Bulma could hear more and more people arriving downstairs. She was getting increasingly nervous. I must act like I am happy to be marrying Yamcha. I don't want anyone to get suspicious. I've got to remember to keep smiling no matter what happens. Soon, this will all be over and I can start a new life somewhere else.
"Bulma dear! It's time to come downstairs! The guests are starting to arrive!" Mrs. Briefs yelled from the other side of Bulma's bedroom door.
"Alright, Mom. I am ready," Bulma replied, as she opened her door and stepped into the hall.
"Wow, Bulma, you look beautiful!" Mrs. Briefs exclaimed. "That dress is perfect. Yamcha is going to feel like the luckiest man in the universe!"
As they descended the stairs, Bulma felt everyone's eyes on her. She pretended not to notice the awkward silence that came over the room. Bulma gave a quick smile to the guests and they all went back to chatting with one another. She glanced around the room, hoping not to make eye contact with anyone. She saw just about everyone, except for Yamcha. Whew. I can't deal with him right now. As she glanced over to the corner of the room, she saw Vegeta standing there. He was staring back at her, with his all too familiar smirk. He looked amused with the whole situation. What an asshole! How could he even think that this is funny! Maybe you'll think this is funny! she thought as she mouthed the words "Fuck you" to him. That always works to piss him off, she laughed to herself. His smirk turn to a scowl as he looked around the room to make sure nobody had seen her insult him.
"Oolong, take this potion now. Remember, only give it to the ladies that I point out to you. Oh, and one that you like too. Hehehe. Now, don't screw this up!" Master Roshi whispered while he, Oolong, and Krillin waited for someone to answer the door at the Briefs' house.
"Geez Master Roshi, do you think that you have enough potion here? This bottle is huge! How am I supposed to conceal it?" Oolong whispered back.
"You'll figure something out! You always do. Shhhhhh, someone's coming to the door," Master Roshi warned.
"My, don't you all look handsome," Mrs. Briefs said as she opened the door. "Come on in, make yourself at home. I think Bulma is in the backyard."
Oolong hid the bottle inside his jacket as they entered the Briefs' home. I can't just walk around with this in my coat all night. I need to find somewhere to put it until Master Roshi instructs me to give it to someone. Where could I put it until then? He looked around the front room searching for a place, but there were so many people, he didn't dare put it anywhere in there. He walked out to the kitchen. As he entered, he noticed the pantry door. He looked around, and nobody seemed to notice him standing there, so he opened the door and went inside. This pantry is bigger than Master Roshi's entire house! The bottle will be safe here. I'll hide it here, and come get it in a few minutes.
"Oolong, where did you go? Where is the bottle?" Master Roshi whispered after he finally spotted Oolong.
"It's hidden in a safe place until you give me further instructions. Have you decided on which ladies yet? There are so many beautiful women here tonight. I have mine picked out already. She was in the kitchen a minute ago."
"Give me a few more minutes. I want to be sure I pick the best ones," replied Master Roshi.
Bulma was busy talking to Goku and ChiChi in the backyard, when she noticed Yamcha flirting with some of the party guests on the other side of the yard. The giggling women couldn't seem to keep their hands off of him. Even worse, Yamcha was loving every minute of it; like he had forgotten where he was. Maybe he thinks that because it's dark outside, nobody will notice what he's doing. That asshole! Has he no shame? If I weren't wearing my favorite shoes, I'd go over there and shove my foot up his ass!
"Bulma, what's wrong? Are you ok?" Goku asked.
"Huh? Sorry Goku, I guess I spaced off there for a second. What were you saying?" Bulma asked.
Goku and ChiChi looked to see what had upset Bulma. There was Yamcha, still flirting with the same girls.
"See what I have to marry? He has no respect for me. He is not capable of being faithful," Bulma declared.
"Well, I don't think that he means to hurt you Bulma. I don't agree with what he has done in the past, but he does love you. I do know that much. I can understand why you don't want to marry him though, and I personally don't think that you should. You are a beautiful, intelligent woman, you could have anyone. Don't settle for what your parents choose for you. They are trying to help by finding happiness for you. They don't realize that you have to find it on your own," Goku explained.
Bulma wiped a tear from her eye, "You and ChiChi are always there for me in my times of need. Thank you so much." She gave them each a big hug, and they all began laughing.
Bulma looked across the yard to where Yamcha was just a moment ago. He and the ladies had disappeared. She looked at Goku and ChiChi, "Excuse me for a moment you two. I'll be back in a minute."
"No problem. We're going inside to get another drink anyway. Hurry up though, everyone else is waiting for you," replied ChiChi.
Bulma started walking towards the other side of the yard, "Ok, I'll meet you in there. I just need to make sure that Yamcha isn't out here. I thought that I heard something over here."
Bulma walked to where Yamcha was standing a moment ago. She looked around the yard, but there was no sign of him. I guess I was hearing things. Wait! What's that? There was something moving in the corner of the yard that seemed to be coming towards her. As it got closer, she realized that it was Vegeta.
"Vegeta, I was hoping to get you alone. I need to talk to you about something. Come on, walk with me," Bulma reached out and gently took his hand.
Somewhat surprised that Vegeta had not pulled his hand away, Bulma somehow mustered up the strength she needed to tell him how she felt about him. "Vegeta........I am not going to marry Yamcha. I don't love him. The only choice that I have now is to leave. My parents have made it quite clear that I am not welcome here if I don't respect their wishes. Before I go though........I want to......let you know how I feel about you since I will probably never see you again."
She took a deep breath and leaned closer to him. " I'm in love with you Vegeta. I know that you don't love me, and that's ok. I just wanted you to know how I feel." Her trembling hands slid over his shoulders and began moving up his neck. She leaned forward and kissed his cheek.
His hands shot up to her shoulders, and pushed her away. " Don't ever presume to know how I feel! You don't know anything!" he snarled.
Bulma fell onto the grass and tearfully watched Vegeta storm into the house. She was not surprised that he reacted this way, but Bulma felt better having said what her heart felt. Still, she was overwhelmed with sadness.
"Bulma! Come on! We are waiting for you so that we can make a toast!" Krillin called out the back door. "What are you doing in the grass? Are you ok?"
"Ya, I'm fine! I just had too much to drink, that's all! Go ahead and make the toast without me! I feel really sick right now. I can't drink anything else!" Bulma lied.
"Are you sure? We can wait a while or something!"
"No, tell them to go ahead! I'm in no condition to drink any more at this point!"
Bulma was still sitting and staring at the grass, when Krillin came out. They sat quietly listening to the talking and laughing coming from inside of the house. Bulma turned to Krillin, "Aren't you going to go in there for the toast? "
"Nah, I really don't like to drink. I've already had a couple of beers, and that is enough for a little guy like me. Besides, wine gives me a headache," he laughed.
"Huh...." Bulma pretended to listen.
"Goku told me about your situation. I think you are too good for Yamcha. He loves you, but you can do better. I was talking to Piccolo and Yajirobe a minute ago, and they were saying that everyone is on your side in this, even Kami. So, what are you going to do?"
"I'm leaving...tonight. I have no other choice. It's ok though. I will manage just fine. I'm a genius, remember? I'll still keep in contact with all of you guys. Just not Yamcha."
A loud burst of laughter erupted in the house. Bulma strained to hear the conversation. She thought she could hear Vegeta's voice.
"Krillin, let's go inside and see what's going on," Bulma said, dusting grass from her dress.
Once inside the house, Bulma noticed that most everyone looked drunk. Even Vegeta was drinking a glass of wine. He turned his head away, when he saw her looking at him. What a jerk!
"Would you two like a glass of wine? Mrs. Briefs asked.
"No thanks, Mom," Bulma replied, still staring at Vegeta.
"Suit yourself. It's really good though. Oolong brought it," Mrs. Briefs smiled sweetly at Oolong.
"What! I brought it? I didn't bring any wine to this party! What are you talking about?" Oolong jumped up from his chair.
"Yes you did, silly. I saw you put it in the pantry earlier. You don't need to be modest. It was delicious!" Mrs. Briefs replied in her usual airheaded tone.
"HOLY SHIT!! You have got to be kidding!" Oolong yelled at Mrs. Briefs. He turned to Master Roshi who was sitting next to him. "Uh, what now?" he whispered to Master Roshi.
Master Roshi just smiled and shrugged, "Oh well, I guess we'll just have to go with it."
"I didn't even drink any," Oolong replied. "Now, I'm going to end up babysitting while you have all of the fun."
"Is there a problem, boys?" asked Mrs. Briefs. "This wasn't your wine?"
"Uh, ya, it was our wine. Sorry, I forgot," Oolong answered nervously.
"Come on Bulma, we have to get out of here," Krillin whispered as he pulled on her arm.
"Follow me back to the yard," Bulma whispered to Krillin. They quietly slipped outside. "Krillin, I need a huge favor. I need you to fly me to somewhere where I can hide for a little while. Somewhere where nobody will find me. How about the forest north of the city. Nobody would ever look for me there. They would expect me to stay in the city. Please help me. I need someone on my side in this mess."
"Well I guess so. This is going to cause a big problem though. Everyone's going to be really pissed off. I guess that I will have to stay out there with you since obviously they will know that I am the one that helped you escape. Besides, in about an hour, things are going to be getting really strange around here."
"What are you talking about Krillin? What happens in an hour?"
"Well Bulma, you probably wouldn't believe me anyway. I'll explain everything once we get out of here," Krillin replied as they both looked suspiciously towards the house. "Hold on to me Bulma. We better go right now!"
She grabbed on to Krillin, hugging him as tightly as she could. They both flew off towards the forest. Bulma watched as the lights from her house got smaller and smaller, and finally disappeared into the night. She felt relief sweep through her. Finally, she was free of Yamcha. Yet, her heart was shattered at the thought of life without Vegeta.
* * * * *