Freedom 29

The sound of a new day dawning was echoing in her ears, Allura slowly drifting awake to birds chirping. They sang their sweet songs, a bold robin perched on the open window sill, it’s black eyes peering into the bedroom. At her movement, it took flight, startled to see her lift up a hand, brushing back the hair that had fallen over her eyes. Allura was left blinking against the rays of the sun that fell across her pillow, the princess turning onto her side, back to the window. She smiled at the sight that awaited her, seeing her husband still fast asleep, his white hair tousled and in disarray around his face.

She felt the urge to giggle coming upon her, Allura never thinking she’d live long enough to see Lotor with anything less than salon perfect hair. But the proof lay before her, his hair tangled and disheveled, no doubt made that way from Allura’s fingers stroking through his mane again and again. She smiled, reaching out to ease back the hair that fell across his face, fingers careful to not touch his skin. She was in no rush to wake him, enjoying the fact that for once she was up before Lotor.

He had more than earned his sleep, Lotor doing his part to ensure Allura had been too exhausted to dream. Her husband was simply determined to tire her out with his amorous antics, and though they took breaks during the night, he was quick to wake her up whenever the urge took him. Now it seemed all that activity had caught up with him, Lotor softly snoring next to her.

She let out a sigh, studying him, noting how dark his eyelashes were against his blue skin. She had never really noticed before, always assuming they were white like his hair and eyebrows. Allura was learning a lot of new things about her husband, finding herself fascinated by each and every little thing she discovered. She’d blush if she thought about it too hard, Allura not wanting to think herself besotted with Lotor.

Allura found herself worrying that she was developing genuine feelings for him, the princess wondering how she could have fallen so easily. His words came back to her, their half discussions half arguments about love and sex, and how she seemed to be unable to separate the two. Had she set herself up for a fall in sleeping with him? Was her heart so quick to follow her body that the first—the only man she would bed, could claim her so entirely?

Allura shook her head, trying not to let her thoughts chase away her smile. She wasn’t sure why she was opposed to the thought of falling in love with Lotor. He was her husband after all. There was little chance of changing that. Shouldn’t she be glad of the chance for a marriage full of love, rather than the loveless, necessity she expected it to be? She understood that she had spent so much time fighting him, desperate to keep free of his grasp, not only for herself but for her people. But now she was caught, and it felt wrong to fight the chance to return his love. Even if it meant she would seem a traitor to her people.

Her people. She was always thinking of them, worrying not only about their safety and happiness, but what they thought of her. Did they not already feel some sense of betrayal by her marriage to Lotor? They were making judgments, deciding things without knowing the whole story. Perhaps they thought Allura had done this out of love, or desperation. Did these rebels really think so little of her that they would deem her traitor for doing the best she could do for her people at the time?

Loving Lotor would not change their opinion of her. They had their minds made up, it was time she learn to follow their example and do the same. Her hand let go of Lotor’s hair, fingers dropping to graze his cheek. At that light touch, his eyes snapped open, his arm moving on instinct. Allura gasped, finding he had seized hold of her wrist, a tight grip that was just short of hurting her.

She watched him blink, Lotor slow to come awake and aware of his surroundings. His grip lessened, though he did not let go of her, keeping her hand pressed against his cheek. “Morning.” Allura said softly, a nervous smile on her face. “Were you dreaming?”

“A little, yes.” Lotor answered, and now he moved her hand towards his mouth, fingers loosening so that he could brush his lips against the inside of her wrist. Allura hoped he didn’t notice the way her pulse sped up at that touch, knowing the man seemed far too aware of her reactions to him.

“I didn’t mean to wake you.” She hastily said, relieved that he allowed her to pull her hand away.

“It’s all right Allura.” Lotor told her, those cat’s eyes of his surely noting the way the sun lit up the room. “I wouldn’t want to oversleep. It’s a busy day today after all.”

“What is today?” She asked curiously, watching as he slowly sat up, bed sheets sliding down his body to pool low at his waist.

“Oh the usual when it comes to making up the work that I missed while I was indisposed of.” Lotor said, shrugging off her question. “You know what they say. No rest for the wicked.”

She couldn’t deny he was just that, blushing furiously as she thought about the things he did to her body. Although Allura was aware if was not just carnal pleasure he referred to when painting himself out to be the villain. “I see.”

“Disappointed love?” Lotor asked, looking at her. “I can always make time for you. I may have work to do, but this is still first and foremost our honeymoon! Just say the word, and I’ll clear my schedule.”

She was tempted, Allura staring back at him, watching as he reached out to playfully tug on her hair. His long fingers were trying to ease back her hair, set in back in some semblance of order. For the first time she worried that she had as bad a case of bed head as he did, Allura’s own hands flying up to try and pat her mane down.

“No, I am sure you have important things to do today.” Allura answered at long last, watching as he fixed her with a serious expression.

“You’re the most important of all.” His voice was heated, Lotor leaning in for a good morning kiss. She let him, feeling his lips seek to deepen the kiss, his tongue licking across her lips in an attempt to coax them open. But Allura kept the kiss chaste, her hands going to his chest, enjoying the smooth feel of his skin as she pushed him away. Her shove was light at first, but grew more insistent until with a groan Lotor parted from her, eyes staring wistfully at her lips.

“You’re sweet.” She told him, and giggled at his surprised look.

“The Prince of Doom is many things.” Lotor said, tone haughty. “Confidant, charismatic, sexy…”

“Don’t forget modest.” Allura supplied helpfully.

“But never sweet!” Lotor finished, and she wondered if he was truly annoyed by her giggles.

“First time for everything.” She told him, and he gave a low growl, arms reaching for her. Arms she evaded, slipping out of reach and off the bed. A few days ago she would have been embarrassed to stand before him naked. Now she stood in all her glory, one hand on her hip as she wagged the other one teasingly at him. “Oh no! Be good Lotor!”

“I am always good.” He purred, starting to crawl across the bed sheets towards her, never breaking eye contact. That look in his eyes made her knees weak, stomach doing back flips to see him staring at her so.

“I meant behave…” Allura said, nervously skipping backwards to remain out of his long reach. “Why do I get the feeling if I let you catch me, you’ll have me again, work be damned?!”

“You have good instincts.” Lotor said, looking very much like he wanted to lunge off the bed and towards her. He reminded her of a great big feline, all muscle and grace, coiled to pounce. Even his eyes were predatory, Lotor smirking as he watched her. “Let’s see if they keep you from evading my grasp for much longer…”

“Lotor…” She started to say his name, completely exasperated when he moved. One minute he was perched on the bed, the next he was on the floor, lunging towards her. Allura let out a squeak, somehow managing to evade him, Lotor skidding to a halt a few steps past where she had been. It didn’t deter him, the man was turning, grinning, eyes alight with amusement. He LIKED that she had avoided him, a fact that only made her more nervous.

Again she tried to say his name, Lotor all but bounding towards her. Allura was proud of herself, this time she held back the nervous squeals, ducking under his arms as he shot past her. She whirled, only to find herself backed up to the bed, Lotor to the front of her, his grin merciless. This time when he moved, she had nowhere to go, Allura’s knees hitting the bed, causing her to topple backwards as a pouncing Lotor landed on her.

Together they fell, Allura landing on her back, Lotor somehow managing to keep from crushing her with his weight. His large hands cupped her cheeks, holding her face prisoner as he smiled down at her, a possessive look in his eyes. “I win.” He smirked, leaning down to kiss her.

“Mpgh!” A muffled protest from Allura, the princess squirming beneath her husband. He was happy to be in place on top of her, she could tell by his grin, and what’s more she could tell by the presence down below, a half state of arousal for the prince.

He was determinedly kissing her, intent on claiming the kiss she had denied him earlier. His lips did a full out attack, coaxing and clinging to hers, insistent presses as he worked to pry her mouth open with his tongue, Allura settling down with a sigh. She not only let him kiss her, she participated fully, bringing her tongue to curl around his in a motion of rubbing and stroking.

They stayed kissing for quite some time, only the soft sounds of lips smacking, and murmured endearments breaking up the quiet of their room. But when Lotor attempted to kiss down lower on her body, Allura stopped him with a protest. “Lotor…” Her voice was breathless, lips pouty for part of her really did want to pick up where they had left off in the early hours of the morning. “We shouldn’t…”

“Why not?” He wanted to know, his lips grazing the front of her throat.

“Why not? Oooh…” A fluttery sigh of breath from her, Allura trying to think. “Well, for one thing. We are going to run out of condoms at the rate you are going.” That seemed to reach him, Lotor letting out a curse as he lifted his head to frown at her.

“Gods I can’t wait until you are on birth control!” He complained, looking so depressed she smiled and touched his face. A tender grazing of her fingers on his cheek, Allura offering him comfort. Although part of her worried just how insatiable he’d be once she was cleared for taking the pill!

“Guess it’s time for a cold shower.” Lotor muttered, leaning in to steal one more kiss from her lips. He then climbed off her, Allura quick to sit up. She watched him walk over to the dresser, pulling out a change of clothing. A rakish smile on his face as he turned to glance at her. “Care to join me my love?”

“You’ll only get me dirty.” Her words made him laugh, Lotor not denying it. He gave a graceful shrug of his shoulders, and unmindful of his nudity, strode out of the room, intent on taking that cold shower he had mentioned.

Allura herself got out of bed, catching sight of her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was as bad as she had thought, wild and puffed up, reminding her of a lion’s mane. She would have been dismayed if not for the disheveled state Lotor’s own hair had been in, the princess giving into giggles as she imagined it.

Padding on bare feet, she strode over to the dresser, removing clean underwear which she quickly put on. Now, somewhat dressed she went to stand in front of the closet, considering her choices of dresses. There was still so many gowns he had ordered for her, Allura wondering if she’d ever have need to wear the same one twice. She rummaged through the selection, eye critical as she tried to pick out something she hoped would be pleasing to his eye.

She settled on a blue sun dress the same color as her eyes, the shade making them sparkle with an extra burst of vitality. The skirt’s hem fell down just past her knees, modest but showing off a bit of her legs. Spaghetti straps held it up in place over her bosom, leaving her arms bare. It was another perfect day on Arus, Allura confidant she would not be cold so long as the weather held up.

Allura found sandals to match the sun dress, strappy things that laced up high on her legs. She even considered wearing the necklace that had belong to Lotor’s mother, but at the last minute changed her mind, thinking it far too extravagant to adorn a simple sun dress.

Allura was just sitting down to brush out her hair, when Lotor sauntered back into the room, surely setting a record for quickest shower ever by the looks of it. He was dressed in form fitting slacks of pure black, with a matching jacket over white shirt. Gold piping decorating the jacket, sending lines down along the button holes. His hair was slicked back, ready to drip dry all over the place, Lotor not quite pouting over her putting an end to his early morning fun.

“You look stunning as always.” Lotor told her, eyes showing his approval. Allura merely smiled, carefully counting out the strokes of her hair. No less than a hundred would do, it was the key to the secret of it’s softness.

Lotor didn’t approach the bed, instead watching her from the doorway, a soft half smile on his face. She smiled back at him, eyes quizzical, Allura wondering out loud what he found so fascinating.

“You.” He told her, making her blush. “I’m serious.” Lotor insisted with a laugh. “You’ve cast a spell on me Allura. One that makes me charmed by even the most simplest things you do.”

“You exaggerate.” Allura told him, brush stroke numbers counting out in her head. “You cannot possibly find my brushing my hair interesting!”

“I do.” Lotor told her. “You do everything with such elegance. Such grace, such poise. You make the mundane fascinating.”

“Go tend to your work!” Allura giggled, nervous and flattered by his words.

“Not yet, I have a surprise for you. It waits on the brushing of your hair.” He said, and Allura hastened her hand’s speed, curiosity making her brush quicker to finish and find out what his surprise was.

Lotor took her by the hand, and led her out the bedroom. He didn’t pause by the dining table set up in the foyer, instead leading her out into the hall. “Lotor? Where are we going?” She questioned, and he merely shook his head no. “I’m surprised you didn’t bother blindfolding me, if it’s such a big surprise.” She muttered.

Lotor laughed. “Maybe next time.” He continued to lead her down the hall, his apparent knowledge of castle landmarks growing day by day. In fact he moved as though he had lived here all his life, heading towards the staircase. Allura was surprised to see him urging her upwards, the girl thinking there wasn’t anything of importance on the higher floors.

“Lotor…there’s nothing up there but storage and the defense mechanisms.” She pointed out.

“Well, there is that.” He agreed. “But there’s also the roof.”

“The roof?”

“Yes.” Lotor said, leading her up to the last level of the castle. She was frowning, not understanding what reason he could have for bringing her there. Lotor opened the door, and they stepped out onto the cement paved roof top, a slight breeze rustling Allura’s skirt. She used her free hand to hold it down, not wanting to flash her legs as she looked around.

“Oh…Lotor…” Her voice was pleased, Allura having spotted the table set for two out on the middle of the roof top. It was a small table, just perfect for an intimate setting, seats situated side by side. Covered plates were laid out across the table cloth, Allura sparing an idle thought towards wondering what was for breakfast. “It’s very nice.” She said, the two walking towards the table.

Lotor hurried to pull out her chair, Allura sitting down, neatly folding her dress around her legs. “I thought a change of pace might be nice.” He explained, sitting down besides her. He reached for the plates, pulling off the covers to reveal a simple breakfasts of fruits and salads for her, and a more heartier meal of eggs and meat for him. “Plus it’ll give us a chance to see the demonstration from up close.”

“Demonstration?” She looked at him curiously, a strawberry held between her fingertips.

“Yes, it should be starting soon enough.” Lotor told her, fork already digging into his meal. He lifted up a piece of meat, holding it hovering before his lips. “My men will be taking the lions out this morning for a test drive.”

She was stunned by the news, staring at him in dismay. “I…I see…” If he noticed her less than thrilled reaction, Lotor chose not to comment on it.

“It’ll be good for the people, don’t you think?” Lotor asked her. “To see the lions back in the sky?”

“I guess so.” Allura murmured, nibbling on a forkful of salad. The thought of anyone but Keith and the other members of the Voltron Force flying the lions depressed her, Allura quickly losing her appetite. But she made a show of eating, not wanting to worry Lotor.

“Maybe once they are reassured that their champion still patrols the sky, the people will settle down.” Lotor’s way of making conversation was only leaving her to push around her meal on her plate, Allura holding back a sigh. “I dare say maybe even the rebels will back down from challenging us.”

“Perhaps.” She was keeping an eye on the sky, anxious for a glimpse of the lions which she had not seen in weeks. Not since that day Voltron has crashed Lotor’s ship into the forest. It was strange, but even during her wedding, when Keith and the others had attacked Doom, Lotor had made sure to keep her away from the lions. It would be like seeing an old friend, and regardless of the circumstance that brought them together, she would look forward to seeing blue lion once more.

“The lions really are a marvel aren’t they?” Lotor commented, Allura only half paying attention. “Their a mystery of both science and magic…Your father truly was a genius in designing them.”

“Yes, he was.” Allura agreed.

“Truly the universe has never seen anything like it.” Continued Lotor. “What sort of energy must be needed to power Voltron and the lions!”

“Why the energy of…” She caught herself just in time, biting her lip to prevent from spilling any secrets. Lotor leaned forward, his food forgotten as he stared at her with intent interest. “It’s nothing.” Allura looked away. “Forget I said anything.”

Lotor sighed, disappointed, leaving Allura to wonder why he was so interested in Voltron’s energy source. But before she could ask him, she heard a familiar sound, the roar of the lions as they soared through the sky. She felt sure her eyes must have lit up in excitement, Allura leaping to her feet, her chair toppling over in her haste.

“Allura!” Lotor called out, but she was ignoring him, running to the edge of the roof. She stopped at the guard rail, hands gripping it tightly as she leaned forward, trying to see. From around the bend of one of the highest turrets of the castle, they came, the five lions flying in a formation with black lion in the lead. She couldn’t help herself, she laughed, feeling her hair whip about wildly as they zoomed past.

The only thing better than seeing her father’s lions in the sky would be to be piloting one, Allura’s eyes fixating on blue lion. She worried for her lion’s well being, hoping whoever was in the cockpit was treating her ship well.

She turned her head, following their path with her eyes, thinking to herself what a thing of beauty the five lions were. She felt sure that the others in the castle were pausing in whatever they were doing to watch them speed about, taking the same comfort she did in seeing the lions flying free once more.

So enamored with watching the lion’s flight, she didn’t even notice Lotor come up behind her, the prince wrapping his arms around her waist. She jumped, startled at first, but soon relaxed against him, Lotor clasping his hands on her belly. His laughter was in her ears, his voice whispering silkily “You look as though you are ready to leap from the roof and join them in flight.”

“Maybe I am.” Allura admitted, a carefree laugh escaping her. “It’s good you come to keep me grounded.”

“I won’t let you fall.” He said, arms tightening around her. They stood like that, craning their heads back as the lions flew over head, for a moment blocking out the sun. “They are doing well for the first time out, don’t you think?”

“Yes…I suppose…” Allura admitted grudgingly.

“Of course it’s just a flight test. I’m sure we can rustle up something for them to practice fighting with later.” Lotor told her. “For now it’s good that the pilots get a hang of the basic controls.”

“Lotor…you’ve already selected new pilots for the lions?” Allura asked, feeling sad.

“No not yet. They are quite a few men eager to learn…I figure why not give them all a chance to fly.” Lotor replied. She tilted her head backwards to glance at his face, seeing a hint of mischief in his eyes. “I might even try my hand at piloting one of the lions.”

“You?” Her eyes were wide, Allura shocked at the very idea.

“Yes, me!” He laughed, smiling down at her. “Is that really so strange?”

“I guess not….”

“You could teach me.” Lotor told her. “Show me the ropes of piloting a lion first hand. You’ve flown black lion before have you not?”

“A couple of times.” Admitted Allura.

“So? How about it?” Lotor asked.

“All right…” Allura said, eager for the chance to be inside a lion once more. “I think I will!”

“Excellent!” laughed Lotor, as he turned them around to watch the lions flying over the woods. They stood embracing for several more minutes, just enjoying watching the lions do maneuvers. It was odd to see, the lions flying patterns and formations more common to Doom Star Cutters than anything Keith had ever had them perform.

“Never thought there’d come a day where I’d be glad to see those lions up in the sky.” Murmured Lotor, Allura remembering how many victories she and the Voltron Force had cost him.

They were still focused on the lions when the door to the roof suddenly banged open, Commander Merack rushing out onto the cement. “Prince Lotor! Princess Allura!” He did a hasty salute, chest heaving slightly from the exertion.

“Commander…” Lotor gave him a considering look. “Don’t tell me you ran up all those flights of stairs?”

“I have important news for you sire!” Merack said, his panting answering Lotor’s question.

“Oh? What is it?” asked Lotor, even as more Drules stepped out onto the roof top. They were crowded around someone, a female’s voice could be heard, letting profane curses fly as she struggled with all her might. Merack opened his mouth to speak, but Lotor was holding up his hand, taking a step towards the crowd of Drules. Allura followed in his shadow, giving Merack a questioning look.

“Let me go!” screamed the female. “I have done nothing!”

She was brought forward, hissing and growling all the way, and one of the guards shoved her from behind. She landed hard on her knees before the royal couple, and Allura could see her hands were bound with cuffs behind her back. She was dressed in the uniform of the female servants of the castle, and had thick, curly hair that was as dark as a raven’s wings. Her emerald eyes blazed with passion, but she was unfamiliar to Allura.

The princess was even more taken aback by the look of pure hatred the woman gave her, the woman trying to leap to her feet and lunge at Allura. Soldier hands landed on her shoulders, forcing her back to her knees, this time keeping them there to hold her down. The woman settled for spitting in Allura’s direction, Lotor barking out a name.

“Tamara!” He turned to glance at Merack. “What is the meaning of this? Why is Tamara here?”

“Sire….I’ve been trying to tell you.” Merack began, voice hesitating to relay the news. “We caught the assassin…”

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