Of two evils, the less is always to be chosen.
~ Thomas ŗ Kempis.
Blackness envelopes her all sides, so thick and impenetrable, it leaves no room for light. She floats slowly through the liquid night, only an occasional burst of brilliant color interupting her silent void. Every once and awhile, a thin glimmer of silver breaks on the horizon, and her hopes rise. But just as soon as it appeared, it is gone again, leaving her in her perpetual night, the darkness cruel and menacing and surrounding her completely.
Just as she thinks she can take no more, a bright light explodes before her, engulfing her vision in total whiteness. She lands on something soft, and the light begins to die. As it begins to fade, she finds herself standing in a field, all lush and green and alive. The colors vibrate, and she feels like laughing aloud and dancing for joy. She walks through the grasses and wildflowers, enjoying the way they softly tickle her feet and lower legs. She feels the warm sun beating down on her face and shoulders, and she is just happy to be out of the dark.
But suddenly the sun shines a light too brightly, and she loses her balance, falling over something big and hard and cold. Picking herself up, she glances to the ground at the "something" and chokes back an anguished cry. A tightness in her chest threatens to tear her apart as she looks at the face of her friend, her confidant, her first true love, that once handsome and virile face twisted in agony and blue with death. Her mouth releases a strangled sob, and she tries to back away.
But everything seems to happen in slow motion, and she cannot seem to move as the body begins to rise and her lover's face transforms into his face, cruel, menacing eyes and spiky, coal-colored hair. She tries to run, but he grabs her, closing the gap between them with inhuman speed.
And she realizes he can do so because he is not human. He can do whatever he likes to her, and she is powerless to stop him. She makes a futile attempt to escape the embrace of his arms, but her soft, pliant body is no match for his hard, unyielding one. She soon grows tired of fighting, and he smirks in triumph before claiming her lips with his. His tongue ravages the inside of her mouth and seems to suck all her will power away. She lies limply in his arms, trying to quell the rising storm of pleasure his touch creates in her.
He doesnít let up his assault, tearing down her defense with every kiss and caress, some gentle, others not. What frightens her most is that the latter often gives her more pleasure. At this realization, she once more begins to battle him, but still he lowers her to the ground, ignoring her renewed protests and struggles. His mouth upon hers quiets her screams until they are nothing more but soft whimpers, and when he breaks their kiss, he softly brushes her hair away from her eyes, looking at her adoringly and lovingly...
But suddenly everything changes. His gaze darkens until there is no tenderness or concern, just raging passion and manic obsession. His hands rip into her clothes, tossing them away as if they were made of nothing stronger than tissue. At the sight of her naked body, he hesitates, taking in his fill of what has haunted him for so long, and he smirks at the tears brimming in her eyes. He leans over her, tenderly kissing her forehead before he violently shoves himself to the hilt inside her tight sheath . Her screams of pain are smothered by a fierce kiss, and though she feels as if she is splitting in half, he immediately begins a pounding rhythm that soon washes away the pain, building unwanted ecstasy inside her mind and body. With each thrust, he claims a little more of her soul, and by the time they both reach full satisfaction, she too is as wild as he. He gives himself over to the last bit of pleasure with a hoarse cry of her name, and she shudders once more before she is done.
He buries his face in her silky, sea green hair, inhaling her scent, a mixture of sweat, vanilla, and a fragance that is simply just her. Looming over once more, his face a smirking mask of triumph, he expects to see lazy satiation in her eyes, but finds nothing. She has returned back into the untouchable goddess that has become his obsession. She simply lies still beneath him, expecting him to get off of her, shame at her weakness clouding her eyes.
This rejection angers him, and his obsession to possess her completely returns in full force. He finds that though she thoroughly sated him, he cannot get enough of her, will never be able to get enough of her, and his resentment towards her deepens. He swears by the gods he will not be the only one of them completely entranced. He knows the only way he can gain full possession of her is to do the one thing she does not want, and though he vowed never to do it without her permission, he does not care anymore. He can no longer stand the torment of her voice, her face, her body, haunting him all day, and especially all night.
So, he continues his slow manipulation of her flesh, knowing very soon she will once again beg him to touch her. It does not take too long. A kiss or two, a finger slipped into certain areas, a light nip at her breast, and she is writhing beneath him, begging for release. However, his desire to conquer her heart is at this moment stronger than his desire to conquer her body, and he continues his new assault with a trail of soft kisses along her white, expansive throat, only stopping once he has reached the soft juncture of her neck and shoulder. She knows what his is about to do, knows what harm it will cause, what it will do to her. But, like him, she does not care anymore. Her only thought is fulfillment and an end to the pain of being without him.
As the sting of his teeth biting her warm flesh causes her body to tighten momentarily, she can do nothing but cling to him desperately, feeling, after all the pain and loss, finally at peace and complete. And he laps gently at her rich life-blood, they both acknowledge the otherís surrender...
"AHHH!" Bulma screamed as she woke from her nightmare. She was at a loss for a few moments as to her whereabouts. She lay on a cold, metal floor, darkness once again blinding her. She fumbled through the blackness for a few minutes while the events of the past few days rolled through her again, and she remembered where she was.
She was on a spaceship, bound to an unknown planet, captive and slave to an arrogant monster who continually haunted her nightmares. Bulma then recalled her grief, grief for the life she had to give up and grief for the man who gave his life trying to protect her.
Had it only been three days ago when her world had fallen apart? She was supposed to have been celebrating a reunion with all her friends, but in the end had watched her first love die and been made the property of his killer, a man who called himself Vegeta, Prince of the Saiya-jins, a race never before heard of by Bulma or any of the other Z warriors, but surely, after the grief and turmoil they have caused, never to be forgotten.
Three of them had come, the Prince and two of his Royal Elite Guard. They claimed Goku was a member of their race, and they demanded to know why he had failed to purge the planet of all life. Goku, of course, had no idea what they had been talking about. The Saiya-jins seemed disgusted by him and declared him a traitor when he revealed he had a son by his human mate. They claimed him weak and impure, not fit to live.
Bulma knew the Saiya-jins could destroy them all. She could very easily sense the immense strength in all of them. It was apparent from their attitude that they wanted a fight, and as all the Z warriors were incredibly brave, none of them backed down from the aliens. Bulma had only wanted to get little Gohan out of the way, so she had dashed up behind Goku to take him to safety. But her movements caught the attention of the alien Prince, and he had pierced her with a gaze so intense that she thought he could see right into her very soul.
It was then that a change seemed to take place among the Saiya-jins, and they began heatedly arguing in their own language, frequently looking her way, making her very sure she was the topic of their discussion. The other two glared at her and seemed to curse her very existence, while the Prince observed her with a triumphant smirk on his proud lips. He seemed to say something the others found incredulous because sounds of doubt and disbelief immediately emanated from them. Bulma was sure this would make the Prince angry, but he only laughed in their faces.
Then he stepped away from them, gave her one final, enigmatic stare, and began to power up to levels she had never before witnessed, a great ball of light growing around him, his hair turning to a brightly colored flame. When he seemed done transforming, the light faded, but his hair remained yellow. His two companions were silent in fear and shock, but that soon gave way to shouts of triumph and victory. They once again looked towards her, not with as much anger and hatred but with more awe than anything else. She gulped nervously and quickly glanced back at the Prince. Bulma hadn't thought it possible, but he seemed even more arrogant and self-righteous than before.
It was then that all the Z warriors pressed in around her, each knowing that the coming battle would be their last. Bulma still didn't know what was going on, and as it had never been her habit to be quiet, she voiced her frustration loud and clear.
"Just what the hell is going on?"
The Prince seemed startled that she would speak, but answered her question. "I have just achieved my ultimate goal of becoming Super Saiya-jin, and now I'm going to destroy this planet and all life on it."
He said it so casually, so flippantly, that Bulma became enraged. "You look more like a super overgrown circus monkey! We've done nothing to you. Why can't you just leave us alone?"
"Dammit, woman, we are not overgrown monkeys! We will destroy this place because you are weak, and we are strong. It is our duty to rid the galaxy of weaklings like those on this planet to make room for the stronger, more superior races!"
"Over our dead bodies!" Bulma shouted back, knowing it wasn't the most witty of remarks but too scared to form anything more original.
The Prince smirked once again, his black gaze roving suggestively over her figure. Bulma shuddered as an unwillingly thrill of anticipation dashed along her spine. Vegeta noticed the woman's reaction, and his smirk grew crueler.
"Well, not your body anyway."
"What do you mean?"
"We'll kill everyone else, but you. You are coming with me," he declared boldly and made a move towards her.
It wasn't until then that she noticed that in her anger, she'd left the relative safety of her friends and had begun walking towards Vegeta. When he made to close the distance between them, she began backing away rapidly.
"Why?" was all she asked.
The Prince laughed again, the warm, scratchy timbre of his voice sending a jolt of heat through Bulma. "Because you are the Key," and as an afterthought, "And because you might make a good whore for one of my men."
She didn't know what Key he was talking about, but she assumed it had something to do with this transformation of his that was so new. Did I have anything to do with his incredible power jump?
She had no more time to analyze his answer, though she had a good comeback for the whore remark, but they had reached the point of flight or fight. The Z warriors had silently watched the exchange up until now, shocked into numbness by the power emanating from Vegeta, a bit baffled as to why Bulma was deliberately provoking him, and desperately trying to think of something to do. None of them had a good solution. They knew that if they fought, they would die, but as it seemed that death was their fate either way, they had very little choice. They would fight.
When the Prince did not back away from Bulma, Yamcha became enraged and was the first to engage in an all-out assault. Vegeta, however, saw the attack coming even before Yamcha moved, and as he was still Super Saiya-jin, all it took to bring the Earthling down was a small ki blast from his index finger.
Yamcha was lifted a hundred feet into the air and fell back to the ground with a bone-shattering crunch. Bulma rushed to his side immediately, horrified to see his body broken and bloodied and a fist-sized hole gaping in his chest. Tears flooded her eyes, and sobs shook her body as she watched the life slip from Yamcha's eyes.
He hadn't even been able to say good-bye.
She'd barely had time to close Yamcha's eyes before the bastard Prince had yanked her away. Bulma glared at him, pouring all her hatred and pain into one gaze. Vegeta seemed to hesitate momentarily from her, a look of regret, almost remorse, passing across his arrogant features, but it passed too quickly for Bulma to be sure. She dismissed the thought from her mind. This man was a monster incapable of feeling. She hated with all her heart.
Yet as he pulled her roughly against him, she couldn't help but notice a shudder of something other than fear pass between them. She knew that he had felt it, too. However, they were both too proud and too stubborn to give into such weakness.
Vegeta narrowed his eyes in disgust as he spoke softly to her, "You will come with me if you want to live."
With that, he threw her back to the ground and walked away, as if fully expecting her to meekly follow him in submission. When he didn't feel her fall in line behind him, he turned back to her.
"Woman, get your ass over here, or I'll kill your friends and everyone on this stinking planet!"
Bulma, though her heart was torn in two, stood her ground. "Why the fuck should I, you asshole? You're going to kill them anyway! Why should I make it any easier for you?"
She was breathing heavily by this time, frightened, overcome by grief, and longing only to sink down and fall asleep. However, she wasn't about to go quietly into the good night, not when her only love had just sacrificed himself for her.
She marched over to her friends, wanting them to know that she would stand by them until the end. All of them looked at her sadly, especially Goku. He had no words to express the guilt he felt at his inability to defeat Vegeta. He could possibly do some damage, but the Prince would be victor in the end.
Bulma seemed to know what he couldn't express with words, and she squeezed his hand in silent reassurance. If Goku, the Earth's best warrior, couldn't defeat them, then all was lost. She had only one choice left, really, and she wasn't sure if it would work.
But she had to try.
All she said was, "Live well."
With that, she walked away from the Z warriors and didn't stop until she was a foot away from Vegeta.
"Would it make life easier for you if I came willingly?"
The Prince scowled at the absurdity of her question. "Of course, stupid bitch. But it doesn't matter either way to me."
She bristled at his insult, but forced herself to let it slide. "Fine, but know this: if you kill my friends or anyone else on this planet, I will kill myself the very first chance I get."
The Prince hissed at her threat, wanting no more than to wring her neck, she assumed, from the angry glint in his eye. "How do you know that I want to take you alive that badly?"
"Because, even though I donít know what this ĎKeyí that you called me is, I know itís important, I know that Iím it, and I know that you need me, alive, to become this Super Saiya-jin thing. Without me, monkey boy, you are nothing."
Vegeta balled his fists, hatred for the truth of her words pouring over him like oil over water. He wanted to strike her down, put her in her place, but he didnít know her threshold for pain...yet. Until then, he could do nothing that would place her in physical jeopardy because she was right. Though the truth was a bitter pill, he did need her. He nodded slighly for her to go on.
"However," she continued, glad that so far he seemed to be listening, "If you will give me your word as a Saiya-jin Prince that no harm will ever befall any inhabitants of this planet by your hand or any other Saiya-jin, I will go with you willingly and do as you bid."
Vegeta was stone-cold silent for several heartbeats, so Bulma couldn't gauge his immediate reaction. However, then his lips once again formed the arrogant smirk she was fast becoming accustomed to.
"Fine, woman, you have a deal, for now. As long as you obey me in all things, your people will be safe from me."
She raised her eyebrows, impatiently waiting for him to finish the rest of the promise.
He sighed in annoyance, but capitulated. "And safe from my people."
The look in his eyes said she had better not add anything else. Bulma swallowed nervously, but then she nodded. "Agreed."
Vegeta then powered down, and his hair returned to its normal black. He scooped Bulma into his arms and yelled to his companions that they were leaving.
As he started to fly away with Bulma, she suddenly shouted, "No!"
The Prince turned his gaze down to the woman, but she was focused on her friends. Several of them had already powered up in an effort to stop the Saiya-jins.
She shook her head at them, pleading, "Don't. Please, just trust me. Please?"
They seemed reluctant, but really didn't have any other choice.
The traitor Kakkarot shouted, "Bulma, I will find you!"
"Please, just let me go, Goku! Don't worry, I'll be back!"
She then gestured to the body of her fallen friend and said, "Wish him back!"
Vegeta saw the others nod, but Bulma knew there was no way he could know that she was referring to the Dragonballs. As he turned away once more to leave, she whispered, "I will, you know."
"Will what, woman?"
"Return here. I won't be your prisoner for very long."
Her comments caused a deep rumble in Vegeta's chest that turned into what sounded like genuine laughter. He honestly seemed amused by her bold statement, though it hadn't been any bolder than ones she'd made earlier. She swore that she would never understand this creature.
Once he'd finished laughing, Vegeta gazed down at Bulma with the same enigmatic expression he'd used just before he'd transformed. "No, little one, you will never return here."
His tone suggested she brook no further argument, and even though they were quite high in the air, Bulma felt strangely very safe in Vegeta's arms. She let her exhaustion and anguish pull her into sleep, and she must have really been out of it because she could have sworn she heard Vegeta say something else before the blackness engulfed her. But she knew there was no way Vegeta would have ever said what she thought she'd heard him say.
She truly could have sworn he'd said, "You are mine now."
As Vegeta flew back to his ship, he studied the young woman asleep in his arms. This day had brought many new surprises and new emotions into his life, some he wasn't so sure he was ready to deal with. There were only three things he knew for sure. One was that he was going to defeat Frieza once and for all. The second was that he would never understand the beauty he carried in his arms. Finally, he also knew that he would never let her go; she was his. He wasn't sure how he knew it, or what he would do with her for that matter, but he knew it all the same.
It was a statement of fact he didn't mind voicing to her right now with her in his arms because he knew for sure that she was asleep.
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