Holding back her sighs, Allura stood with her back to the room, positioned in front of the large window that overlooked a white sand beach. The beach itself bordered the grounds of the hotel she was staying at, it’s waves a slight ripple from this height, looking far more peaceful than the emotions currently swirling about her room. The current feel of the emotions being generated was hostile, anger being aimed at one person in particular. She didn’t have to turn to know that most eyes were on Lotor, the prince of Doom far too relaxed and at ease considering the situation.
Or, Allura reflected, perhaps he was at ease because the situation was one that benefited him, no matter how infuriated it made everyone else. She could picture him now, leaning back in his seat, a smirk on his face as he listened to the heated conversation around him. He’d be shirtless, having refused to put on his tunic, openly displaying the faint kiss marks on his torso.
Those marks were a damning piece of evidence, Allura feeling heat rush to her face as she fought the memories of kissing and sucking at his skin. She knew her own body bore those same types of marks, but her high collar shirt hid them from view. It didn’t stop Keith and Lotor from knowing they were there, but at least no one knew about the ache in Allura’s body. She felt as though she had been doing the splits all night, feeling sore and used, a feeling she contributed to a body that had been well loved by Lotor’s.
Allura badly wanted to take a bath, leisurely soak her aching body and just forget about the troubles that were currently plaguing her. But it was impossible at the moment, the girl having had little time to even dress properly, let alone shower. And it was all because of Keith’s scream, his loud bellow alerting the others to his distress, the Voltron Force trickling into her room one by one. They had gotten the shock of their lives to see a shirtless Lotor pinning down Keith, and only Allura’s ardent protests kept them from attacking the prince.
Sven had taken one look at the scene in her room, and had left to check on Romelle, Allura learning that no one had questioned her disappearance. They had all assumed she had been with her cousin, the Polluxian princess returning late in the night, and promptly passing out in her own room. Romelle was currently sitting across the room, Sven keeping his bleary eyed fiancee as far away from Lotor as possible.
Allura felt better to have another woman in the room, even one as badly hung over as Romelle, knowing they need a little estrogen to balance out all the testosterone and male swaggering that was going on. Allura was just relieved that none of the men carried weapons on them, sure the talks would have erupted into a shootout. Even the levelheaded Hunk was on edge by Lotor’s presence, and the situation between them was hardly made better when she heard Lotor announce the following in his most smarmy tone.
“Read it and weep captain.” A crinkle of paper was heard, Allura turning to catch sight of Lotor removing a piece of folded paper from his back pocket. Her eyes widened, the girl recognizing the marriage certificate, which Lotor smoothed out and laid on top the table between him and the Voltron Force.
Slowly, as though it was a ticking time bomb, the Voltron Force moved closer to the paper, Hunk and Lance peering over Keith’s shoulders as he silently gazed down at the official document. Pidge adjusted his glasses, lips moving silently as he read, his eyes widening with dismay.
“I’m afraid it looks legal Keith.” The boy said, and Lotor snorted.
“Of course it is. It is neither fake nor signature forged. It’s the real deal.” He was this close to laughing, Allura realized, Lotor almost giddy with relief. “The princess and I are wed. And there is nothing you can do about it.”
“We can get it annulled.” Lance said, having proved to be calmer than Keith when it came to dealing with Lotor. “Make it so it never happened at all.”
“You can’t.” Lotor smirked. “It’s legally binding since we have already consummated the marriage.” He said the word consummated with a relish that was clear to all Lotor savored. Allura inwardly cringed, hating that everyone knew she had had sex with Lotor, knowing they were all staring at her mouth’s marks on his skin, including the ones that were low on his waist. She was especially mortified by the mark that was not quite covered by the waist band of his pants, Allura wondering just how far she had gone in kissing all over his body.
“We could always just kill you.” Keith grumbled, looking as though he wanted to leap across the table and throttle Lotor. Only Hunk and Lance’s hands on his shoulder kept the captain in his seat, the black haired youth vibrating with his anger.
“And leave dear Allura a widow so soon?” Lotor demanded, a short chuckle escaping him. “Never mind what my father will do to you for daring to kill his only son.”
“I bet that old fart Zarkon wouldn’t even care!” Pidge exclaimed, growing timid at Lotor’s snarl.
“Mind your mouth when speaking about your betters!”
“No one is going to kill anyone.” Allura said, drawing attention to herself with her first words in the last ten minutes. “We will figure this out. We will find a way to handle this in a peaceful manner.”
“Of course Allura.” Lotor purred, looking at her. “I would do anything for my beloved wife.” Another wince from Allura, the girl hating how he kept stressing the bonds between them. Keith apparently hated it too, his hands tightened on the marriage license, paper crinkling from the strain of his fingers.
“I still think we should call the local authorities.” Sven’s heavily accented voice said. “Hand him over to the Las Tibayas police.”
“Yeah, that’ll go over well.” Lotor muttered, then flashed a wide grin. “I can see the scandal now. The princess of Arus’ new husband arrested the day after their wedding.”
“Las Tibayas is a neutral planet.” Pidge spoke up, apparently hating being the bearer of bad news. “They won’t arrest Lotor for his crimes on other planets. Nor will they allow Garrison to come in guns a blazing to apprehend him.”
“So we wait.” Sven retorted. “We hand him over to Garrison when we leave this place.”
“He’ll just wiggle out of it.” Hunk spoke quietly. “The Doom Empire has too much power to let their prince rot in a Garrison cell somewhere. It’d be a delaying tactic at best, keeping him away from Allura for maybe a few months.”
“Even a few months is better than nothing!” Keith exclaimed, slamming the document back down on the table. His hands made the most noise, palms slapping onto the lacquered surface. “It would buy us time to think of how to free Allura from this unwanted marriage.”
“Need I remind you yet again that last night, Allura wanted to marry me?” demanded Lotor, then smirked. “And do you really want to see me gone?” He was unbothered by the resounding yes that echoed throughout the room, Lotor continuing. “Without me to run interference, you’ll have to deal with my father. And he will not be so easy on Arus, and claiming what is his by right of my marriage to dear Allura.”
Allura shuddered at his words, knowing Zarkon would be as greedy as he would be merciless, plunging her planet into more chaos, claiming slaves and resources for the Doom Empire. Lotor had professed to be able to stem the tide of devastation the Drule King would demand, hinting there was a way he could appease his father for the years Arus had spent opposing the Doom Empire.
“We have to choose the lesser evil.” Allura said out loud, and amidst protests, Lotor practically pouted at her.
“I’m hurt wife. I am not evil.” Lotor ignored the amused snorts from the men in the room. “I only do what is necessary for the Doom Empire to flourish.”
“Yeah right.” Lance groused, the other boys nodding. Lotor looked at him, lifting a brow.
“You know nothing of my people’s needs, of their suffering, or why we do what we do.”
“Suffering?!” Lance demanded, looking close to losing his temper. “I could tell you a thing or two about suffering. Starting with my own village that your father destroyed!”
“And what about Allura’s father?” asked Hunk. “Zarkon killed him, and plunged Arus’ into a nightmare that lasted nearly eighteen years.”
“And unfortunate incident.” Lotor was calm. “One that could have been avoided if my wife’s father had been willing to negotiate terms with Zarkon.”
“Since when does Zarkon negotiate?!” Lance hissed out a question. “He usually just takes what he wants.”
“But never without giving a planet’s ruler a chance to surrender peacefully.” Lotor pointed out. “It comes down to choices…..good and bad.”
“Some choices!” huffed Lance, crossing his arms over his chest.
“We can argue about this until we are all as blue in the face as Lotor…” began Keith, the boy glaring daggers at the man. “But it will accomplish nothing in the long run.”
“How very astute of you Captain.” Lotor said, causing Keith’s eyes to roll in annoyance. “With my marriage to Allura, it secures Arus future into the Doom Empire. You may not like it, but you must admit that with this union comes certain political advantages.”
“The way I see it, Doom gets everything. What does Arus get?” demanded Keith. It was a good question, one Allura wanted answers to.
“What does Arus need most of?” Lotor asked, glancing at Allura. “Money? People? Resources?” At her nod, he continued. “Doom will offer that and more, giving you the protection you need from other planets, while rebuilding your towns. Your civilization will be improved, you’ll no longer have to rely on other planets to aid you with food and medicine. Doom’s technology will be offered up to you at a moment’s notice.”
“Yeah, and I suppose Doom will want to get their hands on Voltron!” Keith hissed, clenching his fists at Lotor’s nod.
“It is a tempting piece of technology. One that has not been repeated save for the Voltron Garrison employs.” Lotor said, referring to the Voltron made of vehicles. “A great many things could be accomplished if Doom had Voltron working on it’s side.”
“Yeah, more planets enslaved.” Pidge snapped, glaring at Lotor who stared back at him.
“No.” Allura spoke up, voice quiet but confidant. “I won’t have my father’s creation being used for conquest. It was meant to be a symbol of peace. It will stay that way.”
“Of course.” Lotor surprised them all with his easy agreement, inclining his head in a slight nod towards her.
“It’s just that easy?” Keith spoke their suspicions out loud.
“Whatever my Allura wants, she will get.” Lotor said, locking eyes with Allura. She blushed from the intense way he looked at her, even as she grew peevish at his next words. “Except for a divorce that is.”
Divorces were a tricky affair between royals, requiring both parties to agree on it before the union could be cleaved in half. So long as Lotor refused to agree to one, Allura was stuck wedded to him, for better or for worse, and the thought of just how worse it could become made Allura sigh audibly.
“So now what do we do?” At Pidge’s question everyone looked at Allura, waiting for her to make a decision.
“I suppose….we better tell Coran what has happened.” She was less than enthusiastic about the prospect, not wanting to see the look on her advisor’s face. The only one who would be worse to talk to would be Nanny, her caregiver would practically have a heart attack at the news.
“As a courtesy to my wife, I will hold off on contacting my father.” Lotor said, smiling at her. “It will give you time to draw up papers for a treaty that you find favorable to Arus.” Allura knew without asking that if they told Zarkon now, and he did not have those papers, the king would move in on Arus, and simply take what he wanted before the newlyweds and the Voltron Force could get back there to defend the planet.
“Thank you.” Allura said, finding it hard not to be grateful to him for what he offered. Another smile, Lotor nodding his head in acknowledgment.
“I only want what is best for my bride.” His voice was soft, almost affectionate. The mood was ruined by Keith’s snort, Lotor turning to glare at the boy. “It’s the truth! I want Allura to be happy. And if preserving Arus’ way of life is the key to ensuring that, then that is what I will do!”
“Right….” Lance was clearly doubtful, the others mimicking his stony expression. Before Lotor could retort, Allura stepped away from the window, placing her hand on his shoulder. He relaxed at her touch, but Keith’s tension increased tenfold at the sight of it. To make matters worse, Lotor reached up to cover her hand with his, the wedding band gleaming on his finger.
“Please everyone….I’ll make the call to Coran. You don’t have to be here for this.” Allura said, trying to dismiss the crowd from her room.
“Are you sure princess?” Hunk asked, staring at her with concern in his eyes. “We can be here to lend you support.”
“It’s fine Hunk.” She smiled bravely, trying to ignore the fact that Lotor was stroking the back of her hand with his fingers. “It’ll be better if he hears this from me alone.”
“All right.” Hunk agreed.
“Stay strong princess.” Advised Pidge, as one by one the Voltron Force members began to head towards the broken door of her room. Only Keith remained behind, eyes locked on Allura’s hand.
“Coming Keith?” Sven asked, his hands on Romelle, helping her stumble towards the exit. She was looking a little green in the face, as though she might be ill at any moment. Allura had a feeling that Romelle was due for a long lie down until she could recover from all she had drunk the night before.
“I’m coming.” Keith answered, rising to stand. “Just as soon as he leaves.”
“Of course.” Lotor said, also standing. But he turned to Allura, and before she could protest, pulled her close to him, her body fitting against his chest. “I just want to say a proper good-bye to my bride.”
“Good bye?” Allura echoed nervously, eyes going wide when his fingers touched the back of her head. Before she could protest he was kissing her, and it was a less than chaste action. She swore she could hear Keith’s teeth grinding in fury, but more than that she heard the soft sound of lips smacking together. It was a greedy kiss, Allura fighting not to squeal, not to make any sounds be they approval or disgust, parting her lips as she realized Lotor would not disengage until she touched her tongue’s tip to his.
“I will return to you shortly.” Lotor said, as she gasped for breath. “I just need to go fetch my things.”
“Things?” panted Allura. looking dazed at him.
“Yes. I will be staying here with you.” Lotor said, the back of his fingers brushing her cheek fondly.
“The hell you are!” Keith snarled, grabbing Lotor by the shoulder, trying to jerk him away from Allura. Lotor shrugged him off, Allura astonished that the Drule didn’t strike Keith for touching him. “You are not staying in the same room as Allura.”
“She’s my wife captain.” Lotor hissed, tone dripping as much venom as Keith’s did. “I will not let her sleep alone.”
“Not only are you not saying in here, you are not getting anywhere near her bed!” Keith retorted, and Lotor laughed.
“I think it’s a bit too late to be playing protector captain. She neither wanted, nor needed you to keep me away from her last night.” Allura’s cheeks colored at that, her fingers curling into tightly clenched fists. She didn’t need Lotor to be constantly reminding people that they had slept together, but before she could issue out an angry retort, Lotor was continuing. “People who are married share a bed. It’s natural.”
“There’s nothing natural about this marriage!” Keith shouted, face turning red with anger.
“Both of you, just stop!” Allura cried out. “Lotor, we will discuss sleeping arrangements later. Right now I need you, I need both of you to leave so I can be alone and think!”
“I’ll leave if he leaves.” Keith grumbled, and Lotor showed great reluctance on his part.
“It will be difficult, but I think I can bear to part from you for a while.” Lotor caught her hand, thumb caressing over her knuckles as he brought it up to her mouth. “You have two hours Allura….and then I return.” He pressed a kiss into her hand, making eye contact with her all the while.
“All right…” She nodded, noticing how his fingers lingered as he slowly let go of her hand. “Two hours is more than enough time.”
“Allura….you can’t be serious about letting him stay here.” Keith said, hesitating to follow Lotor out of the room. Allura sighed, and looked at Keith, shrugging her shoulders.
“He’s my husband now, like it or not….There will be some changes to all our lives.” She knew she had to try to get along with Lotor, at least long enough for him to approve the treaty she planned to devise.
“No.” Keith shook his head, and Lotor was standing in the doorway, impatiently waiting to escort Keith out of the room. “Don’t do this….don’t give in, not even in the slightest to him.”
She just looked at him, her eyes a bit sad as Allura gathered her thoughts. “It’s too late for that.” She finally said. “I’ve already given so much, what’s one more concession?” He opened his mouth, ready to protest but she hurriedly spoke over him. “It’s for Arus’ sake that I do what I must.” Keith’s mouth snapped closed, lips a thin line of disapproval.
Without a word he turned from her, stalking towards Lotor and the door, back held ram rod straight. He didn’t touch Lotor, squeezing past him through the door, the prince locking eyes with Allura once more. The gold of his cat’s eyes gleamed with fond emotion, the prince doing a slight bow of his head before turning to leave. He shut the door behind him, though it still hung crooked, awaiting maintenance to come and fix it.
For a second Allura just stared at the door, thinking with longing how much she wanted to take that bath. But she knew it had to wait, calls had to be made, important ones that would decide Arus’ future. With a heavy heart, she strode over to the night stand, retrieving the remote that lay there. She aimed it at the ceiling, punching in a button code that had the view screen lowering. But she didn’t type in the coordinates to Arus, just standing there staring at the white screen. ~Oh father.~ Allura thought, and even silent and in her head, she sounded sad. ~What am I going to tell Coran?~
No answer came, leaving Allura to feel more alone than she had ever felt before. With a weary sigh, she crumpled, landing on the edge of the bed’s mattress. The remote still in hand, she cradled her head, wishing she could wake up and discover this was all nothing more than a bad dream.