Vegeta drove away after finishing another boxing session with Joe Winslow. He usually trains longer than usual, but today, his mentor had once again tortured him with questions about his weird behavior.
"I only see a man as mad as ya afta bein’ dumped by a lady. That what happened ta ya?" the former black boxer had asked.
"Leave me alone, Joe!" was the prince’s reply, before he tossed off his boxing gloves and ran to his waiting car.
The more he thought about it, the more he hated himself for shouting out like that. It was as good as a confession. But maybe next time he visits, Joe would probably be less nosy. In his anger, he stepped on the gas pedal hard. He was going so fast, it was a wonder police never came to pull him over. He was nearing Harlem River Bridge when out of nowhere, a taxi came speeding from the left side. Veering his car to the right, the high-pitched squeal of tires cut through the air as Vegeta managed to avoid a fatal collision. Turning his head to the yellow cab, he saw that the driver had done exactly as he did: veer to the opposite direction; so now, both vehicles were parallel to each other. Taking off his seatbelt, the boxer jumped out of his car and stormed towards the taxi, kicking at its side. The cab driver, a short stout man with a red beard and mustache stepped out, his face contorted in anger.
"What’s da matter wit you, man?!" the driver’s bushy eyebrows twitched. "You coulda killed us!"
"Me?! What’s the matter with you?! Are you blind as well as large?! I was heading to the bridge in a straight direction when you came curving from the left!" the prince yelled back.
"Hey! I’m just tryin’ to earn a livin’ here! And by the looks of you, I’m sure you don’t get minimum wage! You rich high hats really think you own da roads!"
"Why I outta…"
"What just happened?!" came the shrill voice of the cab’s passenger, as she stepped out of the taxi, still shaking from the events that had taken place a few minutes ago. The familiarity of the voice made Vegeta look up before a face he couldn’t help but recognize met his vision. A gloved hand came to cover the lady passenger’s open mouth, as she too, stood awestruck at the sight of the man in front of her.
"YOU!" they pointed at each other. The cab driver looked from the woman to the man he was arguing with and back to the woman again.
"Hold it, hold it! You two know each other?!" he tried to interject; but the couple barely acknowledged his presence.
"W-what are you doing here?!" Bulma stammered, not quite sure how to take the man who had been her lover.
"Me?! What are you doing here?!" Vegeta eyed the huge suitcase visible from the partially opened trunk of the taxi. "Looks like you’ve packed everything. Where are you headed? Don’t tell me you’ve been evicted from your apartment?" he snickered.
At that moment, fresh tears cascaded down from the German lady’s blue eyes, startling both the boxer and the driver. The green-haired flapper covered her face as her body rocked from her sobs.
"What da hell is goin’ on here?!" the stout driver complained. The Prince of Knock Outs shot him a look before he gingerly went over to where the woman stood.
"You were evicted?!" Vegeta repeated. That caused the lass to bawl out harder. The prince pressed his lips together, contemplating on what to say next. "So…where are you heading now?"
"Back to my relatives, if you have to ask!" Bulma flared, quickly getting back inside the cab. "Driver, let’s go! I don’t have all night!"
"Wait!" the dark-haired boxer poked his head through the window beside the woman. "You hate your relatives! You said so yourself this morning!"
"Of course I hate them! But I don’t have a choice now, do I!? Now, beat it! Driver! Hurry up!"
The redheaded driver strode towards the open door of the front seat; but before he was even able to set foot in the vehicle, the prince blocked his path. Bulma watched as Vegeta whispered something in the stout man’s ears; that something made the driver happy somehow, making the flapper’s heart beat with trepidation. To her utter surprise, the cab driver took her suitcase from the trunk and tossed it on the backseat of her former lover’s Rolls Royce. Before she could protest, the door beside her opened, Vegeta’s strong hand dragging her away from the yellow cab.
"What are you doing!? Let go!" she struggled, but to no avail. She watched helplessly as the hairy driver pocketed the hundred-dollar bill given by the boxer. As soon as the taxi was out of sight, the prince let go of singer’s hands.
"You old sap! You made me miss my ride!" Bulma began beating against her captor’s broad chest but her blows did little to shake him from where he stood. Vegeta put a tight grip on both of the flapper’s shoulder, making her wince from the pain.
"Look! You should be grateful that I’m helping you with this little problem of yours! Now, get in the car!" wrapping his hand around one of her own, the onyx-eyed man led the woman to the Silver Ghost.
"Let…go!" the German managed to wiggle her hand free. "Are you really that obsessed with sex?!"
"I have no intention of making love to you!"
"Oh yeah, right! You can’t lie to me! It’s written all over your face! The only reason you’re helping me is ‘coz you want me in your bed!"
"The way you’re carrying on, it sounds like you’re the one who wants to do it!"
"All I want to do, is set you up a new place to live in and I’m not asking for any rewards," the boxer said calmly, but firmly.
Blue eyes clashed with black ones. Bulma wanted so much to say yes. This was a great opportunity. But a bigger and prouder part of her shouted a definite NO! She wasn’t about to take charity like some poor beggar. Just as she was about to protest some more, cold, hard rain began bearing down upon them. Within moments, they were both soaked to the skin.
"Come on!" Vegeta pulled the flapper towards the car, all resistance fleeing from her body as she sat limply on the front seat.
"You told me no nookies tonight!!" Bulma pointed an accusing finger at Vegeta, their hair dripping with the rain that had washed upon them a while ago, as the Silver Ghost made its way to the parking lot of the Ritz.
"I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I have no intention of making out with you tonight. There’s a good reason why you have to spend the night here!"
"Okay. Give me one!"
"Obviously, it’s raining. And since I just ran into you, I don’t have an apartment ready for you at the moment. I’ll get it for you tomorrow," Vegeta stepped out of the vehicle, taking the suitcase with him. Bulma had no choice but to follow him inside the building.
"Where will I sleep?! I can’t sleep in your room! Knowing you, you’ll probably take advantage of me!"
"Whoa, whoa! Knowing me?! Just how much do you know about me, huh?"
"Only what you’ve told me this morning!"
"Humph!" the prince gruffed. "You won’t be sleeping in my room. I’ll be getting you one."
"Huh!? But Vegeta…" the singer followed the boxer through the door, where they were greeted by Waldo, the receptionist, who looked disapprovingly at their wet clothes.
"Waldo, get this woman that empty room beside mine," Vegeta demanded. The receptionist quickly handed him the keys to that room.
"Honestly, Vegeta! You shouldn’t be doing this,"
"Go," he shoved the woman inside the elevator. When they reached the 18th floor, Bulma was still reluctant to follow the man who had just saved her from her troubles. Even as she was shown the beautiful room, which was almost exactly like Vegeta’s except for the more feminine colors, part of her still hesitated.
"I don’t really think I can acce—"
"Just stop with the ‘I don’t thinks’ and the ‘you shouldn’t be doing this’ rambling will you and just be thankful for a moment!" the boxer complained, dragging the suitcase from the sitting room to the bedroom. The flapper’s soft fingers raked across her wet scalp as she viewed the strong face of her savior, a small smile escaping from her lips. She couldn’t understand why despite the problems that came pouring on her in a single day, she could still stand to admire his perfect roman nose, strong jaw and over all elegant and handsome appearance.
"What?!" Vegeta snarled, quite uncomfortable at the way the woman’s blue eyes gazed at him with a sparkle he had never seen before. Bulma blinked rapidly, waking up from her reverie.
"Oh. Uhm…I…I…" she struggled to find the right words to say.
"You should take a warm bath or else you’d catch a cold. Good night," and with that, the prince left the room, not even waiting to hear the words of gratitude the singer had just concocted. Sighing, she set her sights on the wonderful room that had just been generously given to her. She ran her fingers over the marble walls, and over the Chinese porcelain vases that stood on the mantel, the yellowish red flame from the fireplace giving warmth throughout the room. Before she knew it, she was spinning around in circles, admiring the wealth that surrounded her. Feeling a bit dizzy now, she lay on the soft mattress, dampening the silk spreads with her wet clothes.
"Oh," she quickly stood up and looked worriedly at the dark outline the rainwater from her garments had drawn upon the surface of the queen-sized bed. Following Vegeta’s suggestion, she took off her clothes and covered herself with a terrycloth robe before she stepped inside the bathroom.
Bulma tossed and turned on the soft mattress, unable to find the peaceful oblivion of sleep. She pulled at her still damp hair, grunting in frustration as she sat up on the bed. She’ll never be able to sleep: not with the shouts of shame that echoed in her mind. She didn’t want any form of help, and yet, she got it whether she liked it or not. She wanted to be able to fend for herself; and being given this room, even for just a single night, was a big insult to what little ego she had left. Of course, she was grateful to be staying at such a grand hotel, but she knew she didn’t deserve it.
"What’s with him?! Why is he doing this?!" she thought angrily, as she stood up, turned on the lights, and sat on the dresser. She stared at her reflection for a moment, combing her green strands with a brush. After awhile, she seemed at peace, enveloped by the silence of the night. That’s when she felt it. Whether it was woman’s intuition or something else, she didn’t know. All she knew was that in the next room lay a man, whose desire for her was all too overwhelming; at least that’s what her instincts tell her. She half-expected him to come barging in from the door, demanding for release but minutes passed by and nothing happened. Yet, that feeling would not leave her side. She could almost here him calling out to her…droning…droning. Bulma clamped her hands over her ears, blocking out the voice…a voice she knew was his. This man had given her things she knew she could only repay by giving herself to him. Still in her nightgown, she mindlessly walked out her room. Before she knew it, she was standing right in front of her savior’s door, wishing she had the courage to knock. Almost holding her breath, she raised a closed fist and started to bring it against the wood; but her hand stopped in mid-air upon the realization of what she was about to do.
"I can’t do this," she shook her head. "He said there was no need…but I could never pay him back enough…" her eyebrows met in the middle as she struggled to make up her mind. Suddenly, the door opened, shattering her from her indecision. There he was, in nothing but his pajama pants, his disheveled ebony hair flaring to the back of his head, his red rimmed eyes holding a pair of onyx pupils, a look of utter surprise and amazement visible on his dashing face.
"V-Vegeta!" Bulma stammered. "I…I…I just want to…I mean I…"
Vegeta continued to stare silently at her, still quite taken aback by her sudden appearance. The flapper fell silent herself, held captive by the pair of narrow eyes that seem to haunt her forever. Without saying a word, the prince stepped forward, gently cupping the woman’s face with his strong hands, his lips quickly on hers. This kiss…it was the same sweet and loving kiss the nightclub performer had received only the night before. Her arms found its way around the boxer’s neck, her hands leaving occasionally to caress his face as they continued to kiss. She was then scooped up and carried inside, where she was again, laid on his bed. She shivered as Vegeta looked down at her, his eyes in limpid pools of desire. Their clothing peeled away from their bodies, they began another night in each other’s arms.
* * * * *
Beat it = get lost
Flapper = A stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman of the 1920’s with short skirts and shorter hair
High-hat = a snob
Nookie = sex
Sap = a fool/idiot