Chapter 19 – Sunrise


Bulma awoke with a light yawn as she pushed herself to sit up in bed, brushing her sleep off with a long stretch. Untangling herself from her sheets, she quietly rose from her bed, careful so as not to wake her still sleeping guard. ‘He’s so cute when he’s asleep,’ Bulma thought with a repressed chuckle before she turned to walk towards her balcony. Fresh air seemed like a wonderful idea.

Once outside, she gently closed the doors behind her, she did not wish to wake Radditz with the feel of the cool morning air. Quietly walking to the bluff of her balcony, she checked a few nearby verandas to make certain there were not any lonely sovereigns close enough to catch a bird’s eye view of her undergarment-clad body. Not, of course, that she would expect even one of them to be up this early. It was just after sunrise and monarchs prefer to sleep well into the afternoon. Well, not all of course, Vegeta always loved to be up for the sunrise. They had both on many occasions sat on the very balcony she was now upon and watched the morning sunrise. She would sit on the edge, dangling her legs over the common below, and he would wrap his arms around her waist, holding her securely, eliminating any fear of possibly falling.

‘Those days seem so long ago,’ Bulma thought sadly as memories of her harsh words the night before plagued her thoughts. She, of course, had not meant to dismiss him as she had. She knew deep down he was only trying to do what was best for her. After all, she could not fault him for trampling on her romantic feelings when he had no idea she held any for him. ‘I guess I am just going to have to face reality, I will never hold Vegeta’s heart.’

"Damn it!"

The audible sound of a curse suddenly shifted Bulma’s gaze down towards the common area. ‘That voice, it almost sounded like—Vegeta!’ Bulma was shocked as her eyes fell upon the shirtless form of her warden. He had his sword in hand, and judging by the perspirations dripping from his body, he had been practicing some swordplay. ‘I suppose he had some things to work out of his own,’ she concluded as she gazed upon his shimmering form.

A slight blush crept across her cheeks as she realized this was the first time she had ever seen him so exposed. Though she had many times imagined what he would look like unclothed, nothing could compare to the breathtaking sight before her. ‘He’s perfect,’ she gazed longingly as she leaned over the edge. Bending her arm and placing her chin in her palm, she allowed her mind to wander as she silently observed his graceful movements.

Her attention was distracted shortly, as her eyes fell upon an alarming site. ‘By the gods, where did he get that scar?’ She was shocked to see the disfigurement that stretched from his right shoulder all the way across his left pectoral muscle. ‘I thought Vegeta was undefeated in battle, how could he bear such a mark?’ she wondered distressingly.


Another vocalization of disgust drew Bulma’s attention away from her musing as she returned to focus on Vegeta’s now sunken form. Judging by the way he threw his sword to the ground, she assumed he was displeased with his performance. "You should not be so hard on yourself; your forms are nearly flawless."

Shocked by the sudden emergence of a female voice, Vegeta swung his head around to catch the gaze of his ward. "Onna," his tone held a hint of shock as he rose to his feet. "What are you doing up so early?" he found himself at a loss for any other question as he gazed upon her angelic form.

"I was hoping I could talk to you," she attempted to lower her voice, "will you come up here, I would rather not yell back and forth, I do not wish to wake the entire castle."

Agreeing with her motives, Vegeta grabbed his discarded shirt and wrapped it around his shoulders. After sliding his sword back into his scabbard, he walked over to the castle, and using the vines that adorned the rock walls he began his ascension to the princess’s balcony.

"Vegeta!" Bulma protested, "you could hurt yourself, those vines are not secure! Use the inside steps for the gods’ sake!"

Her plea fell on deaf ears however, for almost as soon as she finished her complaint, he had made it to her room. "I am touched, onna," he mocked as he pulled himself onto her balcony, "I did not know you cared."

Bulma sighed as she extended a hand to help steady him as he jumped to his feet, "I hope you are joking," she answered quietly as she watched him wipe off his glistening muscles with his now dirtied shirt. It took all of her strength to complete a coherent thought. "I wanted to apologize for last night, I did not mean the harsh words I said to you," she offered in a strained voice, suddenly she did not think this was such a wonderful idea.

"I know," Vegeta finished his cleansing as he lifted his gaze to match hers. It was strange, but something seemed to be making her uncomfortable. "You were faced with a lot yesterday, and I only made matters worse by letting my anger get the better of me. If anyone should be apologizing, it is I," he offered softly, he had tossed and turned almost the entire night, plagued by her words of detestation towards his actions. If only he had been more rational, detached from his feelings for her, he may have been able to handle the situation better.

"You always do this," Bulma chuckled as she lifted herself up to sit on the ridge of her balcony, "You always twist my apologies to make them your own. But, I cannot let you this time; I said such horrid things to you. I had no right to disrespect you as I did; I know you were only insisting upon that which you thought was to my best interest. "

"Maybe I was, maybe I was not," the king admitted softly as he walked to her side, looking off into the distance. "I just do not know what I was thinking yesterday. Everything just kept coming out wrong, and the more I tried to think clearly, the more irrational I became. I let my anger towards Juunanagou consume me, it forced me to lose sight of my duties," sighing, he shook his head in shame as he continued, "I still can not believe I forced my affections upon you as I did, and then demanded something as absurd as you marrying me. You must have been mortified." He whispered the last part quietly; the thought still bothered him to this instant.

"Mortified?" Bulma repeated, shocked by his choice of words. "Vegeta," she began tenderly as she lifted her hand to encircle his face and turn it to gaze upon her. "I know I said horrible things to you last night, especially in regards to your proposal, but I did not mean them. I think it was noble of you to vow a life long sacrifice just to protect me."

"Sacrifice?" It was Vegeta’s turn to question her wording. "It would hardly be much of a ‘sacrifice,’ onna," he explained as he leaned his body sideways against the balustrade so he could face her, "it would have been an honor," he admitted while taking the hand she rested against his face and moving it down to brush against his lips in a protracted kiss.

Bulma felt her eyes slowly close as she experienced his lips making gentle love to her hand. ‘He is doing it again,’ she thought as her body suddenly felt aflutter. Before she knew what was happening, her chest had begun falling backwards, and her balance quickly became all but existent. Her lips had parted to scream, but the fear of the moment disappeared suddenly as she felt two strong arms pull her securely against a strapping naked chest. Bulma’s arms wound around Vegeta’s neck as she felt her feet touch the ground of her balcony, ensuring her safety.

"You just insist of speeding my heart rate, onna," Vegeta accused playfully, making no move to relinquish his hold on her.

Bulma felt a blush creep across her cheeks as she bit her bottom lip innocently, "I guess you saved me from imminent danger yet again. How can I ever repay you?" She followed his lead by keeping her arms comfortably around his neck; she would sustain the feel of his soft skin under hers for hours if only he would let her.

"Well," Vegeta smirked, "if you insist on repaying me, you could bestow upon me the privilege of escorting you to the Sakuriusu this evening."

Bulma’s expression fell as soon as he asked. "No offense Vegeta, but the last time you promised to be my escort, I ended up being stood up."

"Now that is a mistake I intend to rectify," Vegeta swore, he was certainly not going to allow another calamity, like her showing up on Juunanagou’s arm, as he had before.

The princess relaxed in his grasp as she heard his promise, she did not doubt his mixed intentions for wanting to spend the evening by her side, but she would not deny herself the opportunity. "Very well, if you show up this time, I will happily be your companion for the evening. But that very much depends on—"

"My showing up, I am perfectly clear on that point," Vegeta chuckled, "what time should we set?"

Bulma furrowed her brow as she considered, "how about eight O’clock?"

"Fine," Vegeta nodded, "then I will be here by nine."

The young onna narrowed her eyes, fully aware of the insult to her ‘preparation time’ lying within his comment. "Nine O’clock then."

"Fine," the king repeated, suddenly finding himself at a loss for words, hence an excuse to keep her in his grasp any longer. He tried to think of something, anything to stop her from having the chance to request her freedom, but nothing came. All his mind could register was the bottomless azure eyes that entrapped his gaze, the creamy white flesh that was plush against his body, and those soft rose lips that practically begged to be tasted. But he could not; they had been down this path before, each time ending in heartache. "I should go," he choked out, though his body made no move to depart.

Bulma felt the hesitation in his decision, as if he did not wish to follow through with his suggestion. ‘Maybe what Radditz said was true, maybe it is possible that he could develop feelings for me as well,’ she wondered curiously as she searched his eyes for some kind of denial or affirmation. ‘After all, he did say marrying me would have been an honor. Or, perhaps he was just saying that out of respect?’ Finding herself wanting answers, Bulma unwrapped one of her arms from around his neck, and mimicking the gesture she had made earlier, she encircled his face with her palm. She was surprised as she watched him, almost instinctively, nestle his face against her gentle caresses while lazily closing his eyes. "Vegeta," she whispered his name lazily, when he offered no reaction she began to believe he did not in fact want to depart from the peaceful place he was in.

His name rolling off of her tongue was perhaps the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. Gentle to the ear, he allowed the tune to reverberate through his mind, breaking all other thoughts than that of her voice and her embrace. Her hand against his cheek was mesmerizingly delicate, sending chills down his spine with every brush of her stroking fingertips. And then her lips, they were suddenly against his; her tongue was penetrating his mouth, begging to bask in his splendor as he wished to in hers. Though he was certain he had not been the one to initiate the kiss, he felt little trepidation in deepening it. Through her sheer coverings he could feel her every curve so perfectly, so desperately, but not at all intrusively. He took no action she did not first, as her free arm unwound from his neck and began exploring his body, invoking sensations in him so intense that it took all of his strength to stop himself from devouring her completely.

Her mind went blank. Bulma had become too lost in the feel if his body, the feel of his bare skin underneath her fingertips, to allow logic any consideration. The fact that they were on her balcony, free to be watched by anyone out for a morning stroll, did not come to her attention in the least. Memories of her past failures with his affections were not considerations. All she cared about was the sensations he was invoking in her; the pure, unbridled need she felt was too awesome to be denied. She wanted him so desperately; she knew the consequences of her actions could not possibly be as devastating as the benefits she was now reaping. But their bliss was not to continue as Vegeta abruptly pulled away from his ward.

"W—What’s wrong?" Bulma gasped as realized something from below had snared his attention. Following his field of view, she looked down to see what had caught his notice. "Juunanagou," she whispered his name nervously. The proud king stood darkly as he sent a piercing glare towards the both of them.

"Let us go inside," Vegeta grabbed a hold of Bulma’s arm and twisted her around so she could follow his lead back into her bedroom. Though the Saiya-jin king was never one to run away from a confrontation, the knowledge Juunanagou had deduced from their exchanges could be dangerous should he choose to inform Bulma of exactly how deep his feelings ran.

Bulma complied willingly as Vegeta guided her inside, she too had a secret she wanted well kept from Vegeta, and Juunanagou could easily spoil it.

Once the pair was inside, Bulma locked the door behind her, barring anyone from attempting the little vine maneuver Vegeta had pulled. "I think he left," the princess concluded before turning around to find her warden clearly flustered. "What is it?"

"Where is Radditz? If he is going to guard you, he should be here around the clock." Vegeta huffed as he paced the room aimlessly.

Noticing that Radditz was no longer sitting in the chair he had slept in, Bulma suggested, "He probably saw me on the balcony with you, and assumed I was in good hands—I mean, in safe care for the time being. He probably went to his room to get changed or something," she finished, hoping he had not taken note of her blunder.

Vegeta did however, though he did not produce a decipherable reaction. What was he to say after what had just happened, what had been happening between them? "Onna—"

"I will see you at nine, Vegeta." Bulma interrupted before he could say anything more. She had two guesses what the next words out of his mouth would be and, being the pessimist she is, she chose to guard herself against the more painful one.

Not sure why she had deflected his inquiry, Vegeta decided to take the easy exit she offered and depart with little further dialogue. "Until tonight then," he nodded before turning to leave.

Once he was gone Bulma crossed her arms and glanced towards her washroom. "You can come out now, he is gone."

"About damn time," Radditz growled as he disclosed his presence, "I thought he was never going take his hands off of you."

"Very funny," Bulma narrowed her eyes, "you know you could have left."

"And leave you to his mercy, not likely." Radditz mocked, "besides, last night you were sobbing over the ‘hopelessness’ of your coupling, and here, the next morning, I wake to find you mating with him on the balcony, for all the public to see!"

"We were hardly mating," Bulma objected, "we were just… well, I am not sure what it was, but what I do know is that if he had stayed a minute longer I would have been given another lecture on what a ‘mistake’ it was."

"He did not sound as though he was about to scold you," Radditz offered his assessment, "and what is this about your meeting him at nine? I thought I was escorting you to the Sakuritsu."

"You are guarding me for the Sakuritsu," Bulma corrected, "besides, Vegeta owes me an evening by his side after sending Kakarrot in his stead last time."

"He stood you up?" Radditz chuckled, "what a fool."

"Yes, well, I am hoping things will be different this time," the princess voiced optimistically. "But, if he should fail to show, I always have you to take me."

"So nice to be the second-string," Radditz pouted in a mocking tone.

"Ah, do not feel at a loss," Bulma smiled mischievously as she grabbed her guard’s arm and guided him over to her bed. "Because you, dear Radditz," she pushed him to sit down, "get to watch me try on all my dresses, and help me pick which one I should wear."

"Oh, really?" The husky man smirked, "and when do we start this?"

"Right now," she smiled sweetly before heading into her closet to start selecting a few possibilities. She wanted to look her best this evening; after all, she did have a certain someone she wanted to impress.


"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Kakarrot asked nervously as he followed his mate down the corridor that adjoined the floors of theirs and Bulma’s chambers. "Vegeta is already in a fowl mood as it is; if he finds out we have gone to see Bulma when he ordered us differently—"

"Honestly, Kakarrot!" Chi-Chi hissed as she spun around to face her lover, "If Vegeta ordered you to take your own life, would you do it!?"

Kakarrot paused for a moment considering the question, "if he had good reason, I suppose."

Chi-Chi merely released and exasperated growl before continuing back towards her pupil’s room. "I have never once failed to see that girl before a social gathering; I do not intend to start now just because Vegeta has lost his mind as of recent."

"But Chi-Chi—"

"Do not ‘but Chi-Chi’ me, Kakarrot. The Sakuritsu has already started, and though I am sure your real desire for wanting to get there is for the buffet table, you will simply have to wait until after I see Bulma!" On queue with the completion of her thought, Chi-Chi knocked on the door to her student’s room. Moments later, it was answered by her brother in-law.

"Radditz, how good to see you, where is Bulma." Chi-Chi walked right past the large Saiya-jin and headed straight into the princess’s closet, certain to find her there.

"Sorry about that," Kakarrot scratched the back of his head as he entered the room and inquired of his brother, "so how are things going with Bulma?"

"Well, enough," Radditz replied soberly. "Juunanagou is out of the picture for now, so I think she is safe for a while."

"Excellent," the shorter man nodded, "And Vegeta? Have you any idea what has him wound so tightly?"

"I have my suspicions," Radditz admitted carefully, "but no certainties as of yet."

"Oh, Bulma you look wonderful!" The resonance of the governess’s voice touched both Saiya-jins’ ears.

"Me? What about you, Chi-Chi? Yellow is an amazing color on you!" The excited response of the princess followed quickly after.

"Do you think we should give them some time alone?" Kakarrot suggested. After receiving a quiet nod from his elder brother, the formally attired pair walked outside to give the two females their privacy. "We are two very lucky men," Kakarrot noted absently in consideration of the onnas they would be escorting.

"As in ‘we,’ I assume you are referring to yourself and Vegeta, because he is the one escorting Bulma tonight," Radditz offered with a hint of jealousy.

A surprised gasp escaped Kakarrot’s mouth as he heard the revelation. "You must be kidding, Vegeta refused to accompany her to the assemblage opening night of the conferences, I am surprised he is claiming the task."

"I was not," Radditz admitted, "especially not after the little number they did on the balcony earlier."

"You mean that really happened?!" Kakarrot could not contain his bewilderment. "I had heard rumors that they were seen together earlier this morning in a rather passionate embrace, but I had not believed it true."

"Well, believe it; I witnessed some of the embarrassing display. And from what Bulma tells me, it was not the first time," the older man continued to stun his younger brother.

"What was not the first time for the onna?" A rough voice interrupted the brothers.

"Vegeta," Kakarrot gasped as he dropped to his knee.

Radditz frowned at his cowering sibling, "Bulma is not ready yet," he informed Vegeta as he grabbed his brother’s ear to pull him to his feet. "She is inside with her governess."

"I thought I ordered you and your mate to stay the hell away from the onna," the king directed his comment towards the younger guard.

"Well you did, but we opted not to follow that demand," a female voice interrupted the three men. "Bulma will be out in just a moment," Chi-Chi explained as she walked over and latched her arm around her mate and suggested, "Let us go." Quickly sending Radditz a light nod, she turned towards Vegeta to offer one last piece of advice before departing. "Try not to let this evening become the debacle the assemblage dinner was."

Vegeta only responded with a snarl that echoed down the hall as the pair disappeared down a side passage. ‘Where does that harpy get off ordering me around like that!?’ Vegeta found himself wondering, before a second, softer, female voice interrupted his thoughts.

"I am sorry I took so long," the emerging angelic tone turned both Saiya-jins towards Bulma’s chamber entrance as they found her standing gracefully before them. "So, what do you guys think?" she asked sweetly as she slowly turned for them to take in her entire appearance. "I thought I would dress a little more casually this time, do you think it is too plain?"

"Plain?" Vegeta nearly choked out the word. Her body was tightly wrapped in a floor length powder blue sparkling gown with a deep v-cut back that exposed nearly her entire creamy white torso. The straps holding her dress up were thinner than some of the hairs on his head, and her neckline, also v-cut, was just low enough to leave him wanting more. All of the exposure however, was mildly covered by her long flowing tresses which were completely let free, save two long strands above her brow which were twisted and tacked behind her head, clearly to eliminate any unwanted hairs from falling into her face. And the necklace he had given her for her twentieth birthday, an essential element with any formal ensemble, set off the entire outfit. "Trust me onna, if there is one thing you do not look, it is plain."

"Thank you," Bulma blushed as she extended her hands for him to offer a gentle kiss upon her wrists. "You look wonderful yourself," she smiled, noting the contrasting midnight blue formal attire her escort sported. Although blue was emblematic for royalty, the shade he had chosen held a dark flare, which complemented his personality perfectly. "So, shall we go?" Bulma asked quickly before she was caught staring for too long.

"Of course," Vegeta bent his arm for her to accept. She did welcomingly, as she silently followed his lead towards the Enkaijou.

Radditz followed closely behind, silently praying to the gods this night would be a change from the disasters that have been happening as of late.

* * * * *


Sakuritsu - Imperial Investiture
Enkaijou – Banquet Hall

Table of Contents
Chapter 18
Chapter 20