“Awaken, Your Highness. It is time.”

I slowly opened my eyes, when I heard Rinah’s voice in my ear. I rolled back over to ask the older woman, “Time for what?”

“Time for you to go to Prince Lotor,” she replied.

I was suddenly awake and completely alert. Tonight? After the way he treated me in the ship? My heart was beginning to pound with anxiety.

She gently pulled me from the bed. “There is nothing for you to be afraid of, milady,” she soothed.

“I am not afraid,” I protested, but in truth I was. But I was determined not show fear no matter what happened.

Rinah ignored me, brushing my hair and instructing me to rinse my mouth with mint water. She led from the rooms into a hallway at the end of which were two large steel doors that opened slightly, and she stood back for me to enter.

“Go in, Romelle. He’s waiting for you.”

“Oh no,” I said, shaking my head, “I’m not going in there.”

She pushed me into the shadowy chamber, shutting the doors behind me. I immediately became aware of the tangy scent of sandalwood. I could see the tall columns with their pale gauze draperies. The floor beneath me was marble. I noted the rich mahogany paneling and elegant furnishings, quite fitting for a prince.

“Come here.”

I jumped at the voice, and saw Lotor, holding his arms across his broad chest as he leaned against the wall, with a smile across his lips. His feline eyes now appeared black in the dim light of the chamber, darker than I remembered.

“Are you thirsty?” he asked as he offered me a goblet that had been resting on a tray with fruit. I glanced warily at the goblet, then at Lotor.

“This is just red wine, I swear it.” And to prove his words, he took a healthy sip before handing me the goblet. I accepted, drinking thirstily before handing it back to him. Lotor set the goblet on the tray.

I watched warily as he crossed the chamber, and eased himself onto a high-backed chair, one of two that stood about a wood circular table.

“Would you sit down?”

I shook my head imperceptibly.

He gaze drifted downward. “That gown becomes you,” he murmured. “It matches your beautiful eyes.”

“Why did you bring me here?” I finally said, forcing my voice into momentary calm.

“I thought you had grown tired of hanging from the ceiling.” Then he grinned, his white teeth contrasting with his azure face. “Perhaps you would like to rest,” he said, pointing toward the far end of the bedchamber.

My eyes went to a large dais of carved wood, decorated in gold gilt, which harbored a huge mattress covered with black silk sheets. Five people could stretch out side by side easily. I was sure he had enjoyed multiple partners in it.

Well, I would not be one of them!

“It’s rather impressive, isn’t it? And very comfortable, I might add.”

I waved away his words. “If you don’t mind, I want to know the meaning of your senseless behavior.”

“My behavior is never senseless, Romelle.”

“Then why do you insist on keeping me here? Sooner or later, Bandor and the Voltron Force will come to my rescue.”

The humor fell from his face, and he sat forward in his chair. His rugged features softened as his eyes rested intently upon my face. “You’re not going back to Pollux, Romelle.”


He shrugged his great shoulders leisurely. “Because you’re going to be my wife.”

I jerked back at his softly spoken words and stared at him in shock. “I don’t believe you, Lotor. Give me a ship so I can go back home, I demand it!”

“You’re in position to make demands, my sweet.”

“I hate you!”

He didn’t appear concerned. “Someone said that there’s fine line between love and hate,” he said cryptically. “Besides, I don’t have to love you to sleep with you. I desire you. That is enough.”

“Not for me! I would never enter a loveless marriage.”

He looked at me from under his brow. “Not even for your planet?”

I shook my head at him in disbelief, unable to grasp the enormity of his words. “There’s nothing you can do or say that will make me change my mind!”

“I shall say and *do* many things to you, Romelle, that will prove the contrary.”

To Chapter Eight
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