Toasting 01

The clear water I step into is warm, and ripples around my feet. The ripples do nothing to hide the beauty of the pool’s floor, the colorful tile that has been arranged into a pattern that forms an undersea bed of corral and flowers. There’s even a few fish formed in the tile, locked forever in their swim and undisturbed as I walk across them.

At one end of the pool, built into the wall, is a large spout. It continues to pour water into the pool, and a stray thought has me wondering how it keeps from overflowing and flooding the room. But I don’t put in any real effort to finding the drains hidden in this place, instead allowing the women to help me to my knees. Immediately, warm water is poured over my head, dampening my hair in an instant. I blink back in an attempt to clear the water from my eyes, my exposed skin now covered in droplets of moisture, the rest submerged in the warm embrace of the pool.

It is good that the water is so warm, for I can’t stop shivering. I can’t shake the chill that works it’s way through me, a cold born of the starkness of my reality. It is a reality too horrific to truly think upon, and yet I can’t stop myself from doing just that, recalling the screams of my cousin.

Worse yet, I remember the look in her eyes, the horror, the grief, quickly being swallowed down by the broken look in her eyes. Romelle hadn’t been able to stop screaming, shaking violently in my arms as she attempted to throw herself in the directions of the water’s shore. Her grief, her need to see for herself, had almost given her the strength to break free, Hunk stepping in to grab onto my wailing cousin.

As bad as those screams of her’s were, it was the look in Romelle’s eyes that I think I will never be able to forget. The way her spirit had started to die, even as she fought to keep from accepting what we all knew to be true. Sven was dead, killed then tossed into the cold waters that crashed against the cliff’s base. Between it’s jagged rocks, and the monsters that swam that sea, there would have been no chance of Sven’s survival, even if he could have still drawn breath after being impaled on Lotor’s sword.

Lotor. Just thinking his name makes me shudder, a darkness filling my eyes. It’s not the same look that Romelle had worn, I’ve not yet been broken to the point she has. Even as I acknowledge that he has won, that he has gotten just about everything he’s ever wanted, a part of me still fights. It is that part that refuses to accept what has happened, what continues to happen, and what horrors still wait me before this night is through. I keep on telling myself there is hope, that there is a chance to turn things around. But nothing, no actions of anyone, will be able to bring back my cousin’s dead love.

Sven. I haven’t even had time to properly mourn him, too busy reeling and dealing first with Romelle, then with the Drule warriors that had surrounded us. All of us, even my cousin, had tried to fight, but in the end it had made little difference. We had been taken prisoner, stripped of our weapons and most alarming of all, the keys to the lions taken. It wasn’t just our defeat we had given the Drule, with the lions of Voltron, the entire Denubian galaxy would soon fall.

I can’t even focus on the victory we’ve handed Lotor, or on the fact that the last hope of the galaxy is close to being snuffed out. I have to believe, and yet can’t muster up the conviction to do so, not when I know how slim the chances are for the Voltron Force to escape and overpower their captors. Keith and the others, my comrades in arms, will most likely be killed if they should attempt such a thing, and yet I know they will not let that deter them from making one last attempt to earn a win against the Drule.

It will be both brave hearted and foolish, and I am selfish. I don’t want to lose anymore people, not tonight, not ever again. This war with the Drule has taken so much from me already. There’s too many faces I can remember, too many lives lost and kingdoms destroyed. I know to a proud man like Keith, death would be preferable to living life out as a slave, or rotting in Doom’s dungeons. But it would comfort me to know he and the other members of the Voltron Force still lived, still clung to life dreaming and plotting revenge.

That revenge might be the only thing left to us all, and it’s what keeps me going. Keeps me from breaking down completely. Not even the thought that I am powerless, that I won’t be able to do anything to truly hurt Lotor or the Drule, can stop me. I cling to that revenge, to the hope of it, all the while enduring strangers’ hands on my body.

The unfamiliar touch of these slaves, is nothing compared to the touching I will endure later on this night. At least these women don’t try to molest me, their hands business like and practical, as they set about to cleaning and perfuming my body. Sweet smelling oils are massaged into my skin, shampoo made of crushed flowers being stroked through my hair. Even the waters themselves are fragrant, flowers floating everywhere. It’s almost too much, the strong scents combining, the perfume making me light headed, even nauseous. But being sick won’t save me from what Lotor has planned, any more than my tears and the begging I refuse to do, could stop him.

I fear what is to happen, fear and loathe it, dread filling my stomach. It makes me feel even sicker, I almost want it to happen, just to get it over with. Just to have it happen so that I can be left alone to try and recover from the hurt he will do me.

I don’t delude myself. Lotor is brute, a bully and a fiend. He will not care for my comfort, not care that I am scared, and disgusted by him. Tonight won’t be about me, it’s his victory he’ll celebrate. His triumph over the Voltron Force, over Arus, and ultimately over me. I will be nothing more than a trophy, just his latest toy to be used and eventually discarded.

My hands clench in the waters, helpless frustration filling me. I’ve never imagined such an ignoble fate for myself, almost wishing I could have died rather than become Lotor’s newest slave. Such thoughts are defeating, yet I can’t truly bring myself to believe that to live is to perhaps one day turn the tables on the Drule. I know in my heart they have won, that it’s only a matter of time until all of the Denubian Galaxy falls to the Drule’s onslaught.

There’s so many people to think about, so many friends and allies to worry about. Their faces flash through my mind, but ultimately I worry not about them, not about Arus, but about myself. Scared and scheming, wondering if I’m brave enough to do something to steal at least one victory from Lotor this night. But I falter at the mere thought of harming myself, knowing the punishments Lotor would unleash on my friends and family if I should deny him in this way.

With no options left to me, I let the slaves help me out of the pool. The women immediately set to drying me off, the soft towels rubbing over my skin. I shiver anew, my skin prickling from a cold these women do not feel. Someone brings me a glass, but I refuse the drink, wanting, NEEDING my senses clear.

The women share concerned looks, whispering soothing words to me. But what can they really say? We all know what is to happen, and there is nothing that can comfort me over it. Not even the tears I refuse to shed, could ease some of my pain. I stand miserable on the wet tile, my body and hair dried now, ready to be dressed and adorned in the fashion Lotor demands.

It is strange clothing they give me, exotic and flimsy, the garments something I am not used to wearing. Predominately a bold red color, it has a thin strip of bright yellow piping along the bodice, and high slits in the ankle length skirt. It shows off my legs almost to the hips, and my arms are bare except for the spaghetti thin straps on my shoulders. The neckline is plunging, my back all but bare. I feel as though the slightest movement could cause my breasts to come bouncing out of the bodice, and feel absolutely indecent in this dress.

A darker red sash is tied around my waist. It matches the open toes sandals and the collar around my neck. The collar is an elaborate piece of jewelry, gold and the blood red rubies covering it. But I make no mistake in thinking it a mere ornament. It’s just an expensive mark of ownership, my hair bundled into it’s familiar bun to better show of the metal around my neck.

I stare at it’s reflection, my fingers touching the collar. Searching for a clasp that is not there, the collar locked into place with invisible seams. It is not despair that fills me in the moment, but a quiet rage that shows in my stormy expression. If I were to scream now, it would be one of pure anger, all the ferocity and hate I am capable of rallying in that sound.

But I control myself, knowing now is not the time for tantrums. Screaming won’t do a thing, anymore than my tears, save to give Lotor and the other Drules some perverse satisfaction. They will have more than enough this night without my adding to it.

Still I want to wipe off the smirks that I see as the guards escort me through the castle. The building itself is damaged, but not ruined from the fighting that took place these last few days. I know a whole section of the western tower had been destroyed by Voltron, but the rest of the castle remains intact. That includes the throne room, though I have yet to see the inside of it. That will change soon enough, but first I must endure Lotor’s greeting, the newly crowned King waiting out in the empty hall. A servant is besides him, and a whispered exchange is issued, before that man scurries off.

A word from Lotor has the guards step aside, giving me my first real view of him in hours. I am taken aback by his manner of dress, the black and purple silks draped across his body, This is nothing like what his father, King Zarkon had worn. This is airy and loose, and shows off much of his chest and torso. One long strip of black is tied over a shoulder, the other side hanging open. His arms are completely bare, and a heavy necklace of gold is around his neck.

The purple sashes which I mistook for some kind of long skirt, part when he moves, and I see he is wearing black silk for pants. A sash the same red as my own, is around his waist, and belts and straps hang down from his waist, a silver skull and crossbones dangling on his hip.

He doesn’t look like the Lotor I am familiar with. He looks like some wild and decadent God, a chiseled homage to perfect male virility made flesh and blood. My mouth goes dry at the sight of him, and even as I hate him, I can’t help but be affected by his beauty and the sexuality he exudes.

The affect he has on me isn’t helped by the smile he gives me, the knowing look, the dark hunger in his eyes. Lotor is devouring the sight of me, his eyes looking over me carefully and showing keen approval in what he sees. I feel hot at the way he looks at me, the flush coloring not only my cheeks, but spreading outwards to color the top of my breasts.

I am frightened by how he looks at me, embarrassed, angry. I am many things, and none of them help when he steps towards me. I immediately take a step back, and only then realize we are alone in the hall. At some point during our inspection of each other, the guards had left, and only the celebratory sounds from the throne room let us know that people other than ourselves still exist.

“You are breath taking.” admires Lotor, continuing his advance towards me. I feel pinned in place by that piercing gaze, that low melodious purr that doubles as Lotor’s voice sending chills down my spine. I inwardly shrink into myself, feeling smaller than I truly am, especially in comparison to Lotor’s height and larger frame. All things that work against me, for one instant my anger forgotten to fear as I face the Drule tyrant alone for the first time in months, with no hope, no chance apparent.

“There are things we need to talk about.” Lotor continues, but he doesn’t pause, doesn’t wait for me to question him. Not that I could in the moment, my tongue seemingly stone in my mouth. “But now that I see you, now that you are here….your beauty is all I can focus on.”

I can’t even muster up a snide retort, even as I am certain my beauty is all he’s ever noticed about me. Certainly he doesn’t know me, doesn’t know the things that make me the person that I am. He knows little of my personality, having only gleaned tidbits from Doom’s spies. His attraction—obsession, is all based on the physical appeals my looks hold for him. That and the fact that Lotor hates to be denied, something I have spent two years doing.

I am all too aware of the fact that Lotor won’t be denied for much longer, my back hitting the wall in my attempts to stay out of his reach. I’ve still yet to say a thing to him, still caught in the grips of a fear that has been downright immobilizing in the past. But to freeze up now is to be caught, and I refuse to fall prey so easily.

The smooth stone of the wall is at my back, the silk on my body barely rustling as I slide to the right. And then a hand slaps the stone, Lotor’s arm barring any further progress that way. Knowing the futility of it, I still try to turn to the left, only to be blocked in by his other arm, Lotor pressing in close. I feel the solid mass of his body against my own, the heat of him coming through the thin silk of my garments. I am not warmed, shivering, actually trembling as my skin prickles in reaction.

He doesn’t try to move his hands, makes no attempt to touch me with them. But neither does he behave, Lotor bending towards my mouth. The movement draws my head up, in time for his lips to press over mine. I’m frozen, shock and fury coursing through me for Lotor has stolen what is my first real kiss. A despairing, hysterical note rides along those other feelings, for I know a kiss is not the only thing he will take from me.

The emotions roll together, each one fighting for dominance. I stand motionless during the onslaught, Lotor’s mouth warm, but also unyielding. It presses insistently against my own, forceful in a way I never knew a mouth could be. His lips don’t just press, they move, a hungry caressing that tries to beguile me into opening to the tongue that does passing flicks that promise a more thorough claiming of my mouth.

I make a strangled noise in response, the sound muted enough that neither I nor Lotor know the emotion behind it. But it encourages him all the same, Lotor pressing his body more fully against me, the hard press of flesh firing something inside me.

This time the sound I make is infuriated, the half growl half scream preceding a wild burst of energy. I am no longer frozen in place, fighting him, struggling to get free, to find room to wiggle away. My arms and my legs lash out, my lips parting as I snap my teeth at his tongue. I’ve turned into a hellion, both trying to get away and do real harm to Lotor in the process.

“Allura!” I am aware of him growling, Lotor bothered by my behavior. My head whips about as I thrash out and strike him, still trying to get away. I’m vaguely aware of him ordering me to calm myself, but instead I fight harder. There is a satisfying moment when my fist strikes his cheek, and then we both freeze. I blink and gasp, finally see the infuriated look in Lotor’s eyes. It frightens me anew, and I am almost tempted to apologize.

Almost but not quite, remembering that I am the victim here. A punch in the face is the least Lotor deserves, for all his crimes and misdeeds, both past and present.

And still it is difficult to manage a glare, to keep the fear and alarm out of my expression. I know Lotor is capable of many things, and don’t believe for one second the fact that I am the object of his obsession will spare me from his notorious temper.

“It serves you right!” I snap with all the false bravado I can muster. But my insides are quivering with fear, wondering, worrying just how he will punish me for this. “Now take your hands off of me!”

Instead his fingers tighten in possession, Lotor all but sneering. “Not yet a Queen, and already giving orders I see.”

I am confused by his words, my angry expression almost faltering. “I not only give them, I expect to be obeyed! Release me at once!”

When he doesn’t, I start struggling once more. Lotor quickly moves to immobilize me, his hands gripping my arms, his body pressing against mine so that there is no way I can kick out with my legs. At best all I can do is an aggravated wiggle, a full body squirming against his front. I don’t realize just how much he’s enjoying the feel of my body moving against his, not until I feel what has to be his erection poking into me.

“Oh don’t stop Allura.” Lotor laughs as I gasp and go still. “I was quite enjoying that.” My face flames in color, I’m mortified and angry.

“Pervert!” I managed to say. “Sexual deviant!” I try to glare once more. “What kind of sick fiend are you, to get turned on by the struggles of a woman who hates you?”

His eyes darken for a moment, something in his expression not right. “I am a man….”

“You mean a monster!” I correct.

“Who is attracted to you. You are beautiful, dressed provocatively, and you are pressed up against me. Of course I would get turned on in this situation.” I open my mouth to retort, but he smirks and continues before I can truly say anything. “But I am also first and foremost a Drule. A little bit of blood and violence can make foreplay exciting.”

“For…foreplay?!” I sputtered in response. “Is this what you think this is?!”

“Oh do relax Allura.” Lotor retorts. “I am well aware you and I are working at cross purposes here. Pity for you, anything you attempt will only add to the fun.”

“Fun?” If words were ice, Lotor would be frozen just about now. “I really am nothing more than your latest toy, aren’t I!?”

The serious look he gives me doesn’t fit with anything I expect of him. “You’re wrong about that. I want so much more from you, than just to make you my toy.”

When he doesn’t clarify any further, I’m almost sarcastic. “Well don’t leave me in breathless wonder. Just what am I to be for you then?”

Holding my gaze with his own, Lotor doesn’t quite smile. “A wife first and foremost.” I can’t quite hide the look of horror on my face. “My Queen second.”

“I’d rather die!” I venomously hiss.

“Pity for you, but that’s not an option.” Again that unreadable look. Is he even bothered by my reaction? I can’t even tell. “It’s going to happen Allura. With or without your consent, you are going to marry me. Tonight.”

“NO!” I all but scream, and do the only thing I can think of at the moment. I head butt him, hoping to break his nose or at least his hold on me. A pained sound is his answer, followed by a muted string of curses. I go to head butt him a second time, practically snarling. “I’d rather be a whore on the streets than wife to you!”

I’m not free, Lotor avoiding the second attack. At the same time, I find myself being spun around, pushed roughly into the stones, so that my front is against then, with Lotor at my back. I snarl for real, trying to turn, trying to hit him when my arms are twisted behind my back. I don’t know where Lotor gets the cord from, but it’s tied around my wrists, restraining me in that way.

“So you’d prefer being a whore to marrying me?!” Lotor demands, and I hear the fury in his voice. He is enraged, and as angry as I am, I can’t help but shake in fear. Have I gone too far? Will he kill me now?

“Little fool!” Lotor’s hiss reverberates through me, his lips right against my ear. “I offer you the universe! I would give you things you could only dream of, power and prestige, wealth beyond that of what your pathetic little Arus could ever obtain. And you would throw it all away for what? Foolish pride?!”

“It is you that is the fool!” I snap back, trying to hold still. But my first impulse is to buck back, even as I know he will most likely enjoy the feel of my body pushing against his. “To think that any self respecting woman would ever want you, or your throne!”

“You think too high of yourself and not nearly enough of me, to reject my proposal.” A shift of his weight, Lotor sliding a hand over my bottom. Any smart retorts I might have make go silent in my throat, Lotor’s hand impudent as he digs fingers into my skin, squeezing my ass in as lewd a way as possible.

“But don’t worry Allura. I’ll give you a taste of being the whore. Maybe then you’ll open up your eyes to reason, and do the smart thing and accept the only choice you truly have.”

“Never!” I sneer, trying to be brave and bracing myself for his worst. And still I can’t stop the shriek, the dark red sash of my dress falling to the floor, as Lotor slips a hand through one of the high cut slits of my dress, and ruthlessly plunges a finger inside me.

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