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Enslaved

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“You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s barbaric,” Lance shouted, color high on his cheekbones as he flailed his hands at Allura.

“I’m sorry, but I’m serious,” Allura’s posh voice was tight as she held Lance’s gaze.

“What exactly are we supposed to do then?” Lance’s eyes were narrowed looking from face to face in the group lingering on Keith’s for a second longer than the others before snapping back to Allura’s steady gaze.

Shiro’s scowl deepened as the princess began explaining the predicament they were facing. “The Esarians are an extremely patriarchal society.” Patriarchal sounded almost like a dirty word as the princes scrunched her nose up with distaste. “Their entire social structure is rooted in secondary genders. Both of these facts are creating issues. As I was explaining before the outburst,” her eyes narrowed at Lance, “we have one option. We will send Lance down as our diplomatic representative, and Keith will pose as his companion.” Allura sniffed slightly, the last word once again sounding dirty.

“You mean my sex slave,” Lance bit out, glaring at his feet. His eyes darted to Keith as he seethed, “My fucking slave,” Keith was caught in his gaze still silent as he saw the raw fury in those clear blue eyes. The Red paladin’s heart beat a little faster at the fire in those eyes.

“Language,” Shiro snapped, his jaw tight as his gaze darted between Keith, Lance, and Allura as wrinkles pinched around the corners of his eyes. Coran, Pidge and Hunk all stood silently in the bridge, not looking at anyone directly.

“Oh I’m sorry,” sarcasm dripped from Lance’s tone as Keith watched the tension grow in the taller man’s shoulders. If he winds himself up anymore he might snap in two, the thought fluttered in the shorter man’s head as his gaze flicked quickly up and down Lance’s long form.

“There’s no other option?” the question was hesitant as Hunk finally broke his silence, “We could send Shiro down instead. They don’t know the details of human secondary sexes.” Hope shone through Hunk’s tone as he finally looked up his gaze connecting with Lance’s. Lance felt the heat and rage inside him simmer down at his sweet beta friend’s optimism.

Allura slowly shook her head, “Pheromones are mostly universal. They would know Lance had brought a subpar companion.”

Again with that fucking word. Even Lance’s thoughts had turned bitter.

“I would go myself, but unfortunately because I’m a female, even though I’m an alpha, I’m not permitted to conduct government business,” she sniffed, clearly irritated by the outdated thinking. “We have to send them a male alpha with an omega companion.”

Sad eyes narrowed in on Lance. “We only have one male alpha, and one viable omega,” her gaze drifted slowly to Keith’s.

“I’m sorry Pidge,” Allura’s gaze didn’t waver from Keith’s violet gaze even as Pidge perked up at the mention of needing an omega. Allura slid her gaze to the younger girl, “Your scent, while omega, is too weak and neutral. You are just too young to be seen as a viable omega companion.”

Pidge scowled slightly.

“Honestly, Pidge, you would make an even worse slave than Keith,” Lance frowned, obviously just as unhappy with the idea of taking Pidge with him, maybe more so. Pidge narrowed her gaze with a little snarl, causing Lance to chuckle, in spite of the situation, and raise an eyebrow.

“Fair enough,” Pidge muttered, crossing her arms tightly.

“It would just be for a week. Until the treaty is signed and the tower is placed.” Allura looked exhausted, worry lines creased her forehead as she brought the conversation back to the current issue.

“Why here? Why can’t we find a different planet that doesn’t demean its omega population?” Lance was borderline pouting as he glared at the holographic space map displaying the planet in question.

“It has to be this one. It is the only planet close enough to the target with power sources large enough to support tower operations. This is the final cyber tower. With this completed, we can have a digital map of the entire Galra controlled sections of the universe. We will be able to track Zarkon and the Galra’s activity. This must be completed.” Allura’s eyes were wide as she flicked her gaze quickly between the two boys in question. Pleading, but not with words.

The holographic map zoomed into the planet in question, Liv Esari. The planet was almost Earth-sized with swirling white clouds. The land looked teal from the vegetation that grew thickly all over the planet and the large bodies of water on the planet were a vibrant violet. If you squinted your eyes it almost looked like a distorted version of Earth.

Lance opened his mouth, ready to snap off another protest, when Keith’s quiet voice cut through the group’s tension like a knife. “Okay.”

“Excuse me?” Lance sounded borderline hysterical as he turned towards Keith so fast he practically gave himself whiplash.

“I said ‘okay’. ” Keith’s voice had a steely edge as he met the ocean blue gaze of the alpha head on. “We are paladins of Voltron. It is our job to protect the universe,” his violet gaze never wavered as he saw the gears turning in Lance’s mind, he wanted a way out of this situation. Finally the blue eyes turned steely and shut him out as he turned to Allura crossing his arms, his jaw ticking tensely under smooth tan skin. Keith couldn’t help admiring the handsome alpha’s strong jaw before adding, “Besides I’m the one who should be uncomfortable not you.”

The jab made Lance shoot Keith a glare over his shoulder If looks could kill. “Lance still has to agree,” Allura muttered eyeing the angry alpha skeptically. Stupid, noble, pretty omega.

“Well I can’t say no now,” Lance pouted slightly, crossing his arms as he glared at the floor, clearly unhappy to be forced into this predicament. Keith’s nonchalance surely added fuel to the fire.

“Perfect,” Allura’s posh voice held so much relief as she turned to Pidge, “I need you to make transmission devices. There’s a good chance the Red and Blue Paladins won’t be able to use their helmet communication devices as easily once they are on the surface. They need something compact and portable preferably something they can keep on their persons to stay in contact with the castle as well as one another. Can you do that?”

“Of course,” Pidge immediately perked up at the new technological challenge thrown at her “Hunk, want to come help me?” Hunk looked hesitant but finally followed Pidge out of the command center.

“Princess, I will begin preparing supplies for the paladins journey,” Coran looked a little stiff as he nodded and exited through the same door as Pidge and Hunk.

An eerie silence descended over the group as Allura shifted looking as anxious as the Red and Blue Paladin had ever seen her, and Shiro well he looked like he was fuming, arms crossed, Galra tech fingers flexing over and over. “What aren’t you telling us?” Keith asked slowly.

Lance’s eyes narrowed looking at the smaller man before flicking his gaze back to the princess whose eyes had widened. “There’s more?” Lance’s voice was surprisingly soft.

“I’m afraid there is,” Allura said calmly here eyes still a little too wide. Shiro’s jaw gave an audible click as he ground his teeth.

“Dios,” Lance breathed softly. The exclamation made Keith shiver unintentionally.

“Now as I mentioned before, on Liv Esari, betas function as a neutral third party and the mass of the population, which is common in most secondary sexed populations. Omegas became exceedingly rare after a fever epidemic several centuries ago. This lead to an exceeding amount of fighting over the few omegas left, so the society developed a hierarchy. Omegas are subservient to their alphas. They act as sexual companions, but only to the most wealthy and highest class of alphas,” Allura said, her eyes flicking to the obviously stressed Shiro as she pursed her lips unhappily.

“Yes, and as I said, that’s barbaric,” Lance scowled, pouting slightly. Keith couldn’t help thinking he looked cute, in an immature way at least. Shiro must have noticed something on his face because he raised an eyebrow at him slightly.

“Which I agree with, but that’s not the reason the Alteans did not associate with the Esarians,” Allura said looking completely disgusted.

“What was the reason?” Keith took a step towards the console looking between the violet watered planet and the Altean princess. Finally, his gaze landed on Lance and he saw the same wariness in Lance’s eyes reflected back to him. What were they getting themselves into?

“Long before the omega companion hierarchy was established, the Alteans still refused to align with the Esarians because of court etiquette differences.” Allura was obviously choosing her words carefully. She continued slowly, “The Esarians are a particularly liberated society and conduct court affairs with a flair that did not sit well with the old Altean government.”

“What are you talking about?” Lance was practically shouting and completely fed up at this point. Hands flailed as his blue eyes widened before glaring fiercely at the holographic planet in front of him. Slowly his gaze drifted over to Keith’s locking on the pretty violet gaze through the violet and teal hologram.

“Public sex acts.” Shiro’s voice was soft and ice cold.

“What?” the screech surprisingly came from Keith as his face turned bright red. Lance had gone pale, his jaw hitting the floor as his gaze flicked quickly between Allura and Shiro.

Allura’s glare towards Shiro was fierce as she quickly tried to redeem the situation “You will not be required to perform completely as Esarian nobles are because you are foreign ambassadors…” She trailed off slightly her gaze turning back to the two stunned gaping paladins before her.

“But we will expected to do something?” Keith’s voice was barely above a whisper as his heart beat so fast he thought it might pop out of his chest.

“Yes some level of public physical displays of affection will be required during court formalities” Allura looked positively nauseous at the society's idea of royal decorum.

Keith gave a dry laugh his hand knotted in his shirt above his heart. He was going to have to be intimate with Lance in front of alien nobility, so they could build a stupid communication tower. Un-fucking-believable

Lance’s mind reeled as he looked at the panicking young man next to him. Keith’s eyes were so wide that white almost completely surrounded beautiful violet irises. He was going to have to touch Keith, in front of aliens, even though Keith didn’t want to be touched by Lance. “Quiznak,” the word slid out before he could shut his mouth. Turning on his heel, Lance walked out of the room his cheeks burning with shame and his eyes wide with panic. Shit. Shit. Shit!!

Keith helplessly watched Lance walk away even as he struggled to process what exactly was being asked of him. Slowly, a moment or two later, he turned and followed out the same door Lance had exited through. He moved stiffly down the hallway towards his room even as he heard Shiro’s steps sync up with his. His mind reeled. He was going to an alien planet with just Lance. On this planet he would pose as Lance’s sex slave. While on this planet posing as a slave he would have to act in public sexual acts with Lance to appease the court of an alien monarch and his government. “What the hell?” Keith muttered unlocking his door with a press to his hand pad.

Keith sat heavily on his bed his elbows on his knees and finger fisted in his hair. Shiro stepped silently into the room and let out a frustrated sigh. “What am I going to do, Shiro?” Keith’s voice cracked and was filled with desperation.

“I don’t like this anymore than you do, Keith.” Shiro’s voice was calm and icy. Keith knew it was directed at the situation and not him, but part of his omega still craved to make someone he loved feel better.

“What exactly am I getting myself into?” Keith’s head snapped up his eyes narrowing on Shiro “What exactly will be expected of me?”

“As far as I know,” Shiro started slowly, his shoulders tense, “You will have to show some level of affection in front of the Emperor whenever you attend court functions. Kissing should suffice because you are foreign dignitaries, but for local nobles apparently things can be much more… graphic.”

“Kissing. Okay, kissing,” Keith nodded, eyes still fixed on the tense beta in front of him.

“You will most likely be tended to by the Emperor’s harem as a visiting aristocratic omega, so there’s no worry of an alpha getting their hands on you.” Shiro looked slightly appeased by this.

“Will they separate us often?” Something coiled deep in Keith’s gut; it felt like anxiety but with a more primal edge.

“Never for long,” Shiro raised an eyebrow, “Don’t like the idea of Lance alone in a court filled with scantily clad omegas?”

A growl ripped through Keith’s chest before he could even process Shiro’s statement fully. “Scantily clad?” Keith’s eyes widened. “Shit. How am I going to get through this?”

Little did Keith know Lance was pacing the length of his own bedroom a few feet away freaking out as well.

“Quiznak! How am I supposed to do this Hunk?!” Lance nearly screamed. Thank God for sound proof walls.

“It will be fine,” Hunk’s voice was soft as he tried to settle the riled alpha.

“It’s a week! With Keith!” Lance’s body froze as he whispered the last few words, “As my sex slave.”

“He’s not actually a slave,” Hunk fought rolling his eyes at his crazy best friend. Relaxing, he stretched his long legs out in front of him and leaned back on Lance’s bed elbows digging into the sheets. “It’s not like you will have to have sex with him in front of the entire government. From what you told me it sounds like maybe a little kissing and some heavy petting will be in order. You can do that.”

Hunk’s nonchalance was not helping Lance’s pounding heart settle at the thought of touching Keith. “You know what he does,” Lance muttered, crossing his arms and looking at his toes. His voice was uncharacteristically quiet and vulnerable.

“He speaks to your alpha. I know,” Hunk sat up his voice soft and stern as he looked at the alpha standing forlornly in the middle of the room, “Lance, you are a good person and a good alpha. You would never hurt him or take advantage. Remember when his heat triggered your last rut? You were completely out of your mind and still made me promise not to let you within 30 feet of the boy. You can handle a few days kissing and petting him. Who knows, maybe you will even enjoy yourself?”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Lance glared at Hunk’s bemused face as he began pacing again.

~~~~~

A few hours later, the boys met back up with Coran to go over the supplies for their transport pod. Neither could look the other in the eyes as the older Altean prattled on cheerfully about the food rations and emergency medical supplies stored in the small spacecraft. “Why aren’t we taking Blue or Red?” Lance mumbled looking slightly to the left of Coran, his cheeks tinged pink and clearly embarrassed.

“Well, mostly because the Esarians would consider it impolite to arrive at a peaceful negotiation in a weapon of the Lions’ magnitude. Also Number Four obviously cannot take Red because the Esarians believe him to be your companion. He would not be allowed to participate in such risky behavior by Esarian customs.” Coran’s mustache twitched slightly with his disapproval, but that was the only change in his cheerful demeanor. A mild growl rattled around in Keith’s chest as he tightened his crossed arms grouchily. “Careful with the growling, Number Four. In Esarian culture if an omega makes any primal noise besides a purr, it’s considered shameful on the alpha. He is often seen as not capable of satisfying and controlling his omega, and some bonds have even been challenged and omegas taken from their unsatisfactory alpha.”

Taken? Keith’s omega whined in terror at the idea of being taken from Lance.

Lance’s breath hitched as he swung his gaze to finally lock on the terrified wide violet eyes next to him. “I won’t let anyone touch you. That I can promise.” Lance’s voice was rough and fierce as he gazed at his teammate.

“I’ll kill them” Keith’s voice was deadly quiet. His eyes stuck in the alpha’s ocean blue gaze as horrifying thoughts swirled through his head.

“You won’t need to,” Lance’s voice was just as quiet but less deadly more determined. His eyes flashed and something inside Keith calmed. He wasn’t going into this situation alone. Usually he would prefer to do missions on his own, but something about this one felt dangerous. Keith was thankful to know that Lance would be there every step of the way with him.

“Boys, this is not a normal diplomatic mission,” the paladins swung their wide gazes to Coran, “I know Allura tried to break this as gently as possible, but this society is not like anything you have seen.” Coran’s face was completely serious his orange eyebrows knit slightly together as he gazed at each paladin individually. “You must be careful. This court poses risks in ways unlike any in the universe.”

“Should we be scared?” Lance’s voice was confused as he gazed at the older man in front of him. “I thought this was a simple diplomatic meeting. Play nice, align with the Esarian, and convince them to let us build the tower.” Seems so simple

“Yes and no.” Coran’s voice was slow and controlled. “That is the objective, but things aren’t always as they seem in the Esarian court. You both need to keep your eyes open and be on your best behavior. Don’t give them reason to believe you are an unsuitable match.” There was something slightly desperate in the ginger haired man’s voice.

Keith and Lance turned their gaze to each other the same thought floating through their heads Unsuitable.

“You two really have become such a good team. I don’t think any other pair in this castle could pull of this mission besides you two.” Coran’s smile was bright and cheerful again. All traces of the somber warning wiped away as if it had never been given. “Now I must report to Allura to let her know you both have been briefed on the transport pod.” He cheerfully bounced out of the cramped pod, leaving two stunned paladins in his wake.

The silence seemed to stretch further and further between the two men standing closely together in the small pod. Finally Keith’s voice broke the eerie quiet. “I can’t do this,” he mumbled so softly even Lance’s advanced hearing strained to hear him.

“What?” Lance’s heart stopped. I must have heard him wrong.

Keith’s violet eyes bored into Lance’s soul as he whispered fiercely, “I can’t do this.”

Chapter Text

“What can’t you do?” Lance’s brows knit together as he gazed down at the smaller man.

Puzzled blue eyes connected with steely violet as Keith said, “Have my first kiss in front of some weird perverted alien monarch.” Suddenly fingers were threaded in Lance’s hair and Keith was yanking him forward. Their lips crashed together, but only for a few ticks, the aggressive kiss ending as suddenly as it began.

Keith practically yanked his hand out of Lance’s hair as he ripped his body away and started storming out of the pod and into the hanger; his cheeks tinged the sweetest pink. Lips tingling, Lance blinked his eyes slowly an incredulous laugh slipping out as he gently touched his bottom lip. “Idiot,” the whisper fond as he took off after Keith.

The raven-haired teen had made pretty good progress in his escape, but Lance’s ridiculously long legs quickly ate up the distance between the two. Keith didn’t acknowledge the taller teen as he fell into step next to him. Keith’s head was tucked down gazing at his boots as they hit heavily on the floor cheeks still a little flushed. Don’t look at him.

After a moment of silence Lance chuckled before saying, “You know that wasn’t a kiss. It was more of an attack.” The warmth in Lance’s voice took away any of the bite the statement could have carried, but still Keith stopped in his tracks tipping his head up slightly to glare at the alpha.

“Excuse me,” Keith’s hiss had no warmth to diminish the sting of his statement.

Lance, completely unfazed by Keith’s hostility, grinned, “That was not a real kiss.” He shoved his hand into his jacket pockets, rocking back on his heels nonchalantly even as the violet gaze on him made his heart race.

“And what is?” Keith scoffed, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms tightly across his chest. His insides felt like they were vibrating. Part of him wanted to run away as quickly as possible, but a larger part of him couldn’t resist rising to the challenge the alpha was giving.

“Glad you asked,” Lance murmured, his warm smile suddenly turning predatory. He pushed Keith hard before crowding forward, his body pressing the smaller man between his long lean frame and the cool metal wall of the hallway. He paused for a tick, eyes tracing Keith’s features, looking for any signs of resistance. Long fingers twined slowly into Keith’s mullet, forcing his head to tip back, pale neck exposed and no longer hidden by hair as his head connected softly with the wall behind him.

The smaller man’s hands flexed in Lance’s jacket surprise written clearly on his face Oh. “I can show you better than tell you,” Lance’s breath puffed over Keith’s lips as a tan thumb pressed lightly into the hollow behind Keith’s ear. His scent gland a few inches down, at the base of his neck, throbbed deliciously as his scent pulsed slightly.

Oh Fuck. Keith’s mind started to panic smelling his own spice and campfire scent increase. Keith’s smell was a little off for an omega. Most omegas smelled like sugar or cake, but his had only the slightest underlying vanilla for sweetness that thickened up the closer he was to a heat. He had always enjoyed the fact that his scent wasn’t hit-you-in-the-face omega. Being one of the few male omegas mostly came with a lot of drawbacks, but he had always secretly adored his own scent and considered it a perk of his secondary gender.

Lance sniffed slightly, his face still inches from Keith’s and hummed deep in his chest, Keith’s entire body vibrating under the alpha’s. Suddenly, soft lips pressed against Keith’s slightly chapped and bitten ones. Warmth radiated out from Lance’s hand and his lips as the kiss began to move slowly. Lips pressed dryly against his massaging and pressing in a way that made the omega’s breath hitch. Keith’s knees wobbled a little as Lance’s tongue teased quickly over his full bottom lip. The slickness added to the kiss, making Keith feel even dizzier as he tipped up on his toes pressing into Lance’s lean frame.

Keith’s lips opened tentatively and his inner omega melted happily as Lance’s tongue caressed his own. Lance tasted slightly fruity like his tart slightly sweet scent. Alphas weren’t usually sweet scented, but Lance wasn’t the usual alpha. The tangy, almost green apple scent and taste really fit the vibrant boy that was pressed against him. Lance nipped slightly at Keith’s bottom lip before separating their mouths. His teammate’s panting breath clung to his tingling lips for a few seconds.

Suddenly Lance yanked him self out of Keith’s hold and took two large steps back in the hall separating their bodies. Keith felt cold from the lack of Lance’s body heat and the wicked grin on the teen’s face. “That’s your first real kiss,” Lance beamed, but Keith noticed the grin looked a little brittle around the edges the teen’s blue eyes a little too icy for the mischievous grin he was sporting. His lips were swollen and glistening. It should have been gross, but for some reason Keith felt his breath puff out as heat suffused through his body while looking at those plumped slick lips. Oh fuck.

Smirking at Keith, Lance turned nonchalantly walking down the hallway hands buried in his pockets as the alpha’s thoughts crashed together. Hope he liked that. I sure did The Alpha in Lance was practically doing back flips through a flaming hoop as the news that he had just taken Keith’s first (and second?) kiss sunk in. Some primal and surprisingly loud part of him reveled in being the first. He had to remove himself before he was an tempted to touch Keith in a more sexual way. Man he was a fast learner.

Keith’s hand drifted up to press on his bottom lip. His whole mouth tingled. Real kiss?

~~~~~~~

Keith’s mind was still reeling as he entered the bridge, his small pack gripped in one hand. They said not to pack too much because they would likely be provided most of the clothes and necessities they needed. Lance had kissed him, but only because
he
had kissed Lance! What did I do? Will he always kiss me like that in court? If he keeps kissing me like that how am I not going to spontaneously combust? What am I going to do?

Thoughts crashed together in Keith’s mind as he scowled at the planet still projected on the screen in the bridge. “Stupid planet,” he mumbled, eyes narrowed, “making me face my stupid feelings for that stupid pretty alpha.” The whisper was quiet, but the growl rattling in Keith’s chest began to grow in volume subconsciously.

“Careful with the growling; remember what Coran said.” Lance’s voice caused Keith’s entire body to tense up. Shit. “What are you even mumbling about mullet?” Lance’s voice was light as he chuckled and gazed quizzically at the red paladin.

Keith felt the tension release from his shoulders as he feigned for nonchalance, “Just a stupid week on this planet.” Keith rolled his eyes trying to hide his relief in Lance not hearing his mumblings earlier.

“Pidge was telling me it isn’t actually a week. This planet rotates slower than we are used to. They go through three time phases each lasting about an earth day. One is pitch black like night, the other is this dusky time with mid light, and the third is brightly light by the green sun like daytime,” Lance explained slowly, dropping his own bag loudly and tilting his head to look at the planet still holographically projected.

“Great, so we are going to be staying up for two Earth days before we have to sleep for one,” Keith puffed a little, frustrated that his circadian rhythm would be thrown into such a strange loop.

“Actually no” Lance smiled at the shorter man making him scowl back at the pretty alpha. “They have a wake and sleep cycle in each of the three phases. We are arriving during a dusk phase, tomorrow will be a dark phase when the celebrations will be going on, negotiations should be completed during the light phase, and we should have a send off on the second dusk phase, which completes an Esarian week.” Lance looked almost giddy with the news.

Keith felt air whoosh out of his lungs as a small smile tugged on his lips, Lance’s grin infectious, “So four days. We can do that.” Keith looked up at Lance his blue eyes so bright and reassured himself he could keep his feelings buried for four days. It’s only four days.

Four days. I can do four days Lance’s thoughts echoed Keith’s as he gazed down at the omega’s lovely face. His violet eyes were downcast, staring at the panel in front of him while his brows knit together and a slight scowl pulled on his lips. The holographic image cast teal and violet light across his pale skin, making his sharp cheekbones and smooth skin almost glow. Stunning, but not mine, Lance reminded his inner alpha as it preened at the idea of having such a lovely omega to bond with. Not mine, his alpha growled at the thought of another, but Lance was broken away from his inner turmoil as Allura and Shiro entered into the room speaking quietly to one another. Coran and Hunk flanked Pidge as they entered behind the princess and black paladin. Coran and Hunk were both carrying a large black box, and Pidge practically bounced animatedly, talking with her hands between the two tall men.

“Ah, perfect!” Allura’s voice slid over the two paladins already in the room, “Glad to see you both ready. Pidge will explain the tech she developed to keep you both in contact with the castle while on the planet’s surface. As you know, we will not be sending you in your lions or suits as the Esarians might see that as a sign of aggression. I would like for you both to take your bayards just in case of an emergency.” Allura nodded her head once looking beautiful and in control as always. Keith couldn’t help noticing the way Shiro’s gaze slid almost lovingly across her features as she spoke in her soft commanding tone. He’s so smitten. She will eat him alive.

“Pidge, why don’t you start?” Shiro’s voice was soft and deep as he smiled at the smallest member of Voltron.

“So do you remember that cool planet we freed a few months back with the cyborgs and nearly sentient natural materials?” Pidge grinned excitedly, grabbing the boxes from Coran and Hunk and plopping them onto the holographic table in front of her; the holographic image of Liv Esari distorted before cutting off abruptly from the disturbance. Hunk rolled his eyes fondly as Lance chuckled at Pidge’s antics.

“Yes, we remember Cynda”, Keith said seriously, his brows still knit together from Lance’s early discussion about their time frame for the mission.

“Well, I actually asked for some of their tech and materials. I was curious how I could incorporate the materials into creating communication devices that weren’t dependent on our suits of lions,” Pidge looked smug as she situated her glasses higher up on her nose.

“Always a step ahead,” Hunk’s voice radiated pride, completely warming the hearts of the other six in the room.

Pidge looked pleased and smiled a little. “They are still prototypes, but they will have to do.” She snapped open the first black box to reveal 7 small silver chips about half an inch long and the width of a matchstick and a small silver device of some sort. “These are used as basically telephones on Cynda. They are communication implants, and are usually one of the very first modifications are Cynda citizen receives. The metal actually bonds and connects with the neurons and tissue it’s placed in and uses the host body as its energy source, it’s fascinating.” She paused, nodded once and muttered, “Another time.”

“Those go inside of us?” Lance looked at the seemingly innocent chip of metal warily

“Yes, it’s perfectly safe,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“So what’s in the other box?” Keith eyed the other box skeptically.

“Oh,” the exclamation was excited as Pidge began opening the second box. Once the case was open, everyone leaned in curiously to see multi colored stones resting a plush satin in the same arrangement as the chips from the other box. “These are so cool. They are similar to the crystals on Balmera,” Hunk blushed slightly at the mention of the planet, “but instead of being an energy source it acts as a transmitter for the chip. It amplifies and directs the signals from the chips, so they can communicate with each other.”

“Wow,” Hunk mumbled, looking in awe at the bright gems winking in the artificial light.

“That’s actually super cool,” Lance said, looking perplexedly at the crystals and chips of metal.

“I coincidentally had two chips ready for implantation, so that worked out well,” Pidge muttered, “Okay! Keith you first!” she patted a clear stop on the table next to her set up happily.

Keith just sighed and stepped towards the table and the overly excited younger girl. “Will this hurt?” his voice a bored monotone.

“A little pinch and a zing most likely,” Pidge said grabbing what looked almost like a mini stapler with a button on the top out of the first box. Keith nodded silently, freezing slightly as Pidge grabbed a chip. She loaded the chip into the device. “Okay, just hold your ear bent forward for me.”

Keith sighed. His jaw tensed as he bent his ear forward and held perfectly still. Lance felt his shoulders tense watching Pidge press the little device to Keith’s head. She clicked the button, the device gave a slight sigh and Keith’s back abruptly went ramrod straight. “Ahhhhh.” The sound was a cross between a yelp and a whine.

Lance stepped forward both hands gripping Keith’s shoulders as the smaller man’s eyes watered. “What’s wrong?” Worry dripped from the alpha’s tone as he eyed Keith for lasting damage.

“A zing? Quiznak, that was some zing,” Keith hissed, narrowing his watery eyes at Pidge. Lance quickly squashed his alpha’s urge to reach out and pet Keith. Jesus, he’s fine, he told himself, trying to shake the gnawing feeling in his gut.

She shrugged, “But only for a tick or two.”

“Fair enough.” Keith sounded a little winded as he stood up, stretching his tense neck with a crack and rolling his shoulders back. Lance’s hands were forced off with the movement and he took a step back seeing how he was practically looming over Keith. “Your turn.” Keith’s voice was hushed as violet eyes glimmered up at Lance.

“Ok,” Lance muttered, frowning as he sat on the table where Keith had been.

Pidge frowned and made a little ‘humph’ loading a second chip into the hand held implant device, “You will have to bend over.”

Lance chuckled at Pidge’s indignant scowl; he had grown a few inches since they had first arrived at the castle. Lance smiled obligingly, setting his elbows on his spread knees, pulling his left ear forward for Pidge. “Better?”

“Much,” she muttered, rolling her eyes.

She set the cool metal of the device along Lance’s hairline, behind the curve of his ear. The was a soft click and an initial prick. Suddenly it was like every nerve in Lance’s body was electrified. His jaw dropped, a pained, animalistic noise ripping from his throat. Through blurry eye,s he saw Keith’s body go rigid out of his peripheral vision. Within a few ticks, the pain disappeared completely and Lance took a deep, slightly ragged breath.

“You okay bud?” Hunk’s warm voice grounded Lance bringing him back to the reality and solidity of the room around him.

“Peachy.” Lance’s voice was rough. His eyes met Keith’s and he muttered, “Dude, that sucked”

Lance was stunned when Keith said “Right?” No sarcasm, no insult, just a genuine agreement. Lance blinked slowly in shock, “So what now?” Keith ignored Lance completely, his focus on Pidge.

Lance stood up, still feeling a little dazed from the zing to his system. Pidge closed the box with the chips and slid it away from herself. “Now for the crystals,” Pidge said, grabbing the box filled with bright crystals. Seven were arranged prettily on the black satin: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Pidge wrapped her fingers around the blue stone before setting it into Lance’s outstretched palm. The stone was ocean blue and matched his eyes. It was about the size of a quarter, maybe a little smaller, set in a metallic black metal and there was a black satin band threaded through, but no clasp. Confused Lance looked at Pidge “It self adheres”

“Cool” Lance muttered he placed the crystal on his wrist, pulling the ends of fabric together and watching as the black satin knit together seamlessly. Keith stood surprisingly close to him watching as the fabric knit together. The crystal seemed to pulse lightly as it came into contact with Lance’s skin before settling with an oddly satisfied hum.

“I’m assuming I get the red one?” Keith chuckled slightly looking at Pidge as he straightened up slightly next to Lance.

“Good guess,” Pidge grinned back at the red paladin. She picked up the red stone, which was framed in the black metal and had a ring to connect it to a longer satin ribbon than Lance had. Holding the satin the ruby red crystal dropped down as Pidge said, “I thought a necklace might be a good idea since you always wear gloves.”

Keith nodded his head slightly, looking at the somewhat short satin ribbon. The ribbon was about as wide as his middle finger, the crystal hanging down was the same size as the one glinting on Lance’s wrist. The black metal setting was very intricate and almost looked like an oil spill when it caught the light. It’s beautiful. Keith blushed slightly at the idea of wearing something so gorgeous and feminine, but he found he wasn’t displeased with the idea of wearing it. Slowly, he brought the necklace up towards his neck and immediately ran into a problem with his hair.

“Here, let me help,” Lance muttered next to him, reaching out for the necklace.

“Sure,” Keith huffed out. Lance stepped up behind Keith, holding the necklace in front of him, his arms essentially around the red paladin. Keith lifted up the hair from the nape of his neck and shivered a little from the massive amount of body heat Lance was giving off behind him. Damn he’s hot. Literally. Neither man noticed Pidge’s impish grin or the way her glasses flashed evilly, but Hunk did. Right as the yellow paladin was about to say something, Lance brought the ends of fabric together behind Keith’s neck and watched in fascination as his fingers connected with the soft creamy skin. “So how do we take these off anyways?” Keith asked turning to look at Lance.

Dios mío. Keith was wearing a choker, that Lance had just put on him, and fuck was it doing things to Lance. The band was the perfect thickness to highlight the delicate tendons in Keith’s neck. The red gem sat heavily in the hollow of his throat making Keith look almost bejeweled, the ruby color bringing out the rosiness of his porcelain skin. His scent glands would be beneath the pale skin directly below the black satin It would highlight my bond mark perfectly. Lance physically shook himself as the possessive thought rooted itself in his mind. He was having problems wiping the image of Keith on his back with nothing but that choker on and Lance’s fresh bond mark on his neck. Get it together, dude.

“Oh that’s simple,” Pidge smirked at Keith, “the person who put it on simply pinches where the seam would be.”

Lance flipped his wrist over and pinched the fabric watching is slip apart slowly, “Well that’s easy” Lance grinned at everyone around him, but everyone besides Pidge looked slightly concerned and puzzled “What?”

“Only the person who put it on?” Keith asked, not even acknowledging Lance making the tall alpha pout

“Yep.” Pidge looked like she was trying to smother a cackle as Keith’s eyes widened.

“You are telling me I’m going down to a planet posing as a sex slave wearing a collar that only Lance can take off me. What the fuck?!” Keith’s whole face was tomato red as his wide eyes swung to Lance.

“Honestly it might work in our favor,” Allura said carefully, obviously aware that Keith was to his breaking point. “It is a clear mark, of for lack of a better word, ownership. We can play it off as a human custom and it might deter any unwanted advances while you are on the surface.”

Keith gnawed his lip. barely peeking at Lance through his lashes before darting his eyes quickly away. “I promise to replace the band when you get back, but the cloth is basically living, which can make cutting it hard.” Pidge sighed looking slightly apologetic

“Whatever,” Keith growled, turning his back on the group for a moment arms crossed tightly. He took a deep breath before he gave a slight sigh and turned back to Pidge. “How do these stupid things work?”

“Once again it’s very simple. This tech really is amazing. You will squeeze twice on your crystal to connect with the castle, and once to connect with one another,” Pidge said, gesturing between Lance’s wrist and Keith’s throat. The crystals seemed to pulse against the paladins skin, like they knew they were being talked about or were acknowledging Pidge’s compliment.

“Why would we connect to one another?” Lance’s brows knit together, “From how this mission sounds, it’s very unlikely we will spend much time apart.”

Pidge rolled her eyes “This lets you connect telepathically. The crystals work with brain waves to talk directly into the implant and communicate messages straight into a person’s mind”

“So we can talk without actually having to speak?” Keith said slowly “That will probably come in handy,” he looked irritated at how useful the implants and crystals had suddenly become. He tried to scowl down at his necklace, but obviously couldn’t so he settled for scowling at the blue crystal on Lance’s wrist. Lance found the omega’s reaction completely adorable and felt himself blush and had to look away from Keith.

“Exactly!” Pidge said excitedly, “My goal is to have everyone outfitted with one while you both are away on your mission.”

“Great, so we will come back to everyone buzzing around in my head, not just Lance,” Keith muttered rolling his eyes.

Lance secretly squeezed his crystal and muttered in Keith’s mind, Ouch. Hurtful.

Keith’s eyes were comically wide as he locked onto Lance’s smirking face. Lances chuckle vibrated around in Keith’s head even as it echoed in his ears simultaneously. Lance in stereo. Great.

Chapter Text

“Stop it” Keith hissed, glaring straight ahead at the controls of the pod he and Lance were squished in.

“What, you don’t like my inner monologue?” Lance smirked, pressing his wrist causing both his and Keith’s crystals to pulse as they shut off.

“I hate it” Keith whipped a glare towards Lance before turning back to grimace at the autopilot taking them slowly towards the surface of the planet. I can’t even pilot the pod to distract myself.

Keith’s eye twitched as he tried to focus on anything besides Lance. The alpha floating around in his head for the last half an hour had made it impossible to process his thoughts on their current predicament. After the crystals were securely in place, they had been ushered rather quickly to the transport pod. Coran had preset the coordinates, the autopilot was engaged, and off they went. Keith was now moments away from having to play the doting “companion” to the gorgeous alpha next to him as the ground came quickly into focus.

Keith barely noticed the city coming into view through the thick teal foliage. Trees as tall as skyscrapers moved around the slowly flying pod, as thick vines spun around and dripped delicately through the thick branches and massive leaves. Like the green plant life on Earth, the plant life on Liv Esari varied in hues from pale bright teal to deep rich almost black blue green. The dusky light on Liv Esari seemed to highlight the natural beauty, the colors vivid and mesmerizing even in the minimal lighting. The world almost seemed to glow like some enchanted forest from the most magical of fairytales back on Earth.

Violet rivers cut gently through parts of the thick forests below, winding and twisting like giant gemstone colored snakes. Brightly colored flowers and smaller plants covered the forest floor, no more than vivid dots scattered about from the pod above. Lance was enchanted by the views, while Keith barely registered the sights as the pod quickly approached the almost camouflaged city. The city was built into large towers about 100 stories high made out of strange frosted glass like material that was the same teal color as most of the leaves. The towers seemed to reach for the clouds and looked almost organic, like massive quartz stones stuck among the mammoth trees. Liv Easari looked like some wild, trippy, color-blind version of Earth, not that Keith really noticed.

The omega’s thoughts were jumbled. He finally had a moment to process what he had actually signed himself up for. On Earth male omegas were so rare that sometimes they were treated as trophies or prizes to be won. This society seemed to treat not only male omegas but all omegas as objects to be owned. Keith was never one to be some alpha’s possession. He understood where that thought process came from, but he was never a typical omega and didn’t really have many omegan instincts.

Well… that was before Lance.

Keith growled at his inner omega. The omega currently trying to roll on its back and stretch to expose its neck for the alpha riding along with him. He was not some weak, wilting omega that needed an alpha, no matter how much Lance’s touch made his mind go fuzzy.

Suddenly, it hit Keith that a large part of him was nervous, and buried deeply in those nerves was a little bit of fear. The fear was old, rooted so deeply in his bones it felt like it was a part of his very soul. Keith had always worked hard to keep his status a secret. He hated the idea of being pawed at or fought over at the Garrison, and now the pod was settling silently on a planet that was full of alphas that would see him as a possession. Lance’s possession.

“Keith?” Lance’s voice sliced through the panic clawing in Keith’s chest. “You okay, buddy? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Lance’s hand reached out, but it hesitated for a split second before settling on Keith’s shoulder.

The smaller man shivered under the touch before swinging wide terrified violet eyes towards the alpha crouched next to his seat. “Don’t leave me.”

Lance’s mind spun at the vulnerability in Keith’s eyes. There were so many meanings swimming around in the three little words that Lance couldn’t even begin to process them before he instinctively was answering the omega before him. “Never,” he replied softly, his palm sliding up to cup Keith around the back of the neck, his thumb pressing once to the stone resting in the hollow of his throat. Never. Lance repeated, this time in Keith’s mind.

Lance watched wide-eyed as the omega shivered. Something inside him clicked, he was leaning forward slowly. The air was tense and thick around them as Keith’s eyelids slide halfway closed eyes blazing hot suddenly; all the terror in them had vanished. When their noses were centimeters from brushing the pod’s door suddenly whooshed open loudly making the men spring apart.

Lance banged his back and hip on his chair while Keith slammed an elbow against the control panel in front of him, both men panting and wide eyed as they gazed at one another before snapping their gaze to the open and brightly lit door.

“Better get going,” Lance mumbled, his cheeks tinged pink as he stood up quickly grabbing his and Keith’s little packs. His knuckles turned white as he gripped the bags tightly.

Not yours. Lance’s inner alpha whined at the thought as his blue eyes narrowed in on Keith’s pristine neck as the man swallowed; his little ruby red gem bobbing along with his Adam’s apple.

Nodding stiffly, Keith stood up, back rigid. He took two stilted steps towards Lance and the entrance. Heat blazed in his eyes and he fisted his hands beside Lance before muttering, “Let’s do this.” Lance couldn’t help admiring the determination in the raven-haired man’s eyes.

Keith’s heart was pounding in his chest as they stepped out into the bright light of the foreign hanger, but it wasn’t just from nerves. Inconspicuously, Keith reached up and pressed on the stone radiating warmth on his throat. He felt the disconnect between Lance and himself and relaxed minutely as they walked down the ramp into the seemingly empty hanger.

What had he meant? Not his? What wasn’t his?

Keith’s thoughts were once again swirling as he stood beside Lance, looking slightly up at the alpha’s strong jaw and lovely profile.

The small hanger was mostly a silver metal on all the walls besides the one, which they had flown through. The back wall was created out of the foggy teal glass, and somehow seemed to let in more light than there had been outside on their way to the city. The entire room was bright, but there didn’t seem to be any light source besides the glass wall behind them.

Perplexed, the two paladins looked around before shrugging at one another. They had expected someone would at least be there to greet them, but the hanger was completely empty and quiet. Lance opened his mouth to say something when suddenly the floor opened up and a platform with two figures descended slowly from the ceiling.

They were beautiful. Ethereal.

The smell of omega made the hair on the back of Keith’s neck rise. He was still a little riled from the close call with Lance in the pod. The idea of another omega getting too close to the alpha was causing his instincts to spiral.

Mine.

Sliding a half step closer to Lance, Keith bit his cheek hard enough to taste blood as he resisted the urge to touch the Cuban man next to him. He needed to get a hold of himself.

Not yours, he hissed to his omega as the two beings approached. Something tickled in the back of his mind, but he was too on edge to think about it at as the figures stopped in front of them.

“Are we interrupting something?” the female omega spoke softly. Her voice was like sugary sex, sweet and alluring at the same time. Her scent was sweet like a chocolate strawberry tart, and something in Keith riled at the knowing smile on her shapely lips. She hadn’t glanced at Lance once; her eyes trained completely on Keith.

She was mostly humanoid, there was nothing particularly different about her from a human, besides her coloring. She was just shy of six feet tall. She had soft light magenta hair that fell in a long silky smooth waterfall to the bottom of her rib cage. Large luminous blue eyes, a few shades darker than Lance’s, with a slightly vertical pupil blinked slowly at him, a small button nose and full pouty lips completed her angelic face. Her skin was the color of cotton candy, a soft baby pink, and it looked soft to the touch and perfectly unblemished, and he knew because he could see almost all of it.

Her outfit, if you could call it that, consisted of tiny patches of deep emerald material and thin delicate silver chains decorated with matching emerald colored stones. Swatches of cloth covered her lady bits and a small portion of her very ample breasts. The chains draped delicately from a loop starting on the base of her unmarked neck to drape down her breasts framing their shape.

Another set connected and looped around her waist, allowing for more chains to drift and swirl around her hips. Some of the embellished silver looped around her thighs, but for the most part, it seemed to simply drip prettily off her full swaying hips. Her tiny feet were covered in emerald green silk slippers, and her ankles and wrists sported matching delicate bracelets and anklets.

She was stunning.

Something inside of Keith froze. Lance was going to love her. Swinging wide eyes, he finally looked up at the alpha only inches from him to find that Lance’s brows were knit and focused completely on him.

“Hey.”

The exclamation hung quietly in the still air as a hot hand settled solidly on the back of his hip. The air rushed harshly out of his lungs as long fingers wrapped around his hip squeezing affectionately.

“You ok, mullet?” Lance flicked his eyes up to the man standing next to the lovely woman something Keith couldn’t quite read in his eyes, as tan fingers flexed slightly on his hip again.

“Yes.” Keith’s answer brought those stunning blue eyes back to him. Something inside the omega settled as he gazed up at the man next to him.

“Good cariño,” Lance’s eyes widened marginally at the slip before turning to the duo in front of him. “I’m Lance the Blue Paladin of Voltron, and this is my omega Keith.” Something inside both guys fluttered at the introduction, but they tried to conceal it from the pair clearly judging them.

Lance had already scoped out the male they had sent to greet them, but Keith finally zeroed in and noticed him. He was tall, taller than Lance by an inch or two probably around 6’3”. There was nothing particularly interesting about his scent, which led Keith to believe he was a beta. He had deep sapphire hair that hung past his shoulders with a slight wave, and his skin was a soft blue color. He had large dark pink eyes that perplexed Keith. He was wearing a tunic that hung to his knees in the same deep emerald silky material as the omega. Underneath he wore tight black pants and had on stiff knee high black boots. The tunic had a collar about and inch high and ¾ length sleeves. He was just as beautiful as the omega, but seemed darker complexioned than the voluptuous female next to him.

The man smiled and extended a hand towards Lance. “I’m Vaeril.” Lance extended his hand and looked perplexed as the man slid his hand to grasp Lance’s elbow and rocked their arms in a pendulous motion. “This is Nexxia, first prima omega,” the man’s voice was reverent as he bowed his head and stepped aside to display the lovely nearly naked woman.

Keith fought to keep the scowl off of his face as he eyed Lance out of the corner of his eye. He definitely was admiring the candy colored tart before him.

“Nice to meet you, Blue Paladin,” She inclined her head slightly hair shifting to reveal thin long ears that were quite different from human ones, but just as suddenly they disappeared once again into her thick luscious hair. “And I’m very pleased to meet you, Omega to the Blue Paladin. What is your name?” She stepped forward extending her hand towards Keith.

“I’m Keith,” he murmured, turning his body towards her and extending his hand. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw Lance’s gaze trained on him.

“Keith,” she sighed in that sweet high voice of hers. Somehow his name sounded sexual as it left her lips. She slid her hand up his forearm the pressure light through his jacket before gripping securely around his elbow.

Instead of swaying their arms back and forth she took a step forward, invading his personal space to press her pretty pink cheek to his now blushing pink cheek. She sighed softly taking a deep breath and pressing her cheek a bit more forcefully to his and flexing her finger in the crook of his elbow before stepping back to eye him again. She basically ignored the two men watching them as she eyed him up and down before happily saying, “We must get you changed”

“Changed?” Lance’s voice asked for Keith because Keith was still blushing and shocked at the invasion into his personal space.

“Yes,” her blue eyes flashed to the Blue paladin quickly before settling back on the smaller man in front of her. “You will look so lovely,” she cooed excitedly. Her whole body seemed to vibrate like she was repressing the urge to bounce on her little slippered toes

Apparently some signs of excitement are universal, Keith’s dry inner voice chimed in watching the beautiful woman in front of him.

“You, too, will need to change, Blue Paladin,” Vaeril’s voice startled the omegas out of their odd staring contes,t “You can’t go before the Assoluo dressed as you are”

Something clicked in Keith’s brain. They were most likely going to be separated. His body turned slowly towards Lance apprehension written clearly in the tension of his shoulders and his grimace. Lance looked concerned and focused on Keith his voice was soft, “It is just quick change. It will be fine.” Keith couldn’t help noticing the way Lance’s knuckles turned white from the grip on their bags, and the stone was pulsing erratically on his neck.

Reaching forward slowly Keith pressed his fingers to Lance’s wrist pressing the stone forcefully to between his pale pointer and Lance’s tan skin. Both stones pulsed warmly before settling against the guys’ skin.

It will be fine. Lance’s voice was soft in his mind. I’ll keep your bayard safe, but let me know if something goes wrong. I’ll find you.

The fire in Lance’s tone set Keith’s heart fluttering. “It will be fine,” Keith’s voice was echoed Lance’s earlier thought as he released the tall alpha’s wrist.

“Perfect,” Nexxia purred happily, wrapping her long fingers around Keith’s wrist. Suddenly he felt delicate because of the way her fingers overlapped around his wrist.

Are her fingers abnormally long? Lance snorted next to him at the stray thought rattled around in the omega’s head. Glaring over his shoulder at the alpha, Keith hissed, Shut up

Suddenly, Nexxia was tugging him away from Lance, towards the slightly raised platform they had ascended from the floor on. Keith was suddenly standing in the center of the platform, watching Lance from across the room as the platform began to ascend towards the ceiling. Keith anxiously watched Lance disappear as they the ceiling opened and swallowed Nexxia and himself up.

Shit.

“Your alpha is very attractive,” Nexxia giggled next to him. Her big blue eyes boring into Keith, “Makes sense I suppose because you are so pretty.”

Her fingers traced Keith’s cheek gently. He jerked away from her touch his cheeks tinged pink, “I don’t like being touched.”

She laughed a deep real laugh before smirking mischief in her eyes, “You will have to get over that, and quickly.” Her eyes traced up and down Keith’s body sighing she muttered, “I wish I wasn’t so rushed. You really would look incredible with the works. Tomorrow night,” her voice was firm and left a slightly ominous pit in Keith’s stomach as she added, “for the festivities.”

Festivities?

~~~~~~~

Mother Fucker…… Ow Ow Ow…… Maybe they won’t notice a few less omegas?...... Fucking bitches.

Keith’s pained thoughts were slightly distracting as Lance tried to listen as Vaeril described the setup of the castle. “The upper levels are for the Assoluto and his harem of omegas, the mid levels where we are now are the guest rooms and activities of the castle. Everything from important government advising, athletics, and other leisure activities happen in the mid levels of the castle. The lowest levels house the servants and things like the laundry, storage centers and the kitchen.” Lance’s mind wandered off as Vaeril began discussing the history of the castle as the floor gradually carried them up through a teal crystal tube that was lit from the outside wall.

Are you ok, Samurai?

No, Keith’s growl rattled around in Lance’s mind. His inner alpha growled back at the idea that the omega was hurting. Keith must have sensed his unease because there was a soft thought of I’m fine. Just being a baby.

What are they doing to you?

Uhhh…. the thought hung between their two minds almost like a slight vibration.

I don’t want to know or you don’t want to say?

I plead the fifth. Even Keith’s mental voice was grumpy. Lance could practically hear the mental pout. Ow! Lance’s alpha snapped slightly the tension radiating between the connection. Suddenly everything on Keith’s side went silent.

That ass. He turned off the stone

Lance reminded himself that Keith would turn on the crystal if he needed him. They had only been apart for a short while. There was no need to panic. His alpha did not agree.

“And here we are,” Vaeril said, showcasing a large intricate door made out of violet opaque crystal with intricate silver handles and designs. “This is our most luxurious guest suite. It is on the highest mid level of the castle. Your change of clothing is on the bed. Please change and I will escort you to the top floor where the throne room is located.” Vaeril gave a slight bow and opened the door his sapphire hair swinging around his shoulders.

Lance walked through the door and was blown away at the massive room. It was like standing inside an amethyst geode. It was beautiful.

The furniture was constructed from a light purple crystal, and the massive bed was covered in deep emerald colored silk covers with varying shades of green and teal pillows. A gauzy canopy draped whimsically around the delicately carved bed frame in the palest shade of blue. A sitting area had two crystal chairs with deep green cushions on a deep teal woven rug in front of a strange crystal set up that seemed to flicker almost like a fireplace. The crystals molted from pink to orange and yellow in the most mesmerizing way. One door blended almost seamlessly into the wall, and Lance assumed it lead to an attached bathroom.

Lance walked slowly toward the bed. He set his and Keith’s bag at the foot of the bed on a crystal bench that was carved into the footboard. On the deep green silk covers was an outfit that matched the one Vaeril had been wearing, but this one was completely black. The silk tunic looked so dark it gave only the slightest sheen of light, and the pants were alarmingly small, even the boots seemed on the small side. Lance carefully removed his clothing, even his boxers, and hesitantly picked up the pants.

Eyeing them skeptically he tugged. His jaw dropped as the fabric easily gave under the tension despite their thickness. They were like the stretchiest material he had ever seen. Eyes wide, he slid on the pants and sighed, “Oh yeah”

The blue paladin lunged around the large room, amazed at how easily the fabric moved with him. I now get why girls are obsessed with leggings. These fucking rock.

What rock?

Keith’s voice startled Lance, so that he fell over mid-lunge. “Bastard,” he muttered, rubbing his elbow where it had slammed into the hard crystalline floor.

I thought they had killed you, Lance teased, quickly tugging on the rest of his clothes. He was anxious to see the omega now that they were reconnected mentally.

What rock? Keith questioned irritably; Lance had a feeling he was rolling his eyes wherever he was in this massive castle.

After tugging the bottom of the dark tunic, Lance ran his fingers through his hair, straightening it by touch as he answered, These awesome stretchy pants.

Pants? Lucky Keith grumbled.

Lance scrunched his brows together, confused as he finished tugging on the boots. They seemed to mold to his feet expanding and conforming to fit him perfectly. What do you mean?

Instead of answering, Keith asked Gold or Silver?

What?

Gold or Silver? Just pick one Lance.

Gold.

His response was bewildered as he opened the door to his room. Vaeril smiled happily outside the door nodding at Lance’s new attire before turning to march swiftly down the hallway. He began quickly talking about the crystalline material the castle and buildings were made of on Liv Esari and Lance knew he would be interested, if only he could focus enough to listen.

Lance instead was straining, pressing the bond still fluttering between himself and Keith. He sensed a twinge of hostility and annoyance, and it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. You ok, bud?

Fine. The thought was laced with complete irritation.

Lance’s ears popped slightly and the Esarian version of an elevator opened up to reveal an antechamber. Large doors about 30 feet tall stood in front of him made of the same opaque purple crystal that the bedroom doors and walls were made of. The other three walls to the room and the slanted ceiling were made of the semi transparent teal glass of the outside of the castle. The floor was covered in a deep emerald runner that disappeared under the massive doors.

The floor for the elevator opened, drawing both Vaeril and Lance’s attention. Keith and Omega were the first things to register in Lance’s mind as he watched the platform ascend several bodies pressed closely together on it. “Oh,” Lance’s breath gusted out of him as he zeroed in on the loveliest omega in the bunch.

Chapter Text

Keith’s heart thundered in his ears as Lance’s eyes devoured him from his slippered feet to the top of his carefully styled head. Hunger radiated through the mental link; it was something thoughtless and primal, as deep ocean-blue eyes left scalding trails across expanses of pale flesh. Keith shivered, and for the first time, it wasn’t from the cool air that clung to his exposed flesh. Goosebumps rose up all over his body as wide blue eyes connected with his nervous violet gaze.

He likes this outfit.

I love that outfit.

Keith flushed and shivered again at the raw edge to Lance’s thought as it floated through his mind. Lance’s cheeks tinged pink, and his eyes darted quickly away. He probably hadn’t meant to let that slip through the telepathic bond tethering them together.

Finally, Keith felt like his lungs could fill completely now that Lance’s eyes weren’t fixated on him. A soft giggle snapped him out of the slight trance he had been in and reminded him just how bare he was to the world. Nexxia giggled again her arm crooking through his elbow forcing him to uncross his arms. “Good thing we chose the anarid,” her whisper was conspiratorial as she began dragging him towards Lance and the massive doors behind the blue paladin

~~~~~~~

Lance swallowed, his throat feeling like the Sahara as he gazed at the perfectly polished floor under his feet. Soft whispers and giggles filled the air as a dozen omegas began walking towards himself and Vaeril. Like a magnet, his gaze traveled up and clung to Keith as he moved towards him on silent onyx slippered steps. Lance swallowed again, watching the gold chains sway brushing across perfectly smooth pale skin.

Keith was completely shirtless, his pink nipples were pebbled in the slightly chilled air, which Lance found utterly distracting. His shoulders and slim muscled chest were looped and draped in gold chains dotted in winking onyx colored stones, the start of the chains was a loop that settled just below his collar bone highlighting their delicateness and the black and ruby choker fixed firmly across his neck. Chains looped down his shoulders and upper arms, as some crossed his chest before wrapping around his waist. Who knew Keith had such a thin waspish waist? Not Lance, that’s for sure. Lance wondered if his long fingers might be able to span the narrow expanse that the gold chains highlighted.

Wow he is tiny.

Lance was careful to shield the thought from Keith; he didn’t want to have his ass kicked in front of the foreign court. Lance let his eyes trail down to Keith’s navel it looked soft to the touch and was perfectly smooth. His belly button was even surprisingly cute.

A piercing? Yes.

Lance chuckled to himself at the silly idea. Keith would never want a belly button ring, especially not the black metal and ruby one to match his choker that Lance’s mind had provided.

His crotch was covered in the same silky black material as Lance’s tunic, and unlike the female omegas Keith had pants, well kind of. There was a slightly thicker gold chain that held up the cloth covering Keith’s dangly bits, and attached to that chain were a few thin strips of silky semi-transparent black fabric and thin gold chains that came together at Keith’s thin ankles. The gold was dotted once again with onyx gems that caught the light, and the thin strips of cloth and chain parted to reveal smooth pale legs with every step Keith took. His hips were draped similarly in chains to the female omegas, and he wore the same style silk slippers in the deep black.

Keith was stunning. He stood out easily from the pastel omegas around him, despite being the shortest by almost half a foot, because he was the only one wearing the gold chains. All the other omegas wore silver and emerald green outfits that complimented their pastel skin tones, but were bland compared to Keith in his gold and onyx outfit. The girls’ coloring ranged from soft yellow, to mellow greens and subtle blues. There were even some lilacs and pinks similar to Nexxia. Their eyes and hair colors were a bit more vibrant with candy colored hues that accented their pastel rainbow complexions.

The omegas finally reached the two men, all tittering happily as they smiled brightly at the blue paladin. The women whispered to each other and eyed Lance hungrily as Vaeril nodded his head slowly to the group. Lance followed suit nodding making the group giggle excitedly before the large doors began to open. Lance startled jumping slightly making the omegas coo and giggle once more. They all walked by him, making sure not to brush him, but all as close as they could manage. There were a lot of fluttering candy colored lashes and pouted lips, one even seemed to bite her lip while eyeing the blue paladin’s crotch suggestively. Lance’s head spun as the parade of beautiful women passed by at a dizzying speed.

~~~~~~~

Keith glared, watching all the dessert colored women eye Lance suggestively. Lance looked completely dazed and overwhelmed at the display as the women slipped through the barely opened doors one by one. Keith’s chest vibrated with a growl as the omega with vibrant grass green hair and soft blue skin bit her lip while looking at his Alpha’s crotch.

“Hush,” Nexxia’s voice whispered in his ear, “No need to stir up trouble that isn’t there.” Her soft voice broke Keith out of the red-hazed fury he found himself in.

Shaking himself hard, he thanked her softly as the last few omegas made their way past Lance.

“No problem. I’ve seen many an omega lose her composure when the harem is in full force. He only had eyes for you, don’t doubt that,” Nexxia murmured sweetly hugging his arm affectionately as she guided him towards the topic of discussion.

Lance’s eyes were blazing again as they looked at Keith. Keith eyed the deep black silk covering Lance’s body. He looked good, but black didn’t really suit the vibrant man before him.

“Blue Paladin,” Nexxia’s voice was filled with affection as she looked between Keith and Lance, “I have taken wonderful care of your…fiery omega.” She giggled more than likely thinking about when Keith had been forced to wax his legs earlier. He was still quite upset about that actually.

“Fiery”, Lance chuckled the sound vibrating and filling the space beautifully, “That suits him.” Lance’s eyes twinkled with the irony of the word the pretty omega had chosen to call the red paladin.

“I do hope you will let me borrow him tomorrow during the wake hours. I was hoping I might help him get ready for the Gran Merand tomorrow.” Her blue gaze was fixed on gaze as she did that excited vibration thing she did.

“I don’t see why not. Keith, do you want to get ready with Nexxia?” Lance’s voice was soft and a little teasing as he gazed at the red paladin. Both Nexxia and Vaeril looked a little perplexed at the interaction, most likely because of the deferral to Keith.

Nexxia swung huge deep blue puppy eyes towards him, her full cheery pink bottom lip puffed out and quivering a touch. “Ugh. Fine,” Keith sighed, shaking his head silky hair brushing nearly bare shoulders.

Nixxia let out a weird squeaky exclamation and pressed her cheek to his rubbing slightly before letting him go and happily bouncing towards the open doors. “Tomorrow,” was the last thing she said with a quick smile flashed over her shoulder before disappearing through the tall doors.

“I will give you two a moment before I announce your entrance. You will be expected to present the Assoluto with some display as an introduction. Don’t worry, we don’t expect a full consummation,” Vaeril chuckled a little like it was hilarious that they didn’t like to partake in public sexual acts. Before he turned sapphire hair flaring out slightly as he walked quickly through the parted doors.

“You okay?” Lance’s voice was slightly rough as he stepped towards Keith. His hand hung in the air between them for a moment before pressing to Keith’s cheek.

“Fine,” Keith huffed, shaking his arms out and straightening his spine a little. The omega in him was telling him to lean his cheek into Lance’s touch, but thankfully his logical human side was winning the battle.

Suddenly it clicked what Lance was, most likely subconsciously, doing. He was covering Nexxia’s strawberry scent, eradicating it and replacing it with his own. Crisp apple sweetness replaced the strawberry tart scent that had been clinging to pale skin.

“You seriously just covered her scent,” Keith’s cheeks tinged pink even as he chuckled at Lance’s confused face.

“What?” Lance asked baffled his hand falling away from the omega’s face. His palm felt cold and Keith shivered probably experiencing the same sensation.

Right as Keith was about to respond the massive doors opened fully. Revealing a magnificent throne room. The length of the room was a little shorter than half an American football field the entire ceiling was constructed of the teal translucent crystal that let in and manipulated the light cycles within the castle. The ceiling was easily 50 feet tall and the entire room felt almost like a brightly lit teal cave, but with a lot of luxury.

The center of the room had a large emerald green runner that leads to the thrones were the Assoluto and Assoluta lounged. On either side of the runner were large tables filled to the brim with delicious and colorful looking foods. People milled around in groups some eating, while others lounged on large circular couches and booths that lined the edges of the large room. The couches could easily hold a dozen people, but normally only had a couple or two seated on them. Sometimes an omega would be draped provocatively across the lap of an alpha whispering closely together, while other times couples sat chatting softly and gazing at the newcomers.

Lance and Keith began walking slowly down the long runner eyeing the brightly colored beings that looked at them with interest. There was a large variety of color variation, but all of the omegas seemed to have a more pastel coloring while the alphas had deeper jewel toned hair and eyes.

Keith noticed there was a distinct difference in the omegas. The omegas in gold were normally very close to an alpha, sometimes they were wrapped in an arm or seated on top of them, but they were never father than touching distance. The omegas in silver though seemed to flit from alpha to alpha. They weaved and mingled through the crowds, sometimes stopping to talk to one another, but never longer than a moment or two. Some of the alphas wore deep green with gold stitching and medals, and these were the men that the silver omegas seemed to be seated with most. Almost all of the omegas in gold had bonding marks on their necks, but none of the two-dozen or so omegas in silver had marks.

While Keith was categorizing the omegas, Lance was eyeing the alphas. Each one looked at Keith as they passed, some were perplexed, others interested, and some seemed almost in awe, but every single one of them had a hunger in their eyes that riled something inside of Lance. Like clockwork, though, the fire in their eyes would go out after a moment of looking over Keith’s pale skin, what was putting out the flames? Lance had no idea but he was very thankful for it.

Suddenly, they were standing before the large intricate thrones. Lance slid a warm hand on the small of Keith’s back as two sets of jewel toned eyes settled on them. The Assoluto and Assoluta were both stunning, and lounging on huge multi-toned thrones. The base of the throne was a slightly pink-toned metal, intricate swirling gold and silver designs etched into them. Diamond, emerald and onyx like gems adorned the thrones dotting and adding to the swirling patterns. The designs were almost floral looking, but moved in a way that reminded the paladins of water as well. The couple was seated on plush silky emerald colored cushions, and showed very little interest as he new couple stopped before them.

The Assoluta was petite by Esarian standards. She seemed to be about 5’8”, and she was sprawled on a lounge chaise next to the Assoluto. His throne was armless on one side allowing her the ability to set her head in his lap if she chose, but currently she had her head resting on her palm turned towards the visitors. Her hair was such a soft shade of lilac it looked almost white and hung heavily to her hips, and reminded Keith a little of Allura. Intricate braids weaved through the lovely thick curls, and green and black gems glinted in the light. Her skin was a soft blue, with the slightest tinge of green, and she had huge seafoam green eyes that were surrounded in almost invisible but long, full lashes.

Her outfit consisted of the same emerald green silk that many of the other omegas wore, but her chains were more intricate and made out of a slightly pink-toned metal that highlighted the lilac in her hair and her barely teal complexion. The chains almost seemed to caress her body, sliding off thin shoulders, wrapping around the tiniest of waists and draping around full hips, that even Barbie would envy. The chains attached to solid bands that wrapped around her neck, arms, wrists, and ankles with delicate, intricate designs and engravings. There were chains even brushing against her thin thighs and calves, which was very different from the other omegas’ bare legs.

She pushed herself up to a seated position and crossed one long leg over the other as her gaze narrowed in on Keith. “How lovely,” she murmured eying the pair before her. Her fingers sunk into the edge of the green cushion she was perched on as she leaned forward a little, clearly interested in the men before her.

The Assoluto sat on a slightly reclined throne, looking much more relaxed than any monarch the two paladins had ever seen, but there was something sharp in the focus of his eyes as he eyed the two. His hair was such a deep green it almost looked black from certain angles, and his eyes were the exact deep emerald that the omegas’ wore on their little scraps of silky cloth. The same green that seemed to decorate the entire castle actually. His complexion was a truer teal a few shades darker than the Assoluta, but still on the pastel side. He was long and lean probably around 6’6”, if the legs stretched languidly in front of him were anything to go on.

“I must agree,” The Assoluto’s deep voice rumbled slightly through the silent room, “Such a pity your omega is in anarid. He would look so much more lovely in isilid,” Something wicked flashed in the ruler’s emerald eyes as he eyed Keith, while the Assoluta rolled her eyes slightly next to him.

Seems annoyance is universal

Keith’s voice rattled around inside Lance’s head as a tan hand slid across Keith’s lower back to wrap almost possessively around a pale hip. Lance opened his mouth, about to ask what the king meant when suddenly Vaeril stepped forward and bowed his head towards the seated pair. “Your Majesties, may I present the Blue Paladin of Voltron and his omega,” there was a flourish to Vaeril’s voice as he gestured towards the pair. “Blue Paladin, I’m honored to present you to the Assoluto Onvyr and his Assoluta Zaphina.”

Ready?

Lance’s voice was soft in Keith’s mind as the alpha stepped forward bringing the omega with him. “Your Majesties,” Lance inclined his head towards the pair. The Assoluta nodded demurely back, looking mostly curious, while the Assoluto looked on silently and expectantly at the pair. Hungry eyes were ready for whatever act the pair were going to offer to honor him. Taking a deep breath, Lance curled his arm bringing Keith’s body flush against his front.

Ready.

The thought settled the nerves in the alpha as he cupped Keith’s strong jaw and leaned forward, pressing their mouths together. Hungry lips met his pressing and searching in a dance that escalated quickly. Keith’s tongue teased against Lance’s lips causing the alpha to fight back, caressing and winning the slight battle for dominance. He caressed every ridge and dip of Keith’s mouth with his tongue in a teasing dance that left the omega shivering in his arms. With one last languid caress of tongues, Lance pulled back and looked at the Assoluto over Keith’s head.

“Wonderful.” Hungry green eyes devoured Keith’s slightly trembling form as Lance tightened his arms around the omega protectively. “Am I to assume your omega is a virgin?” the king’s tone was nonchalant as he eyed the pair that had separated slightly in front of him.

The paladins now stood side by side, but Lance’s arm was still wrapped around Keith’s slim waist. The arm tightened as Lance looked gobsmacked. “Excuse me?”

“Your omega”, The Assoluto said slowly looking irritated at having to repeat himself, “he is a virgin, no? You have him in dressed in anarid, but I see no bonding mark. I must assume he is a virgin you intend to mark,”

The gold. He means the gold chains. Oh my god.

What?

Nexxia said anarid earlier, but I didn’t know what she was talking about. The omegas before. The ones in gold almost all were marked, but the ones in silver weren’t.

Wide violet eyes caught Lance’s blue gaze as Keith’s thoughts jumbled up in both of their minds.

Good thing I picked gold…

“Yes, your Majesty I intend to bond him to me,” Lance’s voice held his usual bravado as he directed his eyes back to the man still languidly sprawled on his throne. Keith was only now beginning to realize the confidence in Lance’s voice was completely faked, as the alpha’s stressed thoughts flittered so quickly through Keith’s mind he could barely process them. Keith wondered how much of the blue paladin’s behavior was just a ruse.

Hush.

The halt was almost screeching in Keith’s mind as Lance immediately calmed and centered, his eyes narrowed and focused on the royal couple, while Keith let his gaze trace the planes of Lance’s profile.

“Such a pity you don’t intend to share. I would have rather enjoyed some quality time with your little omega.” The Assoluto’s eyes left a sensation on Keith’s exposed skin; they crawled across him being sure to inspect every inch of Keith that was on display. Keith fought the urge to hide behind Lance and use his body as a physical shield from the hungry emerald gaze, but he couldn’t resist pressing a little more fully to Lance’s side.

“I’m sorry, but he’s mine.” The snap and fire in Lance’s tone did not go unnoticed as he pulled Keith in tightly. Keith’s breath puffed out slightly, but something about the tight grip around his waist made his heart flutter erratically in his chest.

The Assoluto raised an inquiring eyebrow at the pair, but the Assoluta spoke first, seeming a little exasperated at her mate, “Excuse the curiosity. There has not been a male omega on Liv Esari in nearly four centuries.”

That explains all the hungry stares.

Stares?

Lance pointedly ignored Keith’s voice in his head and held the Assoluta’s seafoam green gaze “Yes, we were told about the plague that greatly diminished the omega population on Liv Esari. It is tragic.” Lance’s voice was completely genuine as he gazed at the royal omega.

Her cheeks seemed to darken slightly looking a little more teal, her lashes fluttered in slight confusion, but her smile stayed polite, “Yes a tragedy”

“Enough,” The Assoluto’s voice was hard as his eyes flicked between the blue paladin and his omega. “That was a passable introduction display,” his lip curled a little before he pulled his legs under himself and spread his long arms wide as he stood. His booming voice bouncing off the crystalline walls surrounding them, “Now let the welcoming festivities begin!”

The room filled with all sorts of cheering, noise and motion as the two paladins made eye contact. Tense blue eyes met bewildered violet.

What have we gotten ourselves into?

Chapter Text

The crowd’s excited cheering filled the air as the lights in the room suddenly dimmed. The light filtering through the crystal walls became a soft dusk, and glowing crystals embedded in the walls began to shift from pink to orange to yellow, reminding Lance of the crystal fireplace from their room. It made the entire ceiling and surrounding walls look like they were covered in glowing embers. The entire room took on this moody magical feeling; it was like being in some strange Fae nighttime fantasy world.

Which is exactly where we are.

Lance chuckled inside his head. He was happy Keith was too distracted by the rapidly transforming room to take notice of his bizarre train of thought.

The floor began vibrating slowly under the paladins’ feet, gaining in intensity as the room morphed into something from a midsummer’s night dream.

People moved gracefully to the couches and booths in almost perfect synchronization, buzzing like bees. They all obviously knew what was happening much to the visitors’ chagrin. Suddenly something in the room shifted and the excited chatter from the court dimmed to a muted hum as the vibrating floor hit a crescendo.

Then tables filled with food began to shift, and suddenly, as one, they descended into the floor. Lance gaped at the spectacle, while Keith’s brows knit together. Large gaping holes were left in the floor where the tables once stood; the floor then separated this time joining the darkness together to form two giant chasms running along both sides of the room.

Massive tables rose up slowly to fill the voids in the floor on either side of the thick runner; they moved so smoothly that the liquid in the pitchers on the table didn’t even move. The grand tables also had intricately carved chairs with them, made out of a dark almost black wood. Each chair featured a rather large carved footstool like bench next to it, the perch would maybe come to up to midcalf on Keith.

I don’t know why these giants would need a step stool

Keith’s thought gave Lance a chuckle; he was also perplexed by the the large squares next to each seat.

The tables were covered in beautiful seafoam green tablecloths with silver embroidery similar to the abstract flowers on the thrones, had an assortment of cream and silver china that seemed to shimmer in the dim shifting light, and was dotted in emerald napkins. No utensils though.

Everything seemed to be sectioned into pairs; two seats would be close together with their matching footstools next to one another, and then there would be a significant space before the next chair seated at the table. Each pair of seats would have the full spread of delicacies to share between themselves, way too much food for two people.

What an odd way to socialize.

Right? How are you supposed to talk to everybody?

Keith rolled his eyes at Lance raising an eyebrow as if to say ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Lance just shrugged and winked at the omega still tucked against his side.

Suddenly the large doors that seperated the throne room and the foyer swung open, and a steady stream of male Esarians in emerald green tunics filed in. Each had a stack of about 6 multi jewel-toned silk pillows balanced in their hands. Like some intricate dance that only they could hear the music to, they peeled of one by one to each side and walked perfectly space down the length of the almost never ending tables. Suddenly, all of the betas stopped and walked towards the pairs arranging the pillows on each footstools. Lance noticed many of the pillows were the usual matching emerald green, but he saw some that were sapphire, amethyst, even an amber colored one. There also seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the color placement.

How odd? Everything else seems so….

Color-coordinated.

Exactly.

Something was tickling the back of Lance’s mind, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. The men in green finished up with the plush pillows and all bowed to the Assoluto in sync before exiting in the same graceful manner they had entered. Lance glanced down at Keith raising an eyebrow to ask ‘now what?’

The chattering of the court that had quieted with the little precessional quickly rose again as people stood from their seats and began milling around the room walking towards the perfectly set tables.

~~~~~~~

Keith’s jaw dropped as he watched the omegas begin perching themselves on the pillowed benches, their alphas settling into the seats next to them.

The candy-colored Esarians began sitting in assigned seats, that seemed to have no actual labels. Omegas perched prettily on benches that featured pillows that coordinate with their outfits, and each alpha sat comfortably next to them in their seat. The Omegas heads were level with the table making them look like pastel heads set periodically on the table, and the Alphas had a variety of ways they treated the pretty women. Some seemed enthralled with their omega talking to them in hushed tones. Others ignored them completely, speaking over their heads to the alpha sitting beside them, while their omegas seemed to chat happily amongst themselves. And finally some seemed to forgo all proper etiquette and had their omegas perched on their laps, suspicious hands would drift down below the table before casually venturing back up, usually caressing bond marks or shoulders.

No way. Are they?

Nexxia walked purposefully into Keith’s line of sight, full hips swaying, and a tall attractive Esarian man trailing slowly behind her. “Blue Paladin,” she began with a slight nod, her smile bright as she turned pointing to the man standing half a step behind her, “May I introduce Thalan Kelhorn Commander of the Esarian Military forces.” Pride seemed to radiate off of her as her blue eyes met his amethyst gaze. He was tall, about the same height as the king, with long deep violet hair, eyes a few shades lighter than his hair, and soft magenta skin. His coloring complemented Nexxia’s well. “And it is my honor to introduce the Blue Paladin and his chosen omega, Keith,” she giggled when she said his name like it was the most peculiar thing she had ever said.

“Blue Paladin, it is my honor,” the commander bowed his head before stepping towards Lance his hand extended.

Lance grasped the commander’s elbow and they did the strange arm swaying thing, while Lance said, “No it is my honor, and please, Commander Kelhorn, call me Lance.”

“Only if you call me Tathaln.”

Lance chuckled at the commander’s rebuttal.

They released each other’s arms and stepped towards their respective omegas, and something fluttered in Keith’s stomach at the unconscious movement. Lance’s hand settled once again on Keith’s lower back, filling the omega with a warm, pleasant tingling. Lance’s smile was bright as he turned his attention to him, “And you’ve been introduced to my omega, Keith.”

A shiver ran down the omega’s spine from the clear claim in Lance’s tone and body language. Keith nodded slightly to the Commander and stepped towards Nexxia, fighting a wide grin as she seemed to vibrate and pulled him close pressing their foreheads together. Her silky magenta hair fluttered around them as her little pink nose bumped gently against his blushing nose. A deep rumbling chuckle thundered from Thalan, “You’ve met Nexxia, and she seems to know your omega very well.” Nexxia pulled back from Keith not yet releasing his arm. Her wide blue eyes twinkled mischievously before a little pout pulled on her rosy bottom lip.

She pouted prettily at the alpha her cheeks darkening slightly as she stepped back from Keith and pink arm looping through his, “He’s a very lovely omega.” Keith felt his blush deepen at the compliment. Nexxia looked very pleased with herself.

“Yes, Milda, we can all see that,” Thalan was talking about how attractive Keith was, but his eyes never strayed from Nexxia’s delicate features. Her skin darkened again, turning a deep purple tinged pink, and now Keith was the one who looked pleased.

Warm fingers touched his bare skin sliding deliciously across his lower back before Lance pressed close to his side once more, hand settling loosely on the omega’s hip.

Is she blushing?

I think so.

Keith’s body jerked slightly against Lance’s. He had forgotten about the blue paladin’s voice in his head.

Should we turn these off?

No.

Lance’s answer was instantaneous and assertive. It surprised Keith how much he could feel through this bond he now shared with the blue paladin. Anxiety and protectiveness hummed under Keith’s skin, but he inherently knew they were Lance’s feelings, not his own.

I want to stay connected.

Okay.

Keith’s response was softer than he meant it to be. It was almost a caress through the bond, something gentle and soothing. Without realizing it, he had curled his body against Lance’s, one hand resting on the alpha’s chest, above his heart, cheek almost touching the taller man’s shoulder.

“Blue Paladin, Keith,” Nexxia’s voice cut through their silent conversation. Keith’s eyes darted from his hand to her bemused face, part of him wanted to rip it off of Lance, but that would be suspicious, instead he relaxed more fully against the alpha. The line of his body fitting perfectly along Lance’s tall frame, cheek resting on his shoulder, fingers spread wide across his chest, and hips tucked snugly under his.

Oh.

Before Keith could ask was that response was, Nexxia rolled her eyes and made a soft nose, kind of a cross between a cluck and whistle, clearly meant to admonish the omega. “Honestly,” she shook her head silky hair flying and stepped forward to grasp Keith’s wrist, “we must not be the last couples to sit.”

She tugged Keith off of Lance’s body and walked him towards the long table to the right of the room. Almost everyone in the room was seated at this point; most had their attention fully on Nexxia and Keith, a few were gazing at Lance, mostly omegas. Speaking of Lance, he made a slightly wounded noise as Nexxia pulled Keith away; Keith’s head snapped to him looking for the problem. The alpha’s eyes were hard and there was radio silence through the telepathic link.

Lance?

Blue eyes softened slightly, but Keith got no answer as the Cuban man began following along silently with Thalan. The taller Esarian man looked completely bemused by the vibrating pink omega dragging Keith along behind her as she chattered endlessly about the delicacies they were being served tonight.

Nexxia showed them to the empty seats closest to the ornate thrones. Keith had almost forgotten about the Assoluto and Assoluta, both their gazes were trained on him, one hungry, the other appraising. Nexxia waited for a moment for the two lovely alphas to catch up to them at the table. “Blue Paladin, you will be seated closest to the Assoluto. It is a position of great honor in the Esarian court, and normally is reserved for the head of the military,” Nexxia’s deep blue eyes swung to Thalan, “but he was gracious enough to offer you the position.”

Keith watched Thalan’s cheeks darken to a more purple magenta.

How cute; he’s blushing.

The thought slipped through his mind before he had a moment to catch it, and Lance noticeably stiffened eyes turning a little steely.

Keith rolled his eyes at the alpha’s cold response to a silly thought.

They are cute together. Idiot.

Turning away from Lance, Keith fought the warm fuzzy feeling in his chest. Why would Lance be so irritated about him thinking some alien was attractive? He thought aliens were hot all the time. Shaking his head slightly, he tried to appear attentive as Nexxia pointed to the most intricate chair at the far end of the table.

Nexxia’s sweet voice helped recenter the omega to the present, “The commander will be in the second most prestigious seat. Here,” she pointed to the seat next to Lance, an onyx and emerald floor pillow placed between the two. Smoothly she walked with Thalan over to his seat; he held a large magenta hand out to her, which made her blush. Her cotton candy pink cheeks looking more similar to his magenta tone.

They are cute.

Keith felt the familiar hum through the telepathic bond as Lance lead him over to their seat, one hand firmly planted on the omega’s lower back. The warmth radiating from the tan skin made the smaller man shiver, while he watched Nexxia fold her long legs under herself and perch on her emerald cushioned footstool.

Keith felt the scowl twist across his mouth.

“It’s just a few days,” Lance whispered into his ear. Something inside Keith tightened from hearing Lance’s voice outside of their telepathic link, and having him whispering in his ear warm breath puffing across his pale neck was rather...intimate.

Lance’s hand stretched out to him, blue eyes twinkling almost teasingly. Have his fingers always been that long and elegant? Keith tried to shake himself out of the weird train of thought as he set his smaller wider hand in the regal one presented to him. Gripping tightly, he slowly folded his legs and lowered himself, trying to be as graceful as Nexxia, to the incredibly comfortable and silky black pillow. “There’s a good boy,” Lance teased hand sliding across Keith’s bare shoulder as he sat himself on the actual chair he had been provided with.

Keith scowled narrowing his eyes at Lance, but something in his lower gut tightened at the alpha’s light words.

Idiot.

The insult only made Lance smirk wider, his gaze fixed on Keith.

Suddenly a smaller but more intricately engraved and decorated table rose up before the massive thrones at the head of the room diverting the two paladins’ attention. The Assoluto and Assoluta looked bored as the table settled before them, like the beautiful display of food was an average peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. The Assoluta caught Keith’s eyes before flitting over to Lance. Keith noticed the faintest of smiles and a slight crinkle to her nose as she gazed at the blue paladin; she looked almost fond. Keith’s lip curled, while the hair on the back of his neck stood up, but her eyes flitted away, almost as quickly as they had settled on the pair, locking on to her spouse. Keith tried to relax, but he was still tense and on edge.

The Assoluto stood gracefully from his intricate throne, eyes locked on Lance and Keith, they narrowed on Keith for a moment before flitting away to survey the room. He raised his arms and puffed his chest proclaiming, “May the banquet commence.” His commanding voice echoed of the crystal walls, immediately chatter erupted from the party goers, people began reaching for food and resuming their loud conversations.

“Keith!”

Nexxia’s little pink hand wrapped around his wrist right as her excited voice met his ears, turning away from the king he caught her gaze. Lance stirred behind him and he fought the urge to look over his shoulder to check on what the paladin was doing. Behind Nexxia, Thalan had picked up what looked like a perfectly circular blue bubble about the size of a ping pong ball and popped the shiny connfection into his mouth, his eyes closed for a split second while his lips turned up. He chewed for a moment and swallowed before reaching out for another treat, a piece of thinly sliced bright yellow meat.

No utensils?

What?

“Keith,” Nexxia huffed with a quick roll of her eyes and a yank to his wrist.

“I’m sorry Nexxia,” the words slipped out automatically as he met her dark blue gaze.

“I’m so excited I forgot to tell you earlier! The Royal Modiste is working on making your formal attire match your alpha’s, so tomorrow at the ball you won’t have to wear the neutral diplomatic color,” She giggled and plucked at the thin translucent black cloth on his thigh.

“Oh,” he looked down at the swirl of onyx, gold, and pale skin. He rather liked the black. “What color will they be?”

She laughed at Keith’s perplexed face as if the question had an obvious answer, “The color of his eyes of course.”

“Hmmm.” Long tanned fingers wrapped around Keith’s shoulders, making both omegas turn to look up at the eyes in question. They are a lovely shade of blue. Keith made sure to keep that thought all to himself. Lance leaned on his free hand, elbow on the table, down almost to the omegas’ level, the pedestals they sat on brought them up just shy of Lance’s shoulder when he was seated straight.

“Nexxia,” Lance’s voice was smooth as he moved his hand to caress up Keith’s shoulder and to wrap loosely around his neck. Keith breath caught. Long fingers circled more than halfway around. His wrist twisted, forcing Keith to turn his wide eyes back to Nexxia.

Keith’s wide eyes caught her interested gaze. Lance’s thumb rubbed rhythmically against the back of Keith’s neck making shivers dance up and down the pale man’s spine; Nexxia noticed, a small mischievous smile pulling across her lips.

“I think,” Lance continued his voice smooth and soft, fingers fanning down off Keith’s neck to caress a sharp collar bone, before the pointer settled in the hollow of the omega’s throat, “this color would be more fitting.” Lance flexed his pointer finger to lift the skin warmed ruby red crystal from Keith’s throat. “This is my symbol of ownership, and I’d like to see Keith dressed in this shade,” Lance’s smooth voice was doing things to Keith’s stomach. “Please,” was tacked on and Nexxia seemed to melt from whatever the blue paladin was doing.

Her eyelashes fluttered, her cheeks darkened, and her smile widened as she gazed up at him, “Of course.”

What the fuck did you do to her?

Keith felt irritation radiating off of him from not being able to see Lance’s face and only Nexxia’s reaction. What had he done smile? Smirk? Shoot a finger gun? Do that thing where his eyes get all twinkly and he brings his brows down so he looks soft and vulnerable?

Probably not the last one.

I thought you’d be more comfortable in your own color.

Lance’s answer knocked the wind out of Keith. He would actually feel more comfortable in red, not that he would have been uncomfortable in blue, it was just that the red would remind him of his armour and Red, the two things that always made him feel powerful and protected.

Thanks.

Lance’s fingers twitched and tightened against pale skin. Nexxia flagged over a servant that was lingering a few feet behind the tables by the couches and booths. “Will you send a message to the Royal Modiste?”

“Of course, First Prima,” the servant bowed his orange skin contrasting horribly with his green tunic.

He looks like an oopma loompa.

Lance’s snicker bounced around Keith’s skull, blue eyes trained on the bowing servant.

An oopma what?

Keith sensed Lance’s sigh and eye roll through their bond, he couldn’t help the smile that wormed its way onto his face at Lance’s huffy response. Lance’s fingers drifted from his collarbone to cup on pale mostly exposed shoulder.

Chilled air hit the touch-warmed skin, making the omega shiver in the alpha’s hold, while Nexxia’s fingers reached up to caress the jewel settled on Keith’s pale skin. “Tell him not to make the Blue Paladin’s omega’s outfit match, but instead this color. I’m no sure we have anything exactly like it, but I’m sure he can figure something out.” The second comment was directed mostly towards Lance.

Keith could feel the pleasure radiating off of Lance, “Wonderful.”

Lance’s hand withdrew from Keith’s skin, and Keith turned to look up at the tan man above him as he settled back into his chair. He looked perplexedly at the table in front of him, food piled high on lovely china, napkin already spread across his lap, “Thalan.”

“Yes, Lance,” The commander’s eyes darted away from Nexxia and he met Lance’s blue gaze across the omegas’ heads.

“What is the proper court etiquette to enjoy these lovely delicacies?” Lance’s stomach gave a hungry rumble belying his proper tone.

Thalan chuckled and picked up a delicate pink flower shaped pastry and popped it into his mouth he chewed and swallowed quickly, “Simple.” The smirk weaseling across his handsome face was rather becoming.

“Oh,” Lance laughed reaching for a peachy and yellow swirled square; he popped it into his mouth, chewing slowly, his features twisted into the most perplexed of expressions.

“Good?” Keith questioned watching pretty blue eyes widen.

“Oddly, yes,” Lance chuckled reaching for what appeared to be a neon green wedge of fruit with the palest of blue peel.

“Nexxia,” wide blue eyes blinked at Keith, “how do we eat?” the whispered question was soft, shared just between the two omegas. He lifted up on his knees looking up at the full table. All the way up on his knees he supposed he’d be able to reach the majority of things on the table.

“That’s easy,” She giggled turning towards the commander sitting next to her. “Thalan,” her voice was soft a caress, and he reacted immediately reaching forward towards one of the shiny blue bubbles he brought it gently to her lips. Her lips caressed his magenta fingers lingering with an intimacy that made Keith’s cheeks flame brightly.

She leaned into Thalan’s fingers as they caressed her cheek humming appreciatively for the treat, sitting back up she caught Keith’s gaze, “An omega never touches their own food, at least while at court.”

“Oh,” the exclamation puffed softly out of Keith as he turned to look at Lance. The Cuban man was wide eyed, a blue bubble half raised of his mouth. Keith felt the frown pulling on his lips, and watched as Lance’s mouth mimicked his own.

“Here,” Lance’s voice was soft, and Keith watched wide eyed as a bright blue sphere was guided closer and closer to his mouth by lovely tan fingers.

~~~~~~~

Lance’s eyes locked onto the treat hovering a centimeter from Keith’s lovely pink lips, the air seemed ripped from his lungs as Keith’s lips parted slowly. Violet eyes caught blue just before plush lips enclosed on the bright treat, brushing teasingly against tan fingertips. Lance watched Keith’s eyes widened, he knew what the smaller man was experiencing. The treat was light as air, it melted into a sweet tangy nothingness that seemed to cling; Lance knew that if he leaned down and kissed Keith he would taste the treat on his pretty lips. Not that Lance was thinking about doing that. Definitely not as he watched a pink tongue dart out and drag slowly across Keith’s full bottom lip.

“Oh,” both men’s voices were nothing but a soft whisper. Violet eyes snapped open meeting Lance’s once more, something flashed in the swirling purple depths before disappearing just as quickly.

Keith cleared his throat fidgeting on his pedestal for a moment. Lance wondered if his knees were hurting; he didn’t want the omega to be uncomfortable, not that he would ever tell the man that. Lance was careful to keep his thoughts in a tight grip; he didn't need any of his private thoughts floating through Keith’s mind at that moment

“You must try the dessel. It’s my favorite!” Nexxia’s voice made both men jolt their eyes breaking from one another to gaze at her beautiful face.

Lance coughed before asking, “And which one exactly is dessel?”

“Thalan,” Nexxia smiled brightly

Thalan chuckled and reached to a plate set directly between them. He picked up a neon green oblong shape that seemed to glow. It was flaky and seemed to be made out of multiple layers, he brought both hands to the shape and cracked the treat. He plucked out a wiggling live glow worm, dunked it into a bright orange sauce, as he pulled to worm out it went limp and turned a shimmering peachy-pink color. Smiling sweetly, he popped it into Nexxia’s mouth like it was nothing, she closed her eyes in pure bliss chewing slowly and savoring the now deceased worm.

“Absolutely blissful! You must try it!”

Oh God.

I got this.

Keith sounded completely exasperated, but Lance couldn’t be more thankful in that moment.

Thanks. I owe you.

Lance leaned forward grabbing one of the glowing cocoons. It was silky smooth in his hands, but brittle. Shaking tan fingers cracked open the softly spun container and grabbed the wiggling glowing green worm inside, “Sorry little dude.” A quick dunk in the orange sauce and the creature went limp and turned that mesmerizing pinky coral color.

Keith sat up on his knees a bit to watch the process and leaned slightly towards Lance, “Ok.” Hesitantly his jaw relaxed and hung there waiting for the worm to be popped into his mouth.

Lance swallowed, “Here you go bud.”

Dropping the worm into Keith’s mouth he watched wide galaxy eyes, while Keith chewed thoughtfully, “Quiznak.”

Keith grinned happily, so Lance asked, “Good?”

“So good. You have to try this!”

Keith’s enthusiasm was very surprising.

Hesitantly Lance went through the motions once more, the orangey pink dead worm hung limply in his hand an inch or so from his mouth. “Go on,” Keith grinned and made a slight shooing motion with his hands, goading Lance

“You better not be lying,” Lance narrowed his eyes as Keith’s rolled towards the sky.

“Just eat it,” the omega huffed arms crossed and scowl planted firmly on his lips.

Scrunching his eyes shut, Lance practically threw the worm into his mouth and began chewing aggressively. Suddenly a rich familiar taste assaulted his senses, eyes popping wide he looked at Keith and crowed, “Chocolate! It tastes almost exactly like chocolate!”

“Right?!” Keith looked ecstatic.

“We have to bring these to Hunk. He’s gonna freak!” Lance glanced over at the pile of glowing cocoons, “Although I feel kinda bad for the little guys.”

“Don’t,” Nexxia giggled as Thalan fed her another. Her lashes fluttered happily

Looks like female adoration of chocolate is universal.

Keith’s snickering voice made Lance smile. He was so close he could feel the smaller man’s body heat radiating off of his nearly naked body; Lance had to fight the urge to touch the smooth pale skin between his shoulder blades.

Nexxia’s voice broke Lance from staring at Keith’s beautiful skin, “Don’t feel bad Blue Paladin. Those little creepy crawlers turn into the most venomous insects on Liv Esaria. They are lovely, but capable of taking down a Thorgar with one little bite,” She shivered terror flashing in her large blue eyes. “They were introduced to our planet from a trade ship, and unfortunately they flourished here. We were just disposing of the young, but then we discovered how delicious they are when dunked in canna sauce. Now they are a delicacy.”

Her smile was bright as she leaned back against Thalan’s arm, her gaze flicking between Lance and Keith. She looked so relaxed and Thalan just looked beyond smitten. Something ached in Lance’s chest. It pulsed and throbbed and when he looked at Keith it felt like he had been punched in the gut,. Longing. He wanted what Thalan and Nexxia had, but he had never realized it until it was sitting right in front of him.

They were so comfortable and relaxed, like they knew the other would always be there for them. Lance wanted Keith to be that open with him.

That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

What?

Lance ignored Keith, as Nexxia piped up cheerfully, “You should try more! These are all Esarian delicacies. Only the best for our special guests.”

“We will,” Lance’s smile felt a little brittle, but he reached for a swirling peachy colored cube. “Keith,” his voice was low. Keith turned large violet eyes up to him, “Open.”

Keith blinked once then twice before his jaw dropped open. Lance fed him the little peachy cube. Lance had already tried one, it was a little sweet and a little tart, but most reminded him of vanilla cake.

Keith chewed happily, eyes still fixed on Lance. Lance reached towards the thinly sliced yellow meat; he laid it on his tongue before chewing slowly. It was salty, and reminded him of a cross between bacon and ham that seemed to melt in his mouth. “Delicious,” Lance murmured before reaching to give a piece to Keith.

“Mmmmmm, you are right,” Keith’s voice was soft and he had leaned up a bit. Brushing against Lance’s arm that was closest to him. “Definitely some of he best food we’ve had in space,” Keith’s grin was infectious, the type of grin that a little boy gave when he knew he was in trouble but was proud of the fact.

“Definitely,” Lance smirked back, feeling like they were sharing something special. “What next?”

“That one,” Keith pointed at a bright red piece of bread. At least, Lance thought it was bread. Lance snickered and picked it up, feeding a bite to Keith before taking a bite for himself. Cinnamon and an almost bacon-like flavor slid across his tongue.

Not bad.

“Let’s try the purple one next..” Keith’s voice was sweet as he pointed at a gelatin like substance.

“Fine,” Lance rolled his eyes, trying to grab the wobbling oval.

Things continued on in that fashion for awhile, Lance feeding Keith then himself before continuing on to the next delicacy. Flavours burst over the men’s tongues, some sweet, others savory, and even a few bitter or sour bites. They avoided those pretty easily after the first bites. Everything was beautiful in a delicate, whimsical way, and there were very few words shared between the two paladins. Mostly there were murmurs of contentment, scrunched noses of distaste, pointing out the next pretty item to try, and even some giggling at the other’s reactions.

It was peaceful and comfortable.

Some feeling swelled in Lance’s chest as he watched Keith’s long lashes flutter shut, while chewing one of the chocolate flavored dessel worms. Running his thumb across Keith’s full bottom lip before bringing the thumb to his own mouth to suck the leftover sauce off, Lance noticed the heat he was feeling reflected in Keith’s eyes.

Right as the tension between them seemed to become palpable, the Assoluto’s deep voice echoed through the hall, breaking the haze, “Now that everyone has eaten their fill. It is time for tonight’s entertainment.”

Chapter Text

“Shit,” Keith cursed, eyes narrowed at the ruler standing chest puffed before them.

Blue eyes blinked at Keith, still slightly hazy, but clearing quickly. Keith couldn’t help berating the Assoluto in his mind, while shielding his thoughts from Lance of course, they had been on the precipice of something. He could feel it in his bones, but that all vanished with one booming proclamation.

He couldn’t have waited a little while longer?

That thought accidentally slid through Keith’s defenses. Lance’s brow crumpled in concern, “Are you still hungry?” A hand hovered by Keith’s shoulder before moving towards the table, “Want some more?”

More the word echoed through Keith’s mind. He wanted more, but not of the food. Not that he could tell Lance that.

“No, I’ll be fine,” Keith tried to keep the grumpiness out of his voice; he failed.

Lance still looked worried as he gazed down at Keith, but before he could say something, Nexxia’s voice broke through their conversation, “Up, up, up.” Her infectious grin was beautiful and her curvy body vibrated excitedly next to a bemused Thalan. “Goodness you are so slow,” she huffed, one little slippered foot beating against the ground in a quick light tempo. “You are going to be sucked down with the tables if you don’t get up,” her giggle was sweet despite the clear impatience written all over her.

Lance stood up gracefully from his chair grabbing a blue bubble he popped it into his mouth happily before grabbing another one. He extended his free hand to Keith; slowly Keith stood expecting kinks or numbness, but surprisingly there was nothing like that. Lance stood in front of him a few inches separating their bodies, “One for the road.” Blue eyes were fixed on Keith’s mouth as he ate the blue spherical treat, tan fingers brushing his lips in a whisper of a touch before disappearing.

Lance is just so...caring.

Keith felt that warmth from earlier, when Lance was sweetly feeding him, spread through his body. All things considered it wasn’t too bad having to be fed by him; Lance always took such good care of him, even though he could be a real dick when he tried. Despite the initial rivalry, Lance had really accepted Keith as an equal, and at times even as his superior, which still surprised the omega sometimes. When Keith was the pilot of the Black Lion and the leader of Voltron, Lance treated him as a proper leader. Sometimes Lance would question him, but only to improve on the plan or mission, never in a way that was meant to undermine the omega’s status as leader. Keith had been nervous when Black had chosen him, what if the other paladins found him unsuitable, but thankfully no one ever looked down on him for his status. His status had always created a bit of a barrier for him at the Garrison, but never with the Voltron team.

Things on Earth were nothing like Liv Esari, but there were still plenty of alphas that thought an omega’s place was in the home rearing children and doing nothing more. Keith had never fit that mold, partially because he was a male omega, and partially because he was just Keith, so when he found out the loud alpha was going to be a part of Voltron as well, he was nervous to say the least.

At first the rivalry seemed like an alpha trying to put an omega in his place, which ruffled Keith’s feathers, but eventually Keith realized that Lance’s attitude had nothing to do with Keith’s status, he just wanted to prove he was as good as Keith. He wanted to be Keith’s equal, and after that Keith made sure Lance realized he was just as crucial to Voltron as any other paladin. It was debatable that he might have been the most important member, he was this caring wonderful energy that bound the team together and turned them into a family. Without Lance, the paladins and alteans would just be a hodge-podge mess.

After Lance’s importance to the team had been affirmed, the rivalry practically disappeared overnight. They still goaded one another and fought, but now there was a playful edge that always made Keith feel happier after a tiff than before. This tentative friendship blossomed over time, and Keith for one thrived on it.

“Come on you two,” Nexxia giggled, giving a slight tug to Keith’s wrist.

Keith blinked at Lance, who was still standing close enough to share body heat. He stumbled a step back, putting distance between him and the other paladin. Nexxia situated him a few feet back from the table, but several feet away from the large curved booth behind them. “What are we doing?” Keith’s voice was a little rougher than he meant it to be making Nexxia raise a magenta eyebrow at him.

“Hush. Just wait,” Nexxia’s voice was soft. Lance came to stand next to Keith, barely glancing at him. Elegant hands smoothed over his onyx tunic, drawing Keith’s attention away from the room, a soft buzzing filled the air, but he was focused on the long elegant fingers moving slowly down the silky fabric.

The tables slowly sank, disappearing once again into the floor, the floor sealing up seamlessly behind them. Then a rumbling could be heard behind them; both men turned to see the circular couch like booths sliding towards them. Lance and Keith both took a large step back as the booth stilled a few inches away from where Nexxia and Thalan stood. Nexxia plopped down happily crossing one long pink leg over the other, chains tinkling softly.

“Get comfy,” her smile was bright as one petite pink hand patted the cushion next to her. The booths were made out of a buttery looking navy blue fabric, that honestly was very inviting.

Keith stepped forward settling onto the oversized cushion next to Nexxia, while Thalan sat closely on her other side wrapping an arm around her waist. “So what exactly is the entertainment for tonight?” Keith’s voice was a little tight. Worry vibrated under his skin, but it settled a little when Lance sat down next to him, shoulders brushing slightly before he shifted away giving Keith space.

“You are in for a treat,” Nexxia grinned brightly. “I shouldn’t tell you it will ruin the surprise, but…” her eyes were wide and excited as she leaned into Keith’s space to whisper in his ear, “we are going to get to see a bonding ceremony.”

The lights flickered out all at once plunging the room into shadowy darkness; Keith’s breath stuck in his chest. “What is it?” Lance’s voice was soft in his ear, worry lines creased and visible even in the darkness.

Keith gaped for a minute looking for the words, his thoughts jumbled in his head. Suddenly a spotlight shown down on the Assoluto just as a stage began swirling in eerie silence out of the floor just in front of the thrones and their booth. “Friends and honored guests,” the monarch’s voice echoed through the hall. He turned and inclined his head towards Lance, who reciprocated stiffly unsure if he could even be seen in the darkness. “Tonight we are pleased to announce that tonight there will be a bonding ceremony. Eleventh Prima Omega, Saida Elris, and General Haldir Carvyre have agreed to grace the court with this lovely delight.”

Suddenly two figures emerged from the floor of the stage, one was tall and broad shouldered and the other was thin and softly curved. The male Esarian smiled and walked purposefully towards the omega; she seemed a little hesitant, hands fisting at her sides, silver chains swayed as her thin body shook slightly. He wore a green tunic, that matched her green and silver outfit, but Keith noticed the medals decorating the left side of his chest, large green hands reached out and slid slowly down her pale blue arms. She looked up, her lilac hair swaying as a small smile pulled on her lips. Keith couldn’t tell the color of their eyes from this far, but his deep blue hair was beautiful in the bright stage lighting.

They both turned towards the thrones and nodded slightly to the regal monarchs, “Assoluto and Assoluta, we are blessed to be able to honor you and share this significant moment with the court and our esteemed guests.” His voice was deep, but much smoother than the Assoluto’s; it didn’t put a pit in Keith’s stomach or make Lance go ridged.

“They are going to? In front of everyone?” Lance’s voice was a soft whisper, but conveyed the horror that was also currently bouncing around in Keith’s mind.

The most sacred and beautiful acts turned into a spectacle.

Keith could feel the nausea bubbling under Lance’s skin, and this horrible type of despair that felt like it was gnawing at his soul.

“Lance,” Keith’s whisper was nearly silent as he ignored the blessing or whatever ceremony the Assoluto was proclaiming over the couple. A hesitant pale hand settled on Lance’s bicep, “You won’t ever have to do that. I promise.” Keith’s voice was soft, but the conviction was strong behind them.

Keith knew it wasn’t completely safe for him to be saying those words out loud, but he knew that Lance needed to hear them, and not just in his mind. Tense shoulders settled a little bit as Lance’s head nodded once, before glancing up at the couple on stage.

Obviously, Lance saw bonding as something truly special, and Keith was so angry that this experience might be tainting that for him in someway. Keith wasn’t one of those people who romanticized bonding. He knew the basic steps to bonding, but it always struck him as something primal and unromantic. He knew there was a possibility that someday he might find someone he would want to spend the rest of his life with, but he had always been skeptical to say the least. Keith was used to being alone. He was good at it.

Lance on the other hand, of course, had dreamed about the perfect bonding to the perfect person. He thrived off other people’s energy; there was no way the man hadn’t thought about finding someone to spend the rest of his life with. Keith’s heart beat a little faster as he smiled to himself. Lance really was such a romantic, despite all the pretending to be a playboy.

The nausea in the bond eased a little bit, but wide blue eyes still bore into Keith’s soul.

We have to watch.

Yeah.

~~~~~~~

“This is so exciting,” Nexxia twittered next to Keith, “We haven’t had a bonding ceremony in months. It’s always so beautiful.” Her cooing slightly grated on Lance’s nerves. How could this be beautiful? When they were consummating their bond in front of over a hundred people? The nausea was starting to roll around once again in the pit of Lance’s stomach, the gem on his wrist throbbed slightly, and Keith placed a hand on his knee helping to ground him.

“She looks a little nervous,” Keith muttered, brows drawn as he studied the girl on stage. Suddenly the Assoluto made a flourish with his hands and a small table rose up in front of the couple along with a platform covered in plush silky fabrics, emerald green, a deep blue purple, and a pretty purple.

“The royal and their family colors,” Nexxia filled in quickly gesturing towards the pallet, before turning to Keith, “Some girls are nervous, others are so excited they seem like they will bounce out of their skin.” Thalan’s eyes mischievously glanced over at her making her elbow him lightly, “Hush you.”

“I didn’t say a thing,” he teased, his handsome face splitting into a large grin.

She rolled her eyes and dodged him as he tried to nuzzle her neck. Lance couldn’t help but smile at the exchange; they reminded him a little of canoodling teenagers. “Oh nervousness,” she shook her head a little before continuing, “The Eros tonic will take care of that.”

Looking up at the stage she gestured to the table, the only thing sitting on the ornate silver table was a small pink vial. “What does it do?” Lance couldn’t help asking as the General picked up the vile and twisted off the cap. There was only a tablespoon or two of bright pink liquid inside and the Prima Omega took it happily, head cradled in her lover’s hand, while he tipped the vial into her mouth.

“It induces a sort of hyper heat. It’s originally a slower acting tea, but the tonic is a highly concentrated version that acts very quickly,” Nexxia explained happily. The omega’s body language was quickly changing before their eyes, tension was melting away, fisted hands relaxed, and she was pressing closer and closer to her intended.

“So you have to bond to end the heat?” Keith’s horror was obvious.

Nexxia turned looking completely alarmed, “Of course not!”

“Oh,” Keith looked a little comforted at the woman’s apparent disgust at the idea of forced bonding.

“Imagine the 3 or 4 cycles of your heat pressed together into half a cycle?” Keith cringed, looking thoroughly uncomfortable with the idea. “Exactly,” she laughed, “Bearable, but just barely. You have to have a partner to ride it out with, there’s no way someone could maintain her sanity in a hyper-heat alone. A bonding, like in any heat, cuts it short, but it will still simmer under her skin after the bonding is finished. It ensures a few post bonding hours of fun,.” Her giggle would have been sweet in other circumstances, but both men were still a little horrified as they watched the woman on stage clawing at her partner’s clothing.

“Fuck.” Keith’s eyes were the size of saucers. He swallowed and his fingers, still wrapped around Lance’s knee, squeezed hard.

Lance hushed him slightly, hand sliding down his pale, bare back. Lance noticed the tense muscles relax under his gentle touch. His inner alpha preened, pumping out a pleasant scent to further relax the omega.

Keith narrowed his eyes at Lance, “Stop that.” The hiss was half-hearted, but quickly gutted the alpha. “It’s making my head fuzzy,” the omega muttered still completely relaxed; Lance felt better but made sure to reign in his scent, so he didn’t further distract the omega.

On stage, small, pale blue hands caressed down the General’s wide chest, tunic bunching occasionally under her hands. He seemed to be cooing to her, nuzzling under her ear, hands smoothing down her back soothingly.

She must be burning.

Lance had almost forgotten about the telepathic link, Keith’s thoughts rattling him to his core. He felt a memory of fire under his skin, licking up around his ribs but radiating from his gut.

“Oh,” the exclamation was soft, his hand freezing against Keith’s pale skin.

That’s what it feels like? It’s so…

Consuming, Keith finished, his lips pressing together into a slight grimace.

Lance finally glanced back up to the stage to see the General standing shirtless, his leggings hiding nothing from the crowd. He was caressing the Prima Omega’s neck before venturing down to begin unclasping her top; slowly, her chest was bared to the room. Lance shifted uncomfortably, glancing down at Keith, and noticed his eyes were slightly averted as well.

Nexxia giggled next to them; he looked up to see her gazing at their blushing faces. Thalan immediately chastised her. He whispered softly in her ear, brows bunched, frown firmly on his face. Nexxia’s eyes widened slightly, her face was as serious as Lance had seen it and she nodded once. Locking eyes with Thalan, she nodded again before leaning into Keith’s personal space, “I’m sorry. I did not consider how overwhelming this could be for the both of you. I’ve been in the royal court for a very long time, and I often forget that visitors do not share our same practices. Saida loves Haldir, and has for over two holos. These people are not randomly selected to bond; they chose to bond because they want to spend their lives together.”

Nexxia’s serious face seemed out of place on her delicate features as she focused on Keith, a large breath gusted out of him and he relaxed slightly into Lance. “Oh,” the exclamation was soft, but Lance realized that Keith had thought the omega had no choice. He hadn't even thought of that situation, could he be a more oblivious alpha?

Glancing up at the stage, alpha and omega were now completely naked, pressed together in a deep kiss. The General’s large hands cradled Saida’s face, a gentle thumb brushing reverently over her cheekbone; he pulled away and gazed deeply into her eyes like they were completely alone and not being watched by a hundred or so sets of eyes.

She ran her hands up his chest and neck before burying her fingers in his deep blue hair trying to pull him back in for another kiss. His body shook with a pleasing laugh that met Lance’s ears, making him tense slightly. He had forgotten that they were close enough to actually hear the couple.

Pale blue lips pouted prettily, but large green hands picked her up making her gasp as she was carried to platform covered in colorful silky fabric. As he gently placed her down, she stretched arching her back completely naked and on full display. Lance blushed slightly as she spread her legs, beckoning her partner. Keith’s face turned slightly into Lance’s shoulder shying away from the display; instinctually, Lance’s hand dropped down to his waist, pulling the smaller man close and into his chest, shielding him slightly.

“Thanks,” the whisper was soft, gusting across his neck, making the alpha shiver

“Anytime,” Lance whispered back, trying to ignore the tickle of Keith’s hair against his skin.

On stage, the General bowed towards the Assoluto and Assoluta before wrapping his large hands around Saida’s thighs. Her eyes widened as he tugged her to the edge of the platform before dropping to his knees, his mouth pressed to the inside of her thighs gently before he pressed her legs down pinning her to the platform. She was spread and open to the royalty before her, and Keith and Lance had the second best seats for the show. The Prima Omega’s soft moans were echoing around the quiet room, her lover teasing her with his lips caressing only her inner thighs.

Soft whispered pleas barely reached Lance’s ears as he watched pale blue hips try valiantly to raise up off the platform. In the shadowed darkness, surrounding the stage movement could be seen, whispers of voices and soft sounds of pleasure simmered through the room, but the couple on stage seemed completely oblivious and completely enthralled in one another. Haldir’s mouth finally touched Saida’s core, and her back arched high off the platform, her moan was loud enough to echo through the room.

Lance froze and watched wide eyed as pleasure twisted across the pretty omega’s face, her whole body trembled as her partner teased and manipulated her pleasure. Suddenly something broke and she moaned again loudly, body spasming against the platform, her hands clawing at the head buried between her thighs, and hips surging forward into his pinning hands. He worked her through the orgasm before ripping another one quickly from her body directly after the first. Pulling away from her flushed trembling body the bright lights highlighted his slick mouth before he pressed kisses to her stomach working his way slowly up her body until he reached her lips.

Lance swallowed and fought against the tightening in his pants.

Shit!

What?

Keith’s head lifted up to meet Lance’s gaze. His cheeks were flushed and his lips swollen with little teeth marks still visible from where he had been biting his lip.

Quiznak.

Keith’s brow crumpled, “Lance?”

Lance swallowed, watching his pretty features and trying to reign in his body, but suddenly the thought of Keith under him with his flushed cheeks and bitten lips flashed through Lance’s mind. Lance tried to lock it away, but Keith’s eyes widened dramatically in the shadowy darkness.

Shit.

Lance’s heart beat hard against his ribs. His pants were still uncomfortably tight and the moaning from stage wasn’t helping that not so little problem.

“Lance,” Keith’s voice was soft and he pressed a pale hand directly over Lance’s pounding heart. “It’s ok,” violet eyes trapped him there and held him prisoner as they searched into the depths of his soul. Fingers clenched in his black tunic, “It’s ok,” Keith’s voice was stronger this time. He let his hand caress down Lance’s chest before he pressed himself close again, tucking his head against Lance’s chest where his heart was still jumping around.

Lance took a deep breath and bit hard on the inside of his cheek. Looking up at the stage once more, he turned back just in time to see Haldir lining his cock up and sinking slowly and deeply into Saida’s pliant body. Her legs snapped together around his hips when he settled inside her holding him close and tight as she arched her back and moaned displaying her neck.

He’s not biting her?

He has to be knotted or it will hurt her.

Oh.

Lance couldn’t help the chuckle that rumbled out of his chest. Keith sat up rather abruptly and glared slightly at him, “I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.”

“No one ever told me,” Keith mumbled pulling away from Lance and glaring at his hands knotted in his lap.

Lance ignored the moaning and motion from the stage, he also ignored the fact that Nexxia had her legs draped in Thalan’s lap and was whispering in his ear, and turned his body towards Keith, “Told you what?”

“About bonding,” Keith mumbled, “I mean at least none of the details.”

“Oh,” Lance’s voice cracked a little.

The thought of no one sitting Keith down and explaining to him the intricacies of bonding upset him deeply, honestly it rattled him to the core. What if Keith had decided to bond with an alpha who was also uniformed? The thought sat like a stone in Lance’s stomach, but he couldn’t tell if it was because of the thought of Keith bonding to an alpha or possibly getting hurt during his bonding. Lance swallowed throat feeling a little tight, “Do you want me to tell you about it?” His voice was petal soft and hesitant, but Lance couldn’t find himself to add any strength to it as he avoided Keith’s violet gaze.

“O-ok.” Keith’s hesitance was also palpable, but curiosity and a hunger blazed through their telepathic link.

Lance nodded and wrapped his arm around Keith’s back once more. Keith leaned into him and for the first time all night turned his full attention to the stage. Lance reminded himself that this was supposed to be educational, but Keith’s warm body pressed closely against his side making it difficult to think straight.

Haldir’s back had a sheen of sweat as his hips pounded into Sadia; she moaned and clawed at him, clinging as tightly as she could with her pale blue legs. Her hips rocked up trying to drive him deeper into her body, while she moaned his name, her head thrown back lilac hair spilling all over the gem colored fabrics. “If he bit her now she would feel the full intensity of the bite,” Lance explained his eyes drifting away from the scene to look at Keith’s profile in the shadows. “When an alpha knots an omega and begins to cum inside of them, they release a hormone that temporarily tricks pain receptors. The hormone allows the alpha to bite and fully mark their omega without any severe pain.”

Keith nodded, brows drawn as he watched the show in front of him. His thighs shifted once brushing firmly against Lance’s and causing electricity to dance up and down the alpha’s spine before settling low in his gut. Lance’s erection gave a painful throb to remind him that it was still very aware of the close proximity to the pretty omega that invaded his every thought.

Glancing back to the stage he noticed the General’s hips catching slightly and let out a soft breath. “What?” Keith’s hazy eyes turned to him, while his perfect white teeth caught his full bottom lip.

Lance’s brain short circuited for a moment. Lust blazed hot through his body, and he was amazed to feel it radiating through the telepathic bond, but not from his own mind. Hunger was clawing at Keith the same way it was Lance, and that settled something in the alpha. Pulling the omega closer to his body, he relished the slight exhale Keith gave before whispering, “He’s about to knot her.”

Fire licked up Lance’s spine as he watched Keith’s wide eyes turn to the display in front of them. Lance watched the smaller man’s adam’s apple bob under pale skin, barely resisting the urge to kiss it. Fighting against the heat swirling between them, he turned to the display and watched as Haldir’s hips caught once more before he surged forward to knot Saida, who was crying out beneath him, pleading to be bonded and telling him how much she loved him.

Despite the hundred or so people around them, Lance felt like he was peeking into their bedroom. It was a little unsettling.

I could never do this in front of others. It is just too...

Keith’s thought floated through Lance’s mind; there was still hunger in the bond, but also hesitancy like Keith was afraid of Lance’s opinion on his thought.

Intimate.

Lance’s reply came at the same moment that Haldir’s teeth sank into Saida’s pale blue neck, gunmetal colored blood spilt across her pale skin and marred his green lips. Lance felt his jaw go slack; Saida’s body was vibrating as she moaned her lover’s name before going completely limp. Haldir cupped her face, his hips still rocking the knot tying them together, his metallic stained lips pressed against her neck, slowing the bleeding, and her hands weakly pet his long navy hair away from his face. Her smile was completely blissful, the hall had gone quiet during the climax of the show.

Keith turned away from the couple and pressed his face into Lance’s shoulder. He could feel the heat radiating through his shirt from Keith’s blushing cheeks. Lance hesitantly pet Keith’s hair and down his back, trying to ease some of the tension in the smaller man. The telepathic link was a tug of war of emotions, some hungry, others disgusted. There was yearning for something but a hesitancy to express what and this torrential storm of uncomfortableness that seemed to almost consume the other feelings. No actual coherent thoughts were making their way through to Lance though; Keith must have been hiding them away.

Lance tried to put space in the bond, but his own jumbled emotions were making it difficult.

Should I turn this off?

No.

The reply was strong, startling Lance. Keith was such a private person, so getting any insight into the waring emotions beneath his stoic surface was very touching. Keith lifted his head and made eye contact with Lance. Ba bump, ba bump, Lance’s heart echoed in his ears.

Keith’s wide violet eyes were completely open to him, this was by far the most vulnerable the omega had ever been with him. Lance’s arms tightened fractionally around the smaller man, never breaking his gaze. Both men didn’t like watching what they considered to be such a private moment, but it was obvious that the show was titillating to say the least. Hunger and heat hummed between them, Keith’s hand on Lance’s chest felt like fire burning through the silky material of his tunic. Electricity buzzed down Lance’s spine; he could feel the warmth of Keith’s body pressed against him, and it stirred the hunger boiling over in the pit of his gut.

Throwing caution to the wind, he dipped his head down, slowly pressing his lips to Keith’s bite swollen ones. The kiss had hardly any pressure; it was more of a brush of skin than anything else, but it made Lance’s entire body tingle.

~~~~~~~

Keith felt like the wind had been knocked out of him.

His head spun; he couldn’t seem to take a deep enough breath and his eyes were stinging in a very suspicious way. He looked up into Lance’s wide blue eyes, the slight tingle in his lips was the only remnant of the light kiss.

What was that for?

“Just felt right,” Lance’s voice was soft, long fingers brushed a lock of hair off Keith’s cheek.

Keith nodded head still spinning with mixed emotions. The kiss did feel right, but what exactly did that mean?

Turning back to the stage, Keith saw the general untangling his body from his now bonded omega; his smile mischievous as he pulled away from her lax body. Her limbs were sprawled across the platform, loose and content, but slowly she rearranged her body and sat up, ignoring the offered hand to her. Lilac hair swirled around her falling in mussed up waves as she crossed her long legs while sitting on the edge of the platform.

Haldir cradled her face looking down at her from his standing position; he whispered to her, speaking too quietly for anyone to hear before leaning down and pressing a chaste kiss to her lips with his blood-smeared mouth. The stage opened up once more and a slightly larger table rose up, it was covered in gold and deep blue-purple fabric. Haldir walked to the table and picked up a long floor length robe made out of the silky deep violet fabric; he efficiently put on the robe tying it tightly around his waist before picking up the gold and matching purple silk outfit. Walking over to the platform he kneeled, presenting the outfit to Saida.

Saida’s small blue hand caressed his cheek before setting her hand on the outfit. She held it there for a moment before removing her hand and standing from the platform. Haldir set the outfit on the platform, but remained kneeling. He removed what appeared to be the bottoms of the standard silk and metal omega outfit. Saida stepped carefully into the bottoms, and Haldir arranged them on her hips, kissing below her belly button, before sliding his hands slowly down the outside of her legs. Bending slightly he began clasping the bands around her ankles, the chains and gems catching the light beautifully. There was something bewitching about the almost reverent way Haldir was dressing Saida.

“What’s he doing?” Lance’s voice was perplexed and startled Keith to say the least.

“He’s dressing her,” Keith couldn't help the exasperation out of his voice.

“I can see that,” Lance glared slightly down at him, “but why?”

“He’s dressing her in his colors,” Nexxia’s voice was soaked with longing. “He’s taking her as his own. Now that she wears his colors he will provide and care for her and the children she will bear for him. This ritual is his way of thanking her for spending the rest of her life with him.”

The paladins had almost completely forgotten about the other couple, and turning they saw that Thalan had his arms wrapped around Nexxia, his gaze adoring. Nexxia looked wistfully at the stage before turning her gaze back to Thalan. “Soon,” his deep voice held so much promise.

“Yes, soon,” her voice was so soft, but held so much longing. She lifted her chin and kissed him softly.

“Quiznak,” Lance’s whisper jolted Keith away from the couple in front of him, Lance looked completely perplexed, eyes squinting, head tilted.

“What?” Keith tried to keep his voice down not wanting to alert the couple next to them about Lance’s apparent realization.

“We can talk about it later,” Lance’s response came quickly, but Keith could still see the gears turning and whirling in the alpha’s mind.

Shaking his head slightly, Keith followed Lance’s wide blue gaze, up on stage Saida was completely dressed in her husband’s colors and he was sweetly kissing her lips. Her hands smoothed lovingly over his robe as he pulled away, and her smile held nothing but complete adoration.

“They look so…” Lance’s voice held so much longing it made Keith’s head spin.

“Happy,” blue eyes connected with violet, and the world seemed to stop.

“Yeah, happy.”

The couple turned to the royalty hands clasped tightly between them and bowed lowly from the waist. The Assoluto stood up, while the lights began raising around the room revealing couples in different states all over the plush couches. Some were a tangle of limbs, other’s sat primly next to one another, a few were completely naked or even caught in passionate embraces. Lance felt his cheeks flush as he watched one naked omega tilt her head back to bare her neck to her alpha, and quickly averted his eyes back to the Assoluto and stage.

The Pirma Omega had pressed close to her alpha’s side, her grin was huge and exceptionally beautiful. The general’s smile was more subdued, but quirked in the corner to show genuine joy. The Assoluto’s deep voice thundered over the couple, “Together, bound to one another for the rest of your lives, I bless this bonding of two individuals into one. May your bond be filled with joy, love and happiness in this life and all others.”

The couple happily bowed at the waist once more before coming together in a kiss. Pressed close, their bodies descended once again into the floor of the stage, followed closely by the stage itself until the floor was seamless and flat once more.

“Ahh wasn’t that lovely?” Nexxia’s delighted voice sing-songed next to the paladins.

“It was…” Lance started clearly searching for the correct word.

“Interesting,” Keith finished, slightly afraid of what the alpha might have come up with. The alpha’s emotions were a turbulent mess; some positive, others negative. Keith couldn’t seem to orient where the emotions were directed: some seemed to vibe towards him, while others seemed directed towards the alpha himself or the court as a whole.

Taking a deep breath Keith tried to calm the storm in the telepathic bond, both his own storm of emotions as well as Lance’s. Gradually the calm seemed to spread and settle through the alpha, but Keith wasn’t able to tweeze apart many of the feelings even as they calmed. He found it quite irritating that he couldn’t pinpoint and assign the alpha’s emotions. There had been a heat and hunger that the omega had found himself particularly interested in, but that seemed to be the first thing locked away behind a wall in the alpha’s mind.

Keith tried to keep his irritation at bay; Lance was allowed to keep his feelings private, even if the omega wanted to know everything he was feeling. He felt the alpha’s wall breaking down slowly, and now he was calm and centered the feelings were mostly just simple curiosity. “What happens now?” Lance’s voice startled the omega slightly, his focus had been solely on exploring the other paladin’s inner feelings.

“Well we are free to enjoy the court,” Nexxia’s voice held a surprising amount of promise as she eyed the paladins.

“What do you mean?” Keith’s brow was creased and he noticed Lance looked just as confused as he felt.

Nexxia giggled sweetly, “Most of the harem will begin mingling, or alpha’s with their own omegas will start being intimate. Things can get a little wild sometimes.” She gazed at Thalan with this knowing look that spoke volumes; apparently the lovely couple had had their fair share of wild times.

“Oh,” Keith felt mild panic building in his chest. He wasn’t ready for anymore live sex shows.

Suddenly Lance unhinged his jaw and let out the loudest of yawns, long tan fingers immediately raising to cover his gaping mouth. “I’m sorry. I think all the travel and festivities of the day just caught up with me. I’m exhausted,” Lance looked sheepishly at Nexxia through his long lashes. For the first time in a long time, he actually looked his age. There was no underlying tension or stress making the alpha look older; it made Keith’s heart race.

“Oh you two must be so tired,” Nexxia switched from mischievous vixen to concerned mother hen so quickly it made the Red Paladin’s head spin. “Let me get Vaeril to escort you back to your rooms.”

Good thinking.

Thanks. I try.

Lance sounded smug through the link, making Keith smirk, even as Lance kept up the sleepy Blue Paladin act.

Her pretty pink hand flew up into the air with a flourish and suddenly a beautiful bright yellow-skinned Esarian man in emerald green appeared. “Will you please let Vaeril know our guests are ready to retire for the night?”

“Of course, First Prima Omega,” The man bowed and quickly disappeared.

“It should only be a few moments, and then you will be able to retire comfortably to your rooms,” her smile was endearing and sweet, reminding Keith once again of a mother taking care of children, although Nexxia was at most a year or two older than himself. Suddenly her entire face lit up, “I almost forgot! May I come to receive Keith after first meal? I still would love to take him to the harem to prepare for tomorrow night’s festivities.”

Her grin was infectious, and Keith found himself grinning back happily at the idea of spending the day with her. “Keith, does that work for you?” Lance’s voice was smooth and sent a shiver down his spine.

“Yes of course. Sounds great,” Keith noticed Lance’s clear deferral to him once again an appreciated it so much. In his own way, he was making sure Keith could have as much autonomy as possible in this insanely restrictive situation.

There was a flurry of sapphire hair and pale blue skin as Vaeril appeared, “First Prima Omega, Commander Kelhorn, Blue Paladin and Honored Omega,” he bowed deeply his long hair almost brushing the floor, “I have come to escort the Blue Paladin and his omega back to their suite for the night.”

“Ah. thank you Vaeril. Sleep well, and I will see you tomorrow Keith,” Nexxia’s voice was soft and kind her fingers squeezing Keith’s wrist quickly as he stood up from the plush booth with Lance.

“Thank you. I’ll see you tomorrow, Nexxia,” Keith’s voice was surprisingly gentle; this woman had truly endeared herself to him.

“Lance, we should spend some time together tomorrow, while the omegas do whatever it is they do to stay so lovely for us, unworthy alphas,” Thalan’s voice was full of mirth as Nexxia elbowed him aggressively in the ribs.

“Sounds like a plan. I’ll see you tomorrow, Thalan,” Lance chuckled wrapping his arm around Keith’s waist. He felt hungry eyes gazing at them as they stood up preparing to follow Vaeril out of the room.

Walking slowly down the dark green runner in the center of the room, Keith noticed couples with significantly less clothing on and in increasingly compromising positions. He was thankful for the tan arm fixed snuggly around his waist, it kept most of the scorching stares away from him. Although the omegas surrounding the leaving pair had no qualms about devouring Lance with their hungry eyes, much to Keith’s irritation. Finally the large doors opened and the pair stepped through, a loud moan echoed through the doors as the closed behind them.

“We made it out just in time,” Lance chuckled warmly in Keith’s ear.

The omega’s gut twisted deliciously as the taller man’s breath fanned over his bare skin; he wasn’t so sure that he was completely in the clear yet.

Chapter Text

The lock clicked soundly on the amethyst door and Lance felt his lungs completely deflate for the first time in what felt like a lifetime. The crystal door fogged over slightly from the puff of warm air, forming a perfect circle of misty condensation. Lance’s forehead pressed to the cool crystal for a second, grounding him. Unknown tension melted away as the alpha turned away from the door and towards the Korean man currently pacing the foot of the bed, chains tinkling softly with each aggressive movement. Two bundles sat perfectly placed on the bed, but both men ignored them completely. Lance avoided the bed entirely, the pacing omega making him restless and uneasy.

Keith clearly did not get the memo that it was finally time to relax.

Tension rolled off the smaller man. His shoulders were tense and raised ready for action, hands fisted at his sides, and back so straight and rigid he looked almost ready to snap in half. Lance couldn't help trying to brainstorm ways to get the omega to relax, his alpha unhappy with the irritating scent tinging the air.

“I still can’t believe this,” Keith fumed, a growl rattling around in his chest as pale fists rapidly flexed at his sides, “I look like some slave girl from some long forgotten science fiction movie.”

Lance could practically see the steam spotting from the smaller man’s ears.

“Yes, well, it could always be worse,” Lance couldn’t help the smirk settling across his face, while walking purposefully towards the seating area situated by the crystal fireplace. Long limbs collapsed into the puffy cushion relaxing down into the seat stretching out as much as possible. He had a plan to get the omega to release at least a little tension.

“How could it be worse?” Violet eyes narrowed at Lance, while pale muscular arms crossed over an equally muscular chest. Fire flared behind violet eyes, seeing it made Lance’s breath catch.

Eyes drooping as he settled into the comforting hug of the furniture, Lance couldn’t help admiring the way Keith’s toned shoulders tapered in a waspish waist. Shooing the thoughts away, he smirked at the obviously irritated omega, “I mean you could always be naked.” Tan shoulders shrugged nonchalantly before relaxing back into the chair even more.

Lance fought to keep his thoughts to himself. Keith did not need to know how much he really liked that idea.

Keith’s face went pale before turning bright red. Keith scowled at his outfit before huffing, “I would not walk around here naked. This is bad enough.” The blush was still firmly across the omega’s nose and cheeks, but some of the tension relaxed out of his shoulders and his fists uncurled. Tension melting despite the fire still blazing behind his beautiful eyes.

Lance felt the sudden urge to get up and kiss the omega’s cherry pink cheeks. He reprimanded his inner alpha, reminding him that just because they had shared a peck earlier in the night he was not entitled to the lovely omega’s affections. It didn’t quell the longing swelling in his chest as he eyed the blushing omega.

Too pretty for his own good

Lance kept that one close to his heart, but couldn’t help whispering to himself, “Tell me about it.” Eyes glued to the curve of Keith's ass, barely contained in the silky black material covering his groin, as he began pacing back and forth again, albeit slower than earlier.

Lance felt heat flare in his gut. It was so much easier to ignore just how pretty the omega was in the Castle of Lions, with the constant threats, training and much more substantial clothing. Here with nothing to focus on but the expanse of perfect pale skin of Keith’s back, or the way his abs tensed and relaxed with every step he took Lance could practically feel his inner alpha salivating over the smaller man. Want burned under his skin. Lance intellectually knew he couldn’t truly have what he wanted, but that did nothing to quell the longing that had rooted itself in his chest.

“What did you say?” Keith turned arms still crossed and brow scrunched contemplatively. Violet eyes zeroed in on Lance, focused and with full attention. The alpha tried not to blush or squirm.

“I think the bathroom is through that door. Although I haven't actually looked myself,” Lance lied quickly, gesturing to the barely visible door.

Keith nodded before turning towards the door.

Lance relaxed back into the chair, head balanced on the back of his chair, blue eyes fluttered closed as his breath evened out slightly. Tension eased once more now that he was no longer under the scrutinizing purple gaze. Everything felt heavy, and the lack of distraction made the alpha focus on how physically and mentally exhausted he was. He was dozing off before he could even hear the whispered slide of the crystalline door revealing the extravagant bathroom to the still irritated omega.

~~~~~~~

Keith felt his jaw drop.

The bathroom was stunning.

Along the back wall of the room was a large sunken dark stone pool filled with steaming water. It looked more like a natural hot spring than a bathtub, and could easily hold a half a dozen people. There were crystal shelves filled with all sorts of lovely shaped bottles in a wide assortment of colors. They glittered and twinkled in the dim light of the bathroom like an army of perfect little jewel soldiers. There was a large plush looking white mat flecked with emerald by what Keith assumed was the entrance of the pool, a large stack of neatly folded emerald fabric sat on a small platform next to a small bench by the mat.

The floor gleamed with a mirror like sheen, a swirl of lilac and deeper purple, Keith could see his reflection warped and purple under his feet. It made him uncomfortable for some reason, the lilac colored reflection of himself. His eyes strayed from the floor, to the left a large width of the wall was a silver reflective surface, like a massive floor to ceiling mirror. It was a little unnerving seeing the silver disappearing seamlessly into the amethyst walls. There was something eerily organic about this castle.

Between the mirror like area of the wall and the pool in the back was a large slightly higher than waist height counter made out of dark stone that matched the pool, little bottles were situated along the counter, these were clear with different colored fluids. There was a shallow divot beside the line of bottles; the sink, Keith’s mind filled in.

The ceiling was dotted in flickering crystals, similar to the ballroom, that cast a warm dim light through the entire room. To the right was another nearly seamless door, Keith stepped forward and pressed his palm to the door watching it slide open quietly. Inside was a dark purple ledge with a dark hole in the middle.

Must be the toilet.

Keith felt a soft pulse on his neck and jolted away from the door causing the crystal to slide back into place. He had completely forgotten about Lance still being tethered to his consciousness. Listening intently to the Blue Paladin he only got a soft warm hum from the connection. It was like a pulse of life, but no real coherent thought was passing through.

Odd.

Keith pressed his thumb to his choker and felt the stone hum before fading out to complete silence.

Keith sighed.

He tilted his neck side to side, a soft cracking noise released along with some of the tension. He rolled his shoulders back trying to relieve some of the tension there as well; it wasn't quite working.

He thought the quiet and having privacy would be relaxing, but honestly it was a little jarring after the constant buzz of Lance in the back of his mind from the last several vargas. Keith felt his mind reaching out to Lance and finding nothing. He didn’t like it. Shaking the feeling Keith took two steps into the room before pausing.

He had hoped for a shower, but something about the steaming purple tinted water in the pool was calling to him.

A bath would be nice.

When was the last time he took a nice hot bath? Keith tried to remember, but honestly he couldn’t recall, it had to have been ages ago. Long before he had come to space with the other paladins. At the Garrison, in the dessert, and while in space as a part of the Voltron team his hygiene routine had been about efficiency. Sure there were some long hot showers, but those were only so relaxing when one had to be on their toes for an alert at any moment.

Here it seemed that hygiene had nothing to do with efficiency.

Lance would be happy.

Keith couldn’t help but chuckle to himself as he walked slowly towards the pool. The violet water seemed to circulate gently drifts of lightly scented steam floating from the surface. The dark stone of the pool seemed matte and to absorb the light for the most part, but had iridescent flecks throughout that reflected the dim light.

It’s a little like the stars in space.

Keith couldn't help admiring the beautiful stone.

Stopping at the bench Keith was now forced to evaluate how to get out of the sad excuse of clothing he had on. Nexxia and several other omegas had gotten him dressed, and now standing alone in the bathroom he wasn’t sure if he would be able to undress himself. Eyes drifting to the twinkling ceiling he sent out a prayer for patience and strength to any deity that might be listening.

“I refuse to ask Lance to undress me,” Keith mumbled to himself. Hands drifting across his bare chest just evaluating the chains draped lovingly around his body. They were warm to the touch, unlike when they had originally been placed on him.

The bottoms had been simple enough: a cuff at each ankle and a clasp on each hip. The “top” though had been thrown on him almost immediately after having his underarms viciously waxed by some sticky red substance, so he hadn’t had time to remember how exactly they had fastened the contraption to his body.

Keith gave a shiver thinking about the quick work the omegas had done earlier in the night; they had efficiently removed all of the thin hair from his arms and legs in a way that was almost terrifying. Thank goodness his chest had been hairless to begin with, he didn’t want to experience that.

His skin was perfectly smooth now. He knew that the oil they had slathered him in earlier was probably somewhere in this bathroom as well. Lance was going to get a kick out of it. He was constantly complaining about how the recycled air in space dried out his skin. Keith’s lips twitched up thinking about the goofy tan man in the room next door as his fingers explored the chain around his waist.

“Bingo,” nibble fingers found a slightly wider clasp just above his lower back on the chain hugging his waist. Fumbling fingers tried for a moment with no success, groaning Keith stomped one slippered foot in frustration before something clicked.

He had twisted his fingers and tugged causing the clasp to unclick. Relief washed over him. It seemed he was capable of getting out of this get up on his own. He sent a silent thank you to whatever deity had answered his desperate cry for help.

His back was mostly bare besides a few decorative chains, so he brought his hands up to the chain below his collarbone. Two heavy gems sat in the divots of his shoulders anchoring the chains around his collarbone and down his arms, but those didn't seem to have a clasp of any kind. Slowly reaching around, Keith found a clasp in the chain a few inches down from the top knobby part of his spine at the base of his neck.

This clasp took a little longer to get undone because of the odd angle Keith had to twist his wrist to unfasten it. After a few tries the metal clicked open and Keith gave a sigh of relief.

“Definitely would have been easier with help,” Keith mumbled to himself before shrugging the spider web of chains and gems off his shoulders. He delicately set the heap of metal and precious stones on the bench beside the pool, but couldn't help the way his lip curled up in irritation.

That’s far too intimate of an outfit.

The omega thought back on the way Lance’s ocean gaze slid over him the first time he saw Keith doned in the gold and black silk number. The pleasant tingle that skated up his spine as the warm gaze seemed to caress his skin.

Well, too intimate for being in public.

He couldn’t help fantasizing about wearing the lingerie like outfit again, but this time for Lance’s eyes only.

“I have got to control myself,” Keith mumbled to himself sitting on the bench and making quick work of the clasps around his ankles. Standing again, he unfastened the thicker gold chain on each hip, the material going lax allowing him to step out carefully from the intricate bottoms. Now fully nude, and more than a little huffy, he reminded himself, “He is not my alpha. I have no claim.”

The omega carefully toed into the hot water of the indoor spring. It felt very hot, but not uncomfortably so; carefully stepping down the underwater stairs until the violet water swirled around his waist, “Even if we did kinda kiss,” Keith perched on the underwater ledge by the shelf full of beauty products before mumbling, “a few times.”

Keith thought back on the times he had kissed the taller alpha; he initiated one and Lance initiated two.

Maybe he is more interested than I originally thought?

Keith was quick to shut down the hope blooming in his chest. “No,” the omega shook his head the tips of his raven hair causing ripple in the violet water, “He’s not interested. He hates me.”

Keith knew that Lance didn’t truly hate him. You couldn’t truly hate someone who had saved your life numerous times, and vice versa you couldn’t hate someone you had saved. Their initial rivalry had become much friendlier, simmering down to something more keen to bickering and teasing, but Keith still found it easier to cling to black and white. His feelings were so mixed towards Lance that he couldn’t fathom the idea that the alpha also thought of the omega as some undefinable gray area. Lance had to dislike Keith, if only for the sake of Keith’s sanity. He couldn’t let hope further meddle his feelings for the beautiful lanky man.

Thin pale fingers grasped a bright amber hued bottle next to him, trying to slow the spinning gears of thought with any available distraction. Looking at the swirls and dots that must have been Esarian written language, Keith couldn’t help focusing in trying to ground himself with the little bottle resting in his palm.

Thoughts slowing, his breath relaxed as he sorted out his jumbled feelings. Finding peace in the black and white mentality and dispersing the cluttered gray thoughts like leaves in the wind.

“It doesn’t matter how I feel. He is not interested. The intimacy is for the mission, nothing else,” Keith’s voice was strong as his fingers flexed around the bottle. Suddenly the engraved lines and dots began rearranging themselves. Keith felt his jaw drop, watching silently as English letters begin to appear on the delicate oblong shaped bottle.

“Body clean?” Keith’s voice was utterly confused. “What the fuck?”

Setting the bottle down he noticed the lettering stayed the same. He grabbed another off the low slung shelf this one a pretty jade green, it had the same swirls and dots that the amber one had at first. Keith held it in his hand waiting patiently. Nothing happened.

“This is stupid. I’m losing my fucking mind,” Keith mumbled rolling his eyes at himself. Engravings shivered and instantly began rearranging just like on the amber bottle. He had to talk to the bottles?

“Hair soft?” Keith let out a stunned chuckle, “Must be conditioner.”

“Lance will be happy,” Keith mumbled while picking up a garnet red bottle in his other hand. This time the engravings formed the words ‘hair clean’.

Chuckling to himself Keith began grabbing the pretty army of bottles one by one. He should have felt stupid talking to inanimate objects, but it was fascinating seeing the engravings shifting into english words. It had felt like ages since he had seen words written in a way he could easily understand them.

It quickly became a game trying to guess what each bottle would read before the lines settled. A purple bottle read ‘water scent’, a bright orange one said ‘hair oil’, a bright green one showed ‘skin soft’. Each bottle was unique and beautiful and their uses seemed endless, although Keith did notice several ‘hair clean’, ‘hair soft’, and ‘body clean’; he assumed they were different scented shampoos, conditioners, and body washes.

Towards the end of the shelf, where more bizarre options like ‘hair gone’ and ‘foot small’ began popping up, Keith picked up one of the smallest bottles. A pretty iridescent fuschia about as tall as his middle finger. “You must be something girly,” Keith chuckled looking at the curves and twists of the bottle, it was lovely. Immediately after hearing his voice the engravings began shifting into english letters.

The tiny bottle almost fell out of Keith’s hand as he began aggressively coughing. Slamming the bottle back on the shelf he glared at it sitting innocently on the shelf the words ‘slick personal’ scrawled prettily across the bottle.

“Fucking alien lube,” Keith growled his happy mood and the game spoiled by the tiny bottle. Growling softly to himself he set the bottle on the far edge of the shelf, too nervous to check that last few bottles sitting prettily by the offending pink bottle. Suddenly thoughts of what lube could be used for flooded Keith's brain.

When was the last time he had actually relieved some sexual tension?

Washing his hair with a spicy scented shampoo, he thought back to the last time he had some sort of release.

It was a few pheobs ago.

There had been a particularly close call during a Galra intel mission. Keith, Lance and Hunk were almost trapped aboard a Galra ship. Keith remembers the pit in his stomach when he saw Lance surrounded by drones. Thankfully the blue paladin had lived up to his sharpshooter nickname and had weaseled his way out of the sticky situation, but not without a hard hit to the head from some falling debris as the ship was torn apart by the yellow lion.

Keith remembered seeing Lance’s face relaxed as he was suspended in the healing pod, it would easily take care of his minor concussion.

Keith had made his way towards the showers needing space from the other paladins and Alteans; they debriefed the mission while standing in front of Lance’s quietly humming pod, and Keith couldn’t focus on the conversation with Lance relaxed face suspended behind the leaders. The showers were silent, tension quickly fell away as he stepped into the familiar surroundings.

Adrenaline still coursed through his body as he stepped under the scalding spray of water; Keith was always the last to unwind after a mission. Sometimes he was so riled he would have to fight gladiator bots on the training deck until his body physically gave out and he could finally rest. That day’s tension had felt different, he was on edge but in a way that was slightly off.

He had recognized that sometimes in stressful situations adrenaline would lead to arousal, but it was a rare occurrence and usually went away when the danger was done. That day Keith felt the heavy weight between his legs just as much as the tension between his shoulders.

His hard on had not waned in the slightest even though he was clearly out of immediate danger.

Keith recalled shrugging and deciding to indulge in the erection; he didn't have the chance to touch himself very often and might as well take advantage of the quiet. Slowly pale fingers wrapped around his rosy headed rock hard cock, stroking softly to test the feeling; it had been a while.

Keith remembered his head falling forward, the hot water gliding down his back and muffling the sharp intake of breath as he squeezed the head in his palm. Keith paused for a moment thinking he should remove his hand and return to the debrief, but no, he deserved this.

Slowly he sank into a fantasy of hands gliding across his slick skin. Lips kissing slowly at the back of his neck, while fingers would spread his cheek and tease his fluttering hole. His own fingers mimicked the imaginary ones, circling his tight rosebud, slick starting to slip from his body, making the teasing even more delicious.

He imagined long fingers sinking inside of him, slowly stretching his tight ass as they just barely brushed against his prostate before they would spread to stretch his tight hole even more. His own fingers were too short to completely reach that special spot at this angle, and just barely brushed the edge of his prostate in an annoying tease.

Moaning under the water, his forehead hit the chilled tile, falling out from under the spray, hand working his cock while the other hand’s fingers worked to open himself up for his imaginary partner.

Bending at the waist he added a third finger, feeling a delicious stretch and the angle change allowing him to hit his prostate head on.

Stars flashed behind his closed eyelids.

A soft moan slipping out as he continued to slam his fingers into the spot. Feeling his hole fluttering hungry for more as his cock dripped precum. His cock was practically weeping from the pleasure coursing through his body.

It was only a few more minutes of aggressive, efficient work, before Keith's toes were curling, eyes rolled back and a broken moan of “Lance” echoing in the nearly silent room, and gorgeous blue eyes, straight white teeth and beautiful tan skin flashed in the omega’s mind.

He froze.

Cum clung to his stomach in thick white lines, and he was still bent at the waist with three fingers buried in his ass. Water beat on his back as he stared wide eyed at his naked toes against the shower floor.

Shame and guilt hit him like a truck.

He had just cum to the thought of his teammate. A teammate who was not a romantic option.

Robotically, Keith had finished his shower and returned to the medical bay, refusing to even look at Lance as he stumbled out of the healing pod, crooked smile bright.

Keith hadn't touched himself since the incident, too scared of where his mind would take him.

Rinsing the spicy cinnamon scented soap from his hair he tilted his head back to focus on the flickering ceiling. Maybe there was a message that could explain these feelings hidden in the shifting stones above.

Keith wasn't very hopeful, but maybe.

Sighing, Keith slid off the ledge before letting his toes drift off the pool bottom. Floating on his back in the large steaming pool, Keith felt each muscle slowly start to relax, even as his brain raced about Lance and kissing and personal lubricant.

I’m in for a long two days.

~~~~~~~

“UGH!!”

Lance’s eyes snapped open in panic.

Keith’s scream had quickly snapped him out of his pleasant dream about riding Kaltenecker down a rainbow, while milkshake rained down from pink cotton candy clouds.

It was a lovely dream.

Keith was scowling at the edge of the bed, sheer fabric fisted in one hand, glare deadly on the piece of fabric.

Immediately Lance noticed their telepathic link had been severed. It was extremely unsettling not to feel Keith’s thoughts and emotions after becoming so accustomed to them earlier in the night.

Disoriented, Lance shot up his body swaying slightly, “What’s wrong?”

Lance’s voice was rough with sleep, and Keith turned blinking at him, clearly he had forgotten about the previously snoozing alpha.

Keith looked lovely. His hair was damp and clung to his pretty pale neck. He was shirtless, a thick piece of green fabric tied around his hips. His bare feet were oddly distracting to Lance’s sleep addled mind, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen your toes.”

Lance’s cheeks immediately flamed bright red, as Keith let out a startled chuckle, toes flexing against the thick carpet under the bed. “I’m not surprised,” Keith mumbled, his anger momentarily forgotten.

“Now what’s wrong?” Lance’s cheeks were still pink as he slowly walked towards Keith.

Fire flared in Keith’s eyes as he shook the thin fabric at the approaching alpha, “This!!”

“Fabric?” Lance couldn’t keep the amusement out of his voice.

Keith growled at the alpha. Spreading the fabric out so Lance could see what exactly it was. It was the same thin sheer black material that had been draped around Keith’s legs earlier, but now it was configured into something else.

“Is that a dress?” Lance’s voice was amused confusion.

The sheer material was shaped into a babydoll. It would fit close to the chest with incredibly thin delicate straps before fluttering down to about upper though height.

“This is omega sleepwear,” Keith hissed shaking the completely see through garment at Lance.

Suddenly, a laugh burst from the alpha. He knew it wasn’t funny, but he had to laugh because imagining the clearly naked omega in the very sheer garment was doing funny things to Lance’s mind; if he didn’t laugh, he might moan.

“Asshole,” Keith growled shoving at Lance’s chest, “I can’t wear this!”

The fabric nearly hit Lance in the face as Keith flailed it around. “Ok, ok” Lance wheezed trying to reign in his laughing, “What did I get to sleep in?”

Keith held up a pair of silky black pants similar to the material Lance’s tunic was made out of. “Pants,” Keith huffed, looking at Lance like he had somehow planned this.

“Ok you wear the pants and I’ll wear my leggings” Lance shrugged like it made perfect sense.

“They are too big.” Keith was once again glaring at Lance like it was somehow was his fault.

“You already tried them on?” Lance quirked an eyebrow at the omega, a grin spreading across his face.

He didn’t get a response, just narrowed purple eyes flashing at him.

“Well you can wear these leggings, but I should warn you I didn’t get any underwear,” Lance said casually. Keith’s lip curled up and Lance chuckled, “That’s what I thought.”

Looking around the room Lance tried to think of an easy solution glancing down his body something clicked.

“You can wear my tunic,” Lance nodded grabbing the hem to tug it over his head, without a second thought. “I’ll wear the pants, and you can wear this tunic. At least it’s not see through,” Lance shrugged shoving the warm silky fabric into Keith’s chest. The cool air making his nipples pucker, as he became acutely aware of how exposed he was now.

Damn Keith felt like this all night…

Lance suddenly had the urge to cross his arms over cover his chest with his hands, but he resisted. It was only Keith. He didn’t need to be embarrassed. Keith had seen him shirtless many, many times.

The last thought made Lance’s stomach tighten, and the minute movement caught the omega’s violet gaze. The alpha fought once again to cover himself as he shivered under the intense gaze. Just as quickly the eyes flitted away to the fabric fisted in pale fingers.

Keith looked unhappy at the idea of wearing the tunic but nodded. “We should check in with the castle,” Keith muttered pulling the silky material over his head. It hit him a few inches above the knee so his modestly was protected as he dropped the towel from around his hips. Carelessly, he flung it onto the bench at the foot of the bed before crossing his arms.

Lance stomach tightened again, seeing pale legs sprouting out from the oversized tunic.

He’s adorable.

Lance was so thankful the stones had been disconnected because in this distracted state he knew he couldn’t keep his intimate thoughts private.

Keith looked so, well, cute.

The tunic seemed to swallow him up, hiding away his compact body beneath the silky fabric. His toned legs were visible, Lance’s eyes trying very hard not to devour the inches of flawless pale skin, toes flexing in the carpet showing his agitation.

Keith seemed to vibrate slightly before stomping aggressively towards the sitting area of the room, his feet slapping against the perfectly polished floor. Lance watched, mesmerized, as pale calves flexed with each stomp. Keith plopped into one of the seats, tucking his feet under himself and pulling the oversized tunic to cover up the smooth skin Lance had been eyeing. Lance felt a pang in his chest.

Keith widened his eyes and gestured aggressively towards the chair next to him, “You going to come join the conversation?”

Lance fought to keep a chuckle from slipping out at the clearly agitated omega. Nodding his head he mumbled, “Sure,” before moving towards the seating area. Still aware of the fact that he was shirtless, Lance settled heavily into the chair he had previously been sitting in.

Blue eyes met violet across the divide between them.

Suddenly four feet felt like a chasm.

Lance couldn't feel Keith, but he could see the emotions ebbing and flowing, flaring up in Keith’s violet gaze. It was frustrating. He had no clue what the pretty omega was thinking, and after the taste of understanding from the last few hours it was driving him insane.

Pale fingers smoothed across silky black fabric, “Time to call home.”

~~~~~~~

Keith watched Lance’s lashes flutter slightly at the word home.

Sometimes he would flinch or tense when someone called the castle that.

Keith knew Lance thought of Earth and Cuba as home, but to him the castle was the only home he had ever truly had.

Lance’s long fingers squeezed the crystal at his wrist twice and before he closed his eyes and tipped his head back. Keith’s breath hitched watching Lance’s long neck stretch out, completely bared. The omega’s heart beat fast and hard in his chest, rattling against his ribs. He couldn’t help but imagine sinking his teeth into smooth tan skin. The vision of the bonding earlier in the night clouding his mind, but this time it was Keith and Lance writhing together on the platform, becoming inseparably bound to one another.

Keith could practically taste Lance’s blood on his tongue.

Breath stuck in his throat, he let his gaze trail down Lance’s shirtless chest and tight legging clad legs. A quick shake to clear his head. It had only been a few seconds, but it had felt like he had hungirly been gazing at the beautiful alpha for an eternity. Squeezing twice at the stone resting at his throat, Keith flexed his toes against the cushion before tilting his head back too. The ceiling was a beautiful swirl of dim twinkling lights as familiar voices filled his head. Keith closed his eyes settling into the comforting chatter and darkness.

“Lance!” Hunk’s voice cried in his head, he could imagine the smiling yellow paladin full of relief in the control room.

“You both are connected to the castle’s interface now. You can think freely and we will hear everything,” Pidge’s voice was confident and soft ticking echoed in the background. Keith pictured her at the console tapping away to check their connection to the ship.

“Keith, Lance, how are you doing?” The tension was obvious in Allura’s voice. Keith could picture her rigid stance at the controls, shoulders tight, brow slightly creased as her lips tried to purse.

Coran’s voice had been chattering excitedly in the background since the paladins had keyed in to the ship. His chattering had been almost unintelligible from his excitement, but Keith caught works like ‘safe’, ‘ecstatic’, and ‘cultural variations’.

Somewhere in the room he knew Shiro would be standing arms crossed face neutral, but filled with relief to know both the paladins were safe on the foreign planet.

Keith missed them.

His heart ached in his chest. He missed his family. He was so used to being able to see them anytime day or night, that now having to imagine them in the bridge was upsetting.

Violet eyes fluttered open for a moment, the voices still chattering in his mind, he gazed at Lance and felt some of the tension leak out from his shoulders. He wasn’t totally alone in this.

Lance face was relaxed, a small smile crookedly sitting on his lips. He looked beautiful and relaxed. Keith knew the relief he felt in his chest wasn’t entirely his own. The voices hummed in the back of his mind, but he found his focus narrowing in on the beautiful shirtless boy across from his. His fingers would twitch when Pidge would talk, his lips would quirk up more when he heard Hunk chuckle, Keith could see the tension in his thighs, the alpha wanted to bounce his leg, his nervous tick. Suddenly his brow crumpled and concern flashed over his face, his lashes fluttered like he might open his eyes.

“Keith?” Shiro’s concerned voice sliced through his consciousness

Slamming his eyes closed and making his head relax he answered as nonchalantly as possible in his mind, “Yes?”

“Are you going to answer Allura?” Shiro’s voice was concerned, but tinged with humor.

“Yes. Sorry. What was that again, Allura?” Keith tried to shake the embarrassment in the pit of his stomach. He should have been focusing on the team, not the blue paladin.

“The omegas, have you befriended any? I’m still sorry for their treatment of you, but I’m hoping you will be able to gather some intel as well. Something that might gain us some favor in the upcoming meeting.” Allura’s voice was tight — he knew she didn’t like that he was considered a lower class on this planet.

“Yes there’s one. Nexxia. She’s actually wonderful. She’s the First Prima Omega, which I’ve gleaned is the highest omega status below the Assoluta. I’m supposed to spend the day with her tomorrow. Something about pampering before the festival tomorrow night” Keith’s eyes rolled behind his closed lids. He tried to tighten his reign on his thoughts of the waxing and prepping earlier today, he didn’t need everyone on the team to know that he was nearly hairless now.

“Just try to befriend her and try to enjoy your time as much as possible,” Allura’s sight was deep. He knew she was resigned for him thinking the absolute worst.

“Honestly, it’s not been terrible, well besides the outfit,” Keith couldn’t help being grumpy about the skimpy clothing he had been given.

Keith’s ear tingled as Lance’s booming laugh filled the room and echoed in his mind.

“Oh hush,” Keith snapped his eyes open glaring at the chuckling blue eyed man

“That bad huh?” Shiro’s voice was laced with humor in his mind.

Keith narrowed his eyes a the man across from him, whose lips were planted in a shit eating grin, Lance’s voice filled his mind, “Let’s just say they leave little to the imagination, and we had to do a little problem solving for the pajamas.”

Shiro’s laugh boomed in his head, and suddenly all the tension left Keith instantly. That man needed to laugh more often. If his discomfort gave Shiro such a tickle, he wasn’t quite as upset with his circumstances as he had been.

Keith’s eyes connected with Lance’s once more. Lance’s face had relaxed into the sweetest of smiles, it stole Keith’s breath from his chest. The man was just too beautiful.

“Is there anything else you need to know, Allura?” Lance’s voice was a little fuzzy sounding, and the droop in his lids showed it was probably from fatigue.

“No, Lance, I think that’s all we had for tonight. Feel free to contact us anytime if you need anything. We are two squeezes away,” Allura’s voice was a little cheery, she sounded more like herself than she had at the beginning of the conversation.

“Wonderful,” Lance’s voice was definitely tired in Keith’s mind now, “Goodnight.”

A chorus of good night’s were heard.

“Goodnight guys” Keith’s voice was softer than it had been before, the feeling of warmth settled over Keith. His family was safe and content and not on this bizarre unfair planet.

Lance stood, all warm tan skin and long limbs stretching. His back and neck popped several times before a large yawn made his jaw drop open and eyes squint shut. “I’m going to go clean up real quick. You can get into bed.” Long fingers gestured half heartedly towards the bed, and Keith’s stomach dropped to his toes.

“We are both sleeping in the bed?” Keith tucked further into the tunic and resisted the urge to swallow thickly around the mild panic simmering under the surface.

“Yeah,” Lance quirked an eyebrow, “These chairs aren’t that comfortable, and the bed could literally fit six people.”

Lance looked completely fine with the idea of sharing a bed, but Keith had literally never slept in the same bed with another human being. “Yeah, you are right,” Keith’s heart felt like it was breaking his ribs with it’s pounding, but somehow he kept his voice calm and even.

“Great!” Lance’s voice was peppy despite the clear exhaustion around his eyes. “I’m going to go get ready for bed.” Long legs ate up the space between the chairs and bed, so Lance could snatch up the silk sleep pants. Something about the way his back muscles flexed under smooth tan skin was making Keith’s mouth very dry.

Keith nodded in response to Lance’s statement and watched as he retreated quickly into the bathroom.

He’s going to be the death of me.

Shaking his head, Keith stood up slowly, acutely aware of the fact that he had on no pants or underwear; the breeze was disconcerting, to say the least. His steps were heavy as he headed to the bed, limbs stiff and eyes nearly shut from exhaustion. Today hadn’t been particularly adventurous, but watching everything he did and said was draining in a way he was very unfamiliar with. The covers were cool and so soft to the touch, and every pillow on the bed looked perfectly fluffed and utterly inviting. Sliding into the silky sheets, Keith felt his mind grind to a halt from the blissful comfort of the bed. It was like laying on a perfectly supportive cloud.

“God, yes” Keith groaned in the back of his throat burrowing into the covers as his head sank into the wonderfluff they had for pillows on this planet. His eyes were closed and he had drifted into a deep sleep in seconds.

~~~~~~~

Steam lazily looped off of soft tan skin. Lance had spent much longer in the large spa like bath than he had originally intended. The warm water had eased so much of the tension in his shoulders and neck that he had been unwilling to get out. The buffet of luxurious bath products had made the experience even more enjoyable as he soaked in the lovely violet waters.

Pruney fingers pressed open the nearly invisible crystalline door.

Goose flesh raised on his naked arms and chest as he stepped into the slightly chilled bedroom, long pants swishing around his bare feet as he padded across the polished floor. The lights had dimmed to barely glowing embers in the ceiling casting the room in a shadowy warmth that was oddly comforting. Blue eyes adjusted quickly to the dim light standing at the foot of the bed he saw the small lump on the right side.

Keith looked completely peaceful in sleep. His face relaxed and open, mullet hanging slightly in his eyes, hands padded under his cheek and knees tucked almost to his chest, with the covers tugged up to his chin. He looked his age for once, the lines of stress erased away by the comfort of slumber.

He’s so beautiful.

Lance took a deep breath and walked to the left side of the bed before slowly peeling back the luxurious covers. He settled into the incredibly comfortable bed and turned onto his side facing the softly breathing man next to him. Lance closed his eyes trying to relax into slumber the way Keith had, but something kept him awake. Some tension had settled low in his stomach that was making it impossible to sleep.

Blue eyes fluttered open and looked at the omega in the bed.

Long, thick lashes laid across pale cheeks like dark butterfly wings, pink lips parted on so puffed exhales, and dark bangs covered pale skin. He was so lovely it made Lance’s chest ache.

Slowly moving closer to the sleeping man. Lance settled a short distance away, close enough to feel the other’s warmth, but far enough to not risk disturbing the slumbering omega. Tension slowly floated away once again as blue eyes roved over the sleeping figure before him. Tan fingers reached out slowly and gently brushed unruly hair away from Keith’s face, lingers on soft pale skin before retracking.

Keith was safe and content sleeping peacefully, and finally Lance was able to drift off into his own deep slumber.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8:

Zaphina moaned, almost white hair spilling down her bowed back as Onvyr gave a particularly powerful thrust up.

Her thighs shook from exhaustion this was the third round of the night, and that didn’t include the public display they had had earlier in the throne room after the bonding. Onvyr was always a vigorous lover, but tonight he seemed almost vicious in his desire to wring pleasure from her body. Her pale blue skin was littered in deep royal and navy blue bruises, which she would wear with pride in the harem tomorrow. Fingerprint-bruises littered her hips and thighs and bite marks crossed over her neck and breasts. The pleasure she felt wearing the marks was only surpassed by the swivel of the Assoluto’s hips that had her eyes rolling into the back of her head.

The whole world tipped on its axis as her orgasm shattered causing tremors to tear through her body. Sagging bonelessly onto the Assoluto’s chest, Zaphina frowned, feeling the cum cooling between their stomachs.

“That was lovely. What’s gotten into you tonight?” She panted breathlessly her chin resting between his pecs so she could gaze up at him.

His deep emerald eyes were sharp as he traced her features. Silence stretched between them, but Zaphina knew if she was patient he would eventually share his innermost thoughts.

Holos of time together had given Zaphina a deeper understanding of the commanding monarch than anyone could fathom.

Air puffed out between the ruler’s teal lips, “I want him.”

His gaze was sharp and hungry as he met her eyes. The fire burning in the emerald depths was a little alarming, honestly. “The male omega? I knew you were interested, but you can’t have him. He’s spoken for. You know that, Onvyr.” Reason seemed the best strategy to diminish the hunger radiating from the man under her. She couldn’t help the twinge of annoyance when she felt him stirring where there hips were still pressed tightly together. “You have plenty of beautiful omegas, and there’s no need to jeopardize our planet’s relationship with the Blue Paladin or Voltron for this one.”

Anger flared in his eyes, but he remained stonily silent.

The moment hung tightly between them before he opened his mouth and slowly said, in a tight strained voice, “I don’t trust the Blue Paladin. There is something going on; I can feel it deep inside.”
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. He could be such a greedy child sometimes.
“Besides, they are here asking for our help, not the other way around,” he said sharply, eyes narrowed at the beautiful woman still lounging nakedly across his chest.

This time she did roll her eyes before rolling off of her partner to lie on the bed. “You forget that you have something to ask for in this negotiation as well. You are well aware that the Galra have learned about the Obeni reserves. It’s only a matter of time before they come looking to enslave us and harvest it for themselves. Voltron saved Balmera, and we will likely need the same help and service very soon.”

Ice queen, that’s what the other omegas had called her as a child, and in that moment she felt it. Her displeasure towards the man on her bed sat heavy like a block of ice in her stomach. How could he be so dense? So reckless in his own pursuits of pleasures that he would risk their entire planet falling into the hands of the Galra? Were all men this stupidly selfish? It was absurd.

What was also absurd was the fact that despite his abundant flaws she still loved him so so much.

“The Blue Paladin does not intend to bond with him. I can sense it. He’s too hesitant,” Zaphina could practically see the gears turning in Onvyr’s Head.

“It doesn’t involve you.” Zaphina’s voice was sharper than she intended, but her patience had run out. He had every omega on the planet at his fingertips, but he was going to throw everything away for one untouchable man. “You can’t have him.”

“I can have whatever I want.” Onvyr’s voice made Zaphina freeze, tension vibrating off her. He sounded terrifying.

She slowly covered her body in the deep blue sava fur silently eyeing the man next to her. She knew there was more coming, and she was poised and waiting.

“You are not irreplaceable, Zaphina. Do not think otherwise,” sharp emerald eyes appraised her from the other side of the bed. The Assoluto was in a completely relaxed position, limbs loose and heavy, head resting on a thick pillow, but she knew better the man never completely gave up control.

“I may love you, my dear, but you have not produced an heir. Your spot as Assoluta is not assured. I can replace you whenever I choose.” The callous words knocked the wind out of Zaphina. She’d been asking for a child for over two holos, he had said it wasn’t time, and now he was using their lack of child as ammunition against her.

Her blood was boiling.

She would never let him know though. She lazily got up grabbing her sleepwear from the armoire near the bed. The gauzy fabric was cool on her bare skin.

She felt more in control now that she wasn’t completely naked. “So my love, what is it you want from the male omega?” The sheer slip suddenly felt like armor as she placed a hand on one cocked hip and raised an elegant eyebrow at her partner.

She resisted the urge to tap her bare foot, that would be a touch too far.

“I want him to be my second Assoluta. Imagine being the first Assoluto ever to have two true Assolutas, not just a favored Prima, I would make history,” His voice was smooth and silky, but something glinted dangerously in his eyes. It reminded her a little of madness.

Anger settled deep in her bones. None was directed at the omega in question, just the man still lounging naked on the bed, ready to do anything to posses whatever he wanted. She perched on the plush cushion by her vanity and picked up a heavy crystalline brush. The bright orange bristles slid through her pale hair, turning the mussed up sex mess into a long silky waterfall of moonlight. She watched his long body sit up in the bed eyeing her across the room, sighing softly she felt his eyes bore into her back, waiting for a response.

Her eyes caught his beautiful emerald gaze through the mirror a soft puff of air leaving her lips as she continued her slow methodical brushing. Finally her lips parted and she muttered, “What’s your plan, my darling?”

Snakes of dread coiled in her gut as a sweet smile pulled across his handsome face, “I thought you’d never ask.” The smile was replaced by a smirk, the mad glint winked in his eyes once more.

~~~~~~~

Heat was the first thing to register in his sleep addled mind.

This type of all encompassing heat that was just a hair too warm to be comforting. He felt smothered, but not in a way he hated, not in a way that was completely unpleasant.

The second thing to register was the thick, sweet smell of content omega.

It was so heavy he could practically taste spicy sweetness on his tongue. It was delicious.

His dark lashes fluttered open finally breaking completely from the realm of sleep. Dark blue eyes trying to focus on the ceiling as his mind swirled trying to surface fully into reality. Slowly his brain processed where exactly the deliciously suffocating heat was coming from, pale limbs and dark hair sprawled across his bare chest. Keith’s head was tucked firmly into Lance’s neck, nose pressed against his scent gland, his pale arm hooked under Lance’s clinging to his shoulder, while the other was thrown haphazardly across his chest, one thigh was hooked over Lance’s hips a pale calf wedged between his spread thighs.

Lance’s breath caught in his throat at the scent wafting off the sleeping omega.

Keith had never smelled like this before.

Lance had caught whiffs now and again of Keith’s contentment, spicy vanilla lingering after an intense sparring or a particularly close battle, but this was like smelling the taste of a smoky chai latte. It was delectable.

He could feel his mouth water slightly from the scent, his body relaxed and heavy under the clinging omega. One of his arms was wrapped down the smaller man’s back the other hand was wrapped around the omega’s thigh right above the knee. Lance had never had such a good night’s sleep before.

Who knew a clingy omega was the key to a blissful night’s sleep?

Keith shifted in his sleep his lips brushed against Lance’s collarbone as the omega’s nose pressed firmly against his scent gland. Lance’s breath hitched, heat coiling in his gut, as a wave of tangy, lightly sweet alpha scent flooded the air mingling with the smokey vanilla that sat heavily around them. Lance thought the air had been mouthwatering before, but now the scent filling the air was indescribably delicious.

A hum of contentment rattled in the alpha’s chest, his lids sinking heavily to almost cover his bright blue eyes; he knew he should wake the sleeping omega, but he didn’t have the willpower to ruin the peaceful moment they had settled in. Lance relaxed under the pale limbs pinning him down and felt himself float somewhere between sleep and consciousness, even though he was acutely aware of every minute movement the sleeping raven haired man made.

Suddenly a loud pounding started at the door, jolting Lance out of the sleepy stupor he had been in, as Keith went rigid against the alpha hand shooting under the pillow searching for something. Two minutes or two hours might have passed; he had no concept of time in the dimly lit room. The lock clicked open and wide violet eyes met Lance’s gaze before Keith’s body flipped half tangled in the thick covers to crouch over the alpha. Keith’s pale legs were tense ready to spring and attack, a pretty flush staining his sharp cheekbones.

“Now, now, no need to be hostile,” Nexxia’s sweet voice sing-songed as she waltzed into the room in a swirl of silver chains and gauzy green fabric. Today, her outfit was the usual silk bikini, a thin silver chain sat at the base of her neck ran between her breasts to circle her waist; each wrist and ankle also sported set of thin silver chains that tinkled sweetly as she moved. Her outfit was covered in a floor length semi-sheer emerald hued robe that cinched around her thin waist with a thick silky ribbon. “I was too eager to wait till after first meal, so I decided to come with first meal instead,” her hands gave a little flourished gesture and suddenly three beta servants came bustling in. Two carted in silver trays, which were wheeled towards the seating area, while the third was carrying a large stack of red and blue fabric, “Your clothes for today. They haven't finished your outfits for tonight’s festivities yet.” Nexxia’s smile was sweet as she gestured to servant to set the clothing on the bench at the foot of the bed.

Keith seemed to relax completely as the three betas bustled efficiently out of the room, the door swinging shut leaving them alone with a cheery Nexia. “Anymore of those blue bubbles?” Keith’s smirk made Lance’s stomach flip as he slowly untangled his pale legs from the bedding.

“No,” Nexxia giggled before her eyes narrowed in on the male omega, “What in the world are you wearing?”

Keith tugged at the hem of the silky black tunic, eyes wide and cheeks flushed. Lance fought the urge to coo at the obviously bashful omega. Seeing Keith’s discomfort, Lance quickly muttered, “He was too cold in the nightwear that was provided.”

Keith nodded vigorously clearly relieved he didn't have to come up with an excuse. He shot Lance a quick thankful look over his shoulder as Nexxia hummed thoughtfully and walked towards the seating area, plopping unceremoniously into one of the seat. She reached for a steaming cup of something and began sipping slowly before gesturing to the food and other seat, “Sit, eat.”

Her smile was sugary sweet as Lance threw off the covers and made his way towards the two lovely omegas. “There’s only one more seat, so I’ll stand,” Lance said nodding slightly at Keith.

“Don’t be silly,” Nexxia giggled, “Keith will just sit in your lap. Won’t you Keith?” Her gaze narrowed in on the omega, and to Lance’s complete surprise a light blush flushed across the bridge of Keith’s nose and high on his cheeks as he nodded softly.

“O-ok,” Lance stuttered moving towards the open seat.

~~~~~~~

Keith knew he was blushing, but he couldn’t get the flush to fade from his cheeks. Honestly, it probably intensified as he stiffly placed himself on Lance’s knee. He knew he could have said no and just stood, but some part of him wanted to be close to the alpha. Waking up this morning had been lovely at first before Nexxia’s jarring entrance. Keith had listened happily to the alpha’s heartbeat as sweet apple and spice filled the air around him. Those few seconds before the locked had clicked open without their permission had been blissful.

He knew they would eventually have to talk about the position they had been in when they had so rudely been awakened, but Keith didn’t know how he would handle Lance’s explanation. Something inside him shrank at the idea that cuddling was no big deal to Lance. He knew Lance was a tactile person from a large family, so sharing a bed must have been second nature. Keith was an entirely different story.

The only other person he had ever been that close to was Shiro, and that had been in a completely platonic brotherly way. Waking up tangled in Lance’s arms had left anything but platonic feelings buzzing around in Keith’s sleepy mind.

When the door had opened, the only thought rattling around in the omega’s sleep addled mind was to protect his mate, to protect what he held most dear, which was completely not true. Lance was not his mate, and was not something dear.

Well, he was dear…

The voice whispering in Keith’s mind sounded very much like his inner omega.

Keith fought the urge to argue with his inner self, but was suddenly distracted as long tan fingers wrapped around his waist and tugged him back against Lance’s chest. Lance’s hand reached around and plucked what appeared to be a bite sized watermelon off of Keith’s plate. He popped it into his mouth and this full lips puckered up slightly at he chewed thoughtfully. “It’s like a lime and a grape had a baby,” Lance’s voice was thoughtful as his brows drew tightly together, “I can’t decide if i like it or not.”

Keith couldn’t help the bewildered laugh that escaped his has he eyed the man he was sitting on, even Nexxia giggled uncontrollably at the quizzical look on the alpha’s face. Something inside of Keith unwound slightly as he settled more comfortably against Lance. Breakfast followed about the same with the boys trying the different Esarian foods, while Nexxia giggled at the funny faces they made and sipped her tea. Keith tried the deep violet tea, but found it too be a bit too bitter and herbal for his liking, although Lance seemed to enjoy it, the omega stuck with the vibrant blue juice that reminded him of Kiwi and pineapple with a mango twist.

Eventually, the boys were delightfully full and had acquired a few new favorite treats, and Nexxia seemed pleasantly relaxed as she chatted about some of the amenities on the floor. Keith felt his breath hitch as Lance’s hand settled on his bare thigh. Seemingly without the alpha noticing his actions a tan thumb began rhythmically rubbing against the soft skin on the inner part of Keith’s knee. A shiver skittered up the omega’s spine, when suddenly Nexxia’s voice broke through the muddled mess that was currently Keith’s mind.
“Keith?”

“Yes? Sorry what?” Keith shook his head looking intently at her from where he sat still perched on Lance’s lap.

Nexxia’s laugh was like tinkling bells as her luscious hair shook around her. “I asked if you were ready to get dressed and head up to the harem?”

“Oh yeah, sure!” Keith popped up, almost dropping his plate and causing Lance’s hand to fly off of his knee as he moved towards the stack of red fabric by the bed. Keith felt like his breath was stuck in his chest as he made his way towards the bathroom heart pounding. Once inside, he leaned back against door breath puffing out, fighting to calm his rapid heartbeat. He had gotten too close to Lance, too comfortable. He had almost forgotten that the alpha wasn’t his.

This planet was clouding his judgment. Being so close to the beautiful alpha was making the things he secretly yearned for seem completely within his reach, even when he logically knew they weren’t.

“Get it together,” Keith looked at himself in the mirror like wall of the bathroom. After one rough shake he squared his shoulders and focused on the tangle of clothes in his clenched fists. “You can do this.” Keith knew he wasn’t just giving himself a pep talk about the complicated outfit in his hands.

Keith peeked his head out of the door just in time to hear Nexxia’s infectious laughter fill the air. Lance was gesturing wildly explaining the time they had ridden Kaltenecker on a floating surfboard to escape space mall security. “So there we were careening through the air on this black and white spotted bovine. I, of course, was steering the magnificent steed on our epic escape.”

“Yes, ever the valiant pilot,” Keith chuckled walking towards the seating area gauzy red fabric billowing around his legs, which were in cased in silky material in a matching shade of red. Lance’s mouth snapped shut suddenly and he blinked at Keith, eyes wide like pretty blue marbles. Keith continued since Lance seemed to have clammed up suddenly, “Piloting giant blue space cats and not so giant space cows alike.”

Keith smiled seeing the infectious grin spread across Lance’s face after a split second longer of blinking. Nexxia’s giggle broke the spell Lance’s ocean blue gaze had cast on Keith making him snap his head towards her, “Ready?”

“Yes, of course.” Her smile was mischievous as she tipped the last of her tea into her mouth before standing up and bouncing on her toes.

Keith fidgeted with the chains that crossed across his chest to wrap around his waist under the thin robe, his nervous energy required he do something, anything, with his hands. “So what exactly will we be doing today?” Flashes of hair being ripped from his body flashed through his memory from yesterday.

Nexxia smirked, “You’ll have to wait and see.”

“Great,” Keith huffed, fighting the urge to cross his arms or stomp his foot like a child.

“Lance,” Nexxia’s voice sing-songed as her pink fingers wrapped around Keith’s wrist, “Thalan should be by anytime to get you, so you might want to get ready. Now come on Keith,” she half drug the omega towards the bedroom door, “We have so much to do!”

Her excitement was both contagious and alarming. Casting one last glance over his shoulder, he locked eyes with Lance’s smirking face before the door slid shut separating them once more.

The only warning Keith had was a light pulsing from the stone on his choker before his connection to Lance flared to life.

Have fun!

Lance’s voice in his head was oddly comforting as Keith was shuffled into the crystalline elevator-like contraption that began to ascend towards the omega’s area of the castle. He had missed the Blue Paladin’s life force humming in the back of his mind.

~~~~~~~

Lance couldn’t help drumming his fingers against the cart sitting forlornly beside him. There was no form of entertainment in the lavish guest room.

What exactly am I supposed to do with my free time?

Suddenly images of his long tan body writhing on the bed with his hand wrapped around his cock sprung to mind. Those images quickly morphed into a pale hand wrapped around his cock and lean limbs clinging to his body as Keith pressed close exploring his naked skin.

Oh.

The lightbulb finally clicked in Lance’s mind. The room was devoid of entertainment to facilitate relations between the occupants. If you wanted to be entertained by something other than a lovely omega in your bed you left the room; it all made perfect sense in a weird way. In a society that emphasized sexual pleasure and relations, of course, the bedroom would be used solely for that purpose and sleep.

Lance felt himself blushing uncontrollably as his eyes traced over the massive bed, mind running wild.

He jumped hearing the loud knocking on the door, practically sprinting across the room and away from the aforementioned bed. Throwing open the door, Thalan jumped back a little bewildered as he gazed down at Lance, “Is everything ok?”

“Yes!” Lance stepped quickly into the hall closing the door behind him, “Just excited to see more of the castle.”

Thalan chuckled still looking at Lance like he had lost a few of his marbles, “Ok. I was thinking we could play a few rounds of sphix orb?”

“Sounds good to me!” Lance knew he was being a little too chipper, but he was still jittery from his realization about the carnality lurking in the lovely guest room. He was fighting thinking about Keith sprawled out on the gorgeous bed, their connection was still open, and he didn’t need the omega becoming aware of his little realization.

As it turns out, sphix orb did not actually sound good at all.

It was like a complicated game of racquetball played with a lacrosse stick, while on a hovering surfboard. The room they were in was bright white with swirling multi-colored targets that zoomed through the air, which players were supposed to hit with a ball thrown from a netted stick, all the while avoiding their opponent who was trying to knock them from their board and/or steal the pink dimpled softball sized orb. Needless to say Lance was struggling his long limbs getting tangled causing him to tumble off the board several times and end up crashing into the force field net that was glowing beneath them. Everytime Lance went tumbling Thalan would chuckle good naturally before plucking him up like a child and tossing him back on his hoverboard. At least Lance had gotten to pick out a cool blue and teal board that looked good with his emerald green athletic outfit. Lance was thankful that he was going to at least look good while he failed epically at this ridiculous game.

“Who is even good at this game? Besides you,” Lance said and rolled his eyes, sprawled and panting on the board.

Thalan lazily circled the irritated paladin on his own board tossing the ball up and down with his netted stick like it was nothing. “Actually this is a school children’s game. We have it set up here for mostly nostalgic reasons. People find it fun and light hearted.” Thalan’s smirk was only irritating Lance’s further.

He huffed sitting up eyes narrowed at the tall man circling him, “Well on Earth school children play kickball and foursquare; they don’t float around on hoverboards trying to hit moving targets with an oversized hot pink golf ball.” Lance was whining, but he couldn’t find it in himself to stop. Thalan clearly relished in Lance’s annoyance chuckling so vigorously that fat teardrops were welling up in his eyes.

Thalan’s chuckling slowly died out as Lance’s face continued to twist in annoyance with his long arms crossed tightly over his chest. Eventually Thalan let out a huffing sigh, while shaking his head before wiping at the corners of his eyes, “Maybe we should take a little break from the games? Are you hungry? We could have second meal?”

Suddenly Lance’s stomach gave a huge whale call. Thalan chuckled and slowly floated down to the ground not even waiting for a verbal response from Lance. Lance was not nearly as graceful floating towards the floor, his board kept jerking to one side trying to dump him off once again or would lurch suddenly out from under his feet dropping several inches through the air without warning. “I think I got a broken board,” Lance mumbled when his feet were finally safely on the solid ground once more

“Whatever you say, Blue Paladin,” Thalan chuckled walking towards the glass door exit, leaving his board floating innocently in the center of the brightly lit room.

Lance followed happy to finally be getting away from the hovering death trap that was considered a children’s game by Esarian standards, “So Commander how long have you lived in the palace?”

“Almost five holos, but I’ve been an active part of court for over eight holos,” Thalan’s voice was casual and relaxed as he led Lance back towards they private changing areas. They each stepped into a curtained cubicle that contained their clothes and began redressing. Lance had to admit he much prefered the royal blue tunic and black leggings he had received this morning over the emerald green gym kit. He was getting a little tired of the pretty gem color if he was being honest. It was everywhere in the castle and starting to grate on him everytime he saw it.

Lance jumped hearing Thalan’s voice float through the curtain, he hadn’t been expecting it honestly, “How long have you been with your omega?”

“Keith?” Lance’s voice hitched slightly, “Not long. It is a very new relationship.”

“Hmmm,” the thoughtful noise was the only response from the Esarian man standing on the other side of the thick black fabric wall

“Why do you ask?” Lance couldn’t help but asking, you know what they say curiosity killed the Blue Lion.

“Well,” Thalan’s response was slow like he was picking his word carefully, “You seem very invested in the omega. I’m surprised the two of you are not already bonded in all honesty. You seem very protective of him, and he does not seem very experienced in the sexual arts, which makes it even more surprising.”

Lance’s tunic was stuck half way over his head, while his mouth hung open gaping at Thalan’s response. He had not been expecting that.

“Well why aren't you bonded to Nexxia? You seem very invested in her,” Lance’s snap lost a bit of its bite because it was muffled by the silky cocoon he was currently trapped in.

He head a soft sigh before the sound of curtain opening, Thalan was silent as Lance finished tugging on his tunic and prepared to step out. Pulling the thick black curtain he saw the tall Esarian man standing beside his changing room his violet brows almost touching, his head dropped looking intently at the floor. “One reason we aren’t bonded is because I don’t want my bonded mate or children living in the palace. I don’t want them in the court.”

“There are children in the castle?” Lance couldn’t hide his surprise he hadn’t seen anyone younger than there late teens in his few days in the castle.

Thalan nodded somewhat solemnly, “I don’t want my children growing up here. I want them growing up outdoors, in nature, like Nexxia and I did.”

“Did you grow up together?” Lance found himself asking

Thalan gestured towards the hall and the two men began their journey to find some food. Lance’s stomach gave an appreciative grumble at the idea, losing so badly had worked up his appetite.

“Oh no, no, no, I grew up on a farm in Mivlia and she grew up in a tiny village by the sea in Sedaniza. I want our children to be free to experience the world outside these crystal walls. Only a few people actually live in the palace, for the most part the nobles live all over the planet helping run and coordinate local governments. My plan is to bond and move when my service is up so I can help run a village or town on the coast. Somewhere where Nexxia will feel at home. She doesn’t know I want to take her to the coast,” his smirk was devilish as he gazed down at him, “She thinks I want to own a farm.”

His chuckle was a deep rumble his head thrown back eyes filled with mirth. “So why not bond now and move later?”

This time the commander looked a little bashful as he looked at Lance, “I’ve loved Nexxia since I was a lieutenant. She’s loved me for almost as long, but she is the second highest ranking woman on the planet. I wanted to be worthy of her. I didn’t want to bond with her until I was the second highest ranking man. I was only named Commander a few months ago, I’ve been planning to ask her to bond at the next full moons festival. She loves them. They are held out in the gardens, and bonding her under the stars seems like the perfect setting.”

Lance felt his heart swell at Thalan’s confession. That made complete sense to him. He wanted to be her equal, Lance craved the same thing, an omega who was not subservient, but his equal in every way. He liked the idea of a mate who would challenge him, push him to be his best self and vice versa, like Nexxia and Thalan. Violet eyes and silky raven hair flashed momentarily in his mind’s eye, yeah that would be lovely.

Focusing back on Thalan Lance murmured, “She will love that,” his voice was a little tight as he grinned at the Esarian man.

“I hope so. She is my world. The sun, the moons, the stars, I’d give them all to her if only I could,” Thalan’s smile was small and boyish his cheeks flushed a deep magenta.

Lance felt jealousy boil in his gut for a moment.

Nexxia and Thalan were so happy, and had nothing standing in their way of being together. How wonderful would that feel? To know the person you loved loved you back just as much and nothing was preventing the two of you from being together? Lance for a moment felt a hundred years old and bone tired. It was exhausting loving someone who was unattainable.

“After second meal, why don’t we meet the omegas in the harem’s receiving room?” Thalan’s voice startled the smaller alpha, abruptly yanking his mind back to reality and away from the omega he longed for. Lance blanched a little a soft pulse on his wrist reminded him that his connection to Keith was completely open.

Hopefully he didn’t hear any of that.

~~~~~~~

Keit tensed.

Jealousy, sadness and something almost like greif coiled in his gut. He immediately knew the feelings were not his own, a stray thought of unattainable unrequited love drifted through his brain.

Keith rolled his eyes, Lance must be thinking of Allura for some reason.

Keith’s jaw twitched slightly; he knew the princess was beautiful, but really? Lance was way too into the Altean Princess, and sometimes it made his blood boil.

“Tsk, tsk,” hissed a disembodied voice, “Relax, visiting Prima Omega, I’ve worked so hard to release the tension in these knots, don’t you dare make me start over. Whatever thoughts are plaguing you, get rid of them.”

The voice belonged to Daphin, the lovely peach complected beta Esarian woman who had been massaging his exhausted muscles for what felt like an endless heaven-like amount of time. Keith had been floating in a state of bliss before the nasty feelings had coiled in his gut. Taking a deep breath he sent Lance a mental pat on the back through the connection and sank back into his relaxed blissful state. He was not going to let the Princess or Lance’s puppy love ruin this moment of serenity.

“Yes, there we go,” dexterous fingers kneaded his shoulders. “I’ve never seen such a tense omega. I don’t know what you do in your daily life, but you should really find a way to release some tension.” That soft tsking noise covered the soft running water sounds from the fountain in the secluded hut as she found yet another knot.

Releasing tension?

Suddenly in Keith’s mind’s eyes the fingers kneading his shoulders became a lovely caramel color and became much more adventurous in the exploration of his own pale skin.

That would definitely be a release.

Keith bit his lip, while his face flushed from his own naughty thoughts.

Keith’s stomach gave a loud rumble, distracting him further; now his blush was simply from embarrassment. “Ah I suppose that is my signal to end our session. I have kept you here almost twice as long as First Prima Omega Nexxia’s session lasted.”

A sheet was tugged over his back and soothing hands rubbed gently up and down his back for a moment. Peeking his head up he watched as Daphin turned to step away from the massage table, his fingers wrapped loosely around her wrist startling her with the sudden movement. Wide amber eyes looked at him, “Thank you,” his voice was soft and utterly heart felt.

He watched her brows relax and a small smile stretch across her pretty slightly wrinkled face, it was almost motherly, “Of course, it’s my pleasure. I’ll leave you to get dressed and grab you something to drink.” Her head dipped, her burnt orange hair in a tight bun catching the light beautifully.

Sighing Keith sat up on the table when he was alone, his back gave a delicious crack, the muscles loosened enough to allow his spine to relax. “Yessssss.” The hiss was soft as he stretched his body feeling loose for the first time in what felt like his life.

Dressing quickly in his long red robe he stepped out to see Daphin waiting for his outside of the seafoam curtained massage room. She handed him a tall clear glass filled with barely lilac colored fluid, sipping the cool liquid he hummed at the barely sweet taste, “You are a miracle worker.” Keith grinned before sipping his refreshing beverage again.

Her cheeks darkened into a true orange as she murmured, “I’ll take you to the First Prima Omega.”

She turned and began quickly walking down the path between the maze of individual seafoam colored tents. Eventually, they passed through a large crystal archway into the omega’s main hall. In the center was a huge hot spring made out of the same beautiful black stone from his bathroom. The water in this spring was a milky lilac swirled through with white foam and smells heavily of some foreign flower. Nexxia had explained earlier that the water was pumped from a spring under the palace and enriched with minerals and oils before a special aerating process gave it the frothy appearance. It looked divine, but Keith hadn’t had a chance to try the spring out yet.

The spring was divided into sections with rock enclosures that created slightly reclined seating varying from enough room for three to four people to alcoves large enough for a dozen people to comfortably sit around. Omegas littered the water completely naked and chatting, like little pastel flowers floating lazily in the spring. Each one seemed more lovely than the last, until he stumbled upon Nexxia. She shone the brightest of all without a doubt. She lounged on one of the large beds scattered around the massive crystalline room, near the tall intricate doors that lead to the rest of the castle. Nexxia had explained earlier that the omegas had their own rooms scattered through the three floors that were designated as the harem; there was also a an assortment of spa treatment tents, this greeting room, several smaller springs and lounges, including a full dining room, and an entire floor for the Assoluta to host guests. It seemed like the Disneyland of pampering in Keith’s humble opinion.

Nexia was draped in her emerald colored robe her long legs pulled up on the plush bed where she was reclined and eating what appeared to be freshly cut fruit and thinly sliced meats with her hands. “Took you long enough.” Her giggle was sweet as she sat her long legs folded under her body and one bare pink shoulder becoming exposed as her robe slipped precariously off.

“I’m sorry for the delay First Prima Omega,” Daphin glanced at Keith a little huff escaping her pretty mouth, “He was by far the tensest omega I’ve ever encountered.” Keith gawked as the woman blatantly rolled her eyes in exasperation with him.

Nexxia gave a full bellied laugh her head thrown completely back, “That doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.” Turning her huge blue eyes on Keith she patted the large bed and muttered, “Come, join me. I’m just having a light second meal.”

Keith clambered onto the bed acutely aware of how naked he was under his long robe. “Thank you again Daphin,” he muttered a blush staining his cheeks in slight embarrassment. He knew he had been tough work for the older beta woman.

“Yes! Thank you Daphin I’ll see you in a few cycles!” Nexxia smiled widely as Daphin bowed and waved before heading off towards the spa tents. “Try this.” Nexxia shoved a heart shaped slice of fruit into Keith’s mouth before he even had a moment to process what was happening.

Something similar to watermelon with a twist of lime and a hint of salt exploded over Keith’s tastes buds. Licking the juice clinging to his lips, he murmured, “Delicious.”

“That’s my favorite fruit. It grows by the sea. It used to grow all over my village when I was a child, we even had some growing in our backyard.” Her voice had started off excited but faded into something nostalgic with a tinge of sadness and desire by the end.

“When was the last time you visited home?” Keith found himself asking as he thought fully chewed on another bit of the delicious fruit

“Half a holo. It was the high sea festival and my parents 50th holoversery. They got bonded when they were 17 holos old,” Her eyes were wide as she shook her head like the idea was utterly insane.

“How old were you when you became a Prima Omega?”

“17 holos,” her brow raised slightly like she expected Keith to comment on the fact that that was the age her parents had been bonded. “All omegas have to option to present themselves before the Assoluto, in hopes of becoming a Prima Omega, or to seek a mate in their hometown or a surrounding area, to become a Senda Omega.” Her tone was matter-of-fact, but something was warring behind her eyes. She glanced around quickly and leaned into whisper, “I’ve heard rumors of girls who even bond below the noble status and are considered Tera Omegas.” Her eyebrow quirked like she had shared something utterly scandalous. “But I’ve never met such an omega.” Keith had to fight the laugh that was bubbling in his chest.

Oh the horror of not bonding to a someone besides a aristocrat.

Ignoring the sarcasm trying to claw its way out of his throat he asked, truly curious,
“Why didn’t you seek a mate back home?” Keith nibbled on the bright yellow meat, its smoky flavor mingled wonderfully with the sweet fruits, as he tried to keep his face somewhat neutral and relaxed.

Her eyes locked with Keith’s violet gaze, “I had three options of single alphas in my village, my first cousin, a man 15 years my senior, or the boy next door. Everyone assumed I would end up with my neighbor, but I didn’t want to be stuck choosing the only viable option. I decided to come to the palace and present myself before the Assoluto during the winter omega presentation. There’s one in the winter and the summer the omegas who turned 17 in the months prior to the ceremony are allowed to present themselves. The Assoluto selects the omegas that tickle his fancy to join the harem.” She shifted slightly, smoothing a minor crease out of her robe, apparently she was uncomfortable discussing how the Assoluto had found her worthy.

Keith opened his mouth to ask a question, but she beat him to the punch shushing him softly with her eyes narrowed. His jaw shut with a soft click and he raised a brow waiting for her to continue.

Rolling her eyes at his impatience, she continued, her voice soft and sweet as always betraying none of her irritation, “The Assoluta had been chosen almost two holos before my presentation, and the Assoluto hadn’t chosen an omega from the three presentations before. The harem was empty, so I knew my chances of being chosen were slim, but I wanted to at least try. I was the only omega chosen from my presentation, rumor has it the Assoluto and Assoluta had a huge fight prior to the presentation, which is why he decided to start his harem.” She looked a little ashamed to share that bit of information, but that quickly went as she smiled brightly at Keith. She seemed so thankful to have been picked.

Her face had a relief Keith didn’t understand on it. “So you chose to join the harem? To be one of many omegas at the Assoluto’s disposal?”

“Of course,” her smile was sweet and bright, and she shook her head like the answer was obvious.

“Why?” Keith couldn’t keep the bewilderment out of his voice

“Why?” Nexxia’s brows creased together her blue eyes narrowed before she murmured, “Isn’t it obvious?” Keith shook his head, so she sighed, “I wanted a choice. Back home I had one option for bond mate, here I had my pick of the litter. I could bond any single nobleman I wanted, and I had the control to choose. I’m the highest ranking eligible omega on the planet, men would be mad to refuse bonding me. I’m second only to the Assoluta, and the rest of the Prima omegas are ranked similarly below me. Most of the girls selected after me have already been bonded and left the palace.”

Her eyes quickly began scanning the waters looking for something, “What are you looking for?” Keith couldn’t help tracking her eyes trying to find whatever it was before she did.

“Not what, who,” her voice was a murmur, “There, that’s Sinella,” She pointed at a naked omega her skin a soft green with long royal blue hair, in the lilac spring she looked like some magical mermaid head thrown back laughing at something the younger omega next to her said.

“Who is she?” Keith looked at the lovely woman cataloguing her features.

“She is Ninth Prima Omega, and the second highest ranking omega in the harem. Second through Eighth have all moved away with their bonded noblemen and many have children and families and run households they could have never imagined in their prior lives. The third ranking Prima Omega is Fifteenth Prima Omega Lellana,” she gestured to a lovely yellow complected omega on the far side of the room, Keith had never seen such bright orange hair before.

Nexxia was quiet for a moment her gaze steady on Keith, while he processed through the information she had just provided. Nexxia smirked as the light bulb clicked on in Keith’s mind, understanding flashing in the wide violet eyes gazing back at her.

I’ve heard rumors of girls who even marry below the noble status. I wanted a choice

Suddenly it hit him. These women were happy; being with the Assoluto in the palace allowed them infinitely more freedom than being married off to some alpha that was in their hometown. Here they had exponentially more choices. He had thought of them as beautiful trapped birds in a gilded cage, but now he realized that the gilded cage was actually a gilded doorway to a world the omegas could barely fathom. These girls that had seemed like sex slaves, seemed to be more and more in control of their destinies. “So do you love the Assoluto?” Keith couldn’t help letting the question slip, part of him couldn’t imagine being so intimate with someone he didn’t love.

“Gods no!” Nexxia laughed, “I love Thalan, with my whole heart. Some girls are infatuated with the Assoluto, he is their first, but that wears off quickly. The only woman who truly loves him is the Assoluta.” Her voice was a little melancholy while speaking about the lovely monarch.

“How surprising,” Keith had always assumed that a good percentage of the omegas loved their ruler, but now knowing the opportunities afforded the Prima Omegas, it made sense that the majority might not even harbor fondness for him. He was a necessary stepping stone in finding true love, like the middle school boyfriend we use for our first few kisses before finding our high school sweetheart. “Fascinating,” his voice was barely a whisper thoughts whirling around his mind at a dizzying pace.

“I’m glad to see you understand now,” Nexxia’s gaze was wise beyond her years as she smiled at the younger omega. For the first time Keith realized that she was more than just cotton candy personified, she was a woman who knew what she wanted from life and was working hard to achieve it. Blinking, Keith silently gazed out at the beautiful women milling around the large room. Dozen of lovely pastel omegas were naked and relaxing or chatting amongst themselves, each one completely at ease and content.

Before Keith could ask Nexxia another question, the tall doors at the back of the room swung open, silence descended over the room, the only noise came from the tinkling of the small fountains littered around the room. A beta dressed in a seafoam wrap tunic walked purposefully out of the doorway and made a beeline for the bed Nexxia and Keith were lounging on. The beta bowed deeply at the waist before the bed, straightening he noticed her hair was in a bun like Daphin, but her face was more youthful. “First Prima Omega,” her tone was laced with the utmost respect, “I’m sorry to disturb you, but the Assoluta requests Prima Omega Keith’s presence for tea.”

Nexxia looked completely bewildered, and Keith blinked wide eyes at the servant. “Okay,” his voice sounded odd and detached even to his own ears as he cautiously stood up, still aware of the fact that he was naked under his robe. Slowly he followed the servant towards the large ornate doorway, the room completely silent besides their light footsteps. Once he reached the door he glanced over his shoulder to see Nexxia hadn’t moved, her brows were creased in clear worry as she watched him step over the threshold into the Assoluta’s private rooms.

Chapter Text

Ba Bum. Ba Bum. Ba Bum.

Keith could only hear his heartbeat pounding in his ears as he sat across from the beautiful monarch. He knew logically the lovely woman posed no real threat to him, neither did the handful of female betas in seafoam milling around the sitting room, but something about the picturesque room was making the hair on the back of his neck stand up. The Assoluta was draped across a love seat her seafoam green gaze focused on Keith. One long soft blue leg was crossed over the other completely bare to his gaze; the neckline of her robe was open, revealing ample cleavage and a smattering of deep blue bruises and bite marks all over her elegant neck, while a single thin rose gold chain hugged the base of her neck lovingly. She looked like pure sex, but in an extremely refined way.

“Keith, you seem…” her almost white eyebrows knit together. “Tense. Why don’t we take tea in my garden. Some fresh air might do us some good.” Her smile was warm and genuine, but he could see the tension behind her eyes. Maybe the monarch felt just as trapped in the crystal palace as Keith did.

“That sounds lovely,” Keith sighed. He didn’t realize how long it had been since he had had some fresh air. You think that living in the castle of lions would have prepared the red paladin, but something about the cold beauty of the palace put him on edge. This place wasn’t home, and two days without the sky was making him feel like the walls were trying to close in on him.

She stood up in a swirl of emerald green silk and began silently moving towards a large set of french doors. The doors were inlaid with a material that was reflective showing the interior of the room in their large reflection. The betas all looked a little perplexed as the ruler walked purposefully across the room. Her elegant fingers wrapped tightly around the platinum colored door handles. With a hard push, they swung open almost silently.

Keith gasped, sucking in a huge lungful of slightly humid, earth-scented air.

The garden was magical. All of the flowers were bioluminescent and glowed in the darkness. He had forgotten that they were in the night cycle of the planet. Darkness consumed the world outside, the three large moons and a million tiny stars lighting the sky and the myriad of flowers lighting the garden. Every color, shape and size of flower imaginable littered the garden. From tiny bright blue blossoms the size of his thumb nail clinging to vines that spiraled up the terrace next to the french doors to vibrant white blooms with individual heart-shaped petals larger than the paladin’s head. Tiny butterfly-hummingbird hybrid like creatures fluttered from flower to flower, their papery wings about the size of his palm fluttering rapidly as their long beak-like extensions dipped into unsuspecting flowers causing the glowing blooms to shift and sway. Keith felt his breath catch as a breeze blew gently through the beauty surrounding him. The bounty of blossoms seemed to dance along to the whispered song of the wind.

Keith wasn’t sure if he head ever seen a place this beautiful.

Zaphina’s chuckle broke Keith from his daze. Her smirk, honestly, was a little alluring in a devilish way, but her eyes twinkled with joy. She looked stunning in the soft glow of the garden. Her voice was soft almost reverent as she whispered, “This is my favorite place in the palace.” Her wide seafoam eyes gazed around the garden before focusing back on the male omega; standing there barefoot on the plush deep teal grass, they were eye to eye. Keith felt like she had shared a deeply held secret with him, but it was just a garden. Right?

She stepped deeper into the garden nodding to a beta over her shoulder before glancing at Keith one eyebrow raised but saying nothing.

Keith fell into step next to her following her deeper into the surprisingly large garden. It seemed to be built on a massive balcony that attached to the large crystalline building. Keith guessed that it could easily be the size of half a football field.

“Lovely, aren’t they?” The Assoluta’s voice was still soft and sweet her fingers lightly grazing a glowing yellow flower as they turned at a large hedge winding further into the garden

“Very.” Keith was mesmerized by the vibrant blooms surrounding them. The scent was dizzyingly sweet and remind him of the one time he smelt an omega in heat back on Earth. It was almost overwhelmingly delicious after the sterile recycled air inside the palace.

“They store up light energy during the light cycles and then produce this lovely glow during the dark cycle. In the wild, it helps creatures navigate through the darkness, but here it provides a lovely setting for tea.” Her voice was lighter than he had heard before as they turned a final corner and he saw a lovely sitting area set up in a circular clearing. A large circular table made out a deep brown, almost black wood had four ornately carved chairs set around it, above were strings of shifting crystals giving off the lovely ember effect like the ceilings in the palace.The clearing was intimate and magical.

A flurry of betas suddenly emerged, wheeling in a few tea carts and swiftly began setting up the ornate table. Keith gaped, unable to fathom where the women had come from. How had they snuck up on him like that?

After the flurry of movement ended, most of the betas left through various breaks in the hedge maze around the clearing. The table was set with an ivory and seafoam embroidered tablecloth, an ornate china tea set, and a tall platinum colored sweets tower. Two of the betas stayed behind lingering by pulled out chairs waiting for the Assoluta and her guest to sit.

“Come,” Zaphina said and smiled sweetly, her bare feet padding silently on the plush grass as she walked towards the table now set up with a bounty of afternoon tea necessities. She sat gracefully in her seat, the beta attentively helping with her chair and napkin.

Keith felt uncomfortable as the beta waiting on him did the same, his chair shifting before his butt even hit the seat and his napkin fluttering into his lap before he could make a move to pick it up.

“Tea?” the Assoluta gestured towards the delicate cream colored pot with an ornate rose gold floral design sitting on the table, the china all matched the lovely piece. Something flashed in the beautiful woman’s eyes, but Keith nodded nonetheless. He was surprised as she reached for the pot herself, her long fingers grasping it lightly. Barely lilac colored water tipped into his tea cup, which he was surprised to see had a dried flower sitting in the bottom, before she tipped it over her own cup to fill it as well.

Keith watched fascinated as the flower began to bloom in the steaming water, causing the liquid to change slowly into a lovely pink shade. The Assoluta had a blooming yellow flower in her cup. Keith smiled, “How lovely.”

“They take a few minutes to fully steep, but I just think they are so beautiful that they are worth the wait,” the flash was back in her eyes, but gone just as quick as she gestured to her beta. Both women began quickly filling their plates with an assortment of delicacies. Keith was excited to see the blue bubble from his dinner the night before.

“Why is this your favorite place?” Keith’s voice was soft something about the glowing surroundings and the hovering betas made him feel like he shouldn’t raise his voice.

“It reminds me of my father,” was all the she said before picking up a wedge of some bright green fruit and taking a delicate bite.

Keith reached for the blue bubble, unable to resist its call. His eyes nearly rolled into the back of his head as it melted across his tongue his palate exploding with the delicious delicate flavor.

His eyes snapped open in surprise as the Assoluta continued to speak, “He was the head gardener in the palace before I became Assoluta. Now he and my mother live in a lovely meadow in the heart of a southern forest. He oversees the entire nature reserve there. The reserve is actually the location where your Voltron tower will be built, if the Assoluto agrees” her smirk was pleasant as she quirked an eyebrow, but the challenge was clear. She was baiting him to bring up the political reason the paladins were here.

Keith knew better though.

“Why don’t your parents live here in the palace with you?” Keith wasn’t falling into the trap. Good omegas did not discuss political negotiations on Liv Esari.

The Assoluta was impressed, her smirk losing its challenging edge as she relaxed back slightly into her seat taking another bite of fruit. “My father worked in this palace for over 17 holos. It was my gift to him. When I became Assoluta, they had their pick of the entire planet. They could have any land they wanted, that was their right for giving birth to the Assoluta.” Her smile was a little arrogant, but Keith saw the raw love for her parents buried under the pretend pride. Zaphina was ecstatic at the life her status had provided for her parents, even if she wasn’t saying it plainly.

She blinked taking a sip of her tea before clearing her throat to continue, “It is uncommon for common blood to give birth to omegas.”

Keith slowly brought his own tea cup to his lips, humming as the ever so slightly sweet and floral flavors exploded over his tongue.

Zaphina paused for a moment, her eyes darting to Keith’s hands before continuing, “but when they do, they receive an elevated status. Their status and position depend on the parents’ professions. My father was a gardener and my mother was a seamstress, so we were brought to the palace, where they would work and I would attend school with the other non-noble omegas.”

“How many non-noble omegas were there?” Keith asked his curiosity showing itself.

“Three others.” Keith gasped. stunned by the low number.

She chuckled, “Surprisingly high, we currently have no non-noble omegas present in the palace, and haven’t for almost ten holos. Two were twins six holos older than myself and the third was nine holos older than me.”

“How did you meet the Assoluto?” Keith had a feeling their romance started much younger than he had originally thought.

She giggled. The sound was like tinkling bells, it was adorable. “He was almost twelve holos. I was ten holos, I had just officially started my omegan training that year along with my schooling, but it was a free day so I was here in this garden with my father. I always loved the gardens. They are the only thing about the palace that doesn't feel...artificial.” Her button nose wrinkled in distaste. Keith kept finding himself more and more surprised by the lovely monarch. “Onvyr,” her voice oozed with affection, “had snuck in, hoping to see some of the omegas bathing.”

Keith chuckled, as she rolled her seafoam green eyes towards the stars. “What a typical Alpha.”

“Right?” she giggled again, her smile sweet. It lost a bit of its shine as Keith picked up his cup to sip at the steaming fragrant liquid. “Anyway,” her voice still fond, but not as soft, “all the omegas were present for a festival upstairs in the throne room. Onvyr was never good at planning, especially not as a hormone addled youth. Disappointed when he found the receiving chamber empty, he began exploring looking for lovely omegas to ogle.” Her eyes rolled up once more before she lightly shook her head silky hair rippling in the glow of the flowers.

“But he found you,” Keith smirked.

How disappointed he must have been to find a delicate preteen omega instead of the women he had fantasized about.

The betas had moved to the hedges giving the two omegas plenty of space as Zaphina’s voice turned soft and wistful, “Yes, he found me.” Her smile instantly made her look a decade younger, Keith could picture her as a mischievous young teen perfectly. “He found me by a distley bush towards the edge of the garden. I had been catching thimples as they fluttered from flower to flower, it was a dark cycle much like today. I was so startled that I let the little creature go out of my hands when he asked me what I was doing,” her voice was filled with nostalgia, Keith knew she was reliving the meet cute in her head, he was simply a spectator to the story at this point. “Instead of answering him, I tore off running. I was scared I would get in trouble for disturbing the little creatures. My father always said that the gardens are delicate ecosystems that shouldn’t be played with. I didn’t know who had spoken to me, but I was not about to let them tell my father what I had been doing.”

Keith chuckled, imagining a gangly Onvyr chasing the petite little Zaphina through the garden. It was an adorable mental image, not matter how much the ruler gave Keith the willies now. Cradling his teacup, he continued to sip his tea, enjoying the warmth of the liquid diffusing through his body, settling low in stomach with a delicious tingle. The beverage was easily fighting off the slight chill the darkness had brought to the tropical climate.

“Unfortunately,” her seafoam gaze focused back into the moment pulled out from the memory as she picked up her own teacup, “I slammed directly into my father in my haste to escape Onvyr.” Her mouth and brow twisted in clear irritation, before she sipped delicately at her tea.

“Oh no,” Keith laughed reaching for a treat. He paused before the confection could meet his lips, he had to ask, “What happened? What did your father say?”

Shaking her head she smiled serenely, “My father immediately greeted Onvyr with a bow and his title, which of course made him puff up like a piffion.” Eye roll. “He was so puffed up I had to knock him down a peg. I asked him what he was doing sniffing around the omega’s quarters, which made him turn the most brilliant shade of deep teal in embarrassment. It was adorable.” Her own cheeks were tinged a little deeper of blue. “The little pest ratted me out to my father saying her was only trying to ‘protect the sanctity of the garden’. Such a tattle-tale.” She rolled her eyes, but her smile was completely fond.

“And after?” Keith knew he shouldn’t, but he was finding their love story completely fascinating.

“It was war,” she laughed a full belly kind of laugh. It was filled with so much joy that Keith felt his breath hitch. “After that we were constantly trying to get one another in trouble. Once I even made him trip during a processional in front of all the planet’s nobility by making a silly face at him; he was so mad he threatened to cut off my hair while I slept.” Her giggle was so sweet. A pale blue finger twirling a lock of almost white hair, her eyes a little unfocused as she giggled to herself.

Apparently tugging pigtails is a universal sign of affection.

Keith chuckled in his head to himself.

I could have told you that, tonto.

Keith gasped out loud Lance’s voice was so clear in his mind it stole his breath.

He had forgotten the Blue Paladin could hear him. Everything had felt so far away in the peaceful garden with the Assoluta, for a moment he had forgotten about their precarious position in the foreign court.

“What is it?” Zaphina’s voice was laced with clear concern, her pale brows furrowed together.

“Just imagined a gangly Onvyr sprawled in front of every noble on the planet and had to swallow my laughter,” Keith quickly covered up the faux pas with a half truth.

“Yes it was the highlight of my youth,” she smiled brightly before her eyes went guarded once more, “Be careful only to call him by the title of Assoluto. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”

A cold chill slid down his spine as he gazed at the concern clearly written across her beautiful features before nodding slowly, his head feeling like it was filled with cement. He went to take another sip of tea and was disappointed to find only a soggy flower in the bottom of his cup.

The Assoluta snapped and one of the betas shuffled forward to take his cup while the other presented him with a new cup. This time, the bloom on the bottom was yellow like Zaphina’s. Steaming water was poured into the glass once again by the lovely monarch. Keith took a sip of the not yet steeped tea, seeking out the warmth to fight off the chill from Zaphina’s warning. Wanting to talk about something lighter he asked, “When did you win the Assoluto’s heart?” He was careful to enunciate the title, he didn't want to slip up again.

“I think I always had his heart,” she smiled softly nibbling on a biscuit. “I was the only girl around his age not to fawn over him, for the gods sakes, I tried to run away from him when we first met. Then I was argumentative, teasing, sometimes even mean to him,” she smirked, “He wanted me from the moment he saw me, but he wanted to possess me the moment he saw the fire in my spirit. I was more than just a pretty face, and he has always valued that whether he admits it or not.”

Keith could sense the annoyance under the surface. Zaphina clearly wished that Onvyr expressed more publically how much he cared for her, but obviously the ruler refused to give the omega the credit she deserved.

What a pity.

Keith cloaked the thought, not wanting Lance to startle him again.

“Our union was frowned upon. It is an unspoken rule that the Assoluta should come from one of the ancient noble bloodlines, but Onvyr didn’t care. He chose me out of over a hundred age appropriate and beautiful omegas, and he didn’t hesitate for a moment.” For a moment Keith thought she might cry. Her eyes were wide looking off into the distance, a little glossy, and her bottom lip was caught lightly between her straight white teeth.

Zaphina suddenly straightened her spine her pale gaze piercing through him, “Tell me about your homeworld, Prima Omega Keith.”

“What would you like to know Assoluta?” Keith felt a little disoriented from the sudden switch, but obviously the stunning monarch needed a change in topic.

“How do you choose a mate on your planet?” her voice was filled with curiosity. He wondered how many aliens she had met with a secondary sex like her own.

“Well people choose their own mates,” Keith explained slowly, but he realized that wasn’t a good explanation of what happens on Earth. “For the most part. There are some societies that still perform arranged marriages, but it is very uncommon and usually only occurs in rural areas. Most people choose their mate for themselves.” That was a better explanation

“Out of anyone? Anyone they have ever met?” her seafoam green eyes were huge, her tea cup hovering above the table clutched in her hand. She looked completely shocked. She blinked once before whispering, “Even omegas?”

“Yes, even omegas,” Keith said gently. He knew this was an almost unimaginable idea for her. “There are even omegas who bond with other omegas or betas. They are not required to bond with alphas. Obviously if two omegas bond they can’t procreate naturally, but there are services where alphas can provide fertilization for omega-omega couples. There are even rare alpha-alpha couples on Earth; it is uncommon, but not unheard of.”

He watched as she slowly processed the information. Her large eyes blinking slowly; he could practically see the gears turning in her mind. “How strange,” her voice was oddly distant as she eyed Keith. “How did you choose Lance?” there was strength in her voice again. She seemed to have fully digested what he had said and took it in stride. Her curiosity shining brightly once more as she eyed Keith over the rim of her tea cup.

Warmth suffused through his belly at the thought of the alpha.

Lance…

Keith felt the alpha’s mind stir on the other end of the bond, like he was reaching out to Keith, but the omega locked down his own mind making sure his mental barriers were impenetrable.

Want flared so hot in Keith’s mind he had to take a deep breath to swallow the feeling down.

How had he chosen Lance?

In his own mind, there was no denying that he had chosen the lean alpha. He wanted him with every fiber of his being. Keith could almost feel himself vibrating with longing when he envisioned ocean blue eyes looking at him softly.

“It wasn’t like I made a conscious decision,” Keith started slowly trying to formulate his thoughts. “He was always there. At first he just annoyed me, but I was always aware of him. The slowly it was like I became more aware of him, and something shifted. I wasn't annoyed with him anymore, suddenly contact became electric, my eyes would linger on him even when I didn’t want them to, his opinions became very important to me. I had always thought he was pretty, but suddenly I wanted to know what made him tick. I craved his presence in a way I hadn’t with any other human being. I guess that’s when I knew.”

Keith felt his brows draw together, his mouth puckering a little. He had never said any of this out loud; hell, he had barely even thought his feelings through before this moment.

“That’s when you knew you loved him.” Zaphina’s voice was strong. It was a statement, not a question. Looking up Keith caught her soft smirk, eyes seafoam green eyes shining brightly like he had never seen before. “Young love,” she whispered, shaking her head softly.

She set her teacup on the saucer and smoothed a wrinkle from her robe before she stood in a smooth fluid moment. “I’ve stolen enough of your time. I think it’s only right I have you returned to the First Prima. Besides, by now, the receiving chamber should be quite busy.”

Keith blinked at her sweet smile. Feeling like he had suffered from whiplash once again, he stood up following her out of the garden. Bidding a bittersweet goodbye to the magical beauty, he stepped into the castle once again, feeling slightly less suffocated.

~~~~~

Keith entered the great room and blinked. The tranquil scene he had left behind had changed completely.

Now naked and scantily dressed men mingled with the beautiful women from before. Alphas were scattered amongst the omegas, many naked and lounging in the pools, while others reclined on the plush chaise like beds around the room wearing only emerald green silk lounge pants. The laughter and conversation in the room had changed, before the noise had been higher pitched and light now there were mixed pitches and the voices echoing in the room carried an almost sexual weight. The sounds of hushed voices; water and the occasional silky laughter had Keith’s brain settling into a slightly heated fog, almost as if the steam wafting off the pools had cocooned his mind in its plush warmth.

The attendant escorting him didn’t bat an eye at the mixed company as she escorted him across the large room towards one of the smaller more private pools. The sweet scent of the soft lilac water made Keith’s nose tickle as it added to the sensual environment. He noticed several of the alphas’ eyes glued to him as he moved gracefully across the room. Many omegas pouted prettily, some even glared at him while he walked around the edge of the large pool. Something about the clearly hungry gazes made Keith’s stomach flutter, it was neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Keith eyed the attendant curiously as her pace slowed to a halt; she made a gesture to take his robe, which snapped him out of the strange mind melt he had been in. He gripped the robe tightly pulling it around his shoulders, while suppressing the growl that was bubbling in his chest.

“Now, now, lindo, she was only trying to be helpful.”

Keith’s gut flooded with warmth so quickly he felt slightly light headed. Lance leaned his elbows on the ledge of the small pool and quirked a brow at Keith. “Are you going to join us?”

Tiny, crystal-like water droplets clung to Lance’s lashes and the tips of his shaggy brown hair. He cocked his head and smiled prettily at the omega, which of course sent a pack of wild butterflies fluttering into Keith’s stomach. Keith suddenly realized Lance was completely naked in the frothy water, not that he could see anything in the cloudy lilac pool. Warmth suffused through his body, concentrating in his lower gut, as red bloomed across his high sharp cheekbones Lance’s gaze was trained completely on him and the attention was having an embarrassing effect on Keith’s jittery body.

I’m normally better at controlling this.

Keith could feel Lance rapping at his mind’s door trying to access his thoughts and emotions, so of course the omega made sure to lock everything down tight to keep the nosy alpha out. Lance pouted, obviously feeling the clear rejection, and Keith’s stomach dropped.

Why the fuck is he so cute?

“Keith,” Lance whined, snapping Keith further from the fog that had descended on his mind. Suddenly, mostly clear-headed he noticed Nexxia cuddled into Thalan’s chest, his thick arm slung around her shoulders. She looked like she was suppressing a giggle.

Keith nodded and muttered, “I’ll join y’all.” He hesitated before letting the attendant help him shrug out of the long robe. Completely naked he used his hands to causally shield his modesty from Lance’s obviously curious gaze. He didn’t need Lance seeing the slight excitement his voice and gaze had perked up in Keith. The silky pool was slightly more viscous than normal water, almost clinging to his skin as he stepped carefully into the pool using the steep stone steps at one end of the pool. There wasn’t a railing, making it difficult to conceal himself and step into the pool at the same time, but he managed.

Nexxia did giggle this time as he finally hit the last step the water level almost hitting his navel. He narrowed his eyes at her and debated sticking his tongue out at her as he shifted towards one of the long sides of the pool and perched on the seating ledge, which was perfectly smooth against his naked skin.

The pool reminded him of the more luxurious version of the one in their guest room. The water smelled divine, and seemed to almost hug his body with a weight that was different from the untreated water in their room. It was incredibly relaxing. He dipped his head back the tips of his hair caressing the swirling water, refusing to make eye contact with Lance, even though he could feel the alpha’s blue gaze boring into his profile. He needed a minute to collect his body and thoughts.

Feeling re-centered, he brought his head up and opened his eyes only to make eye contact with a dark set of concerned blue eyes.

Nexxia suddenly shrugged away from Thalan and scooted towards Keith, grabbing his hands in the deliciously warm frothy water as they perched on the ledge seat together. “What did the Assoluta want? I was so worried you were in trouble for something, but you seem unscathed,” her eyes quickly traced over his half exposed chest, shoulders and face. One of her hands let go to flutter above the water clearly wanting to touch and inspect him, but not knowing if it would be welcome.

“Scathed?” Lance’s voice sounded concerned, Keith felt the water behind him shift and practically gasped as alpha body heat radiated closely to his bare skin. “Are you ok Keith?” tentative fingers slid up his damp back making his body shiver pleasantly. His breath hitched as the traced over his neck brushing a scent glance before traveling across his shoulders searching for marks that weren’t there.

Lance’s skin on his was extremely settling and the last of the lingering fog lifted from his mind, glancing over his shoulder he caught Lance’s worried ocean blue gaze before squeezing Nexxia’s hands, “I’m fine. She just wanted to have tea.”

Nexxia immediately relaxed relief plain across her face, “Good.” She squeezed his hands once before drifting back to Thalan, the cloudy lilac water swirling beautifully around her soft pink limbs.

Lance’s fingers did not leave his skin, though. As settling as they had been, they were equally distracting now as the edged over his shoulder before tugging him to recline against the ledge. The little pool was clearly designed for two couples, it was shaped like an oblong oval with a ledge wrapping all the way around. You could sit on the ledge all the way around, but it became obvious that it was also designed to be two chaise lounges. Keith watched anxiously as Nexxia settled her body between Thalan’s long legs, glancing at Lance he could practically see the gears turning in his head.

“You will be much more comfortable if you lounge,” Nexxia’s voice as soft, her eyes barely cracked open as the soothing waters and Thalan’s strong hold did their job lulling her into a state of absolute bliss.

Lance muttered almost silently, clicking his tongue slightly before shaking his head. He shifted his body somewhat abruptly turning towards Keith, water churned slightly between their bodies. Tan hands wrapped confidently around his waist, stealing the breath from his lungs. Keith felt his body moving along with the alpha’s. He was breathless while Lance positioned him against the back wall on the deep sitting ledge. Keith moved his legs instinctually as the alpha pressed him back into the headed smooth stone.

Keith blinked, watching Lance slowly turn shifting his weight. Warm water swirled around them as he folded his long legs up onto the bench, stretching his body out along it. His arm still hung loosely around Keith’s shoulders. Keith noticed his knees break the surface of the frothy water for a moment before creamy caramel skin disappeared once more from the omega’s line of sight. Lance settled back into the recline of the pool and pulled the smaller man against his chest.

“Oh,” Keith muttered, feeling his wet warm skin sliding deliciously against Lance’s chest. Keith was pinned between the lean alpha’s body and the stone wall, warm water hugging every inch of his submerged skin, and he was looking across the narrow pool at a blissfully smiling Nexxia and Thalan. Keith settled against Lance and pulled his hips slightly away, not wanting his mild arousal to caress the alpha’s upper thigh, as Nexxia gave a soft hum Thalan’s hands apparently doing amazing things as they threaded through her long hair.

“Isn’t that better boys?” Nexxia hummed, the end of her statement drifting off in a soft purr.

Keith was stunned. Purring seemed so taboo to him, but here she was purring happily in the arms of her lover, in public. Keith felt a blush spreading slowly but persistently over his cheeks and neck as he listened to the oddly sensual sound. On Earth, omegas only purred in the privacy of their nest with their mates. Keith fought the urge to bury his face in Lance’s shoulder and continued to watch the snuggling couple, his chest suddenly tight.

Lance skimmed a hand down his spine, making the omega tingle deliciously. Glancing up, violet eyes met concerned blue. Lance quirked an eyebrow, silently questioning him. Keith smiled slightly tapping his hand against Lance’s chest before settling against him more fully.

The purring had stopped, and Keith noticed Nexxia’s eyes trained on him, “Everything okay?”

“Um.” Keith cheeks blazed brightly. He felt cornered under Nexxia’s gaze.

“On Earth, in some cultures, purring is considered slightly taboo. Omegas usually only purr in their nest, with their mate.” Lance’s voice was warm as tan fingers squeezed his pale shoulders.

“How stifling,” Nexxia muttered, eyes half-lidded again as she lounged comfortably against Thalan’s chest.

“Hush.” Thalan’s deep voice was almost a hum, clearly he was relaxed as well. It was the first time he had spoken since Keith had entered the pool.

“It’s just that I love purring for you,” Nexxia pouted prettily. Her full pink lips pulled down seductively as she pressed closer to her alpha. Keith felt more heat flushing on his cheeks and creeping down his neck and chest at the intimate display.

Lance chuckled softly, his chest vibrating against Keith’s body, causing butterflies to erupt once again in his stomach. He had almost forgotten about how close the pretty alpha was. Subtle green apple scent mingled with the delicate floral of the spring water, and suddenly Keith’s head was dizzy again.

“They are sweet. Don’t you think?” Lance’s voice was a sweet whisper in his ear, and in his mind he could sense the alpha’s life force almost as strongly as he felt his beating heart under his palm.

Mutely, Keith nodded, his eyes still fixed on the lovely Esarian couple across from them. Need was clawing in his gut, but he wasn’t exactly sure what he needed in such a tranquil moment. He should be content right. Suddenly warm wet fingers caught his chin and turned his head until the was lost in the ocean depths of his alpha’s gaze.

“You okay? You are being very quiet.” Lance’s brows were drawn in concern, but Keith could feel the hesitancy in their mental bond. The alpha was afraid of overstepping with the omega, but here they had to depend on one another completely. There was no team for them to rely on. Lance wasn’t normally who Keith went to when he was stressed or anxious or he felt like a tangle of raw emotions, that was always Shiro, but sitting here in the warm water looking into his concerned blue gaze, he couldn’t help questioning why he had never gone to the alpha before.

He would take such good care of me.

The thought was barely coherent in his own mind, so he didn’t worry too much about Lance understanding it, but it was enough to almost shake Keith completely from the bizarre headspace he had been in.

“I’m okay.” Keith smirked a little and felt the fingers tighten on his chin.

“Good,” Lance hummed slightly his gaze sliding over all of Keith’s features before he released him and turned back to Nexxia and Thalan.

The couple was whispering sweetly back and forth, their eyes wide and filled with hearts as they gazed at one another.

Keith felt tension coil in his gut despite how relaxed he physically was. His limbs loose and heavy against the tall alpha.

Suddenly tan fingers lingered softly down his spine. Keith let his cheek dip to Lance’s shoulder as the tension in his gut uncoiled. The tension quickly slipped from his mind, the soft buzz of the room, the warm water, and Lance’s life pulse filling it instead.

~~~~~

Lance didn’t know what exactly was going on with the omega. Keith’s mind was different. Before, the barriers between them had been like a brick wall, strong, infinitely high and completely unconquerable, but now it was like a thin white curtain had been drawn around the omega’s mind. Shapes and colors would flash through, occasionally he could catch a word or snippet, but nothing was coherent or complete. Lance’s mind kept trying to find a way to open the curtain, searching in vain for a way to part the thick fabric separating him from Keith’s consciousness. He yearned to understand the inner working on the beautiful man’s mind.

Lance felt like maybe if he could understand the inner workings of his mind he might be able to be the alpha the omega needed. Someone worthy of the fiery force to be reckoning with in his arms.

How can someone ever be enough for someone who doesn’t need anyone but themself?

Lance had found the thought crossing his mind numerous times over the course of his time on the voltron team.

Everytime Keith valiantly risked his life to save the team. Every reckless, thoughtless moment where he would narrowly escape danger as Lance’s breath froze in his chest. Everytime Lance’s heart stuttered in awe and sheer terror the alpha couldn’t help but wonder.

How could someone ever be enough for Keith?

Lance’s heart stuttered in his chest as Keith relaxed fully against him. The omega’s soft hair tickled his damp skin as he settler his head on the alpha’s tan shoulder. The smaller man’s weight was settling against his side, but the slide of skin on skin in the water was oddly very arousing.

Shifting his hips a little to direct them away from the lovely man pressed against him, he took a deep breath, Keith’s slightly sweet and spicy scent caressing his senses. The omega’s faint scent did not help the alpha relax from his current wound up state in the slightest. Keith, of course, was completely oblivious to Lance’s discomfort, eyes closed, his face more serene than the alpha had ever seen before.

The tension was completely gone from the omega’s body and face, and he for once looked his young age. Resting sweetly against the alpha he looked completely beautiful, and on the verge of falling asleep.

Lance turned to see a smirking Nexxia completely focused on him; he blushed bright red under her deep blue gaze making her giggle sweetly

“Nexxia,” Lance kept his voice barely above a whisper, but still Keith grunted and cracked open an eye, “Why are all the alphas wearing the royal color?”

Keith shifted slightly against the alpha cracking open his other eyes clearly irritated with Lance for disrupting his peaceful state. Lance was actually relieved. He wasn’t sure his heart could handle much more of the adorably relaxed state the omega had been in.

“Ugh,” Nexxia grunted pushing herself up Thalan’s chest slightly, her breasts almost breaking the surface of the water, Lance immediately looked away, blushing once again. Keith rolled his eyes in irritation before narrowing them at the alpha beside him as Nexxia explained, “It’s a stupid and completely ancient, but technically the harem and omegas’ quarters are an extension of the Assoluto’s quarters. Alphas, when being received, wear the royal color as a reminder of the Assoluto’s absolute power.” Her eyes rolled to the ceiling as she shook her head back and forth, soft magenta hair fanning prettily in the foamy water.

“What do you mean absolute power?” Keith’s voice had a hard edge. Lance felt the tension coiling in the smaller man, and quickly pressed a comforting hand to his shoulder trying to reassure him in someway.

“Well, technically,” Nexxia started slowly, “an Assoluto is entitled to any unbound omega present in the harem.”

Keith’s body went rigid the water sloshing aggressively as he shot up his hand wrapping around the unmarked base of his throat. Panic flared through the bond. It was suffocating and completely primal terror.

“No Assoluto has claimed that right in over 300 holos. Omegas are sacred here. No Assoluto would risk disrupting the entire governmental hierarchy over an unmarked omega. He’s not even allowed to mark them, just sample them and only here in the harem. Why risk the loyalty of his peers over a sampling? Especially when most alphas are more than willing to share when the Assoluto is interested” Thalan’s voice was calm and deep, settling Lance’s anxiety slight, but not Keith’s.

Keith’s back was ramrod straight, every muscle was coiled tightly, and his hand was still a claw shape around his neck pressing his stone into the hollow of his neck. Lance’s heart pounded in his chest feeling the fear flush aggressively through his mental bond with Keith stole the breath from his chest. Lance had never felt such fear in his life.

Lance pinched the omega’s chin, turning his head to look him dead in the eye. Silence descended over the pool as he gazed deeply into the violet galaxies that Keith called eyes. “I will never let anyone touch you. Do you understand me?”

Keith swallowed his adam’s apple rubbing against his hand. He was silent gaze trained on Lance. Terror still thrummed between them, and Lance focused on channeling as much serenity and calm as he could to the smaller man. Focusing on his own slower heartbeat he sent the waves in the slower pulses hoping to relax the clearly frightened omega in his arms.

The silence stretched for another moment, Lance felt like he might shatter under the tension, “Answer me.” The command was quiet, Lance’s voice barely more than a murmur, but it was hard leaving no room for argument.

“Yes,” Keith whispered his eyes suspiciously bright, “I understand. Completely.”

Tension released from Keith, but his eyes were darting around the space, his mind a whirl of motion behind the now repositioned mental curtain. The omega was clearly waiting for the boogy man to pop out at any moment. Lance’s fingers slid across his skin, releasing him before pulling him close in the lusciously warm water. Pressing his own false mental calm towards the omega once more hoping to help manage the unsettling buzz of tension.

Nexxia looked completely bewildered sitting up now completely focused on the foreign couple before her; Thalan on the other hand nodded his head in understanding, his gaze lingering on Keith for a second before connecting with Lance’s hardened gaze.

Relaxation time was clearly over.

“Nexxia, why don’t you take Keith to our guest chamber to finish getting ready for the festivities,” Lance’s voice was pleasant, but the smile on his face was completely fake.

“But I planned for us to finish getting ready here with the other omegas,” Nexxia pouted, clearly upset to miss out on socializing.

“I think it is a lovely idea. It will give you time to really focus on Keith,” Thalan’s voice was casual, but his gaze was bright as he caught Lance’s eye, “Lance and I will finish getting ready in my quarters.”

“Fine,” Nexxia sighed unhappily, before perking up, “It will be nice not to have to share you. All the other omegas have been so eager to steal you, my wonderful new friend.”

Nexxia’s smile was radiant, and Lance watched as Keith hesitantly chuckled, the caginess leaving his stance as he almost fully relaxed once again.

Nexxia stood up completely naked out of the water and simply said, “Well, come on, we have tons to do.”

It was astonishing how quickly her displeasure had turned to excitement.

Keith didn’t even hesitate as he strode through the water, following her quickly out of the water towards the waiting beta who presented his robe. There wasn’t an ounce of shyness this time as he was wrapped in the flowing red fabric; apparently his haste to leave had eradicated any modesty in the male omega. Nexxia chattered softly as she took his arm and guided him towards the main corridor door. The huge doors opened and Keith looked over his shoulder, Lance could almost hear his sigh of relief as he crossed the threshold out of the receiving room and into the main palace corridor.

Thank you.

Keith turned back around and exited quickly, Nexxia practically dragging the smaller man out of sight.

“Thank you.” Lance’s voice was rough as he turned to look back at Thalan across the small pool.

“I always found that tradition a little distasteful, if I’m being honest.” Thalan’s gaze had some hidden message, and in that moment Lance realized that Thalan had shared something that was clearly not to be shared in good company.

Lance’s respect for the large Esarian man swelled in his chest. Thalan clearly did not agree with all of the practices of his home world, and suddenly Lance had hope that maybe someday, with alphas like Thalan and omegas like Nexxia leading the way, Liv Esari might see change, monumental change.

Chapter Text

Keith growled. It was soft, but definitely there as Nexxia tugged viciously on his hair. “Hush,” she huffed rolling her eyes towards the tall ceiling.

Keith glared at her through the mirrored wall in the bathroom, “I would if you weren’t trying to rip my hair from my scalp.” Keith knew he was whining, but damn it really felt like he should be bald by this point.

Nexxia and Keith had quickly taken a dip in the pool smoothing sudsy shampoo and thick creams in their hair before quickly washing off. Then Nexxia had revealed a curious grate in the floor that they had both stepped on to completely dry their bodies, much better than when he had allowed himself to air dry the night before. Nexxia’s long light magenta hair had dried in a perfectly silky curtain in the stream of warm air, but Keith’s on the other hand had turned into a matted semi dry rat’s nest.

So now he had sat in the delicate golden chair she had a beta servant bring in while she “combed” through his tangled mess of hair for what felt like was an eon, but had probably been over half a varga. She was anything but gentle.

Nexxia giggled and rolled her eyes a second time bringing Keith’s mind back to the present as she tugged at the roots of his thick hair once more, “Stopping being such a baby.” Her voice had a surprising amount of bite as she smiled sweetly down at Keith. “Men are so sensitive,” she chuckled softly, the tiny comb pulling Keith thick hair taught once more, “Doesn’t matter the species.”

Keith crossed his arms slouching slightly trying to hold in another growl that was directed towards the pretty Prima omega who was currently torturing him. Silently gritting his teeth as she continued to comb through the tangles in his fine hair with the tiny fine toothed comb.

I’m not sensitive

Keith felt Lance’s mind stir slightly on the other side of the telepathic bond. Keith’s gut flipped slightly as heat crept slowly up his neck coloring his cheeks slightly before settling deep in his gut. Keith shook himself slightly making Nexxia tsk her tongue and force his head still.

How strange?

“There,” Nexxia’s voice was filled with pride. Keith was shocked.

His hair was standing straight up in a halo of silky raven spikes around his head. “Done?” Keith couldn’t keep the astonishment out of his voice

Nexxia laughed, “Not quite.”

She walked to the bathroom counter perusing the various bottles arranged prettily on the counter. Humming a soft sweet tone to herself she started to rearrange the bottles bringing a few forwards, pushing one back, before selecting a tall thin jade colored bottle. The bottle had asymmetrical geometric edges making it look like some precious but raw crystal, not something that would hold some unknown alien beauty product. She twisted the nearly seamless top and Keith caught the faintest whiff of a clean slightly sweet scent; it was definitely one of the more neutral smelling products he had found in the bathroom.

Nexxia poured a bit of the thick fluid into her palm, it was slightly translucent and a soft gray color, but it refracted light like an oil spill. The substance gave off a beautiful shifting sheen that changed from purple to blue to green and back. It was a little mesmerizing.

Nexxia smiled sweetly and walked the few steps back to Keith rubbing her hands together, the sweet clean a little stronger now. “Hold still,” her smile was a little mischievous as she brought her hands to his head. Her fingertips gently began massaging the thick substance sinking into his hair and scalp, Keith fought to keep his eyes from rolling into the back of his head.

“Damn, Nexxia that feels amazing,” Keith groaned a little feeling her talented fingers move quickly through his hair.

Keith felt Lance push mentally at him, an unheard question hanging between their telepathic bond.

Lance’s presence in his mind made his gut twist tightly as Nexxia’s fingers made the heat in his gut lick up and down his spine in an oddly delicious way.

Lance pressed harder on the bond and then suddenly his voice was whispering in the back of Keith’s mind

All good, mullet?

Keith swallowed and suddenly the heat flared up before settling in to a simmer deep in his bones.

I’m fine

Keith didn’t hear a verbal response just a wave of contentment and approval washing through the bond from Lance. Keith felt his chest squeeze a little from the sweet emotions. His breath caught a little in his chest, and Keith hoped Nexxia hadn’t noticed.

“Now it’s done,” Nexxia stepped back so Keith could peer once more into the mirror wall.

“What the?” Keith’s fluffy halo of hair had been smoothed into a silky dream. His hair had never been so shiny or soft looking; he was tempted to touch it but was afraid of messing up the pretty waves and pieces Nexxia had styled it into. The ends curled slightly in a way that Keith normally would have complained about, but in the crystalline bathroom the curls looked soft and lovely. He realized that he looked a little feminine, his omegan features more prominent, but for once he didn’t mind his high cheekbones, his large eyes with their long lush lashes, or his small pink heart shaped mouth. Keith felt oddly comfortable looking at himself.

He was used to channeling his aggression, speed and masculinity. He wasn’t sure he had ever truly explored this softer omegan side that was now so prominent. As if Nexxia could feel the shock radiating off of the younger omega she placed her hands on both of his shoulders and locked with his violet gaze in the mirror’s reflection, “You look wonderful.”

Keith blinked trying to shake the slight fog that had settled over his mind as he gazed at his own image. Voice a little tight he muttered, “Thank you.”

“Ok now let’s add a little something,” the mischief was twinkling in her eyes once again as she pressed her hand firmly to the counter. The crystal counter parting and a little box rising up before the top popped open. Keith was perplexed as Nexxia thumbed through the unknown contents inside of the box.

She pulled out a little black tube and said, “Close your eyes.”

“No,” Keith groaned throwing his hair back, hair style be damned. “Quiznak, I’m not wearing makeup.”

Keith narrowed his eyes at the little tube in Nexxia’s long thin fingers. She rolled her eyes, “Just a little I swear. Don’t you trust me?”

“Not with that,” Keith huffed arms tightening around his chest.

“Come on,” Nexxia rolled her eyes before glaring at Keith, “You know you want to.”

Keith paused for a split second. He did like what she had done with his hair, right? Maybe this could just add to the look?

Nexxia tapped her foot, the soft pat pat echoing in the now silent bathroom. Keith’s mind currently felt like a tennis match, volleying back and forth on what to do. He knew that he liked what she had done with his hair, something about expressing his omegan side felt good in an almost taboo way. He was a man, that was obvious, but sometimes he forgot he was an omega too. Would it be so bad to express his inner omega in his physical appearance?

Keith sighed, rolling his eyes, “Ok, fine, but not a lot.”

Nexxia squealed happily, her body doing that adorable vibrating thing it does when she gets excited. “You are gonna look great!” Stepping closer she suddenly smiled huge, “get up.”

“What?” He felt his brow crease, furrowing at the strange request.

“Just get up,” she huffed and rolled her eyes in annoyance. Slowly he stood up and she flipped the chair around so the chair was facing away from the mirrored wall. “There, now no peeking.”

Apprehensive Keith glanced in the mirror once more before sitting back down, a little more tense this time. Nexxia gently tipped his head back, her smile huge and face glowing, before she giggled, “Now, close your eyes.”

Keith felt a little nervous, but let his eyes close gently.

He trusted Nexxia, right?

She softly pressed his eyes brow up before sliding something along his lash line. It felt weird and a little unnatural; Keith had to force himself to remain still and not jump each time the product touched his face. “Ok open your eyes,” Nexxia’s voice was a little tense; clearly, she was extremely focused on the task at hand. “Just hold still,” Nexxia’s tongue poked out a little as she tipped his head back a bit more. He giggled making her narrow his eyes, so he tensed his mouth to hold in another giggle as she pressed on his cheekbone a little the product sliding along his lower lash line this time. She pulled back after both eyes were done examining her handy work. She smudged a little more on the left eye before nodding “No peeking,” her eyes narrowed as she walked back to the counter.

She came back with two little pots in her hand, “Hold this.” She handed him the small pink container that was shaped like a diamond with softly rounded edges. She twisted the top off of the opal toned circular pot in her own hands this one was larger about the size of her palm. The cream inside was thick and a pretty pearlescent pink. She touched her finger to the almost jelly like substance, it wiggled as she brought her fingers up before bringing them up to his face. Her fingers defly rubbed against his high cheekbone, along the bridge of his nose, under his brows, before caressing across the cupid’s bow of his lip. “Robe down,” Nexxia smiled brightly. Keith raised an eyebrow, but simply shrugged the top of his robe off making his nipples peak in the chilly air. Nexxia reached for the pearlescent cream again before rubbing the lightly scented product across his collarbones.

“Ok one last touch,” Nexxia muttered, her smile huge clearly very happy with her handy work, before switching pots with Keith. The opal colored pot was surprisingly light. The pink pot opened up and Keith had a strong whiff of some sweet and semi-tropical fruit. The contents were a little more fluid than the first pot’s, but was a vibrant pink-toned red. Nexxia used her finger once again touching it to the bright substance, “Pout.”

Keith felt beyond stupid, but he pushed out his bottom lip in a soft pout. Her finger ran gently across his bottom lip. “Do this,” Nexxia demonstrated pressing her lips together gently. Keith replicated the movement, and her finger rubbed gently across the top lip next, before sweeping quickly across the bottom for good measure.

“Perfect. You are stunning,” Nexxia gushed. “Let me wash this off real quick,” she held up a finger scurrying away back to the vanity. Keith listen as she quickly cleaned up, and felt his anxiety and nausea rising a bit. Why had he letter her doll him up? He had never felt the need to enhance his omega side before, why now?

Before Keith could derail to far Nexxia’s voice cut through the turmoil, “OK turn around!” Her excitement was infectious, and he felt a grin spreading across his face as he turned to look at Nexxia’s glowing face.

Seeing how happy she was made him feel a bit better, turning fully he locked eyes on is face in the mirror, jaw hitting the floor.

“Quiznak,” Keith muttered. Looking back at him was someone he had never seen before. Keith’s eyes looked huge and seemed to glow like amethysts catching the light, his cheekbones had never been so defined, and even his mouth looked more supple from the soft red tint she had applied. The red stone sat prettily between two defined collarbones, and suddenly Keith felt like he looked like an omegan dream.

He had no idea he could look like this.

“You are beyond lovely,” she cooed softly. Stepping forward her, she let her fingers caress gently through his hair, making it look a little more like the unruly mop he was used to. That was almost grounding, Keith had almost forgotten that the pretty omegan image before him was actually a reflection of himself.

“Now let’s get you glistened, so I can go get myself ready,” Nexxia clapped her hands happily and flounce quickly back to the bathroom counter.

“Glistened?” Keith’s voice cracked a little. This didn’t sound good.

“Of course! An Omega is a jewel and must always shine like one,” Nexxia giggled and rolled her eyes a little clearly thinking this step in the beauty routine was a little silly. She grasped a large sky blue hexagonal shaped jar that was perfectly smooth with deep indigo marbling all over the shiny surface. “Now strip,” Nexxia’s smile was bright like she had said something perfectly normal. Keith realized that she had seen him completely naked more than once at this point, but this seemed a little... intimate.

“Why don’t I glisten myself?” Keith found himself grasping for straws. He didn’t really want his new friend rubbing some slick lotion all over his naked body. It was different when Daphin had given him a massage, she was a professional. This was Nexxia his giggly new friend who wanted to rub her hands all over his bare skin, and suddenly the thought made him highly uncomfortable and almost a little queasy.

Thinking quickly he added, “We’ve been here for a while. I bet we are getting close to the festivities. You should start getting yourself ready.”

Nexxia turned and gazed at herself in the mirror, “You are probably right. I have so much to do.” Her face twisted slightly as she pulled at the corner of her brow. Keith resisted rolling his eyes. She looked absolutely perfect to him, but then again his opinion didn’t matter much.

“I can handle the glistening,” Keith stood up and gently took the lovely jar out of her hands.
She hesitated before patting his hand on the top of the jar, “Be sure to make sure you glisten...everywhere.” Her voice dripped with innuendo, as her eyes darted to just below where the robe was cinched around his waist, making color flare high on Keith’s cheekbones. He was still blinking wide eyed as she flounced out the bathroom in a flurry of pink hair and green silk.

Keith looked down at the lovely pot in his hands and sighed. He popped the lid off and a delicious scent hit his nose, it was like vanilla, but warmer and deeper almost. It was sweet and yet more complex than any dessert he had ever smelt before. It was absolutely mouth watering. The thick substance had a consistency between jam and petroleum jelly; it was translucent with a slightly warm glow it looked almost like sunshine trapped in some alien gooey form.

Frowning Keith focused in on the delicious smelling gunk, his mind rebelled against the idea of oiling himself up like some outdated bodybuilder, but a part of him was curious about what the substance would look like spread all over his pale skin.

Sighing he dipped his finger into the thick goo and was surprised to find it was almost warm. Scooping out about a tablespoon amount he set the pot down before turning to look at himself in the mirror. His robe was tied around his waist, but the top hung off of him leaving his torso completely bare. Starting on one shoulder he rubbed hand slowly down his arm. It left a slick streak on his pale skin, but almost all of the product was still clinging to his finger. He began spreading the substance up and down his arm, it left a slightly warm tingling sensation that made Keith’s breath hitch slightly.

Keith brought his hand up across his collarbone the warmth spread across his chest and felt the warmth radiating across his skin once more. Keith untied his robe before rubbing his hands together. Most of the glistening substance was still clinging to his finger, which Keith was surprised by, even more surprising was what the jelly like substance was doing to his skin. It seemed to soak completely into his pale skin creating a soft glowing haze that made him look like he was radiating light from within. His hands began slowly sliding across his own bare chest making his breath catch as the smoothed across his nipples and down to the V of his hips.

Keith felt sparks radiating down his spine, and tried to resist the warmth his own touch was causing. Sliding his hands up his chest and neck before going across his collarbone and down the other arm, Keith was mesmerized as the small dollop of product finally disappeared into his skin. The luscious scent seemed to blend with his own smoky slightly spicy scent sweetening it up. It reminded him of his last heat when his sugary vanilla scent would permeate the air clinging to everything like a heavy cloud of lust and need.

Taking a deep breath he felt heat coiling deep in his gut as he took in the delicious scent clinging to his skin. He needed to glisten his legs, but his heart was pounding against his ribs. Shaking his head slightly trying to rid it of the heated fog that was settling over his sense, Keith tugged the tie of his robe letting the beautiful red material pool around his feet.

Keith admired his glowing chest in the dim light of the bathroom. The stirring water in the pool created a warm relaxing environment, but his skin still seemed to buzz with awareness

What is this stuff?

In the back of his mind he was mildly afraid he was allergic to the beauty product, but that didn’t stop his from fishing out another dollop to spread and massage slowly down on toned thigh. Keith was almost breathless when he reached his knee. The warming substance still clung to his palms so he continued past his knees moaning softly as he massaged his calf muscles, even sliding nimble fingers across the top of his foot. His mouth was dry and his fingers shook slightly as he grabbed more of the delicious smelling goo. On his second leg, he started bent at the waist working his hands slowly up his hairless pale skin massaging gently until his skin shone luminescently. Reaching the top of his thigh he admired his handy work.

His skin looked perfect. Completely hairless from the waxing the day before there wasn’t a blemish in sight, the glistening product softly diffused the light making his skin glow with the loveliest sheen, but he couldn't feel anything on his skin.

A puff of air passed his lips as he noticed his dick was almost completely hard and pointing up towards his navel. He blushed standing there completely alone looking like some alpha’s wet dream of a pretty male omega. He couldn’t reconcile the image of himself being reflected back, but that was him.

He was beautiful.

Keith let out a deep breath as the warmth from the thick product settled deep in his gut. His cock twitched as he unintentionally thought of what it would feel like from someone else’s hands to smooth the tingling product across his skin. His hands fisted his fingernails biting into his skin as he imagined someone pressed against his back.

He’d be taller than Keith, with nice strong hands that would slide confidently across his skin making his shiver. Keith’s own hands traced up his chest thumbing his nipples lightly as he imagined long tan fingers replacing his own. His hands slid down his sides skirting around to rub across his backside, Keith felt slick slowly dripping from the cleft of his ass down his thighs. His own sweetness adding to the delectable perfume that was clinging to the air now. How had he gotten this turned on? Honestly he wasn’t completely sure.

He could imagine a hard cock pressing against the curve of his ass as a lush mouth pressed kisses to neck. His eyes cracked open to look at his pale hands caressing his own skin. Keith panted as blue eyes flashed in his mind; one hand skirted around his hip teasing the base of his cock, while his other hand slid back to his chest pinching his nipple.

Keith could see his imaginary Lance behind him, a faded image of what could never be, a smirk showing off straight white teeth and blue eyes so deep they made his heart skip a beat.

Tension coiled in Keith’s gut. His fingers seemed to have a mind of their own as the encircled his cock squeezing tightly. “Lance,” the pant was soft, but unmistakable.

A hazy warmth had settled over Keith’s brain he couldn’t think of anything besides pretty blue eyes and getting off. Lance’s consciousness stirred in their bond brushing against Keith’s. It sent sparks firing down the omega’s spine a moan caught in his throat, it would be so easy to open up to the alpha to let him in, to let him see the raw hunger simmering in the Red Paladin. Keith felt consumed for a moment, he was a breath away from reaching out to Lance. Oh how he wanted Lance, wanted his hands, his lips, his cock inside of his taking him, marking him, owning him. Keith wanted it so desperately he could hardly breath. By sheer force of will he kept the walls protecting his mind in tact, but that didn't stop him from shivering as the alpha’s mind reached out to him. Tendrils of thought caressing him in a way that felt too intimate.

“Lance,” this time Keith’s voice echoed in the bathroom as his fingers pinched his nipple and squeezed the base of his cock, preparing to pump and get himself off.

“Keith,” a knock rapped on the door “You need something, samurai?”

Suddenly Keith was coming. Spraying the mirrored wall with ropes of pearly white fluid his hand completely frozen on his throbbing dick. Panting he rested his forehead on the mirrored surface, in a strained gravelly voice he replied “No I’m fine.”

~~~~~~~

Lance shook his head and walked away from the bathroom door before flopping on the bed. Keith’s mind had been radiating strange tension for a few hours now, and it was beginning to make Lance tense as well. He had just walked into their shared bedchamber when he heard Keith calling his name from the bathroom, concern had immediately flared deep in Lance’s stomach. The omega had sounded ok, but something was off, Lance could feel it in his bones.

Lance wanted nothing more than to help Keith relax, but he was completely in the dark and had no idea what the beautiful man needed. Lance had always admired the omega, longed for him in a way he hadn’t anyone else, but this deep concern and need to care for him was new. He knew Keith was perfectly capable of taking care of himself, but Lance couldn’t help but want to lend a hand. He wanted to lift whatever was brudening the lovely man, even though he was pretty sure his assistance wouldn’t be welcome. He would have done anything though to resolve the swirl of motion he could sense just behind Keith’s mental blockade.

What I would give to be let in there?

“Let in where?” Keith’s voice made Lance shoot up on the bed eyes wide.

Thinking on his feet Lance spit out the first thing that popped in his head, “The omegas’ quarters.”

Keith rolled his eyes and did not respond as he moved towards the seating area, red robe swirling around his pale feet.

He plopped heavily into one of the chairs his eyes fluttering shut. Lance let his gaze trace over his teammate’s lovely features. Something dark smoked out around his thick long lashes, his features seemed more defined, and even his mouth seemed more plush than normal.

“You look nice,” Lance wished he could suck the words back in as soon as he said them.

Keith lifted a lid, one violet eye trained on the now blushing alpha, his chest puffed up a little before his voice sighed out softly, “Thanks.” Lance blinked as Keith eye shut and he relaxed deeper into the cushions. That was not the growl he had been expecting.

“No problem, carino” Lance blushed even more deeply at the second slip, but thankfully Keith didn’t seem to notice. Keith’s head was tipped back on the chair and he barely hummed a response. Lance counted his blessings as the omega tried to relax into the plush seating.

What was up with him all of a sudden? Lance could not seem to keep his foot out of his mouth this afternoon.

“Have they brought our clothing for the festivities yet?” Keith’s voice was a little tense for how relaxed his body language was.

“Not yet, but I’m sure they will be here soon,” Lance’s brow was drawn together as he looked at the omega across the room.

Keith looked stunning but there was tension in his shoulders and around his eyes, almost like he was trying to force himself to relax. His legs were in front of him crossed at the ankles, but Lance watched one of his feet minutely bobbing up and down. His arms were crossed over his chest, and Lance couldn't help admiring the hard lean muscles under the pale gleaming skin where the sleeve of his robe had ridden up. He was mouth watering, but something seemed off about him.

Lance stood up slowly and made his way over towards Keith. He was careful not to bump up against Keith’s mental blockade either, but he could sense the tension radiating from the pretty omega’s mind as well. Sitting down in the seat across from Keith’s sprawled form Lance hummed softly. Keith opened his eyes and lifted his head to catch Lance’s gaze, “Yes?”

The scowl across Keith’s face was grounding. For a moment Lance didn’t think this was the same Red Paladin, but that twist of his lips was just as familiar to Lance as Hunk’s smile. Lance felt some unknown tension loosen in his own chest as he gazed across at the beautiful man before him.

This was still Keith.

“Dude, are you ok?” Lance cocked his head eyes tracing up and down the length of Keith’s body. The tension was still present around his eyes and mouth as he locked onto Lance’s gaze, but the tension in his shoulders relaxed and his foot stopped twitching.

“I’m - I just - ugh” Keith’s breath gusted out as he shook his head, scowl deepening. He looked down breaking the connection between the two men.

“What’s wrong?” Lance was on high alert again. Something was up.

An almost buzzing hum filled Lance’s mind, while his skin tingled, but he knew these sensations were not his own. Keith violet gaze met his, the omega worked his jaw like he was looking for words. “I just-” suddenly a loud knocking filled the air. Keith jumped his body perching on the edge of the chair. Lance couldn’t help noticing the expanse of creamy pale leg that had shifted out from under his red robe. “You should get that,” Keith’s voice was low and tight tension back completely.

Lance knew the omega was closed to him once more. There was even more mental distance between them than there was before, sighing he stood and moved silently towards their door. He opened the door and saw three betas waiting on the other side. The one in the middle wore an ornate tunic in a deep amber color that matched his eyes, he had a peach complexion and bright red hair; he could almost pass as human, besides having slightly pointed ears. He had a small box grasped in his hands and nodded softly at the Blue Paladin. Per usual Lance had to look up slightly at the Esarian man, and for some reason that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on edge.

What was with him?

He had the sudden urge to slam the door in this beta’s face and not let him in; it was completely irrational. Hand tightening momentarily on the door before he opened it wider and ushered them in. The two female betas behind him were in the normal royal green attire and moved towards the bed to set down their large packages.

“Hello I’m Sonni Vatalen, The Royal Modiste of the Esarian court,” The man’s accent was a little different than Nexxia or Thalan’s. He must be from a different region of Liv Esari. He bowed slightly at the waist and smirked at Lance.

Lance did not like this guy.

His scent should have been neutral because he was a beta, but something about it was driving Lance up the wall. Suddenly amber eyes found Keith across the room, and Lance immediately knew why he was irritated. The man wanted Keith. It was plainly written on his face, and that would not do.

A growl rumbled deep in Lance’s chest.

The beta paled, eyes snapping back to Lance, “What have you brought for me and my omega?” Lance’s voice was hard the edge clear, and the Esarian beta clearly picked up on it. Lance might have been smaller, but he could take him without breaking a sweat.

The beta’s eyes flicked over to Keith before snapping quickly back to Lance, “Blue Paladin,” red hair shifted across his shoulders as he dipped his head slightly, “I have created works of art for you and your lovely omega to wear tonight.” Lance was pleased to see the man’s eyes didn't flick towards Keith again.

“Show me,” Lance’s voice was hard, but he couldn’t shake the prickling under his skin caused by the beta’s gaze on Keith.

The beta nodded and gestured to the two women. With a flourish, the girls lifted the tops and the ornate boxes fell away revealing two piles one almost entirely gold the other a silky blue. “I’m assuming the blue is for me?” Lance asked a chuckle slipping past even though his blood was still simmering.

“Yes, sir,” the beta was all polite formality now. Lance resisted rolling his eyes.

Keith slid up next to him almost silently. His mouth pinched as he looked at his pile of “clothing” that was completely devoid of cloth. Pale lithe fingers plucked at the chain lifting the top piece up; a thick heavy gold band fell backwards making the intricate netting of chains quiver. Setting down the first piece Keith lifted the second this one was more recognizable, a thick chain with thousands of delicate chains in varying widths descended to connect to two thick cuffs that hung in small circles. Some of the delicate chains were so intricate that they looked like braids, while others looked almost organic like ivy twisting through the air. All of the chains were decorated and dotted with lovely garnet gems most were smaller than a grain of rice, but some were as large as a dime around the waist and ankle cuffs. Red light winked from the “pants” every time Keith’s hands shifted even minutely. Lance couldn’t help thinking that they were rather beautiful, especially when he imagined creamy pale skin peeking through the gold.

“No underwear?” the pretty omega’s voice was a dead monotone jolting Lance out of his wayward train of thought.

“Ah a covering,” Sonni made an odd clicking noise and walked towards the bed, Lance was pleased that he had chosen to approach Lance’s left as far away from Keith who currently stood silently fuming on his right. “You see for special occasions an omega must be adorned. Whichever adornment you choose will decide whether or not your omega wears a covering,” Sonni shot Lance a smile that made his stomach drop.

~~~~~~~

Keith’s heart pounded in his ears as he looked at the box.

Adornment?

Panic had started simmering under his stoic facade. Lance brushed the knuckle of his middle finger against the back of Keith’s hand and immediately the omega felt more grounded. The brief contact had helped settle the panic, at least a little.

“And what are the options?” Lance’s voice was even and breezy as he gazed up at the beta, but Keith could feel the tension in his mind. Lance’s mind was a humming mess the thoughts swirling so quickly Keith couldn’t even begin to process through them.

“We have brought all of the traditional options for you to choose from,” Sonni chuckled lightheartedly and added “Some alphas choose to adorn their omegas with all three.” Sonni’s smirk made Keith’s skin crawl.

Lance released a stiff chuckle as the hair on Keith’s neck stood up straight.

With a flourish the Esarian beta lifted the lid allowing the smaller box to collapse like the others had. On a plush green pillow sat three gilded and gemstone studded pieces of jewelry. A twisted bracelet that looked almost like a snake, a strand with 8 or 9 beads the size of large grapes with a large gemstone as the clasp, and a pair of earrings.

Both paladins let out large sighs. The jewelry was gaudy but seemed harmless enough. Tension slowly seeped out of the men and this time Lance let out a real chuckle as he turned his attention to the red headed man before him. Sonni’s eyes flashed sensing the change in the man and he seemed to relax a bit under Lance’s blue gaze.

“I am hoping you choose the larla at the very least. It has been centuries since we had an excuse to fashion one,” Sonni gushed. His deep amber eyes transfixed on the serpentine bracelet, fingers hovering but not touching the ornate metal. Keith could now see that the surface was not smooth but etched with complicated patterns that seemed to shift the longer he looked at the delicate piece of jewelry.

Centuries? For a bracelet?

“But I’ve seen other omegas wearing bracelets?” Lance pondered aloud, “What makes this one so special?” Keith jolted a little at Lance’s smooth voice vocalizing his inner thoughts. Checking the veil he had put around his mind, it was still very much intact.

Sonni started wide eyed, “You think this goes on his wrist?” A full bellied laugh rolled out of the man’s chest. “No, no, this is for you lovely omega’s phallus,” the man still seemed full of mirth as the paladins gaped at him. His amber eyes sparkled merrily as his laughter made his long red hair ripple around his jovial face. Keith felt sick.

A cock ring. They want me to wear a mother fucking cock ring.

No way in hell

“And the other options?” Lance’s voice was cool and detached as Sonni looked completely crest fallen, all laughter wiped clean off his face.

“First let me show you the mechanism before you make your decision. It’s really quite marvelous and not harmful, albeit a little uncomfortable, but that’s the fun.” Sonni’s chuckle made Keith want to vomit. He couldn’t help his reaction to shield himself behind Lance’s larger body to avoid the hungry amber gaze that was once again trained on him. “Now if you would just run your finger along the larla; it will only respond to an alpha’s touch.” Envy flashed in the beta’s eyes.

Alpha wannabe

Keith was forced to cover his chuckle with a cough as Lance’s thought slid easily into his mind. It felt so natural to have his presence there now.

Lance reached out and slid a finger along the cool metal. Slowly the twirled piece of metal expanded before constricting tightly around the empty air forming a long tight coil, both boys winced imagining what that must feel like. It reminded Lance a little of the fabric currently wrapped around Keith’s neck, but in a much more aggressive and blatantly sexual way.

“I don’t think this will do,” Lance tried hard to maintain his bored drawl as anger bubble inside him. Who would ever want to subject their lover to such an uncomfortable position, and in public no less? “The other options please.”

Keith could feel the anger bubbling in Lance’s mind. It was reassuring to know that Lance detested this as much as he did. Something settled in Keith’s chest as he pressed his palm flat against Lance’s back feeling the knobs of his spine and the heat of his skin through the silky black fabric. It took his breath for a moment before settling his nerves once again. Keith removed his hand and stood next to the alpha savoring the heat still radiating from the large man. He wasn’t alone in this.

Completely deflated Sonni scowled before remembering himself and nodding with an annoyed smile, “Oh course, sir. We have two classic options left. The babetees and the dajeengs.” He gestured first to the long string of heavy looking beads followed by the dainty ringed jewelry.

“The babetees shall be worn inside your omega. They have a good weight that will make their presence known and a lovely finishing jewel to highlight your omega’s most prized asset, which is featured in your chosen shade for your omega.” The beta’s tone was almost bored and clearly annoyed with this entire situation that had not gone his way. Lance wanted to be sick seeing the lovely red jewel on the plush green pillow. “As for the dajeengs, they will adorne for omega’s nipples and are the most classic and basic adornment. We have piercing needles available if you need them. It is a tradition that an alpha pierce his prima omega’s nipples himself.” Sonni had gained some of his pep back by the end of his spiel.

Keith had turned ash white, color draining completely from his face, which concerned Lance more than anything. Keith swayed slightly and Lance wrapped his fingers around the pretty omega’s wrist scared that any moment now he might collapse.

Keith’s mind raced to weigh the pros and cons of each option. He looked up at Lance wide eyed before taking a deep breath and stealing his nerves. He was the Red Paladin. He could handle this. This was nothing, but the omega inside of him wholeheartedly disagreed.

The nipple rings. I refuse to not wear underwear in front of that perverted Assoluto

Suddenly an image of Keith with nipple rings and belly button ring that matched his choker flashed in Lance’s mind. It was delicious, but the alpha aggressively shoved the image out of his mind.

Not like this.

That thought stayed with the alpha.

Fully processing the omega’s request, Lance gaped at Keit for a moment.

You sure?

Positive.

Violet eyes flashed for a moment looking as hard as amethysts.

Chapter Text

Staring at the glitzy jewelry, Lance was utterly bewildered; he couldn't seem to wrap his mind around viewing omegas in such a basic and dehumanized way. Here on Liv Esari it seemed like the majority of the alphas viewed their lovely companions as toys to play with, not living breathing beings that should be valued and respected.

It shook Lance to his core.

He was raised to always view an omega partner as a gift, someone special and equal in the relationship, someone he could love unconditionally, not someone to use to fulfill some lurid fantasy of a narcissistic alien tyrant.

Looking at Keith, his violet eyes hard and the muscle ticking in his jaw, something clicked in the alpha’s mind.

“No,” his voice sounded forgein to even his own ears. Keith tensed a little at the icy tone. Lance’s voice was deep, cold and sharp as a knife; it left no room for argument.

“No?” Sonni clearly was confused by his abrupt change in demeanor. “If these are not to your liking I’m sure we can find you a more suitable option. Perhaps something with larger stones or more intricate detailing?” Sonni tried to smile, but there was panic lurking under his cheerful facade. Lance could see what he thought was genuine fear in the taller man’s amber eyes.

Lance scared him.

Lance’s inner alpha reveled in the other man’s fear.

There was something inside of him that had surfaced, something he had only felt in battle before this moment, and clearly it terrified the man in front of him. Lance might have been the smaller of the two, but clearly Sonni knew to be afraid of an angry alpha, no matter their size.

Squaring his shoulders, Lance narrowed his eyes zeroing in on the man before him, looking up slightly at the large beta, he repeated himself, “No.”

This time Lance’s voice was even firmer, out of the corner of his eye he saw Keith shift minutely, it almost looked like a shiver. “My omega is already adorned,” Lance’s fingers wrapped around the back of Keith’s neck his thumb dipping into the hollow of his throat to lift the warmed red gem from Keith’s porcelain skin.

~~~~~~~

Keith’s breath caught as warmth crept down his spine from the heat radiating from the large alpha’s skin. He fought to keep his body from trembling under the assertive touch, his knees feeling oddly weak. Butterflies flared in his stomach as the alpha continued, partially lying through his teeth, “This choker can only be removed by my hand. It is a classic Earth symbol of ownership and is enough adornment for my lovely omega.”

Blue eyes narrowed at the red headed beta, Sonni seemed taken aback for a moment, “I must insist on a classical Esarian adornment as well. The babetees offer no permanent damage and are a lovely —“

“Did you not hear me?” Lance’s voice pierced through everyone present.

Keith noticed the two female betas dropped back towards the door out, shying away from the clearly angered alpha. Everyone seemed frozen, like they had been placed in suspended animation. Keith was pretty sure he could hear a pin drop in the now silent room, his breath stuck in his chest.

Keith’s head spun as Lance pheromones invaded his senses, heavy spice hung in the air almost completely overpowering the tart sweetness of green. Keith’s anxiety spiked at the scent hanging in the air, it smelt like anger and aggression. He had only smelled it lingering on Lance after a particularly difficult battle, and smelling it first hand made the omega in Keith want to sooth him.

His alpha shouldn’t be this upset.

Something whispered under the omega’s anxiety.

It was excitement.

Lance was angry because someone was disrespecting Keith and his body. These Esarins wanted to debase him, and in one case, cause Lance to inflict harm on him, and Lance was angry about that.

Not just angry though...he was pissed.

He cares about me. My alpha, he’s protecting me.

Keith’s inner omega preened, fluffing up like a peacock on display. He loved this feeling of security. The hand bracketing his neck holding him surely, but in a way that was gentle and soothing. His alpha’s hard demeanor pointed at the threat, Keith’s inner omega basked in the protection his alpha was offering.

Normally Keith would snap; angry that the alpha had the audacity to try and protect him. He could protect himself.

But in this moment, Keith realized he couldn’t protect himself.

Yes, physically he was capable of taking down Sonni and the numerous other physical threats in the castle, but he was not safe here. A fear had been plaguing him since setting foot on this planet, he was not fully capable of protecting himself because here, he was not fully free. Here he was something to be possessed, a foreign treasure, something that was scare, not a person. He was something Esarians wanted as theirs, but standing there he realized he was already possessed.

He was Lance’s.

It was a lightning bolt of recognition that shook him to his very core.

There would be no other alpha, no other partner, just Lance.

Keith craved his touch even when it was just an aggressive spare in the training room. He felt comforted by the tall man’s scent even when it was just a faint linger in the communal showers after training. Every touch, every word, every look, Keith had craved the blue-eyed man next to him almost as soon as they set off on this space adventure together.

At one time, he had been scared to admit it, but he wanted Lance.

The thought had always hovered in his subconscious. Nagging and godding him to tease and bicker with the alpha, to do anything to hold that cerulean gaze on him for as long as possible. The omega in him nodded its head in a sagelike manner, clearly happy that his conscious mind had finally caught up. Keith wanted Lance, and he always had.

But here on this planet he needed the beautiful alpha.

Without Lance, Keith was adrift in a sea of enemies, and not the kind he could battle his way out of.

This should have terrified him, but somehow the thought brought him comfort. He wasn’t alone in this battle; he had his partner, his alpha.

~~~~~~~

Lance startled a bit as fingers brushed against his side. Stomach dropping, he turned his eyes to Keith expecting a vicious glare, but as blue eyes connected with violet, Keith smirked slightly up at him. The smaller man wasn’t angry, which was a very pleasant surprise. He seemed to be finding humor in the situation if his sparkling amethyst colored eyes had anything to say about it.

Lance’s features had relaxed a little looking down at the smaller man, but they hardened once again as he zeroed in on the Esarian before him. “I asked did you not hear me?”

“No, sir I heard you,” Sonni looked highly uncomfortable. His hands were clasped tightly in front of him, his back was ram rod straight and his gaze was somewhere around Lance’s chin clearly avoiding his glaring gaze.

“And what did I say?” Lance felt anger boiling up inside of him once again, his skin felt hot and tight like it could barely contain the anger inside his body.

“You said,” Sonni hesitated, amber eyes darting up to meet blue, making Lance narrow his eyes while his lip curled slightly. The beta slumped and finished “You said that your omega was already adorned.”

“Precisely,” Lance’s voice was firm. His hand sliding down Keith’s back feeling hard tight muscles through the thin silky material of his robe.

“But that’s really not proper,” Sonni’s mouth was twisted like he had just sucked on a particularly sour lemon.

“I don’t care,” Lance growled taking a half step towards the beta. The alpha watched as the beta’s eyes widened and his complexion paled making him look even more human than before; he clearly did not like the smaller man invading his personal space.

Sonni clearly was torn on what to do.

Sighing deeply, eyes downcast, he nodded his head, “Fine, Sir.”

He reached for the ornamental jewelry, fingers hesitating over the lalar, Lance felt a growl vibrating in his chest, before he quickly put the box back together and held it close to his chest. “No adornments,” red hair swirled as Sonni bowed his head minutely towards Lance.

“My omega will require a covering,” Lance quirked a brow at the Esarian man who was clearly annoyed with his decision.

“Yes, yes,” with a flick of his wrist a beta walked forward eyeing Lance cautiously. She produced a green silk bag that was tied up with a silver ribbon, “Here is your covering. Would you like my assistants to help your omega dress?”

Lance hesitated.

Eyes darting over to Keith he was trying to assess what the smaller man would want in this situation.

Those clasps are honestly a bit of a bitch.

Keith’s voice in Lance’s mind was soft and clearly annoyed. Lance’s mind chuckled as he took a second to revel in the raven haired man’s thought floating through his mind,

“Yes, that will be fine, thank you,” Lance nodded trying to cover his slight pause with an authoritative tone. “You are free to leave though,” Lance smiled smugly and nodded towards the door. Sonni tensed but nodded, snapping his fingers the female betas bustled over to Keith one picking up his outfit while the other herded him towards the bathroom smiling sweetly. Sonni silently made his way towards the door a scowl fixed on his face.

Serves him right for suggesting I wear a cock ring

Keith’s voice was laughing in his head, warm and smooth like good hot chocolate. Lance couldn’t help grinning at him as he disappeared into the bathroom, just happy he could make the beautiful man chuckle, even if it was only in his mind.

The bathroom door slid closed almost silently leaving Lance to eye his own clothing pile. Long tan fingers brushed against cool blue silk.

Let’s see what we have here.

~~~~~~~

Keith was utterly confused as the women silently began twisting and spinning him. His robe was ripped off his body leaving the Korean man completely naked. One of the betas clucked her tongue in that disapproving half whistle he had heard regularly and walked to the counter to grab the glistening jar.

“Oh no no no I already glistened myself,” Keith tried to shy away from their candy colored hands as they reached for him.

The bright purple complected one glared holding the opened jar, “Not well enough you missed several spots.”

Clearly she disapproved of his technique.

The other quirked a yellow eyebrow at him, her complexion was almost as fair as his, but was tinged a soft orangey yellow. She honestly looked a little jaundiced, but almost human besides her highlighter yellow waist length hair. “Please, just let me fix it,” she was clearly annoyed with his modesty as well.

She dropped to her knees on the hard violet floor and began working her hands up his legs. She seemed to almost buff the product into his skin it caused his skin to radiate light, almost like he was lit from within. To his chagrin the only place he seemed to have properly buffed the product in was his dick.

Who knew getting off could save me from an even more uncomfortable situation?

The thought drifted through his mind as the purple beta worked on buffing the glistening into his ass cheeks. His face flamed bright red in utter embarrassment as the women efficiently worked the warm product into his skin. Keith could feel Lance brushing against the mental veil he had erected clearly sensing some of the omega’s unease, but Keith made sure nothing slipped through.

Keith vowed to himself that Lance would never know about the waxing and plucking and buffing he had endured on this mission.

Never.

Suddenly the women walked a circle around him again, appraising at their handy work. Nodding and coming to a halt, they smiled at each other before stepping back to the counter towards his “clothing”. First the covering was pulled from the silky green bag. Keith expected the beta to hand it to him but once again she dropped to her knees and made to help him put them on. Face flaming ,Keith lifted a foot allowing the woman to shimmy the slightly stretchy silky fabric up his body.

His cock barely fit in the small red pair of underpants and the back was cut in a very cheeky fashion highlighting how tight his ass was. Keith knew they looked good on him, but that didn’t quell his annoyance.

He was just so...exposed.

Huffily he waited for the decorations to be put on him.

Will I even remember what it is like not to have hard nipples by the end of this?

Lance’s voice chuckled inside Keith’s slightly fuzzy head. He apparently hadn’t done a very good job keeping that thought to himself.

The waterfall of chains floated towards him as one of the attendants brought his pants over. The other dropped to her knees and fastened one cuff around his ankle and then the other. Nibble fingers brought the thick chain around his hips, his hip bones cradled the chain almost lovingly as the intricate clasp was fastened at the small of his back.

The yellow beta at his feet delicately untangled the chains around his legs causing them to tinkle softly as the light caught and reflected off the scattered red gems dotted all over him. Cooing she oohed and ahhed telling him how lovely his skin was in an almost awed tone, “I’ve never seen such fair skin, and your alpha is so dark. You make such a striking couple,” the beta’s voice was soft as butterfly wings; her wide orange eyes batted up at him almost invisible yellow lashes fluttering.

Keith felt heat creep up his chest to his cheeks.

His alpha was very beautiful.

Not that Lance was actually his. Keith shook himself mentally. He couldn’t let his omega’s inner thoughts keep slipping through. Lance would inevitably hear, and that would not be good.

Can’t have that

Lance pressed against the mental bond clearly trying to reach past the mental block, but Keith stayed strong keeping the inquisitive alpha out of his mind.

Keith sighed at the intricate spider web of chains that the betas were currently unclamping. He was definitely not going to be able to take this contraption off by himself. The betas were quietly arguing in hushed voices so low the omega couldn’t understand them, even though he was only a few feet away. One had a gold band in her hand gesturing towards Keith, while the other frantically shook her head yellow hair flying everywhere. Finally the purple beta rolled her eyes and set the gold band on the counter away from the rest of the gold pile, clearly she had lost the argument.

Well that was odd

All of this is odd

Lance’s growl in his mind made the smaller man shiver. The tan man was clearly annoyed about something, but the omega didn’t know what exactly. The only thing coming through the bond currently was annoyance and a tinge of embarrassment. It could honestly be anything at this point.

Lance was so open.
It still surprised Keith. All he had to do was reach out barely brushing the bond and Lance’s emotions would flare through his body. Often times the omega could pick out tangible thoughts with ease as well. It was comforting and almost a little unsettling at times how open the alpha was.

Suddenly, the betas descended on him in a flurry of motion.

All thought of the pretty alpha wiped clear from his mind.

Gold bars seemed to anchor the entire top to his body as they settled into the indentions of his collarbones, they seemed to mold to the curves of his body. Keith shivered remembering the living metal cock ring, as cool chains began draping lovingly over his pale skin. His shoulders had three thin arches that draped down his shoulder to about mid bicep, the chains met at the front and back of his shoulder at a decorative red stone on each side that was connected to the gold bars in his collarbones.

Thin chains crossed from the bars to meet directly below his choker where they intricately twisted and braided together down his sternum before splitting and wrapping along the line of his ribcage and meeting to fasten tightly around his back and waist. Smaller delicate chains draped like sparse fringe along his ribs around to the small of his back each ending in lovely red stones that seemed to quiver with every breath he took.

The women smiled and cooed at him before running back to the remaining gold on the counter. Keith hadn’t noticed the smaller remaining trinkets during his time in the bedroom with Lance and Sonni to consumed with discussing the inappropriate adornments. Each woman clasped a gold band similar to the ones around his ankles right above his elbow. The bands each had an intricate braided chain that ran down his forearm before separating to wrap around his wrist, while others looped around his middle and ring fingers on each hand. The piece of jewelry featured a delicate webbing of gold and deep red gems that looked like a gorgeous flower on the back of each hand. It reminded him a little of the ornate henna designs he had seen Indian brides wear on Earth. The stones were varying sizes and shades of red and Keith couldn’t help gazing at the beautiful intricacy of the pieces.

Suddenly in another flurry the women produced a small box. Opening it up they started removing various sized and shaped gems. Keith gaped as the purple beta dropped to her knees and began adhering the red gems to his skin, a simple push and the gem stuck. She was meticulously creating a radiating sun pattern around his belly button. The yellow beta was working on his shoulders making a more geometric design on each expanse of naked skin within the arches of gold chain.

The women worked with incredible efficiency and were done after a few moments standing to admire their handy work. Keith was flabbergasted. Looking into the mirrored wall he barely recognized himself, the disheveled mullet was really his only recognizable feature.

His face had been highlighted and primped to perfection, his skin glowed like some ethereal creature and his body was accented in a way he had never seen. His waist looked impossibly small his abs flexing a little as he sucked in a breath, his legs looked incredibly long and he seemed softer somehow despite the large amount of lean muscle on display.

Gazing back at him was some exotic seducer from a long forgotten era. He didn’t honestly know what to do with himself in this moment. Inside he was just Keith, but the outside said otherwise.

“You are stunning,” the yellow beta gushed clearly the friendlier of the two, “Second only to the Assoluta.”

“Maybe not even second,” snickered the purple beta her eyes roving over Keith a mix of jealousy and hunger. He was after all still an attractive male.

“Don’t let anyone hear you say that” The yellow chastised her voice low. Purple just rolled her eyes and flipped her shoulder length hair over one shoulder before turning to the door.

“Time to see your very handsome alpha,” this time the purple’s hunger was blatant, which set Keith on edge. His eyes narrowed as a growl built up in his chest, but he caught himself before he lunged at the pretty beta.

Not the time or the place

Keith shook himself a little disoriented at the sudden possessive and hostile energy he was feeling. He had been in an almost fuzzy head space after all of the pampering that day, the sudden flash to pure aggression made his head spin. He was normally better at regulating his emotions. Something about the clear want shining in her eyes made Keith feel like his head was about to explode.

Mine.

His inner omega seethed. We could not lose our alpha to some bimbo beta.

Mine. Mine. Mine.

The word would not leave the omega’s mind. It swirled and consumed him in a way he had never felt before. This raw hunger flared hot and hard in the pit of his stomach demanding that Keith affirm Lance was his. Mark him so no one would ever doubt that the pretty alpha was his and only his.

“Mine,” the word was a cross between a growl and his voice, radiating from his very core.

It shook him to his core, the amount of venom he had been able to spit into one word.

The betas’ eyes widened slightly as both women took a half step away from him.

“He’s absolutely yours,” the yellow beta affirmed her eyes flashing to the purple in a glare.

“He’s yours,” she seemed a bit more resistant to the words, but the purple beta agreed holding her friend’s gaze for a second before turning her eyes back to Keith.

Still seething slightly, he took a deep breath and shook himself trying to break free of the angry energy that had tried to consume him. Recentering himself, the red tinge slowly seeped away from his vision leaving a slightly fuzzy haze on his now familiar surroundings. Keith felt some of the heat in his veins simmer down. It was still just under the surface of his skin, but he didn’t feel like he was being consumed by flames any more.

Sighing he gazed at his reflection for a moment. Soaking in the beautiful image in the mirrored wall. He reminded himself that he was that man. He was the beautiful figure gazing back at him, and now it was time to show Lance.

His tummy flipped at the idea.

Would the alpha like this outfit?

Keith hesitated for a moment. Fear crept in. He wanted Lance to like this outfit. He wanted the taller man to find him attractive, but now he was scared. What if Lance didn’t think he could pull this off?

Only one way to find out

Taking a deep breath Keith let the bathroom door slide open.

~~~~~~~

Lance was highly irritated.

He was used to the comfort of his leggings and silk get up.

His formal wear was anything but comfortable. It was too breezy for comfort.

The high neck line of blue silk didn’t cover much because of the deep V-shaped neckline that plunged down to between his belly button and sternum. The wide expanse of smooth tan chest with sparse brunette hair made him very uncomfortable. The sides had mesh paneling allowing his skin to peek through the very sheer buttery soft blue fabric. The top left him feeling exposed, but the pants were utterly inappropriate.

They were fitted to his body like a second skin, similar to his leggings from before, but this material had a sheen that made it look like tissue paper thin leather. The color was a deep, deep charcoal with a metallic almost gunmetal finish. They weren’t too bad, until you got to the crotch area, that’s where things went south for the alpha.

The crotch had two overlapping flaps of fabric, like the front of a pair of boxers. The problem was that the pants were also skin tight, meaning that one wrong move and the entire world was going to be greeted to the sight of the alpha’s package.

This idea completely mortified the Cuban man.

No way am I letting that perverted monarch see my package

Lance felt the hair on the back of his neck standing on end as a growl rattled around in his chest. Just the idea of the emerald eyed Assoluto made him angry. He knew he should control himself. They were here on a diplomatic mission, but the large man rubbed the Blue Paladin the wrong way. Everything about his presence set Lance on edge.

The alpha heard the bathroom door slide open, his head swung around as Keith’s voice echoed smoothly into his mind.

We might not have much of a choice

Lance growled at the thought, but he also felt a growl rumbling in his chest as his eyes traced up and over the beautiful omega for the first time.

Keith looked utterly ravishing.

He was sheer perfection, and he smelled slightly sweeter than normal. It was making Lance’s mouth water as he let his eyes linger up and down Keith’s fit legs. He had always loved Keith’s calves; he couldn’t tell you why, but something about the toned muscle under pale skin made him want to reach out and touch. Now though, looking at the man before him, Lance knew he couldn’t trust himself to do even that. He couldn’t be responsible for his actions if he touched the beautiful male in front of him right now.

His alpha was a hair’s breadth away from pouncing on the unsuspecting omega. Keith looked delectable and radiant. Lance felt the urge to sink his teeth into the omega’s neck and mark his scent gland. He didn’t want anyone thinking the omega was unattached.

Even though technically he is.

The snide voice in Lance’s head pissed him off. It didn’t matter that it was true.

Lance swallowed hard trying to reign in the feelings swirling through his mind and body. His alpha was restless, but now was not the time to let his alpha go.

Lance’s palms began to sweat as the omega walked towards him on silent tiny bare feet. “So what do you think?” Keith’s voice was soft, almost just a breath, as he stopped just shy of Lance, but within touching distance. Keith did a slow turn allowing Lance the opportunity to visually devour his ass when it was barely covered in red silk.

Lance’s mouth went dry.

Keith looked indescribable, as the hard muscles covered in pale perfect skin flexed barely contained in the lovely red fabric. Lance had the sudden urge to drop to his knees and press his face between Keith's perky globes, seeking the sweet slick he knew he could make slip from the smaller man. His alpha snarled inside at the idea of making the sweet omega drip with longing.

Fuck what was wrong with him?

Lance swallowed trying to suppress the hunger and dirty thoughts. This was Keith, his teammate, his friend, his partner. This was Keith, the man Lance wanted with every fiber of his being and every breath in his chest.

It was only by the grace of God that Lance mumbled out, “You look stunning.” His throat still dry causing his voice to crack minutely. His eyes fixated on Keith’s exposed back tracing the smooth lines lovingly.

Keith looked over his shoulder and trapped Lance in his galaxy gaze, “You look pretty good yourself.” The whisper sent a shiver down Lance’s spine his entire body seeming to vibrate with the pretty omega’s proximity. Unable to resist long tan fingers caressed down a column of pale perfect skin ending at Keith’s lower back above the intricate clasp of his “top”.

Lance was momentarily distracted at the smooth silky skin under his finger tips. He wasn’t sure if he had ever felt something so soft and warm. Heat seemed to be radiating from the smaller man, flaring with every heartbeat.

“Lovely,” Lance’s voice was deep and gravely and he smirked feeling Keith’s skin shiver under his fingers at the sound.

Lance watched as Keith’s breath hitched, getting stuck in his chest, the inhale made the gems and chains dripping from his body quiver. Heat flared suddenly down Lance’s spin settling deep in his gut, it was fuzzy almost like a feeling from a dream. Pressing his fingers into Keith’s skin caused the sensation to lick up his ribs making Lance’s heart pound, and suddenly he realized this hunger wasn’t his.

This hunger was radiating from Keith.

The mental barrier was still up, but Lance knew that this heat flaring in his gut wasn’t his own. His emotions were there, but seemed to be shadowed by the raw hunger radiating through the mental bond.

Lance felt his own lust a shivery almost ticklish sensation that crept up his spine, he recognized his own arousal settling in his lower back in a way that made him want to moan and press against the man in front of him. Keith’s hunger sat heavy in his belly, a heat that seemed to radiate from his core and leave behind almost an ache that Lance yearned to sooth. The sensations began shifting in the alpha’s mind blurring and blending suddenly in a way that left Lance breathless and hard.

Keith let out a whimper his body trembling under the alpha’s touch.

Lance had been sending his own sexual energy into the unsuspecting omega’s mind. No thoughts, just raw hunger was radiating between the two men standing a breath away from each other.

He was feeling this too.

The hunger clicked in Lance’s mind.

He could almost hear the mental lock snapping open. Realization flared in his mind as his fingers pressed more forcefully into Keith’s hot pale skin.

His hand slid along Keith’s waist before swallowing his hip. Squeezing tightly the alpha stepped forward and pressed the length of his body against the smaller man’s back. Keith’s breath gusted out of him and caught, as Lance dipped his head and whispered in his ear, “In this moment, you are the most breathtaking sight my eyes have ever seen.”

Lance knew it was cheesy, but it was completely true.

The gravel in his voice helped ease some of the sappiness from the comment, but Lance couldn’t help the blush that crept into his cheeks. Stepping away from the man in front of him Lance’s body felt cold, but he ignored it. The alpha let his fingertips linger on Keith’s hip clinging to pale skin before finally breaking the last contact between them.

Keith turned to look up at Lance still in the alpha’s personal bubble, his eyes were wide and dark.

His long lashes fluttered slightly as he held Lance’s blue gaze. Lance had never seen Keith’s eyes this color before, his pupils were dilated black space eating up purple irises so dark they almost looked black.

He looked good enough to eat.

Keith’s hand lifted hovering above Lance’s chest, he could feel the heat on his bare skin from the deep plunge of his top. Pale fingers hung in the air for a moment millimeters from tan skin before Keith gasped softly, sucking air deep into his lungs. His eyes screwed shut and his hand fell back to his side.

When his eyes opened once more Lance was caught again in a familiar amethyst gaze, pupils narrowed in some making them look not quite so bottomless. Keith’s hand twitched at his side, his tongue darting out to lick along his bottom lip, as he took half a step back out of the alpha’s personal bubble.

Lance frowned a little feeling Keith’s hunger fading out of their bond.

I wonder if it is still there?

Lance couldn't help hoping it was still there simmering under Keith’s now calm surface.

He wanted the omega to share in his hunger.

He wanted to omega to burn the way he did.

The alpha made a conscious effort to keep his feelings open, but avoided sending them directly to the omega. Taking a deep breath he tried to calm his racing heart as he looked down at the smaller man still standing within his grasp.

“Are you ready to go?” Lance held out his arm to Keith, while gesturing towards their bedroom door.

Keith chuckled dryly, while sliding his hand into the crook of Lance’s arms, “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

Chapter Text

Keith’s heart jack hammered into his ribs.

His whole body seemed to pulse with every hummingbird fast beat. Thrumming his fingers squeezed Lance’s bicep his hand still tucked in the crook of the alpha’s arm.

What is going to happen?

Even Keith’s thoughts seemed to vibrate with pent up energy. Lance placed warm tan fingers over Keith’s claw like grip, “I’m not sure, but we are in this together.”

Before Keith could respond the elevator-like room came to a halt crystal parting silently and revealing small gaggle of Esarians waiting on them in the antechamber. Nexxia, Thalan, and Vaeril stood at the front as attendings bustled around in the back organizing what looked to be a processional. Lovely omegas bathed in silver and gold and little else were being escorted by alphas in outfits similar to Lance’s. Most of the alphas wore the royal emerald silks, but Keith did notice some deeps blues and purple, there was even a man wearing a striking pink colored outfit. Those must have been higher aristocrats, they were being placed behind the line of Prima royal omegas and their escorts all dressed in emerald. All together there were about 20 couples, but Keith had a feeling that there were more lurking in the throne room.

“Hello love,” Nexxia hopped forward her large breasts clearly visible and bouncing with each step. Glancing down Keith noticed she wore no covering. Keith was amazed to see Lance’s eyes staying fixed on her face. In fact, Lance hardly glanced at the very exposed and lovely women presented like a buffet in front of him.

How odd?

Blue eyes caught his gaze and smile crinkled the corners as Lance grinned happily down at Keith, “What?”

“Nothing,” Keith’s voice came out softer than he had wanted, but suddenly he could barely hear over the thundering in his ears. Heat curled deep in his body making him shiver as lightning raced up his spine.

Lance tugged him slightly closer, as Nexxia appeared before him smiling a beaming grin ear to ear, “The honored guests have arrived.” Her giggle was infectious and Keith smiled as her lashes fluttered sweetly, her hands clapping twice, as she bounced on the balls of her bare feet.

“Honored guests?” Lance’s deep voice seemed to cocoon around Keith’s mind making his head swim a little. Shaking the fog off he focused his attention on the lovely pink alien before him.

She nodded happily, “Yes, as the guests of the Assoluto you will be the first in the processional tonight.” She huffed a little and rolled her eyes slightly, clearly annoyed with the formalities, “It is nothing extreme you just present your adornments and then the festivities will begin. I’ve heard there is supposed to be exceptional entertainment tonight!”

Vaeril shook his head stepping forward, “You will properly present yourself to the Assoluto tonight. You will need a display and then you may present your chosen adornments to the Assoluto and the Assoluta.” His dark pink eyes narrowed at Nexxia making her pull a slight face before smirking at Keith. He couldn’t help the soft giggle that escaped his lips making her blue eyes twinkle mischievously.

Lance tensed, his gaze swinging to connect with Vaeril’s. The alpha forced a smile and muttered, “Sounds good.”

Keith’s fingers fought the urge to caress the taller man’s side through the thin mesh of his shirt; he wanted to feel the tension melt out of the lean muscles under smooth caramel colored skin. His alpha shouldn’t be stressed. His inner omega paced wanting to comfort, but Keith restrained himself. He refused to embarrass himself in front of Lance or the Esarians anymore. He couldn’t keep forcing his affections on the Cuban man, he didn’t want to seem like some obsessed teen with a crush. This was his teammate, he would remember that and vowed to keep his hands to himself as much as possible.

He hoped he would be able to keep that promise to himself, but something deep in his gut told him he wouldn’t be able to.

Cheeks tinged pink Keith took a deep breath as Lance squeezed his fingers once more and escorted him towards the grand entrance to the throne room. Tonight there seemed to be no sunlight coming from the teal glass windows, darkness with faint glowing halos of light were the only things visible through the warped blue-green view. The room was not dark though, the amethyst walls surrounding them seemed to glow with a soft inner light. Keith would have admired the beauty of what was around him more, but Lance’s mouth twisted into a scowl as they came to a halt in front of the towering doors. Doors that lead into what was bound to be an interesting evening, to say the least.

Lance’s eyes were hard, his body tense, it was almost like he was trying to see through the opaque crystal as his scowl deepened.

Keith’s inner omega did not like that.

The alpha should be smiling not looking ready to kill.

Vaeril was busy bustling around behind the human couple, and Keith could hear Thalan and Nexxia’s hushed whispers, but the faint sounds did not distract from the man beside him. “What’s wrong?” Keith’s voice was a soft whisper his body curled slightly towards the alpha to keep their conversation private.

“I hate this,” Lance’s voice was hard, his eyes narrowed once more at the ornate doors before them.

Keith heart started pounding in his chest.

Does he hate having to kiss and touch me?

As if reading his thoughts, Lance’s eyes caught the shorter man’s gaze, “I hate sharing you.”

A soft gasp escaped Keith’s lips, his hand involuntarily tightened on Lance’s arm as he fell into the depths of the man’s ocean blue gaze. He could hear the rushing of his heart and his chest suddenly felt tight.

How?

His mind checked the mental barrier he had erected. It was perfectly intake.

Keith’s mouth opened to respond, but before he could utter a word the doors swung open. In that instant, all he could do was gape at the throne room that had been so beautifully transformed.

~~~~~

Lance fought to keep his face neutral as he escorted Keith towards the Assoluto’s hungry gaze.

The throne room, which had a mystical fairy-like wonder the night before, had been transformed into an Arabian prince's dream. Thin silks draped from the ceiling and cascaded down the walls the deep jewel tones ranging from ruby red, deep emerald and vivid sapphires and amethysts. Gazing at the last shade Lance couldn’t help thinking of Keith’s eyes. The draped fabric worked to enclose the cavernous room, making it smaller than the night before. The atmosphere felt much more intimate suddenly; it would have seemed almost cozy if not for the clear luxery that oozed from every corner. Soft music filled the room it had an echoing base, that ran through the pair almost like a heartbeat, but featured lighter almost tinkling notes as well. It was eerily beautiful and somehow suited the rich decor. Wrapping around the pair, lulling them and transporting them into a world that felt both familiar and forgien.
The room was surrounded once again by plush couches and divans ranging in sizes that could barely fit one couple to luxe sectionals with over a dozen guests comfortably lounging. Each one was draped in a gauzy material, they seemed like they could close to create private seating areas; Lance shivered a bit at the connotations. Couples mingled around the room, some seated, others standing, but everyone’s eyes were fixed on the two off worlders slowly making their way towards the monarchs, soft hushed whispers barely met the guys ears. No words could be interpreted, but they were clearly the focus of all of the discussions.

Twinkling star-like gems lazily floated around the ceiling giving off a soft sensual light, one drifted closer and Lance saw it was actually a bug. It looked almost like a giant firefly made of glass; its large paper thin wings iridescent like a dragonfly’s and fluttering at a startlingly slow pace. The men were both confused on how the plump little critters managed to stay suspended in the air. As odd as they were, they really were very lovely and seemed to happily drift over head the colors shifting softly and lighting their surroundings.

The lightening bugs tended to drift between giant floral arrangements that reached towards the tall ceiling. Lance fought to keep his composure as he took in the alien blooms. They varied in a rainbow of colors, and their sizes ranged from that of a thimble to the size of his head, but what was most striking about the gorgeous and fragrant blooms was the soft light them emitted. Each one glowed giving off a soft light similar to the lightening bugs, and helping to Some spiraled up the silks draped around the room, while others were free standing lifting up towards the ceiling like giant pillars of bioluminescent plant life. Lance wasn’t entirely sure, but there was a chance that the huge floral structures were actually supporting the draped fabric above their heads, but he didn’t get to examine them closely enough as his gaze was mostly fixed ahead.

Decadent tables filled with food and drinks were littered around the room it seemed as though there would be more formal mingling tonight than there had been the night before. Lance noticed many of the same delicacies from last night, and even more that he didn’t recognize. Including something on one of the larger tables that looked like a tall skinny pyramid made of neon colored blobs and stood at least 7ft tall.

At least the food looks good

Lance finally broke his stoic mask, glancing at Keith a chuckle begged to bubble up at the smirk playing on the pretty man’s face. Keith’s eyes shone with mischief and Lance couldn’t help admiring how gorgeous it made his delicate features.

Sadly, the moment was short lived as they came to a halt at the end of the emerald green runner.

The Assoluta sat primly next to a stony faced Assoluto, completely nude except for a rose gold bands around her neck, wrists and ankles. One long soft blue leg crossed over the other, as barely lilac curls framed her lovely face and breasts. She didn’t seem even a bit fazed by her nudity as her bare foot swayed up and down silently tapping the leg of her throne. Seafoam eyes fixed on Lance before sliding slowly over to Keith, her eyes traced the smaller man before flicking back to Lance, a small smile tugging at her lips.

Lance barely glanced at her, his gaze focusing on the way her her husband was ravenously devouring Keith with his emerald gaze. His dark green nearly black hair was pulled back away from his face allowing Lance to see the laser focus on his omega. His face may have been expressionless, but his eyes were not.

Mine.

Lance’s inner alpha reveled in the thought.

For the first time Lance didn’t fight the title. In Lance’s heart, Keith was his, his to love and protect, and Lance hoped after this ordeal was over he could confess to the omega and maybe have his feelings reciprocated. The clear want that had radiated from the smaller man earlier stirred a hidden hope that had rooted itself deeply in the alpha’s heart and spirit.

He wanted Keith, and he wanted him forever.

Mind snapping back to the present, Lance brought the Red Paladin to stand in front of Onvyr and Zaphina. Onvyr’s gaze finally flicked to Lance for the first time, “Blue Paladin,” the monarch’s voice was tight, eyes narrowing slightly, “You may present your mate to me.”

Onvyr’s mouth twisted into a smirk making Lance’s hackles rise. He didn’t want the monarch to see any part of Keith or what they might share between them. Slowly, Keith’s tendrils of thought wrapped around his mind, sinking into his psyche. A new calm settled over the alpha, it was both new and utterly familiar. Keith’s presence in his mind should have set the taller man on edge, but all it did was bring a welcome sense of ease and home. Yeah, the omega felt like home.

Kiss me.

The thought was barely a whisper in his mind, but it shook Lance to his core.

Turning towards Keith. Blue eyes locked on violet sending them spiraling into their own little world, everything fell away bit by bit until there was nothing but a galaxy gaze for the alpha to anchor himself to.

Lance’s fingers tucked under Keith’s jaw, his thumb running softly over his quivering adam’s apple as fingertips pressed softly against the other man’s scent gland. Sweetness flared between them, a soft moan escaping the omega’s lips as his eyelids fluttered, dark lashes obscuring his gorgeous eyes. Lance took this as his chance dipping his head to press his lips against Keith’s lush slightly rough mouth.

Lance licked into Keith’s mouth, meeting no resistance, as his tongue claimed the smaller man’s mouth. There was no fight for dominance this time, this kiss was a claiming.

Mine.

Lance heard a whisper of thought in his mind, but he was too focused on the feel of Keith’s skin and the taste of his mouth for it to clearly register.

His strong arms wrapped around Keith’s slim waist tugging the raven haired man hard against his chest, the lines of their bodies pressed firmly together as he explored the secret depths of Keith’s delicious mouth. Sweetness clung to Lance’s lips as he pulled back, the omega let out a soft sound in the back of his throat, hips rocked against Lance’s hard cock making the alpha’s head spin. Keith’s hands were hot against the mesh on the taller man’s sides, searing into the tan skin below making him in their own way. He fought to keep from stealing another kiss.

Both men huffed trying to catch their now mingled breaths, lips barely an inch apart. One deep breath, it tasted a little like campfire and vanilla, and Lance turned them. Keith made a soft noise of protest once more and Lance felt a shiver creep down his spine. He didn’t want to put the space between their bodies, but he had to.

The Assoluto’s gaze was hard.

His eyes narrowed in on Lance, “That was a subpar presentation. I demand more.”

It was like Lance’s body had been plunged into ice water.

Desire shriveled up and disappeared, “Excuse me?”

“I demand more,” Onvyr’s gaze was hungry, his voice as hard and cold as ice. Clearly there was no arguing with the man, and that made Lance’s blood boil.

“Onvyr,” Zaphina’s voice was soft, but clearly scolding, Lance thought she might be fighting the urge to roll her eyes, “They are off worlders. They do not have the same customs. You’ve never demanded more of a display before.” Even though she looked bored Lance sensed there was something more going on under the surface of her pretty facade.

“I’m demanding it now,” Onvyr’s voice was a whip-like snap. This time Zaphina did roll her eyes, clearly unamused with her husband’s temper tantrum. Onvyr’s hard gaze snapped to his picturesque partner, who simply raised a brow at him. Lance thought he might be fighting the urge to say something nasty before he turned back to Lance and smiled an almost feral grin, “I demand more. Now.”

Lance was ready to tear the man apart with his bare hands. Consequences be damned, this man needed to be knocked down a few pegs. Seeing red, Lance prepared to step forward when suddenly Keith stepped in front of him.

Blue eyes snapped down, immediately softening as bewilderment took over.

Keith’s violet gaze was soft and focused on Lance. Pale hands pressed firmly against Lance’s chest one directly above his heart and radiated heat through the thin material to the tan skin below. Keith’s perfect white teeth tugged on his plush bottom lip, making the soft pink deepen and turn to a roseier hue. Lance felt hunger and desire slowly starting to curl in his gut once more as Keith’s soft sweet scent teased him and the smaller man’s fingertips pressed firmly into him. The look of determination that crossed Keith’s face was oddly endearing and Lance fought the urge to reach out and caress the mulleted man’s crumpled brow.

I got this

Keith’s thought was confident and sure.

Trust me.

Pride flared through Lance as he paused and held that gorgeous amethyst gaze.

Suddenly Keith’s eyes dropped to the ground, breaking the connection. He didn’t like that, but his head swam as Keith stepped forward his body pressed firmly against Lance’s mostly bare chest. The smaller man felt like something precious and breakable under the alpha’s hands, tan fingers rested lightly on his pale hips.

His head spun a little.

There was so much flawless porcelain skin before him, Lance could feel his heartbeat pick up. He had almost forgotten how bare Keith was. He couldn’t imagine how exposed the Red Paladin must be feeling, reaching out Lance was surprised to find Keith’s mind open. There was no embarrassment or discomfort in the other man’s mind, but Lance did find a hunger that echoed his own and something that seemed almost mischievous flitting through the smaller man’s mind. Relaxing a little, Lance took a second to just admire the man before him, even in the most vulnerable of positions he had a plan, which no doubt he would execute with a precision that was borderline terrifying.

Keith was completely at ease, and Lance trusted in him with every fiber of his being.

Taking a deep breath, spicy sweetness flooded his senses, and Lance finally fully relaxed. Large hands tightened around his thin waist, taking a moment to admire the silky feeling of Keith’s skin under his fingertips, Lance knew there was no place in the galaxy he would rather be. Recognition flashed through the taller man, his place would always be as close to the surly mulleted man as possible.

Keith’s breath fanned across Lance’s skin making him shiver as the smaller man pressed closer to his body.

Ready?

The thought was soft, almost as if it were a mental caress.

He felt another shiver race up his spin as he fought against his urge to tug the smaller man closer and more roughly against his body. Keith was the lead here. Lance shut his eyes for a split second, diffusing some of the tension that had built momentarily in his body. Ocean blue eyes connected once more with Keith’s deep violet gaze and Lance nodded his head mutely, long tan fingers flexing against pale skin once more.

Butterfly light kisses caressed Lance’s long neck, making his gasp, heat flaring up stoking the desire Onvyr had extinguished into a raging fire once more. Lance’s eyes fluttered enjoying the soft tickling sensation as Keith’s lips caressed his collarbone before teasing the spot of chest hair over the taller man’s sternum. Plush lips slowly explored down the deep V of skin exposed by his tunic. Pale hands anchored on Lance’s side searing his skin as Keith’s lips caressed Lance’s navel. Keith pressed a kiss the lowest part of Lance’s exposed skin before settling gracefully on his knees just in front of the Blue Paladin. Pale hands fluttered for a split second before fisting on his knees then relaxing as tension eased slowly out of Keith’s body, large amethyst eyes flicked up, catching ocean blue through a thick lashes before dropping once more to the floor between them.

Lance knew his pupils were blown out with desire, his gaze felt heavy and dark as he zeroed in on Keith, posed so prettily on his knees. Raven fringe hung down obscuring Keith’s down turned eyes, his face still tilted slightly up towards Lance letting the taller man see his relaxed features, his hands were resting lightly on his thighs, knees parted slightly and back arched prettily. The alpha was almost dizzy looking at him.

Keith’s little pink tongue licked out along his bottom lip, and Lance let out a soft growl.

The sound was distinct, almost echoing in the nearly silent chamber. Clearly heard above the soft eerily beautiful music that seemed to hang in the air raising the tension in the moment. Keith’s gaze connected once more with Lance, tilting forward Keith pressed his cheek against Lance’s abdomen directly below his navel. The Cuban man went rigid, his body tensing under the gentle touch, fingers itching to sink into the silky tousled tresses teasing his skin. Lance’s breath hitched once more a growl reverberating in his chest as the silky pale cheek dropped lower rubbing against the obvious bulge in Lance’s too tight for comfort pants.

Please don’t let it pop out

The thought almost made a hysterical giggle slip from Lance’s lips, but he bit hard on his lower lips tasting coppery blood as Keith nuzzled against his barely concealed and steadily growing boner. Suddenly Lance’s sanity almost snapped as a hungry growl echoed in his mind.

It was definitely not his own.

Tan fingers sank into the tangle of raven locks almost as if they had a mind of their own. Lance felt satisfaction flare from the smaller man’s mind as soft lips pressed against the silky material at his crotch. He fought the urge to rock his hips and Keith continued scenting himself against the alpha.

There was no other way to describe what the Red Paladin was doing.

Lance’s head spun as amethyst eyes flicked up to catch his gaze. Pink lips kissing lovingly against his hard cock, only tissue paper thin fabric between them. Lance’s fingers tightened making Keith moan softly, lips vibrating against Lance as he kissed gently, lips lingering on the thin black fabric.

A deep growl reverberated once more in Lance’s chest as Keith leaned back on his heels. Fingers slipped softly from the omegas halo of spiked midnight colored hair as he sat fully back. The smaller man had a delicate type of hunger radiating from every pore of his body, the taller man fought to keep from devouring him.

Keith’s pupils were extremely dilated; there seemed to be no violet iris left, only endless hungry pools of darkness stared up at Lance, his green apple scent clung to perfectly pale skin, making his inner alpha howl triumphantly.

He had successfully marked him.

Or had Keith marked himself?

Lance’s muddled mind couldn't form a coherent thought as he watched the man moving before him. Keith’s teeth caught his bottom lip toying with it for a moment before dropping his gaze to the floor right in front of Lance’s boots. Slowly, so slowly in fact it made the alpha ache in a way he didn’t know was possible, Keith dropped his head to the floor. His hands pillowing softly under his forehead, a few inches in front of where Lance stood, back arched harshly, so his ass was raised and his knees and heels were tucked tightly under him.

He was the perfect picture of submission.

Every fiber of Lance’s being flared to life.

Hunger. Need. Animal instinct.

Things the young man had never felt before, but only knew from some bone deep place consumed all rational thought.

Mine.

There was no hiding the thought this time.

In fact, Lance almost savagely shoved it into the other man’s mind.

Barrier be damned.

He would be heard.

Lance let a satisfied smirk slide across his face as he watched Keith visibly tremble. The breathtaking omega had heard him loud and clear. Looking at Keith’s pale body laid out before him, he knew there was no way he would every tire of looking at the pretty man. The fog that had descended and consumed him lifted momentarily, heat fading to a distant simmer in the back of his mind. The clarity allowed Lance to process their surroundings once more before letting blue eyes flash up to Onvyr and then flick over to Zaphina.

He had completely forgotten they weren’t alone.

He fought the urge to snarl as he noticed Onvyr’s gaze fixed on Keith’s upturned ass. The laser focus once again made every hair on the alpha’s body stand on edge. No one should see Keith like this, well except for Lance. Shaking himself to settle his jumbled nerves Lance looked back down at the man who hadn’t moved a centimeter before him.

Instinctually he knew what to say, “Release.”

His voice was rough and deep. Echoing in the nearly silent room, once more Keith’s entire being seemed to tremble, before he gracefully slid to sit back on his heels. Palms resting lightly on his knees, ass on his heel, head up but gaze still down cast.

That wouldn’t do.

Long fingers slid to the back of his neck tilting his head back and his chin up, Lance’s thumb resting lightly above his adam’s apple caressing sensually against the soft vulnerable skin. The omega seemed to melt into the hold, body lax and content, as gorgeous dark eyes drifted up to connect with the taller man’s gaze, “You are perfect.”

Lance had never uttered truer words.

Still holding Keith’s throat gently in his hand. Lance glanced up once more at the Assoluto, who seemed nonchalant, but who’s hungry gaze betrayed him. Blue connected with emerald in a clash of wills. “Our presentation is over. As for adornments, my omega is adorned by human customs.”

Lance’s fingers caressed across the black band squeezing making the fabric part under his light touch. The Assoluta looked forward clearly interested, as the Assoluto frowned, something savage flashed in his eyes. “This is a special adornment for human omegas. It is my mark on my omega before I will claim him, and it can only be removed by myself.” Lance lifted the fabric away from Keith’s neck.

Fear flashed in the omega’s eyes, which Lance hushed rubbing his knuckles gently up the smaller man’s elegant and now naked neck.

What I wouldn’t give to hear his thoughts right now

Lance hated the momentary mental separation. He suddenly felt cold and alone in his own head. He missed Keith’s life force tugging gently on his psyche, a sweet and simple reminder he wasn't alone in this situation.

“It is sacred,” Lance’s voice was deep and sincere, “and binds me to the beautiful omega I have chosen to take as my mate for life.”

Keith’s eyes widened and his breath hitched as Lance reached down wrapping the fabric once more around his slender neck. The Assoulto, the Assoulta, and the surrounding court watched as the fabric knit slowly together. Completely seamless and impossible to remove by anyone other than Lance.

Onvyr scowled.

Lance fought the urge to grin triumphantly at the no longer smug ruler.

Zaphina seemed contemplative, as Onvyr dismissed the human couple with a short nod and a silent hand gesture. Lance felt some of the tension dissipate from his body, but hunger still tickled up and down his spine as he escorted Keith out of the monarchs direct lines of sight. One hand planted firmly on Keith’s lower back as they walked towards a mid sized deep plum colored divan draped in white furs near the thrones, the alpha had a feeling they would not be able to wander too far from the monarchs.

~~~~~

Oh god

The fuzzy heat that had overwhelmed Keith’s mind lifted abruptly as he sat on the plush seat Lance had guided him to. The furs tickled the bare skin of his thighs as he watched his knees tremble softly as his hands fisted and relaxed repeatedly by his sides.

What have I done?

He felt the blush creeping from his cheeks down his chest. He refused to look at Lance who was reclined next to him, body tucked into the back corner of the chaise, long legs stretched out in front of Keith. Blinking Keith finally turned his gaze towards the grand room. It really was breathtaking. He had never seen so many colors woven into a magical decadent world. It was like an incredibly rich dessert, the kind you knew would most likely make you sick after a few bites, but was completely imposible to resist.

A soft smile tugged on his lips despite his inner turmoil, as Nexxia and Thalan slowly started making their way towards the Assoluto, her dark blue eyes beamed up at Thalan as he offered her the sweetest of smiles. They really made such a lovely couple. Her soft pink skin and light magenta locks complementing his darker magenta complexion and violet hair. THey seemed to be consumed in one another, but quickly reached the end of the runner and Keith’s eyes widened. He watched as Thalan silently spread Nexxia’s pussy lips with no warning for appraisal by the monarch. Nexxia didn’t seem to be bothered in the least relaxing into Thalan’s firm hold her head tilting into his neck nuzzling closer to her lover. Thalan’s deep voice could be heard clearly over the soft music, “Assoluto Onvyr, I present to you the adorned First Prima Omega.”

Keith wonder just how the pretty omega’s genital were adorned.

He shivered remembering the piercings and cock ring.

Onvyr looked utterly bored and silently nodded, while Zaphina smiled sweetly at the couple before relaxing one her chaise like throne, not touching her husband in anyway.

Thalan’s fingers began circling Nexxia’s pussy, her soft moans barely audible over the soft music. Keith swallowed feeling desire and envy settling in his gut. He wanted Lance to be touching him again.

Would he ever want to touch me that intimately?

Keith felt hope flare in his throat. Lance had clearly been turned on with their display earlier. Perhaps the interest the Red Paladin felt wasn’t one sided, maybe Lance wanted him in the same way. Keith wasn’t totally sure, but he knew that he had felt hunger radiating from the alpha more than once during their time on Liv Esari. A large part of him hoped it could be more than just physical hunger.

Snapping back to reality, he noticed the pair looked enthralled with one another. Nexxia’s hips grinding back against Thalan as he touched her with confident strokes. Her back arched up against his chest forcing her breasts high into the air so his free hand could come up and tease one bright pink nipple.

Envy gnawed at Keith until he was forced to look away from the deliciously sensual scene, Nexxia’s look of ecstasy was too much.

Keith’s breath was a bit ragged as he finally built the courage to look at Lance.

Ocean blue eyes were fixed on him, one long arm reached out and knuckles brushed softly down the length of Keith’s bicep, “You ok, Samurai?”

Lance’s voice was petal soft, the gauzy drapery shielding them somewhat from the world around them, and suddenly Keith’s body felt like jelly.

“You aren’t mad?” Keith’s voice was tiny, the little chains biting into his legs reminding him that he was nearly naked. Something felt a little off in the omega’s mind, he was fine, but he just didn’t feel right. He felt oddly...cold?

“Mad?” Lance looked utterly baffled leaning forward to bring his body closer to Keith’s. “Why in the world would I be mad? You were amazing out there. Quick thinking, brave and so beautiful,” tan cheeks flamed a bright cherry red on the last adjective. Keith’s heart fluttered at the slip, warmth suffusing from low in his gut out towards his limbs once more. Lance continued, his face contorted into a genuine little frown, clearly confused, “I feel lucky to have such an amazing partner.”

Partner?

Something about the word hung heavily between the men.

Silence stretched for a moment between them, but Keith could feel warmth, comfort and something forgien radiating through their mental connection. Lance was always so open to him, and for the first time Keith wanted to reciprocate that.

“I thought I had gone too far,” Keith’s whisper sounded almost broken.

Lance’s laugh was deep and warm and caused heat, not just warmth, to flare through the smaller man’s body. He loved that sound. Tan fingers teased the skin of his arm ruffling chains before sliding up the column of his neck and squeezing his chin gently. The alpha lifted, forcing violet eyes to meet his own, “You have no idea how far I’m willing to go for you.”

Keith’s breath hitched. Lance looked completely sincere his cerulean gaze fixed on the man in front of him, “Oh.”

Keith blinked feeling dumb. He couldn't think through the warm haze that had settled over his mind once more.

Lance chuckled leaning closer, “Oh.”

His breath fanned across Keith’s lips before he leaned completely in sealing their lips in a soft deep kiss. Keith’s hands reached up knotting in Lance’s hair as the brunette gently explored his mouth. His tongue teasing the smaller man’s into a dance that made his head spin and stars flicker behind his closed lids. Lance’s moan vibrated against his lips as Keith’s tongue massaged against his tentatively. The tenderness of the kiss did not diminish the hunger, but it did give Keith butterflies and make his head spin. After a moment he pulled back too overwhelmed by the physical and mental connection he was experiencing with the handsome man in front of him.

“Oh,” Keith practically purred as the taller man pulled back, sensual lips shiny and reddened. Keith’s body shivered. Goosebumps raised across pale skin, and Lance’s gaze didn’t miss a thing when it came to the beautiful omega in front of him.

“Come here,” Lance leaned back and gestured to his side; he pulled the furs back exposing a small space where Keith could wedge his body between the arm of the chaise and Lance’s hard lean body.

For a split second he debated protesting out of habit, but no part of him wanted to resist the offer. He craved being near the Blue Paladin.

Shifting forward Keith curled into the taller man’s body, allowing Lance to haphazardly toss the fur over him as his head lulled onto the brunettes shoulder. This felt right. For the first time in so long Keith felt at home. On a forgien alien planet where he was considered a second class citizen strictly on the basis that he could bear children, Keith had never felt more content. Pressed close to Lance for the first time maybe ever, Keith felt whole.

A purr rattled in the omega’s chest.

The pair froze.

Lance’s arm curled protectively around Keith’s back. Pulling him against his firm chest before his free hand threaded gently through raven locks scratching and caressing Keith’s scalp as another purr vibrated between their bodies.

Lance’s breath hitched, “Now that is something I would like to hear everyday for the rest of my life.” There was a feral pleasure in his teammate’s voice that made the heat flare inside Keith’s body.

Keith relaxed completely onto the alpha going slack as his focus turned back to Nexxia’s moaning. She was standing beside Thalan now, his hand planted firmly on her bare lower back. Her baby pink skin was flushed a beautiful rosy pink and her long silky magenta hair was tousled down her back. Her full mouth looked bitten and her eyes were glazed and barely fixed on the couple before her; she had clearly cum on her lover’s fingers for the monarch’s disinterested pleasure. The Assoluto dismissed the coupled and Thalan lead a slightly wobbling Nexxia towards their gauzy enclosure. Nexxia and settled with a muted almost sleepy greeting before cuddling in a similar fashion to the human couple.

Keith tried not to think too much about the night ahead of them, but focused more on the fuzzy warmth that seemed to spread the more Lance caressed his skin.