"The Enemy Unknown"

A story based on "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2002
By Adele Previte

"Voltron" and its characters are a trademark and copyright of World Event Productions

All other characters are copyrighted by me and can be used with my permission.

Thanks!


Chapter Seven
A Volatile First Dance

As dinner drew to a close, Amalgamus gave a small...and rather boring... wenty-minute speech on galactic diplomacy.   It drew little interest from the Gundahar delegates and little applause from them as well.

Vice Admiral Royce announced that the dancing was to begin.  In an effort to unite the worlds for Meridiana Two and Gundahar, Royce suggested that they start the dancing. King Ashland turned and escorted Queen Josephilina out to the dance floor.  Several members of their party joined them as well.

Constantine approached Allura with his hand extended.  "May I have the pleasure of this dance, fair Allura?" he said with smooth charm.

Allura turned to Keith.  He shrugged his shoulders, suggesting that she could if she cared to. Allura glanced to Royce, who was obviously suggesting with his eyes that the Princess accept the gesture.

Allura sighed.  "Very well." 
She finally elected.  "I would
be honored to have this ONE
dance with you." She emphasized
the word 'one', ensuring that
he would not expect another with her.

The young Prince bowed with a smile
and extended his elbow toward her.

With a painted-on smile, she accepted his elbow with the wish that her position did not allow for moments like this.

As the two royals entered onto the dance floor, Allura could see that Keith and the other guys had a close watch on her.  She took comfort in the fact that they were there...especially Keith.

As Constantine lead her in a turn, Allura caught sight of Sven and Romelle dancing together. She sighed to herself at how happy they looked as they danced together, then suddenly wished it were Keith she was dancing with...and not this, 'stuck-on-himself' prince!

Once again, Constantine led the Princess into another turn, pulling them both further and further into the crowd, and out of sight of members of the Voltron Force.

Allura's eyes were closed now, focusing on the dance and thinking to herself how long the song seemed to be to her.  She wanted it to be over so that she could return to her friends.

"Excuse me, Your Highnesses...."

Allura's eyes opened quickly, recognizing the voice that had confronted her in the hall earlier.  Her gaze fell upon King Drago, who had interrupted the dance between her and Constantine.

"May I cut in?" he asked politely to Constantine.

Allura could see Drago's eyes shifting in a manner that suggested to her that he was warning the young Prince to surrender his dance partner.  Constantine stopped, and with a pause, he released her, stepping aside.

Drago immediately stepped in.  "That's a good boy, Constantine." he said with a smile as he wrapped his arm around Allura's waist, and took her hand with his other hand.

Allura's face became expressionless as Constantine moved into the crowd, and finally, disappeared from sight.

Drago pressed himself closer to Allura in a manner that made her feel very uncomfortable, and she began a polite protest...

"Your Majesty, " she began in a low voice.  "My dance was with Prince Constantine.  I feel it was inappropriate for you to have interrupted it."

"My dear Arusian Princess," Drago chuckled.  "Are you not as honored to be dancing with me at this moment, as I am to be with you?"

"Sir," she said in a hesitating voice,  "I should like to return to my table now, if you won't mind."

"Oh, but I do mind!" Drago replied, with exhaled of breath to her face, as he leaned in to whisper into her ear.  "I very much would prefer you dance with me right now."

As Drago finished and pulled away from her face, she tried desperately to stop the fear from creeping into her expression.  She smiled sarcastically at him and began to scan the room...

"Keith...where are you?" she thought.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lance nudged Keith in the ribs, gaining his attention.  Keith, who was just about to take a sip of his drink, looked at Lance in time to see him pointing toward the dance floor...

"Don't look now," Lance said with a chuckle as he pointed.  "But I think our dear Princess has had enough of her dance partner!"

Keith looked to the floor and saw Prince Constantine emerging from the crowded floor and returning to his table.

Keith couldn't stifle the laugh brewing inside of him.  "She has a temper, doesn't she?"

Lance nudged him again in a teasing manner. "You're in trouble, pal!" he chuckled again. "You'd better not cross her!"

"I already know that!" Keith replied with a smile as he set his drink down onto the table.

Lance cracked his finger knuckles suddenly.  "Well, I think I'll give it a try with her!"

"I think not!" Keith said sternly, but with a hint of fun in his voice.  "I'm her escort, my friend!  Just you remember that!"

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean she's yours!" Lance teased back.  "After all, you've never made it official that you and her were an item!"

"Unofficially...we are!" Keith said with a gleam in his eye.  "Officially...I'm her escort."

"Well then... that means since its still in the 'unofficial' stages, I guess I still have a shot with her...officially!" Lance teased further.

"Lance," Keith said slowly.

"I know," Lance chuckled.  "I'm pushing too many of your buttons..."

Keith shook his head. "No, not that," he said to Lance. "Allura... shouldn't she have emerged from the crowd by now?" His eyebrows suddenly slanted downward with suspicion.

Lance placed his humor on the back burner.  "Yeah," he replied in a more serious tone. "Sure, she should have..."

Keith turned his head to glance over toward the Gundahar delegate table.  His hand quickly grabbed Lance's upper arm...

"Drago..." Keith said suddenly.  "He's gone!  And I'll give you one guess, where he is!"

Lance turned immediately and saw Drago's absence from the table, then turned quickly back to Keith in time to see him move to the crowded dance floor with rapid pace.

"Allura!" Lance blurted out.  "This guys relentless!"

Lance followed him...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Drago led Allura in yet another turn, so quickly in fact, she was becoming lightheaded.  He suddenly pressed himself even closer to her and she protested more prevalently.

"King Drago!" she said in a stern voice.  "This is inappropriate!  I insist that you release me at once!"

The crafty King used his hand on the small of her back to brace her tightly up against him. "What's the matter, Princess Allura?" he said with a sinister smile.  "Not enjoying the dance?"

"Not in this manner!" she said as the pressure from his hand began to cause her pain. "You're hurting me!" she said in a slightly raised voice.  "Release me at once!"

"Please don't make me hurt you further." He said to her in a manner that suggested a threat.

"I now demand, that you release me at once!" she said, her voice now more demanding.

"You...demand, Princess?" Drago said, with a snear on his face that suddenly sent a chill up Allura's spine.

"EXCUSE ME!"

Allura turned her head and smile.... it was Keith, now standing behind her, with his hands on his hips.

"You heard her!" Keith said from behind the unsuspecting King.  "I believe it is customary to release a woman when she asks you to!"

The two had stopped the dance, but Drago did not release her from his embrace.  He turned them both around to face the Voltron Commander.

"Young man," Drago began.  "You are intruding on a private conversation!  That is very rude, and unbecoming of an officer of the Alliance!"

"You are holding the Princess of Arus against her will!" Keith replied, attempting to hold his anger in place. "And I'm afraid, that is unbecoming of a Royal leader!"

"She's dancing with me!" Drago said in a threatening tone. "You will dismiss yourself and leave us."

Lance found them in the crowd and hurriedly joined up with his friends.  "Keith...is there a problem here?" he asked.

Keith nodded. "The Princess doesn't want to dance with King Drago any longer, and he's being insistent that she should continue!"

"I never asked to dance with him in the first place," Allura suddenly announced. "He interrupted the dance that Prince Constantine and I were sharing!"

"I really think you both ought to return to your table, Commander Keith." Drago said with clenched teeth.  "When I'm finished, she can return to her seat..."

"You're finished now!" Lance said in a raised voice, as he began to move in closer.  Keith halted him with his hand.

"King Drago, with all due respect," Keith said carefully, but sternly, in a diplomatic tone. "Princess Allura is here to help bring peace between your two warring worlds.  It is not in the
Alliance's best interests for her to become personally involved, one way or the other, with delegates from either Meridiana Two or Gundahar.  She has already made that clear to Constantine, who meant no harm in asking her to dance.  Yours, however, is more of a personal intention, which would compromise the Princess's objectivity.  We are sworn to protect her interests, and the interests of the Alliance.  Therefore, once again, and for the last time, we respectfully requestthat you release her at once.  Failure to immediately do so may result... in an uncomfortable incident!"

Allura smiled.  Weeding through the mumbo-jumbo of Keith's speech, she heard him say plainly that if Drago didn't let her go, Keith was going to punch the living daylights out of him!

Drago paused for a moment as the music began to come to a halt and applause erupted in the room.  He looked at the young Princess with a smile. "We will have to complete this another time." He said.

He released Allura from his grasp, and she quickly moved between Keith and Lance.  The two of them moved in front of her, acting as a human shield of protection.

Keith nodded, placing his right hand over his heart and bowed.  "Thank you, Your Majesty...
for preventing a very uncomfortable situation from occurring."

Disgusted, the King turned and walked away, abruptly moving people out of the way as he walked past them.

Keith and Lance turned as one unit, keeping the King in sight, while at the same time, keeping Allura between and slightly behind them both.

The music started up again as the King disappeared into the crowd of dancers.  Keith and Lance turned to Allura...

"Are you okay, Allura?" Keith asked her with all concern.

She nodded. "Once again, you've come to my rescue." She sighed in saying to Keith.

"Oh, and what about me?" Lance replied with a teasing sarcastic tone. "No thanks for being co-rescuer?"

Allura smiled. "I have the best
thanks of all for you!" she said as
she leaned up to him and pressed
her lips gently against his cheek,
leaving a tender kiss there as she
pulled back. "Thank you, Lance!"
Lance's face flushed suddenly. "
Wow! I like that type of thanks!" he
beamed. "Can I have another thank-you?"

"You're pushing it, Lance." Keith said with a smile that was meant to warn him away.

Lance picked up on it, and decided not to press his luck further.  He instead bowed to the Princess.  "Glad you're okay, Allura.  And now, if you'll both excuse me..."

He motioned to Keith that he would meet them both back at the table, surmising that Keith was going to ask her to dance.

After Lance had
gone, Allura turned
to Keith.  "Shall we?"
she said with her
arms extended,
gripping her gown
for a curtsy.

Keith chuckled.
"Hey...isn't that
my line?" he replied
to her as he bowed to her. 
"It would be my humble pleasure to have this dance, fair Princess Allura."

He reached for her and gently pulled her closer to him.  He wrapped his arm around her waist gently, keeping a discreet distance between them as he led her in the dance.

The two of them glided around in a manner that drew the attention of the other dancers on the floor.  They looked like two graceful skaters on ice...

The Princess from Arus and her handsome Commander...

It was more then obvious to
those around them that there
was something more between
them then the title each bore.
The sparkle in their eyes
for each other gave away the
secret they had been keeping to
themselves.

Applause broke out as Keith
led her in yet another turn,
and she moved with ease beside
him.

As the song slowed down, their pace slowed with the tempo.  Content with her partner, Allura gently laid her head on Keith's chest, lessening the space between them.

Keith didn't mind, however.  Instead, he smiled at her warmth toward him, and wondered to himself what good deed he had done in his life that would have caused God to reward him with the love and adoration of such a beautiful young woman.

The song finished...and another started in its place.  Keith again led her around the dance floor and for just a moment in his life, left his title and military discipline behind him, and simply concentrated on just being a lucky, somewhat ordinary guy, dancing with a fairy tale Princess.

Back at the table, Lance sat back enjoying yet another sip of his wine.  Nothing beat the wine from Earth.  The flavor was incredible.

Hunk and Pidge joined him there, taking notice of the applause every-so-often erupting from the dance floor.

Pidge smiled fondly.  "Our Commander and Princess must be wowing them out there." He said, referring to the crowd.

"Yeah," Hunk sighed.  "Our future King of Arus is working the crowd, I'd say!"

"Don't let Keith hear you say that!" Pidge chuckled.

Lance swallowed another mouthful of wine.  Then turned his gaze toward the Gundahar table. The look the King had on his face as he sat at his table surrounded by his guards made Lance more alert...and nervous.

"Guys," Lance said slowly. 
"I think we'll need to keep
an eye on Keith now, too."

Pidge chuckled. "Keith's too
noble to do anything to her."

"Yeah," Hunk added. "He'd
never do anything to disgrace her, Lance!"

"I'm not talking about that!" Lance said in a hushed voice. "I'm talking about King 'Pain in the Butt' over there!  He has it in for Keith...I'm sure of it!"

"Huh?" Hunk said, suddenly more alert. "What do you mean?"

"I mean...he's jealous!  He's going to confront Keith!" Lance said assuredly.  "And Keith had better not be there alone when he does!"

"Are you saying that Drago has a grudge against Keith?" Pidge asked quite innocently. "What for?"

"Keith took Allura away from him," Lance said quietly.

"But she was never Drago's to begin with!" Pidge replied, becoming aggravated suddenly.

"He looks like the kind of guy that doesn't care about that." Lance surmised aloud.

"Great... not another Lotor to deal with!" Hunk sighed forcefully.

"Nope," Lance said quietly. "Not another Lotor..."

Hunk and Pidge looked at Lance carefully...

Lance paused, taking another sip of his wine, allowing the flavor to penetrate his taste buds. After it had pass from his mouth, he looked intensely at the King sitting just down the way from them

"Worse then Lotor..." Lance finally said as his glance returned to his friends.  "Much worse, I'm afraid."
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