Her cousin Romelle made a beautiful bride, clad in a snow white gown of chiffon and lace, with hundreds of beads sewn into the sweetheart bodice. They caught the light from the chandelier, making the beads shine, tiny reflections of the flames on their surface. Her veil was almost as long as the train that descended down the steps of the altar’s platform, sheer transparent cloth that could not hide the glowing happiness of Romelle’s face.
Her cousin’s hair was swept up in french twist, with several little braids wound throughout her hair. Only a few strands were left loose to cascade down past her shoulders. She was currently holding hands with her groom, the wedding bands gleaming on both their fingers. Sven himself made a handsome picture, the man dressed in a traditional tuxedo, the suit done up in the classic style of Earth. The color of his tuxedo was black, with a white lace shirt that spilled over the edges of his jacket and sleeves. Medals decorated the breast of his jacket, awards given to him from both Garrison and Pollux, signaling his great achievements.
As best man, Keith stood next to Sven, wearing a neatly pressed suit of dark gray and black velvet. He too displayed his medals, though there wasn’t enough room on his jacket for all of them. His own hair had been slicked back, combed into neat array from the usually shaggy mullet he wore.
As for Allura, it was no vanity of her own that told her she looked good in the lavender bridesmaid gown Romelle had chosen for her to wear. Lotor had been besides himself when she stepped out of the bathroom, clad in her bridesmaid attire. Her pulse had quickened at the sight of his golden eyes darkening with desire, Lotor showing his approval in looks alone, though compliments were just as quick to follow.
Movement from Sven alerted Allura to the fact the ceremony was almost over, the groom reaching for his bride’s veil. The minister was smiling, having announced with great pleasure that it was time for Sven to kiss his wife. Sven was grinning, hands carefully lifting the delicate veil off of Romelle’s face. Allura saw how his face lighted up with pleasure to look upon Romelle directly, Sven pausing but a second to stare in awe at his bride’s beauty.
Romelle’s eyes were shining, the blue wet with happy tears. A faint blush colored her cheeks, and she stared at him just as mesmerized as Sven was with her. It was clear the two were taken with each other, head over heels in love, Sven letting go of the veil to touch her bare shoulders. Romelle’s eyes closed, an instant before Sven’s lips were upon hers, the two barely restrained in showing their passion for one another.
A cheer went up from the small gathering of people, voices led by Lance who was grinning and flashing the thumbs up sign. A photographer was off to the side, positioned perfectly to capture the kiss on film. There was even a video man recording the whole ceremony on a holo disc, precious memories that would be preserved for all time.
Romelle and Sven pulled apart, the princess flushed faced but happy. They had kissed just a second longer than was proper, but no one complained. They were all too happy for this couple, and the hard ships they had gone through before earning their right to be together.
The minister closed his book with a resounding thud, his smiling face beaming as he looked at the happy couple. “It gives me great honor to present to you this newly married couple.” He said, fingers still touching the leather bound cover of his book. “Princess Romelle and her husband, the new prince consort, Sven. May you forever be bound in love and happiness.”
“Here here!” Lance cried out his approval, and Pidge and Hunk echoed his sentiments. Sven took Romelle by the hand, and together they stepped off the platform, walking carefully down the three steps to the floor. As they moved, the balloons holding confetti burst, a multitude of colored bits of paper showering down the length of the aisle.
Carrying both her bouquet and Romelle’s, Allura moved at the same time Keith did, the two going to follow the newlyweds down the aisle. She was nearly blinded by the flash from the photographer’s camera, Keith reaching out for her arm to steady her. She flashed a grateful look at him, glad he still cared enough to help her in this slight way. His own look was gruff, Keith turning away from her.
Allura held back a sigh, and continued to walk, following a short distance behind her cousin and her new husband. Lance, Hunk, and Pidge eased out of their seats, moving from the row of benches to follow the wedding party up the aisle. The ceremony was over with, but the festivities were just starting, the group moving to one of the party rooms they had reserved inside the chapel’s section of the hotel.
Once out in the hall, Sven and Romelle paused, kissing each other once more. It gave the others time to catch up with them, the group laughing happily at the sight of the married couple. “Congratulations cousin.” Allura smiled at Romelle, the princess nodding back with a grin. “And to you as well Sven. We’re family now.”
“Family…I hadn’t even considered that!” Sven exclaimed, smiling at his bride. “But yes…family…I’m honored to consider you my cousin Allura.”
“The honor is mine.” Allura insisted, her firm tone brooking no argument.
“Congratulations you two.” Keith said, joining the conversation. He held out his hand to Sven, the two shaking on his words. “May you have a long life together.”
“Maybe now you can lay off on the terrorist act for a while.” Added Lance, still wearing his grin. “Settle down and start making babies!”
“Lance!” Allura tried to admonish him, though truthfully she wanted her cousins to do exactly that.
“It’s dangerous on Doom princess.” Lance looked at Allura, not losing his good humor. “They shouldn’t keep risking their lives now that they have each other to live for!”
“How true.” She agreed, doing a side long glance at the newlyweds.
“We haven’t made a decision about that.” Sven said, patting Romelle’s hand. “If Doom would only leave us alone, there’d be no need to act against them.”
“Please….let us not ruin this day with talk about Doom.” Pleaded Romelle, looking at each one of her guests.
“Yeah. It’s a happy time. You just got married. We should be celebrating!” Pidge exclaimed, and everyone nodded.
“I think we can all agree to Princess Romelle’s request.” added Hunk, fiddling with his orange bow tie.
“So what are we waiting for?” Lance asked, hands in his pockets. “Let’s get this party started!”
“It’s right this way.” Sven said, and holding hands with Romelle, began to lead the small group past the chapel’s entrance. They headed left, soon reaching a bend in the corridor, turning it in time to see three women clad in the chapel’s uniform. Allura stiffened to see them, recognizing the trio as the ones who had so snidely laughed as they poke fun of her wedding night humiliation.
“What’s wrong princess?” Hunk was by her side, having noticed the way she froze up.
“It’s nothing.” Allura told him, but he frowned and he shook his head.
“Don’t tell me it’s nothing.” Hunk said, doing a none too subtle jerk of his head in the direction of the women. “Do you know those three?”
“Kinda.” Allura admitted with a sigh, realizing Sven was leading them right into the path of those three women. Even worse, the women had spotted Allura, and began moving towards the wedding party. Allura felt a moment of panic, wondering what sort of rude comments they would make this time.
“Excuse us.” The one with curly brown hair said as they intercepted the wedding party. “Princess Allura? Your highness, may we have a private word with you?”
She could feel her friend’s questioning gazes upon her, Allura nodding her head slowly. “All right.” She handed the bouquets to Hunk, and stepped towards the woman, knowing it was better to hear them out privately, then to risk letting them say anything embarrassing in front of her friends. “Go on without me.” She said to her cousins, nodding for them to head towards the reserved room. “This shouldn’t take too long.”
“All right.” Romelle said, but not before fixing Allura with a questioning gaze.
Head held high, Allura walked away with the women, listening to the happy chatter of the wedding party fade as they headed into a room. “So…” Allura began hesitantly, looking at each woman in turn. “What did you want to speak to me about?” She expected lewd expressions, and crass talk from then, but instead she was surprised when they looked sheepish, fidgeting in place and avoiding her gaze.
“It’s about our behavior the other day…” One hesitantly began, Allura recognizing her as the one that had approached her while she was with Lotor.
“You were very rude.” Allura interrupted, crossing her arms over her chest. “Is this how you treat guests of the hotel, and patrons of the chapel?”
“You’re right, we were rude.” Agreed the curly haired woman. “We had no right to speak to you that way.”
“We….we should have known better…we let our pettiness get the best of us.” Added the third. “We shouldn’t have laughed at you.”
“I shouldn’t have approached you and said what I said.” Added the first. “I am sorry.”
Allura wasn’t sure if she should accept their apology, staring at them so hard they looked away. “Why now?” She asked at last. “What changed to make you want to apologize to me?” The three exchanged looks, as though debating what to tell her. “The truth.” Allura said, tapping her nails against her arms. “I want to hear it.”
“It was your husband.” The curly haired woman explained. “He called this morning to talk to our manager. He was…very upset with our behavior.”
“Our manager is furious!” exclaimed the first. “He said it could be our jobs if you don’t accept our apologies.”
“So please….your highness….forgive us. I…I beg of you.” The curly haired one shocked everyone when she got down on her knees, staring imploringly at Allura. The princess couldn’t help gawking at the sight of the chapel worker on her knees, wondering what drove her to such lengths. The other followed her example, getting down on their knees as well, hands clasped together as they stared pleadingly at Allura.
“Get up.” Allura told them, but no one moved.
“I have two children princess.” Said one, tone whisper soft. “I cannot afford to lose my job.”
Allura was not an unkind person, but a mean thought went through her, the princess wondering why this woman would do something so mean and foolish if that was the case. And still, she did not want to be responsible for these women losing their jobs, or their children to go hungry. “All right.” Allura sighed. “I accept your apologies, provided you understand you must never repeat that boorish behavior again. It doesn’t matter if the guest you insult is spending a lot of money or not at the hotel, you should treat them all the same. With respect.”
“Yes, princess.” They bowed their heads, then started to stand, needing to help each other to rise to their feet. “And for what it’s worth, we truly are sorry.” Allura just nodded at them, already turning to move back towards the party room. She stopped surprised, seeing Hunk standing there, watching the scene with curiosity in his eyes.
“Hunk.” Allura was displeased he had witnessed the scene, the man holding out the flowers to her.
“What was that all about?” He asked, and she shook her head no.
“They were rude to me the other day. That’s all you need to know.” Fortunately for her, Hunk wasn’t the type to press when asked to stop. If it had been Lance who had witnessed the scene, he would have kept at Allura until he had the whole story, panties in broom closet and all!
“You were sweet to wait for me.” Allura added, smiling at him as she took the flowers back from his hand.
“I had ulterior motives.” Hunk confided, causing Allura to lift a brow at that.
“I wanted you to save the first dance for me.” He grinned, and together they stepped through the doorway, entering the party room. The Voltron Force had been the ones to decorate it, crepe paper hanging down from the ceiling, a shower of blue and white colors. The color scheme extended to the balloons, tied with royal purple ribbons that fastened them to the tables.
A dessert cart was out on the floor, laden with different types of pastries and baked goods. And on top of the table itself, was a three tier wedding cake, surely more than what the wedding party could eat. There was a tiny ice sculpture of a couple entwined, which on closer inspection Allura realized to be that of her cousin and Sven, drink cups surrounding the statue.
“Are you thirsty Allura?” Hunk asked, and she nodded, allowing him to lead her towards the refreshment table.
“Just fruit punch for me.” Allura said, quickly stopping him from pouring her a glass of champagne.
“Aw, but it’s a celebration.” Hunk protested, hand hesitating over the bottle.
“I’ve had enough celebrating to last me a life time….” Allura muttered under her breath. At Hunk’s quizzical look, she softened her expression. “Please…just the fruit punch. I have no head when it comes to anything stronger.”
“All right Allura.” Hunk agreed, setting down the bottle and reaching to pour fruit punch from it’s bowl. She took the glass when he handed it to her, Allura having set down the bouquets on the table’s edge. “So….” Hunk began, tone casual as he sipped his drink. “How has Lotor been treating you?”
She looked away from his concerned gaze, staring into the red liquid inside her glass. “He’s been…almost too nice at times.”
“Makes you wonder what he wants.”
She knew what Lotor wanted, but Allura didn’t voice it out loud, embarrassed that the prince’s main desires was for her to love him, and to have sex with him. She had already given him the latter, she wasn’t about to give him the first!
“You two got in pretty late last night.” Continued Hunk, and she jerked her head up surprised. “Yeah, I heard you in the hall. You seemed pretty….out of it. Like you were in shock or something.”
“I was.” Admitted Allura, sighing. “My memories of that night had started to come back. And with them came some unpleasant revelations.”
“Like what?” She hesitated at his curious question, Hunk hastening to add the following. “I don’t mean to pry Allura. But if you ever need anyone to talk to about this, or about Lotor, just know I’m your man. I won’t judge you.”
“Thank you Hunk.” She smiled, a genuine look of appreciation in her eyes. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Allura doubted she could tell him what she remembered, it was too mortifying. If Allura couldn’t tell Lotor, she certainly couldn’t share the memories with someone else.
“Hey you two!” Lance’s voice intruded on their soft spoken conversation, the pilot coming over with a drink in his hand. “Looking pretty cozy. Lotor better watch out, or else Hunk will steal you away from him!”
Allura and Hunk laughed at that, Lance reaching for Allura’s hand. “It’s not fair of Hunk to monopolize all your time.”
“I wasn’t doing that!” protested Hunk, which only made Lance grin harder.
“Then you won’t mind me stealing Allura away for a dance!”
“Actually I do mind.” Hunk said, placing a hand on Lance’s shoulder. “She promised her first dance to me.”
“Sorry Lance.” Allura was apologetic, giggling at Lance’s disappointed look. “He’s right. But I’ll save a dance for you.”
“You better!” Lance exclaimed. “Sven’s hogging his new bride all to himself, which means the rest of us have no one to dance with but you!”
“Oh my, sounds like my poor feet will be run ragged with all the dancing I will have to do tonight!” laughed Allura, taking a sip of her drink.
“Well….you know how we Earthlings love to party.” Grinned Lance, pouring himself a drink as well. “Almost any excuse will do it too. Though we haven’t had much to celebrate lately…and with Lotor coming to Arus, well….I doubt that anyone would consider that cause for celebration!”
“Lance…” Hunk’s tone was warning, red lion’s pilot looking at him.
“What? It’s the truth!”
“Excuse me….” Allura said, having spotted the minister entering the party room. “I’ll only be a minute Hunk. And then we’ll dance.”
“All right Allura.” Hunk agreed, but she was already moving away, intent on cornering the minister. He smiled at her approach, Allura mirroring his expression.
“Hello sir.” She felt nervous, using her hands to smooth down her thick skirt.
“Ah princess, hello.” His tone was warm, friendly. “I haven’t forgotten you wished to speak to me.”
“Er yes…Though in truth I’ve remembered much about the night you married me to my husband.” She told him, and his smile grew wider.
“That is most excellent news!” Allura wished she could echo his sentiments, the girl holding back her sighs. Still something must have shown on her face, for the minister’s smile dimmed, his voice taking on a concerned tone. “You don’t share in that opinion do you?”
“I’m just…” She shook her head, trying to think of the words she wanted to say. “Conflicted on what has happened. On how I could have married him. You do know who Lotor is do you not?”
“Ah yes. I doubt there is many who have not heard of Doom and it’s royalty’s exploits.” The minister made a tsking sound. “Such nasty business, this constant conquest of others.”
“Yes.” Nodded Allura. “My planet has been at war with Doom for years.”
“Ah but then this means the war is over now. You two have united your planets and brought peace to your worlds.” The minister looked happy at that. “I am pleased to have played some small part in it.”
“I’m afraid neither one of us was thinking about peace when we chose to marry.” Admitted Allura, with a blush.
“Oh?” A curious look from the minister, Allura fidgeting under his gaze.
“I’m not sure what we thinking about beyond the need to satisfy our hormone’s urges.” This time she did sigh, looking glum. “I still don’t understand why I would agree to marry him, let alone….”
“Let alone what?”
“Never mind.” Allura said, not wanting to admit out loud it had been her idea that they get married.
“I can’t give you too many answers….” began the minister. “But…I do know this. You two seemed very much in love when you stood before me. It went beyond carnal attraction.”
“Did it really?” Her eyes were wide with amazement, Allura trying to recall the emotions that had been associated with the ceremony.
“Really.” Confirmed the minister. “If I may give you some advice…?”
“Don’t doubt your feelings too much. I know what I saw.” A smile then, the minister continuing. “You should make the best of your union with Prince Lotor. Try to be happy together….as happy as you were the night you wed him.”
“I’ll try…” Allura replied, seeing the minister nod.
“Do that. Now! If you’ll excuse me, I think I would like to get a slice of cake for my lunch.” She stepped aside, watching the minister hurry off. A frown was on her face, Allura mulling over his words, wondering what it was about alcohol that made her feelings for Lotor take such a drastic change. Someone stepped into view from across the room, Allura spying Keith wearing the same frown as she. He held a glass in hand, and for one brief second he met her eyes, expression pained as he looked at her.
She stared back at him, and started to lift her hand in hello at him. Keith stared at her for one-second longer, and then turned away, moving to drift over to the direction of the refreshment table. His clear rejection of her hurt, Allura’s frown deepening. She wondered how long Keith would hold his grudge, how long it would take him to get over his anger at her for the betrayal he surely perceived her to have done.
~It’s not my fault Keith.~ Allura thought sadly. ~It’s the alcohol that makes me act like that!~ And yet she wondered, worrying over the change that came over her whenever she indulged herself with intoxicants. She made a vow to herself to research alcohol and it’s side effects the first chance she got, but for now she pushed aside her worries and walked towards Hunk and Lance. It was time she kept her promises, determined to have fun at her cousin’s wedding celebration, Keith be damned!