advance their own status and standing within Zarkon’s eyes. The ironic thing was, due to her husband’s possessive nature, Adaline was in the enviable position of being safe from the back stabbing and murder that festered among the nobles.
That didn’t protect her from the stares, the talk that followed her arrival at the court, Adaline walking with her head held high to stand besides her husband’s throne. The first day had been the hardest, standing there with the eyes of the entire court on her, Adaline aware that her hair and manner of dress were chosen to accentuate the marks on her body.
Her waist length hair swept up into a braided bun, her neck had been bare of jewels, showing off the many kiss and bite marks Zarkon had left. Her dress had been form fitting, clinging to her curves, with sleeves that were slashed open in intervals. A low cut bodice pushed up the globes of her breasts, the marks extending to the tops of them.
Inside Adaline burned with shame, but outside she presented a blank slate, placing a proprietary hand on Zarkon’s throne. It only got easier for each day he made her do this, Adaline almost relaxing when the worst thing happened was a duel between a lord and a duke of the court.
But that had been a mistake to give in to her ease, Zarkon had been holding back his worst. For the first three days he conducted himself in an almost business like manner, listening to the grievances of the court, speaking on his plans to extend the Doom Empire to even further reaches of Denubian Galaxy, and just generally merry making with wine and drink.
She should have known he had something planned, the entertainments at court being far too tame, limited to dancing girls and circus acrobats. It wasn’t like him, and these events weren’t to the amusement of the nobles, the men and women growing restless with boredom.
It all changed on the fourth day she attended court, Adaline entering the throne room to the feel of excited anticipation in the air. Her gut instincts were riled, Adaline breaking out into goose bumps as she approached her husbands’ throne. He had been smiling, grin looking almost feral, and his glittering eyes made her bad feeling intensify.
That day the entertainment chosen had still been mild by Drule standards, Adaline forced to stand and watch as men and women were whipped before the court, the lash of the lazon searing into their skins, sending up the smell of roasted flesh. As much as their screams of pain bothered her, it was the smell that had nearly been her undoing, Adaline fighting nausea.
It would only get worse, new forms of torture being introduced before her. Familles were beheaded before her, parents and their grown children, their expressions frozen in permanent horror. The heads would be preserved, dipped in chemicals to prevent the decay that came with death, then mounted on pikes. The bodies would be cut into pieces, ground up into beef to feed the monsters in Zarkon’s arena.
Blood baths occurred, the nobles being showered in blood as the palace torturers performed even more messy tortures. The spray of blood even reached her and Zarkon, her husband grinning, lifting up a goblet in appreciation. The gold cup caught drops of the blood, mixing with his drink to form a blood wine of which he drank eagerly. Again her nausea rose, Adaline somehow managing to keep from retching before the court.
But perhaps the ultimate in horrors had occurred this very morning, Zarkon inviting a young woman to dine with him and Adaline. The woman had been a dark haired beauty, that even the tired circles under her eyes, and the bruises on her arms could not take away from her looks. She was dressed in the rags of a mine slave, the clothes threadbare and bagging on her gaunt form.
The slave had eyed the wealth of food on the table with shock and awe, her stomach growling loudly much to the woman’s embarrassment. To Adaline’s astonishment, Zarkon made pleasant with the slave, pushing food her way which the woman greedily gobbled up to the point she was ill. Zarkon did not show anger at that, merely inviting the servants to come clean the mess the slave had made.
Adaline’s suspicions had mounted during the breakfast, the woman not buying one moment of her husband’s sudden kindness. Her fears continued, Adaline not failing to notice the way the nobles grinned and nudged each other at their respective tables. They knew what was to happen, and from the looks of them they would relish whatever that was.
The tables were cleared away, the slave remaining in the room, left on her own but not for long. For men entered, and even for Drules they were big, wearing little on their person except for white loin cloths that could barely hide their arousal. They had been taken from the dungeons, men who had committed crimes horrible enough to horrify the Drules. Men who had gone ages without the soft touch of a woman. Men who were sexual deviants under the best of circumstances, and were now pumped full of erotisque, a potent sex drug that drove the Drules into a mating frenzy.
They had been brought here to rape the slave, the very girl that had been treated to false kindness. The sex crazed Drules surrounded the girl within seconds, the guards of the court watching to make sure these hungry prisoners did not turn to the high class ladies that were present in the room. The slaves screams had been desperate, there was a struggle, the girl putting up a valiant fight.
It made no difference in the end, the Drules over powering her, Adaline hearing her scream and gasp, unable to catch her breath. The screams were no worse than those who had been executed the day before, but the rape somehow seemed more savage. In the end, one of the criminals had grown tired of the girls’ screaming, reaching around to snap her neck. It didn’t stop the sexual deviants from making use of her body, forcing the guards to pull them off her.
The sex crazed criminals had not been satisfied, the amount of erotisque not having a chance to work itself completely out of their systems. In the end all four were dead, the men and the woman, leaving it in Adaline’s eyes a pointless exercise in horror. As bad as the crimes committed today for the amusement of the Drules were, it felt even worse that Zarkon had wasted kindness on the slave.
At some point during the rape, Zarkon had seized hold of her wrist, his grip like an iron manacle holding her to him. Adaline had apparently taken a step forward, but to do what she did not know, the woman knowing she lacked the physical strength to stop even one man, let alone three brawny specimens of Drulekind. It was a sad fact that her husband had been keeping her safe, the desire to protect his possession strong.
And thus with his fingers around her wrist, Adaline had remained rooted to the spot, not allowed to turn away for even one instant. Zarkon took pleasure in her obvious discomfort, the whole court did, vicious laughter ringing around them, leering smirks aimed in her direction. The nobles were relishing the chance to see the ice queen Adaline break, eating up the horrified emotions she couldn’t stop from displaying.
The lack of proper sleep, and the continuous exposure to the court’s horrors had taken it’s toil on her, Adaline falling in a dead faint at Zarkon’s feet. She didn’t know how long she was out of it, no one would bother to inform her of that little detail when she awoke in the castle infirmary. The nurses poured vile tasting potions down her throat, claiming they did this for her own good, giving Adaline medicines meant to revitalize her.
Zarkon did not put in an appearance during this time, much to Adaline’s relief. She had seen the way he looked at her, the excitement on his face, the lust darkening his eyes. In that moment, with the bodies still warm, and her horror fresh and naked on her face, her husband had desired her. Wanted her in the worst way, and only her collapse had saved her from another round of unwanted sex.
Recovered though still shaky, she had fled the infirmary, ignoring the nurse’s protests. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind where she would go, Adaline returning to check on the children, to the only somewhat safe place she knew. She had had to hide her shaken state, planting a gentle smile on her face as she took turns hugging both children.
Lotor had wiggled and frowned, finding her embraces stifling, the boy eager to play. Allura had looked at her with sad eyes, and for one instant Adaline had the distinct feeling the girl saw through her happy disguise. But as always the girl was without vocal comment, allowing Adaline to hug her as much as the woman needed, even when Lotor grew impatient for his playmate and began tugging on Allura’s hand.
Adaline had forced herself to release the girl, settling herself on the recliner to watch the two at play. Their innocence, and Lotor’s laughter calmed her down, almost succeeding in chasing away the horrors of the day. But she knew it was only a temporary distraction, the memories would persist, her mind revisiting them at night. And if not by her own choosing, than by Zarkon’s, her husband taking sick delight in recounting everything that happened in the courts. It would not be just Allura whose dreams would now be disturbed, Adaline needing the comfort of the children as much as they did hers.