Chapter three

“Raditz you dumbass, what the hell did you think you were doing—interrupting my conversation with Vegeta and dragging me out of the room?” Nappa roared at the equally angry younger Saiyan..

Shaking his ebony cascade of hair in denial, Raditz yelled back, “You’re the dumbass. You weren’t conversing with our prince. He was merely informing us of the change in our living quarters… not inviting us in for a drink and a heart-to-heart.”

Using his broader frame to his full advantage the older Saiyan warrior pressed threateningly against the younger man, “I may speak freely to Vegeta. I’m an elite… not a weak chickenshit first-class like you.”

“And just what good has your superior power done for the prince?” snorted Raditz disdainfully. “Have you defeated Frieza and placed the ice lord’s head at his feet?” He turned away from the bald Saiyan and laughed mockingly. “Elite or not, you’re as worthless as I am Nappa.” ~You just don’t know it.~ He sighed heavily and continued, “I don’t want to argue about this. It’s pointless.”

“I just want to know what the fuck is going on,” said Nappa in exasperation.

“Prince Vegeta will be rooming with Zarbon.”

Glaring at his fellow Saiyan, Nappa replied rather testily, “I—know-- that Raditz. I’m not deaf.”

~No? Maybe just dumb and blind then.~

Raditz merely stared at his larger companion, eyebrows raised and arms folded across his chest.

After a few moments of strained silence, the first hint of understanding finally saw light in the bewildered Saiyan. “You mean that…he…he is…with an disgusting alien…a male alien….” sputtered Nappa indignantly. “Vegeta hasn’t even gone through the awakening yet. I can’t believe he’d seek out a sexual relationship. And with an alien…a male…”

Gritting his teeth in frustration, Raditz said, “I’m sure this wasn’t his choice Nappa. He’s probably been lucky to remain relatively untouched until now. Hell! Jeice has practically been fondling him in front of us. How can you have missed it?”

Having the good sense to blush in abashment, Nappa attempted to defend himself. “It’s not as if I expected to see men hitting on him.”

“Use your eyes! Don’t you see how handsome our prince is?”

Nappa shrugged. “He’s Vegeta. Besides, I don’t think about men that way. It’s been ten years, but I still remember what our women--Saiyan women—were like. Vegeta belongs with…should be with…Hell! He should screw…a woman.”

“Vegetesei is gone Nappa. And although it wasn’t predominate, same-sex relationships did occur on our world. Hell! Once we began working for Frieza same-sex relationships became commonplace. Since you were a guard to the royal family, you never had to go planet-purging at that time. Squads were for the most part composed of men. Battlelust…being away from home for long periods of time…figure it out.”

Wrinkling his nose in disgust but still a little curious, Nappa asked, “Have you ever…?”

“Fucked a man…..Not that it’s any of your business…but no…I haven’t.” With an almost wistful expression on his face Raditz said, “I went through my own awakening a few months before Vegetesei was lost. I too can remember what a Saiyan woman was like. The scent…the taste…the feel…If I could find anything that could even come close to that again, gender would not be an issue. Believe me--I’ve sampled the wares of enough alien women to tell you it won’t matter where he sticks the royal scepter. Maybe our prince is fortunate in that regard. He won’t miss what he hasn’t known.”

Anger evident, Nappa argued, “But if he’s being forced against his will…we have to do something!”

Staring intently into the pitch-black eyes of the glowering face before him, Raditz replied in a tone that left no room for disagreement, “We will ignore his living arrangements. Unless we are ever given indication otherwise, it is the best and only thing we can do for him.”

Feeling incredibly weary of it all Raditz moved towards the door.

“Where are you going Raditz?”

Not bothering to turn around he responded, “To drink myself into a stupor.”

Zarbon felt as if he were in a sugar-induced stupor of his own. Dodoria had been so delighted with the candies that he insisted upon sharing. The first blossom had been rather good…surprising Zarbon in that sweets had never really appealed to his taste buds. But the second…and then the third one he had felt obliged to eat…he decided he hated those things. He shuddered at the vision of Dodoria inhaling half the box before he had gone back to finishing his heaping tray of boray meatloaf and mashed tabors.

In truth he could have parted company with Dodoria much earlier than he had. Although he had always maintained a cordial relationship with his fellow emissary, he certainly preferred time in his own rooms dining and relaxing by himself to the fellowship of others. ~But I won’t be by myself anymore.~

Vegeta was sure to be in his quarters by now…had probably been there quite awhile. Leaving behind the not-so-tantalizing aromas (after the recent mass infusion of sugar) of the ship’s mess, Zarbon began to make his way to the lifts, long legs taking shorter strides than usual. Why was he putting off a return to his rooms?

Stopping short he let out a shocked gasp, “No…” What the hell was happening to him? ~I’m actually afraid to have to face that child.~

Continuing his interrupted journey to the lifts his thoughts stayed firmly focused on the prince. ~I’m older than he is…actually twice his age. I’m stronger than he is. I’m more experienced than he is…Why do I dread this encounter?~ But he already knew the answer…or at least part of it. Guilt. Whatever he might try to tell himself about the good intentions he had in saving Vegeta from the other two applicants, he knew the boy had been forced to this position. That brought a bitter taste to his mouth, virtually eradicating the lingering sweetness of the candies.

Zarbon was rudely brought from his unhappy contemplation to harsh reality when a large fist barely missed his face, passing within inches of his nose and snagging an earring. ~What the hell?…Raditz?”~

Reaching out and gathering the Megalian’s shirt and pulling him close, Raditz spat in anger, “He’s Saiyan royalty. You fil…filthy whoring bastards….wanting something you’re not even fit to think about.”

Seeing as how they were located directly outside the bar and that Raditz reeked of alcohol, it wasn’t difficult for Zarbon to know what was happening. The younger Saiyan guard was drunk. Arrogant all the Saiyans might be but this one had never so much as looked at him askance before…and now he was threatening him…these harsh words their first communication.

Swaying unsteadily Raditz continued in a more sorrowful tone, “He hasn’t even fully matured yet.” He then slumped dejectedly against the wall of the corridor, releasing his hold on Zarbon’s shirt as he did so.

For whatever reason, Zarbon could not bring himself to punish the warrior for his actions. And he even felt compelled to offer him some small reassurance. Making eye contact he said in his softest and most conciliatory voice, “I am fully aware that your prince is still young. I don’t want to force myself on a completely uninterested child…I’ll wait as long as I can.” With that he straightened his rumpled shirt, plucked his earring off the floor and started once more to head to his chambers, legs stretching into their more accustomed longer stride.

Clearing his mind from the fuzzy haze of intoxication Raditz watched Frieza’s azure right-hand man leave his presence—fervently praying to any god who might still care that he hadn’t made things any worse for the boy he had sworn to protect and whom he had failed at every turn.

When Zarbon neared his chambers he stopped before approaching the door, gathering his resolve to face the person within. Stepping forward the doors opened automatically, keyed as they were to his energy pattern and now Vegeta’s as well.

His eyes found the back of the prince—he was facing the stars visible through the large porthole which like that of Lord Frieza covered the entire outer wall of the compartments, his small form silhouetted by the dim lights of the living room. In other circumstances the setting would be ideal for romance he supposed.

“More light,” commanded Zarbon, still watching the Saiyan youth whose unbound tail fluffed to double its size in reaction to his presence.

Even in the brightened room Vegeta remained facing away from the other occupant, body frozen in fearful anticipation of events he was sure to dislike…sure to find degrading. But he recovered—He was the prince of Saiyans after all. Probable death he had faced down many times, in many forms. Surely he could face Zarbon…one mere mortal after all. Determined, he turned to look at the man. Even in this galactic zoo that was Frieza’s army Zarbon had stood out to Vegeta as a singular striking contradiction.

Vegeta was only recently starting to awaken to sexual impulses, but a child learns early in life how to judge things aesthetically. Zarbon was beautiful. He had never seen any female’s face that could rival the Megalian’s in sheer delicacy and total harmony of features. The cerulean color of his skin only added to the total appeal like the choice and combination of colors in a painting can create the artist’s desired impact on the senses. His rich green hair was long, straight and silky…so different from Vegeta’s own more fur-like hair…Saiyan hair. He was a pretty boy. A very pretty boy. That feminine face rested atop an undeniably masculine body. A combination that left the young prince slightly disoriented. That effect was only heightened by those eyes which could go from a sparkling gold to a more tawny hue within the space of a heartbeat.

Those eyes were watching him now.

Uncomfortable with the silence but deciding he didn’t want to get into a discussion with the hostile young prince, Zarbon merely said, “It’s been a long day. Let’s just shelve our confrontation for the evening and go to bed.”

The tensing of the young man’s body and his chesnut tail snapping side to side in obvious agitation informed Zarbon that his statement had been misinterpreted. Rushing to correct the misunderstanding he clarified, “I only desire to sleep…nothing more.”

Vegeta’s posture did relax somewhat so the Megalian decided to leave it at that and get ready for bed. He went into the bedroom, removed his jewelry and changed into his bedclothing, a antique-gold colored soft long pant of satin. He was actually climbing into bed when he realized that Vegeta wasn’t in the room.

Going back to the living room he found Vegeta sprawled on one of the couches.

“My bed is massive and it’s a lot more comfortable than that sofa. You don’t have to be afraid…I won’t jump you. I only plan on sleeping there, nothing else.”

~Afraid. I’ll show that bastard that a Saiyan fears nothing.~ Barreling to his feet Vegeta stalked to the bedroom snarling and climbed under the covers, staying as close to his edge as possible.

Zarbon soon followed, climbing into bed on his side once again and noting as he did so that Vegeta was still fully clothed and facing toward him. ~I guess he wants to defend his backside.~

“Lights low.”

A full hour later it was Zarbon that remained awake rather than the prince. Mind racing with everything that had happened that day, he was having trouble relaxing. Surprisingly, his thoughts grew warmer as he looked at the dozing royal who very much reminded the Megalian of his father the king.

He had only seen the elder Vegeta twice. The first time he was still a teen himself, newly recruited by Lord Frieza and on Vegetesei with the ice lord. Somehow, he had managed to wander away from Frieza’s entourage and into the private rooms of the planet’s ruling family. The king was a widower, his son’s mother having died in a second difficult labor, but from what he had witnessed that day…not alone.

A kiss. A sweet exchange between the Saiyan sovereign and the younger son of a prominent Saiyan elite. Something had stirred in Zarbon at the sight. A yearning to experience the affection evident in their touches, evident in the smile that thawed the face of the king from its cold elegance to a breathtaking and welcoming splendor. A yearning he had fearfully suppressed and hadn’t experienced since.

~I wonder if a smile would do the same for you princelet… I’m almost afraid to find out.~

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