Ritual of Passion
By: Lil_Songbird

Part 1- Accepting the Challenge

Bulma clung to Vegetaís neck nuzzling her head into his shoulder as he carried her outside of the gravity room. She couldnít believe what had just happened. In the span of just a few minutes she had gone from participating in a normal day of mind numbing office bureaucracy to participating in an impassioned encounter with Vegeta in the gravity room during which she had agreed to be his mate, his wife in saiyajin terms. The thought of it made her absolutely giddy. It was then she felt the sensation of rising into the air and when she looked up from his chest she saw the ground falling away beneath them. In a moment they were rocketing away from Capsule Corporation.

"Where are we going?" Bulma questioned curiously. She hadnít expected to be carried off somewhere other than inside the dwelling portion of the Capsule Corporationís compound.

"We are going somewhere private to perform the Mating Ritual," he told her matter of factly.

"Oh" she answered more than a little surprised. She had just thought that Vegeta was carrying her off somewhere to make out but it seemed he had more in mind. "This ritual is how saiyajins get marriedÖerÖI meanÖbecome mated?"

"Yes" he answered looking down at her face with a smirk that looked suspiciously like it was more of a suppressed cat-that-just-caught-the-canary smile.

"You donít waste any time do you?" Bulma asked beaming up at him.

"No" Vegeta replied with a throaty chuckle. "When I know what I want I donít waste my time in getting it," he replied in the same deep, sensuous voice that had made Bulmaís knees weak before this time making her blush.

It was then it dawned on Bulma that she really had no idea what she had agreed to when she had said she would become Vegetaís mate the saiyajin way. "Uh, Vegeta" she queried "just what it a Saiyajin Mating Ritual?"

"Be patient little one" Vegeta replied with a larger smirk "you will find out soon enough." He then made it perfectly clear that he had no intention of explaining anything more to her by looking straight ahead into the distance.

Bulma scowled and looked down at the ground as it whizzed away below. Suddenly the brown and green land was replaced by deep blue and Bulma realized that they were over the ocean. "Where is he taking me?" she wondered.

Certain now that the woman in his arms would no longer pursue conversation the saiyajin prince looked down at her as she scanned the ocean below them with the look he recognized long ago as annoyance. Vegeta smirked. "She is annoyed that I didnít want to tell her where we are going," he thought very pleased with himself. "It is good she will be in a bit of a fighting mood" he mused "but I donít want her too annoyed." Deciding to provide her with a pleasing distraction he flared his ki up about them and poured on more speed.

"What!" Bulma exclaimed in surprise clinging harder to the saiyajin.

"I thought you liked speed woman" Vegeta commented in amusement "The way you drive your vehicles speaks of a certain reckless abandon and yet you cling to me like a scared weakling."

"I am not reckless" Bulma protested pushing away from him but not loosing her grip.

"You carelessly put yourself in harms way quite often woman" Vegeta countered "I must be crazy to want to take you as my mate. Something tells me that you will be more trouble than youíre worth."

"So maybe I am a little bit of a dare-devil" Bulma said defensively "but if I wasnít I wouldnít letting a bloodthirsty alien carry me off to Kami knows where to do Kami knows what to be his mate."

Vegeta smirked. He had never supposed that she would view her attraction to him as a risk but it was. It was not an average woman who would accept a man with hands stained with as much as his were. He loved to fight and to kill and she knew that he did. Despite the fact that it went against human morals she still wanted him. She was brave to do so which was one reason why he didnít mind taking this female as his mate even if it was against saiyajin tradition. However, even if boldness was a good quality for a warrior when it verged on the point of recklessness, as hers did, it was not good for oneís health.

"Have you ever broken the sound barrier?" Vegeta asked her impishly taking a moment to look down as the realization of what he was planning to do registered on her face before flaring his ki higher and plunging ahead at greater speed.

Bulma tightly griped Vegeta as she felt the G forces begin to push on her body sending a fresh rush of adrenaline through her. The velocity they were traveling at was incredible and it was increasing but she wasnít scared. Vegeta was right, she did like speed, and this was faster than she ever imagined she would go. It was then she felt a slight sift in the G forces and she heard the crack explode around them. The feeling was amazing but it didnít last for long before he slowed down and started descending.

Vegeta gently set down on the small island he had chosen as the spot for the Mating Ritual. It was an island that he frequently came to when he needed to train in solitude. The first reason he had chosen it, as the venue of his choice was that it was isolated and no one could interfere with the ritual. The forests around West Capital City were frequently used for the recreation of humans and the desert wilderness, while isolated, was far to open to make the hunt interesting. The second was that it had all of the ingredients necessary for the ritual dense jungles, game and lots of space. He set Bulma down on her feet and observed her curiously as she began to walk around and stare with a grin on her face. She obviously found her surroundings appealing.

Bulma held her breath in happiness. It was a beautiful place. The white sand beach on which they now stood stretched into the distance as the clear blue waves stole onto itís edge. Turning she could see the green and lush tropical jungle behind them. It looked like a picture on a postcard that you would send to your relatives just to make them jealous of the paradise you were vacationing in. Bulma turned to the Vegeta who stood with his muscular arms folded across his chest in his typical "I am the mighty prince of all saiyajin" stance as the warm breeze, that had just come up, tousled his thick unruly hair and made the pink "Bad Man" shirt he wore wave in its wake. He watched her with alert eyes and a minutely detectable curiosity written across his normally stoic features. Her heart skipped a beat as she took in everything around her, Vegetaís statuesque attractiveness, the crystal clear sky, the deep blue ocean, the pristine beach and the verdant jungle, realizing just how perfect everything was, like something you would read in a romance novel. She marveled at the fact that Vegeta had brought her there. He didnít seem the type to bring a girl to such a wonderful place.

"Itís so romantic!" Bulma exclaimed happily. She waited for him to react with pleasure that she had liked his surprise but all he did was arch on black eyebrow at her. Slightly disappointed Bulma smiled at him and returned his puzzled look, with her own. "You donít even know what romantic means do you?" she questioned.

Vegeta elevated his other eyebrow to join its mate as he stumbled in his mind for a reply. He hadnít expected her to ask something like that or how uncomfortable that it made him feel. It disturbed him that he had been living on earth for over a year now and that there still were expressions and words he didnít know after he had taken such prodigious care to look things up that he didnít know or understand in the human reference books so he could keep up appearances. "Why should I?" he demanded as arrogantly as possible.

Bulma laughed at him and received a slight frown in response to it. "You donít know what it means," she stated to Vegetaís consternation. She decided that it was time to turn on the charm before this escalated in an argument as conversations always did when his pride was hurt. She wanted nothing to spoil the mood so she put on her best smile and walked towards him slowly, being careful to accent the natural swaying of her hips slightly more than normal. "Donít worry Iíll tell you want it means" she fairly purred reaching him and placing both her hands gently on the surprised princeís shoulders. "It means it makes you feel like making love" she said looking directly into his eyes invitingly stepping in so close that her breasts brushed his folded arms.

Vegeta was taken aback and titillated by her aggressive advance. He had never thought her the type to be so forward, not that he minded it, but it was a little premature to be inspiring these feelings in him. Using every once of willpower he had he repressed the urge he had to grab her and crush her supple curves against his body. Instead he reached up and gently lifted both of her hands off of his shoulders not breaking their eye contact. "You are eager but it isnít time for this right now" he told her regretfully. "There are other things to be done first" he told the beautiful but puzzled woman still holding her hands in his. The breeze once again kicked up ruffling her loose aqua hair and her tailored suit creating an almost irresistible picture that could make him forget his duty to perform the ritual before he claimed her. Reluctantly he released his hold on her small, soft hands and adverted his eyes from hers and focused them on the vista surrounding. He tried hard not to concentrate at the closeness of her body to his but it was difficult. He prayed that she would move away so that he could concentrate on something else other than how badly he wanted her at the moment. He could feel her eyes upon him and fought the temptation to meet her gaze but with each moment it became harder to resist as he found his mind drifting towards everything he planned to do to her that night.

The sudden tenuous silence that fell between them was almost maddening to Bulma. Vegetaís strange refusal of her, despite the desire she had seen in the depths of his ebony eyes, made her feel uneasy and caused the feeling of being in a waking dream melt away. All at once she became aware of the fact she was treading in unfamiliar territory and was expected to participate in some kind of mysterious alien rite. Suddenly Vegeta looked up in to her eyes with a disturbing intensity.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Bulma questioned trying too hard not to let any of the intimidation she now felt creep into her voice.

"Just how am I looking at you?" the saiyajin asked with an amused lopsided smirk.

Bulma merely stared at him blankly for a moment until she found the appropriate words to describe the way he was looking at her. "Like you were the hunter and I was your prey" she answered nervously.

"Thatís probably because thatís just what I was thinking," he answered with a devilish twinkle in his eyes.

Bulma flushed violently and turned her back to him and felt her ire being to rise as she heard him laugh at her reaction.

Vegeta wasnít surprised at her reaction to his statement. He knew her remarkably well from careful observation of her during their verbal spars and her interaction with others. In fact he had studied her so intently that he was certain he could manipulate her into whatever, emotional state he wished. Up until this point the only feeling he had sought to inspire was anger so that he could enjoy fighting with her and how attractive she looked when she was angry. He was absolutely certain that what he was about to disclose would spark that temper of hers and that he would have to maneuver her into accepting his challenge as saiyajin law demanded, but that only made him more determined to make her his.

"You see woman" Vegeta began "part of the ritual is that I have to hunt you."

Bulma was shocked at first and then she spun around to face him. The cool and collected look on his face only served to upset her further. "What the hell do you mean?" she demanded.

"I mean," he answered glibly "before I can make you my mate I have to track you down, catch you and you must submit to me."

Bulmaís jaw dropped at the thought of being hunted down in an isolated jungle by a horny saiyajin. "You mean you expect me to allow you to chase me through the jungle!" she cried in disbelief. "I donít believe this! This is what I agreed to? You are sick Vegeta! I canít believe I thought you were being romantic by bringing me here! I demand you take me back right now!"

"You already accepted me woman" Vegeta said strolling effortless past her unbuttoning his shirt as he went "and you are going to go through with this because you and I both know we can never go back to the way we were before."

Stunned once again her eyes followed him until he stopped in front of a tree. As she tried to find the words to reply only to be rendered speechless as he removed the shirt and hung it on a low-hanging branch. No matter how many times she had seen him shirtless it still awed her. His rigorous trained had sculpted a body worthy of an Olympian deity and made her mind wander to the dreams, both waking and in slumber, that it had inspired.

Vegeta watched Bulma out of the corner of his eye and let her wait for a moment more before he continued. "The hunt is a game of wills and cleverness. You would have to try to evade capture. I thought that you would welcome the challenge of trying to beat me in my own element but I now can see that you are nothing but a pitiful excuse for a female. I have no idea why I believed you were capable of participating in a saiyajinÖ"

"Hold it right there baka!" Bulma cried when she had heard enough. "I am not incapable of out-witting your feeble excuse for an intellect Iím just above your brutish ideas and uncivilized rituals," she countered haughtily.

"Your cowardice is betrayed by your words woman" Vegeta slyly replied inching towards her confidently "otherwise you would not go back on your word. You know that I am too much for a weak human like you to handle so you are seeking to back out of the promise you made to me. You have no honor."

"Iím NOT a coward!" Bulma asserted trudging determined up to him and thrusting her finger into his face "I just refuse to be treated in such a demeaning manner."

"Do you think you are the only one who must sacrifice pride to perform this ritual?" he asked her grabbing her hand and lowering it from in front of his face. "It is unthinkable for a saiyajin to take an alien as a mate and especially so for royalty" he told her firmly watching as her entire manner began to change with his words. "You are not even a warrior and yet I am defying what I was taught from infancy for this. It is as I said before, we both must give up some things if we wish to be together."

Bulma looked searchingly into those coal-black eyes that betrayed all the words that he would never speak. What he said was true and this knowledge touched her. Vegeta cared about her enough to overcome an undoubtedly deep-seated prejudice and she was balking at giving of herself because of hers. This custom may have been a little odd but it wouldnít kill her to participate in it. "Fine" Bulma relinquished. "Iíll do it."

"Good" the saiyajin replied releasing her hand. "The hunt begins at sun down" he stated with a smirk. "I suggest you use the time you have until then to familiarize yourself with the layout of the island. I expect a reasonable challenge."

Bulma returned the smirk. "Oh youíll get one baka," she informed him almost relishing the contest despite her misgivings. It would be interesting at the very least.

Vegeta stooped down and removed the shoes on his feet and the belt on his trousers. "I am going to get some food for us," he said. "I will come for you when it is ready" he told her before strolling into the jungle determinedly, leaving her alone on the beach.

Vegeta was pleased things had gone well so far. She had accepted his invitation to be his mate and his challenge. Soon they would seal it by sharing in the eating of the kill he would bring her. Then the second phase of the ritual, the hunt, would begin. He licked his lips in anticipation as he began his search for the unfortunate animal that would be the meal of he and his intended mate.

Part 2- The Hunt

The whispy clouds glowed a spectacular crimson making the sky appear to illuminated with an unholy fire as the sun began to dip into the horizon. It would awe any one to look upon a vista of such beauty, that is every one but the saiyajin prince who sat alone on the beach unseeing anything around him. He was deep in meditation and, although he felt the last rays of sunlight warm his face, he had little interest in the sunset. His mind was engaged with more tantalizing thoughts. He smirked to himself as he felt the deliciously cool evening breeze caress his skin. He felt peaceful, but hungry, but not hungry for food.

"Soon" he thought with pleasure. "Soon it will be time and she will be mine."

He was truly looking forward to the hunt. If her evasion of him earlier that day in the gravity room was any indication of what lay ahead she would make it interesting, if nothing else. He had little doubt that he would find her easily and capturing her shouldnít take long either. Once he had subdued her, which again would be no contest seeing as he was far stronger than any human, let alone a weak female, then the real fun would start. At last he could act, without restraint, on all the desires that the earth woman had somehow managed to inspire in him. He would make mad, passionate love to her and somehow he hoped it would satisfy this strange need he felt for her. Vegeta hoped, by accepting this emotion and taking Bulma as his mate he at last would have some peace-of-mind and she would no longer torment his thoughts and dreams.

From the moment he first saw her on Namek she had captivated him. No one could deny that she was a beautiful and alluring creature and being a healthy male of course he had noticed. However, it wasnít until he was wished back to life and then to earth by accident that he had truly began to find her attractive. The first time he had bellowed a death threat at her and she screamed her own back at him, instead of shrinking back and running away as he had expected, she had become more to him than just a pretty face. He couldnít help it because up until that moment no one but Freeza had ever dared to speak to him in such a manner. Freeza had done so because he was far more powerful than Vegeta, and thus Vegetaís threats were empty, but Bulma was incapable of defending herself against him. He had to admit that it took guts to stand up to him knowing that and for this reason she had impressed him. From that moment on, in between being so annoyed with her that he had considered actually carrying out his threat of execution, he began to notice other things about her. She was brave, clever, intelligent, witty and endlessly patient (despite the way she tempermentaly carried on when being inconvienced). Her temper was as firey as his own and her ego was just as large as well. Before he knew it he began to feel inexplicable drawn to her and he tried to ignore it. He became interested in her welfare, jealous and protective. These feelings had only grown with time until they became first undeniable and finally unrepressable. He had heard others over the years talk of this kind of attachment, but he had dismissed it at the time. They all had different names for it and he discovered that the humans called it love. Yes he, the saiyajin prince, had allowed himself to form an emotional attachment to a woman, something he had never planned on or intended on doing.

If his father or any self-respecting saiyajin (Kakorot did not fall under this catergory) were still alive they would have surely been appalled by his descision to give in to this emotional attachment to an alien. However, for the first time, he didnít care what any of them would think. He was the Saiyajin Prince and he could do damn well as he pleased and at the moment nothing pleased him more than the prospect of this fastinating creature belonging to him and only him.

Vegeta stirred as he sensed the light wane into oblivion. He rose from his position and gazed out across the black churning ocean feeling his instinctual senses come alive expect for the ki sense that he had been recently cultivating. He had already decided he would not locate her by finding her ki, because it would be far too easy that way. Tonight he would hunt the old-fashioned way using his senses and instincts. Slowly he turned and confidently set out in the direction he had last seen the woman go after they had shared their meal. He entered the jungle allowing his eyes, ears and nose to take everything in. The hunt was on and soon he would claim his mate.

Bulma pushed her way through the thick foliage that blocked her path. She forged ahead pushing aside the branches heavy with leaves and the large palm fronds at her eye level while trying to be certain that nothing was in front of her feet that could trip her up. The dimming light was making it difficult to see what lay ahead of her and thus her progress had become more deliberate.

SNAP! A branch that she had shoved aside a moment before lashed out at her back throwing her off balance and flat onto her face. Bulma pushed herself up into a sitting position and tried for the hundredth time that day to remind herself that she was doing this for a good reason. The problem was that as time wore on, the more tears she got in her suit, the more blisters she got on her feet, and the more scrapes and bruises she acculmulated the more she doubted if Vegeta was worth it.

"What in the world ever possessed me to fall in love with Vegeta?" she asked herself shifting on her haunches while staring up into a sky that was almost black with night. He was stubborn, tempermental and arrogant. He was obsessive when it came to fighting and getting stronger. Then again so many of those annoying qualities were qualities that she herself possessed, which made it easier for her to over-look them in him. He was the only person that had never shrunk back from her or berated her for her explosive temper, vanity or stubbroness. His insults were far more creative and he never demanded that she change. She was as obsessed with inventing and tinkering as he was with fighting. Yes, her mother had been right, she and Vegeta were a lot alike, and for some odd reason this made her feel connected to him on some level.

For all that they had in common Bulma also couldnít deny that there were still great differences between them. He was a merciless alien warrior that delighted in killing. She couldnít fault him for that either though for he was a product of his life experiences. Kami only knew what his life had been like before he came to earth or what hidden scars he carried because of it. She had an inkling that it had been dark and terrible because of the nightmares she had witnessed him experiencing while on her bedside vigils while he had been mortally wounded those three times. This and the fact that he had no concept of what love was spoke volumes in his behalf. She who had been sheltered and loved her whole life had no right to judge him so she had long since ceased trying to.

The other major differences they had could be summed up in one thought, he was from an entirely different culture than her, an alien one, and looked at things from a whole other perspective. From the moment they met they bickered almost constantly about saiyajin verses human philosophy and the dayís events had made these differences shine through even clearer than before. Bulma thought back to the strange meal they had shared on the beach. Vegeta, still smeared with the blood of the wild pig he had killed feasted on its raw, bloody flesh while she had eaten cooked, meticulously cleaned meat. He had, however, demanded she try a bite of his meat. Since he had agreed to taste hers she thought it only fair and had complied. Despite the fact she nearly threw-up Vegeta had seemed very pleased that she had tried. At the close of the experiment, as in most things, they had agreed to disagree about which way of eating meat was better. They both acknowledged it as a fact that they would never completely see eye to eye and yet they didnít try to change one another. Thus in each other they found a kind of acceptance that they had received no where else. Perhaps that was why they gravitated to one another.

"No itís a little more than that," she admitted to herself. She admired his courage, his tenacity, his cleverness and his wit. She knew that he was intelligent, just how intelligent he was she couldnít be sure, and it shown through in his speech and actions. She had to admit, though Vegeta had the distinct talent of irritating her, she enjoyed their arguments. He thought outside of the box and forced her to keep her own thoughts sharp and pointed. He was the only individual to have ever bested her in an argument, let alone several times, and she respected him for that. He was also the only individual, other than her father, that she didnít feel she had to talk down to or keep to meaningless, vacuous, small talk with and that also earned her respect. She also admired his skill as a fighter, his strength, and she couldnít knock his physical appearance either. "Maybe this is worth it," she mumbled to herself a smile gracing her lips.

Bulma started at the sound of a rustle in the bushes nearby and looked up into a world that was now only illuminated by the stars that twinkled above. She felt the uneasy feeling that she was not alone. It was almost pitch black amongst the dense over-growth of vegetation and she still hadnít found her way out of the jungle. What was worse was that it was dark and that meant he was out there stalking her and there was no way she could show his-royal-highness that she wasnít a push over if she was lost. In fact it could even be him that she had heard in the darkness. She heard the rustling again and sprung to her feet and began rushing straight ahead away from the noise and in the direction which her trap lay in wait. She smiled at the thought of Vegetaís surprise when he was caught in her trap. It wouldnít stop him completely of course, but it would slow him down and inconvinence him a great deal.

Bulma stopped dead in her tracks as the sound appeared in front of her and a shape rushed at her from the under growth. She screamed and ran from it hearing the pounding of hooves and the squealing of her pursuer from behind. She realized it was a wild boar and this frightened her knowing of their vicious reputation and sharp tusks. Bulma ran from it and desperately tried to find a way to get away from it and suddenly it came to her; the trees.

Vegeta confidently ambled down the path of Bulmaís flight in the comforting darkness. He was at home here, in his element, feeling the instinctual craving of the hunter to skulk in the shadows, common to all of his people, making him come alive. All his senses were at their best and sharpest as he stalked his prey. The silence that followed him attested to the fact that the creatures here acknowledged his role as ultimate predator on this island. His countless hunts here had ensured the instinctual fear the animals out of their need for self-preservation. Little did they know that now they were safe for his quarry was of a different sort this night and the prize he would get would bring him fleshly pleasure beyond anything that dining on their meat could hope to give him. Tonight he, as countless other saiyajin males had done before him, was hunting a woman to make her his mate.

It seemed she had been very busy this afternoon because her scent and signs of her activities were all over the clearings that he ran across. From the look of things she had been gathering cane, vines and all manner of strange items and Vegeta knew that it could mean only one thing: the little minx had planned something. Vegeta smirked at the thought of her hatching some plan to help her escape from her ultimate fate. Regardless of what she did he would claim her that night as his own and he knew that she knew this and wanted it. He, however, also knew that wouldnít stop her from making it as difficult as possible for him to capture her.

Vegeta paused in front of a tree and bent down to inspect the twigs that had been snapped off by a passerby. A tiny piece of the womanís blouse had caught on one of the twigs and he lifted it up to his nose confirming his visual observations with her intoxicating aroma. The strength of her odor in this area told him that this was the direction she had most recently gone in so he stood up and continued his pursuit only stopping a few times along the way to confirm her passage by snapped twigs, footprints and other signs that indicated this was indeed the path she had trasversed.

After trailing her for some distance he came across a densely vegetated area that was filled with her odor. She had touched the branches and waded through the high grass. After a few steps his keen nocturnal vision spotted an area that had be trampled down. He knelt down and the strength of her scent was overpowering. She had been there, on the ground, for quite sometime and recently. He grinned a wicked grin as his heart began to race in anticipation. He was close. In only a matter of moments he would have her.

A high-pitched shriek pierced the quiet. It was the fearful cry of a woman and not just any woman, his woman. Vegeta cursed under his breath and allowed his ki sense to flare. He had not wanted to find her like this but trust Bulma to ruin his fun by getting herself into some kind of mess or another. Once he located her he raced to her aide vowing that heíd find some delicious way to make her pay for ruining the hunt.

Unthinking Bulma rushed up the nearest tree with branches that were low enough to facilitate being climbed. She leapt onto the low-lieing branches and latched onto the closest branch above her head. She started to pull herself up, scrambling to brace her feet against the trunk of the tree to aide her ascent. As she tried to pull herself up the branch began to bend and snap from her weight causing Bulma to panic for just a moment. She was quickly brought back to reality as the angry pig thrust at her and caught her skirt with its sharp tusks. A squeal of fear escaped Bulmaís lips as she failed her hands around to find a steady limb to latch on to. After finding it she pulled herself up with only her arms using the adrenaline boost fueling her muscles with unusual strength. The swine came away with only a large piece of her skirt and Bulma with a slight scratch on her thigh. Panting with exertion, her heart pounding in her ears, as she listened but could not see her assailant angrily attacking the ground level branches below her.

Vegeta stopped short of entering the clearing and moved the branches in front of him so he could see exactly what heíd have to face. He had arrived there just in enough time to witness the woman escape her pursuer by climbing into a tree. Her attacker was one of the bad tempered creatures that he found to have some of the tastiest meat he had ever consumed. It was the same sort of creature he and the woman had shared as their meal earlier that day. She was lucky to get away because he had once been hurt very badly by underestimating one of the beasts before. The stupid creature continued to blindly attack the tree leaving Bulma stuck up in its branches. The scene brought a smile to the princeís face. The stupid beast had cornered her making his task that much easier. Although he would have preferred to have found her and cornered her himself this wasnít too bad of a coincidence. In fact it put him in the perfect position to have a little fun with her, the kind of fun he had been denied by her stumbling into the creature in the first place.

"This is just beautiful" she thought angrily to herself "if what Iíve heard is true Iím going to be stuck up in this tree for hours." Bulma shifted slightly on her perch and calmly began to assess her situation. "I guess being stuck up here is better than bleeding to death from being repeated gored by a wild boar" she told herself. It was then Bulma noticed that the swine abruptly broke off the attack and was standing stark still focusing its attention on a stand of trees up ahead. What was really odd was that it was completely silent. There wasnít a single sound, no crickets, no night birds, no strange noises and it made her nervous. Suddenly a blast of energy shot out illuminating the area. The pig scrambled to run away but the blast was too fast for it too avoid. The swine exploded upon impact and Bulma closed her eyes in disgust. She heard the pieces of pig rain down around her and winced as a slimy piece of something hit her head. Bulma wrinkled her nose and tried to wipe it away only to have it cling to her fingers. Feeling sick she wiped it off onto the branch on which she now perched before being snapped out of her preoccupation by a familiar looking siloheutte as it entered the clearing.

Having disposed of the annoying animal Vegeta walked into the clearing. Of course he knew exactly where she was because he had seen her climb into it the tree but she didnít know that. He smirked at the clever plan which he would use to torment her. "Woman I know that youíre here" he announced. "The beast saved me the trouble of running you down myself" he continued speaking in no direction in particulair. "I know that you are in one of these trees so I suggest that you come down and surrender yourself because its only a matter of time before I find you."

"Why that no good baka" Bulma thought to herself angrily. "He doesnít even ask if Iím okay. He only demands that I surrender myself. How dare he think that its going to be that easy! Thereís got to be some way I can get down this tree and past him."

"I take it from your silence that youíve decided to do this the hard way" Vegeta stated. "So be it" he announced "it just means more fun for me." With that he randomly picked one of the trees that he knew she wasnít in and shot a few lances of ki into the treetop and then paused for dramatic effect. "I guess youíre not in that one" he said "but I will hit you eventually."

Bulma gapped at what she had just witnessed. "Why the onore!" she cursed to herself. "Heís trying to shoot me! And to think that I agreed to give everything I have to him and he repays me by hunting me down and trying to shoot me! Well thatís it! Iím not letting that baka lay a hand on me! Iíll swim all the way back to Capsule Corporation if I have to but Iím not ever going to let him near me again!"

Vegeta moved on to a second tree and gave it the same treatment. He smirked wickedly and made like he was heading for a tree next to Bulmaís but then he stopped his progress short placing himself right in front of her tree. "You might as well give up now woman" he said charging his ki in his hands "you know its inevitable."

Bulma couldnít stand it anymore. "STOP!" she cried "I SURRENDER ALREADY!" she screamed.

Vegeta laughed in triumph letting his ki dissapate. "It took you long enough to see sense" he told her.

"At least Iím not the moron who nearly killed the woman he was supposed to mate with!" she replied testily.

"Donít make me laugh" Vegeta replied. "You honestly think that I didnít know where you were the whole time?"

"Why you stupid monkey" she cried indignantly "If you think Iím going to let you get away with scaring me half to death then youíve got another thing coming!"

"Just come down woman" he commanded "and spare me your raving. I won this little contest of wits and you are now mine to do with as I please."

"Thatís what you think" Bulma swore under her breath. She started down the tree and carefully made sure she had a good grip. Instead of lowering herself down onto the limb below, remembering that it had nearly broken under her weight before, she struck it repeatedly with her feet until it was dislodged. The huge limb crashed down onto the surprised saiyajin below and she released her grip landing on the ground in an expertly executed crouch thanks to the instincts honed in her gymnastic classes as a child. "And thatís what you get for underestimating me!" Bulma giggled with delight. "See you around" she called sprinting away "that is if you can even find me!"

Vegeta cursed and sputtered as he tried to disentangle himself from the twigs and branches of the offending limb. "You are mine woman!" called after her in rage flaring his ki in an effort to destroy his prison. To his shock it only caught on fire compounding his problems. Feverishly he busted the braches with his bare hands until he could escape. He was almost angry enough to leave the burning branch and charge after her but he knew better. He threw loose dirt over the flames and took care of the rest by either stamping them out with his feet or blowing them out with ki generated wind. Taking a moment more to ensure the fire was out he then locked onto her Ki. He didnít care what was traditional or not anymore. He had to find her and take her down before she had time to savour her small victory.

Bulma stumbled into where the jungle stopped just before the cliff. She ran and looked up into the tree to be certain that the packages of rocks were in the proper place and down to make sure the leaves covered the ground enough to disguise the vine noose. From what little she could see in the dark everything was set. She grinned realizing that all of those trips up the tree to be sure that her suit coat and panty hoes held enough rocks to counter balance his weight would finally pay off. She then turned towards the jungle to be sure Vegeta wouldnít catch her unawares. "Now all I have to do is wait" she said smugly to herself.

Vegeta flew through the trees as fast as he could and as he drew close to her ki he smiled realizing where she was. "The stupid wench" he thought with pleasure. Bursting through the trees he landed just a few feet in front of her relishing the surprise on her face. "Well, well" he said tauntingly. "It looks as if youíve gotten yourself trapped." He smirked as she backed away from him when he began to advance. "That little stunt you pulled back there wasnít enough to stop me" said as he continued his advance. He smiled as she backed right up into a tree. "You see little human thereís no escaping me" he said with a chuckle taking another step. To his surprise Bulma smiled, reached up and yanked on a vine that hung in front of her. As he watched her dart away he suddenly found himself yanked off of his feet and rising, feet first into the air. His foot then slammed into a branch and his ascent abruptly stopped. He was shocked to find himself hanging upside down high up in the tree and all he could hear was the womanís laughter.

"Bye, bye Veggie" Bulma said wiping tears of mirth from the corner of her eyes. "This little human is escaping now!" she said walking cockily away.

Vegeta felt his anger well up from inside but he tried to remain calm because he knew he had to be thinking clearly if he was going to catch her. After a few quick breaths he found himself thinking more clearly. He shot a beam of ki at the vine across from him realizing whatever was at the other end of it was what was holding him aloft. He didnít, however, have enough presence of mind to fly and so he dropped towards the ground. When his head hit first one branch and then another it proved to be a sufficient enough distraction so that his next impact was with the ground.

"Kuso!" he heard over the sound of the ringing in his ears and he looked up to see Bulma staring at him in shock. As he glared at her she turned and ran into the jungle once again.

Part 3- The Claiming

It only took Vegeta a moment to act when he saw Bulma bolt away once again. Quickly he pushed himself up and launched himself after her using super speed. When he found himself on her heels he lunged forward tackling her to the ground. Vegeta then moved swiftly and straddled her hips pinning her down.

"So I caught you at last little one" Vegeta said smugly. "I must say you were more of a challenge than I thought youíd be."

Just catching her breath, from having the wind knocked out of her, Bulma tried to push herself up but discovered she was pinned down. "Do you have to be so rough baka?" she demanded spitting the soil that she had unwittingly gathered in her mouth. "How dare you treat me like this!" she chastised him. "Let me go now!"

"You can complain and struggle all that you want," Vegeta said from his perch on her backside reaching out and grabbing hold of her blouse "but Iím not letting you get away again."

"Ahh!" Bulma cried in shock as she felt her blouse being ripped open on her back. "What do you think youíre doing!" she protested as she felt her bra receiving similar treatment. "Those were expensive baka yaro!" she yelled continuing her tirade against this ignominious treatment as the remains of her skirt went the way of her other articles of clothing.

Vegeta smiled to himself as he listened to her ranting. "She is still putting up a fight although she already has been subdued just as a saiyajin would" he mused with pleasure.

"You have enough money to buy new clothes," he told her letting his hands rest on her back beginning to trace the ridge of her spine "besides they were already damaged."

"Thatís not the point" Bulma said a little distracted by the feel of his warm hands caressing her back. "You have no right to destroy my property like that," she continued a little less insistent as his hands continued their sensuous journey.

Vegeta smiled as he leaned over Bulma feeling her shiver in response to his hot breathe on her neck. He then leaned in and sunk his teeth into the base of her neck just enough to break the skin and purred deep in his throat as the sweet taste of her blood reached his tongue.

Bulma gasped as she felt the sharp pain at the base of her neck. Suddenly the pain seemed to melt away being replaced by warmth, which seemed to invade her every muscle. High on this strange sensation she wondered what Vegeta could be doing to cause it and cocked her head slightly towards him. What she saw shocked her from the euphoric feeling. "Youíre biting me!" she cried indignantly. She felt him withdraw his teeth from her neck and she twisted it around so that she could see his face. "Why in the hell did you bite me?" she questioned him in fury.

"To show everyone that you belong to me now," he said licking away the blood oozing from her wound.

"Thatís disgusting!" Bulma exclaimed in response to feeling his tongue brush over the tender wound. "Just when I thought that you couldnít be more barbaric!"

Vegeta cocked his head and nipped at her ear and whispered seductively "You taste good." Still feeling the tension in her muscles he nibbled at her ear once again and then gently kissed her neck allowing his hands to languidly wander over the soft skin of her sides. When he felt her relax, trembling beneath him, he was satisfied that she would not attempt to run away and moved off her. He sat patiently and awaited her to rise relishing the idea of seeing her clothed only in one small piece of cloth.

Bulma berated herself for allowing her passions to be aroused by Vegetaís touch so easily. Trying to collect herself she avoided looking at him as she propped herself up. The torn remains of her blouse, skirt and bra slipped off her as she did renewing her anger. She looked to her side, where the saiyajin prince now sat, and upon seeing him lustfully gazing at her exposed chest she drew her arms up around herself. "Hentai!" she hissed at him angrily.

Vegeta laughed, licking his lips for good measure, as he met her gaze straight on. "You humans place far too much on your ideas of modesty. You shouldnít be ashamed of your body. Iím not ashamed of mine." With that he stood up and allowed his trousers to fall leaving himself entirely in the nude. He stood still for a moment allowing Bulma to gape at him in all his natural glory.

Bulma was in shock. Never in her life would she have expected him to suddenly and inexplicably strip naked. As the surprise began to ware off she soon found herself entranced by the sight before her as he stood tall and proud as if ready for a military inspection. The faint starlight hit the beading sweat on his skin highlighting every well-defined muscle on his body while at the same time making him appear to shimmer in an almost supernatural way. She soon found her eyes beginning to rove over each and every detail with the gusto that a gourmet savors every bite of a meal. Then just as suddenly as he had dropped his only piece of clothing he turned his back to her and sat down with his back to her.

Vegeta relished the surprise that registered on Bulmaís face as he had abruptly turned around. He loved teasing her and baiting her and he wasnít exactly sure why. He knew that it wouldnít be easy to claim this little human as his mate and she hadnít disappointed him so far. He knew that doubtless she wouldnít just meekly obey his directions now so the ritual could be completed. This was as much a game of wills and seduction as it was a ritual. "Now itís your turn," he commented absently over his shoulder.

"What do you mean?" Bulma asked in confusion still staring at his back.

"You must bite me and mark me now" Vegeta answered matter-of-factly without turning around.

"You canít be serious" Bulma commented incredulously.

"You must bite me now to complete this part of the ritual," he answered a little more firm.

"There is no way on Kamiís green earth that Iím going to bite you" Bulma protested indignantly.

"Woman!" Vegeta snapped continuing to face the other direction "Would you just bite me so we can move on!"

"I refuse to!" Bulma answered.

"If you refuse to mark me then you are refusing to accept me as your mate" Vegeta informed her with a touch of annoyance in his voice.

"Good" Bulma spat "I think that this was a mistake. I thought this ritual would be something special but instead itís nothing but a demeaning, perverted game designed to give the male ego a boost."

Vegeta felt a slight pain in his chest at the thought of her rejection of him and then anger that she would come this far and refuse him. He spun around to face her and grabbed her wrist arresting her attention. "You have no right to insult saiyajin tradition," he snapped. "You only say that because you are a weak human!"

"Why shouldnít I insult your tradition?" she questioned. "You insulted human tradition calling it a stupid human ceremony!"

"You call parading around in ridiculous clothing, saying sentimental vows and tossing around flowers a tradition!" he snapped back. "I would never do something so humiliating!"

"At least itís more dignified than having a baka throw you around and rip off your clothes like you were some kind of animal! Thatís humiliating!" she answered angrily. "You may not think that a woman deserves respect but I do and I refuse to be treated like this!"

Vegeta at once understood her anger was genuine and not out of stubbornness. She was alien and didnít understand the ritual. There was still anger in his heart but it was tempered by this knowledge and consoled by the thought that he had a chance to still win her over if he could get past this hurdle. He couldnít believe the lengths he was unhesitatingly willing to go to take this baka female as his mate. Taking a deep breath the Prince of Vegetasei prepared to do what he never done in his entire life, explain his actions.

"You do not understand the purpose of the hunt," Vegeta said calmly trying not to sound too abrasive. "There were few females on Vegetasei and because of that fact they were not to accept any male as their mate who was not worthy of them. The hunt was for the male to prove that he was either a more skilled or equally skilled hunter than she was. He must catch her and overpower her to prove that he is stronger than her. Only if he can prove these things would she accept him." He released her wrist and pointed to her neck before continuing his explanation. "As for the bite mark that you find so repulsive it too has a purpose. I told you that saiyajin mate for life. A pairing was permanent so in order to signify this an indelible mark was made for all to see. You humans put on rings that can be removed on a whim to signify this. How can that properly signify a life-long, unbreakable union?"

Bulma looked into his eyes as he spoke. They were filled with an earnestness that she had never seen there before. His explanations made her feel that the traditions, which she had long held dear, were indeed foolish. "Iím sorry" Bulma said apologetically. "I was wrong in assuming that your traditions had no meaning to them and I think that the meaning that they have is dignified in its own way." Bulma offered timid smile and added "Iím honored that you asked me to share in it with you."

"Then you will continue the ritual?" he asked with a satisfied smirk feeling the relief at knowing that he had not been rejected.

"Yes" Bulma answered "Iíll bite you but Iíll have you know that I still find it absolutely repulsive." She watched as he purposefully turned around and waited impatiently. After scooting closer to him she leaned in and placed her mouth at the base of his neck. "I canít believe that Iím doing this," she thought taking a deep breath before she bit down. To her surprise he sighed and relaxed at the feel of her teeth sinking into his flesh. Her mouth then filled with the rich, almost palatable, taste of blood mixed with sweat making her noxious. She quickly withdrew and spat the sickeningly sweet mixture on to the ground and gagged.

Vegeta turned around and silently observed her as she coughed. One of his trademark smirks crossed his lips, but not because of feeling contempt or superiority, but because of the knowledge that she had willingly put herself through discomfort to become his mate. She had surprised him that night during the course of the ritual proving herself to be cunning, agile and still at other times vulnerable. Now there was only one thing left to complete the ritual, the mating, and he was going to make sure that she thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Vegeta tentatively reached out and touched her hair, which had long fascinated him, and was surprised to find how soft and silky it felt. Bulma looked up at him as she felt his touch and found herself looking into his bottomless obsidian eyes. Their eyes locked as he stroked her hair again with surprising gentleness and they instantly felt the connection as they lost themselves in each others searching gaze.

Slowly Vegeta reached up with his other hand and traced the line of her jaw with his thumb before grasping her chin in his hand. Vegeta tilted her head towards his with little resistance and leaned forward to press his mouth to hers. At first Vegeta merely brushed his lips with hers and then he kissed her lightly and quickly. Again and again he kissed her allowing the kiss to linger just a little longer each time. When, at last, he felt her begin to respond he released his grip on her chin. He traced the contour of neck with his finger, as the kisses grew more insistent. Lightly gripping her shoulder with one hand he reached around her waist with his other hand and pulled her onto his lap.

Bulma gasped as she found herself on Vegetaís lap. Things had happened so fast she wasnít exactly sure how she had gotten there. In fact everything that day had happened so fast it made her head spin which might account for the fact that only now did she begin to listen the voice that had been present the whole time at the back of her head. This voice told her that Vegeta was a bloodthirsty killer who probably still wanted to kill her best friend and rule the universe. She wanted to believe that he had changed and wouldnít break her heart by executing that scheme for universal domination but it still was there. She had ignored this doubt and fear during the encounter in the gravity room; during this crazy alien right and now that they had almost reached the point of no return this fear suddenly surfaced. To go forward now would mean linking her soul forever to his. She wanted that desperately but at the same time also she feared it. A sigh escaped her lips as she felt his hands sensuously slide down her back and for a moment the only thought in her head was her amazement that his hands were smooth unlike the typically calloused hands of most fighters. Suddenly, the reason came to her, the white gloves he almost unfailing wore while training and fighting. Bulma felt her pulse begin to rise as she closed her eyes and took in the sensation that seemed to set fire to her skin and push her farther away from rational thought. Surfacing from her thoughts she realized that her last article of clothing, her underwear, was now gone and he was sliding his hand along the contour of her buttocks and thigh.

Vegeta was somewhat disappointed that her reluctance still had not completely melted away. He longed to feel her touch him the way he had been touching her and yet he still felt her holding back from responding to him completely. He had to draw her out further and the challenge excited him and yet made him nervous at the same time. If he was to claim her he had to win her over completely until she offered herself willingly. He knew that if he just took her, counting on lust to spur her on, she would feel unfulfilled and perhaps even resent him. He wanted to please her and that somehow this was helping him to keep the hormonal urges now coursing through his veins in check. Until he broke down the barrier that kept him from unleashing her passion he had no desire to go further. The battle that he was now raging with between these emotions and his instincts was almost more than he could bear and he halted his amorous displays.

All at once the amazing sensation of his exploring touch stopped. She opened her eyes and found him staring intently into her eyes. His piercing obsidian gaze seemed to be searching into her soul. His eyes, those bottomless black orbs, that seemed to be the only window into his inner being, were searching hers for something. She was transfixed by the intensity she suddenly noticed in them. She had studied his eyes before but had never noticed a fire in them like that which burned in them now. For the first time, she realized that at this moment he no longer had his barrier up to keep her from seeing into his deep-seated inner emotions. He was no longer locking away his tortured desire for her and resenting its release but he was barely containing his passion. His eyes seemed to beg and plead for her to answer his passion with hers so that he would not have to hold back. All at once she was aware of how he seemed to tremble from expectation waiting for her to either reject or accept him. The realization that Vegeta was not merely wanting to have sex to sate some inner urge but that he was giving his prideful soul over into her hands. With this act of taking her as his mate he was offering himself to her as much as he was burning to claim her as his. Her heart cried out to accept what he offered. His lips were inches from hers and Bulma felt the need to taste them again growing each time she felt his hot breath on her face. She looked deeper into his eyes and could see his awareness of her growing frustration and realized he was teasing her, taunting her, to be the aggressor and yet begging her to give in to the sexual tension she now felt between them.

Vegeta waited with baited breath as he drowned in the turbulent emotions that tossed in the azure ocean with in her eyes. Her hand reached up and tentatively touched his cheek and she sifted in his arms so that as she leaned closer into him. Then she kissed him slowly entangling her hand in his ebony mane drawing his head closer to hers. His lips parted to allow her tongue to enter his mouth and when he felt it brush his own he lost all inhibition. He deepened the kiss probing her mouth with his own tongue and pressed her upper body to his aggressively. When the kiss ended he tugged on her lower lip with his teeth as his hands darted up to fondle her ample cleavage. He was pleased as she too became more aggressive her wandering hands and well-placed kisses further arousing him. She moaned with pleasure as he nipped at her neck slowly lowering her down beneath him. His body was aching to make her his but somehow he knew that that alone would not satisfy him. Instinctively he reached out his mind for hers in a gesture that he never thought he would seek.

Bulma felt a strange sensation in her mind. A consciousness other than her own that seemed to be whispering to her in a soft familiar voice. "Let go" it whispered, "join with me". It was enticing but strange and yet she didnít fear it. Although she didnít understand what was occurring she allowed her mental barriers to fall away and was overwhelmed by a sudden surge of emotions and thoughts. There was lust, passion, and desire but above all there was a joyous love that enveloped her senses. The thoughts and emotions surged ahead deeper into her consciousness seeking to know everything about her and she gladly surrendered. She too sought to know it and dove deeper toward that consciousness until she could almost touch it. She then became aware of fear and just as suddenly as it had entered her mind it left. Her eyes darted open and she found herself looking up into Vegetaís face. His eyes were closed and he was breathing heavily. At this point she became aware that her breathing matched his own and not just in intensity but in cadence as well. She knew he was upset, she didnít just assume it but she felt it as strongly as she now felt her own confusion. She wasnít sure how she could feel it but she knew that she did. She wanted to calm him and slowly began rubbing his low back in small circles.

Vegeta could feel her concern and confusion through the emotional link and ventured to look into her face. Her beautiful full lips were curved into a smile and her eyes were alight with the glow of tenderness. Her cheeks were flushed with the after effects of their fevered petting, nipping and kissing. She seemed like some kind of ethereal goddess bathed only in the soft glow of the stars. He could feel her soft and fragile body beneath him that seemed to inspire protectiveness in him that he never reserved for another living creature. He felt a stirring in chest of that same madness that seemed to strike him whenever he was near her. The madness that drove him to want to possess her at all costs and never let another man touch her. The madness that against all rational thought made him want to move heaven and earth, damn saiyajin purity and questioned his view of the universe just to win her a keep her; the madness that humans called love.

As Bulma watched him she suddenly got a strong feeling that Vegetaís mood and her confusing ability to feel his emotions were somehow linked. "Vegeta, what just happened?" Bulma asked him.

The peaceful feeling that Vegeta was feeling was swept from his soul with her words. He could barely believe that he had done what he had. It was extremely rare to bond with a mate, especially among the ranks of the elites and nobility. It wasnít necessary to bond with a mate and yet it had felt like it was a necessity to him, as if he would miss claiming a piece of her if he didnít create the connection. He had surrendered to the urge telling himself he could control and stop it at any point he wished. His instinct to complete the bond however had almost taken over. He had almost gone too far and established a mental link as well as an emotional one and he began to wonder if he should have bonded with her at all. Vegeta wanted to explain to her and yet he didnít. If he told her about the bond then he would have to explain why he could not complete it. He didnít want her to know of his life before his coming to earth because he knew she would never understand and it would drive a wedge between them. He couldnít stand the thought of her hating him and pronouncing judgment upon him for an existence that he even now had begun to doubt had any value. He didnít want that. "It is just a part of the ritual" he said, "it is normal and it will pass."

Bulma could sense that there was more to it than what he was telling her but she felt his fear, pain and discomfort and thought it best to leave it be. She nuzzled his shoulder in an effort to sooth him and brought her lips up to caress his cheek. She felt him begin to relax as she kissed his neck and continued her attentions to his back. Her hand slid down lower until it came in contact with a furry nub. As her fingers brush it she felt Vegetaís body tremble and the rush of pleasure it gave him. She stroked its soft texture and realized that it must be the stump left from where his tail used to be. She was startled as a deep rumble seemed to emanate from Vegetaís throat and felt contentment began to wash over his soul. She smiled and kissed hip lips softly and he answered taking the end of her nose between his teeth.

"You have a thing about nipping and biting donít you?" Bulma asked with a giggle boldly beginning to knead what was left of his tail between he fingers.

Vegeta smiled wickedly at the woman beneath him as her attentions to his tail stump sent shudders of pleasure up his spine. "Youíre playing with fire woman" he remarked as sent another arousing shiver up the length of his body.

"Thatís what makes it so exciting" she said with an impish grin.

He shifted his weight pressing the full length of his body to hers and left a trail of kisses up her neck pausing to run his tongue over the mark he left there. A moan escaped his lips as she pinched the stub while nibbling on his ear sending a shudder of pleasure through both of them. Their expressions of affection intensified as the shared sensations they produced further excited them. At last Vegeta could bare it no longer and he claimed her body as well as her soul. At that moment the world ceased to exist for the two lovers as they only became aware of their each otherís passions while they intermingled and entwined with their own. The world caught fire and ascended into the heights of pleasure as their souls experienced the purist sense of being one. They were one in mind, one in body, one in spirit and one in passion. Thus they claimed each other that night consummating the ritual of passion.

The End


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