"Daddy! Daddy!! Daddy look!" A graying man, wearing glasses, appeared suddenly out of the shadows. He looked up, and gave a warm smile.
"Ah, my little inventor! Let's see what you've got there!"
"Mamma! Mamma! Mamma, play with me!" A smiling woman, with blonde hair, stepped forward and reached out her hands. And they were twirling, going round and round and round...
The grip loosened, and their hands slipped. And she was gone...
Insecurity, fear, confusion... The feelings only got stronger as the shadows grew and the colours darkened.
The grass gone, flowers burned, trees uprooted. Buildings were burning...
Loneliness and a very deep grief and a mind numbing fear, at the sight of the devastated land. Figures were lying around, broken and bloodied.
Never to rise again. The blond woman's eyes were staring up at the bright blue sky, unseeing, lifeless. Next to her, the aging man, his glasses broken, as was his body.
"Wake up. Don't go. Mamma? What's wrong. Wake up. Papa? Don't go. I'm right here. Wake up. Mamma! Please. What's wrong? What's happening. Don't go. Papa! Wake up.
The shadows were only getting darker and darker, swallowing up the bodies, and then the loneliness was the only thing that was felt in the all consuming darkness of the...
With a gasp for breath, the Prince's eyes flew open. He quickly took in his surroundings, body tensed, ready to attack any moment. The next instant he knew he was in his own bedroom, and his mate lay beside him. He didn't move, just laid there, frozen, staring off into the dark room. He quickly got his breathing back under control, and with that, his shuddering body and the alien feelings that ran through his mind.
He had never dreamt like this. Never. His dreams were always the red visions of battles and wars, of victory and revenge.
Were did this come from? Who were those people? He didn't remember them among his killings. Because he did remember each of them; each he had faced when killing them... So, who were they?
A minute movement from the woman he held clutched in his arms caught his attention. He shifted somewhat, and looked into her lovely face, framed by strands of that unique blue hair. Blue hair as blue as the sky...
Her lips were moving, but no sound came out. Her eyes were closed, but the eyelids were quivering. Her face marred by a frown and her breathing was irregular.
She was dreaming of painful things. A nightmare.
He frowned. She too was dreaming?
Then it suddenly hit him like a hard blow to the head. She was dreaming and he shared her nightmare. As he studied his new mate's face, he could clearly see the smiling blond woman in her. The woman had to be her mother. And the man, her father...
He did not move away from her warm body, although he wanted to rouse her and demand an answer, or to go to the training halls and beat a couple of elites into the ground as a measure for the sudden rage that flew through him.
How could this be! How?
He did not feel! He did not bond!
Small shivers run through her body and he unconsciously held her tighter. His mind was in turmoil. He snarled at his own thoughts. He could not have begun forming a bond with his mate! No, it was impossible! He did not wanted it, nor did he desire it. He had not reached out with his mind to hers. He only marked her as his own. But that wasn't enough to initiate the smallest form of contact, was it?!
No. This was a fluke. Saiyans had some telepathic abilities. He had just picked up her dream, as they were lying so close.
Though this meant that his mind shields had been temporarily lowered. He didn't like that idea either, but it was better than starting a bond. He didn't want to think about it.
It was ridiculous!
A very soft whimper made him refocus on his lovely girl. She was becoming restless in his arms, actually straining a bit against his firm hold on her. More whimpers. They were actually so soft that he knew that someone without his very sensitive hearing wouldn't have caught them.
She had learned to be silent, even in her sleep.
For once, he didn't want to think in what kind of situations she had been in to have developed this kind of stealth. He knew how slaves were treated. He did it himself. But to think what she had endured... However, being a slave of the Arthrods had one plus for a human like her; they didn't like humanoids, at all. They weren't interested in her body except for the work she could do. It was like a stroke of luck for her, and for him. He had an untainted mate. In that particular area she would learn everything from him, and nobody else would ever possess her like he did. Nobody. Never. That was what he had vowed the moment he had laid eyes on her. His vows were strengthened when he smelled her scent for the first time. And he knew that his vow would never be broken by anything or anyone when he had taken her. He would see to that.
He slowly turned her until her head was buried in the crook of his neck. Her quick breaths caressed his skin, and he suddenly felt that strange sense of tranquillity once more.
Her body twisted and he grew uneasy. Should he wake her up and demand she stopped this nonsense? These nightmares didn't do her any good.
A murmur escaped her lips and her eyes twitched. He unconsciously began to stroke her back, as his tail, still tightly coiled around her waist, brought her body even closer to his, till he felt her entire lenght settle against his. Somehow, it calmed his agitated nerves, and seemed to soothe her too. She quieted somewhat. He purred softly and she let out a deep sigh.
As she feel back into a peaceful sleep, he still held her. He refused to think about their shared dream, dismissing it as an accident, a fluke. He watched quietly through the great window as he saw the first shimmers of the approaching dawn settle on the tips of the rugged mountains.
Soon, he would get up, as he had some business to handle. And some training would do him good.
The bright light wouldn't go away!!
She had tried to ignore it for a while now, but even turning to the other side didn't help that much. The large, reddish sun kept shining harshly through the large window. The window took up most of the wall, giving you the idea you could step right out of the room. She slipped herself deeper under the sheets, but it had no use; she was awake now.
Still, she stayed underneath the sheets, using them as a shield against... against what? She knew where she was, and what had happened last night. Her lower body was sore, and the wound on her neck was very tender too. She winced as she touched it. Why did he bite her?
Was he still here?
She peeked from underneath the blankets into the sparsely furnished room. Still, it exceeded an air of wealth and taste... Though she always had thought the rooms of a Prince would be bathed in luxury, where the shimmering of all the most precious stones and metals from around the universe would blind your eyes.
Well, not here. The whole entourage was rather... soberly. But it suited the Prince; it suited the Saiyans. They reminded her of tales from an old people of Earth, a warrior people... The Spartans! Yes, that was what they were called... She vaguely remembered a tale about a young boy and a stolen fox kit... And a stand of a couple of hundred warriors in a narrow valley against a massive army...
Yes; the Spartans lived a hard life, a sober life, where everything was based on war. They did not indulge in luxury, thinking it would dull their strength and vigilance. And it had paid them off... They had ruled, for a while, almost the whole of... Gri... Kree... Greece! Yes, that was the name of the country!
Bulma smiled as suddenly a small part of her childhood memories came back to her. Even though it was only a tale of history, it made her feel so much better, now that she had just a tiny piece of her Earth back. Maybe she could tell the Prince about them, sometime...
It brought her back to her reality. The Prince...
Where was he?
Obviously, he was not in the room. Perhaps the other? She didn't hear a thing, but that didn't say much.
What was she to do? Should she stay here, in the bed, and wait for his return? Should she? He didn't leave her any orders, nor did he wake her up...
Still, the idea of staying in bed didn't appeal to her. It reminded her of last night, and even though it wasn't that bad... Ok, it had been even kind of nice, and he had made her feel new and wonderful feelings, but... She blushed. It was still a strange idea, doing that, with him.
If she would stay here, it could give him ideas... She blushed even harder, and was quite happy with the fact she was alone. She felt so stupid right now!
And besides, what could she do in a bed? Nothing useful! Maybe she just had to gather her courage and go to the next room.
With her mind made up, she untangled herself from the sheets (apparently she had tossed and turned a lot this night, which wasn't so unusual for her), and slipped out of the bed. She frowned.
Where were her clothes? Her overalls were gone! She remembered that Prince Vegeta wasn't exactly careful with the thing; he had literally torn it off from her, but where were the pieces?
She looked at the spot on the polished floor where they once had lain, almost willing them to reappear. What had happened to them? Who had cleaned them up?
She didn't really envision the Prince doing something like that! The thought of seeing someone as regal as him gathering clothes like a servant brought a smile to her lips.
What to do now? She wasn't going to walk into another room without clothes! Who knows who was in there!?
She looked around the room, hoping to find something she could use, or something that gave her a clue to what to do. Her eyes lingered on a piece of a very dark blue, almost as dark as the night sky back at Earth... Curious, she moved towards the piece of cloth, which was draped over some kind of screen.
She stood quietly before the simple screen and studied both the piece of furniture as well as the cloth. The screen seemed to be made out of some kind of wood. Well, that's the name of the material it reminded her of. But it was much darker than any wood she had ever seen; almost black and with strangely formed wood grains.
Most of the furniture in the room was made of the same material, Bulma noticed, including the bed. Some pieces of furniture were decorated by small lines of imbedded amber-colored stones. The floor was a polished ivory-coloured stone, which felt strangely warm to her bare feet. The sheets of the bed, as well as the upholstery of the only sofa-ish piece of furniture had the same rich ivory colour, lined with gold. The only other colour in the room was the deep blue of the banners which decorated the walls. It was the royal colour of the House of Vegeta, she had discovered.
The piece of cloth was the same royal blue, and as she looked closer at it, she discovered it to be some kind of garment.
Her hands itched to touch the fabric of the garment. It seemed so soft and rich and full! So beautiful it was, and therefore she didn't know if she was allowed to touch it! She could soil it... She had learned this lesson early in her life; never touched anything that seemed to be a class better than you were.
"Don't just stare at it, take it! It's yours, anyway!"
The voice startled Bulma so bad, she tripped over her own feet, and crashed almost into the screen, as she tried to turn around.
She grabbed the screen as to hold herself up, and twisted her head to see the owner of the unfamiliar voice.
It was a girl.
A human girl. She had to be! The same ears, eye-shape, posture, skin, teeth...
"You're human!" She blurted out.
The girl giggled at her stunned expression. "Yes! And so are you! Now that we've established that, maybe we can focus on more important things... Like dressing you... And your name, of course."
Bulma looked at the strange cloth. "Are you sure that's for me?"
"Positive! I've chosen it myself, under strict instructions from His Royal Highness of course..." The girl rolled her eyes. "You know, don't tell him this, but he can be a real pain in the ass, as I'm sure you've noticed. Very demanding and rude... No wait, that's just a common Saiyan personality treat!"
Bulma blinked at the smiling girl, fascinated with her behavior. She seemed so carefree.
"Now, go on! We'll see how it fits!"
Bulma hesitantly pulled the fine piece of clothing from the screen, and started to figure out how to put it on.
"Just pull it on over your head, that's the easiest! Here, let me help you." She bustled around Bulma, helping her with the dress.
Bulma looked down at herself, and admired the smooth way the fabric moved over and around her body. The long dress was sleeveless, and had a deep V-neck, making her a bit uncomfortable at the amount of cleavage it showed. She noticed that the other girl was wearing something familiar in fabric and cut, but in a different colour, a deep dark red.
"Erm... Underwear?" Bulma asked softly, as she looked at her pale skin. She wasn't used at seeing so much of her own body. And this dress seemed very unpractical to her; it almost reached her feet. How was she supposed to move quickly and efficiently in this?!
"No underwear... I don't think the Saiyans know the meaning of that word. And they like to watch. And they like to taunt others with what's theirs. Always looking for a fight." Now she sounded not so cheerful anymore.
"Oh," Bulma knew not what else to say. She quietly looked at the girl, who was indeed not so happy go lucky as she first appeared. There were shadows in her eyes.
"My name's Bulma. What's yours?"
"Sorry! Completely forgotten that! Bulma, is it? Nice name. My name's Lydia. Nice to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too."
"All right! Now, there's no underwear, but we do have some other lovely ornaments which go with this particular kind of dress-style! You see, what we are wearing is also a sign of our rank, you know! Only Royalty and Elite dress like this- the females I mean- and of course they have enough wealth to adorn their mates accordingly. Now, Bulma, if you- actually, I should call you Highness, but I like your name much more, and besides, I don't think you appreciate the title. Do you know that your name isn't known to any of us? Your just Prince Vegeta's Mate, which is of course a very enviable position," the way she scrunched up her nose belied her words, and caused Bulma to smile.
"Is he that bad?" She asked, a bit troubled.
Lydia looked straight into her eyes. "He's the most toughest, cruelest son of a bitch there is. He's as cold as ice and as hard as stone... He's unpredictable and has no mercy... I wouldn't trade with you for all the power in this universe."
Bulma looked away from the open honesty on the girl's face.
"I know what you mean; I've seen him kill my friend... At least, I think she's dead... I don't even know what happened to her!"
"Oh... Oh, darling... I'm so sorry. He's violent, and he lets nothing stand in his way... The Prince, he's... I don't know what exactly made him take you as his mate, but Saiyans are very possessive and protective of what they consider theirs. They will stop at nothing to get what they want, and they will do anything to keep it. Maybe he considered her as a threat in some way or another."
"But... She didn't do anything wrong... Not enough to get killed, anyway! He had no right to kill her!"
"To us, they don't have any right... But you and me, we were raised with values very much different compared to the rest of the universe... Here, the strongest rule, and they have no pity on the weak..."
Her face got a somewhat dreamy expression.
"I was twelve when Earth was purged, and you?"
"Seven... no eight. I was eight years old. I don't remember much..."
"I have forgotten things too. I've forgotten most of the purge itself... All the people that died. But I, I remember the trees in winter, with snow on it, and how we used to skate on the ice, and drank hot chocolate and ate pea soup... I really didn't like it very much. My mother did make a very good pea soup; it was so thick, it looked more like some weird kind of hotchpotch, but according to my family, it was delicious. I really didn't think so... I used to live in Holland, and you?"
"Cool! I would like to talk to you about the things you still remember. My memories are fading, and I am scared that soon, everything will be dull and gray, just fractions. I don't want to forget my family and home..."
"What happened to you after the purging?"
"Well, I think I've got better off than you did. I was bought by slave traders who went to the planet Urtiry, where a humanoid race, the Urtiré lived. I was sold to a family, where I became their servant. They were very kind, and very honest and just. I had nothing to complain about. If I became sick, I was treated, when I had a nightmare, the matriarch herself came to comfort me. I was more than a mere servant to them. They had such large hearts... The whole race was good. My family had bought me, to right some wrong in the universe. I was happy, even though I did not know what happened to my family, and missed them terribly. I still miss them so much. Because, I wasn't home when the purge started, you know. I was away on camp with my class, and I never made it home... I don't know if my family is alive or dead."
"You'll never be sure..."
"No, I never will be sure. I will always look out for them and have hope to find one of my sisters, or my parents again. And it eats at you, you know."
Both were now sitting on the large bed, companionably and at ease with each other. Lydia was unconsciously twisting a long, small piece of cloth adorned with the same golden stones as she had found imbedded in the furniture.
"My Dad and Mama were both killed, right before my eyes... Though I can't remember how or why, I still see their bodies lying before me. They were so still! I was picked up, and I don't remember much of the voyage on the very large slave ship. So many people, wailing and screaming. Only snippets in my memories are there now. I was taken away, by a rather sour smelling creature, but then... Next thing, I learned to work for the Arthrods. They were rather harsh, and very strict, and they didn't like me, a humanoid, but I survived. Then, a couple of years later, I met Kryt, my friend. We were to share a room, and it somehow clicked. We became fast friends and we worked well together. I miss her very much." Bulma told her honestly, glad she had found someone who she could talk to, just as she could talk to Kryt.
"It hurts to loose them just after you dare to start thinking that maybe, things will get a little better." Lydia's face was grim, her words bitter.
"Just I started to feel really at home with my new family, the Saiyans came. They ruined everything. The wonderful people and the beautiful planet. It was just one squad, but they took the whole planet out. I was fifteen, almost sixteen. They were much more brutal and cruel than the race that purged Earth. Much more..." Lydia shuddered violently as she stared unseeingly ahead of her, lost in her past.
"I didn't know it then, but the Saiyans were just beginning gathering human females. I am sure you wonder why human females, and what happened to their own females. Well, for a couple of hundred years, the Saiyan male/female ratio became more and more unbalanced. Less and less females were born. Nowadays, it's about thirty to forty males to one female. The fact that most of them didn't make it past their tenth year, due to several causes, didn't help the situation either.
Still, the whole race was against breeding with other races. The half-breeds were so much weaker than full blooded Saiyans. That, of course, could not do. Still, Bardock, a very much accomplished warrior and scientist, was given the task by the current King to seek for a race which would be a somewhat worthy match for the Saiyan genes. And he found one. Just one. The human race, one of the weakest in the whole universe! The irony! Mixing the human genes with the Saiyans' would not only create a child with a strength equal to their Saiyan fathers, but even with the possibility to surpass it! Isn't it great?!" Lydia smiled, but it was full of sarcasm and bitterness.
"The Urtiré had taken in a large amount of human children, so therefore, they were a prime target. Their compassion and kindness had gotten them nothing but death. The Saiyans didn't even try to negotiate a deal with them; they just took what they wanted! Leaving the whole planet in flames, the people dead. Now, it has become a mining colony.
They Saiyans went through the streets, through the houses, searching for human females, woman. The men and boys were just killed out right. They had no value or any importance.
My family made me hide, though I did not want to; I wanted to leave them, and so maybe save them from being killed. They didn't allow it. So they hid me, under the floor, where a secret small cellar was.
A Saiyan came. He searched the house, and killed my family. Everyone, even the children. Ruthlessly, in cold blood. I still hear Titié scream... I was silent. I didn't move, and still, somehow, like he smelled me, which he actually did, he found me. He hauled me out of the cellar and put me down. He was looking at me, making no sounds at all. After a while, I dared to look up.
His whole armor was splattered with blood. His face and hair, all splattered with blood. Unruly hair, like all Saiyans. He had scar, running down his cheek," she trailed it over her own face, and Bulma knew she didn't do it knowingly. She wasn't there with Bulma anymore. She was deep in her memories.
"But what scared me most was the look in his eyes. Fire, and... I didn't know then what that look meant. I was completely ignorant about those kind of things. But I soon found out.
He smirked at me, and said: "You're quite the small thing, aren't you? Cute. That's what you are." He then reached out and ran a hand through my hair. He seemed quite taken with the colour. I flinched then, and took a step back. That didn't sit well by him, and he pulled me back, by my hair. Then, he murmured something about never having found someone so fetching, and proceeded to rip my clothes off. He..." She stopped then, and gave Bulma an uneasy smile.
"I don't think I have to tell you what he did. He was the leader of the squad and he took me for himself. He once had a Saiyan mate, but she had died a long time ago. Apparently, their bond was non-existent, otherwise he wouldn't have made it."
There it was again, the mentioning of a bond. What was that? Bulma wondered, but remained quiet and let Lydia tell her story.
"I became his new mate. I became the mate of the one who had found the solution to their little problem. Bardock." A voice was now strangely blank, her face void of any expression.
She fell silent, and didn't look at Bulma.
Bulma hesitantly placed a hand on the girl's shoulder. She was shivering.
"Sssh," Bulma didn't know what to say, but tried to comfort her like she had comforted Kyt so many times, by just being there for her. She rubbed soothing circles on the girl's back.
"But this is not the worst. No, it isn't. I tried so hard, I fought so hard, but... Saiyans are possessive, like I told you. Some more than others. Bardock, the Prince... They consume all. They want everything. They bind you to them, with everything they can use.
He didn't only take my body... Some Saiyans are quite content with that, and so was he, Bardock, when he first mated. But with me... I don't know why, but he didn't stop with my body. He invaded my mind and my soul.
He consumed my thoughts, and filled my heart. He wanted to possess all. He bonded me. Took everything I had, everything I didn't want to give, and he just broke down my defenses and took it. He broke me, until I gave in, and accepted it, accepted his Bond. I can't explain it, because it isn't like anything we had known on Earth. People there talked about soulmates, but if they had known how far such a thing could go... It's like a presence which is always there in your mind and soul and heart. It doesn't let go, it doesn't relent.
Some girls have managed to keep their mates out of their system, only sharing their bodies. But he was too strong for me. Too determined. I'll never be free again. Never. This thing reaches so far; even death is no way out, no obstacle. And it frightens me so."
Lydia looked up at the silent girl sitting besides her, tears brimming in her eyes.
"I hope for you that the Prince indeed stays with his belief that feelings are foolish, and that a Bond is a weakness. Because if he ever finds out what kind of power and control he can hold over you with this...
Bardock said one to me that having me completely for himself, with everything that's me laying bare and naked before him, and he possessed all of it, was like he finally found his goal. With me, he had no superior, no concurrent. I am his home and his destiny. So he says... A Bond is something mystical, but very much sacred in Saiyan culture, though by some, it is seen as a weakness.
I hope the Prince will continue to believe that. Otherwise, you'll never be free again. There will be no escaping."
Bulma felt cold shivers run over her body. By looking in Lydia's eyes, she know she was not lying or exaggerating. To her, it was a real terror, and Bulma didn't know how to handle another possible danger this soon.
Indeed, as she heard this, maybe she should be glad the Prince only wanted children of her...
Sorry for the late update. I hope the next chapter will be out sooner. Thanks for all the lovely reviews! They really help me a lot!! I hope you liked this chapter. I think some people will like the appearance of Lydia; they've asked for other human girls to show up. So, tell me what you think!! Thanks for reading!