The slave wandered through the prince's bedroom. It was night and the prince would be coming in soon. The slave wanted his prince's room to look perfect for him. He didn't have to do it, in fact the prince often told him not to bother, but he did it anyway.
The slave smoothed down the coverings on the bed and fluffed up the pillows. He went over to a vase by the window and rearranged the flowers Once he was satisifed, he drifted over to the large mirror hanging on one wall of the room. His own face was reflected back at him. He picked up a strand of his long hair and looked at it. It was white.
What did his prince see? What made him attractive? There was nothing amazing about his looks he thought. There were dozens of other slaves with white hair or blue skins. What made him so special? What about him had attracted the prince? He just didn't understand.
"Lotor, I thought I told you not to bother with straightening up my room."
Lotor turned from the mirror to look at the prince. He leaned against the wall next to the door. His dark eyes were staring right into Lotor's own. Lotor quickly dropped his gaze to the floor. "I know my prince."
The prince sighed and walked over to the slave. He lifted Lotor's face up so he could look into his eyes. "I've told you before to call me Keith when we're alone Lotor. And not to clean up because it will just get all messy again."
"I know ...Keith. It's just that I want to do it. I just want to make you happy."
"You do make me happy. You don't have to do anything." Keith pressed his lips gently against Lotor's.
Lotor pulled away slightly as the kiss ended. "I know one thing I can do." He grabbed Keith's hand and tugged him towards the bed.
Keith chuckled and let Lotor lead. "This is exactly what I meant when I said it would just get all messy again."
Lotor woke up when Keith left the bed. He watched as his prince walked over to a window. Keith stared out into the night and sighed. Lotor sat up, letting the sheets pool around his waist. "What's wrong Keith?"
Keith turned away from the window. "Nothing much Lotor. My father has just decided it's time for me to get married. My bride has been chosen and will be here any day now."
"You don't like her?"
A disgusted expression crossed Keith's face. "She doesn't like P. She insulted him. Of course I don't like her."
Lotor closed his eyes. The worse thing a person could do in Keith's eyes was to insult his younger brother P. Keith adored his little brother. Lotor liked the boy as well.
P would never grow up to reach his brother's height. There were doubts P would ever grow up. But the boy didn't let others worries about his health stop him from living. P followed his older brother around like a puppy but Keith didn't mind.
"She called him a little troll right to his face." Keith's hand balled up tightly. "She said it quietly so my parents didn't hear her. The little bitch."
"Can't you change your father's mind?"
Keith shook his head. "It's been decided. There's nothing I can do."
Keith's unballed his fist. "You have nothing to be sorry for." He walked back to the bed and sat down. "You are completely blameless."
A few days later the castle was alive with the news. A ship was landing soon. The prince's wife-to-be had arrived.
Lotor hid in the hallway as the procession came through. He could see everything. At his first glimpse of Keith's intended bride, he hated her. The girl was blond and tiny. She looked like a living doll. Lotor wanted to scratch the girl's blue eyes right out of her head. What was the king thinking? This little girl wasn't a worthy bride to the prince. She wasn't good enough to wipe his shoes.
"Getting jealous, Lotor?"
Lotor jumped at the voice behind him. He looked over his shoulder. It was only Lance. "What are you talking about now fool?"
Lance whispered into Lotor's ear. "Looks like your place in the prince's bed is being taken. She's beautiful."
"She's not good enough for him."
Lance stepped back slightly. "Oh, you"re jealous. This is just perfect. The little bed slave is jealous."
Lotor turned around to face Lance. "I am not jealous."
"You don't love him, do you?" Lance began to laugh softly. "You're in love with him. You're actually in love with him."
"I don't have to listen to you." Lotor walked away from him. Lance's soft laughter echoed in his ears. He wasn't jealous. The girl just wasn't good enough for his prince. She had insulted P. She was too small, too blond. That was all. He wasn't jealous. He couldn't be.
Lotor was standing in front of the closet when Keith came in the room.
"She's here." Keith walked up behind Lotor. He put a hand on his shoulder. "My father wants to hold the wedding immediately. I'm marrying her in the morning."
Lotor didn't turn around. He continued to go through the clothing in the closet. "So soon?"
"He insists." He stepped back and pulled a rose out of the vase. Keith went to stand behind Lotor again. He slid the rose slowly along Lotor's cheek. "I'm going to be gone tommorrow."
Lotor turned around to face Keith. He stared into his eyes. "I know."
"Father's insisting I go on a honeymoon with that girl." Keith grimaced. "I'll have to restrain myself from killing her. It won't be easy."
"I guess killing her right after you've married her wouldn't be right."
"I have to wait at least a year." Keith reached up and ran one hand through Lotor's hair. A thoughtful expression crossed his face. "I have a question for you Lotor."
"What is it?"
"Do you love me?"
"I don't know." Lotor closed his eyes. "Maybe. Are you angry?"
Keith continued to stroke Lotor's hair. Slowly he shook his head. "No, I'm not angry. I could never be angry with you." Then he smiled. "You will be here when I get back."
Lotor smiled back. "Of course."
Lotor stood among the crowds to greet the prince and the new princess as they came home. He couldn't see when the ship landed but he heard the people's cheers. He was surprised when the cheers turned to cries of distress. What was going on? Had something happened?
He looked down the street to see if he could see anything. Finally he saw the first of the prince's honor guard. They appeared to be carrying something. As they came closer, Lotor saw what they were carrying. The prince was dead!
Behind the honor guard, chained up and filthy was the new princess. The guard holding her chains yanked on his end, causing the girl to trip. As she got to her feet he yanked the chain again.
Lotor was confused. What had happened? Keith was dead and his bride was chained. This was all wrong. He had to get out of here. He worked his way through the distressed crying crowd. He had to get away.
P found him in Keith's bedroom. He was bent over the bed straightening the covers.
"The bitch killed him."
Lotor paused in his movement. He turned to face P. "Why?"
P walked over to Lotor. "To put an end to the injustice she said. Father fixed her. She was probably expecting a simple execution. Won't she be surprised?"
"What has the king decided?"
"The worst thing he could think of." P smiled. "He's throwing her to the people. They'll slaughter her. Everyone loved my brother." P's smile changed to a frown. He looked up at Lotor. "I'll leave you alone right now." P walked silently out of the room.
Lotor looked around the room. Standing on a table near the window was a vase full of roses. He walked over to the table. He picked up the vase. Roses were Keith's favorite. The vase slipped from his fingers and smashed against the floor.
Lotor knelt down next to the mess. He started to gather the pieces of glass together. A piece cut his finger. He stopped and watched as the blood swelled on his finger. It looked like a tiny rose blooming. He looked through the mess and found a fairly large piece of glass.
Lotor turned the glass over in his hand. It looked sharp enough. He held it up to his wrist. He barely felt it as the glass sliced his wrist. He hardly even noticed as he sliced his other wrist.
He sat on the ground watching the roses bloom. They were so red and the color was so rich. They were the most beautiful roses Lotor had ever seen.
Do you love me?
The tears ran down Lotor's cheeks. "Yes I do love you. I love you so much."