Chapter 6 – Let The Race Begin
The temperature was warm as the heat of the afternoon beat down upon the sparkling water. Bulma closed her eyes, allowing the warmth of the placid lake to tickle her naked flesh. The sweet serenity of the moment suddenly vanished however when a splash, something akin to a dive, interrupted her bathing.
In a slight panic Bulma swam over to a rocky neck of land where she hid, carefully observing her intruder. She blinked in astonishment as her eyes fell upon the handsome physique of her company. ‘Vegeta.’ Her mind whispered as she found it impossible for her eyes to leave his perfect chest. He had managed to swim over to a near by waterfall where he slowly ran his fingertips through his messy mane. The pressure of the fall flattened his hair until it was running tightly against his back. Bulma felt a familiar weakness come over her as she watched the water slowly bead down his body.
‘What am I doing?’ She asked herself, taking a step back from the rocks she was peering over. Suddenly feeling embarrassed, she began moving as quietly as possible back to the shore, hoping to make a clean escape. An effort that was doomed to fail with the keen sense of hearing her Saiya-jin intruder possessed.
"Sneaking away?" His deep voice came from just inches away from her ear.
Bulma felt her face flush as her heart stopped. She was too horrified to turn around so she instead continued to stare forward. "Of course not." She attempted to keep her voice steady. "I just didn’t think it appropriate for the two of us to be bathing at the same time in the same lake."
The sound of a muffled chuckle came from her counterpart, followed by his taking a step closer to her. She could feel his hard chest lightly brushing her back. "What is so inappropriate?" He teased her neck with his hot breath. "Afraid something might… happen?" He asked in a tone she had never heard him use before. It was so… sexy.
"You tease me?" She pouted in a hurt tone.
"Never." He was quick to respond as his fingers found hers. In agonizingly slow movements his hands caressed their way up her wet arms until they reached her neck. She felt one of his hands move all of her wet hair to the right side of her shoulder, while the other gently titled her head back and to the side her hair rested on. "You are too precious to me for teasing onna." He whispered before allowing his lips to taste her flesh.
Bulma couldn’t help but release a soft moan as he tenderly worked his way from her shoulder… to her neck… to her jaw line… to her cheek… and then he stopped, his lips right before hers. "I want you onna." He whispered before daring to go any further. "Tell me you want the same."
Bulma’s lips trembled as words she had longed to hear for years finally graced her ears. "Gods, how I want you Vegeta." She whimpered before the anticipation was finally over and for the first time she felt the infinite bliss of his lips upon hers. She moaned louder as her body turned around to meet him, her soft chest pressed against his own hard one as she ran her hands freely over every part of the frame she had so long desired to know the feeling of. "Oh, Vegeta." She moaned his name softly, suddenly feeling that nothing could possibly ruin this moment of bliss, when the sound of cruel laughter proved her wrong.
Vegeta roughly broke from Bulma’s body as he spun around to see the cold ice-blue eyes of his enemy staring at the pair. "Juunanagou! I warned you to stay the hell away from the onna, and now you are going to pay for not heeding my warning!"
"Vegeta no!" Bulma begged. "Please, I don’t want to see you get hurt!"
"He defined me onna. I told him to stay away from you, yet he is foolish enough to come anyway. I promised to protect you and you promised to let me, now stay back!" Vegeta demanded before moving towards the dark king’s figure.
"Vegeta wait!" Bulma protested as she moved to follow him. "I promised to meet him; he didn’t come here to hurt me!"
Vegeta stopped dead in his tracks as he slowly turned around to see if what the onna was saying was in fact true. "You lied to me?" He asked as though it was too cruel to be true. "You lied to me!?" He demanded as the sound of laughter interrupted the pair again.
"Don’t think of it as lying Vegeta, think of it as choosing the better man." Juunanagou seemed to appear behind Bulma from out of nowhere, wrapping his arms around her and slowly attacking her neck in the same fashion Vegeta had just moments before.
"No, Vegeta he’s lying. I didn’t want you two to fight; I had to lie to you. Please tell me you understand." She pleaded as she tried to struggle away from Juunanagou’s probing hands.
"You lied to me." Vegeta repeated emotionlessly, making no move to separate the pair. "You lied to me." He repeated, turning his back to her and continuing to leave the lake.
"Vegeta! Please wait!" Tears began to well inside of her eyes as she watched him slowly disappear into nothing. "I’m so sorry Vegeta, please! Please, you have to forgive me! I love you… Please don’t leave me… Vegeta!"
"Vegeta!" Bulma screamed as her eyes shot open from her horrid dream. Taking in her surroundings she slowly lessened her breathing as her mind registered the reality that the terrible sequence of events was only a dream. She covered her face with her palms as she slowly tried to push the images away of Vegeta looking upon her with such hurt and mistrust. ‘What was I thinking?’ She asked herself as she slowly rolled out of bed.
With little thought of anything more than rectifying her precarious situation, Bulma quickly tidied herself up and dressed in a riding uniform. She would have to go and meet Juunanagou, if only to tell him that she would sever all contact thereafter. No matter the curiosity that surrounded the situation, or the alien feelings that this man invoked in her, she wouldn’t dare do anything to hurt Vegeta. And if that meant avoiding Juunanagou as Vegeta wished, than she had no choice.
Bulma left her room and headed right for the stables. She would keep her meeting with the Adajinzoun king, but only to see that it ended after that.
"You whore!" Vegeta screamed as he grabbed her long blonde tresses and threw her to the floor. "I trusted you, and you betrayed me with a goddamned guard!"
"Vegeta please! You don’t understand!" She begged through her tears, needing him to understand the truth.
"I don’t understand?!" He screamed in a raging fury. "You were lying naked in bed with another man! What the fuck was there to misunderstand!? You betrayed me; I would have given you everything, but you have thrown it away on one night of lust! I asked nothing of you, but your loyalty! And this is how you repay me!?"
"Vegeta, no!" She screamed in a pathetic attempt at pleading with what was left of his sense. "You have to listen to me, it’s not what you think!"
"Enough!" He cut her off; once again grabbing her by the hair and whipping her head back to face him. "I have every right to kill you for such an infidelity, but I would rather see you live with the disgrace of being the whore that you are." Vegeta’s backhand belted down across her face, oblivious to the tears streaming down her cheeks and blood now melting from her broken skin.
"Please." She whimpered, holding onto her now bruised face. "Don’t do this Vegeta! Please Vegeta! Don’t do this… Don’t do this… Don’t do this…"
A heated sweat and a deep gasp brought Vegeta back into the land of the conscious as he shot out of his horrid memory of the past. ‘I knew that bastard’s presence would rehash all of this!’ He thought angrily as he violently threw his covers away from his body and pulled himself out of bed.
Vegeta still had to suffer Juunanagou’s precise for another four days. He wasn’t sure he could last that long without inflicting some permanent damage to the man. His only comfort was in knowing that Bulma would be by his side, well protected the entire time. He knew Juunanagou to be crafty enough to utilize mere seconds to his advantage; making every moment the onna was away from him nerve wracking.
Vegeta’s fists tightened as he silently vowed to himself to not allow Juunanagou to use him as he had before. He made a fool of him, and that caused destruction to everyone in his immediate path. Vegeta knew he couldn’t let that happen again.
As quickly as possible Vegeta dressed and headed towards Bulma’s room. Knowing that Kakarrot’s joining was the night before, he expected not to see the Saiya-jin until late afternoon at the earliest. In the mean time Vegeta would personally have to keep an eye on the onna. Not that the thought was so terrible, to have his ward attached to his arm everywhere he went.
"Your Highness." Nappa interrupted Vegeta’s thoughts as he knelt before his king.
"What is it?" Vegeta asked, not particularly thrilled that he was being held up from collecting his ward.
"King Feyro has requested an audience with you. He informs me it is rather urgent." The humble soldier explained, before rising.
"Wonderful." Vegeta suppressed a growl. "I can just imagine what he wants." Vegeta thought back to the man’s overly engorged interest in Bulma after her stunning entrance the night prior. "I will meet with Feyro; in the mean time I want you to go awaken Kakarrot. I’d rather not have the onna present when I speak with the aggravating king, so inform Kakarrot that he will have to guard Bulma in my stead. Understood?"
"Yes, sir." Nappa nodded, though slightly offended that the king held so little trust in him that he wasn’t allowed to guard the princess himself.
Vegeta motioned the man to leave him before he headed to his conference room. He took long breaths as he prepared himself for a discourse he was certain he would not find pleasurable.
"I am going to kill him." Kakarrot growled as he begrudgingly released his newly joined mate, and walked over to the entrance. Kakarrot opened the door, stark naked and wholly unashamed to be seen in such an exposed fashion. "What the hell do you want Nappa?!"
Nappa hissed as he covered his eyes, certainly not wanting to view the sight before him. "Put some cloths on man! You have a job to do; our king wants you to guard princess Bulma while he’s detained."
Kakarrot sighed, as he couldn’t believe he was being pulled away from his mate so soon after joining with her. He mentally noted to put in for some leave, so he could fully enjoy his new circumstances. "Very well, I shall get dressed and then locate Bulma." Kakarrot quickly said before slamming the door shut, inadvertently waking his mate.
"Kakarrot? What was that about?" Chi-Chi asked groggily, still very much hung over after last night’s intoxicating events.
"It seems Vegeta needs me to guard Bulma while he attends to other matters." Kakarrot said, sounding rather disheartened as he quickly dressed. Once finished he glided back to the bed, placing a soft kiss on his mate’s lips. "I’ll be back as soon as I can." He whispered before turning to leave.
"I’ll be right here." Chi-Chi purred softly before laying back down to further her rest after her long night.
Kakarrot took in a long breath of the warm scent of his and his mate’s sex from the night prior and then left to find Bulma. For once wishing he had a different responsibility.
Bulma sped through the forest for a near hour before arriving at the creek on the far side of the eastern forest. It was a rather beautiful site; she was impressed by his choice. Bulma gracefully dismounted Hikari before walking over to the stream for a drink. She knelt down slowly as she gathered some of the clear liquid in the palms of her hands, then gently bringing the water to her lips for a sip.
"Looks like you beat me." The words of a deep voice chuckled, the shock of the sudden admission causing Bulma, very unladylike, to spit out the water in her mouth. "Did I startle you?" Juunanagou continued chuckling as he walked over to help the now wet princess to her feet.
"Actually you did." Bulma wiped her mouth in embarrassment. "I was early myself; I thought you wouldn’t be here for awhile."
"I actually thought I would be early as well, but I suppose you were too excited to see me." He spoke, sounding a bit arrogant.
Bulma picked up on the tone immediately, and remembered her purpose all too clearly. "No, actually I wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. I swore I would stay away from you and every minute I am here I break that oath."
"Yet, you came anyway." Juunanagou was quick to point out.
"Only to inform you of my intentions and they are to keep a distance from you. Vegeta’s past is his only, and I think it only fair for me to stay out of it, and thereby stay away from you. I hope you can respect and understand that as well." Her voice was very stern, in an attempt to leave no leeway for a rebuttal.
"I understand." Juunanagou spoke dejectedly, though his intentions were far from such. "I have never been one to defy the wishes of an onna; if you want to sever all contact with me, than so be it. I shall keep my distance from you as well."
"Well… Thank you." Bulma showed her gratitude, though rather dumbfounded by his complacent manner. "Then I suppose I should be leaving."
"Of course." Juunanagou nodded, stepping aside for her to pass, watching closely, as the princess was bound to lay her eyes upon a beast that Juunanagou was certain would garner her attention. He was right in his assumption.
"Is he yours?" Bulma suddenly lost focus as her blue orbs landed upon the beautifully built stallion before her. In all her years of adoring the splendor of horses, Bulma had never laid eyes upon a creature more exquisite than Vegeta’s beast, Akuma; at least before today. "Where did you find a horse of such breeding?" She asked, stunned, slowly walking over to gaze more fully upon the creature.
"He’s royal actually." Juunanagou mentioned casually as he walked over and began stroking the horse’s mane. "He’s from a long line of stallions that have served the great kings of Adajinzoun."
"What’s his name?" Bulma curiously asked, daringly reaching out to touch the mount’s soft hair.
"Heijin." Juunanagou spoke proudly. "He is the fastest beast on four legs. Just like the Heijin of a sword, he can cut through anything with ideal balance and velocity. Truly one in a billion."
"Is he truly that fast?" Bulma asked with an almost evil smirk. She turned her head towards the stream as she whistled softly. Following the gentle sound a gorgeous ivory mount walked over to the pair. "Allow me to introduce Hikari." Bulma smiled as she grabbed the reins and guided the horse to Juunanagou. "I name her Hikari for her speed. With her color and swiftness, from a distance she looks like a stream of hikari. She has rarely been beaten, but she has also rarely been firmly challenged."
Juunanagou nodded with a light smirk. "It sounds like you are asking for a race my lady."
"Not so much a challenge as an experiment. What do you say?" She excitedly asked, thoughts of her original purpose long vanished as the temptation of the staggering speed and freedom of a race clouded her focus.
"Where to?" Juunanagou asked as he quickly mounted his horse, the destination already well though out in his devious mind. "How about the bluff off of the western bank? It’s rocky with much overgrowth in the greenery, but a worthy challenge nonetheless."
"Perfect." Bulma smirked, wanting more than anything to fully test the power of her steed. Quickly, the princess mounted her horse, situating herself comfortably before heading towards the west bank. "Shall we then?" She asked as Juunanagou lined up next to her.
"On your command." He nodded, well prepared for the match.
"Very well." Bulma smiled, then dug her heels into Hikari and took off, stealing an unfair advantage, but only exciting the king in her boldness. ‘This onna will be more fun to tame than I originally anticipated.’ He thought to himself before following the princess’s lead into the rough surroundings.
Bulma roared with laughter as she watched her competition fall far behind her. "You had better move faster than that if you wish to win!" She challenged, though careful to watch the path she was on. The area was well known for its rough terrain. The trail was not one for the ill trained, and Bulma knew, with her long experience in such, she would have the upper hand, assuring her win. But her counterpart seemed to have a different result in mind as he quickly closed the gap between the pair.
"Not bad." He shouted to her surprise. "But not quite good enough." He called before taking a hurdle over a small stream, stealing the lead from the competitive princess.
‘We shall see about that.’ She thought as she began commanding Hikari to move faster. The race heated up as Bulma pushed Hikari to meet Heijin’s every stride. The pair met neck and neck, surprising each of the riders. Neither had anticipated finding such a worthy match in the other, both excited by the other’s will. "Your horse seems worthy of his name." Bulma shouted her concession. "But will he last on the home stretch!"
Juunanagou smirked, as he knew that question would be immaterial before long. Smirking proudly he looked ahead to the spot he had planned the match to end. He ordered his horse faster, thinking the intensified speed would make the next step seem even more of an accident.
Bulma watched the king speed on ahead of her, growling and refusing to be beaten. She called for Hikari to close the break, which her horse managed to do with lightening speed. Bulma had once again taken the lead when something unexpected appeared before her. ‘Oh no.’ was all her mind registered before the impressively mammoth sized fallen tree entered her field of vision, much too quickly for her to halt Hikari. The tree’s diameter and slant was too much for Hikari to clear, stopping the horse in a violent motion that sent Bulma flying fiercely off of her mount, smashing roughly against the fallen culprit. It suddenly seemed the race had come to an abrupt conclusion.
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