Chapter eleven

Frieza had just been struck by inspiration--the exact shade of blue he needed to capture the dreamy mood of the sky on Arteris—when the frantic call from Dodoria interrupted his long sought-after revelation. Something about the club, a fight, and Jeice and Zarbon. Giving the canvas one last longing look, he tore off his smock and stormed out of his lair, ready to mete out the appropriate punishment to his subordinates for their ill-timed transgressions.

Arriving at the scene of the fracas, cause of his disrupted evening, he was relieved to note that the damage to the two participants was relatively minor. The fact that Jeice had been plastered appeared to have been both a blessing and a curse. If he had been sober, the red-skinned mercenary would have never gathered the courage (or more aptly named foolhardiness) necessary to attack Zarbon in such a manner. But if he had not attacked while so inebriated, the injuries to the Megalian would have been much more substantial. As it stood, the green-haired man had a few lacerations, several bruises, and perhaps a fractured bone or two. Nothing life-threatening or permanently scarring.

Giving Zarbon a quick perusal, Frieza then instructed, “Go to medical. I’ll be there shortly.” The directive was brief and delivered in clipped intonation, the manner brooking no argument. So Dodoria assisted his partner, allowing Zarbon to lean against him for support for the trip to the infirmary.

Everyone else, with the notable exception of the other combatant, made a hasty exit from the club—totally clearing the premises---not wanting to be caught in the fallout from the ice lord’s ire.

Jeice had finally begun to sober up, the hazy tendrils of intoxication evaporating to such a degree as to allow his mind to process the current circumstances and to recognize that he was in deep shit. He had fought Frieza’s pet, the changeling’s undisputed favorite, injuring him to an extent. It wasn’t likely that his master would just be content to label the incident a foolish mistake and allow him to go unpunished.

“M..My lord. For…Forgive me…I..I was drunk,” he stammered, heart racing with abject terror.

Lashing out without warning, the ice lord’s tail struck Jeice sharply across the face, the blow hard enough and angled to draw blood and send him crashing to the floor. Staring coldly at the man sprawled helplessly at his feet, Frieza, voice filled with the promise of pain to follow, said, “You would dare to attack Zarbon? That is tantamount to an attack on me!” Still glaring at the leveled fighter cowering below him, he snapped, “I’m sure I can guess what this reckless dispute was over…that damn little monkey prince!” Clawed toes clicking in ever-increasing cadence, he shook his head in frustration and disbelief. “The issue was settled. The boy belongs to Zarbon. Accept that now as you should have already.”

Frieza then proceeded to beat that message into Jeice with enough force to cause a great deal of pain but careful not to injure him seriously. He rained blows on the red man’s body, tail acting like the flat of a blade, not drawing blood but bruising the entire length of his backside. The dull thud of flesh on flesh echoed in the empty club until Frieza was satisfied. Staring down at the aching, whimpering man imperiously, the ice lord warned, “You may not seek any medical attention for this. I want you to deal with the pain for a few days.” Red eyes searing into black, he added, “I hope that this lesson is well-learned and won’t need repeating.”

Turning to leave he shot back one last comment. “If you desire a Saiyan so badly, there are two others available.”

It was not as if the thought had never crossed Jeice’s mind. Raditz, at least, was undeniably attractive…but too bulky for his taste, not his type. Even if he could have overlooked that actuality, he suspected that Burter, though too shy to admit to such, had a crush on the burly Saiyan guard. And still, the incontrovertible fact of the matter was that he wanted Vegeta…no one else.

When Frieza arrived at the medical facility, Zarbon was still within the confines of a tank. Dodoria was there as well, stuffing his face with a large assortment of brightly-colored candies.

“May I assume that Zarbon did nothing to encourage this fight?” the ice lord asked. “He wasn’t foolish enough to antagonize a drunken Jeice when the smart thing would have been to ignore him or leave the area …was he?”

Gulping down his mouthful of treats, Dodoria hastened to reassure his superior. “Zarbon was minding his own business, accepting congratulations on his rousing performance, when Jeice came out of nowhere and started throwing punches. It was totally unexpected.”

Frieza quirked an eyeridge in surprise. “Zarbon performed?”

“He sang like an angel,” gushed Dodoria, nodding his head in remembrance of the music.

“Was Vegeta in the middle of this quarrel…perhaps instigating it,” asked Frieza with avid interest.

“No. He had been in the club earlier, but had already left when the fight broke out.”

“Hm…well go ahead and go back to whatever you’d be doing for the evening. I wish to speak to Zarbon alone.”

An hour or so later the timer to the tank went off, signaling the end to the healing process and the Megalian’s stay in the transparent enclosure. Frieza watched impatiently as the blue fluid drained and Zarbon awakened, tawny orbs focusing on the ice lord as he did so. Removing the oxygen mask from his face, he stepped from the tank with the assistance of a technician. Wrapping himself in a sterile white sheet, he gave a wan smile to his overlord.

“It is very good that there was no permanent damage to your beautiful face,” said Frieza in relief as he examined his prized assistant closely, cerulean face between his hands.

“Yeah. Lucky for me that Jeice was off-balance and seeing double. He missed more times than he connected,” quipped Zarbon with a bit of wry amusement.

“I have delivered the first portion of his punishment---some physical discomfort that he will have to suffer through untreated. But I also intend to send the Ginyu Force on some less-than-choice assignments for awhile… Jeice without any monetary compensation. I would hope this will serve to deter him from any further action in your regard,” said a still-angry Frieza.

Staring his favored associate in the eye, unblinking, he questioned, “Did Vegeta have any part in this altercation besides being the root for this dangerous animosity between you and Jeice?”

“He was no longer present when Jeice went beserk. I don’t even think he knows what has happened,” replied Zarbon evenly.

Placing his small white hands on both shoulders of the Megalian, gripping them in a show of friendship, the ice lord bade Zarbon to go to his quarters and relax as he had had more than enough excitement for the night.

Word of the fight and its aftermath spread quickly throughout the ship. Vegeta heard the details with both a sense of undesired and bewildering relief and the more understandable disappointment. The disappointment was expected at learning that neither man had been killed, or even seriously injured. But the relief? It was those damned mixed-up emotions that pretty-boy Zarbon stirred within him. He wanted the blue-skinned alien out of his life…and yet…

~How can I feel both glad and dismayed that he is okay?~

The gnawing anxiety that filled him at the thought of returning to their shared apartment and facing the beguiling Megalian was greater at this moment than it had been his first night in the man’s company. But now, just as he had done then, he went forward to face his fears. What else could he do?

Entering the lavish quarters, he saw no sign of Zarbon. ~Probably taking a bath.~

As if on cue, the Megalian called out to him sweetly from the bathroom. “Vegeta. Could you bring a robe to me?” A short pause. “Unless you would prefer that I run about the apartment undressed?” he asked in teasing.

Vegeta considered. He really was ill-at-ease at the idea of entering the bathroom with a naked Zarbon luxuriating in the oiled waters of his tub. However, as much as he resented being asked to fetch a robe for the man like some fawning slave for his master, but it would be a lot less distracting to have the man clothed. Besides, the prince of Saiyans could face anything…even Zarbon.

Going to the Megalian’s closet he began his search. It took him several minutes of rifling through the man’s hangers before he found a green silk robe. He had more than a few. It was amazing, the quantity and wide variety of apparel the older man owned; shirts, blouses, pants, shorts, bodysuits, shoes. He was a veritable clotheshorse.

Bringing the robe into the bathroom, he took a second to observe Zarbon, eyes closed and head leaning against the back of one side of the sunken tub. He appeared no worse for wear---still so very beautiful. Vegeta was going to drop the robe on the floor within arms reach of the Megalian, but Zarbon’s eyes opened and he said, “Will you hand it to me? I’m ready.”

Even though he felt the edginess he always experienced when in the presence of the man when bare, he reached out to hand over the robe to Zarbon---only to be yanked into the tub with a large accompanying splash.

“Wha..What the hell did you do that for?” he spluttered in outrage as he tried to rise from the tub.

Keeping a very firm grip on the Saiyan, the blue-skinned man asked, “Did you hear what happened at the club after you left?”

Masking the guilt that threatened to expose him, Vegeta responded off-handedly, “I heard that there had been a bit of a scuffle between you and Jeice and that no one was seriously injured.”

Yellow eyes narrowing and mouth tightening, Zarbon asked, “Did you actually think I wouldn’t deduce that you were behind the incident, egging Jeice and his undying obsession on?”

Vegeta gulped nervously.

“I don’t know what you said to him but I know you kindled his anger.” Glaring at the small prince he said, “I imagine that you had hoped that Jeice would eliminate me and then Lord Frieza would eliminate Jeice in return.” Smiling in unhappy recognition, he said, “You are a clever little bastard. It might have worked if Jeice had been a wee bit more sober.”

Pushing away from the contact of his back to the marble of the tub, Zarbon came in close to the prince. “Are you so afraid of your feelings for me that you need me gone? I thought you could face anything, my warrior prince, but when faced with your own desires, you hide,” he mocked.

“I hate you Zarbon and I want you out of my life!” shouted the Saiyan youth, still desperately trying to free himself from the iron grip of the older man, clamped like a vise on his hand.

“You are a brat, Vegeta. I should spank you for your surly attitude and childish behavior,” the Megalian threatened.

Ebon eyes widening in indignation, Vegeta said, “You wouldn’t dare! I’m not some wayward child. I am the prince of Saiyans!”

Seeing the scowling prince, one side of his head wet, hair plastered to fall in spikes down half of his back while the other half remained stiffly upright, Zarbon couldn’t imagine a more endearing sight. He was infuriated with the troublesome princelet, but he was attracted to him more.

Pressing his body possessively against Vegeta’s, trapping the prince between his heated form and the hardness of the tub, he leaned in to kiss him. First, small nips at his lower lip. Then moving to envelop the Saiyan’s mouth entirely, using his tongue to slide over every delicious inch of the prince’s ripe inviting lips and ambrosial cavity, urgently tasting the honeyed roof, walls and tongue.

And even though Vegeta was trembling with as much fear as he was desire, he responded in kind, capturing Zarbon’s soft mouth and sucking hesitantly to start but progressing eagerly, allowing his own tongue to explore the flavors of the Megalian---so impossibly sweet and arousing.

~Oh Gods! What am I doing?~

But he couldn’t stop…couldn’t pull himself away. This was a pleasure he had never experienced before and he relished the fire that spread through his body. He refused to give up the contact, needing more of the thrilling sensations, moaning softly in delight as Zarbon discovered his jaw and neck, planting small kisses in a hungering frenzy.

Looking at the flushed face of the Saiyan, eyes closed in his rapture, Zarbon wanted to remove the only obstacle between their bodies and their eventual joining---Vegeta’s wet and clinging clothing.

~You may not want to want me Vegeta, but you do.~

It took all of his willpower to pry himself from the responsive prince. Having the Saiyan reacting so wantonly to his kisses and caresses as they trailed down his supple form, was awakening all his own latent desires in a raging torrent. But he wouldn’t take the prince now…not just yet. His body yearned to go further, but the boy needed to be an adult by the laws and traditions of his people before he did so.

Zarbon was far from innocent, but he would not add rape to his crimes if he could resist it. He loved the prince and when he made love to Vegeta it would not be tainted by illegality---two consenting adults, not an adult and a child.

Ending their embrace with one last bruising kiss, he stood up in the tub, water dripping in hypnotic rhythm onto the Saiyan below. Noting the dazed and confused expression on the prince’s face with both satisfaction and amusement, he said breathlessly, “Soon Vegeta. It had better be soon.”

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