Allura listened to the solemn sound of the church bells ringing, heralding the end of mass. The sound reverberated through her, Allura feeling it down to her toes, setting her on edge. Her heart seemed to echo the ringing, beating out her sorrow, making her sigh. ~What’s wrong with me?~ She wondered to herself. ~This is supposed to be the happiest day of my life. So how come, I feel so miserable?~
Even as she asked that question, Allura tried to fight the answer from forming. Deep down she already knew why, the reason being landed on the shoulders of an azure colored man, whose snow white hair was the same shade as the gown she now wore. A gown that felt heavy on her body, a burden dragging her down, and making her hate it all the more.
It was a drastic change from a week ago, Allura having fallen in love with the dress the instant her eyes had landed on it. With it’s sweetheart bodice, and pale pink accents, it had seemed perfect for her. That was when the wedding had still seemed so far off, Allura caught up in the details, the planning and the preparations. She had kept herself busy, so as not to have time to think. But now, alone in the church’s bridal suite, all she had time for was to think. Think and regret over the choices she had made.
Her veil dragging behind her on the floor, Allura stepped closer to the window, peering down at the crowd of people that surrounded the front of the church. It was quite a turn out, people not just from this town, but from all over Arus had come, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride and her groom. Allura knew from her room on the fifth floor of the cathedral, she could not be seen, able to watch her subjects as they pushed against one another, trying to get closer to the church.
Palace guards kept them at bay, keeping the crowd under control, and preventing anyone from entering the building that was not on the guest list. Allura knew other guards patrolled the back of the church, making sure no one from town snuck around to the sides and the rear. Security wasn’t as tight as it could be, many of her guardsmen were back at the palace, ready to man gun turrets, and fly ships in the defense of Arus. But so far they had been lucky, the sky remaining blue and clear of enemy ships. There was not even the threat of storm clouds, as though the Gods themselves approved of this union.
It was the perfect day, her friends and her family gathered to celebrate, love as well as hard work being exerted to get this wedding pulled together in such a short amount of time. And through it all, Allura felt like her heart was breaking. Pressing her hands against the window, she let her forehead touch the glass, cooling her heated skin. She had been feeling warm for a while now, wondering if she was on the verge of illness. It should have made her shudder to think of collapsing on her big day, but inwardly she yearned for the reprieve fainting would buy her.
Another anxious look up at the sky, Allura scanning desperately for signs of foreign ships. ~Where are you?~ She wondered, biting her bottom lip fretfully. ~Where have you gone? Are you ever coming back?~ It had been three weeks since that evening aboard Lotor’s ship, three weeks since they had shared passion fueled kisses. So much had changed in that time, so quickly, and it was all her fault!
Allura had been surprised by the depth of feeling Lotor had stirred within her, surprise and dismayed, realizing there was a spark of attraction between them she could not deny any longer. She had lost control of her senses, her rationality, pulling at his body, molding him to her. She had done things she had never even dreamed of, thrusting her tongue into his mouth, and grinding her body on his. It went beyond acts of carnal lust, she had begun to speak with him, to negotiate an end to the war. She had been so close to giving him everything, when Keith had arrived.
It was as though the captain’s presence brought a calming effect on her, Allura feeling as though she had been doused with cold water. Lust faded away to be replaced by horror, the horror that she had nearly given Lotor control of Arus! She had been shocked, her world rocked as she realized how close she had come to letting her planet become a part of the Doom empire, and all because she got caught up in burgeoning lust.
Fortunately for her people, Keith had rescued her from herself, whisking her off Lotor’s ship and back to her lion. They had defeated the latest in a long line of robeasts, Allura hearing the boys of the Voltron Force let out victorious whoops over the com channel. But Allura was silent, fingers to her lips, the touch stirring up memories and a fierce blush to her cheeks. ~How could I become so undone by a kiss?~ She wanted to know.
It wasn’t that any old kiss would do, she knew that now, having spent three weeks sneaking kisses with Keith. He had been reluctant at first, thinking of propriety’s sake, but Allura insisted, stealing moments with him away from the watchful eyes of her nanny. Even as she tried to deepen the kisses into something more, he had behaved himself, forcing them to be chaste pecks that left her frowning in disappointment. The one time she had coaxed his tongue into her mouth, he had been wooden, stiff like cardboard, his hands holding her arms as though he didn’t know what to do with the rest of her.
Sometimes she wondered why he even accepted her proposal, the captain holding himself aloof from her now. He didn’t treat her like a lover would, he still thought of her as friend, a subordinate pilot, and a ruler that was elevated from his touch. It had taken much persuading on Allura’s part to get Keith to agree to marry her, the princess telling him she did not give a damn about their ranks. “You’re the champion of Arus, the heroic pilot who has saved us time and time again. Of course you can marry me!” Allura had told him, hands on her hips. “Think of it as a hero’s reward.”
Keith had gone off for a while, citing the need to give the matter some serious thought. Allura hadn’t wanted him to think about it, hadn’t wanted the time to think through what she was doing in asking him to marry her. By the time he gave her his answer, she was near sick with worry, wondering how she could take back the proposal without hurting his feelings. Clearly by the diamond engagement ring on her finger, she had not been able to, the ring one step closer to binding her forever to Keith.
The ring itself had been a surprise, the man having bought it before giving her his answer. He had been shy, a nervous smile on his face as he got down on one knee, eyes twinkling as he asked her to marry him. At a loss for words, Allura had merely nodded, offering him her hand. Her mind had screamed out protests as he slid the ring onto her finger, but by all outward appearance she had smiled happily enough.
Keith never asked her if she loved him. Allura didn’t know if he just assumed she did, or if he was too scared to find out the real reason why she wanted to marry him. She knew it was less than flattering to be chosen on the basis of being what is best for the kingdom. And he was best, Allura was sure of it. Just not for her, the princess sighing. It was better to have someone she trusted sit on the throne next to her, better to have someone who had no designs on improving their power base, on marrying her for Voltron. If she couldn’t have love, she could at least have friendship.
~But will that satisfy you?~ Her mind whispered, and she scowled. Allura knew it was more satisfying than the thought of Doom enslaving her people! She felt sure that the next time she was alone with prince Lotor, she wouldn’t be able to resist him. That she’d give him everything, Arus and her people be damned. Allura would sell herself to the blue skinned devil, her body and her planet paying the price for temptation. Allura knew the only way to combat him, the only way to make him lose interest was to render herself lost to Lotor forever. To tie herself to another, keeping both her heart and her people safe from his invasion.
~And you’ve succeeded quite nicely in that.~ Came the nasty whisper of her mind. ~He hasn’t been seen since the news broke, he hasn”t set foot on Arus in weeks. He’s probably off chasing another princess to replace you.~ Allura shook her head, but even the hard shake did not dislodge the pain that accompanied the thought of Lotor fixating on another.
The bells had fallen silent, Allura knowing that soon Nanny would come for her. They’d make their way down to the third floor of the cathedral, into the very room where so many events had happened in her life. Her wedding would be the latest, blessed by both friends and the Gods themselves. Allura wondered if she’d be struck down by the lie, wondering if she could truly stand before the priest and promisee to love and cherish Keith.
Allura started to turn from the window, willing herself not to cry. If she did, her mascara would run, ruining the carefully applied make up that her maid Marie had fussed over. Her hand lifted to her face, but she didn’t use it to brush at her wet eyes. Her skirts rustled as she completed her turn, and for a second she just stared in shock at the sight before her.
The prince of Doom himself sat situated in over stuffed arm chair, right leg crossed over his left. He leaned back relaxed, eyes on her, giving the impression that he had been watching her for some time. In his right hand, he held a heavy wine goblet, amber liquid still for the moment. His hair was immaculate, not a strand out of place, and his familiar uniform was clean and pressed. He looked much as he had the last time she saw him, only his eyes were changed, looking dead to the world.
Silence stretched between them, neither speaking as Lotor took the time to drain his goblet dry. His eyes touched on her hand, Allura quickly shoving it behind her back when she realized he was looking at her engagement ring. But there was no hiding the wedding dress, Allura shrinking back against the window pane, not liking the emotionless way he considered her.
Better would it be for him to look at her with unbridled lust, to feel him stripping her naked with his eyes, then to have him stare at her as though she meant nothing to him. And yet, a part of her was hopeful, thinking if he had taken the time to show up in her room, that it must mean he still cared. “Lotor…” She had at last found her voice, Allura pleased she didn’t stutter. “What are you doing here?”
“Hello Allura.” Lotor said, choosing to ignore her question. “You’re looking well.” A cock of his head, another intense study, this time of her face. “Well, if bit nervous.”
“That’s to be expected.” Allura replied. “All brides are nervous on their wedding day.” She inwardly cringed at the damning words, expecting him to fly in a rage at the mention of her wedding. But instead he surprised her, remaining seated as he nodded.
“It’s a day for the jitters, I’ll grant you that. Especially for a wedding that’s so high profile.” A twisting of his lips, an odd half smile that made her uncomfortable. “It’s all over the galaxy. The princess marrying her knight. It’s almost scandalous in some circles that you would marry a commoner.”
“One’s station never mattered to me.” Allura said quietly. “Just because we’ve been born into rank and privilege doesn’t mean we should look down on others.”
“I’m not interested in lectures about how to treat people Allura.” Lotor retorted.
“No, you never were.” She agreed. “You never did like being told what to do. Which is why I am asking you, instead of telling you. Please leave.” Leave before I do or say something foolish, she thought, fearing she’d break down to the point of begging. For what she was not sure, for him to leave, or for Lotor to take her with him.
Lotor ignored her request, words spilling from his lip that mocked her to the point she wanted to cover her ears with her hands. “I’ve never been so happy. Keith completes me, he’s my perfect half. I love him, and he loves me.” It was words she had repeated again and again for the interviews, damning words printed in magazines for all to read. It shouldn’t have surprised her that Lotor had read those words, read them and now was throwing them in her face.
“So tell me Allura.” A nasty hiss of her name, but he was otherwise calm, watching her with dead eyes. “How long has this love affair been going on?”
“M….months…” She lied. “I…I loved him from the first time I saw him, when he arrived at the castle of lions, looking for Voltron.”
“Really now? All this time, and this is the first my spies have heard about you two harboring any feelings for each other.” Pointed out Lotor.
“Your spies can’t be everywhere!” Allura snapped. “We were very discrete about our affections.”
“I must admit, I am surprised. I thought it would take more convincing to get your caregivers to agree to this union.” A cold look from Lotor, the prince inquisitive as he spoke. “Tell me Allura, did you fuck him yet? Is that why you’re in such a hurry to marry him?”
She flinched back from the harsh word, cheeks colored a faint red, her protests coming out fast and furious. “No! No…that is not why we are getting married. Not at all. We haven’t….haven’t done more than kiss.”
“I’m surprised you’ve managed to control yourselves this long.” Lotor said, ignoring her discomfort. “If you heat up for him, like you did for me, why even a man as wooden as the captain would not be able to keep it in his pants.”
“Those kisses we shared were a mistake.” Allura snapped, knowing her cheeks were growing redder.
“Is that all they were to you? A mistake?” Lotor asked, voice calm. “And what about your promises to me?”
“Promises?” She tried to play ignorant, but he wasn’t having it.
“You said you would marry me. Promised me we would unite our two worlds in peace.”
“That…that was just to buy time…” Allura retorted, watching as he slowly stood up, smashing the wine goblet against the floor.
“Did you kiss me to buy time Allura?!” Lotor demanded, showing the first sign of agitation. “Are you that good of an actress, that accomplished a liar, that you could fake that kind of passion?!”
She just stared at him, watching as he approached her, her only movement to flinch back when he slammed his hands against the glass. He pressed against her, Lotor’s body hard and unyielding, his breath warm on her face as he hissed at her. “Did you toy with my emotions in order to wait for your lover to arrive?!”
“Lotor…” She whispered his name, conscious of his hands on either side of her shoulders. “There are people otuside….they’ll see you from this window.”
“They’ll see nothing.” Lotor retorted. “I could do anything to you Allura, anything at all, and they would be none the wiser.”
Her stomach did a little drop, she wasn’t sure what that was about, feeling a nervous thrill go through her at his words. Did he mean to take her here and now, up against the glass where anyone could see? “Don’t…”
“Don’t?” His eyes glared at her, angry emotion making the gold come alive. “I thought we agreed I don’t like being told what to do!”
“I’m sorry.” She said quietly, conscious of how close they were, how all it would take was for her to go up on tip toe to press her lips against his. She wondered if the kiss would calm him down, or make him angrier, Allura trying not to tremble as she stared back at him. “People will be coming for me.”
“They never should have left you alone in the first place.” “Lotor retorted. “Quite fortunate for me that you sent away your maids.”
“What are you going to do?” Allura asked, her heart beating faster, a nervous beat that got her blood pumping.
“I’ve never been a gracious loser Allura.” She actually felt disappointed when Lotor pulled away from her, his hand reaching into the pouch on his belt. “Look outside your window, and see my wedding present to you…”
She went to turn, expecting to see his fleet up in the sky, or to see a robeast running rampant. Instead she saw nothing, the sky empty, the people calm and milling about the front of the church. Allura didn’t understand, feeling the frown form, a question being issued out her lips. “Lotor, what in the…AH!” Something had jabbed into the side of her neck, pain flickering up and down the length of it, Her hand came up, grabbing at the syringe, yanking it out.
“What is this?!” Allura cried out, seeing the green drops pearl on the needle’s end. “What have you done?!” Lotor merely smirked at her, standing with his arms behind his back as he watched her stumble against the window. To her dismay, he made no move to catch her as she fell, Allura hitting the floor hard at his feet.
“Sweet dreams Allura.” His voice was the last thing she heard, her mind reeling as she slipped into darkness.