Chapter 5 – Late Night Visits
"Onna." Vegeta called, finally managing to find Bulma in the stables. She was brushing Hikari’s mane, ignoring the king’s presence. "Onna." Vegeta repeated as he softened his tone. Walking up behind her he gently placed his hands on her arms in a silent plea for her to cease her actions and listen to his contrition.
Bulma released Hikari’s locks, but didn’t make a move to face Vegeta. "What?" She asked, her tone reflection of his; she didn’t want to get into another argument with him. She hated fighting with Vegeta; their battles were always the most emotionally draining she’d ever experienced.
"I apologize for my demeaning tone with you earlier, onna. But you must understand that Juunanagou’s appearance was unexpected, and when I saw you with him… He is a dangerous man, and I feared for your safety so much that I neglected your feelings in the matter." He impressed even himself as he listened to his reasonable tone. The onna is the only being for which he would make such an effort.
Bulma slowly turned around as she met Vegeta’s ebony eyes with her azure ones. "Will you tell me the truth then?"
Vegeta broke from her stare as he took a step back from her. "Tonight’s assembly will be ending soon; I must make one last appearance."
"Will you then explain all of this to me, immediately after?" Bulma swiftly asked. She didn’t want him to dodge this any longer.
"I will meet you in your chambers tonight. I shall explain then." He said in a reluctant tone before moving to leave the stables once again.
"Vegeta." Bulma quickly called before he could leave. She lifted the trail of her dress so she could swiftly catch up with him. "Don’t you have something you want to say to me?" She asked with a light tone.
Vegeta raised an eyebrow as he failed to see what she was referring to. Bulma quickly acknowledged his confusion and suggestively completed a slow turn for him. "You never once told me how beautiful I looked tonight." She smiled as she managed to invoke a similar expression from her counterpart’s face.
"If you already know how stunning you look than why ask for my opinion on the matter?" He asked in a playful tone.
"Honestly Vegeta, you should know by now that in a thousand compliments I could have bestowed upon me tonight, none would be as important as yours." She willed back the blush she could feel raising in her cheeks.
Vegeta released a light chuckle before taking Bulma’s hands within his and gently pulling her closer to him, placing a gentle kiss upon her left cheek. "You spoil me with your high opinion onna. I fear one day I will fail to live up to the high esteem in which you place me." He whispered distractedly before pulling away. The depths to which that fear plagues him the onna would all too soon find out.
Bulma took a long breath to calm herself after feeling his soft lips and hot breath against her cheek. The knot his actions tied her stomach, paled in compassion to the weakness she felt in her knees. ‘How does he do this to me?’ She wondered as she fought to compose herself. She barely managed to respond to his statement as she looked back into his eyes. "I would imagine it nearly impossible for you to lose the esteem I bestow upon you considering all you have done for me. I have no right to revoke my faith in you."
Vegeta was strangely touched by her words. He had never had someone trust him so completely in his life; it was heartrending to be offered such admiration. "I shall meet you tonight then, onna." He nodded slowly before taking his leave and heading off back to the assembly, leaving Bulma’s longing eyes to follow his shadow.
"So how did things go on your end?" Kakarrot asked as he plopped down dejectedly onto his soon to be life mate’s bed.
"Vegeta is as pigheaded as ever, but I think I managed to knock some sense into him. What about this nasty king? Did you settle things with him?"
Kakarrot shook his head solemnly. "Juunanagou is out for revenge. I fear he has his sights set on Bulma as the means to such an end."
"Then he is a fool." Chi-Chi shook her head. "He couldn’t possibly think that Vegeta will allow him to get within a foot of Bulma. I cannot think of a person in Vegeta’s life that he would give more to protect than Bulma. Is this Juunanagou so foolish as to not realize how shielding Vegeta will be?"
"Unfortunately," Kakarrot began to explain, "Juunanagou expects it. His trademark is hitting what is most important in a man’s life and forcing him to watch it be destroyed right before his eyes. He did this to Vegeta once before; may the gods help him if he dares to try it again."
"I fear for Bulma." Chi-Chi shook with uneasiness. "She has been like a daughter to me all these years. Oh Kakarrot, you must promise me that you will do anything you can to protect her. She is the closest to family I have."
Kakarrot wrapped his arms around Chi-Chi’s waist as he pulled her close. "I will do what I can Chi, but I can only interfere so much. Bulma is Vegeta’s responsibility, and by Saiya-jin honor I cannot join in the fight to protect her without his permission. Just as if you were in some kind of danger, he would have no right to interfere in my defense of you."
Chi-Chi smiled weakly as she looked into Kakarrot’s eyes. "I almost forgot that you and I were supposed to claim one another tonight."
"Did you?" Kakarrot looked a little offended as he lightly nipped Chi-Chi’s neck. "Because I haven’t been able to get the thought of you out of my mind since you accepted me."
"Well, then I would hate to make you wait any longer." She smiled as she closed her eyes, excited and yet slightly nervous about what was to happen next. And though Kakarrot held her complete trust, she was as inexperienced as one could be. She could only imagine what the night had in store for her.
Bulma had gone back to her room and changed into a modest nightgown and robe as soon as she left the stables. She removed all of her jewelry and freed her long tresses to hang loosely down her right shoulder. She sat down calmly at her nightstand and took out her diary, thinking to inscribe a few thoughts before Vegeta arrived.
The evening was more interesting that I would have imagined. I met a man tonight. I have to admit he took my breath away. Dare I say he was almost as handsome as Vegeta, which knowing how greatly I admire Vegeta’s appearance I must say that is a compliment of the highest form. Of course, I must clarify that looks can be deceiving judging by Vegeta and Kakarrot’s reaction to this man. Both spat fury when they laid eyes upon King Juunanagou. I am currently waiting for Vegeta to come to me, and offer his explanation for his actions. I am of course already inclined to believe that if Vegeta hates this man, he must truly be some kind of evil. Yet, in the same breath, I must admit that when I met Juunanagou, away from Vegeta’s guidance, I found him quiet charming.
Yes, he was very charming indeed. I feel a flush coming on as I remember how his crystal blue eyes bore into mine. I had never felt a man, besides Vegeta, gaze upon me with such intensity. His manner was incredibly cordial, and his affections seemed entirely appropriate. I must admit that I secretly hope Vegeta is over reacting in his accusations about this King. After all, he is the first man to have captured my eye where I actually felt his affections returned. It was a nice feeling. I must admit that I wish to feel that again… of course the Adajinzoun king might not be my first choice for evoking such feelings… But I suppose a lady must be realistic when it comes to her desires.
As a result of my encounter with Juunanagou I had an interesting moment with Vegeta. We fought and I stormed away from him. I suppose a part of me knew he would follow, but I hadn’t expected his gentle apology when he found me. He embraced my arms, and it took all of my strength not to fall against his powerful chest. Gods if he only knew how weak he can make me with the slightest touch… I sometimes wish, if only for once, I could put him through the same sweet torture he inflicts upon me. Make his skin burn under my touch in the same way he ignites my own flesh. But I am not foolish enough to wish for something that will never occur. I have had my soul beaten and battered for the greater part of my life; I feel no necessity to further my torture with delusions, no matter how incredible they may seem...
It seems I must now stop. There has been a knock at the door. I can only hope that Vegeta is now ready to answer all of my questions…
Bulma quickly closed her diary and hid it in the back of her nightstand before rising from her seat and quietly heading over to the entrance. She took one calming breath before slowly opening the door. "You are earlier than I had expec--" Bulma cut herself off as her eyes traveled up to the man standing before her. It wasn’t Vegeta. "Juunanagou." She almost gasped as her eyes drifted to the long stemmed cerulean rose, known only to grow on Vegeta-sei, he held alluringly between his fingertips.
"I’m terribly sorry if I am bothering you, princess." The man began with an innocent tone. "But I was walking through the garden and saw this nearly perfect flower, and couldn’t help but think that such beauty belonged with beauty." He whispered softly as he ever so seductively drew the soft petals of the blossom across Bulma’s cheek.
Bulma’s eyes almost dizzily drifted open and closed as she felt the petals of the rose finally stop right over the top of her lips. "It seems I was wrong." He whispered in a deep voice as he took a step closer to her. "The rose pales in comparison to your beauty."
As soon as Bulma managed to break from the trance Juunanagou seemed to be forcing upon her, she took a step back from him. "I thank you for your thought." She said as calmly as possible.
Juunanagou used her step back to move into her room, leaving him enough space to close the door behind him. "It took little thought to arrive at such a blatantly obvious truth." He continued with his charming manner. "You left a powerful impression on me, my lady. Few females have ever done that in the past."
"Then perhaps you have not met enough females." Bulma honestly spoke, curious as to the man’s motives. "I am no more alluring that any of the other ladies present for the assembly. You exaggerate my impression upon you." She said more as an accusation than a statement.
Juunanagou took a long sigh before he looked upon Bulma, a disheartened mask on his visage. "I hope your words are a reflection of your modesty, as you couldn’t possibly be so unappreciated that you fail to realize how stunning you are."
Bulma frowned slightly as she turned her back to the man. "And just what exactly is stunning about me? My appearance or the fact that I am connected to Vegeta?"
Juunanagou felt his lips curl into a smirk as he thought. ‘A challenge. How I welcome it my dear.’ "Come now princess. I recall commenting on how attractive you were the moment I laid eyes upon you. That was before I knew you bore any connection to Vegeta." Juunanagou added softly as he walked up behind her, leaving only a sliver of space between her body and his. He watched closely as her back stiffened as he touched the crook of her neck, moving some loose hairs off to the side of her shoulder. "Do you fear me, princess?"
"Should I?" Bulma asked directly as she turned her head to the side to catch the eyes of her visitor.
"Of course not." Juunanagou added a shocked tone to his voice as he lifted the back of his gloved hand to her cheek. He watched as she flushed a soft shade of pink as he stroked her cheek with the back of his middle and index fingers. "I could never hurt a creature so exquisite."
"Onna." A voice interrupted the pair as a knock at the door sounded.
"Vegeta." Bulma almost squeaked as panic covered her face. "You have to get out before he sees you." Bulma whispered as she looked back from the door to Juunanagou. "I don’t want a replay of earlier."
"Why not? I would rather have the past exposed. I have nothing to hide." At least that was true according to Juunanagou’s account of the events.
"No." Bulma grabbed his arms, stopping him from opening the door. "Please, I don’t want to upset Vegeta any further. Please, go out on the balcony and hide there until I can get rid of him. Please."
Juunanagou smiled, loving the sound of her begging. "I suppose if that is what you want me to do than I shall heed your request, as long as you adhere to mine." He slipped in slyly.
"Onna? What is taking you so long?" Vegeta demanded as he knocked a little harder on the door.
"Anything, please just hurry." Bulma said quickly as she guided the man onto the balcony.
"Meet me tomorrow." He said quickly. "I am told you know the woodlands well, and I am quite versed with them myself. Meet me at the creek on the far side of the eastern forest around noontime tomorrow."
"I… I don’t know that…"
"Onna!" Bulma could hear Vegeta nearly scream; she knew his temper was rising.
"I’ll be there." She said immediately as she practically pushed Juunanagou over the ledge, motioning him to stay quiet. She then rushed back to the entrance of her room, finally letting the angry Saiya-jin king in. "Sorry." Bulma fought to catch her breath. "I was just writing in my journal, I’m afraid I was lost in thought." She hated lying to him, but the alternative was even less desirable.
Vegeta nodded, slightly skeptical of the truth, but his thoughts were too focused upon the dialogue he was about to deliver. "I suppose you want to hear the truth then." Vegeta said in an uneven voice as he began pacing slowly back and forth across her bedroom.
Bulma barely noticed the man’s agitated state, as she was too worried about the stranger on the balcony. She didn’t know that she could trust him to stay silent so she decided she had to work as fast as possible to get Vegeta out of her room. "No." She gasped out, stopping Vegeta dead in his tracts. "You don’t have to tell me anything." She rushed out. "Look Vegeta, I was thinking after you left the stables that it is unfair for me to force you to dredge up the past when it clearly pains you to do so. If you wish not to tell me, I will not be offended." As much as Bulma wanted to in fact hear the truth, she couldn’t think of any other way to cut their conversation shorter.
"Well this is a drastic change." Vegeta spoke stunned. "Are you certain? You shall do as I ask and stay way from Juunanagou without needing explanation?"
"Yes." Bulma nodded slowly, feeling the guilt well up inside of her. She knew that promise would last only until the moment Vegeta left her room. She gazed over to the balcony for a moment as she mentally reminded herself she had no choice. She didn’t want another fight to break out between the pair, especially not in the middle of her chambers.
Vegeta’s expression showed his doubt, but he was far from wanting to admit the truth. As apprehensive as he was about her mood, his need to hide the truth overpowered him. "Alright." He nodded, slightly awkward. "Juunanagou, as a senate member, will surely remain for the rest of the two weeks of conferences. Knowing him, I am certain he will try to exploit every hour of those days. So, for your own protection, you will accompany me to every gathering during the time he is here. And for any second I cannot be with you, Kakarrot shall take my place. Understood?"
Bulma suppressed a growl as she heard him drift back to his demeaning tone. As much as spending the extra time with him enticed her, she failed to get past the thought of being guarded like a child. "If that is what you wish." She nodded permissively; she couldn’t fight his demands very well with Juunanagou waiting on her balcony. "Now if you don’t mind Vegeta, I have had a very long day, and would like nothing more than to fall into a deep slumber."
Vegeta nodded in agreement before slowly pacing back to her door. He took but one step out side before turning around to face Bulma, maintaining a soft look upon his face. "I know, whether you admit it or not, that you think I am treating you as a child." He paused as he watched Bulma take an exasperated breath, displaying her exhaustion from the subject.
"Please do not apologize." She whispered. "It means little when you fail to change your actions."
"No onna." Vegeta shook his head somberly. "You misunderstand my apology. I regret your feeling that I am overbearing in my instruction, but I do not regret acting in such a way. If I should have to chain you to myself to ensure your safety I would do so. Juunanagou is dangerous, and I swore to protect you. I shall do so against him."
Bulma’s head sunk a little as the guilt seemed to increase as he spoke. "I know you will." She nodded her goodnight before quietly closing the door, leaving the Saiya-jin to head back to his empty bed.
The moment Bulma heard Vegeta’s footsteps disappear down the hall she spun around to catch up to Juunanagou, when she almost screamed to find him directly behind her. "Wasn’t I a good little boy?" He asked with an almost smug look upon his face. "Your warden never noticed my presence."
"Thank the gods for that." She whispered softly, gently wiping her brow. "But I think it is best if you leave now, before someone else may come."
"As you wish my lady." Juunanagou nodded before heading towards the door, stopping slowly before opening it. "Do not forget your end of the bargain. Tomorrow at noon. And see that you avoid that foolish guard of yours."
"Juunanagou." Bulma called after him before he could exit her room. "I may have agreed to meet you tomorrow, but I hope you don’t think that it means anything more than a favor being returned. I am far from convinced that you are anything but the monster Vegeta seems to see you as."
"Well then." Juunanagou smirked lightly. "I suppose I shall have my work cut out for me in convincing you completely. I am not a monster, princess. I wish only for your company tomorrow, if you find me as repulsive as Vegeta does after that… Then I shall never bother you again."
"I suppose that is reasonable." Bulma nodded lightly. One small digression from her promise to Vegeta couldn’t possibly be that detrimental. "Until tomorrow then."
"Until tomorrow." Juunanagou smiled as he took Bulma’s delicate hand within his. He slowly extended each of her fingers before placing a gentle kiss upon her palm. He then slowly pulled away, after noting her pleasurable reaction, and placed the rose where he had set his kiss. He slowly closed each of her fingers around the long stem before flashing his crystal white teeth. Juunanagou then quietly disappeared down the hall, the entire time congratulating himself mentally for taking an early lead against the Saiya-jin king.
As soon as he was gone Bulma closed her bedroom door, slowly sinking to her knees as she dropped her head against the frame. ‘What am I doing?’ She asked herself. One minute she is more than determined to throw the man out, the next she wishes for him to stay the night, spending more time exploring her exposed skin with the soft petals of that rose.
Bulma took a breath as she brought the petals to her nose, slowly taking in its potent scent. She suddenly thought in a moment of regret what she had so long missed out on. ‘Vegeta never once brought me flowers, let alone showered me with such striking compliments.’ She sighed as she slowly rose from her feet and headed over to her bed. She untied her robe and lazily allowed it to drop to the floor. With a soft yawn she crawled under the warm cover of her blankets and closed her eyes, consumed by thoughts of what tragedy or bliss her promise would bring.
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