Chapter 34 – Forever and Always
I write in you now from the comfort of my new room, Vegeta’s room. He had refused to allow me to return to my old chambers after the night we had spent together in the cave, our first time making love together.
It had been like a dream to me, surpassing my most secret of expectations. Even as I had awoken in his arms, I did not believe him to be real, that what we shared had not merely been some figment of my imagination. But it was real, quickly confirmed as he kissed my lips and confessed his love for me. I vowed the same while burying my head against his chest. As uncomfortable as the cold rock ground we lay upon was, I did not want to leave the location, because to leave would be to reenter the real world. A world where Vegeta was still married to Juuhachigou, where I believed Juunanagou was still alive and surely plotting Vegeta’s downfall, where my governess was ill and my reputation was nothing short of in shambles. A world much less savory than the one I had right there, with the man I loved, all I needed.
But hiding had not even been an option that lasted long enough to contemplate, as the sound of horse hoofs pounding against the ground alerted us that we were no longer alone. With a heightened sense of protectiveness, Vegeta had pulled himself away from me to investigate the intruders. After ordering me to dress, he threw on his pants, picked up the dagger I had carried, and carefully headed towards the entrance of the cave. Though I begged him not to do anything rash, he continued on, only stopping to advise me to stay behind. I knew he suspected Juunanagou had come to see if his creative murder plot had taken, but I was not about to let him put his life in danger for a chance at revenge.
So after I dressed, I followed him to the entrance of the cave, startled to realize that the intruders were not Juunanagou and hired muscle, but instead Kakarrot and a band of five elites that all dropped their eyes to the ground after observing my disheveled form. It seemed then our affair would not be kept as quiet as we had hoped.
After Vegeta ordered the five men to return to the castle with word that he was well, but not that any of them had seen me, he had ordered a snickering Kakarrot to start explaining what had happened in his absence. Though my former guard was privy to some of the complex details of all that had transpired during Vegeta’s capture, he had asked me to help in filling in any missing pieces. So we together told the story of everything that had happened since his disappearance.
I opted to start his elucidation off by telling him of my encounter with Juunanagou in his chambers, the brief dangerous fight, and then Juuhachigou’s rescue. Kakarrot chimed in with his and Radditz’s discovery of Nappa’s dead body and then the subsequent revival of my governess, a piece of information I could not have been happier to hear. He then told of her traumatic witnessing of Nappa’s brutal murder by the hands of Juunanagou’s associate, the same man who had drugged Juuhachigou and Kakarrot the night they were set up. The same man who had attacked me in the stables and, as Kakarrot had later found out, downed the tree that I had been injured running into during my race with Juunanagou.
The information had left me speechless for a time, finally having learned the true extent of Juunanagou’s twisted mind. But after feeling Vegeta’s strong hand grasp mine in support, I found myself able to continue sharing my knowledge. I told them of my visit to his sickbed. How I demanded he tell me where Vegeta was, and the mind games he had played to scare me. I told them of my arrival at this very location, and the guard I had killed. Both men had looked in his direction to see my handiwork. I think a part of Kakarrot was proud that his pupil had done so well, but Vegeta was very clearly not pleased. Not a surprise of course. He never agreed with my taking interest in the more ‘manly’ of sports.
I spoke no further on what happened after I killed the guard, but Kakarrot, as the five other elites, seemed perfectly clear on how I had warmed Vegeta during the night. I did not particularly care, but I knew Vegeta was concerned about my reputation. Now that the passion had become less blinding, decorum was high on his list of attentions.
Kakarrot had finished the gory tale by explaining his and Radditz’s apprehension of Juurokugou and his lead that brought them to this location. He had ended by justifying his late arrival with the attempted escape by his prisoner just moments before their departure. The man had successfully beaten past twelve guards before Kakarrot caught him in the stables. He did not say what he had done after catching him, but the dried blood on his uniform spoke volumes. I could not blame him of course; this was the man who had brought his pregnant mate to a catatonic state.
A long pause followed, and then he made an addition to his account that had made my blood run cold. Juunanagou was dead. Died in his sleep, as the doctor had explained to him. The head trauma being the indirect cause. I believe I may have collapsed when I heard the news if Vegeta had not been holding me steady. The concept had been so unfathomable. This bane of Vegeta’s, and recently my, existence was no more. I could scarcely believe it, but once we returned to the castle, and saw the vacant form of the man lying motionlessly on his bed, it was confirmed. The Adajinzoun king was no more.
Vegeta’s reaction had been a mixture of relief and disappointment. As glad as he was the bastard was finally out of his life, a part of him regretted not being the one to have seen his end. I of course sympathized with him, a large part of me wanted to be the one to have dispatched him myself, but the result was necessary, regardless of the means. Juunanagou can no longer plague our lives. What more could be asked for?
Juuhachigou’s agreement to annul her marriage to Vegeta did the trick. If I was not stunned enough by the good favor that had been happening, I was surely when Juuhachigou informed Vegeta that she wanted no part of his life. That she wished to return to her home, as its rightful queen, free of their unwanted marriage.
Needless to say, Vegeta agreed, and had the documents he prepared the day after her return brought for her to sign. She did not even bother reading through the text before engraving her signature, ending the mutually undesired union. I have a strong feeling Radditz had something to do with her choice, his consoling presence, and pursuit when she departed, was more then enough to arouse suspicion. I will have to make a note to probe him on the subject the next time I see him.
But right now I cannot think of much else than the realization that Vegeta and I are going to be married! Husband and wife, mates, king and queen, it is my most wild of fantasies and tomorrow it will come true, as was per the assemblage’s decision that a marriage is to take place on the final day of the conferences. Though I would have preferred something more intimate; I was willing to accept the council’s terms. They were particularly sympathetic after learning all the details of the manipulations Juunanagou had put us through.
So I am now left with a day to plan my joining. Chi-Chi has promised to help, even though I insisted she stay in bed after her ordeal, she wants to be a part of the celebration. After all, it is not everyday your daughter, or so she likes to think of me, marries. And since this is the only time I will ever marry, being that no man in all the universe could ever compare to my Saiya-jin no Ou, I suppose it should be as memorable as possible. Not that I do not intend to make my every minute with him as memorable as possible, but this is the beginning of our lives together as mates. Mates.
Still so hard to believe, and yet last night confirmed its truth. Vegeta and I are bound for eternity. I can only pray he can put up with me for that long.
"I am sure I can." The male voice startled Bulma as she dropped her pen and spun around to find her mate looking over her shoulder, having clearly read what she had written.
"Vegeta!" Bulma slammed her diary shut as she rose from her seat to glare at him. "We may be mates, but my private thoughts are still my private thoughts. I may have forgiven you for reading my diary the other day, but you do not have my permission in the future!"
An expression of pure mischief spread across the king’s lips as he slowly responded, "Aw, come now, onna." He dropped one hand and then the other onto the edge of the desk, trapping her between his powerful arms. "But I enjoyed ever so much reading your entries. Especially the ones where you described your lustful dreams about me," he quickly swung one arm behind her back to snatch the journal before he turned his back from her, keeping the diary at height above their heads so that she could not reach it.
"Give that back to me!" Bulma insisted as she stretched to stop him from rummaging through the pages. She cringed when her attempts failed. He had found one he liked and, to her humiliation, started reading it aloud.
"In the dark of the night he came to me, I can still imagine the feel of his warm body crawling ever so predatorily over mine--"
"No, stop reading that!" she started pounding against his chest, partially in amusement and partially out of sheer embarrassment.
Ignoring her plea, he continued the graphic description anyway, "His lips were soft but fervent. His embrace tender but possessive. His hands were everywhere at once as I succumbed to his domination—"
"Got it!" Bulma stopped his cruel reading as she finally jumped high enough to snatch the book from his hands. Slamming it shut, she clasped it to her chest protectively. "Do not ever mock me with my words again!"
"I was not mocking you," Vegeta chuckled playfully as he gathered her in his arms, diary and all, and walked her over to his bed. Positioning her comfortably on his lap, he explained, "I happen to enjoy knowing that your dreams were as tormented by me as mine were with you." He nipped her nose as he slid his hand down to reclaim the book in her arms. "And besides," he threw the object over his shoulder so that he had full use of his arms to press his mate beneath him, "you have given me such excellent ideas." He smirked down at her as he crawled ever so predatorily over her body and allowed his hands to roam everywhere at once.
"Vegeta," Bulma failed to suppress her giggle as she wrapped her arms around his body in a tender, but possessive embrace of her own, "I hate to bruise your ego, but most of my dreams were not quite as vivid or erotic as that one."
"Oh?" he sounded offended as he ran his tongue over the mark that adorned her neck, his mark, making her his mate. "Then it seems I have to start giving you more material so that your dreams will be more vivid and more erotic." He purred the last words so softly against her ear that Bulma’s entire body shook with want. Frightening, how easily he could bring her to the pinnacle of desire. "So tell me, what brought on your dream that night?" he asked conversationally, as if his body was not as blissfully pained as hers.
"Hun?" she breathed deeply. His lips had lowered to the low cut of the gown she wore, but stopped just before exposing her breasts. The need to set them free was unbearable.
"Cause and effect, onna," Vegeta said simply between kisses as he continued with their dialogue. "Usually a woman does not have such an exotic dream unless something prompts it. So what was it? Was I dressed particularly handsome that evening? Did I brush up against you in an alluring fashion? Tell me what aroused you." He finally pulled the thin sleeves of her dress off of her shoulders and exposed her chest to his hungry lips. Her hardened nipples seemed to already answer his question.
"I—I am not sure," she tried to think straight as his lips enveloped a throbbing mound. It was not easy. "It was odd. I had not seen you for some time." Her mind slowly recalled the timeframe of the entry, "it was the eve of my birthday, my twentieth, I believe. Yes, that dream was so vivid," she started to recall it clearly now. "It felt like this," she arched her back as she felt him switch breasts, attending one with his lips while his soft fingers entertained the other. "Even when I awoke the next morning, I thought I could smell you on my gown, my skin, my bed… it was as if you had truly been there—Aha," she groaned as both his hands and lips left her body. Opening her eyes to ask what had arrested his treatment, he answered before she had to whisper the words.
"I was there that night," he confirmed as if lost in a memory of his own. "I came to watch you sleep, but I heard you moaning, and then my name escaped your lips. I thought I was mad, but you said it over and over again, and before I knew what I was doing, I humored your dream, I allowed myself to—" he paused as a cool smile rose across his lips. "That was the night I realized I was in love with you."
"Really?" Bulma sat up, pulling her top back up over her breasts. "It was that recently?"
"Recent?" Vegeta repeated. "That was over two years ago! I would hardly call that recent. And besides, I said it was only then I ‘realized’ I was in love with you. I believe I was some time before it, I just was so torn by my duty to you that I could never recognize it."
Nodding, Bulma allowed herself a chuckle. She was intimately familiar with denial, and the rationalizations one can easily conger to cover what they know to be true. "I think I have always loved you," she admitted proudly as her eyes fell from his, reminiscing with her own thoughts for a moment. "Even as a young girl, you were always this dashing male figure. The first man I was not afraid of, the first person who treated me with respect. I loved you then. Granted it was a young, unrefined love, but it survived over the years, over all the heartache, and grew stronger into what it is today." She smiled cheek to cheek as she looked upon her mate with an expression of pleased recognition. "I think I have a foundation for my vows tomorrow."
With a short groan, Vegeta was reminded of the hasty ceremony. "Yes, I am sorry it has to be done so hurriedly." He sighed while wrapping his arms around her waist and trapping her body against his protectively. "I know how you hate such public spectacles."
With a shrug of her shoulders, Bulma confessed to her surprising ease in the situation, "I do not care if I marry you before a crowd of ten or ten million. As long as you are with me, I have no fears."
"Good," he sighed in relief as he closed his eyes, pleased by nothing more than the presence of the onna he loved, the onna he would spend the rest of his life with. Although, not the next few minutes as an incessant pounding on the door interrupted their serenity.
"I’m killing whoever it is," Vegeta vowed as he rose from the bed, Bulma following close behind. When the door flew open, the sight of a very large figure met them.
"Radditz!" Bulma stepped around Vegeta to greet her guest. "It is about time you came to see me, I have a few questions for you." She gave him a wink that implied it was of a personal nature, hence why she had said nothing sooner.
"I would be more than happy to answer all your questions, Sa—Bulma," his term of endearment was no longer appropriate as she was now a mated female. "But right now I need to speak with Vegeta." After receiving a nod to enter the room, Radditz walked past Bulma, who closed the door so that they may have some privacy.
"Is something wrong, Radditz?" Bulma asked worriedly, he looked so serious, much too serious for this to be anything but a business call.
"Juuhachigou has asked me to return to Adajinzoun with her. With your permission, I would like to go." He looked directly at Vegeta as he asked, trying desperately to ignore the disheartened look upon Bulma’s face as he did.
"By all means," Vegeta waved his hand passively. "Now that I know Kakarrot is not a prospective love for my mate, I can return him to his position as her guard. You are no longer needed."
"Yes he is!" Bulma protested as she walked in front of her mate to plead for her now former guard’s change of mind. "Radditz, you promised me you would never leave again. What about your brother? Do you not want to stay and meet your niece or nephew? This is your home, how can you just leave it?"
"Do not think this was an easy decision for me, Bulma?" He wanted to reach out and grasp her arms, shaking some sense into her. What man could walk away from the onna he loved without reservation? But he could not stay. As happy as he was for the joy she found with Vegeta, it hurt—like hell. And who better to commiserate with than the one female who was going through the same pain. But he would never admit her part in driving him away; he would not squelch her happiness. "Vegeta is right; I am no longer needed here, while Juuhachigou could greatly benefit from my presence. She needs someone she can trust to help her rebuild the empire that Juunanagou squandered. I can do more good there."
Reluctantly Bulma nodded in understanding, genuine understanding. It was selfish of her to want to keep a friend who she knew wanted more from her. She had to accept his departure, and hope one day he would find the same joy she had with Vegeta, with another onna. "When will you be leaving?" When the brisk answer of tonight echoed through her ears, Bulma’s head flew up in shock, "Tonight? You will not even stay for the wedding tomorrow?" The frown that fell upon his lips was all the answer she knew he would offer. Sighing quietly, she stepped towards him, throwing her arms around his neck as she quietly confessed, "I am going to miss you, so much."
"Me too," he promised, successfully ignoring Vegeta’s dangerous glare. He was bowing out like an honorable man; the least his king could do was tolerate a short hug.
"Write to me," she insisted as he released her. Placing a slow kiss upon her hand, he promised to document every day of his life for her enjoyment. "It would be very much to my enjoyment," she concurred as he took a step back from her, this time he looked towards Vegeta.
"You take care of her," his tone was surprisingly threatening, but Vegeta received it with a sense of promise more than disdain. Once Radditz seemed certain all that needed to be said had been, he offered his joint goodbyes to the pair and disappeared from the room to head off to his new life, one that he anticipated finding more luck in love than he had in this one.
Once the new mates were left alone once more, Bulma turned back to Vegeta with a scornful look upon her face. "You do not have to say he was needless."
"What would you have rather me say, onna?" Vegeta looked at her accusingly, "Please, stay, continue making contest for my mate!" he hissed as he spun around to show his back to her. How dare she ask to allow his koigataki to stay!
"He only made contest for me once, Vegeta, and I turned him down." She walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Resting her head upon his shoulder, she added, "But even if he stayed and openly pursued me, it would not matter. I want only one man, and now that I have you, I am never letting you go." Her arms tightened around him, as if to emphasize her point. She was pleased when his muscles eased and he turned around to face her, crossing his arms over her to maintain their closeness.
"As I will never allow you to be taken from me," he vowed as he leaned in for a tender kiss upon her lips. Sliding his hand up her back, he gathered her hair around his fingertips as he pulled away to look at his treasure in all her beauty. "Never will I part with you." He released her hair so that he could pick up her light body and carry her over to his bed. As he laid the two of them down, a half smile pulled across his lips. "It is so hard to believe…" his thought fell short. There was so much to be in disbelief over. Here he was lying in bed, mated to an onna who had been his ward. An onna eleven years his junior, an onna he had no right to, but dared to take anyway. How mystifying love is; completely uncontrollable, yet equally undeniable. He had truly been taken over by its power, and to his luck, he could not have found himself bound to a more gentle, beautiful, amorous onna than the one in his arms.
"Well, you had better begin believing it!" Bulma responded to his partial thought with great glee, "Because right now the two of us have work to do."
"Work?" Vegeta questioned with a lustful intensity as he watched his young mate beginning to disrobe.
"Yes, work," Bulma laughed at his bemused expression as she grasped his neck and pulled him down atop of her. "We need to work on getting me with child. After all, you should have by now at least a ten-year-old heir preparing to take the throne from you one day. Your being a father is long overdue."
"That it is," Vegeta could not suppress a laugh as he enjoyed the prospect of finally removing all the pressure to sire a successor. "But I can not say I regret waiting, I would have abstained another ten years for you." The raw emotion in his voice only emphasized the honesty behind his claim.
"Well, luckily, you do not have to." She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled his body tightly down atop hers. "You have me forever and always."
"Forever and always," he repeated the words with a sigh of relief, a relief that was years long owed to them. "I think that might be just long enough."
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