Chapter One: Of Shrews and Men
(my attempt at puns*silence* .... *sigh*)


Valentio sprinted from the Briefs’ palazzo courtyard, hands clamped to his eyes. Bulma watched him from her sitting room window, a benign _expression on her face. Suddenly, the corners of her mouth turned up revealing a coy smile. She gave a soft laugh before turning back to her settee where she had been reading when the self-assured little prick waltzed into the room declaring his love for her. ‘Self-assured little prick’ Bulma chuckled. ‘Father, would have my head for that one.’ She sighed. Compared to the others, he had been treated fairly leniently, so she thought. All she asked was that, to prove his intelligence, he recite all famous Latin and Greek philosophers, as well as their most notable works....while hopping up and down on one foot. Now, compared to preforming Homer’s Iliad (the whole thing) with amazing theatrical prowess, a task dealt to the snide Benetini of Venice, the task asked of Valentio was quite simple.

A frown creased Bulma’s well-accustomed brow, as she pondered this recent intruder. Her latest chosen novella swung absently by her side. ‘God, what did HE know of love? To love me, would be to know me...which he obviously does not? Do these men think me gullible as a newborn fawn–to prance gaily into the awaiting jaws of the river monster.’ Bulma shook her head furiously, sending her blue waves into a tangent about her face. ‘No, I am not that.’ A lazy smile crept to her face, so unaccustomed to actions gentle in nature. ‘Liars, all of them. How shall I punish the next?’

At that moment, the raven-haired, sweet-natured girl swept into the room. "How goes your time with...umm... Cousin, where did Signor Valentio go?" "To Hell or so I hope," quipped Bulma, coolly from her resting place. "Oh, Bulma. Not another." "And so it shall continue until this ridiculous nonsense stops." "Oh, but Bulma," began Chi Chi sweetly. Bulma dropped the novella from her face at the beginning of the sentence. "Is this about me or you?" Chi Chi grinned eagerly and flounced or to sit at Bulma’s feet. "That was NOT an open invitation to move in," Bulma stated, eyes narrowing. Chi Chi played a bit with the brocade of the settee cushion before meeting Bulma’s eyes. "Well, this morning..." Chi Chi began, words spilling from her mouth at a rapid pace. Bulma lifted a hand to silence. "Why do I get the feeling I’m not going to understand any of this, much less care about it." "You know that Latin tutor that your mother has been trying desperately hard to find for me?" Bulma rolled her eyes. "Let me guess, she found one and he’s handsome." Chi Chi blushed. "Yes," she breathed. "Where was he this morning when our dear Valentio was having so many difficulties..." Chi Chi watched as Bulma shared a private joke with herself. "Huh," she asked in consternation. Bulma dismissed it with a wave of her hand. The younger girl shook her head. "I’ll never understand you, Bulma Briefs." "Maybe no one was ever meant to..." the shrew answered her lonely blue eyes searching solace in her only companion...

Kakarott jumped down from the back of the carriage. He had hitched a ride, unbeknownst to the driver, from the courtyard of La Fresca Bella (like I know what that means ^_~) He spotted his companion napping on a bench in the pristine park on the outskirts of the Briefs’ palace. "Wonderful day, huh, Vejita?" Vejita grunted. Kakarott sat at the end of the bench, pulling in the fresh morning air with his strong chest. "Can’t breathe? Don’t get my hopes up so early, Kakarott," Vejita commented sarcastically from beneath the cap he had placed over his face. "I’m happy to know that I breathe the same air she does." "That gods have cursed you with madness," shot Vejita, quickly taking off the cap to peer at his friend. "It is the same air as always, if I am not mistaken." "Oh, but I had not tasted it... Yet knowing I am connected to her through this fresh spring breeze." "You have gone insane!" Vejita Petruchio sat up bolt right. Kakarott chuckled at the bizarre _expression on his friend’s face, a mixture of bewilderment and mockery. "You would feel so...if you were in love." Vejita sneered at his bewitched companion. "What good are you to me if you continue to carry on so?" Vejita got up and stalked off. Kakarott contemplated the beauty of the day for a few moments more before moving to follow Vejita. It was always best to follow a few steps behind, letting his easily angered friend cool off, before approaching him. Kakarott watched Vejita walk briskly to a flower stand and peruse the vases of freshly cut blossoms. His friend, though short-fused, was not by any means stupid or foolish, if anything, he was always under control.

The gentle giant with his innocent smile walked up behind his companion. "What are you looking for?" "Not that it’s any of your concern, and it isn’t, I’m going to pay a visit to the shrew." "Then I’d go with the roses," recommended Kakarott, plucking them from their place and handing them to Vejita. The young flower girl nodded her approval. "Very well chosen, Signor." Vejita grinned at her. "Then I’ll take them." As an afterthought he added, "Perhaps, I’ll come back for you later." He flashed his trademark smirk before paying for the flowers and walking off. Her cheeks flushed with color and she giggled. Kakarott caught up to his friend. "Were you serious? I thought you were going for Bulma?" "I am." He smirked at Kakarott. "I was just making sure I hadn’t lost my touch." The taller man shook his head in disbelief. "You’re a piece of work, Vejita," he shouted to his friend as they were separated in a crowd. The cunningly sly man just chuckled in reply.

All in all, Vejita Petruchio was not a BAD looking man, not by any means. He possessed a classic face of Verona that only a long line of pure Italians could produce. His tall proud forehead gave way to vicious spikes of jet black hair. Yet as he traveled through the market place, pillars of light descended from crevices in the buildings, giving his dark mane a reddish hue, like crimson blood. His eyes weren’t harsh, as time often made men out of boys. His were as black and as unholy as the darkest hour of the night yet there was something of a glimmer that retained his youthful rambunctiousness.

His step was lively as he skillfully maneuvered his way through the bustling marketplace. "What else..what else..." he muttered to himself, tapping his lips absently. Kakarott stumbled into the clearing Vejita had made for himself. Kakarott rubbed his sore elbow where a woman had swung her basket of fruits. "Ouchie!" Kakarott whined. He noticed his friend deep in thought when a sudden wicked grin came over his face, making his appearance sinister indeed. "Uh..Vejita? You okay there? Any sudden plans to take over Venice or..." "That’s for another time, my slow-witted companion. I have just figured the perfect gift for our little shrew..." Turning quickly, he made his way down a dark alley, leaving a bewildered Kakarott behind. He was heading to the only place he knew this absolutely perfect gift to be found. "See you around, friend," Kakarott called to the fast disappearing figure of Vejita Petruchio, the tail of his coat snapping in the breeze.

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A/N: eh...enough for today.. Just a cliffy till tomorrow or the next day... till I gather my bearings. I have a novella to write or at least try to write and finish this at the same time. We shall see, shan’t we? Next TIME:::: Vejita confronts Bulma and...uh... yeah.. The creativity is gone.. *sigh*

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Chapter 2