His guards swept into the room, taking the time to scout out the surroundings before allowing their king to enter. Zarkon paused in the doorway, watching his men inspect every nook and cranny, the men paid to be suspicious of any and everything. They checked around for all manners of devices, rapping on walls, lifting portraits up to make sure there was no holes beneath them for spies and darts to use.
At last they signaled that all was clear, Zarkon entering the room, a servant following on his heels. She carried a tray of food and drink, and she stepped over to the desk, arranging the delicacies on top it’s surface. Zarkon strode over to sit behind the desk, making himself comfortable as he waited for the servant and his guards to vacate the room.
He wondered where Lotor was, his son having asked him to come meet him, the summons worded in a way that hinted at the urgency the prince felt. He realized whatever was happening he’d have to be patient and wait until Lotor’s arrival, Zarkon holding back a sigh as he reached for one of the drinks laid out on his desk. He drank it down in one gulp, smacking his lips together in a satisfied manner.
It didn’t pass the time fast enough, Zarkon taking only seconds to swallow down the drink. He was agitated and on edge, his mood foul. Court had been interrupted by Lotor’s message, one of Zarkon’s favorite past times being cut short. The executions had been sloppy, hurried, Zarkon not wanting to miss a moment of the fun. It left him disgruntled, his court of nobles murmuring, wondering why the entertainments had been rushed.
He gave them no answer, merely dismissing himself from the festivities to finally attend to Lotor’s summon. And still the prince had not managed to appear, leaving Zarkon to grumble and growl under his breath. He reached for a plate of curled shrimp, biting into the meat and spitting out the shells.
His son was doing a lot of things he disapproved of, the least of which was keeping that mistress of his. Zarkon didn’t understand why Lotor had refused to send her away, but he intended to get an answer for that action. The King wasn’t the only one upset about Allura’s continued presence in Lotor’s life, Princess Corral and her father had gotten in contact with Zarkon.
They were understandably angry, making threats and insinuations, the marriage arrangement close to falling apart. And all because Lotor couldn’t’ bear to part from Allura! He just didn’t understand it, as attractive as the girl was, Zarkon thought Lotor’s lust for vengeance would outweigh any other desire of his. It was troubling, and even more so for the fact that Lotor wasn’t making use of her, at least not as far as Zarkon could see. The girl was under constant guard, kept confined to her rooms for the past two days, Lotor not visiting her even one time. What was the point of it all? Why risk their plans for Demos if he wasn’t even going to fuck the girl?
And yet Lotor had offered no excuses, the prince avoiding his father and the court these last two days. The only times Zarkon had managed to catch a glimpse of his son was during his trip to the arena, Lotor leaving a trail of bodies a mile long. He didn’t understand this sudden killing spree his son was on, but the people enjoyed it, thrilling to see their prince’s antics, and coming in droves to pay for the spectacle of the drawn out kills.
He had also gotten word of his son’s movement inside the castle, Zarkon learning the prince had paid several visits to the science and research department of the castle. His prying into the matter had turned up little results, Zarkon only aware that Lotor was up to something with the scientist Trayvern. He’d have to call the woman in for questioning soon if Lotor’s behavior continued to be erratic and secretive, Zarkon not wanting to let Lotor continue to jeopardize the plans for Demos.
There was one more piece to the puzzle of Lotor’s actions, the King getting word that the prince had paid a visit to the castle’s medical facilities. As far as Zarkon could see, Lotor was not sick, and yet he had spent over an hour behind closed doors, enduring some kind of medical examination. The results of that examination would soon be on Zarkon’s desk, the King wanting to know just what went on during that visit.
He reached for another drink, swallowing the contents down at a more sedate pace. Lotor’s actions and behavior was troubling, for the most part Zarkon was used to his son sharing with him the details of his plans. It certainly wasn’t like Lotor to try and ruin their schemes when it came to Demos and conquering other planets. It almost left him wondering if his son was doing drugs again, seeking out a new outlet at the news that women would be barred to him until after the princess Corral was in their grasp.
~That son of mine is being exceedingly foolish.~ Zarkon thought, chewing on another large piece of shrimp. It wouldn’t do to allow such behavior to continue. If Lotor didn’t offer up suitable answers for his behavior, Zarkon would take measures to curb his actions. He’d ground the boy if need be, and take Allura from him sooner than anticipated.
He had thought to give Lotor time to come to grips with the idea of his father bedding his former mistress. Zarkon intended to obtain Allura’s contract from Madame Elianza, already placing stress on the woman to not sell it to any other prospective buyer. He intended to give Allura a few months reprieve, just long enough for them to capture Corral upon her arrival on Doom.
Allura couldn’t be anywhere on the planet, Demos was too wound up tight over her presence, and what it meant for Lotor and his engagement to the princess. Any attempt to claim Allura for his own would be seen as Zarkon covering for the prince, Demos would assume Lotor was still making use of her, being an unfaithful bride groom to Corral.
It left Zarkon shaking his head ruefully, the man in turn both annoyed and amused at the humans and their sense of faithfulness. Drules weren’t as prone to it as humans, many having harems and a whole slew of lovers on the side. Of course it didn’t mean that devoted lovers did not exist, it was rare but some swore eternal devotion to each other.
More often that not though, the Drules found love with one, while keeping others around for pleasure. It was simply the Drule way. Zarkon himself had kept a harem even when married to Lotor’s mother, and though Adaline had been his favorite outlet for pleasure, he had also made use of the women in his care.
Even now he still maintained a modest sized harem, though he was tired of the women there. They had grown boring with familiarity, and they had little skill when it came to conversing with a King. Not like his son’s mistress, who managed to hold his attention for longer than five minutes. A fond sort of smile crossed his lips, Zarkon thinking of Allura when a knock sounded at the door.
He wasn’t so distracted as to not sit up straighter, setting down the shrimp to call out a command. “Enter.” His voice held impatience to it, Zarkon thinking it was about time Lotor showed. But the person ushered into the room wasn’t his son, Zarkon staring at the golden haired vision dressed in a pale silver gown that clung to her curves. “Well…” Zarkon said slowly, rising from his seat. “This is a pleasant surprise.”
Allura looked as pale as her dress, her blue eyes huge with worried fright as she stared at him. She almost forgot to curtsey, he could see the fine tremor in her hands as she gripped her skirts, doing a low bow that offered up her cleavage for a tempting view. Zarkon found himself licking his lips, practically purring as she paused, waiting for him to acknowledge her show of respect.
“Stand up dear girl, and let me get a look at you.” Zarkon said, and came around to the front of his desk. She straightened, but looked no less at ease, staring back at him. She reminded him of an animal caught in the spotlights of the arena, so frightened and wary.
“Your highness…” Her voice managed to sound pleasant, even with her fear, Allura smoothing her shaking hands down the front of her skirts. “Was it you who summoned me here?”
He raised an eyebrow at that, Zarkon surprised. “No, not I.” She started to frown, then thought better of it. “I am surprised to see you here. When my son requested a meeting, I never expected anyone else to be present.”
“So it was the prince who asked us both to be here?” She seemed to grow whiter at that thought, Zarkon wondering why.
“Looks that way.” Zarkon said, and stepped towards her. He was amused when she immediately backed up, Zarkon not faltering in his approach. “Does it frighten you to be alone with me?” He wondered how she’d answer, the girl’s lips parting on a gasp.
“You know it does.” Zarkon would give Allura points for honesty, she didn’t try to hide the feelings he stirred in her. “I never know what you’re going to do, even now…”
“Even now?” He was puzzled by her choice of words, Zarkon wondering what was so special about now. She just shrugged, a graceful movement that left him no closer to understanding. Still he crowded in close to her, pleased to note she wasn’t wearing any perfumes. She had heeded his command, letting her own natural scent permeate the air around her.
It reminded him of Adaline, Zarkon recalling how her scent could drive him wild with desire as well. Allura’s eyes went even bigger as his nostrils flared, the girl surely realizing he was scenting her. She tried to back away and his arm lashed out, hand capturing her around the wrist to pull her closer to him. Allura actually dared lay her free hand on his chest, trying to keep him at bay. Her touch merely thrilled him all the more, Zarkon smiling as he met her troubled gaze with a lusty look of his own.
“Has Lotor explained to you what’s going on?” Zarkon asked, and watched her hesitate. She must know something after all, the girl trying to choose her words carefully.
“He hasn’t told me about this meeting, if that’s what you’re asking…”
“What has he told you about then?” A curious Zarkon asked, bringing her wrist up to his lips. He kissed at her racing pulse point, Allura’s flesh breaking out into goose bumps at the contact of his mouth.
“Not much.” Allura told him, shaking her head. “I haven’t seen him for two days….not since he placed the guards on my room.”
“Odd thing that.” Zarkon noted, letting her hand go so he could place a hand on her hip. He pressed against her, leaning in to whisper in her ear, his lips caressing her with every word spoken. “He was supposed to send you away, not keep you here under lock and key.”
“Away?!” She was startled at that, he could tell by her exclamation.
“Yes.” A light nibble on the curve of her ear, and then he pulled back to look into her eyes. “He’s getting married.” Was that shock and disappointment in her eyes? He smiled, and laughed, liking the upset she showed him. “Didn’t he tell you?” Allura shook her head no, stray curls bobbing around the sides of her face. Zarkon reached to finger one curl, pulling on it lightly to watch it spring free of his grip.
“What is that son of mine up to.” Zarkon wondered out loud to her.
“I surely wouldn’t know.” Allura murmured, then straightened. “Is he really going to marry the Princess Corral of Demos?”
“Yes, he is. And as such, your duties on Doom will be ended.” She seemed to sag a little at that, Zarkon wondering if that was relief she displayed. “But fear not Allura, you’ll only be in Madame Elianza’s care for a few months. Once everything is settled with Demos, I will buy your contract.”
Her beautiful blue eyes widened in panic, Zarkon laughing, feeling pleasure to see such fear and horror in her eyes. It made him want to kiss her, to taste the suffocating panic she was experiencing. So he did, grabbing her around the waist and hauling her up on tip toe as he bent over her. She actually squealed when he kissed her, Zarkon laughter turning into a moan as he experienced the heady pleasure of her mouth.
Her own hands pushed and shoved at his chest, Allura trying to free herself, though Zarkon held on. Even with her fear and disgust, she kept herself in check, not daring to bite or slap him for taking his rights with her.
“If I didn’t know my son could show up at any time, I’d take you right now.” Zarkon said, lips moving over hers as he talked. She looked ill at what he had said, Zarkon kissing her a second time. “I could still take you afterwards, before you’re sent away.” His claws curled, digging into her hips, and poking holes into the fine fabric of her silver dress. “Just a little taste of things to come.”
“Spare me your tastes!” Allura snapped, and he admired her for her anger. “Until Lotor dismisses me, I am his. And after…”
“After?” She was struggling to free herself of him, her squirming making him grow half hard beneath his robes.
“And after I am a free agent, at least until my contract is renegotiated!” Allura finished, and hauled herself free with a ripping sound of her dress. She hardly looked dismayed that he had torn the sides of her pretty gown, the girl hurrying towards the desk. He turned to follow, watching as she reached for a drink, the shaking of her hand causing the liquid to slosh all around.
She glared over the cup as she swallowed down the liquid, giving Zarkon the impression she was trying to erase the taste of his kiss. “It’s going to happen Allura.” Zarkon told her, delighting in the fire that had appeared in her eyes. “You’re going to be mine.”
“Never.” Allura retorted, every fiber of her being defiant in this moment. “I’ll speak to Madame Elianza. She won’t allow my contract to land in the hands of someone I despise.”
“You think your words, your desires, your HATE can override the wants of a King? Especially the King of the Drule Empire?” He outright laughed at her, crossing his arms over his chest. “Allura, naivety is a charming, but ultimately a useless aspect of one’s personality. You’ve proven you’re an intelligent woman, you have to know that I will get my way in this.”
He could see she didn’t know what to say to that, occupying herself with finishing off her drink. He started to walk closer to her, smirking at her as he talked. “There’s no one to shelter you from me. Certainly not Elianza, and most definitely not my son.” He reached out to snag her chin with his claws, being oh so careful not to slice into her skin with the sharpened tips. “I will have you for my own…for as long as I desire. You best start getting used to that idea.”
She parted those pale pink lips to issue out a retort, he could tell it was going to be an angry one, when a loud knock sounded at the door. Zarkon let go of her chin, watching as Allura quickly refilled her glass. “Enter.” Zarkon said, and turned his back to Allura, watching as Lotor strode in. “Ah….there he is.” The King let his displeasure fill his voice, annoyance in his eyes as he looked at his son. “You kept me waiting son. I hate that.”
“Forgive me father.” Lotor said, looking over Zarkon and his close proximity to the shaking Allura. “My business ran later than expected.”
“And just what is your business?” Zarkon demanded, and Lotor smiled.
‘All in good time father. Please…sit.” Lotor said, and gestured at the desk and it’s chairs. Zarkon moved away from Allura, stepping around to sit behind the desk. Lotor and Allura took up seats before it, Zarkon looking them over carefully.
“I suspect this has something to do with the Princess, and your….hesitation to send your mistress away.” Zarkon grumbled, leaning forward to take a piece of lox from the arranged delicacies on his desk. He didn’t offer the food or drink to his son, just glaring at him as he waited for Lotor to explain himself.
“Yes, it does.” Lotor agreed, Allura drinking slowly from her glass.
“I’ve been given some new information….one that has the potential to change everything for us.” Allura seemed to choke on her drink, turning to stare wide eyed at the speaking prince. Zarkon found that interesting for all kinds of reasons, wondering what the girl knew to cause such a reaction in her.
“Information? Do tell.” Zarkon bade, and Lotor seemed to hesitate, choosing his words before speaking.
“Did you….know there was another person involved in my mother’s death?” That was surprising, and hardly the subject Zarkon had expected Lotor to bring up. They hadn’t talked about Adaline’s murder in years, not since Lotor was a boy, and he wondered now why his son would choose this of all things to speak about.
“Why yes.” Zarkon agreed, then allowed his brow to furrow. Why was he answering Lotor’s inquiry truthfully? It made no sense, and yet he couldn’t stop the words from coming out. “I’ve known all along that there was another responsible for her murder.”
Lotor’s eyes gleamed, an odd play of light in them, that obscured what he was feeling. Allura looked more and more panicked by this turn of questions, setting the glass down on the desk.
“You’ve known?” Lotor’s tone was sharp, the man practically hissing as he spoke. “And you never thought to tell me?”
“Why would I?” Zarkon demanded, tone more gruff than he would like. “It’s not something I wanted you to know.”
“But I NEEDED to know this.” Lotor insisted, and Zarkon shook his head no. “Damn you father, if there is someone still out there responsible for my mother’s death, then I want them to pay!”
“You will never make this person pay!” Zarkon swore, his shoulders tensing up. Why had he said that? Why hadn’t he denied it, or cast doubt on someone else, given Lotor a target for his rage.
“And why is that?” Lotor demanded, and Zarkon actually bit his lip to try and keep from answering.
“This person is beyond the law, beyond your vengeance.” Each word was gritted out, forced revelations he was loathe to give Lotor.
“I see.” Lotor said, sounding too clam for Zarkon’s liking. “There’s only a small handful of people that could be exempt from our law…You and myself included.”
“Aye.” Zarkon nodded, expression as guarded as he could make it.
“It’s a pity…there wasn’t any witnesses to my mother’s death.” Continued Lotor, stroking his chin. Zarkon nodded again, finding laughter wanted to bubble out of him. There was no witnessed because he had made sure of it, the King hiding a grin as he thought of the dead girl. “Or is there?” Zarkon frowned at that, watching Lotor turn his attention to a shaking Allura.
“Allura? Care to tell my father who you really are?”
“You’re highness!” Allura gasped, and started to stand up, her chair falling backwards. Lotor surged to his feet, his hand snagging hold of her wrist to forcibly keep her from fleeing the room. “No!”
“Allura, I am asking, no ordering you to tell my father your true identity.”
“What’s this?” Zarkon murmured, looking between the two with curiosity in his eyes. Allura was shaking, and tears were starting to come down her face.
“Don’t make me do this.” She begged, and Lotor’s face was devoid of emotion, his gaze hollow and unfeeling.
“I’ll ask you a direct question. One you cannot avoid answering.” An odd turn of phrase, Zarkon wondering how Lotor hoped to compel Allura into answering. “Are you, or are you not, Allura, the childhood friend I grew up with?” Zarkon’s eyes went huge, and even bigger when the girl nodded, weeping bitterly.
“I am. I am the Allura who lived on Doom for a time under Adaline’s care.”
“What mockery is this?!” Zarkon hissed, and leapt from his seat to a standing position. His own chair fell over, but no one paid it any mind, Zarkon glaring at Allura. Before he could stop himself, he was blurting out things, things that should have been left buried under the rubble of Zabatos. “That Allura is dead! She died on Zabatos….I made sure of it!”
Allura gasped, both she and Lotor glancing at the King, who was angry both with them, and with himself. What was wrong with him that he was being so truthful?! His eyes turned to the food and drink laid out on the desk, and he had a horrible thought.
“What do you mean father, you made sure of it?” Lotor demanded with a growl.
“The food…the drink…you’ve drugged it, haven’t you?!” Somehow Zarkon managed to avoid answering Lotors’ question, by asking one of his own. “It’s got some kind of truth serum in it!”
“Why yes…” Lotor smirked. “Sodium Pentothal along with thiopental and traces of Trapnal. It’s amazing what servants will do if given enough money and incentive.”
Zarkon was stunned, angry that his servants had betrayed him in this manner. Heads would roll, Zarkon snarling as he thought to himself to kill any and all servants that
had anything to do with today’s food preparations. He’d kill their families too, as a lesson to all others who would try to betray him in such a way. But first he had to deal with his son, and the damage the truth serum was causing him to do to their relationship.
“You didn’t answer my question father.” Lotor cut him off, another growl escaping him. “What did you mean by you made sure Allura died on Zabatos?”
Zarkon gave a growl of his own, hands curling into fists that had his claws digging into the palms of his hands. He drew blood and still he couldn’t resist the truth serum’s compulsion to speak. “I was the one who set up the terrorist activity on Zabatos. I personally made sure Allura’s hospital would be blown to bits, and the blame placed squarely on Demos’ shoulders.”
“So Demos has been innocent of this…” Lotor muttered, and Zarkon gave him an unhappy smile.
“Innocent of this crime, but they’ve done their fair share of damages over the years.”
“That doesn’t matter!” Lotor snapped, giving a shake of his head. “We’ve been warring with them for years, I’ve been fighting the wrong enemy for all this time. It was you all along who tried to kill Allura, who engineered everything!”
“I did it for you!” Zarkon scowled. “I did it to free you of your mother and that brat’s influence. They would have made you weak, made you into a human!” He sneered at the word, seeing Lotor’s eyes narrow. “If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be what you are now. You wouldn’t be a Drule any man would be proud to call his son, Drule enough that the people clamor to see you on the throne one day. You’re the pride and future of this empire. You think that would have happened if I let Adaline and Alfor’s brat continue to influence you?!”
“Alfor’s brat?” Allura had seized on those words. “Who is Alfor?”
“Alfor is…was Allura’s father.” He kept his eyes on his son, but directed his question to Allura. “Are you really the same person as that brat I tried to kill?”
“Yes.” She drew up straight, Lotor letting go of her hand. “I am.” She was as angry as she was proud, and even then Zarkon was attracted to her. “I survived everything you tried to do.”
“How?” Zarkon asked. “How could that be?”
“That doesn’t matter right now!” Lotor snapped. “What matters is you lied to me my whole life!”
“I lied because it was the right thing to do!” roared Zarkon, and Lotor glowered at him.
“You lied so you could control me. So you could gain my loyalty. So you could force me to be the kind of Drule you wanted!”
“You can’t honestly say you wanted to be weak. That you don’t enjoy being the man you are today!” Zarkon retorted, and Lotor growled.
“That doesn’t matter.” His own hand was flexing, curling and uncurling over the hilt of his sword. Zarkon noted this, and did a subtle shift of his body, preparing to go into a defensive stance and draw his own sword. “My whole life has been based on your lies and manipulations….and abuse! You think I don’t remember my childhood, don’t you? DON’T YOU?!” screamed Lotor, and at that exact moment both Drules drew their sword.
Allura screamed, and went running to the other side of the room, cowering against the wall. Zarkon kept track of her position, but ultimately paid attention to his son, eyes narrowed in rage.
“It doesn’t matter what you remember!” Lazon blades were humming, exposed in the air, the two Drules glaring at one another. “Everything I did was done to make you into a fine Drule. I made you tough, harden you to reality, gave you the skills needed to not only cope among the Drule, but to succeed.”
“You beat me!” Lotor screamed. “And not just me, but my mother. You hurt us time and time again, and did the Gods only know what else to my mother when Allura and I weren’t around to bear witness to it.”
“I fucked her son. She whored herself out, not just for you, but for that brat you so cherish. She was a foolish, sentimental sort, who gave more than she ever got from anyone including you!”
“Don’t speak of my mother in that way!” Lotor roared, and Zakron laughed.
“Why not? She was a stupid bitch, who didn’t know when to control herself.”
“And so you killed her!?” Lotor demanded.
“Ah…this is what it’s all about.” Zarkon smiled, grim amusement in that expression. “Yes, son. I killed Adaline. I killed the dumb bint because I was tired of her, tired of her interference, and her theatrics, sick to death of her stubborn refusal to leave you to my care. I stabbed my sword deep inside her, and I twisted it good, wringing out satisfaction one last time.” A cold look was in his son’s eyes, Zarkon felt he should shiver to see it. “That was all she was good for. Pleasure, and even that she screwed up ninety percent of the time.”
“Damn you..” Lotor whispered, then screamed. “DAMN YOU!” Those words were followed up with action, Lotor leaping over the desk. Zarkon was already backing up, affording Lotor a landing spot that would be greeted with the swing of his sword. Lotor brought up his own blade, blocking most of Zarkon’s slash, but earning a cut in his biceps.
Zarkon laughed, thinking it funny that he got first blood off his son, pleased that even in his advanced age he could still be a match for his son who was in his prime. But there was little time to celebrate, Lotor was snarling, swinging his sword, forcing Zarkon to go on the defensive. The King would wait and bide his time for another chance to injure his son, Zarkon wondering how this little melodrama would ultimately play out.