The door to the bedroom cracked open and a tall male slipped inside. Turles could not believe his luck that this wing was totally deserted. For a royal’s bedroom he was honestly expecting…well more. The room had a rather sterile feel to it. He had been casually glancing around the empty room when he spotted an ornate box resting on the carved table in the room. Curious the pirate checked and was surprised to find the box was not locked and looked inside to see a large circular golden amulet with a large cut ruby in the center laying inside.
“What’s a little beauty like you doing in a place like this?” He whispered to the jewel as he picked it up off the table. The delicate gold chain twinkled in the low light as the saiyan examined the amulet. “Especially with someone like Cooler. I didn’t know he wore jewelry.”
His scouter alerted him to someone coming his way, and he cursed under his breath. Turles shoved the amulet under his armor as he quickly ducked out of the room and headed back to the rest of the saiyans in Cooler’s palace.
He grinned as he finally made his way back without his little excursion being noticed.
“The hell you’ve been, pirate?” A voice hissed in his ear.
Ok, almost without being noticed.
“Oh, just looking around.” Turles lowly responded. “Don’t get your tail jerked in a knot, Raditz. I was only curious.”
The long haired saiyan growled over the nonchalant tone Turles used before silencing himself when Prince Vegeta’s eyes cut to him.
“Just stay out of trouble, Turles. The prince owed you a favor and now you’re here. Don’t screw up these negotiations with your lust for shiny things.”
“Kinda hard to do that when there aren’t exactly an shiny things about.” Turles muttered under his breath. “Relax, the only thing I picked up was a small trinket. I doubt it will even be missed even after we’re gone.”
Negotiations were boring as hell Turles decided once he returned to his ship and went his own way from the royals. All in all it was rather disappointing that he wasted his favor with the prince for a look inside one of the Cold’s palaces and there wasn’t anything worth going back to steal.
Shedding his armor he was reminded of the ruby amulet. Taking a closer look he noticed it was old. But the jewel was flawless, no scratches to mar its surface or natural imperfections. Turning it in his hands he checked the back for any inscriptions and found nothing.
He moved to set the necklace aside when he caught a flash of some thing from the ruby in the corner of his eye. Turles rubbed his eyes. He could have sworn he saw eyes staring at him. Picking the necklace up again he brushed his thumb over the jewel before convincing himself it was a trick of the light and his tired brain at work. A pulse of warmth shot through his hand as the ruby lit up with a rose colored glow. The pirate dropped the necklace and immediately stood to destroy the thing when a trail of fire spun for a second and vanished leaving behind a…..woman. Her head was bowed in submission to him.
“You summoned me, Master.”
Turles blinked a couple of times as he looked at the woman. She wore a black sleeveless shirt that stopped along her midriff. Black matching bottoms that ended halfway between her knees and calves had oval shaped pieces cut off in the outside of her thighs. A long pink sash was tied around her waist, and golden cuffs around her wrists and ankles gleamed in the light of the pirate’s quarters.
She looked saiyan if the black, spiky hair and the black tail were any indication, but since she…came out of the amulet, Turles wasn’t completely sure what she was. When he remained silent, the woman looked up in his direction with a slightly puzzled expression on her face.
“You are not Lord Cooler.” She said in a soft and matter of fact tone. “Am I correct that you now possess the amulet?”
“Uh…” Turles could not think of anything to say. He took a look around the room. He hadn’t been drinking so this wasn’t a whiskey induced dream. “Who are you, and where did you come from?”
“I am your servant, my master.” She bowed her head a bit. “I came from the amulet. What do you desire, master?”
“Master?” Surely his crew knew better than to pay a street walker for him! “Did one of my crew put you up to this? I swear Almond knows better than to find someone of your profession to help me relax.”
The woman tilted her head to the side in confusion. The pirate had to admit that the woman looked adorable and beautiful.
“You’ve met another arzu before, master?”
“A what?” The alpha asked as he blinked in shock once more. Arzu or in his native tongue, wish granter. “Everyone knows those things are just make believe. If there were such a thing, I’d wish for a pile of those rainbow colored jewels from Apollo V. Those things would make me-!”
A clinking sound interrupted his train of thought, and when he looked down, his eyes nearly fell out of his skull.
A glittering pile of multicolored stones about as high as his waist was sitting there in front of him. He shakily reached out with a hand to pick up one of the gems. It was solid and had a significant weight to it before he dropped it back in the pile.
“What else do you wish for, master?” The tone of her words sounded amused, but when Turles looked back up at her, her face was blank.
“I…who….how…what ARE you!?” The woman frowned softly.
“Are you displeased?” she asked as her hand hovered hesitantly. “I can provide you more jewels if that is your wish.”
“Forget the jewels! What are you?” Turles snapped.
“I am an arzu, servant to whom ever possesses the amulet.” With a click of her fingers the jewels vanished before she bowed her head to him. “Forgive me if I’ve displeased you, master.”
“Ok just….just stop with the bowing.” The pirate said sitting on his bed and rubbing his face to settle his thoughts. “Ok so you are an…arzu. Ha…I’ve got a magical wish granting woman in my bedroom. What the hell am I saying! This is not normal!” Turles growled pulling at his hair.
“Alright, one thing at a time. What- what do I call you?” Turles asked the woman.
“Whatever you wish to call me, master.”
“Well what did Cooler call you?”
“Slave.” The pirate flinched a bit. There was no way in hell he was calling her ‘slave’. Figures the bastard called her that.
“And the one before him?”
“Slave.” He was seeing a pattern here.
“Has anyone ever called you by your name?”
“I do not know.” She said not meeting his gaze. “My name is one of a handful of restrictions I must abide by.”
“So there’s rules to this wish thing.” That made sense actually. “What are they?”
“There are certain wishes beyond my powers to grant. I can not kill anyone, or make someone feel emotions they don’t already possess. I can not grant immortality or remove a person’s free will. I must obey any order given by the owner of the amulet unless it is outside of my powers. I may not harm my master in anyway, nor may I touch the amulet. If my master wishes to use magic to divine answers to a question, I am unable to provide an answer if the knowledge is unknown.”
“You didn’t say anything about how many wishes I get. Is there no limit?”
“I am at your service as long as you possess the amulet.”
Turles picked up the amulet and gathered his thoughts. He had no limits on his number of wishes. True he couldn’t kill someone with a wish, but he was willing to bet with some creative wording it would be within the rules to create a scenario that ultimately killed someone. It hadn’t occurred to him to even ask for immortality, but why would some one even want that? He could wish for anything! Any treasure, any item, hell he could probably make himself a paradise on a world only he and the crew knew about. An actual treasure planet with the best of everything from any world he’d seen or heard of!
“What would you prefer I call you?” He asked carefully wording his question.
“I will be fine with whatever you wish, Master.” Ok, so questions could be given an indirect answer. She couldn’t tell him her real name for some reason and asking her was just getting more of this…..
“Tell me an actual name I may call you by.” Her eyes narrowed and he could have sworn she was staring into his soul.
It was a pretty name, and it made something in the back of his mind itch for a distracting moment before it vanished. Turles pushed it away as he took in the woman before him.
“Very well, Ara. My name is Turles.” A smirk started to grow on his face as the fact that he could now wish for anything he could ever want was now sinking into his brain. “I do believe this will be the beginning of an interesting and very profitable partnership.”
Turles was sitting in a large oversized chair with a large book in his lap when Ara emerged from the amulet the saiyan constantly kept around his neck ever since she revealed herself to him several weeks ago. They were currently in one of several lush sitting rooms in her master’s mansion on the paradise world he asked her to create for him and his followers. This particular room lead out to a balcony with sheer white curtains serving as a sort of privacy barrier.
The arzu studied her master for a few long moments in silence as his eyes flickered over the words in the tome. He was an unusual master to be sure. While he had used her power like the majority of her previous masters, he treated her differently.
He would be courteous when he requested something, and he had this strange habit of asking her thoughts and opinions whenever they spoke. Her master treated her more like a person than a slave or a tool to be used, and Ara didn’t quite know how to react to that. In her many centuries of life, she couldn’t remember a time a previous master had similar behaviors.
“Ara,” Turles’ voice drew her from her thoughts. He was still looking at the book with an intense expression on his face, but one of his hands was beckoning to her. “Come here for a moment, please.”
She walked over to stand in front of him, and glanced at the book the alpha was reading. Her heart gave an unexpected ache at the sight of the moonflower on the page he was reading. The picture also made a sharp pain flare up briefly in her head, but it was gone before she could even react to it.
“I was reading up on an old saiyan myth, and I wondered if you could answer some questions for me.”
“I will do my best, Master Turles.” The pirate glanced up at her with a slight scowl on his face that made Ara want to smile.
“I’ve told you that you don’t have to call me that.” He muttered as he pulled her down to sit on his lap once he moved his book to the armrest of the chair.
This was another thing that made Turles different. Her previous masters would often use her body in a sexual manner, but the most Turles would do was hold her or make her sit on his lap while he did other things. She wanted to tense up, to flee the foreign sensations, but her body refused to listen to her. She could not disobey orders given to her no matter how long ago it may have been.
“I remember, but I was ordered by a previous master to always show respect to the one who owns me.” Her tone had gone flat making the man frown. “I can not do as you request.”
“We will be discussing that at a later date, but if you must call me something like that, call me captain. Master makes me feel weird. Especially if my partner calls me that.”
Ara couldn’t help but smile softly over his words. He still was doing things that made her confused as to how to view him, but slowly, she was growing to like this master. She tested the word in her mind and found the command allowed it in place of master.
“As you desire, Captain Turles.” Amusement colored her tone making the alpha roll his eyes. “What would you like me to answer?”
“I’ve been reading about the myth of Kaosaren.” He pulled the book over so that they both could see the vague image of a saiyan woman surrounded by a reddish aura of power on the yellowing pages. “ I know that some myths and legends are based on fact, is Kaosaren one of those?”
“I’m unfamiliar with the name.” she said looking over the image in the text. “What happens in the myth? If you tell me the story, perhaps I can give you an answer?” Turles could feel how nervous she was to admit that and had a feeling other masters had punished her for such admissions. Who’s to say she didn’t know the myth by a different name though.
“The legend goes that Kaosaren was the child Tarro, one of her divine children, blessed by Kalious as well for her fierce spirit and love of combat. She was beautiful, and shone like a magnificent star so great was her power. It was said that she was too powerful however. The other gods grew concerned and even jealous of her. Other’s still feared what would happen if she ever strayed from Tarro’s teachings. Kaosaren learned of the whispers and the desires to take from her part of what she was and became enraged when they would not listen to reason and tried to bind her without the consent of Tarro or Kalious. Consumed by their betrayal her full power was unleashed for the first time ever. Her anger shook the planet itself and her power shone in the air like a crimson star. All could feel her powers as they grew to be limitless, an unending well of hate that lashed out and created the vast wastes of Vegetasei. Saddened by her child’s lack of control Tarro and Kalious appeared and with heavy hearts bound Kaosaren and her powers so she could never wreak such destruction again. And to punish those who played a part in betraying Kaosaren and bringing their worst fears to pass, Tarro and Kalious stripped the other gods of all but a single domain each forever condemning them to remain minor gods.” Turles watched as Ara’s hand gently brushed the image in the book as he finished the tale.
“That is not how I remember things happening.” She said a strange hardness in her eyes as she stared at the ancient drawing. “Tarro and Kalious, the other gods…if they had a part in what happened it was beyond my knowledge. “
“You remember this happening?” Turles said surprised. “It was real?”
“I can hardly forget my birth.” Ara said softly before looking away from the book. “They named me Star of Chaos…I had no idea mortals knew the story, however inaccurate this version is.”
“Hold on…back up.” The alpha said standing in front of Ara after sliding her from his lap. “You mean to say you are Kaosaren?”
“I’ve never heard that name used before now, but yes I believe this myth is referring to myself. I remember very clearly rending the earth and turning it to crystal sands in my wrath.”
“So what really happened? Are you really the child of Tarro?”
“I can not say if I am or not, Captain Turles, it is beyond my knowledge.” She said softly. “The only ‘gods’ that I saw that day were the Kais. They are the ones that bound me to the amulet, that made me what I am now.” One look at her was all Turles needed to see how much anger she had for the described celestial beings. Her form, while submissive, was trembling with rage and the pirate could almost see the crimson fire in her eyes. He could not blame her in the least. Ara was forced into this eternal servitude, unable to even exercise free will if who ever possessed the amulet wished otherwise. There was one thing he wanted to know though and he had a feeling he needed to order her to tell him.
“Tell me why they bound you.”
“I don’t remember.” She answered in a tone that more than hinted at her pain. “I remember the rage I felt, the power to crush worlds with a mere thought. I remember the pain as these appeared and my powers bottling up inside me to the point I thought I was drowning.” She said holding out her wrists showing her wristbands. For the first time, Turles realized they were not merely part of her outfit. Symbols were etched deep into the metal and began to glow with the same ruby light the amulet had when he first summoned Ara forth.
“I can’t read what they say.”
“I would be surprised and impressed if you could, Captain Turles.” Ara said in her dry wit. “It is the Kai’s holy language, it serves as the contract I am bound by.”
“Is there a way to break it?” Ara’s eyes widened in shock before staring up at her master unsure she heard him correctly.
“Is there a way to free you from the binding?” Still in shock she nodded.
“Tell me how to free you.” Turles was angry. These ‘gods’ had forced this woman into slavery for centuries. He wasn’t sure why but whatever reason she was punished couldn’t merit all but destroying her free will, and he refused to allow it to continue. Not on his watch.
“My master must use a wish, using my actual name.”
“That’s it?” Turles asked surprised. “It can’t be that simple. Surely there is a catch?” Ara nodded.
“Should my master do this and use the wrong name, the amulet will vanish and any wishes I have granted my master will also be undone.”
Turles cringed at that information. It was clear that was done to discourage someone from helping Ara, and that made him angrier than before. Who gave those beings the right to decide a living person’s life like that!
“Tell me your real name.” He ordered with his arms crossed. “I’m ending this now.”
“I can’t.” Ara replied softly. The pirate cursed under his breath. Of course she couldn’t, that would make setting her free too easy. His gaze fell on the amulet as it sparkled in the sunlight. Just because she didn’t know didn’t mean no one else did.
“I wish to possess the knowledge of your actual name.” Ara’s eyes slid closed as the familiar red aura outlined her body where she sat, the sign she used her magic to search for answers. After several moments, the glow vanished, and Ara shook her head before opening her eyes.
“I can not grant your wish, Captain.”
“Damn it.” The pirate growled as he turned away from her to get his temper under control. He didn’t want Ara to think he was angry with her; this wasn’t her fault. Ara was the victim in all of this. He ran a hand through his hair before turning back to her.
“It’s obvious we will need more information in order to set you free, Ara. I wonder if some of the other myths in this book are about you before you were bound…” He picked up the book and started to flip through the pages mumbling the titles under his breath.
The woman just watched him feeling shocked that the pirate wanted to free her so badly. It made no sense to her. Her master was angry he couldn’t free her? Why would he even want to when she could give him almost anything he could ever want? No other master had even considered releasing her.
“…Navat and Ara…”
“Yes, Captain?” The sounds of her name pulled her back to the present once more.
“Sorry, it’s the name of a myth. The Tale of Navat and Ara. It’s a Tuffle legend?” Turles looked confused for a moment. “How did that get in a saiyan book? Kinda funny that you share a name…hang on a minute!” He started to read out loud.
“Many eons ago, there was a beautiful saiyan woman named Ara. She was kind and gentle and took joy in tending the gardens given to her care by the moon goddess. Ara fell in love and was betrothed to a soldier called Navat, whom she found injured in her garden and nursed him back to health. They were very happy with each other and were often seen walking the lush gardens by the Crystal Rivers. Navat in the saiyan tradition gave to Ara a pendant of crystal and diamond one pleasant night when the moon was bright. They mated and wished to start a family soon, but their happiness was not meant to last.
“Unfortunately, a demon had seen Ara’s beauty and kind heart, and wanted to take her for his own bride. One day, he rose up from the jungles while Navat was hunting. Ara tried to fend the demon off, but she was not strong enough. Before the demon could steal her away, Navat returned was enraged. He attacked the demon intent on destroying the creature. Sadly, the demon was too strong, and bathed in the green light of his powers, he killed Navat in front of Ara. Her heart wrenching cry of mourning pierced the air as she clung to her mate’s body. The demon snatched the pendant from Ara’s neck, shattering it into a fine sand intent on making Ara his wife with Navat out of the way. However, the saiyan gods had heard the gentle woman’s cries and were furious with the demon, he was struck down by the gods for trying to defy the sanctity of a mating bond. Ara was left alone to weep for her murdered alpha in what would be known as the Wastes of Vegetasei with her tears becoming diamonds hidden among the crystal sands…”
Turles trailed off with a frown before closing the book for a moment while keeping a finger between the pages to mark his place.
“Well, that was depressing.” A glance at Ara made him wonder if she recognized anything. The stories were completely different except for them including the wastes. Ara had said she created them, and he had no reason not to believe her.
“I feel like I’ve heard this story before.” Turles said tiredly rubbing his eyes. “But it was a saiyan myth.”
“The tuffles and saiyans share a world do they not?” Ara asked hesitantly. It made Turles smile as he gestured for her to continue. “Is it possible the saiyans have a similar story with different names?”
“Its been so long since that was the case, most saiyans forget that fact. The tuffles and saiyans haven’t shared Vegetasei for over 800 years. The tuffles died as the planet became harsh and ill-suited for them while the saiyans thrived.” His eyes widened a bit. “Thank you, Ara, I think I remember the saiyan myth.”
He flipped a few pages and found the story he was more familiar with.
“The tale of Brassic and Karoti. I’d never been all that fond of it when I was younger because it’s a love story of sorts.”
“Brassic was a mighty warrior, skilled in combat and regarded by his fellow warriors for his prowess in battle. One day, he and his men were ambushed by a troop of tuffle soldiers in a dispute over territory near a river. Brassic fought bravely, but he was badly wounded, knocking him into the river. A fever set in and he was nearly lost. The alpha woke to find himself in a lush garden along the river, an area he had never been before.
“In that moment he first laid eyes on Karoti. She was the most beautiful woman the alpha had ever seen, delicate and slender wearing robes of grey and blue. For her weak appearance, she was strong, and had been the one to pull him from the water. Karoti nursed him back to health using some of the many plants in what Brassic learned was her home, for Karoti had lost her family to war as a young child. With no alpha to protect her, Tarro took pity on the girl and lead her to the garden and gave it into Karoti’s care. For weeks, Brassic lived with Karoti, learning about her and from her. She was gentle and pure hearted, and above all kind and generous. On the eve of his planned departure, Brassic took Karoti and under the moon wove a moonflower into her hair and gave her a pendant he fashioned from a crystal pulled from the river. The alpha was a warrior for the King, and he was honor bound to return to his lord to beg for release from his position. Brassic swore by the moonlight he would return for Karoti with an appropriate bond token, and when he did they would be mated, he would live with her in the gardens.
“Months passed and Brassic was finally able to return to Karoti, free of all obligations. When he arrived to the gardens, so over joyed was Karoti that flowers burst into bloom through out the garden and spread even into the river. They mated that very evening by Tarro’s light, and Brassic gave to his mate a beautiful moonstone to wear, carved in the likeness of a lotus. For a time they were happy, deeply in love and together in all that they did.
“Then came the day another entered the gardens. They were a traveler weak from hunger by the name of Caul. Karoti was quick to help him, as was her kind nature. Once the man was rested, Brassic bade the man to leave, not trusting him around his mate. Karoti, kind as she was, prepared for the stranger food and water for his journey and with that the man left them. Weeks later while Brassic was out of the gardens hunting, Caul returned and approached Karoti while she tended plants near the river. Afraid, Karoti asked him to leave, for she could see the darkness now within the stranger she had helped. The ground blackened under the alpha as he entered the garden intent on making Karoti his, desiring her for her pure heart and beauty. Sensing his mate’s fear, Brassic left his kill and returned home as fast as he could. He found Karoti fighting desperately to escape the stranger. Enraged, Brassic attacked the other alpha driving him away from his mate. Rather than make sure the stranger was gone, Brassic immediately went to Karoti wanting to make sure his mate was unharmed.
“Satisfied his mate was safe, Brassic held her close and kissed her deeply. He only realized his mistake as the stranger struck him down from behind. Karoti begged him to stay with her, but it was for naught; and Brassic passed from life. The stranger then took Karoti from her home, the gardens withering to nothing as her grief destroyed them. He took her to the temple of the dark god, Nasu, for whom the stranger was a follower of. Caul shoved Karoti before the alter and pleaded for Nasu to rid Karoti of her bond to Brassic so he might take her as his own, shattering the lotus Brassic had given to her as an offering to the dark god. Hearing his plea, Karoti found her grief pushed aside as rage filled her for this stranger to dare think he could take her beloved’s place. In her anger, a well of power she had never used was opened, and in a blaze of light the woman destroyed him and the temple itself. Her mate’s killer gone, Karoti fell to her knees weeping for her lost mate and screamed her lost to the sky mourning her lost love. Nasu however took notice of the distraught woman who destroyed their temple and would not let such an action go unanswered. The god’s servants, demons of purple skin and white hair appeared, prepared to kill Karoti. With sorrowful eyes, Karoti embraced their attacks welcoming her death so she might be reunited with her beloved Brassic. With a flash of red light, both Karoti and the demons vanished never to be seen again.”
“That is a sad story.” Ara said quietly after Turles finished reading it.
“Could it be about you? It’s similar enough to the tuffle myth with the name Ara in it that it could be the same story.” Ara sadly shook her head.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know, Captain Turles. It does not strike me as familiar, nor do I remember anything.” She seemed pensive for a moment. “There was one thing…”
“The demon, they were purple skinned with white hair…that is how the Kai appeared.”
“Well, that does seem to suggest that it might be related to your past.” The alpha squeezed the bridge of his nose as he closed his eyes. He fell into another chair close to where Ara was sitting as he leaned back with a sigh. “I’ll keep looking to see what else I can find. I do have a large collection of mythology books that I’ve acquired over the years.”
Already the arzu could see that the man was thinking about the other books in his collection, and it made something in her chest twist at the effort he was putting into all this research. It made her feel warm in a way she couldn’t remember feeling before, and that scared her.
She was use to having cold and cruel masters that only cared for themselves. Those that were not, became callous and filled with greed until it destroyed them. What made this man so much different than the others? Why was he doing things like this?
From what she found out about his past in the weeks she had been with the pirate, Ara knew that Turles was not a nice person. He was selfish, sadistic, and always looking for an opportunity that would some way better himself. He did have certain morals that he abided by, but those virtues didn’t outweigh his sins.
She seemed to shrink in on herself before she took a deep breath visibly gathering her courage. Ara hoped that her master wouldn’t take offense to her questions.
“Captain?” Turles looked up surprised Ara addressed him first. She was very hesitant he could see, meaning she was likely doing something other masters had not wanted her to do but had not forbid her.
“I…..I don’t understand.” Turles frowned.
“What don’t you understand?”
“Why are you….what is so important about setting me free?” Ara bit her lower lip as her eyes fell to the floor. She couldn’t understand Turles’ motivation for trying to free her.
“Because it’s wrong to take away someone’s freedom.”
His words made her head jerk up so fast that Turles was surprised that she didn’t get whiplash. He couldn’t help but smile at the adorably confused expression on her face.
“I’m sure you know by now that I’m no saint.” The captain’s smile turned humorless for a second. “I lie, cheat, steal, and kill if it benefits me in some fashion, but there are some things that I just can’t stand. Slavery is one of them if there is no good reason. From what I’ve found out so far about your situation, you should not have been bound like this. Even I can admit that it’s wrong and cruel…and I want to help. Something happened to make the Kais step in and I don’t think it was your fault. Ara, you are just a casualty from whatever happened. Even if you aren’t a victim and you did something to merit a punishment, I think your binding for 800 years at least is more than enough punishment.”
“I still don’t understand.” She said softly. “You are as you described. I do not see how you benefit from setting me free.”
“You will one day I think.” Turles said fingering the red stone around his neck. “The fact you accept your servitude to assholes like Cooler as the way things are, and you don’t understand why I’m doing this…..It’s wrong. And trust me when I say that if I have an issue with it, so will a vast majority of the universe. Have you been punished for asking questions like just now?” He asked with a sinking suspicion.
“Yes.” Ara admit looking down anxiously. She was obviously afraid he was displeased.
“I order you to ask me if you have questions or are confused by something whether it is an order I give you or anything in general.”
“Captain?” He could see from her face she didn’t understand.
“It won’t do to have my partner uneducated.” He said picking up his book. “If you don’t understand something, how will you be able to best help me and do as I ask?” He didn’t like putting it into how to best help ‘him’ but it was the easiest way to make her understand his motives. Ara had given him things he’d never even been able to dream of before he stole that amulet. Maybe it was only fair he do the same for her.
“Ara, would you come here.” Turles asked setting down the package. They hadn’t been successful in finding anything else about what happened to Ara in weeks. He’d poured through tomes and certainly put her to work seeking information and conjuring obscure texts for him, but nothing.
“You called for me, Captain.” The arzu asked appearing in a small spiral of flame. She was much less timid now he noticed. It also lead to him realizing something else. He handed her the package he picked up on his recent market trip.
“This is for you.” She smiled shyly but stared at the parcel briefly before looking back at him with the adorable confused look on her face.
“What do you wish me to do with it?” He couldn’t contain the chuckle that escaped him.
“It’s a gift, for you.” He explained with a grin. Seeing she wasn’t grasping the meaning of a gift he tried something else. “A reward for having pleased me with your service.” Ara’s smile lit up her face then, and it was infectious. “Go ahead and open it.”
Inside was a beautiful dress of blue silk. He was actually quite proud at having picking it out and gotten the sizing close. He assumed she could fix that with magic if need be. The look on her face confused him though.
“Have….have I displeased you, Captain?” Her tone was soft and she was genuinely confused by his gift, possibly even upset.
“What? No, this is a gift remember. You haven’t displeased me.” He held back a frown over her reaction. Just seeing that told him Ara had never been given anything out of kindness, and that made Turles upset. He pushed the feelings away to focus on her in the present.
“But you have given me clothing, do you not like my appearance? I can change my attire if you wish?”
“Are you telling me you even wear what your master tells you to? You can’t just change your clothes because you want to?” She nodded fingering the luxurious silk of the dress.
“I had wondered why I appeared wearing this the first time you summoned me. L- Cooler.” She corrected herself mindful of Turles’ order to stop calling the bastard that. “This is not what he commanded I wear. Occasionally he would change it. I assumed you found this pleasing and never thought to try other garb.”
“Oh…” Turles felt like an ass now. “I just noticed you never wore anything else and thought you might like something different. Just out of curiosity, what did Cooler make you wear?” He wasn’t expecting her clothes to softly glow white and morph into something obviously designed for a pleasure slave with a long white fabric skirt that really only covered her front and back paired with a white and gold bralet that did nothing to hide the ample cleavage her fitted, black top most certainly did.
“Is this more to your liking?” Shaking himself out of his stupor, he looked away.
“It’s nice, but you can wear what you like.” He was trying so hard to not blush and keep his head. Damn it now he knew what was under those clothes of hers. He had to be the responsible one because she couldn’t consent to anything he did, and while he was many things a rapist was not one of them. A quick flash later, and she was in her regular outfit.
“Cooler was angry I could not change my cuffs to silver.” She said quietly. “After punishing me, he made me turn the metals on the outfit gold to match.”
“Bastard.” Turles spat. “Gold looks much better on you anyways. You don’t have to wear the dress if you don’t like it. Its yours, you can do whatever you wish with it.” He watched Ara stare at the dress a moment and hold it out in front of her.
With a wave of her hand it suddenly appeared on her body. It fit her perfectly and had an ancient air about it with the chiton style it was based on. The royal blue silk shimmered and flowed around her curves like water. Turles quickly found his mouth dry and knew right then no matter what Ara wore, even if it was a burlap sack, she would always look beautiful. She looked like a princess. The arzu was admiring the dress with a pensive look on her face before a quick flick of her finger added a silver grey sash around her waist that knotted at her side and trailed nearly to the ground.
“I like this dress very much, Captain.” Ara said with a smile. The image she presented couldn’t help but remind him of a scene that played in his dreams often enough these past few weeks.
His head felt like it was splitting open. Light was blinding, and he groaned closing his eyes. A cool touch to his forehead was instantly soothing, and he couldn’t help but move into the gentle touch that eased the burning he could feel under is skin.
The soft touch disappeared, and he could hear some one moving about. He could tell something dimmed the light wherever he was at. When touch returned, he opened his eyes again. In front of him was a goddess surrounded by golden light. Her skin was pale and fair in away that no mortal’s could be, with ebony locks of hair that framed her heart shaped face. Her smile was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
“I’m so glad you’re awake.” She said with relief in her voice. She leaned back to get something letting the soldier see more of where he was. He was in a strange mix of a tent and house? There was a soft pallet beneath him. He noticed bandages on his bare chest, his armor lying in a corner on the other side of the room. When the woman returned her attention, he noticed her sleeveless blue dress was a rough looking fabric and she smelled of lavender as she pressed a small clay cup to his lips and slid her other hand under his neck to help him drink.
“Its some tea for the fever.” She told him. Gratefully he drank until she took the cup from him.
“Where am I?” His voice was rough and talking hurt despite the liquid he had just drank. He wanted to lift a hand to his head, but his limbs felt like they were made of stone with how heavy they seemed.
“My home.” She said in her usual quiet tone. “I found you in the river. You were badly hurt.”
“Is it safe for you to take a soldier into your home?” He didn’t want to cause this woman trouble this close to the boarder lands. He assumed that’s where he was if she pulled him from the river. Her village could cause problems if she lived in tuffle controlled territory.
“There’s no fighting here.” She answered getting something from another jug. “Tarro doesn’t allow it and even the tuffles know that. You’ll be safe while you heal.” This time she gave him water, and he loved her for it as he felt it cool his parched throat.
“But your village…”
“You need to rest.” She said placing a finger on his lips to silence him. He nodded slightly as fatigue began to set in from the tea she gave him.
“Brassic…my name….” He told her. He didn’t know how long he’d been unconscious, but she at least deserved a name to call him. “Your’s…?” She smiled at him before placing a cool, damp cloth on his forehead.
He always woke up before he could hear the name. Ara was always the woman in his dreams, but she looked…different. She carried herself more confidently, more carefree. The smile on her face as she wore the dress he gave her it was like seeing his dream brought to life.
“Then wear it when ever you like. If you would like others, let me know; and we can get you some in other styles and colors. As long as you enjoy it I don’t have a preference for what you wear.” That was a lie if he ever told one. A little voice in his head was telling him he could have her in something more tasteful than Cooler’s little uniform, and that she wouldn’t object if he wanted to personally ‘investigate’ her attire. He ruthlessly crushed it. Temptation aside, he refused to act on it. It reality Ara was a slave, even if she said yes to his attentions he still couldn’t convince himself to act on it because he owned her. It just left a sour taste in his mouth.
“I could have other dresses if I continue to please you?” Ara asked with a look of surprise. It was clear she only expected the one dress. The idea of a master giving her something, even for her pleasing them was so foreign to her; and he felt saddened by that.
“If you want them, of course. You’re my partner, if we ever invite guests over you should have clothes of your own. I was thinking we could set you up with a room beside mine.”
“I don’t require a room, Captain.” Ara said almost appalled at the suggestion. “I could not use it, please do not squander such a thing on me, Captain.”
“Surely you sleep.” Turles asked. “You have my permission to remain out of the amulet as long as you respond to my calls.”
“I do not sleep, Captain.” Ara said clasping her hands together in her usual submissive pose. “And I can not remain out of the amulet indefinitely, not unless my master is present or I receive physical contact regularly.” Thinking back, Turles realized he only ever saw her out of the amulet when he called for her; and unless he engaged her in a talk or for her powers, she vanished as soon as he was done with her.
“And what happens if you remain out of the amulet otherwise?” She looked very uncertain as she fidgeted with the skirt and her sash.
“I….the amulet compels me to return. I’ve only experienced the effects of not returning twice. One of my former masters commanded me to remain in their room, but he left his home while wearing the amulet. When he finally returned home in the evening, I had no choice but to return to the stone. I felt stretched too far. The second time was a punishment. I was forbidden from returning to the amulet and denied the required touch several days. It was painful and drained my magic both from keeping my physical form and stopping me from returning to the amulet in addition to my magic naturally seeking to return there.”
Turles winced, to be forced to fight the natural order of returning to the amulet was a serious punishment and if Ara said it was painful…it must have hurt.
“I see. What do you do if you don’t sleep?” He asked curiously as he sat in one of the chairs in his room gesturing for Ara to sit if she pleased.
“It is hard to describe.” The arzu said sliding gracefully to sit on the plush carpet, tucking her bare feet under the pool of silk fabric. “It is not sleep, but my mind is only dimly aware of what happens outside of the amulet. There is no sensation of time passing, not like you would think of time passing I think.” She was hesitant and slightly unsure of her words. “I know time passes, if it is days or years even, but I do not feel it. It feels the same if I spend an hour or a year in the amulet.”
“What was the longest you ever went between masters?” Turles asked curiously. Now that he wasn’t continually wishing for things, it was interesting to learn more about Ara. And it was slowly sinking in that she had lived through a significant chunk of history, even myths that he read about as a child were about her, and there was no knowledge of when those stories originated from.
“I think it was 200 years?” She said crossing her arms and tapping her cheek with one of her delicate fingers. “I was owned by the emperor of the Mistari Empire at the time. Like you, he would wear the amulet and from my impression of what I observed with others present when summoned it was seen as one of his royal symbols. I believe it was placed in his tomb by members of his family so he could have his favorite possession in the afterlife.” She smiled a bit before looking at him. “I was then owned by the thief who broke into his tomb centuries later. He reacted about as well as you did for the first summoning, although he actually fainted thinking I was a vengeful spirit.”
“Do you often find yourself with rulers and thieves?” He asked catching onto her amusement.
“Surprisingly yes. If they are not, many owners, like you, have wished for wealth, which in most societies equates to power. Those with power tend to strive for more power or to ensure they keep it.”
“Are you the reason the Cold’s rose to power in the universe?” The question had bugged him ever since he stole the amulet. The Cold empire was massive and only the fact the that the saiyans were strong enough that most of the universe wanted no business fighting either them or the Ice Demons was what kept things from boiling down to a civil war spanning the stars.
The saiyan race honestly just wanted to fight each other or strong opponents for enjoyment. They were happy to work as enforcers for their allies in exchange to supplies not readily available on their home world as a result by dealing with criminal or dangerous beasts. They honestly were more like freelance patrol officers. They didn’t work for the Colds simply because they wanted warriors to take planets for them and kill anyone that didn’t agree with their rule or to profit from selling a world to another race for one reason or another. Killing which included noncombatants, the elderly, women and children. Very few saiyans were willing to defy the gods tenets and hurt barers, and even fewer still cubs.
“No.” Ara answered. “I’m uncertain how Cooler came to possess the amulet. It was a few years after the master before him. He could have found it or purchased the amulet not knowing what it was. Someone may have given it to him as an offering of sorts. I’m more inclined to believe that option given the box he kept the amulet in.”
“Hmm…” The pirate rubbed his chin in thought. It seemed odd to him that Cooler wouldn’t use Ara’s power to help further his grasp on power. “So Cooler didn’t order you to help the Colds gain power in any way?”
“Not that I’m aware of, no,” the arzu shook her head as she answered. “I feel like he used me more for his amusement more than anything. He would ask questions about some star systems every now and then, but most of what I told him was easily accessible information.”
“Strange…” The alpha huffed under his breath, but he decided not to worry about at the moment especially since Ara couldn’t tell him for sure. “I’d have used your power in some way to help gain more power, but perhaps he wanted to keep you a secret.”
Turles wasn’t sure about the relationship between Cooler and the rest of his family, but if they were like him in any way, Ara would be worked to exhaustion doing their bidding. His eyes fell down on the ruby colored stone on the amulet as he thought.
“What’s it like in your amulet?” He almost blurted out to distract his thoughts from the woman’s possible suffering she could have experienced if Cooler had done things differently.
His question had Ara blinking in surprise and confusion. She tilted her head to the side.
“What do you mean, Captain?” Her question had the pirate holding back an embarrassed wince, but he managed to keep it from showing.
“Do you have a room in your amulet or something like that when you’re in there, or do you just become one with it?” He watched her brow furrow in thought.
“It’s like…being in hibernation I guess would be the best way to describe it.” Her fingers tapped her bottom lip as she tried to put it into words. “There’s not a room or anything I go into when I return to the amulet. It’s more like I go into a pod, and I get flashes of what happens in the outside world. When I’m in the stone while you wear it, I can perceive more clearly what happens around me. It’s like I watch everything through a mirror when I’m with my master while he wears the amulet. When I was with Cooler, I could only get flashes.”
“So there was no way for you to do anything to help pass the time. Like a hobby or anything.” Turles moved to rest his head against his hand as he watched Ara.
“Hobby? What’s a hobby?”
“Uh…” The alpha was speechless for a moment at the sight of those large, pretty eyes blinking at him. “A hobby is something you enjoy doing in your free time. For example, I like to read when I’m not working on anything.”
“I’m not sure I have a…hobby, Captain.” She bowed her head as she placed her hands on her lap once more. “I don’t remember if I ever had one, and none of my previous masters allowed free time.”
Turles frowned once more not really surprised at her response, but he had been vaguely hoping that there had been something she would have enjoyed doing in her past. It made him realize that he was going to have to almost educate her in how to be a regular person once he freed her from her imprisonment. Ara needed to rediscover just what and who she could be, and they were going to start by finding her a hobby.
“Well, we can explore. Discover what you like to do.” He scratched his head in thought before an idea came to him. A slow, soft smile grew on his face making the arzu tilt her head as she waited for him to talk. “Ara, how would you like to try gardening?”
Turles took a deep breath relaxing as the sweet scent in the air wrapped around him. He lounged in his hammock and used one of his legs to gently sway in the bright sunshine. He hadn’t had a day to himself like this in awhile now.
The pirate’s eyes flickered over to where the arzu was kneeling by a bed of herbs tending to a couple of plants, and the sight made him smile. Ara looked so relaxed and happy, and the sight warmed the alpha’s chest. He couldn’t believe that the woman he was watching had come from the ruby amulet several months ago.
The soft pleasant humming from Ara was soothing while Turles flipped through a botany book. He was looking over some information on how to further develop the vineyard they had started a few days ago. With the help of Ara’s powers, it looked like all the plants had been there for years.
It took awhile to get Ara comfortable with gardening, but she took to it like a duck to water……minus a few of her more interesting attempts early on.
Turles blinked a couple of times at the sight before him in confusion. He closed his eyes and counted to ten before opening them once more only to see that the sight before him had not changed.
“Ara?” The pirate’s voice was heard through the garden, and the arzu appeared beside her master after a couple of seconds.
“Yes, Captain?” The woman sounded cheerful, and Turles felt his lips twitching upward in an attempt to smile.
“Uh…why are these moon flowers bright green with blue polka dots? I thought they were silver or white.”
“Do you like them?” She had a large smile on her face that made Turles’ heart skip a beat. “I know the flowers are usually a more subdued color, but I thought I’d try and brighten them up some!”
Seeing her happy and hopeful expression had the alpha speaking before his mind caught up with his mouth as he knelt down to get a closer look at the flowerbed.
“They’re lovely. I had just never seen flowers like this unless they were poisonous. It’s nice to look at a plant with these designs without worrying for your health.” He touched a solid red flower that had petals in the shape of stars with a few fingers before smiling back at the woman.
There was a sudden look of panic that would be funny if a sudden bad feeling overcame the pirate. Before he could open his mouth, the edges of Turles’ vision darkened as he fell face forward into the red flowers. The last thing he heard was the sound of Ara’s panicked calls for him.
After that incident, Turles had required that all poisonous plants keep their original colors to prevent something like that from happening again. He hated to restrict her, but it was important to others to know which plants to avoid. In truth, it was the only punishment he had the heart to give her after the accident. He knew she didn’t mean to poison him, but she felt she deserved to be punished for harming her master. For nearly two days, Ara had been skittish, refusing to touch another flower or even look him in the eyes unless ordered and even then he could see she was terrified. So to hopefully calm her down, he gently imposed the restriction after her repeated queries about how she would be punished for harming her master.
Glancing at her now, she was sitting by a patch of roses and lavender doing something with the flowers and her magic. A smile crossed his face seeing her in one of the dresses he bought her. This one was similar in style to the first dress but red in color with gold flowers embroidered on the neckline. She’d added a dusty rose colored skirt around her waist that hung off on one side and it wasn’t uncommon for her to use it to gather flowers or herbs. Ara was bare foot as usual and in spite of the dress not being anything very elaborate his earlier realization held true, she could never look less than amazing in whatever she wore.
He was so captured by Ara’s presence, that he didn’t notice the person that had come up beside him until they cleared their throat. The sound startled Turles so bad that he nearly jerked himself out of his hammock.
“Nice to see you’re aware of your surroundings, Captain.” Almond chuckled as the saiyan gave him a glare once he got to his feet. “I think time here has softened you.”
“I’m allowed to let my guard down a bit here, it’s my planet after all.” He said dusting himself off and retrieving his book from the grass. “Can I help you or are you just here to be annoying?”
Ara smiled when she was finally done coaxing the rosebush to grow how she wanted, She settled on a beautiful red with petals edged in a golden yellow having taken inspiration from the dress she was wearing. She looked back with a frown having heard Turles fall. Worried he might need assistance, she quickly stood and headed over to him.
“Captain, are you-” Ara cut off immediately when she saw Almond. She hadn’t seen the red skinned giant because a large bush hid him from where she had been kneeling. Turles hadn’t told her she could be seen by others, he hadn’t forbid her either but in her experience that didn’t mean something was allowed. She certainly couldn’t use magic in front of him without her master’s permission, nor could she do anything if this man tried to hurt her at Turles’s command. The captain saw Ara pale and could see the anxiety that shone in her eyes.
“Ara, this is my first mate Almond.” He said introducing her hoping to help her relax as he stood beside her.
“I finally get to meet the Captain’s little lady. I wasn’t expecting her to literally be so small though.”
“Everyone is small compared to you.” His booming laugh startled Ara again, and she slid behind Turles while her tail coiled anxiously.
“Oh don’t be scared, little miss.” Almond said a bit softer. “I might be loud, and a bit bigger than you but I wont hurt you. I think the Captain would skin me. Are those your flowers?” He asked when he saw her wide eyes peering from around his boss’s shoulder. Ara squeaked when she realized she’d dropped all the roses she’d gathered before quickly stooping to pick them up. Turles couldn’t help but grin at how cute she was before he and Almond bent to help her.
“Here you are, miss.” The red man said handing her the last of the flowers.
“Thank you, First mate Almond.” Her voice was so soft he almost didn’t hear it.
“None of that ‘First mate’ business, just Almond will do.” He didn’t miss the questioning look she gave his captain. Or the nod he gave her in return. His attention turned to the roses he’d just handed her. “They’re beautiful. Your handiwork? The captain has a black thumb last time anyone on the crew checked so I doubt he had anything to do with them.” Ara flushed bright red before ducking back behind Turles while the alpha scowled.
“It was one time. I’m not incapable of dealing with plants. And yes Ara is responsible for all of this.” He said gesturing to the garden as a whole. “She’s also been working with me on setting up a vineyard.”
“I wouldn’t be able to convince you to come work on my landscaping, would I?” The big man asked. “Mine looks like shit, and I actually am terrible at doing anything with plants.”
“Oy, stop trying to poach my gardener and go find your own.” Neither pirate missed how Turles’ tail came up to wind around the still shy Ara’s waist.
“Oh come on, I probably pay better.” Almond didn’t miss when Ara glanced at the captain obviously asking him what to do, and he knew something was up. Turles hadn’t missed his notice of things either.
“Ara why don’t you go finish your work on those new flowers.” Turles said gently. She had yet to say another word as she peered from around his shoulder at Almond. It was very clear she was nervous and didn’t know what to do around someone beside himself. “I’ll come get you in a bit, alright?” He smiled seeing her nod before she scurried off to one of many flowerbeds within view of the seating area.
“She seems….nice.” Almond said with a chuckle. “Never took you for the shy type there, Captain.”
“She’s not all that shy with me.” He said handing his first mate a glass of wine from a table he’d set up near his hammock before walking a short distance to a seating area near a fountain.
“I bet she’s not.” Almond said flatly. “So you finally got off that moral train of yours, never expected you to keep a female slave, Turles.” Turles narrowed his eyes at the big man.
“You heard me. Her ‘jewelry’ makes it pretty obvious, and if that doesn’t, the fact she couldn’t even speak to me without looking to you for permission certainly points it out. Why do you have her, captain? If you want to have a woman that’s all fine and dandy, about damn time honestly; but no, the captain I know wouldn’t take a pleasure slave if he was paid to so what the hell is going on.”
“I didn’t exactly plan on acquiring her.” Turles admit. “It just…..happened.”
“Acquire….you make it sound-”
“Like I stole her?” Turles quipped. “Because I did, from Cooler’s palace at that.”
“How the hell did you manage that?” Almond asked in shock. “I know she’s a tiny little thing, but it’s not like you could just hide her under your armor.”
“You’d be surprised.”
“Damn it, Turles, stop being an ass and explain.”
“There’s not much to explain.” Almond leveled a hard stare at him. “Fine, I stole a key that didn’t look like a key. When I figured out what it was, I went looking and what I found was her….among other things. She was in stasis and I woke her up on accident. So I brought her with me not knowing how to put her back.”
“And you haven’t freed her like you normally would because….?”
“She doesn’t understand.” Turles explained a little relieved to have someone to talk to about his situation with Ara. “When I first spoke to her, she was completely submissive. She wouldn’t look me in the eye and called me ‘master’ of all things. Even after repeated attempts to get her to stop, the best I’ve managed is ‘captain’ in its place. She asked me why I even wanted to free her, when I brought the topic up.”
“So she’s messed up, I still don’t see why you kept her around captain.”
“Almond, she didn’t even have a name. Cooler and her other masters all called her slave. Hell, I gave her a dress as a gift and she thought I was displeased with her appearance. ” The first mate winced at that. Even slaves had names and understood basic things like gifts even if they never received one. It sounded like she was totally brainwashed.
“Ok, so you have a point. So what you just use her as your gardener?”
“She’s more of a companion really. The gardening is one thing I’ve tried to help her come out of her shell and learn to be a person. And before you ask, no I don’t know what Cooler used her for. Even Ara thinks she was more of a source of amusement for him rather than anything special. Now, explain what you meant by ‘finally’ meeting ‘my little lady.’ Have you or someone else been spying on me?” Turles snapped wondering if he needed to get rid of someone on his crew.
“You’ve bought a dress every trip to market for three months, captain. And no offense, they aren’t really your style if you catch my drift….or size for that matter.” When he saw the confused look on Turles’ face he chuckled. “Matcha went to the same store to get a dress for his lady friend. He saw you leaving the store. Wasn’t all that hard to figure out. Mostly the crew’s been wondering why you’ve kept her a secret but I’ve been telling them to respect your privacy, you know because you own the planet and can kick them off if the mood strikes you.”
“Great…now those assholes won’t leave me alone until they’ve met Ara. She’s not ready to be around that lot.” The saiyan male rubbed a hand over his face in frustration. He could feel a growl try and build in his throat at the thought of his crew bothering him.
“Well, captain. You know it’s not good for the little lady to stay cooped up in one place with just you for company. It could be bad for her in the long run.” The larger man huffed. “She needs to be socialized more if she’s going to be freed…you are planning on freeing her right?”
“Of course I am!” Turles snapped not liking the tone or the look his first mate gave him. His eyes flickered over to the arzu and a frown grew on his face. “It’s a work in progress. I don’t know how well she’d handle being around so many people. Just look at how she reacted around you. I honestly didn’t know her being around other people would be an issue.”
“You need to get her around others so she’s not so scared all the time, its not healthy.”
The captain knew Almond was right, but there was a voice in the back of his mind that wanted to keep Ara from others. He wanted to be the sole person that had her attention all the time. He narrowed his eyes as he watched Ara weed and move the different plants in the garden with a tender hand. He was so focused on the woman that he missed Almond studying him until the larger man let out a deep laugh.
“What the hell is so funny, you bastard?” Turles hissed as he saw Ara jump out at the loud sound. The arzu seemed to shrink in on herself before the alpha sent her a reassuring look. He punched his first mate in the arm. “You’re making Ara nervous. Knock it off”
“Sorry, cap.” Almond snickered a little more despite the glare he was getting. “It’s just…you must like her an awful lot to be so protective of her.”
Turles growled at his first mate before his protest died on his lips. Did he like Ara as a friend? As more than a friend? She was beautiful, but more importantly she was kind. She didn’t judge him or think less of him because of what he’d done.
“You didn’t even realize it did you?” Almond asked quietly. “There’s no shame in liking a woman, Turles. She’s good for you, makes you softer.”
“Weren’t you the one that said being soft got you killed?” Turles snapped.
“I didn’t mean it like that.” Almond said raising his hands in apology. “Turles, you’ve never been this relaxed. I’d be willing to bet the manor you gave me she’s the reason for it. Used to no one could get within 15 feet without you noticing them.” The captain cursed realizing Almond was right. Not only had Almond snuck up on him, he’d spaced out! That couldn’t happen- He snarled when the red man smacked the back of his head.
“Quit your panicking.” His first mate growled. “I just told you it’s not a bad thing. She obviously likes you too.”
“If I like her or not doesn’t matter. She’s still a slave, in her mind especially. I can’t, won’t have a relationship with her because she can’t tell me no.” And it was true. Ara didn’t understand she could tell him no when he asked her to do something. She didn’t grasp the difference between a request and a command. He had all but stopped telling her what to do unless he wanted her to use her magic for something specific.
“So play nice until you do free her.” The pirate said. “I’m not saying jump into bed with her or anything, but seriously nothing says you can’t enjoy having her around and maybe take steps towards starting something once you do free her. You know get in on the ground floor. And before you protest, let me point out she hid behind you. She trusted you to keep her safe. When I startled her, one look from you calmed her right down. That’s not normal behavior for someone as bad off as you told me. I can guarantee she wouldn’t have hidden behind Cooler. She likes you captain, as more than a kind master.” Frustrated Turles ran his hands through his hair.
“Damn it, I don’t know how to do this.”
“Just do what you’ve been doing. The only thing that’s changed is you realizing you like her.” Almond shrugged. “Just curious, have you ever told her its ok to be seen? I’d be willing to bet she didn’t know if me seeing her would make you angry at her. I’ve met pleasure slaves before, some of their masters didn’t want them to be seen or even out of the bedroom.”
“I assumed my not forbidding it would be enough.” Turles admit. Almond just shook his head.
“Stuff like that you need to specifically tell her is ok.” He explained. “There are some right bastards out there, just because a slave isn’t told something is against the rules doesn’t mean its not. You said she still thinks and believes she’s one, so set down very clear ‘rules’. Rules that are acceptable behavior for any person rather than how you want her to act.”
“Why do you know so much about this?”
“My father taught me. He ran a brothel on my homeworld and sometimes we’d get new girls that were like her.” He nodded at the timid woman. “None of them stayed slaves, my father was like you he couldn’t stand slavery unless there was a reason for it.” Turles just stared, he’d never known that about his friend.
“Is that why you’ve never argued against my freeing slaves when we sacked ships that had them?”
“Partly, also its not my place to tell the captain what to do with what we loot. You knew they were slaves, you knew they could be valuable, you also saw them as people. Honestly its one of the few rules you ever put on us so most of us were fine with it. And now that and the fact you never let us hurt civilians that didn’t fight us probably will keep us off the chopping block if we’re ever caught. All those freed slaves, they work all over and keep in touch some even want to move here.” The captain nodded. That could work for them. If he ever wanted Ara to act like a normal person, they would need help with the vineyard. It would be suspicious if it was just the two of them running the whole thing. Not to mention bring in credits.
“So how exactly am I going to get her used to being around people?” Turles asked changing the subject. “I don’t want to take her to the market. For starters we saw how she handled you. Even with permission, I don’t know what she would do or if she’s ever been around more than a handful of people at a time. Also, I don’t want anyone that might recognize her to see her. You know what will happen if Cooler realizes who stole from him.” He didn’t need to see the future to know Cooler would want him dead to take possession of the amulet again. And this time he doubted anyone would be able to steal it so easily.
“I might have a solution for that.” Almond chuckled. “I actually came over to invite you to a party. Matcha and his lady friend decided to tie the knot. He wants everyone to come to the party to celebrate in two weeks. He tried calling you, but you never answered.”
“Really? I didn’t expect Matcha to be the type to settle down.” The captain hummed in thought and realized that this might be a good way to get Ara use to people. “Sounds like fun and a good place to start with Ara…we’ll be there.”
With that said, Almond left while Turles and Ara went inside to relax. Well he relaxed and Ara happily started arranging her flowers in a number of crystal vases. Seeing her smile as she worked had him thinking about things. Was Almond right about her making him soft? He liked seeing her smile. He liked how it felt when she said his name, not ‘captain’ but Turles, rare as it was. He liked being the reason she smiled. He enjoyed talking to her about the history she lived through, about the things he’d seen. And she was intelligent, under all the shit her previous masters saddled her with she was so smart when she had a chance to use that knowledge. There wasn’t a malicious thing about her, honestly she was like a kid at times with her magic. He gives her free range to use her magic on a garden and she is excited about changing the colors of flowers to brighten them up.
He liked Ara….and he was beginning to think it was as more than a friend or companion.
“Captain?” She was looking at him with a blue flower in her hands.
“Is something wrong?” He asked her concerned. She was being timid again as she handled the flower in her hands more than she usually did.
“You…you aren’t mad your first mate saw me are you? I didn’t know he was here.”
“I’m not mad at you, I promise. If I don’t want to you do something, I will tell you ok?” When she nodded shyly he smiled a bit. “Have you ever been to a party?”
“A party?” She blinked in surprise and the pirate realized she probably didn’t know what a party was.
“You know….a gathering with people and food, sometimes music and dancing…” Her giggle cut him off.
“I know what a party is, captain.” Ara said as she played with her flower. “I’ve had masters that wished for many elaborate things to use at parties. I’ve even seen a few from the amulet. Do you wish to have one?”
“Not exactly.” he said getting up and walking over to see her arrangement. “Almond was here to invite me to one another crew member is having. He’s getting married and the party is to celebrate. And the crew wants you there as well.” She froze and looked back at him hesitantly.
“They don’t know you’re an arzu.” He said calming her down. “I was a bit careless I suppose when I picked up your dresses and they noticed I was buying clothes for a lady. Now that Almond knows you’re here the rest of them will want to meet you.”
“If….if that’s what you want.” He frowned when she wouldn’t look at him. Gently he tilted her face up and he could see the worry in her eyes.
“Ara, what’s wrong?”
“Are….are you going to tell them what I am?” She asked softly. “It never ends well, captain.”
“No, I don’t intend to let them know that detail.” Turles said hoping to make her feel more at ease. He could very easily see how badly it would go if the fact she could grant wishes got out. “I told Almond a variation of the truth. He knows I stole you from Cooler, that you were a slave he used for his amusement.” He carefully took one of her hands and brushed the gold cuff on her wrist. “Because of these he thinks you are still a slave, one I am working on setting free.” He suddenly had an idea.
“I know you cant get rid of them, or change the color, can you change their shape? Maybe make them a different style?”
“I’ve never tried.” Ara admit. “Does it bother you?”
“The cuffs? Not really, I thought they were just something you wore until you told me they were part of your binding.”
“And the fact your first mate thinks I’m your slave?” Her dark eyes were staring at him in a way that told him she would know if he lied to her.
“Yes.” He said letting go of her hand. “I don’t like slavery, and I’ve never kept one or even considered keeping one. It never really registered that even though you call yourself a servant, these really do make you a slave.”
“I don’t mind you being my master.” Ara said softly taking his hand again “Out of all of the masters I remember, you are the most thoughtful and kind master I’ve ever had, Captain.”
“Turles, I want you to call me Turles.” He said quietly as he touched the side of her face. “You can still call me captain in front of others if you have to, but I want you to use my name. That goes for anyone else you meet. If they prefer you can use their name rather than their title.”
“I can try.” Her voice was unsure. He understood the orders might make it hard on her. His eyes went to the blue flower in her hands again.
“Is that a new flower?” He asked surprised. She usually showed him before he could ask. Her eyes lit up as she held it out to him. It was a blue lotus, not unlike the symbol of Tarro. But this wasn’t a simple color change, the petals had a faint iridescent shine to them. He’d seen this flower in his dreams.
Brassic smirked seeing her back was to him as she picked fruit from one of many trees in the garden and placed it in her grass basket. Her pale grey dress standing out amongst the green and colors of the flowers around her, and she had a few sprigs of tiny white flowers in her hair.
Silently he crept behind her and grabbed her around the waist. She squealed in surprise as he spun her around and planted a kiss on her lips before she lightly smacked him on he shoulder.
“Don’t scare me like that!” There was no heat in her words or her expression as she blushed a violent red that he found adorable. He couldn’t get enough of this beautiful woman and couldn’t resist touching her every chance he got. Chuckling, Brassic kissed her again more gently.
“I’m sorry, love. I couldn’t resist.” He pulled a gorgeous blue flower from behind his back.
“It’s beautiful, Brassic!” Ara said with one of her amazing smiles. “Are you sure I’m not forgetting an important day? That’s twice you’ve gotten flowers for me.”
“I don’t need a reason to spoil you. Besides you make the flowers look prettier when you wear them.” And carefully slid it into her hair next to the tiny white flowers he put there this morning.
“It’s beautiful, Ara. What is it called?”
“I don’t know.” She admit with a blush. “I kind of made this one on accident. I was trying to grow some blue moonflowers, and I found it beside me. I hope you don’t mind but I made a whole bed of them. They aren’t dangerous.”
“Its fine, Ara, you can put whatever you want in the garden as long as you don’t change the dangerous plants.” He said before sliding the flower into her hair. “Now are you going to be alright at the party? I can tell them you weren’t up for it if you don’t want to go.”
“If you don’t mind….I want to go. They always looked like fun. And I’ll have you there….Turles.” She smiled as she managed to say just his name and the pirate grinned.
“Looks like I need to get you a new dress then.”
Almond grinned to himself as he watched Turles and his little lady walked into the large room where the crew had gathered to celebrate Matcha’s marriage. He was happy to see that the saiyan pair had come to the party even if the woman almost hiding behind the alpha.
Ara looked beautiful in the pale rose colored dress the captain had acquired for her last week. The gold bands around her upper arms and the three delicate bracelets around her wrists caught the light every time she moved.
She huddled closer to Turles when the crew turned to look at them, and the saiyan man leaned over to whisper something to her that made her visibly relax some. Every member of the crew from the five other senior officers to the lower ranking members kept their eyes on the woman, trying to get a better look at the person that had their captain so distracted.
Just seeing how much she trusted the normally ruthless saiyan made the large man smile. Turles was a very lucky man.
“Alright, everyone!” Almond called out after a few more minutes gaining everyone’s attention. The group had not stopped watching Ara but they avoided coming too close since they knew that Turles wouldn’t hesitate to maim those who did. “Give ‘em some space.”
He could tell the saiyan man was about to start snapping at the others as he shooed them off back to the party. Normally this wouldn’t happen until after the alcohol had been flowing for several hours. Turles must be feeling a little on edge to be ready to snap at his crew this early.
“Glad you could make it, captain. This is my wife, Pamle.” Matcha came over with a grin and his arm wrapped around an orange skinned woman with brown eyes and light blue hair pulled up into a bun.
“Nice to meet you.” Turles smiled politely at the couple. “I’m surprised this guy found anyone that would make him settle down.”
“Same could be said for you, captain.” Matcha said with a grin. Turles grinned back and wrapped an arm around Ara’s waist drawing her even with him. She was still clearly nervous, and she was trying to smile at the couple; but she was obviously forcing it.
“This is Ara.”
“Nice to meet you, Ara.” Pamle said smiling at her. She knew how nerve wracking it was to be around a group of pirates, even if those pirates were basically retired. Turles and Almond were both glad to see a shy but genuine smile on her face.
“We brought you this…” The small woman’s voice was soft as she held out the bottle the others just noticed in her hands.
“Ara and I have been working on a vineyard, we wanted you to have one of the first vintages as a wedding present.” Turles rolled his eyes at the protests coming from the rest of the crew. Ara pressed herself closer to him, which was not missed by Matcha, his wife or Almond. “Oy, pipe down! There’s a couple barrels outside, you ingrates.” This was met with more cheering and several men jumped up to collect the offered booze.
“They’re just loud, hun.” Pamle said softly to Ara. “You don’t have to be worried.”
“The Captain would gut anyone who got handsy with you.” Matcha added before his wife smacked him. “What? Its true.”
“I’ve…never been around this many people.” Ara’s tone was hesitant and quiet. Turles gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“Do you want to go outside for a bit?” Turles asked. He could see her nerves were still dialed up to 10 with how tightly she was clinging to him. She shook her head.
“Come on, we’ll get us some glasses and crack this bottle open. We’d be honored if the two of you would have the first glass with us.”
“Sound’s like a plan to me.” Turles said with a grin as he and Ara followed Matcha and Pamle into the house heading for a kitchen.
After an hour at the party, Turles watched his crew carry on with the party while Ara sat in his lap, one arm firmly around her waist, both to help her stay relaxed and to send a not so subtle message even his drunk crew understood. Her glass of wine was still in her hands having been refilled at least once. What made him content was the fact she was watching everything around her with her eyes shining. Ara was quiet and trying to watch everything at once. Getting to experience a party first hand outside the amulet was a first for her.
“Having a good time?” Turles asked leaning in so she could hear him over the noise.
“Very much.” Her smile was infectious, and she squirmed on the alpha’s lap a little. “It’s nice to experience the party instead of just watching it.”
The captain chuckled at her enthusiasm. It pleased him to see Ara so happy, and he wanted to keep that smile on her face.
“Would you like to try some of the food?” Turles picked up a small cube of cheese from his plate on the small table beside the chair he was sitting on and held it out for her to take.
“But I don’t need to eat, Turles.” Ara looked at the saiyan man with slight unease.
“I know, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge yourself and taste things.” He held the morsel out once more. The woman’s eyes flickered from the food held by rough fingers to Turles’ face. “Humor me, Ara.”
Setting her glass on the table, the arzu took the cheese and nibbled on it before she let out a surprised sound. Her eyes sparked as they looked back to the captain while her tail fluffed and swayed happily.
“It’s so good!” She quickly ate the rest and was licking the crumbs off her fingers when Turles offered her some type of fruit that looked like a cross between an apple and grapes. She took a small section and popped it in her mouth. She made a delighted noise and was quick to place a couple more bites in her mouth. The noise she let out was almost erotic, but the captain didn’t mind as he gave her another slice of fruit and cheese that quickly vanished.
“You enjoyed that I suppose.” He said teasingly. “We can get you a plate of your own, you know.”
“Sorry, I just…can’t remember the last time I actually had anything to eat was.” Her words were soft that Turles just barely caught over the noise of his crew. He fought a frown over those words and tried to keep the anger he felt at bay. “Thank you so much, Captain.” Turles felt his anger replaced by pride over the fact she was leaning against him now with her tail gently swaying telling him just how content she was. The moment was ruined however.
“Hey, cap’in!” Diaz stumbled over to his chair with a flushed face and a mug of what looked like ale sloshing over the rim to the floor. Ara flinched at the suddenness of his greeting, and the saiyan male tightened his grip around her waist. “Pretty thing you got! How’s come you ain’t brought her around?”
“I didn’t feel like it, Diaz.” The captain’s tone was flat with the beginning of a growl creeping in as he stared down his subordinate wanting the other man to leave. He could feel the arzu tremble in his grasp, and he fought the urge to snarl at Diaz. His subordinate reeked of booze and obviously wasn’t in control of himself
“But ish not fair that yous gets to keep all thesh pretty ones!” He slumped against the back of the chair slightly making Turles turn to keep him in his sight. His growl grew louder in warning, one his crew all understood as a sign to back off, one his drunk crew member wasn’t listening to. “A girl thish perdy should…should be shared.”
When Ara stiffened at his words, Turles growled loud enough to get the attention of other nearby members while his tail unwound flaring in a primal warning and his fangs peeked from his lips. The green haired man reached out to touch Ara, who pressed closer to Turles, but a red skinned hand was quick to enclose around Diaz’s wrist before Turles even moved, his free hand curled into an open fist with his claws ready to rip into Diaz. Almond pulled him away from the pair of saiyans in quick movements despite the protests coming.
“Diaz, your drunk. Go find someone else to sleep with. You know better than to mess with anyone the captain’s claimed!”
Another growl left the captain while he calmed down before he looked at Ara. She was pale, trembling as she anxiously watched Almond shove Diaz off to another group of crew members with a quick word before they quickly took Diaz out of the room.
“Sorry about that, Turles.” Almond said sitting in a nearby chair. “I thought he was being watched more closely.”
“We can go home if you want to.” Turles told her quietly. Ara shook her head but she was obviously anxious and watching the other crew members.
“How about we go sit on the patio? It’s nothing impressive like your garden, but Pamle is better with greenery than most of our lot.” Almond suggested. “Matcha has some lights set up and it looks pretty nice out there with the fire pit lit up.”
“Can we do that please?” Ara softly asked. She obviously didn’t want to leave the party yet but she was too unnerved by the drunk’s actions. Both Turles and Almond shared a look, she had done well to be around this many people this long and was in need of a breather.
“Sounds good to me.” Turles said setting her on her feet and standing. Smug satisfaction shot though him when the arzu curled into his side when his arm wrapped around her waist. “Hey Almond, mind getting a platter of food for outside?”
“You and your stomach, I swear all you saiyans do is eat most of the time. Anything in particular?” The red man teased.
“The usual, meat, cheese, fruit….actually can you grab something sweet?” He asked realizing Ara hadn’t tried desserts yet.
“Sure thing, captain.” The larger man headed over to the buffet table while Turles and Ara walked outside.
Seeing no one out there had Ara relaxing in the alpha’ s hold, and she took the time to look around to find that Almond had been right. The patio was beautiful.
Small fairy lights were strung over the railings around the area, their soft light cheerfully glowing with the warm flame of the fire pit in the center of the concrete ground. Embers flickered up to the night sky where a blanket of stars shimmered like gems. The planet’s moon hung high in the half phase making sure that Turles would not transform into his larger and more beastly form.
“I love the night sky.” Ara sighed softly as she gazed up at the stars. “I never got to see it for long in the past, but every chance I could…I would spend hours looking at the stars and the moons.”
“Saiyans have a deep connection with the moon. Doesn’t matter if it’s our own or not, it just shows that our Mother is always watching over us.” The captain murmured as he gazed at the pale half circle feeling the stirrings within his mind both in memory and instincts.
“Do you really believe that, Turles?” The small woman looked up at her master. “That your Lady Tarro is always with you?”
“I’d be a fool if I didn’t…especially since I’m not on Vegetasei. Knowing that each moon can help keep me in touch with my primal side makes me feel…less lonely I guess. It’s hard being away from other saiyans at times. I can’t really return there freely either.”
“Is it because of your job?” The arzu asked as she tilted her head. “How did you end up as a pirate anyway?”
“Oh boy!” Almond laughed as he came out with two plates of food. “That’s a good story, little lady!”
Ara turned to look at Almond while Turles shifted behind her and wound his arms around her waist. His strong scent was soothing and made her less nervous of the large man.
“It is?” Ara asked confused while looking over her shoulder up at Turles. Her master looked slightly embarrassed and she wondered if she shouldn’t have asked.
“It was not one of my better moments.”
“Please, you kicked half our collective asses.” Matcha said as he and Pamle joined them sitting on the opposite side of the fire. “I thought it was brilliant, and you broke several of my ribs. I’ve still got scars from trying to hold your ass down.”
“I don’t understand….” Ara said confused. What did Turles fighting them have to do with him being a pirate?
“I didn’t choose to become a pirate Ara.” Turles said quietly making the arzu frown. “I was press-ganged into joining the crew.”
Turles let out a groan as he woke up. He brought a hand up to his forehead as soon as a spike of pain lanced through his skull and closed his eyes to try and ease the headache off. He moved to sit up but slumped against a wall when a rush of dizziness came over him with an increase of the pain.
“What the hell happened?” The saiyan muttered as he fought to keep from being sick. He slowly looked around him and immediately became tense. This wasn’t his little hole in the wall where he slept. The room was large and covered in a white metallic material that was designed to be strong and withstand abuse. Judging from the hum he could hear, it was the cargo hold of a ship, and that thought nearly sent him in a panicked rage.
He scrambled to his feet and headed over to a door that had a small porthole window on it to look outside only for his breath to freeze in his chest. He was in space, and obviously he had been out for awhile since he could only just make out the Cold controlled planet he grew up on in the distance. He blinked as he tried to process what he was seeing.
‘How the hell did I get here?!’ The alpha clutched his head as he tried to remember what happened before he went unconscious. He couldn’t look away from the shrink speck of gray that had been his home. ‘I’ve always been careful! Who got-!’
A hand roughly falling on his shoulder to pull him away from the small window tore him away from his thoughts. Turles snarled before grabbing his attacker and hurling them over his shoulder and into the ground. Spinning he kicked out at another of the group and heard a satisfying crunch of bone as he connected with their chest. As more came at him he lashed out with a flurry of kicks and punches intent on putting every single attacker on the ground.
He didn’t know where he was or how he ended up here but there was no way in hell he was going to stick around. No one was going to sell him off or use him as a slave. When a hand found his tail he snarled and turned driving his fist into their face, dropping them like a stone. However that gave the others the opening they needed as a massive red arm snaked around his throat while two others grabbed his arms and shoved him to his knees.
“I’ll kill all of you!” He snarled struggling to get free.
“You fight like an animal, I’m starting to rethink my decision to collect you.” An older, weathered voice said. The saiyan couldn’t help but notice the crew members that were still on their feet were parting for whoever this person was. As soon as he laid eyes on the old namekian he recognized them.
“You!” The three holding him down struggled to keep him on his knees as the saiyan bared his fangs. “It wasn’t enough for you I had to spend a week dodging the Planet Trade Organization you had to do this shit too? What the hell do you want?!”
“I know talent when I see it monkey.” He ignored the snarl from Turles and took a knee in front of the saiyan. “You can call me Captain Slug. I’ve decided to graciously extend an invitation for you to join my crew. You’ve got a lot of raw talent boy, talent I hate to see go to waste.”
“Piss off.” Turles snapped. “I don’t work for anyone.”
“Whoever said I was giving you a choice, boy?” The old namekian leaned closer as he pulled on a handful of black spikes. “You’re on my ship in space with no where to run. You can’t really afford to say no unless you want to be sold as a slave. So what’ll it be boy?”
“You want to know what I think?” Turles growled out before sinking his fangs in the arm holding him around the neck causing one of the men behind him to let go with a shout before slamming his forehead against Slug’s with a loud crack. Red and purple blood splattered over the saiyan and namekian from the force of the hit, and the captain let out a howl as he fell back. “Go to hell, asshole!”
“I spent over a week chained in the brig for that with almost no food.” Turles said finishing the story.
“Considering the chunk you took out of my arm-”
“Please I barely drew blood.” Turles said rolling his eyes at Almond. “That’s not the worst thing I’ve ever done to you.”
“Hard to think a few years later you killed the bastard and took over the ship.” Matcha chimed in. “Old Slug never lost a fight and you made killing him look easy. I don’t think you had to put effort into it.”
“He had it coming.” Turles growled as he pulled Ara close where they sat. “He didn’t deserve to be captain after all he’s done.”
“You mean like the time he punished you for single handily taking over a slaver vessel before hiding the slaves around the galaxy?” Almond asked as he took a drink.
“I couldn’t stand the thought of that bastard selling all those people.” The alpha growled at the memory. “None of them deserved to be slaves.”
“Personally, I thought Turles’ adventures with that saiyan general were more impressive. The one with the scar on his face? Didn’t the two of you save the younger prince from being sold to the Colds?” Matcha grinned across from the fire pit. “The general tried to skin your hide if I remember you telling us right.”
“What about that time you told me where Turles managed to steal the Eye of Kalious from around the saiyan king’s neck once they returned the prince?” Pamle looked at her husband.
“That’s why Bardock wanted to skin me.” Turles chuckled into Ara’s hair. “And the scar on his face is the one I gave him when I got away.” Ara looked at the captain as he spoke to his crew members in awe of all the stories she was hearing. She had heard of Slug and knew plenty about the reputation of the Colds.
“Are...are you really that strong?” Ara shyly asked.
“You can’t tell?” Pamle asked surprised drawing everyone’s attention to her. “I thought saiyans could do that with other saiyans.”
“It’s not very specific.” Turles answered scratching the back of his head. “We can get an idea but that’s about it.”
“So why can’t she? I mean even with a general idea it should be pretty obvious how strong you are.” Matcha asked with a bit of concern in his voice. The timid female immediately wilted under everyone’s looks.
“Ara, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” Turles said quietly in her ear as the female started to withdraw.
“I....it’s been a...a very long time since I’ve seen another saiyan.” She said finally, not meeting anyone’s eyes. “I don’t even remember any before the Captain. I can feel his power level but I guess I just don’t have anything to compare him to so it doesn’t mean anything.”
Pamle elbowed her husband and gave him a sharp look. Almond could see Ara was uncomfortable discussing her past and based on the small pieces he knew, he couldn’t blame the little lady. Realizing just how badly she had been treated was easily something that could upset her if she wasn’t ready to talk about it. And from the look on his friends face, Turles hadn’t known that little detail about her isolation either.
Looking at her, Almond wondered if she was like Turles, born outside the saiyan empire. If so he could easily see how she ended up enslaved. She was beautiful, naturally so and would have been snatched up as a child just for that. The small glance he got at her power level when he snuck a peak leaving Turles’ the other day told him her power level itself was pitifully low. It was no wonder she was timid and would have made her easy pickings for the low lives of the universe. It would also explain the captain’s protectiveness even if he wasn’t interested in a completely romantic way. Saiyans were pack creatures, with breeders and children being strongly protected. Turles’ instincts wouldn’t let him not make sure she was taken care of.
Turles held her close as the need to keep her safe flared within him. She couldn’t remember another saiyan before him, in hundreds of years he was really the first saiyan to find her? He assumed she’d have at least seen other saiyans even if they weren’t her master. How had she never seen any during her time with Cooler at least? Cooler handled a majority of negotiations between the two empires because Frieza was too abrasive and tried to provoke a war and King Cold couldn’t be bothered. He glanced down at her feeling her gaze on him.
“You must be very strong then, Captain.” Ara said softly with a small smile as she peered up at Turles almost shyly. Pride rumbled in the pirate’s chest at the impressed look in her eyes. His mind wouldn’t let go of the fact a possible mate was impressed with his strength.
“Oh no, you’ve done it now, little miss.” Almond said with a grin. “His head will swell up twice the size it usually is.” Turles growled while his crew laughed.
Ara tilted her head in confusion. She didn’t understand why they were laughing. Her master’s head wasn’t any bigger than before. When Turles just slid his arm tighter around her she couldn’t help but curl against his side and enjoy the warm feeling his touch gave her as her head came to rest on his chest. It was nice just sitting with Turles like this. The others noticed the subtle almost nonexistent sway of her tail and decided to give the two saiyans their space.
The two of them sat watching the night sky for a while before Ara interrupted the silence.
“Do you think...do you think Lady Tarro will accept me one day?”
“I think she accepts you now, Ara. You might be an arzu, but you’re still a saiyan. Tarro loves all her children, and I have a feeling you have a special place in her heart.” Turles said hesitantly running his fingers in her hair. She didn’t react so he continued he action enjoying the silken locks of hair between his fingers.
“But I can’t feel her, Turles.” Ara told him. “I haven’t ever, will she still want me even then? I’m not wo-“
“Don’t you dare say you are worthless.” Turles growled softly looking her in the eyes. “You are not worthless, Ara, even without your magic you are such an amazing person. I don’t care what any of those previous bastards have told you, you are not worthless. You are the most important person in my life and that wouldn’t change even if you didn’t have magic, so I’m asking you….please stop thinking that way about yourself. It’s not true.”
Ara stared at him with wide eyes, shocked her master would say such things. She looked down at her hands and the “bracelets” she wore. She was only worth the wishes she could grant, how many times had she been told that over the centuries? Without her magic….she was nothing. Why did Turles care about her? He wasn’t ordering her and it was confusing Ara to hell. She was the servant, what did it matter what she felt or wanted? She was made to serve her master. Her eyes burned with those thoughts. Turles…he was amazing, and so very frustrating. He rarely commanded anything, and the few times he did she didn’t understand why he bothered. He didn’t punish her for anything, lately he didn’t even wish. He gave her gifts and let her make flowers, any flowers she wanted with only a single rule. And now he told her the saiyan god’s actually cared about her, the one who burnt the planet Vegetasei and created the wastes.
Turles stared in shock as Ara silently began crying. He hadn’t known she could cry.
“Shit….Ara, I’m sorry. Please, don’t cry.”
“I don’t understand.” Ara said softly as she wiped at her face. “You don’t make any sense to me. How can you not care about my magic? Magic is all i’m good for. I’m your servant, I don’t understand why you care what I think, like or feel. I don’t understand the things you make me feel. I haven’t felt anything in centuries, let alone cried. Turles....I...why are you doing this? Am I being punished for something?” Turles shushed her and coaxed her to meet his gaze again.
“No Ara, I’m not punishing you. I treat you the way I do because treating you like a slave, treating anyone like a slave, is wrong.” Turles said carefully brushing away some of her tears. “You might be bound to the amulet, Ara, but you are still a person. And its that person I’ve come to care about very much. I do everything I’ve been doing for you because I want to see you happy. I like seeing you in the garden while you’re making new flowers. I like seeing you light up when I get you a new dress."
“But...you can just....order me...” She stammered out.
“It’s not real.” He said making her eyes widen. “I know I can make you be happy with an order, but it’s not real if I do that. I don’t want to see your smile and know the only reason it’s there is because of a selfish wish. Do you feel your own emotions at all, Ara?”
“I don’t know...not for a long time I think....” Ara said softly. “I’m supposed to be the perfect servant.”
“Did a former master tell you that?”
Her silence was the only answer he needed.
“Ara, there’s no such thing as a perfect servant. You are allowed to be happy. To have emotions and feel things. You are allowed to have thoughts and opinions, likes and dislikes.” Looking into Turles’s eyes Ara gave a small gasp as she felt warmth come from her bracelets as she looked at them. She hadn’t heard an order in his words, but her magic did as it made her tingle all over for a moment before fading.
“My magic...you made it do something...” she explained confused. She couldn’t figure out what it had done. “I think it was your permission that did it....”
“Did what?” The pirate asked looking worried that he had done something that would negatively affect the small woman.
“I am not sure…” Ara looked at her bracelets in confusion. She picked at one with a furrowed brow as she tried to figure out what her magic had done. “I...don’t think it was bad, but I can’t tell for sure.”
Turles looked at the disguised cuffs as well with a distrustful look. While he hoped that Ara would be alright, he still couldn’t help but think that this would somehow harm her.
“Let’s go home. Now.” His words made Ara look up at him. “I’d rather find out what happened away from the others so your secret doesn’t get exposed.”
The arzu nodded as she got to her feet and after checking for any watchers, allowed a red mist to cover them both before the pair was whisked away from the party.
They appeared in Turles bedroom. He quickly shed his coat and pulled the amulet from under his shirt to study it. What had the thing done? He didn’t give Ara any commands so why had her magic reacted.
“I’m sorry, Captain.” Turning he looked to see Ara looking at the floor.
“We had to leave the party?” She was glancing off to the side while her tail curled down by her legs. “I’m sorry...”
“Ara, I’m not mad at you.” Turles said settling the amulet in his nightstand before walking over to her. “I’m worried, I don’t want your magic to hurt you. There’s not much I can do to help you already, if your magic is reacting on it’s own....I just want to keep you safe, Ara.
“But you were having a good time and I ruined it.” She anxiously rubbed her arm as she peeked at him through her bangs.
“I enjoyed things just fine.” Turles gently tilted her face up to look at him. “We don’t have to be at a party for me to enjoy myself. I’m sorry I made us leave your first party. I promise we’ll go to more of them once we have your magic figured out if that’s what you want.”
“Really?” There was excitement in her eyes and her tail had perked up. It was one of the most lively reactions…..He stopped and looked at Ara again. She wasn’t in the stiff formal posture any more. Her face and tail were actually being expressive. Was that what her magic did? Give her more freedom to express herself and feel things?
“Of course.” He said after a moment. He needed more time to see if what he thought was right. In the mean time he was tired. He grinned and captured Ara’s hand in his own. “Right now though I think we can call it a night. And as a gentleman and your escort for the evening, I bid you goodnight, my lady.”He said before bringing her hand to his lips and kissing it. Ara’s face turned redder than some of the flowers in her garden before she vanished when the amulet called her back.
One thing was certain, Ara had never blushed like that before.
“Brassic!” Ara was holding his face, a frantic look on in her eyes. “Brassic! Stay with me.” His hand gently cupped her cheek and he could see the blood on her, his blood.
“Run…you have…to run…” He coughed and could taste his blood. Her hand gently covered his.
“Please….please Tarro don’t take him from me.” She sobbed trying to keep him from bleeding out. “It...I can heal you Brassic, just stay with me. Please....I love you, don’t leave me alone. Please you’re all I have.” Gently he tugged her down and kissed her, desperate to convey everything he couldn’t say.
“I love you….always….”
“No! Brassic!” Ara screamed at him as tears ran down her cheeks. She was holding him tight to her chest before she was ripped away. “Let me go! Brassic!”
In his darkening vision, he could see her being drug away in spite of her struggles by his killer. He weakly held out a hand that was dripping crimson fluid out to her before the world went black.
Turles bolted upright sweating hard. Running his hands through his hair he noticed they were shaking. He had died in his dream, had felt it happen. Ara had been distraught….panic tore through him as he grabbed the amulet to reassure himself it was there. Ara, he needed to see her, that she hadn’t been taken from him.
“Ara.” He hated how much his voice shook, but it did the trick. The arzu appeared in a flash of fire beside his bed.
“Turles?” In the dim light he could make out the worry on her face. “Are you alright?”
“Nightmare.” He said rubbing at his face. “I just…I needed to see you.” A flash of the image of her being taken away while crying out for him had the captain gripping his hair hard while a swell of fear nearly overwhelmed him.
Ara sat on the edge of his bed watching the man in concern. She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do. Seeing how shaken Turles was, she couldn’t do nothing. She slowly reached out to try and loosen his hands only to let out a squeak in surprise when Turles pulled her into his arms with his face buried on the crook of her neck while pulling them back to lay on the bed. He was taking shuddering breaths as his body shook.
Heat bloomed in her cheeks at the sudden closeness of his bare skin. When she felt dampness in her shoulder, Ara wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug. One of her hands reached up to run her fingers through his hair as she made shushing sounds feeling awkward while doing it.
The nightmare had obviously shaken her master up, and she tensed when his arms tightened their hold around her waist. Turles had never been like this, and it was scaring her a bit. She didn’t like to see him like this, it wasn’t right. Not knowing what else to do, she tried to hum a melody that she had heard before to help ease him off to sleep once more.
“I haven’t heard that hymn since I was a cub.” Turles said after a bit. He breathed deep of her soft cinnamon and lotus scent and felt himself calming down.
“Hymn?” Ara asked as she stopped her humming. Turles found himself loosening his hold so she could see his face. She was worried but the pain and sheer anguish he’d seen in her eyes during the nightmare wasn’t there and that finally banished his remaining anxiety.
“That song you were humming. It’s an old saiyan hymn.”
Ara nodded, she didn’t remember where the melody came from, but it felt familiar, like everything else about saiyans. She found it comforting and hoped Turles did too.
“Do you know the words?” Turles asked needing something to distract him from his dream.
“I don’t....I just remember the melody” Ara said quietly while she kept brushing her fingers through the pirates hair. She could feel him relaxing with each pass and found herself enjoying the action herself.
Turles brushed his fingers in Ara’s hair enjoying the closeness with her before he softly sang.
Now let the day, Just slip away
So the dark night may watch over you.
Velvet blue, silent true
It embraces your heart and your soul
Never cry never sigh,
you don’t have to wonder why
Always be, always see
Come and dream the night with me
Ara felt something in her memory stir as she listened to Turles’s deeper voice. Words she had no explanation for where they came from came to mind as her eyes slid closed. She started the next verse startling Turles into silence.
Have no fear, when the night draws near
And fills you with dreams and desires
She didn’t notice as Turles’s voice joined hers.
Like a child asleep
So warm, so deep
You will find me,
there waiting For you
We will fly, claim the sky
We don’t have to wonder why
Always be, always see
Come and dream the night with me
Turles smiled as his voice trailed off before Ara surprised him.
Though darkness lays,
it will give way
When the dark night delivers the day
“I thought you didn’t know the words?” He asked sleepily. “I’ve never heard that last part.”
“Your singing reminded me.” In the dim light of the moon the pirate could see her faint blush as her tail swayed contently. “It’s been centuries since I last heard it, I’m not even sure where. Do you feel better?”
Whatever he was going to say was interrupted by a massive yawn. Ara smiled softly at him.
“I will let you sleep now, Turles.” She said sitting up. She didn’t expect the tightening of the arms around her.
“Stay....please.” Turles said suddenly. “I’ll rest easier if you stay with me.” He couldn’t bring himself to let her out of his sight. If he held her, at least he’d know she was still with him.
“But I don’t sleep...”
“You can watch the sky? Please, Ara, I just...don’t want to be alone.”
“Of course I’ll stay with you.”
Grateful, he turned and tucked her body against his, her back to his chest so he could hold her and she could see the night sky through his windows. Having her against him like this felt right in more ways than one.
“Thank you, Ara.”
Song is Nocturne by Secret Garden
“Turles?” Ara nearly squeaked out as she was pulled close to the captain’s chest by one of his arms curled around her waist. “Is this really necessary? I don’t think…”
“Yes, Ara. You need to know.” Turles adjusted her arms so that her left hand was resting on his right arm while his left hand was holding her right. “This will be a formal event, and I’d rather you be prepared just in case you are asked to dance.”
“But…” The small woman looked nervous despite the blush on her face. She tightened her hold on the saiyan male at the thought of a stranger coming too close to her. Even after four months of being around the crew regularly she didn’t like others coming to close to her, let alone touching her.
“Don’t worry. I’ll do my best to make sure you only dance with me.” The alpha leaned down to kiss her forehead making her cheeks burn brighter. “Now, you’ve got the hold right. Let’s try a few steps now.”
Turles led her into a few basic steps into the waltz with Ara’s feet resting lightly on his boots. She was dressed in a long sleeve top and black shorts with a dark green wrap around skirt that stopped at her knees. He wanted her to get the feel of the dance before she tired to do it on her own two feet, and it wasn’t like she was heavy. Her eyes kept darting down to watch their feet before the alpha stopped.
“Please stop watching your feet, Ara.” He lightly requested making sure the words didn’t sound like an order, something he was paying very careful attention to ever since her magic acted on its own. “You need to look in your partner’s eyes during the dance, make a connection with them. It’s considered bad manners to look away for too long.”
His tail unwound from his waist to press a button on the sound system on the bench. Turles wanted to practice in the garden, thinking that the scenery would make the arzu feel more relaxed than she would indoors.
Once the sound of a slow and soft tune came over the speakers, Turles started to move while keeping his eyes locked with Ara’s. He gazed deeply in her dark eyes seeing flecks of dark blue mixed in with the obsidian. Her eyes reminded him of the night sky, and he wanted to just sink into those beautiful pools.
Ara felt her nerves slowly disappear while they danced, feeling more comfortable as she lost herself in the music and Turles’ intense gaze. She found herself trying to get closer to the captain, and her tail fluffed up behind her as it twisted in the air.
“Would you like to try on your own?” Turles asked once they stopped. “You seem to have a good grasp of everything now.” Shyly she nodded with a pink blush dusting her cheeks.
Turles had been right. Ara’s magic had done something and it resulted in her being more expressive, and....well human. She had expressions before, but it was night and day compared to now. He thought she would light up before when he gave her something or she ate something she liked but it was nothing compared to when she was happy. Now, her whole being would radiate with happiness.
“Ok, when you dance with a partner, the male will always lead. We’ll start slow.” He slowly shifted so Ara would follow, very much wanting to avoid stepping on her unprotected feet. He considered having her practice in shoes but heels would likely not work very well on the soft ground of the garden.
“That’s it.” He smiled at Ara doing well. He didn’t mind her brief look at their feet so she could watch her first steps on her own. “There you go Ara, now try watching me.” She smiled up at him and Turles felt his heart skip a beat.
“Is this all there is to dancing?” Ara asked, still blushing at how close they were.
“Well, there are more complicated dances. I think we’ll be ok with just this one though. To be honest I don’t know much of the more advanced stuff.” He explained. “Actually, we are supposed to be a little closer.” It was a lie, but he wanted to have her pressed up against him. Kailous he loved that adorable pink on her cheeks as his arm at her waist pulled her closer.
Ara was surprisingly graceful on her feet and Turles wondered if her magic was at work just a bit. It wasn’t something she could consciously turn off. She smiled and resisted the urge to lean in and inhale his scent. Turles wasn’t sure when they stopped moving exactly but they were under a flowering tree that made things almost private and intimate.
The way Ara was looking at him, the trust and happiness he could see in her eyes. She was so beautiful. His hand caressed her cheek before he could help himself.
“I….can I try something Ara?” When she nodded he leaned in and pressed a kiss to her lips. Her blush darkened but she didn’t pull away and Turles took that as a sign he could go a little further. Ara leaned into his chest as he hungrily kissed her again and he pressed the both of them up against the smooth bark of the tree trunk. His hands settled firmly on her waist when he pulled their hips together.
Turles cupped Ara’s face and kissed her again before turning his attention to her neck. The girl whimpered and extended her neck for him. She was so perfect. The pirate was pleased when she responded for him but made himself go slow. He wanted Ara to be in control of how fast things went.
“Tell me if you don’t like what I’m doing.” He said softly before kissing her lips again. He knew it was an order but he didn’t want her to do this just because he was her master. Had he been watching the pirate would have seen a haze clear from Ara’s eyes before she froze. He pulled back when he felt her tense up.
“Ara?” Looking down he saw fear in her eyes before she vanished in the blink of an eye.
“What the! Ara?” She didn’t respond to the call of her name and Turles instantly found himself worried. “Ara, I’m sorry if I scared you.” When she still didn’t respond his fingers touched the amulet. He hadn’t had to resort to more than her name to summon her in months. Carefully, he sent a spark of energy in to the jewel and watched as Ara reappeared in a swirl of flames. She was on her knees before him, head down in submission, but what bothered him the most was her almost violent shaking.
“Ara, what’s wrong?!” He knelt in front of her worried, and it only grew worse when she flinched from his touch. “Ar-”
“I’m sorry!” She whimpered with her eyes clenched shut. “I’m sorry, please don’t take it back.” Ara flinched every time he tried to touch her but she didn’t try to stop him.
“Shh. Ara, what are you talking about? Take what back?” He didn’t understand what happened. “I can’t help if you don’t explain, Ara. Please, look at me.”
“Your order…..” Her eyes were full of unshed tears. “You….you got rid of…something when you said to tell you if I didn’t like what you were doing. Please don’t take it back! You can touch me all you want but do-don’t….don’t…” She couldn’t finish as she started to cry.
“What did I get rid of?” Ara just shook her head. “Ara, tell me what I did, please.”
“I-I can’t.” She finally managed to get out before she whimpered and drew her wrists to her chest. Turles couldn’t help but notice the slight glow on her cuffs. Turles had a feeling he knew what was wrong and felt sick.
“Ara, if I ask something can you nod yes or no if you’re allowed to answer me?” She nodded.
“Are you under orders that you can’t tell me about?” Yes.
“Are those orders part of your binding?” No. That actually made him feel better. He could do something about it, if the orders weren’t woven into her binding.
“Ara, I forbid you from keeping any orders from previous masters secret from me. Even if you were forbidden from speaking of them I order you to tell me what they were.”
“I was to enjoy any sexual act performed by my master.” She said as her eyes glazed over and her shaking stopped when the order took hold. “I may not speak of this with any master that is not aware of this order. I may not hint there is an order. If asked if there are secret orders without a command I will answer no.” She came back to herself and immediately teared up again.
“You only responded because of the order.” Turles felt horrible. He thought Ara liked him. She only responded to his kiss because of an order not because she liked him. He wanted to be angry but this wasn’t her fault.
“I liked when you kissed me.” Ara said not looking at him. “I like being close to you. The order doesn’t work on those things. It didn’t activate until you pressed us to the tree. I panicked because it the first time I’ve been aware of.....” she trailed off not really knowing what to say.
While that made him feel a little better, Turles still felt slightly sick. He moved back to sit on his heels as he looked at the grass.
“I’m sorry, Ara.” His voice sounded hoarse as he spoke. “I should have thought of something like that before. I...” He trailed off with nothing else to say.
He shifted to move further away from the arzu when she threw her arms around his waist to bury her face in his chest. He lifted his arms automatically to embrace her but hesitated. Only when she tightened her grip did the alpha lightly rested his arms around her.
“It’s not your fault, Turles.” She snuggled into the white shirt that covered his muscular chest and inhaled that coffee scent that made her warm all the way down to her bare toes. “Please don’t be upset. I...I really do like you. So…please…”
Ara bit her lower lip for a few seconds before stretching up to place a gentle kiss on the pirate’s mouth. It was a chaste kiss, but the woman shivered at the feelings it caused.
Turles’ eyes widened once her lips met his, but he just relaxed and allowed the contact. He figured that it might be better if she took the lead for now. He didn’t want her running from him again.
His hands stroked up and down her back, making the dark green fabric of her tunic bunch under his hands. He felt her hands clench around his shirt on his chest, and he moved them so that he was resting against the tree with Ara placed on his lap.
The saiyan female broke the kiss with a shaky sigh and rested her forehead on one of the captain’s shoulders. Her cheeks were bright red over the simple kiss, but she really enjoyed it. The feelings were hers.
“Ara?” She let out a hum to show she was listening. “Don’t feel like you have to do this to make me feel better.”
“Ara, tell me the truth. Did you kiss me because you wanted to?” He pulled her back so that he could look in her eyes.
“I kissed you because I wanted to.” She looked up at her master, imploring him to believe her. “I really do like you, and…I liked it when you...kissed me. It was sweet and warm.”
Turles sounded a little lost, and Ara wanted to reassure the man that she was alright and doing this of her own free will this time. She blinked up at him with those beautiful eyes and pink cheeks that had the alpha’s heart racing.
She kissed him once more and the man let out a growling moan. He opened his mouth to lick at her lips before he could stop himself and was rewarded with Ara parting her lips with a mewl.
Turles wasted no time in taking the invitation that Ara so sweetly offered him. He tasted and explored every bit of her sweetness before coaxing her own tongue to join his. One of his hands came up to cup one of her cheek like he had done before as they lost themselves in their kisses.
Turles was the one to end things. His hands had begun to wander and he knew they couldn’t continue. Not yet. Ara didn’t seem to mind as he pulled away and tucked her head under his chin. He could see how happy she was by her fluffed tail gently swaying beside her.
“You smell nice.” She murmured softly before nuzzling into his chest again. “It makes me feel safe and warm.” Turles couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I’m glad you approve. You smell pretty nice too you know.”
“I’ve heard that.” Ara answered with an almost sleepy tone.
“I know you might not want to talk about this,” Turles said pressing his nose into her hair and enjoying the closeness and her own special scent. “But did Cooler....was he the one...” Ara just shook her head and curled closer to him.
“It’s been so long I don’t remember. I’m not even sure who made that wish. It’s been over 800 years at least.” She explained. “Can- can we do that again sometime?” She asked shyly while looking up at Turles with a soft blush on her cheeks.
“You want to kiss some more?”
“Um hmm....I...I really liked it.” She was looking at him with that look again. “You’re a very good kisser Turles.” He had to stop himself from letting her comments go to his head.
“I think we can manage that.” Turles said giving her a kiss on her cheek.
Almond smiled to himself as he watched the captain and Ara dance. They glided across the floor with a grace usually reserved for professional dancers. Ara smiled as Turles twirled her and he found himself amazed at how different she and the captain were in the just a few months.
They looked like royalty, Turles in his ceremonial armor and Ara in her pink strapless ballgown. The captain really had outdone himself with that dress for Ara, with the gold embroidery down the skirt and small jewels sewn on, she literally sparkled under the lights with her gold jewelry. They really did look like a prince and princess.
“I can’t believe we’re actually at one of these and not ‘working’ if you catch my drift.” Diaz said coming to stand by Almond.
“Just stay out of the wine.” Almond smirked.
“I’ve apologized like a hundred times for that!” Diaz protested. “I didn’t know the wine was that potent at Matcha’s party. You know I’m a flirty drunk, I wouldn’t-”
“Relax,” Almond said with a grin cutting him off. “I’m messing with you. Seriously though, the wine is for the guests.”
“I don’t think the captain has ever been this relaxed.” Diaz said as he joined Almond in watching the pair of saiyans. Turles was smiling in a way that the crew never had seen him do. “He’s like a different person now all because of her.”
“She’s good for him.” The red man nodded. “And I’d say they’ve both earned the right to be happy after everything they’ve been through, the little lady especially.”
“Yeah....” They didn’t know the whole story of what happened to Ara but her obvious unease of anyone other than the captain coming close to her told them enough.
Turles twirled Ara once more before bringing the woman close as the music ended. There was polite applause, both for the hosts and the live music.
“That was amazing!” A pair of women that looked very similar to saiyans came up to Ara after Turles had offered to get her a drink. The one that had spoken had blue hair and blue eyes was in a black strapless dress while the other was blonde, blue eyed, and in a red sleeveless dress. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone dance so gracefully!”
“Thank you.” The arzu said shyly. “Turles had to teach me how to dance last week, but I’m glad you liked it.”
“That only took you a week to learn?” The blonde asked. “That’s really impressive. My husband took lessons for a month before our wedding, and he still ended up stepping on my toes.”
“Oh?” Ara lifted a hand to hide her giggle. “I’m sorry to hear that, miss…”
“My name is #18 and this is Bulma.” The blonde answered while gesturing to the blue haired woman. “We’re from Earth in the north section of the galaxy.”
“Wow…I’ve been there and that’s a pretty far distance from here. How did you manage to make it here? When I was there, your people didn’t have space travel capability.”
“That was…like 30 years ago! You don’t even look like you’re 30 years old.” Bulma almost shouted before understanding clicked. “Saiyans must have a longer lifespan than humans.”
“Yes…” Ara was quick to agree, not wanting to explain it was closer to 100 years since she was last on Earth. “Saiyans live for about 200 years average, longer even with the healthcare available now.”
“Wow, you…you look really good for your age.” Bulma said almost stunned.
“So you looked rather smitten with our host. Turles was it?” #18 asked. “Is he your husband?”
“No…but he….we’re partners. That’s what he calls us anyways.” Ara said with a faint blush.
“You must really like him based on that blush of yours.” Bulma said smiling.
“He takes care of me and likes to surprise me with things all the time. He even started this winery because I like to garden, and it gave him something to do with me. I have free reign on the garden at home and can plant anything I want.”
“Oh come on that’s the only reason you like him?” #18 teased with a smile.
“Well…he’s….he’s really good at….kissing.” Ara’s blush darkened another few shades. “Turles is the nicest man I’ve been with, I’m very lucky to have him.”
“Why do you say that?”
“He….he took me out of a….bad situation.” Ara struggled to find words. “He didn’t have to do any of the things he does. Turles even got me this dress just for tonight because he wanted to see me smile.”
“So does your man have a brother?” Bulma asked Ara while taking hold of one of her hands. “The way you talk about him makes him sound so sweet! I wish I could find a guy like that!”
“Well, no brothers, but Turles does have a few close friends that you might like to meet. In fact, I think you might like Diaz.”
“Diaz?” Bulma asked confused. Ara smiled.
“Come with me.”
Ara lead the pair over to the wall where she spotted Almond and Diaz. After the green haired man apologized for his actions at Matcha’s wedding party, the arzu found that she actually liked the guy. He was funny to be around and besides Almond, Matcha, and Pamle, he was the only one she felt comfortable with other than Turles.
“Hello, little lady!” Almond’s voice boomed out once she got close enough. “Shouldn’t you be with the Captain?”
“He’s gone to get us some wine, Almond.” The saiyan woman gestured to her two companions. “I figured I could bring these ladies over so we could talk about the wine. Bulma, #18. This is Almond and Diaz.”
“Hello, ladies.” Diaz bowed at the waist before taking the blue haired woman’s hand. “I hope your are enjoying yourselves this evening.”
Bulma giggled behind her hand while #18 just rolled her eyes. Ara smiled at the group before her eyes glanced around the room before she spotted a hover chair with a horned figure sitting in it. Her face went ashen at the sight of the man and she immediately began looking for the captain.
“Please, excuse me.” Ara glanced around the room in her search for Turles before finally spotting him. “My partner is asking for me.”
She took off for her master before anyone could say anything to her. Almond knew something was up and scanned the room for what could have spooked Ara. He cursed knowing who she must have seen.
“If you’ll excuse me ladies, I have something I need to take care of. I’ll leave you with Diaz, he’s certainly knowledgeable about this particular vintage.”
“I don’t recall you being on the guest list.” Turles said a hint of irritation creeping into his voice as the royal guided them into an alcove.
“I’m not here for your little scheme, pirate.” Vegeta snapped irritated as he stood beside Nappa and Raditz. “Do I even know who you robbed to set this up?”
“Excuse you, this is all 100% perfectly legal thank you very much.” He snapped with a scowl. “Not all my business ventures have to do with piracy.”
“You did something when you went with us to Cooler’s palace. What was it?”
“I told you I didn’t steal anything but a small trinket.”
“I don’t care what you stole, I want to know what you did. The Cold’s are scrambling, almost like their information network has been cut off on one side. You are the only thing I can figure that caused this because it started after your little favor. How did you do it?” Turles glanced at his chest where the amulet lay hidden safely under his tunic. Cooler asked Ara about star systems, information Ara said was easily obtained. What if it wasn’t so easy for someone to get without magic? Understanding dawned on him, Cooler used Ara as a spy. Ara hadn’t understood the tactical aspects of what Cooler was asking because she hadn’t understood what was significant about the questions she was asked.
“Nothing.” Turles said after a bit. “Nothing that I can see causing something like that anyways.” He said lying through his teeth. “I poked around his bedroom, stole a simple piece of jewelry and met back up with you.”
“Turles?” Ara was standing near the entrance with a concerned look on her face.
“He’s busy, woman.” Nappa bluntly said trying to brush her off only to freeze when Turles growled.
“Talk to her like that again, and I’ll rip your tail off and beat you with it.” Ara carefully side stepped Nappa and slid into the alpha’s side, relaxing slightly when his arm slid protectively around her slim waist. “This is my partner, anything you have to say to me can be said in front of her.” Vegeta regarded him carefully for a moment.
“I don’t believe you.” Nappa growled crossing his arms over his chest. “There is no way someone like her is with you.”
“It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not, it’s the truth.” The pirate almost snarled at Nappa. “I don’t have time to play with you anyway. Stop pretending you have anything on me because you don’t. Now, unless you have anything useful or relevant to tonight’s event, please see yourselves out. I’d rather not damage my outfit throwing your carcasses out of my party.”
“You’re the one that needs to stop pretending to be something you’re not.” Vegeta sneered as he looked over the ceremonial armor Turles had on for the night before looking at the arzu. “Why don’t you leave this mongrel and spend some time with a real alpha?”
The woman shifted closer to the captain as he snarled in response. Turles moved her behind him slightly as he bared his fangs. He gave her a squeeze around her waist to show that he was there for her.
“I’m surprised at you, Vegeta.” Turles’ voice was calm despite the anger flowing through his blood. No one was going to take Ara from him. “Are you so desperate for a pretty piece of tail that you’d try to steal it away from someone else?”
“I don’t see a claim on her.” Vegeta smirked. “Afraid she might want a real prince instead of a pirate playing pretend? She’s obviously out of your league, mutt.”
Ara suddenly tensed in his hold and her hands tightly grabbed his arm.
“Turles.” She seemed to be staring at someone…..the pirate cursed as he followed her gaze.
“Damn it, looks like you’re not the only gate crashers.” He said nodding in the direction of the being that had his attention. Vegeta cursed under his breath as well.
“Good evening Lord Frieza, enjoying the party?” Turles asked. “I’m not complaining but I don’t remember your name being on the guest list for my humble little event.”
“Oh please, when I heard someone managed to recreate the fabled Celestial Strike; I just had to see it for myself. I was rather surprised to not receive an invitation.”
“My apologies, I didn’t think a refined pallet like yourself would have any interest in my start up venture.”
“If this is just your start up, I look forward to what other vintages you might happen to create. Oh how rude of me. Good evening, Vegeta, I hope you are enjoying yourself. I never took you for having a refined pallet.” The pirate stiffened when he saw the tyrant’s gaze settle on Ara. If he knew what she was…
Surprise crossed the demon’s face before he chuckled in amusement. Ara’s hands tightened on Turles’ arm and she kept her gaze firmly on the floor.
“So this is where my brother’s toy ended up?” Turles could feel Ara trembling and he gently squeezed her arm to comfort her. “I wondered what he decided to do with her. I must say she was quite the obedient little thing, it almost took the fun out of playing with her, rare as it was.” Turles felt his blood boil.
“I’m sorry?” He said not knowing how to proceed.
“Ah yes, I’m not surprised she hasn’t told you. Quite the well trained little servant, she won’t say anything if she’d told not to, or move even. I swear my brother cheated in our games when he used her. All that aside you have good taste, monkey. She certainly couldn’t pick something so lovely to wear with that empty little head of hers. Do let me know if you ever get tired of her, I’m sure we could come to some kind of…. arrangement. Unless his highness objects that is.”
Turles could see the prince’s eyes narrow in slight realization and he cursed in his mind. Doing his best to keep a neutral expression, the pirate dipped his head politely.
“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind, Lord Frieza. If you’ll excuse me, I need to check in with my other guests. Wouldn’t want to be a bad host, would I?” Turles squeezed Ara’s shoulder as he led her away.
“Quite right, perhaps you monkeys can learn etiquette and manners after all.” The frost demon chuckled as he watched the pair walk away.
The captain caught Almond’s eye and rotated his wrist so his hand formed a circle. Seeing that his signal was understood as the larger man began to round up his crew, the alpha turned his attention to the shaken woman.
Turles gently guided Ara to a balcony away from everyone, keeping a firm arm around her shoulders. She was visibly shaking. Once they were alone she turned, burying her face in his chest, clinging to him.
“Shh, its ok. He’s gone now.” He soothed holding her close and running a hand through her hair.
“Don’t let him take me back….please.” She begged as her shoulders shook with quiet sobs. “Please, I don’t want to leave you, Turles. Don’t let him take me away from you.”
“Does Frieza know?” Ara shook her head.
“Turles, I don’t want to go back. He’ll tell Cooler…” Turles cupped Ara’s cheek and coaxed her into meeting his eyes.
“Look at me, Ara.” He coaxed brushing her cheek. He wanted her to see the seriousness in his eyes. “I will never let him take you away from me. You won’t have to go back, I promise.”
“If he takes the amulet, I won’t have a choice. Turles, he could kill you and take it back. Some one could steal it and there’s nothing I can do to stop them.” She said burying her face in his chest crying.
“Hey, it’s going to just fine.” He softly said lifting her face again and kissing her on the lips. His thumb brushed a tear away. “We are going to figure out your name and set you free. Once we do that, the Colds wont be an issue ever again.” He pulled the amulet from under his shirt and held it in his hand.
“I can’t promise no one will ever steal it, but I can make sure they don’t get to keep it. You can grant any wish that that doesn’t break the rules, right?” Confused, Ara nodded.
“Then I wish for the amulet to always return to me if it is not on my person for more than two hours.” Her eyes widened in surprise, and she looked at her cuffs feeling her magic acting before a rose glow briefly outlined the amulet and Turles.
“Did it work?” He asked anxiously. Like Ara he didn’t want anyone to take her away either.
“I....I think so.” Her dark eyes scanned the jewel and looked at him. “My magic did something before I could even try.”
He gave her a soft smile that she returned before the door banged open. Turles snarled at the intruders shoving the amulet under his shirt while Ara ducked behind him.
“I’m sorry, captain, they insisted.” Almond said glaring at the saiyan prince.
“I want to know how you have a slave that belonged to Cooler, and why the hell you didn’t think it was important to tell me.” Vegeta growled. He tried to shove the pirate out of the way to get at Ara before Turles shoves him back. The pirate could feel a tingle of warmth in his arm and knew Ara enhanced his strength.
“I don’t have to tell you shit, Vegeta.” He snapped squaring his shoulders with the prince. “Remember, we’re even. I don’t owe you anything, certainly not something that isn’t your business.”
“The fact she’s a saiyan and owned by Cooler makes her my business. Now stand aside or we’ll make you. I’m not leaving here without answers.”
“Piss off!” Turles snarled not willing to let Vegeta hurt Ara.
“Turles!” Ara called out a warning as Nappa tried to blindside him with a haymaker. Sadly this left an opening for Vegeta to drive his fist into the captains gut. Almond didn’t move as he heard the hum of an energy blast aimed at his head from the third saiyan.
Ara tried to go to Turles but was stopped when Vegeta clamped his hand around her wrist.
“You are going to tell me everything you know understand?” He snapped. “Who are you!”
“My....I’m Ara.” Her empty hand was trying to pull his hand from her wrist.
“Are you working for Cooler?”
“No! Not for months. Please you’re hurting me...” Ara cried out when his hand tightened on her wrist and she stopped struggling when he gave her a slight shake.
“Why not? Are you his spy? Why did Frieza call you-“
“Enough!” Turles shouted where he was pulling to get out of Nappa’s headlock.
“She’s going to answer me, pirate. Are you a spy?!”
“I’m not! Stop it, please.” Turles could see Ara was afraid and close to panicking. Seeing she wouldn’t act on her own the pirate barked an order.
“Ara, protect yourself!” The reaction was instant. He could feel a warm pulse from the amulet before Vegeta was flung away from her and into the wall opposite them. Turles elbowed Nappa in the crotch allowing him to break free before he ran to Ara who had slid to her knees upset.
She held her shoulders as she trembled. The arzu looked like she was ready to bolt for the amulet, but Turles’ presences was the only thing keeping her in the physical world.
“Are you alright, Ara?” She whimpered not looking at him obviously in shock.
“How dare…” Vegeta’s tone sounded livid as he pushed himself to his feet, drawing the pirate’s focus back to him. “You and your whore dare attack your prince.”
Turles bared his fangs at the other alpha over the insult to Ara. He moved so that he was standing in front of her with his tail coiled around the still shaking woman.
“I’ll see you both tried for treason!”
“Treason!? Ha!” The pirate let out a bark of laughter. “Don’t make me laugh. You and your command structure made it perfectly clear over 20 years ago that any saiyan born off a saiyan world wasn’t one of yours! That we were exiles, remember that? Well guess what, dumbass! You can’t try exiles for treason!”
His claws extended from his fingers as he let out a threatening growl. Ki flickered in sparks along his body as his hair and loose clothing floated with his power.
“Now get the hell out of my party before I kick you out, princeling, and we find out how your brother handles being the new heir to the throne.”
“Like you could take all of us on alone while defending that pathetic female!” Vegeta snarled back as he also flexed his claws. “That creature is so weak she’s not worth protecting! Pathetic, she can’t even handle one attack before she’s on the ground. She should have saved herself the embarrassment and died rather than become a slave to the Colds.” Ara flinched drawing a growl from Turles.
“Who said the captain was alone?” A voice from behind the prince had the shorter saiyan stiffening as the sound of a blaster clicked above one of his ears. “You better do as your told. I’d hate for the little miss to see your dirty blood all over the place.”
Diaz almost snarled like his captain at the sight of the terrified woman, and he pressed the blaster harder against Vegeta’s head. Vegeta growled but realized this was not a fight he could have. He knew he could win, but this was neutral territory and as the aggressor he’d take all the blame and possibly bar the saiyans from other neutral territories. His father would kill him. But he had one shot left he could take at the pirate, something he knew Turles had wanted for more than 20 years.
“I hope she’s worth it, Turles.” Vegeta said with a smug look in his eyes. “I was willing to revoke your exile status if you helped us with Cooler…..enjoy your harlot. If I ever catch you inside the Empire, I’ll see to it the both of you are executed like the worthless exiles you are.”
“If you touch her, I’ll see to it you are the last of your line.” Turles snarled back. “Now get out.”
“I’m sorry…” Ara’s soft words drew his attention away from the departing saiyans. “I’m sorry, Turles. I shouldn’t have…”
“No, you didn’t do anything wrong, Ara. It’s ok.” Turles soothed taking a knee in front of her trying to calm her down.
“I hurt…I hurt someone…..I’m not s-supposed…please…please don’t be mad.” Ara whimpered as her hands tightened on her shoulders. “I’m sorry….”
“Shh…it’s ok.” He gently pulled her hands from her shoulders, he didn’t want her to hurt herself. “You protected yourself like I told you too. I’m not mad at you. Vegeta is….regretfully ok. Can you look at me, Ara? Its ok, I promise. Vegeta can’t do anything to either of us. He shouldn’t have hurt you.”
The crew felt sick seeing what Ara was reduced to. What kind of bastard makes a woman think its ok to let someone hurt her and that she can’t hurt them back? Ara was such a sweet girl and nice to all of them even if she was afraid of them. And now they understood why. Almond was worried enough when Frieza showed up and Ara was certainly afraid of him but he hadn’t expected Vegeta to actually be the one to reduce Ara to this. Turles finally coaxed her to let him hold her and she was shivering with his arms wrapped around her.
“Did you see how she made his feet go over his head?” Matcha said with a grin.
“Mighty prince of the saiyans my ass.” Diaz laughed. “She knocked the shit out of him without even touching him!” The rest of the boys all laughed at that. Ara nervously peeked over Turles’s shoulder at the laughter with her wide eyes.
“You….you like what….I did?”
“Damn straight we did, little miss!” Diaz beamed at the arzu making her relax in the captain’s arms. He let out a chuckle at the comical expression the prince had on his face when Vegeta went flying. “I’ve never seen Vegeta fly like that!”
“It really was good.” Almond hummed as he came closer to the saiyans giving the woman a smile once he saw her relax more. “That asshole got what he deserved for trying to hurt you, Ara.”
“Really?” Her voice was small from where she pressed her face against the saiyan man’s shoulder. “So…I’m not in trouble?”
Turles made an agreeable sound in the back of his throat. He tucked the small woman under his arm to keep her pressed to his side as the stood up.
“It’s fine to defend yourself, Ara.” Turles muttered as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “You will never get in trouble for protecting yourself.”
“Indeed.” Cacao’s mechanical voice came from the door. “It is illogical for one to expect punishment for self defense.”
“While Cacao could use some work on his sensitivity,” Matcha gave a slight glare to the combat cyborg. “He’s right. You are not to blame for anything.”
She shivered slightly as she pressed closer to the alpha, and he wrapped his tail around her waist. The pirate purred deep in his chest to help her relax more as he glanced back into the room.
“Do you want to stay or go back to the ship?” He asked her hoping she caught his meaning. “I can handle the rest of the party if you want to go.”
“I want to stay…with you, please.” Ara looked up at the man with wide pleading eyes.
Turles nodded feeling relieved that she wanted to stay with him. He would be able to keep an eye on her better with her beside him instead of in the amulet. He smiled giving her a chaste kiss on the lips.
“You can always stay with me if that’s what you want.” One of the men wolf whistled at that, and Ara and Turles both blushed before the captain growled at his crew while a number of them laughed. He relaxed when Ara curled into his embrace and let her tail wind around his. They reentered the party and a majority of the crew dispersed. Cacao, Almond, Diaz and Matcha all stayed near by the saiyan couple. They didn’t want anyone else to hurt or upset Ara, not after Vegeta’s little display.
“There you are!” Ara turned at the familiar voice and smiled at Bulma. “I’ve been trying to find you. Your wine is amazing, Ara.”
“Actually I think its our wine, but thank you Ms….”
“Turles, this is Bulma.” Ara explained smiling at him. “I met her and #18 after we danced, and you had to step away for a moment. #18 was very impressed with your teaching skills when I told her you taught me to dance in a week.”
“Not only that but you introduced me to that total hottie behind you.” Bulma teased with a wink at Diaz who smirked in a smug fashion. “But seriously, I wanted to talk with you about investing. I know my wines and this one is amaz- Oh Kami, what happened to your wrist!” Bulma shouted before she reached out to grab the injured limb before Ara shifted away from her. Turles narrowed his eyes and gently took her wrist himself. There was a distinct handprint turning a dark blue-black where Vegeta had grabbed her.
“Why didn’t you tell me he hurt you this badly?” Turles quietly asked reining in the urge to hunt Vegeta down.
“I didn’t realize it was that bad…” Ara said softly not wanting to meet anyone’s eyes.
“Wait, who hurt Ara?”
“Prince Vegeta of the Saiyan Empire.” Diaz spat angrily. “He took offense to something and demanded Ara answer his questions. He even attacked the captain.”
“Ara and I are exiles.” Turles explained, Ara trusted this woman enough to introduce her to Diaz and make friends and that was good enough for him.
“That means you aren’t from any of the allied saiyan worlds right?” Bulma said earning a nod from Turles. “Why did he think she owed him anything? She’s not his subject. That would be like me demanding answers from a namekian.”
“I…I used to…work for Lord Cooler of the Cold Empire.” Ara softly answered pulling her wrist to her chest.
“It’s not something Ara likes to talk about.” Turles explained giving Ara a nuzzle and the pride he felt when she leaned into the touch. “Vegeta and I were talking business, and Lord Frieza approached me as a guest. He recognized Ara, and Vegeta lost his temper I guess. Technically, neither of us belong to either Empire.”
“And he just thought it was okay to assault a lady?”
“He tried to get me to leave Turles. And said some….hurtful things.” Ara said as her eyes watered. Inwardly, Turles smirked and swore he’d give Ara all the kisses she wanted for the fire her behavior lit in Bulma’s eyes.
‘Hell hath no fury, Vegeta….’ He thought to himself.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done, Vegeta?!” The saiyan king shouted at his son in the throne room. The younger of the alpha pair had his arms crossed with a scowl on his face. “You not only went to a party you were not invited to, but you made us look worse than the Colds! To a neutral planet with dozens of potential allies and clients!”
“Do you know how I got the news?! Frieza came strolling in during my meeting with Cooler! You have embarrassed the entire empire with your actions! All over a woman!”
“I heard he tried to get her to leave Turles first.” Tarble muttered off to the side as he watched his older brother get a dressing down. His brother shot him a look of murder.
“This was Turles’ woman!?” The older Vegeta shouted almost shrilly. “Have you completely lost whatever sense you possess?! I can’t believe you threatened his woman?!”
“It’s not that big a deal, Father…” the younger alpha huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Both of them are exiles. They have no influence over the empire.” The princes watched as their father stomped a couple of steps away and started to pace. “And how the hell did you find out about that, Tarble?”
“Oh, my friend Bulma from Earth was invited to the party.” The beta prince smiled innocently at Vegeta. “She called and told me all about it. She heard the whole story from Ara who she made friends with. You left a nasty bruise on her wrist, and Bulma saw it.”
“This is unacceptable, Vegeta.” The king whirled around to face his eldest. “If the woman was an exile, why were you even looking at her to begin with!?”
“I wasn’t going to mate her!”
“Even more reason to have not bothered them!” Vegeta shouted at his son. “She obviously is close enough to Turles to know his history and not care. Claimed or not you should have known better than to interfere. That Turles is publicly appearing with her on his arm at all, obviously means he’s serious about her. Turles has more influence over the empire than you think. There is a reason why he’s so difficult to capture. He and his crew have allies everywhere…everywhere, do you realize just what that means he could be capable of?”
His voice made the heir flinch from the volume. He glared at the older man in slight confusion.
“You are assigned to Red Gem until further notice, and you’ll report to the captain for your duties.”
“What!?” Prince Vegeta shouted on outrage. “That’s a surveillance ship along the borders of our territory! And you’re putting me under the command of a second class?!”
“Be thankful that’s all I’m doing, you brat!” The king snarled making his alpha son back down a little. “I have half a mind to strip you of everything but you name for this incident! Perhaps a year or so on that vessel will straighten your attitude out! I suggest you pack, you’re leaving in the morning. So help me if you disobey me, Vegeta, I will publicly disown you.”
“Not another word, Vegeta!” The elder prince growled and stormed out of the room leaving his father and brother behind as he slammed the door in anger.
“Was that really a good idea assigning him to the Red Gem, father?”
“There is almost nothing he can do to make the situation with Turles worse on that ship. The last thing we need is for Turles to decide he wants Vegeta dead. Your brother is one of the strongest saiyans to ever live, but even he isn’t immune to poison or assassins.”
“You don’t think Turles would actually do that, do you?”
“Just because he helped you doesn’t mean he’s not an opportunistic bastard. If he tries to kill your brother over this woman, there wont be much I can do. Turles will have to be captured or killed if that happens. The empire won’t stand for an exile murdering the crown prince.”
“The whole concept of exiles is stupid.” Tarble bluntly stated. “You can’t control where you’re born, its not their fault they weren’t born here or on an allied world.”
“I agree, but its too late to reverse the decision now. Too many exiles hate the empire for us to welcome them back with open arms. At the beginning of the war with the Cold’s, it looked like our best option after several saiyans were found working for the Colds inside the army and the government. Some of us didn’t even trust the people we lived and worked beside, and we had to make a decision. All of this trouble with Turles would have never been an issue if it weren’t for the exile edict. He tried to join the military. Your brother was the one he approached, ready to swear fatality to right there on one of Cooler’s planets.”
“Vegeta shot him down, didn’t he?”
“From what I understand he beat Turles severely and left him half dead in the street. After that the next thing we hear, Turles is plundering ships left and right under Captain Slug about a year later. He was especially brutal with any “empire” saiyan even though he never killed them.” Tarble was stunned, but not surprised his brother was the reason, or at least part of the reason Turles was a pirate.
“Why did he help me then?” The king shrugged settling into his chair.
“There is no telling. Maybe he felt like it. Maybe he did it for the favor he could get, an opportunity to get onto planet Vegetasei, to piss off the Colds who couldn’t have made his life any better that we did.”
“Father, from the sound of what Bulma told me….I think Turles and his crew are going straight. Nothing happened at the party besides Vegeta and Frieza being uninvited guests.”
“It doesn’t matter if he is or not.” King Vegeta said with a frown. “He’s still a very dangerous man. Never forget that, Tarble. Take my advice and pray your brother realizes how much of a threat Turles can be, and that he’ll leave the pirate and his woman alone.”
Turles was on the patio with a glass of wine in his hands having decided to take a lunch break. Ara was wearing her green tunic, skirt and leggings he taught her to dance in, talking and even laughing with Pamle out by some of the rosebushes. He was glad she was happy and making friends even if he hated sharing her attention and letting her out of sight. But she needed this, and in truth so did he. He’d be no different from her previous masters if he kept her hidden away. He fingered the amulet’s chain absently before he heard the door open behind him. Ara did too, as she turned to see who was there. Smiling she waved at both him and Almond before Pamle pulled her attention back to something.
“How are things going….” Turles asked turning to hand his first mate a drink only the pause at the serious look on his face.
“We should take this inside, Captain…..” He gave the bottle on the stand behind Turles a look. “You might need that.”
“What’s going on?” The saiyan asked as he walked inside with his first mate behind him. “I haven’t seen you this serious since we were on the run for robbing the Colds for our ship tech.”
“You have a bounty on your head, sir.” Almond started immediately. “A big one.” The Captain rolled his eyes.
“Almond, we all have bounties on our heads.” Turles took a swig of wine straight from the bottle in his hand. “Another mark isn’t that big of a deal.”
The larger man sighed as he rubbed a hand over his face. He respected his captain a lot, but sometimes the saiyan could act like a cocky brat. It grated on his nerves whenever he had to deal with this attitude.
“It is when the mark was from Cooler asking for you alive. This is the biggest amount I’ve ever seen for a saiyan, and it’s bound to call hunters from across the galaxy.”
Turles’ expression turned serious as he looked directly at Almond. His hand twitched at his side, and he had to resist the urge to cover the amulet. His eyes flickered to the garden where Ara and Pamle were still kneeling by one of the flower beds.
“What do we know?” He scowled at how the news got him off guard. While he had a feeling that Cooler would eventually find out that he had stolen Ara since he saw Frieza at the debut party, he didn’t expect it to be this soon. They were no closer in finding Ara’s true name.
“Tatoma called us from the palace on Vegetasei. She was in the throne room at the time when the king and Cooler were meeting then Frieza showed up to talk about the party. He mentioned the princeling’s actions as well as Ara.” Almond watched the alpha with an uneasiness. He didn’t want to be on the receiving end of Turles’ temper.
“Shit…” The captain started to pace as he fell into deep thought. “Let the crew know what’s going on. Any of them could be captured in an effort to find this place. We’ll all need to watch out backs, no one leaves this planet alone. Limit any trip to else where to an emergency only right now once any critical supplies we need are here. We need to go to ground until the heat dies down.”
“Sir.” Almond hesitated at the dismissal. Turles was taking this more serious than he expected. “There’s something you aren’t saying about Ara, isn’t there, Captain.” Turles cursed mentally hoping Almond would be like everyone else and assume the tyrant wanted petty revenge on him for having stolen what he believed his property. He should have known better.
“Captain?” The pirate swallowed as he stopped pacing.
“Yes, Almond, Ara is very....unique.” He admit reluctantly. “And it has nothing to do with why I care for her, but she is special.” His dark eyes cut to glare at his friend, almost daring him to betray them.
“Do I get to know why Cooler will be gunning for our heads?”
“.....Vegeta was....closer to the truth than he realized. I didn’t even realize the whole truth until the bastard brought it up.”
“She’s a spy!” Almond shouted alarmed. Turles glared at Almond over the blatant lack of faith in his ability to spot a spy.
“No. And before you accuse her of lying, Ara told me what Cooler used her for. She didn’t realize what he was doing, and I didn’t ask her the right questions at the time.” Almond conceded to that point sheepishly. Ara would have answered his questions without offering extra information early on, that’s just how she was trained as a slave.
“Is she a seer or something?” The red man asked hesitantly. He knew they existed, that saiyans in particular had them in various degrees of ability and strength due to their gods.
“Or something. You will not breathe word of this to anyone, understood?” Turles snapped. Almond gulped at the glare his captain gave him. Saluting Almond left with his orders. Turles growled under his breath as he resumed pacing.
Ara’s magic protected the planet to an extent. It didn’t hide it away from being detected, but it encouraged whoever was looking to look the other way. It wouldn’t hold up if someone was really determined to find it....or if someone who knew where it was brought the Colds here.
The saiyan man stopped in front of a window to watch the tiny woman laugh at something her friend told her. His chest tightened at the sight, and he couldn’t help but feel his lips twitching upwards at her smile.
He was going to need to hurry if he wanted to set Ara free before Cooler or the bounty hunters found him. He needed to keep her out of harms way. The arzu didn’t deserve to be enslaved once more.
“Turles....” Ara’s hesitant voice pulled the pirate from his musings. His office was covered in numerous books in over a dozen different languages and pages of notes.
“Ara, is something wrong?” He asked without looking up.
“No....it’s just...you skipped dinner.” That got his attention, and he looked up from the text on his desk to see the sun had set. He felt horrible, he promised Ara he would have a meal with her everyday.
“I’m sorry, Ara, I was occupied with something.” He gestured for her to come sit with him. She smiled slightly and slid onto his lap while he wrapped his arms around her waist and buried his face in her hair for a moment. “Cooler knows, Ara.”
She went ridged in his arms. He didn’t want to worry her, but she needed to know.
“Hey, we knew this would happen sooner or later. I just wish we had more time before he found out.”
“What are you going to do?” She asked softly.
“The crew is going to ground here. All of our spy’s are being told to keep a low profile. The idea is to give Cooler as few targets as possible so he can’t find us anytime soon.”
“You were looking for my name again weren’t you?”
“I refuse to let him enslave you again.”
“But....Turles, you’ve looked in all these books a dozen times already. My name isn’t in them, at least I don’t think it is.”
“I’m not giving up!” Turles snapped before sighing as he looked Ara in the eyes. “Ara, do you know anything else that could help? There has to be something we’re missing. Maybe another way to free you? Anything.”
“I...I’m sorry I don’t know, Turles.” Her tail drooped before a smile broke out on her face suddenly. “But Piccolo might!”
“Piccolo? Who is Piccolo?” Ara was smiling and her tail swayed behind her.
“He’s another arzu. I met him a long time ago and he knows a lot of things.”
“There are more arzus besides you?” The captain asked with a shocked expression when he realized how ridiculous that sounded. “Actually I don’t know why that surprised me…” Ara giggled softly.
“I’ve only met two others personally, but I’m certain that there are lots more out there scattered throughout the cosmos. I know of two that have been around since basically forever, Shenron and Porunga. They keep to themselves, and I don’t know where to begin even looking for them. They only appear if someone finds a set of magical orbs anyways, at least that’s what I’ve heard.” Ara tapped her chin with a delicate finger. “Let’s see, there’s Piccolo, I met him a few times over the past couple hundred years. He’s a lot older than me, I’m sure…at least I think so, I’ve never asked.”
“What about the other one?”
“Uhh…” The woman looked slightly disturbed for a few seconds. Fire and destruction flashed in her mind followed by screams and a familiar terrifying laugh echoing over all the violence. “…..I don’t think you’d like to meet him.”
“…alright…” Turles said with a hesitate tone. The look on her face bothered him slightly but he trusted her judgment. “If you say so.”
Ara gave a nervous giggle as she nodded. The saiyan man wasn’t quite ready to meet with that particular person at the moment. She might introduce them after the situation with Cooler was over with, but Turles wouldn’t survive the encounter in tact.
“So, where is this Piccolo?” He asked getting back on track.
“Last time I saw him, he was on this little out of the way planet called Earth.” Ara chirped up. She had a vaguely excited expression over the thought of seeing the other arzu. She had missed her friend.
“The one where those women are from? Bulma and #18?” Turles could remember that name being mentioned in passing when he was talking with them after the incident with the saiyan prince.
“That’s the one!” The woman smiled at the alpha and squirmed lightly on his lap. “Piccolo doesn’t visit as many worlds as I do, but he should still be on Earth. It’s only been 100 years since I’ve seen him. Do you wish to go see him?”
“Yes.” Turles stood up while keeping an arm wrapped around Ara’s waist. “If he has any insight on how to free you or keep you out of Cooler’s hands, I’d rather make the trip.”
“Alright. Hold on please.” Ara’s red mist enveloped them and they were gone.
Ara and Turles appeared in an empty wasteland with plateaus and sparse vegetation everywhere.
“Are we in the right place?” Turles asked as he held Ara close to himself. He knew she could protect herself but his instincts demanded he keep herself.
“We should be, this is where I sensed him.” Ara said looking around, her smile brightened as she blinked out of Turles’s hold. Turles could hear the sound of a tackle over the ridge.
“DAMN IT, ARA!”
Bolting over Turles was worried the other arzu was going to hurt Ara only to find her hugging a namekian around the neck with her tail wagging.
“I missed you, Mr. Piccolo. It’s been awhile!”
“It hasn’t been that long, it’s barely been 100 years! And what did I tell you about tackling me?!” He growled trying to shove her off him. She laughed nervously while sitting up before rubbing the back of her head.
“Not to….sorry, Mr. Piccolo, I forgot.” The green man rolled his eyes before getting to his feet. He gaze landed on Turles and both narrowed their eyes at the other.
“He with you, Ara?”
“Yep!” Ara darted over to Turles and pulled him over excitedly. “This is Turles! He’s my current master. He taught me to dance, gave me dresses, and lets me plant whatever I want in the garden at home!” The pirate noticed Ara seemed oblivious to the hostility the green man was radiating as he studied them. Hostility that was directed at him, Turles noticed, and not Ara.
“That right?” Piccolo growled. “Ara, how long have you been with him?”
“Umm…let me see…” the female muttered to herself as she started counting on her fingers. “A year I think? He stole my amulet from Cooler.”
“And what else has he been doing exactly?” Piccolo leveled a glare at the pirate who growled softly.
“He took me to two parties!” Ara said excitedly while her eyes sparkled. “I actually got to be there and not watch through the amulet. And he got me dresses for both, and let me try all kinds of really tasty food! Have you ever had chocolate, Mr. Piccolo? It’s so good!”
“I don’t think I have, Ara. Has he done anything you don’t like?”
“I resent being talked about like I’m not here.” Turles growled. “I haven’t done anything to Ara.”
“Mr. Piccolo?” Ara was confused when her friend growled back at Turles.
“Why should I listen to you? You could be just like all the other dirtbags I’ve had to deal with when they show up here with Ara.”
“Dirtbag! You think you can ‘deal’ with me? I know the rules, you can’t kill me.” Turles growled back. Piccolo smirked.
“She might not be able to kill, but I certainly can.”
“Turles hasn’t done anything to me, Mr. Piccolo.” Ara said stepping between them. “Please, he’s the best master I’ve ever had. We came to visit because we need your help.”
“You need my help.” Piccolo responded almost stunned. Ara nodded.
“Turles has a lot of questions I don’t know the answer to. I was hoping you might. Please, Mr. Piccolo.” She looked at the Namekian with large, pleading eyes.
“…Fine.” Piccolo sighed out as he pinched the bridge of his nose. “What do you need to know?”
“Mr. Piccolo!” A child’s voice rang out, and Ara perked up once more. Turles blinked in shock at the sight of a saiyan cub streaking through the sky heading right for them.
“This is my current master, Gohan.” Piccolo stated as the cub landed. “Gohan, these are…friends of mine. Ara and Turles.”
“Ah! Gohan!” The female met up with the child before pulling him into a hug. “You’re so small this time! It’s good to see you!” Turles raised an eyebrow in confusion.
“Umm…” The boy looked up at her in confusion. “Nice to meet you?”
“Just let her hug you, kid. She’s harmless. Why don’t the two of you train for a bit?” The Namekian suggested. “Ara can show you some new moves, she's actually not a bad fighter.”
“Oh!” Ara perked up with her tail wagging. The tiny arzu turned to the child. “I know this attack that would be perfect for you!”
“Come with me.” Piccolo pulled the saiyan man away from the pair to a stone spire a few meters away.
“The first thing you need to be aware of before I answer any of your questions is that there are no two identical dragons, or what you call arzu. Each of us have different limitations and rules we have to abide by.”
“Like the no killing that Ara has.” Turles said drawing a nod from the namekian.
“Exactly. The rules we are bound by are a reflection of who we were when we became dragons. For example, I can kill but I can’t create on a large scale. I could at most will a continent into being, Ara can make whole worlds simple as blinking.
“Is she really that powerful? I mean compared to other dragons.” It never occurred to him that Ara was different from other arzu…dragons.
“She’s easily one of the strongest I’ve heard of. Ara’s in a class of her own almost up there with Shenron and Porunga. I’m sure you’ve noticed her odd...quirks.”
“Like her not remembering her name?”
“Her not remembering anything, that’s not normal. I don’t know who made her forget but that’s not something our bindings do. This is the most lively I’ve seen her in a long time to be honest.”
“She had quite a few orders placed on her by previous masters that I’ve slowly been unraveling for almost a year.”
“That has to do with the lack of memories. Dragons have the ability to interpret a wish how ever they want. We can, if we choose, make your wishes backfire. Our magic can’t affect ourselves unless we allow it. At some point she forgot that.”
“So what happened to her?”
“I don’t know.” Piccolo crossed his arms as he watched Ara and Gohan work on a ki attack. “She’s actually older than me so she knows the rules and limits of our powers even better than I do. Then about 1300 year’s ago she turned up with a real piece of shit. She didn’t remember me or Gohan and actually let the owner of her amulet….”
“Wait…what?” Turles blinked in confusion. “Just….what? She’s older?”
“One of Gohan’s previous incarnations was her master, and he used a wish to turn me into a dragon before teaching me all she knew.”
“Ara told me she thought you were older.” Turles said sitting down as he struggled to wrap his mind around this information. “She…made you?”
“Humph…you have no idea what you’ve got into, have you?” Piccolo smirked watching the saiyan flounder a bit.
“Gohan, was my first and closest friend. I was badly injured and dying. Gohan was a teenager and alone besides myself and Ara.” Piccolo watched the small child laugh and jump up and down as he managed a small blast. “The wish was in the heat of the moment I think, and Ara took him literally. He ordered her to keep me from dying.”
“But she can’t grant immortality.” The dragon nodded.
“She’s very limited in things involving life and death. She can heal almost anything but mortal wounds or natural disease and age. Ara shown like a star that day, surrounded with gold and red light. I was….reborn I guess. Afterwards she explained and that there was a problem. One master is only able to have a single dragon under their control, there is no cheating or getting around that rule. Because she created me, she was allowed to teach me but once I was aware of everything magic would banish my token to a place it could be found. Gohan asked her for one more wish. He wanted her to bind my amulet to him, so he would never lose his family. She was very understanding and that was the last we saw her for a few hundred years.”
“What happens to the token when the person its bound to dies?” Turles asked.
“Ara is terrified her former master will take her amulet.” The pirate explained pulling the gold necklace out. “I made a wish because she was so upset that the amulet would be bound to me and return if it was off my person for more than two hours. It works, I left the necklace across the room and watched it. What will happen if I die and the amulet is stolen? I don’t want Ara trapped with my dead body forever.”
“You weren’t listening to me earlier.” Piccolo said crossing his arms. “Sooner or later the amulet will find its way to your next life. I told you Gohan wished for me to be bound to him. That little kid over there with Ara, that’s the same Gohan. He’s had a few different names over the centuries but I always end up with him when he’s a child somewhere between the age of 3 and 8. When we last saw Ara 100 years ago Gohan was in his 20’s.”
“Reincarnation is real?” Turles couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“Unless you do something to remove yourself from the cycle like never dying then yes. Sooner or later everyone is reborn.“
Turles found his mind racing. He would be reborn, and he would have Ara in every life from now on if she stayed bound to him. The dreams he kept having made him wondered but he shook that off. It was a coincidence.
“Does he remember….”
“Not always.” Piccolo answered. “Sometimes he has dreams of things or he’ll say and do something that’s just purely him. He would have to wish to remember, but I’ve never suggested it to Gohan.”
“Would you want to remember several lifetimes of all the bad things in your life? Times you’ve been killed or died in horrific ways?” The namekian growled. “The memories aren’t important. They aren’t what make Gohan who he is or was. In all the lifetimes I’ve spent with him, Gohan has never drastically changed from the person he was.”
“Is that how all dragons are born then?”
“No, we all have something different. I’m sure there have been other dragons created the same way, but like I said there’s nothing identical with any of us. What exactly did Ara bring you here for? She could have answered any of these questions if you asked her.” Turles ran a hand through his hair.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting to learn about reincarnation, it never even crossed my mind honestly. I need your help. I’m trying to free Ara. You said she’s older than you, that she trained you, please tell me you know her real name or another way to set her free.”
“You want to free her?”
“I don’t like slavery. When I met her, Ara actually went by the name “slave”. She has been forced to enjoy being taken advantage of, told to be the perfect servant and so messed up she will let herself be hurt because she’s been told she can’t protect herself.” Turles growled with fire in his eyes. “And because I can’t be with her how I want to while I’m her master.” Piccolo’s eyes widened.
“You…you love her.”
“I do. And I’m pretty sure she feels the same way. I’ve tracked down every saiyan and tuffle myth that we think are connected to her but there is nothing that gives us any clue what her name is. Ara, Karoti, Kaosaren, and at least half a dozen more, I’ve even tried wishing for the knowledge of her real name. She doesn’t remember it and wishing gets nothing.”
“Hmm…” Piccolo studied the saiyan closely before something about him seemed to soften. He had an approving glint in his eyes now. “I take back my previous assumption. You’re not a dirtbag…you’re a blind, lovesick fool.”
Turles scowled, but he didn’t deny the words. He was man in love, and he wanted to do everything he could to free the woman that caught his affections. It still made him sick to his stomach at times that Ara was essentially a slave.
“I don’t remember her true name anymore. Her magic is more powerful than mine so any knowledge I had has been erased.” The space pirate seemed to deflate over those words, but the Namekian dragon placed a hand on the shoulder wing of his armor. “However, I do know of another dragon that might know. He’d be the only person that might have a clue other than the Kais, Shenron, or Porunga.”
“Really? What’s his name? Where can I find him?” The saiyan was on his feet in front of Piccolo with painful hope in his eyes. He resisted the urge to grasp the white cloak, similar to his own, and shake the answer free.
“His name is Guru, and he lives on Namek. From what I know, he’s almost as old as Porunga and would be able to resist Ara’s magic. He’s revered as a wise elder by other Namekians. That dragon…is a little strange and…well, you’ll find out when you meet him. I believe his current master is Nail, so if Guru is being difficult, he should be able to help.”
“Thank you.” Turles bowed his head at the dragon in respect.
“Don’t thank me.” Piccolo growled out slightly. “I feel like an idiot sending you to Guru in the first place. I should have the knowledge you seek when it comes to helping Ara. She’s…family.”
“What about that other dragon that Ara knows? She seemed reluctant to introduce me to him. Do you think he would know? And is he the same dragon you’re sending us to?”
“No!” Piccolo’s eyes widened in what almost look like alarm over those words. The saiyan man gave the Namekian a strange look. “Trust me, you don’t want to meet him. He doesn’t like strangers to show up on his doorstep. And while I know for a fact he could help you and Ara, I’m not sure the price would be worth it.”
“…ok…” Turles quirked an eyebrow wondering just what the hell this other arzu did to instill fear and unease in other people. “I’ll…take your word for it.”
“One more thing, when you remove bindings from a dragon, we become mortal again. We lose the power to grant wishes. Ara, she’s going to be weakened when that happens. In what way exactly, I’m not sure.”
“Ara won’t have to worry about anything. I’ll make sure of it. I don’t care if she can still use magic I just want her to be with me as my mate.”
“Take care of her, because if you don’t there won’t be anything that can keep me from ending you.” Turles nodded finding himself having a grudging respect for the dragon. He had the blessing of Ara’s family.
They moved back to where Ara and Gohan were playing some kind of game as they laughed in the grass.
“Ara, we need to go.” Pouting, she sat up and looked at Turles.
“Already? Can’t we stay a little longer?” Smiling, Turles gave her a kiss as he pulled her to her feet.
“Sorry not this time, Ara. But we can come back to visit later. Maybe we can bring them some gifts and go see your friend Bulma too.” She immediately perked up and her tail wagged a bit.
“Ok! Bye, Gohan! Bye, Mr. Piccolo!” She waved before looking up at Turles with bright eyes. “Are we going home now?”
“Not yet. Can you take us to Namek, Ara? There’s a dragon there named Guru. Piccolo thinks he could help us.”
“Another arzu?! I didn’t know Piccolo knew other arzu. He’s been holding out on me!” Turles chuckled.
“He did say Guru was ...odd. Maybe that’s why.”
“Time to find out!” She chirped enveloping them in her magic as they vanished.
“She’s like you, Mr. Piccolo, isn’t she?” Gohan said coming over to his best friend.
“She was my teacher a very long time ago.” He explained getting a wide eyed stare from the cub. “I hope you learned what she taught you.” Gohan nodded enthusiastically.
“She was really nice. And she had a tail like mine.”
“That’s because she’s a saiyan, you have saiyan ancestors.”
“How did you to meet, Mr. Piccolo?”
“Heh…it’s a long story, kid. I’ll tell you when you’re older.”
Turles and Ara appeared on a tall rock where a white oval shaped building with a large window was sitting alone. The pirate looked around the area seeing green skies and blue grass.
“Huh…never seen a planet with three suns before.” The man muttered as he saw the three orbs in the sky. “So is this the place?”
“Yes, Turles. It should be…” The woman looked slightly unsure at the building. “I’m not really familiar with his energy signature, but I’m positive that we are on the correct planet!”
“Well, at least we won’t need to planet hop.”
Just then, a Namekian with white pants, an open blue jacket with a white scarf around his neck cane out of the building, and eyed the pair of saiyans with suspicion.
“Can I help you?” He gruffly spoke while staying on guard.
“Yes,” Turles said. “My name is Turles, and I’m looking for the dragon Guru. I have some questions regarding my dragon, Ara, and another told me that he might be able to help me.”
The Namekian looked between the pair before seemingly coming to a decision.
“My name is Nail, and I’m Guru’s master…if you can call me that.” He meant to say that last bit for himself, but the saiyans caught his lowly murmured words. They shared a glance as Nail turned to the building.
“He’s inside. Follow me.”
The pirate was hesitant, but he followed Nail while keeping an arm wrapped around Ara’s shoulders.
As they followed Nail up the open space in the building to the upper level, a deep voice that sounded like it held years of wisdom washed over the group.
“Ah…I sense another dragon. One who is very powerful yet lost in life. One that needs guidance…” Turles almost gaped at the size of the Namekian before him. He was bigger than the standard attack pods! “Come closer, my child.”
“Don’t,” Nail stopped Ara from moving too close to Guru. “He just uses that wise elder bull crap to lure you close so he can turn you into a space duck or something.”
The warning came a bit too late as a large hand settled on Ara’s head. With a glare, Ara’s magic flared a moment before shoving back Guru’s white aura and with a small puff of smoke and a pop a large green duck with antennas blinked back at everyone in the room.
The pirate took one look before bursting into laughter while hugging his middle. The duck seemed to glare at the saiyan making him laugh harder and tears started to gather in the corners of his eyes.
“That wasn’t very nice.” Ara said crossing her arms. Her soft voice was almost lost over the roars of laughter still coming from her master. “This must be why Mr. Piccolo didn’t introduce us.” Nail just stared back in shock.
“Did she just...”
“Ara’s no light weight when it comes to magic.” Turles said with a smug look. He wiped his eyes as he calmed down from the hysterical sight. “And she’s not going to be pushed around any more if I have my way.”
“Are you going to nice now?” The small female asked. There was a brief flare of white around the duck before Guru was once again his normal self.
“Ahem…” The large Namekian coughed into his hand. “It would seem that you have passed my test.”
“You weren’t testing her!” Nail snapped from his spot beside Guru. “She made your little prank backfire!”
“Do not speak of matters you know nothing about!” The elder snapped at the warrior. “I did happen to test her…her magic reacted stronger than I thought.”
“You mean that she got the upper hand on your old ass.” Nail smirked at the dragon. “I almost wish that she didn’t turn you back. That form seems like it would be more manageable.”
Turles watched the pair with his eye twitching. He started to wonder if coming here was a waste of time.
“How about I turn you into that creature again? The one when you became my master?” Guru’s tone seemed to be filled with a sinister mischievousness. “I’m sure the young one would be happy to see that.”
“I’ve ordered you to never do anything like that again!” Nail shouted. “And I know you cannot go against a direct order.”
Ara giggled as she watched the pair argue. She had never seen a master and arzu like this pair before, and it was funny to watch. She turned to look at the alpha only for her amusement to falter slightly.
Turles was glaring at the Namekians with his arms crossed over his chest. He finally shook his head and moved to leave.
“Come, Ara. Let’s go home. This is a waste of time.” The pirate started to levitate when a deep voice called out behind him.
“So you don’t want to know how to free your dragon after all?”
The saiyan man stiffened in the air then glared over his shoulder. He fought the urge to snarl when he saw Guru look at him impassively.
“How did you know?” Turles almost hissed out ignoring the shocked look on Nail’s face. “You seemed to be to self-absorbed to notice us.”
“Not much escapes my notice, saiyan.” Guru said. “Tell me what you seek.”
The pirate hesitated for a second before landing back on the floor and crossed his arms over his chest.
“I need to know her true name, and another dragon told me that you might have been powerful enough to retain the knowledge when it was removed by Ara’s power.”
“Hmm…” Guru hummed as he raised a hand to rub at his chin. Ara hesitantly came to stand beside Turles and let her tail wind around his. She didn’t know if Guru could help them anymore than Turles did, but she hoped her friend Piccolo had been right.
“I have some of the knowledge you seek. Long ago, I felt a wave of magic that tampered with the knowledge I possess, but I was able to resist the effects for the most part.” Both Turles and Ara looked hopeful over his words.
“Her name is scattered throughout the different cultures. Only pieces are present like a puzzle. You must find the right combination before making your wish.” Turles just stared at the giant namekian dragon, shock evident on his face.
“Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.” He said as he tightened a fist while crossing his arms over his chest. “You are telling me that you felt magic mess with your memories and the only thing you remember is that Ara’s name is scrambled in pieces as part of various myths, is that right?”
“You are correct.”
“You are bloody useless!” Turles snarled angrily. “How the hell is any of that helpful!? Do you have any idea how many different names there are! I can’t unscramble a puzzle if I don’t have something more than that to go on!”
“Turles….” Ara’s tail curled near her leg as she looked at the ground. She was disappointed that this dragon wasn’t really able to help them much. “Surely you know something else, Mr. Guru?” She asked hoping that was the case.
“Perhaps….” Guru rubbed at his chin, “What would you be willing to trade me as payment, little dragon?”
“What?!” Turles growled while Ara blushed.
“None of the other dragons I know ever asked for payment.”
“I’m not other dragons, and they didn’t have the knowledge you needed did they?” Guru said with a smirk.
“I….I don’t have anything….” Ara said softly. “I could make you flowers or whatever else-”
“I have no need of earthly things, I can create as you can.” Guru said. “How about some of your magic?” The old dragon asked. “You won’t be needing it after you’re freed after all.”
“My….you want my magic?” Ara had paled at the suggestion.
“Absolutely not!” Turles snarled stepping in front of Ara to protect her. “I might not know much about dragons, but I’m fairly certain you asking for her magic isn’t done.” Guru merely shrugged as he leaned back into the massive throne like chair.
“Suit yourself. If we are done, would you mind leaving?”
“Wait….” Ara said stepping from behind Turles. “If you can tell us something that can tell us how to figure out my name, a legitimate guide or clue, I’ll….I’ll give you a portion of my magic.”
“Ara, no.” Turles grabbed her arm and turned her to face him. “You can’t do this its not worth it.”
“But its what you want.” She said quietly. “You want my name so you can set me free, and I want you to succeed so I can stay with you. I don’t know how else we could do that, Turles.”
“I don’t want you to give up part of yourself to do that.” Turles said cupping her cheek. “Your magic is part of you, isn’t it? Part of what you are. Tearing out a piece to give someone else isn’t worth the knowledge we can gain.”
“Why are you still here?!” Guru droned in annoyance.
“Actually about that,” Nail said straightening up from where he watched everything. “I might be stuck with this giant green asshole, but I can do something to help you out.”
“Why would you help us?” The pirate asked with suspicion in his eyes.
“Because in the 50 years I’ve been around Guru no one has ever made one of his little jokes backfire. You have no idea how refreshing that was to watch.” Nail said with a smirk. “Guru, I order you to tell them all the information you have about Ara’s true name, including the key to solving it without any form of payment.”
“What!” Guru shouted in disbelief.
“You heard me! Tell them what they want to know!” Nail snapped back. “If you don’t, I’ll order you to give Ara your magic.”
“…Fine…” The larger Namekian huffed out. He coughed into one of his hands before letting out a low hum.
Turles clenched his fists tight enough to draw blood as he waited for the dragon to tell him the clues to Ara’s name. He was about ready to throttle Guru when he started to speak.
“It ends with the beginning, and begins with a star. You already have all the pieces you need.” His face moved down to where it looked like he was looking at the saiyan male. “You just need to put them together.”
“So her name must be in the myths…” The pirate muttered as his face twisted into a deep thoughtful expression. “Ends….star…Star of Chaos? Could that be one?”
“Now be gone.” Guru rasped out as he waved a hand in dismissal. “All your questions have tired me out. I must rest now.”
“You must be a very generous master.” Ara said to Nail as they walked out. Turles looked to be too deep in thought to care over the almost impolite way the large dragon told them to leave.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we arzu don’t really need that much rest. An hour of rest in the object we are bound to is roughly the equivalent to an 8 hour sleep for a normal person in the outside world, and we only need to rest every week or so.”
“What!?” Nail shouted incredulously.
“Uh oh…” Guru’s words were barely heard over Nail.
“Didn’t anyone tell you anything about the dragons when you took this job?” Turles asked as he looked back at his fellow master. “There’s rules about how what they can do, and what wishes that can grant as well as just about them in general.”
“What exactly haven’t I been told!?” The younger Namekian looked at the saiyan pair before glaring at the sweating Guru.
“Well, there are limits on every arzu about what they can grant with their powers, but it’s different for each one. You’ll have to ask Guru what his limits are.” Ara tapped a finger to her chin as she shot the other dragon an innocent look. “Other than that, we don’t eat or sleep. We occasionally need some rest although that’s not very often.”
“Noooo!!” Guru shouted. “Why did you say that!?”
“Is that so?” Nail hummed as he looked back at Guru with narrowed eyes. “Thank you for that information, Ara. I’ll deal with you later!” He snapped at the older Namekian.
“Thank you for all your help.” She smiled back at Nail. “We appreciate everything you’ve done.”
Turles and Ara bowed their heads as they floated to the lower level.
“So did he give you any ideas?” The woman looked up at the pirate as they landed. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but she was praying that the alpha understood or had some ideas of what the clues meant.
“I think so. Sounds like the your name is scattered in the myths I’ve read. Let’s go back home so I can read through them again. I think the first myth is the Star of Chaos one.” Turles rubbed his hand over his chin in thought as he stared at the amulet in his hand. He glanced up to see her nervous expression, and gave her a soft smile while wrapping an arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry, Ara. I’ll free you soon.”
“I don’t think so, thief.”
The voice came from behind the pair, and before Turles could turn, something hard hit him over the head. He fell to the ground in a heap, and the last thing he was aware of was Ara’s cry of his name and a rose colored glow.
Ara recognized the room she was in when Cooler called her forth from the amulet with a painful jolt of energy. It was his quarters on his flagship. Her mind went immediately to Turles and could only hope she acted quick enough to save him. When Cooler struck him from behind, Turles had dropped the ruby only giving the arzu seconds to react before the stone called her back. For the first time in her memory, time seemed to crawl while she was in the amulet. Mentally, she ticked off each second until the amulet was supposed to return to him, hoping it did so before Cooler could find a way to interfere. The demon was quietly contemplating something as he turned her amulet in hand. Ara almost regret Turles giving her back the ability to feel as anxiety and fear bubbled within her while she watched and waited to see what Cooler would do.
As their eyes met, she knew she made a mistake. The ice demon backhanded her hard enough it threw her to the floor.
“You forget your place, slave.” He snapped. Anger shot through her at that word, the one Turles hated so very much.
“Ara.” Cooler paused and looked back at the Arzu who was picking herself up without a mark on her.
“My name is Ara.” She said quietly.
“I’ll call you whatever I like, slave. Unless it’s escaped that small mind of yours, I own you.” He said hitting her again. Ara cried out this time and glared up at Cooler from the floor, but she stayed down. He could hit her all he wanted; and it wouldn’t hurt for more than a few moments, but that didn’t mean she wanted to take more punishment than she had to.
“Do whatever you must to come back to me.’ Turles had told her when they tested the failsafe. ‘If someone steals it and summons you, stall for time. We know it works, just be safe, Ara. Be safe and come back to me.”
“A year with that filthy pirate has taught you some very bad habits.” Cooler’s voice cut through her thoughts. “I think it’s time to remind you who is the master and who is the slave.” She didn’t like the sound of that. Dread settled in the pit of her stomach where she knelt on the floor. “You banished your pirate filth somewhere I can’t get to. I command you to destroy whatever world you sent him to. “
Ara felt her heart stop. She couldn’t do that, she wouldn’t!
“You don’t have a choice. Now do as I command.”
“I can’t kill, you know that.” Ara’s voice shook.
“I’m ordering you to destroy a planet, the same planet a filthy pirate just happens to be residing on, now do it. I know that is within your power.”
Cooler was right though, he had made her do so in the past. Ara anxiously waited for her magic to act so she could try to fight it, but to her shock nothing happened. Cooler raised an eyebrow when there was no telltale glow of magic or energy from the stone in his hand.
“Stop stalling and do as I order, slave.” Again she felt no compulsion from the amulet to do as he said. Understanding dawned on her then.
“You can’t order me to do anything.” She whispered to herself as she smiled. Turles was still the “owner” of the amulet because of his wish for the amulet to return to him so she was only bound to his commands. Cooler couldn't make her do anything.
“What was that?” Ara looked up at him with a spark of fire in her eyes.
“You can’t tell me what to do anymore. Turles is still my master.” With a shout of rage he attempted to strike her again as she got to her feet only for his hand to slam into an invisible force field. “And I that means I don’t have to let you hurt me anymore either.” Ara said with a look of defiance in her eyes. She was allowed to protect herself. Cooler didn’t own her anymore.
She flicked her wrist and sent the frost demon flying until he crashed into a wall while the amulet fell out of his hand. Cooler growled and rushed to hit her, but a barrier erected itself in front of the arzu, stopping the kick just inches from her face.
Cooler’s red eyes widened, and he jumped back before starting to fire off ki blasts at the woman, heedless of the damage he was causing to the room. He gritted his teeth as he saw that none of his orbs were having any effect in cracking her shield.
He switched to a barrage of physical attacks, that struck the shield with great force, but nothing he did seemed to be working. He snarled and used a ki infused punch to strike at the barrier with a loud bang that made the walls of the room bow out.
His arm was shaking with the strength he had used, and Cooler glared at Ara with malice as he tried to push his arm forward.
“Like I told you.” Ara whispered as she lifted a hand so that it was almost level with the frost demon. She slowly extended her arm making the barrier force Cooler away with it. “You can’t hurt me anymore.”
“I own you!” He snapped back as he put pressure on the shield, but he was still pushed back even as his feet dug into the metal of the room’s floor. “You are nothing but a slave, and I will make sure you remember it once I’m through with you! That pirate will not be able to help you once he’s dead!”
Ara’s eyes narrowed at the threat to her master, and she pulled her outstretched arm back before throwing it out once more. The wave of magic slammed into the man as he was flung back into the wall where he left a large dent in the metal.
“You will leave him alone.” Her quiet words were full of strength, and the arzu seemed to radiate power as she took a couple of steps towards the downed frost demon. “I am not a slave, and you will never come near me nor my master again.”
Cooler glared at the floor as he slammed his fist against it. He would not allow this…this creature to get the better of him. She should know her place by now, and he would see to it that she never forgot.
“You insignificant worm…” He hissed through clenched teeth. “Did I not save you from being used as a whore from your last master? And this his how you thank me!?”
“You didn’t save me from anything.” Ara snapped. “You demanded tribute, and then you killed him when he gave you the amulet. Whatever he used me for was irrelevant after that. You were no better than him with the games you and Frieza played. You used me as a plaything, a toy for your entertainment. How was that any different from Bojack?”
“You can’t be injured for long, and you can’t die so why do you care?”
“Because I still feel pain! I still feel fear! You would have me stand there helpless while you and Frieza took turns seeing how close you could throw knives or shoot at me without hitting me. How about you and he competing to see who could make their slave cry out first, and you ordering me to silence, and I had to watch some other person be tortured for your amusement!” She shouted at him with anger burning in her eyes.
“I could have done worse, and you know it.” Cooler snapped. “But since you’re so ungrateful for the mercies I did grant you, that can be easily rectified. I have no particular use for having sex with you but I’m sure I could make a reasonable amount of coin and favors selling you off to my officers and my family’s subordinates. And I’ll leave you fully aware and helpless as they use you to the point you’ll beg me to take away your free will. I will wound you in such a way it leaves a lasting mark on you. As for the pirate, I’ll make you watch as I destroy him and I’ll make you torture him before I let him die.” Arya’s eyes narrowed as hate boiled within her before her power flung him into the wall again.
“You aren’t strong enough.” She snapped. “I have yet to meet a mortal able to significantly harm me for more than a few minutes in the hundreds, no thousands of years in my memory. You will not touch Turles.”
“You’re certainly protective of that space trash. He wished for your loyalty didn’t he? Or is it because he’s a monkey too?”
Angrily the female charged Cooler. He grinned thinking he got the upper hand, and she ducked under his blow before hitting him squarely in the gut before catching his other punch and flinging him across the room. Growling the demon began a rapid assault of blasts only to meet Ara’s shield again reflecting his attack. Knocking a blast to the side he watched stunned as the arzu gasped and froze up.
Sharp red eyes glanced around wondering at the source of her sudden weakness in the center of the scorch mark lay the amulet. Ara tensed and moved to fling him away from the amulet, but Cooler was faster. His fist slammed into the amulet drawing a gasp of pain from Ara.
Cold, red eyes landed on the amulet that is fist had hit to see a tiny crack and a cruel smile grew on his face.
“Seems I can hurt you after all.”
From the look of fear on her face he knew it had to be true. His foot settled on top of the stone, and he slowly applied pressure. She clutched at her chest before falling to her knees.
His foot slammed down again making a crack sound through the room that was accompanied by a loud cry of pain.
The saiyan woman used her waning strength to throw him aside as he moved to hit her prison again. A blast shot from Cooler’s finger aimed at the necklace, and Ara dove to cover it with her body. As soon as the skin of her hands touched the gem, pain flickered up her hands and arms like fire. Still she grit her teeth and held it close to protect it.
The blast hit her shoulder making the woman cry out as her magic tried to heal her. The ruby flashed as Ara’s power tried to escape the gem, some red and gold light actually leaking from the hairline fractures. A flash of bright light came from the amulet, blinding Ara and Cooler. Once the tyrant could see again, both the amulet and Ara were gone.
Turles winced at the pounding in his skull when he started coming to. Grass was brushing his face and the air was cool with the sensation of predawn. Groaning he hissed as his hand brushed the bleeding lump on the back of his head. The last he remembered he was with Ara on Namek….
“Oh shit! Ara!” His hands relentlessly pulled at his clothes and pockets looking for the amulet. He remembered he was holding it…it was lying in the grass in front of him when he hit the ground before Ara had screamed his name. “Thief.”
“Cooler….” He had dropped the amulet and then…..there was nothing. This wasn’t Namek, that planet didn’t have a night. Glancing around he realized why everything felt familiar to him. It was the garden. That glow…Ara had sent him to safety somehow. But how long had it been since then? He wished he knew how long he’d been unconscious, it could have been minutes or hours. Worry ate at him as he sat and could do nothing but wait. To get to Namek from here would take weeks, by which Cooler would be gone. Cooler would make sure Ara couldn’t be stolen from him, he would come deal with Turles personally or have Ara summon him most likely. Fearing the worst, he forced himself to relax. Ara could take care of herself, and her magic would return the amulet. He just had to wait two hours. If it didn’t return then….he’d figure out what to do from there. But he would die before he left Ara in that monster’s hands.
He had no idea how long he had been out, and the alpha was worried about Ara. There was no telling what was happening to her, but Turles had faith that she would be alright. She could protect herself now, and Ara knew that she would come back to him. That made some of his anxiety fade, but he hated that she was not with him.
Trying to relax some, the pirate went into his home to clean up the blood out of his hair so he wouldn’t startle the arzu when she came back, and to also wait inside in case any of his crew came to his manor.
After a brief scrub with a wet towel, Turles started to pace in his room while time seemed to drag by at a galactic slug’s pace. He had tried to look through his notes and books to try and piece together Ara’s real name, but the alpha couldn’t focus enough to concentrate fully on the information.
“Damn…I should have made the time limit shorter.” Turles growled as he ran a hand through his spiky hair before slamming his hands down on his desk. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this!”
Just as he was reconsidering hoping into his ship to look for Cooler, a rose colored light ignited just a few feet from the male saiyan, making Turles shield his eyes while letting out a sigh of relief.
“Ara.” He took a step closer to the woman with a smile growing on his face at the sight of her when he took notice of her appearance.
“Captain...” Her eyes were glassy when she looked up at him before the amulet dropped to the ground at his feet, Ara following not far behind it as she went limp and collapsed. Panicked Turles caught her before she could hit the ground.
“Ara! What’s wrong?!” He’d never seen her like this. She was so weak she could barely hold her eyes open. “Tell me what’s wrong. I can’t help you other wise!” Her hand shook as she lifted it and pointed to the amulet. Confused grabbed the pendant and felt his insides freeze. A massive crack ran down the center of the stone. Without asking her, he knew that was not good. The amulet was her vessel, the physical object she and her magic was bound to.
“How did he do this!? Can we fix it!?”
“I don’t....know....if I...can...” she answered softly. “C-cooler....” Whatever he did she couldn’t seem to get the words out, and Turles was honestly afraid of what he could have done to make her this way. He gently grabbed her hand just needing to comfort her. He didn’t know how to help her and flinched when she whimpered in pain at his touch. Feeling something wet, he turned her palms up to reveal a round bleeding burn mark…..that was the same size as her amulet.
She had touched her amulet, something that was forbidden by the contract, and to top it off the stone was cracked. Slipping the amulet around his neck so he wouldn’t drop it he gently lifted her up, cradling her against his chest.
“Ara, this is very important. Can you take me to the kais? If anyone can help it’s them. Please, Ara.”
“No, stay awake, Ara!” Turles felt panic set in. Ara didn’t sleep, he didn’t know what would happen if she fainted. If that happened and she never woke up….“Ara, I wish for you to take me to the kais that bound you!”
With a weak nod, Ara had a faint red glow form around her and they vanished.
They appeared on a green world with a purple sky. Ara went limp in his hold as her power vanished. Looking around, Turles cursed not seeing anyone immediately.
“Damn it. Where are they? I don’t have time to look for them.”
“Look for who?” Spinning around he saw a young looking....person? They had pale purple skin and a white mohawk.
“Are you the kai that bound her?”
“What? Why would....” His eyes widened noticing the metal bands on her wrists and ankles before taking in the weak breathing and paleness of her barely awake form. He glared up at the saiyan as he rushed over to the pair. “What happened to her?! What did you do!?
“I didn’t do this to Ara! Her former master did!” Shifting Ara his hand grabbed the Kai’s shirt and drug him closer to get in the purple beings face. “And if you don’t help her or point me to someone that will, I will end you.”
“What’s all the ruckus?” Both Turles and the young kai turned to see an older version of the kai.
“Kaio...shin...” Ara’s voice was weak.
“You certainly made a mess of yourself didn’t you?” He said looking at her sadly. “Put her down so I can have a look. Do you have the amulet?” Nodding Turles stripped off his cloak before laying Ara on it. He quickly handed the ruby amulet to the old man.
“What the Devil happened to it?!”
“I don’t know! It was taken by someone. When the failsafe activated she came back like this.”
“I wished the amulet would return to me after so many hours away; So no one could steal it and keep me from setting her free. Ara was scared someone would take her back to Cooler.” The old kai regarded him for a moment before turning to Ara again.
“I tried to tell you, you stubborn girl.” He said brushing her hair from her face. “You don’t know who he is do you?”
“I feel like I should....” She said softly. “I feel happy with him....” Sighing he flexed his palms and made a dome of light appear over her.
“Come with me.” He gestured to Turles. “Shin, keep an eye on her.”
“Yes, ancestor!” He kneeled down next to Ara and held his hands out. A white glow outlined his palms, and the same light outlined the arzu.
“What are you doing to her?” Turles growled out as he watched the younger Kai. He took a couple of threatening steps closer to Ara and Shin. “You better not be harming her!”
“Pipe down, saiyan. He’s keeping her condition stable.” Kaioshin huffed as he snapped his fingers making the pirate freeze in his tracks. “Honestly, you’re race is the most high strung I’ve ever met.”
The alpha glared at the older man out of the corner of his eyes while his chest rumbled in a deep growl.
“Now,” The Old Kai turned back to Shin. “If she starts slipping out of stasis come get me. I need to have word with her master here.”
He snapped his fingers again, and Turles stumbled as he regained mobility. He turned ready to punch Kaioshin while the white haired man just lifted an eyebrow.
“Are you coming?”
They walked far enough away that their conversation wouldn’t be heard. Before the old man sighed looking away from the saiyan.
“You certainly took your sweet time coming back to her, Brassic. I honestly thought she was right all those years ago. Oh well, I suppose 1000 years too late is better than never”
“What are you talking about? My name is Turles. Brassic is the name of a character in one of the myths about her.”
“And why do you think I called you that?”
“You’re obviously senile.” He growled. “Can you help her or not?”
“That depends, how much to you remember.” He asked looking Turles in the eyes. “You know what I’m talking about. All the dreams you keep having. I see their marks on you. You remember something don’t you, Brassic?”
“How do you know about those? They’re just dreams! Side effects of looking for her name for so long.”
“Or they’re your past life trying to help you remember and save your soul mate.” The kai shot back. “You know I’m right, don’t you? You were her lover before you were slain. If you had killed Caul yourself, none of this would have happened you know. I honestly don’t think you deserve her.”
“How dare you...” the pirate hissed. “I’m trying to set her free from what you did to her!”
“And it’s your fault she doesn’t remember anything!” Kaiōshin shouted back. “She waited, bound in servitude for 1300 years. She waited hoping everyday to see you again, for you to return so she could free herself when you used her name. When you never came in all that time...she gave up.” He struck Turles with two fingers on his forehead before he could react.
Ara sat on her knees as the kai approached her. She had gone to an asteroid in the far reaches of space this time after she tricked her master into releasing her from their service.
“I should have known you’d find me.”
“When a planet suddenly vanishes from existence, I can feel it you know.”
“No one died.”
“Then why are you here.”
“I got the distinct impression I needed to stop you from doing something reckless.”
“You lied to me.” Ara said quietly. “You said I would see him again.” The kai glared at her.
“I didn’t lie to you. I saw you and Brassic together again in a vision.” She turned glaring at him.
“And when will that be! It’s been 1300 years.” Ara shouted as tears filled her eyes. “I’ve seen so many from my life. Prince Vegeta, my father, my brother,- I’ve even seen Caul twice.”
“I promise my visions don’t lie.” He said coming closer. “—ara, you will see Brassic again.” She just hung her head in defeat.
“What’s the point if he doesn’t remember?” Surprise lit the deity’s face.
“You said you hadn’t seen him!”
“It wasn’t him. They looked like him and smelled the same but it wasn’t him. He wasn’t my Brassic.” Her hand grasped her chest as she sobbed. “I’ve waited 1300 years for him, only to see he’s forgotten everything. I can’t do this anymore.”
“You can’t die, ---ara. It’s part of the binding remember?”
“I know.” Her calm detachment shocked the kai as a ball of pale blue light formed in her hand next to her chest. “I’m going to forget. I want to forget everything. Anything and everything connected to him, all of it.”
“Are you insane!? You’ll forget why you became how you are!”
“Better that than waiting for something that will never happen.” She said looking sadly at the ball of memories.
“This is everything. My mortal life, my dreams, even my name. Everything but the knowledge I’m a saiyan and what the rules of the binding are. I don’t even know if I’ll remember you.” She said with a hollow laugh.
“You’ll never be free of the binding if forget your name! Please reconsider.” She just shook her head. “At least keep the knowledge of the kais. If something miraculously damages your amulet, how will you survive?” His eyes widened in realization. “You don’t want to survive if it’s damaged, do you?
“I’m so tired of waiting. So tired of being alone and having this hole inside my heart where he should be.”
“And what happens when your Brassic does find you?! Are you going to make him suffer because you’re the one that won’t remember him? Even if you die it’s not the same thing as when you were mortal. You won’t go to the afterlife, you just stop existing!”
“You’re assuming he’ll come back, that he’ll remember anything at all. If he was going to come back, if he could come back he would have done it by now. I can’t....I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep waiting and hoping to see him every day only to feel my heart break each night he’s not here.” The grief in her voice was painful to hear, and even he could see she had no strength to keep going.
“Tell him I love him.” She said as he turned away knowing her choice was made. “If he ever does find you, will you? You’ll tell him for me?” She needed to hear him say he would.
“Of course.” A small grateful smile passes her lips as she cradled the orb in her palm. In it she took one last look at her most cherished memory as Brassic placed his token around her neck claiming her under the moon.
“I love you....so much.” She whispered as she closed her eyes shedding one last tear. “And I’m so sorry.” Her hand crushed the ball and light exploded around them.
As he came back, he could see the sadness of the old man.
“I wish I could have talked her out of it. I wish I had released her myself rather than see the shell she became. That is my sin. I’m not the one who took Ara’s memories, she is.”
“But....how could she take her...”
“More like she destroyed them.” The kai said. “She may as well have killed herself that day. She might not be able to die unless her amulet is destroyed, but she was a completely different person. There was no life in her, just a willingness to serve and keep her master happy. I’ve watched her hoping she was wrong, that you would magically appear and make her remember everything. But no, you show up over 1000 years too late denying you know anything. To you it’s a fairytale. So tell me why I should save her?”
“Because I love her! And if freeing her means losing everything I’ve gained from her so be it.” Turles said. “I’ve been missing something my entire life, and she is the only thing that has ever filled that hole inside me. I swear if you don’t help her, I will do my damned best to kill you and every kai existence before I raze your world to ash.” The old man surprised Turles when he smiled.
“There might be hope for you and Ara yet, but it’ll be up to you to heal her.”
“What do I do?” Turles asked. If this being said he could heal Ara he would do what ever it took.
“You have to make her remember.”
“You just told me she destroyed her memories, how am I supposed to make her remember?” He growled in frustration. Why did every mystical being but Ara have to speak in riddles?!
“Yes and no. Ara did sever her connection to her memories when she wiped them out, however the threads are still there. They are disconnected from everything which is why she can’t remember them. Think of them like links in a chain or beads that are unstrung.”
“So the pieces are there, she just can’t get at them. That’s what you’re saying right?”
“Precisely. I can’t either, but you, on the other hand, can.” The older kai said. “You or your past life was the common link in everything she severed. Somewhere in here,” he said pointing at Turles’s head. “are memories that will guide you to hers. From there, it’s just following the pieces of her memories until you find her name. Once you find her name, you can free her and she’ll be restored to her mortal state which should heal her.”
“Lets do it.”
Ara’s eyes fluttered open weakly as she felt Turles kneel over her.
“T-turles…?” His hand cupped her cheek and brushed it lovingly with his thumb.
“Hang in there, Ara. I’m going to fix this ok? I just need you to hang on.”
“Ok…” She answered with trust in her eyes. Leaning down he gave her a soft kiss.
“Rest your forehead on hers, it will be the least stressful on her mind and yours.” Nodding the pirate did so, and he felt a sharp pain before everything was enveloped in white light.
“Brassic!” Ara was holding his face, a frantic look on in her eyes. “Brassic! Stay with me.” His hand gently cupped her cheek, and he could see the blood on her, his blood.
“Run…you have…to run…” He coughed and could taste his blood. Her hand gently covered his.
“Please….please Tarro don’t take him from me.” She sobbed trying to keep him from bleeding out. “It...I can heal you, Brassic, just stay with me. Please....I love you, don’t leave me alone. Please you’re all I have.” Gently he tugged her down and kissed her, desperate to convey everything he couldn’t say.
“I love you….always….”
“No! Brassic!” Ara screamed at him as tears ran down her cheeks. She was holding him tight to her chest before she was ripped away. “Let me go! Brassic!”
“He’s dead.” The massive saiyan growled out before jerking Ara forward. Snarling she struggled as her feet dug into the grass.
“He’s not! Let go of me! I can heal him!” Snarling Caul spun her around to face Brassic.
“He’s dead.” His hand gripped her chin and forced her to look at the body. His chest was no longer moving, and his eyes stared blankly at the sky.
“No….no…..He can’t be….” Tears flooded her vision as all the fight went out of her body. “He can’t…..”
“He died a warriors death.” Caul said as his hand gently caressed her cheek. “I gave him that much. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. I won’t leave you like he did.” Ara struggled in his hold before a cry of grief tore through the air as she broke down sobbing. The alpha tensed and tightened his hold on the distraught woman when her power spiked before rippling outwards. The grass beneath them instantly became dry and brittle, spreading outward as a harsh hot wind blew through the garden. Flowers died, fruit and vegetables rotted, and trees withered losing their leaves as Ara screamed and sobbed her grief. Not about to deal with her screaming and struggling he reached up and knocked her out.
Her head hurt when she came to laying on sand near a small crackling fire. She couldn’t remember where she was.
“Brassic?” Her throat was dry and raw as she sat up.
“He’s dead.” Caul said getting her attention as he walked up to the fire. “You’re mine now.”
Tears filled her eyes as she remembered. Looking down she saw his blood on her hands and skirt. Her chest ached and she felt cold and numb. Something landing in her lap snapped her from the downward spiral her thoughts started taking. A damp rag sat on her dress.
“Clean off the blood or I’ll do it.” She was covered with her mate’s blood. Whimpering she broke down sobbing. He was gone. Brassic was gone, and this time he wouldn’t come back. There was a loud growl before she was roughly grabbed, and he started wiping her hands with more force than necessary.
“Stop it!” Ara screamed angrily trying to pull away. “Don’t touch me!”
“I’m losing my patience with you, woman. You are mine now, if I want to touch you I will.” He snapped.
“Never.” Ara snapped. “I will never be yours. Brassic was my mate. He is the only one I’ll ever belong to.” Her head snapped to the side when he lightly smacked her.
“He’s dead. You belong to me now.”
“You killed him!” Ara cried as tears streamed down her face, and she attacked him. Sighing in irritation he caught her wrists and restrained her as she struggled and screamed at him. He ripped a strip from the hem of her skirt and used it to bind her hands behind her and another to bind her ankles. He left her on the sand to wear herself out while he spread his cloak close to the fire. When he came back, his hand grabbed her by the back of the neck like one would a kitten before wrapping his massive arm around her waist and his tail around her leg as they lay by the fire.
After struggling uselessly to get loose, she bowed her head crying softly. She flinched when Caul’s fingers began brushing through her hair and a deep purr rumbled in his chest.
“It will get better. In time you’ll forget about Brassic. I’ll make you happy, and give you all the cubs you want. You are mine now.” Whimpering Ara turned her face away when he leaned down to kiss her. Caul frowned but let her be as he kept stroking her hair eventually the pair dropping off to sleep.
“Drink.” He demanded setting her in the cool shade of a tree. Ara stared blankly at the sand. She had been that way for two days. She couldn’t find the energy to speak or even care about anything. Caul kept her tied after she tried to run that first morning.
“I said drink.” He growled pulling her attention from the yellow sands around them. She stared blankly at the water skin before turning her head in silent refusal. She felt numb and cold in spite of the heat and just didn’t have the energy to care about anything. She refused food during meals as well.
“You have to drink.” Caul snapped in frustration. She refused him again. All she wanted was to sleep and never wake again. She begged Tarro to take her, to let her be with Brassic, for Caul to kill her so it would end.
Growling the alpha put the water skin away and gathered her in his arms again to which she didn’t resist anymore. She was limp and listless in his arms. Ara didn’t know where they were going, nor did she care as Caul continued onward through the desert.
It was cold that finally pulled Ara into awareness. She was kneeling before an altar dressed in a simple red skirt and halter top that bared her midriff. A gold chain adorned her waist along with a headband of jewels tied around her forehead. Caul had wound a wine red silk ribbon around her tail in an intricate pattern, and she could feel a weight on her ears from some dangling earrings. Her wrists and ankles were still bound as she looked around in confusion. The temple was dark and swathed in shadows and she could hear the dripping of water.
Caul entered then in white pants and a red sash around his waist. He wore a gold chest piece and headband like hers. This was a mating ceremony. Ara struggled and was surprised to see how weak she felt.
“Good, I was hoping you would be aware. It will make this simpler.”
“I will not mate with you.” She said tugging at her bindings.
“You’ll see things differently soon.” He said cupping her cheek for a moment before approaching the stone alar and raising a knife.
“Oh great one of darkness, I beseech your help.” Caul said lighting some incense that gave off a heavy purple smoke. “I wish to make this woman mine. Her mate is dead, and she still pines for him. I am stronger and more worthy, having won her in combat. I ask that you break the claim of Brassic so I might have my own. I ask you use your power to make her mine.” He cut his palm and bled into the basin on the alar. The smoke thickened and coalesced into a shadowy shape with only a pair of dark eyes truly visible.
“This woman is marked by Tarro….”
“I want her. Please help me, great one.” Caul knelt in respect.
“Take the token around her neck…..” the god said in a soft whisper. “While she wears the moonstone I can do nothing….” Ara tried to move away but Caul had hooked her wrists to a ring in the floor. He ripped the stone flower away snapping the cord.
“No! Give it back!” Her eyes watered. “It’s all I have left of Brassic! Please!”
“Crush the stone and mix it with your blood….”
“No!” Ara screamed desperately fighting to get free. Caul’s hand closed around the lotus and squeezed. She felt her heart break as he poured the crystalline powder into the blood while Caul dropped the mangled chain on the ground. She stared at it forlornly. Brassic had spent so long carving that for her, it was part of him. And now it was gone just like he was.
There was a bright glow from the altar and the blood rose into the air spinning before forming into a flawless ruby as gold materialized around it.
“The jewel will keep my dream in place and anchor it….” That said the smoke flowed and swirled around Ara before it entered her body despite her struggles. Cold burned her insides as memories flashed in her mind. She saw the river, pulling Brassic….pulling Caul from the river, healing him….She shook her head. That wasn’t right. She didn’t pull Caul from the water….Caul weaving flowers in her hair…Ara screamed and writhed in pain as she tried to fight it.
“Stop it! I don’t want this! Get out!”
“Let the dream take root….” Nasu purred. “You are hurting, child, let my dream give you peace….” Caul was kissing her….he was proposing…no Brassic asked her to mate him! He ….he mated with her! The flowers…the red-no the blue lotus flowers….Her head felt like it was splitting.
“I don’t want it!” She shouted as tears ran down her cheeks. “I don’t want this lie!” Caul’s hand cupped her cheek and coaxed her to meet his eyes.
“Your pain will end. Let Nasu help you forget. You can be happy with me. Isn’t that what Brassic would have wanted?” Something shifted inside her at those words, and she felt a wellspring of power slowly rise up within her.
“….How dare you…..” she hissed coldly as her eyes hardened. “How dare you of all people tell me what he would have wanted! You murdered him in cold blood when his back was turned! You don’t get to tell me what he would have wanted! And now you ask the god of darkness to take my memories of him after destroying the token he carved for me with his own hands!” A visible aura of gold and red light began bleeding off her body while the temple shook. The ties holding her incinerated with a burst of flame as Ara rose to her feet and floated barely touching the ground.
“Get out!!” She screamed opening the well of power even wider as she clutched at her head and the pressure there from whatever Nasu was doing. She wanted the dark one out of her mind and away from her memories. “Get out! GET OUT!!!”
The aura around her burst into life and a high powered wind emitted from her body. Caul was flung away from her as Ara screamed, and the power lashing around her started to destroy the temple.
She could hear the Nasu screaming in her mind as power surged through the saiyan woman’s body, draining the god that was possessing her. Ara cried out with the dark one as pain ate at her from the inside out until the black, smoky form of the god was banished from her body.
The smoke writhed in the air shrieking in pain before a reddish golden beam of ki flared off of Ara like a solar flare and destroyed it. Her eyes landed on Caul who looked at her in shock before she snarled and glared at him through red eyes.
“You don’t get to make me live a lie! Brassic will never be replaced from my life especially with someone like you!” Her rage filled words were followed by another blast of ki that went through the man and took out supports for the temple.
Ara didn’t notice as the building and cave collapsed around her she just let out another pained filled scream as she floated higher into the air with her aura protecting her from the debris. Her form emerged from the rubble burning bright like a crimson star.
She didn’t care that the planet was shaking as she continued to scream the pain of her loss to the heavens, or that flares and beams of her power were burning the land around her into crystal sands, or that people and animals were fleeing from her.
All she cared about was that her mate was dead and that she wanted to join him. The surge of her divine infused power started to burn her body from the inside out. She knew that if she kept this up long enough, her own ki would kill her, and she’d be reunited with Brassic in death.
Teas streamed down her face but evaporated into steam as soon as they fell off her chin and jaw. Ara grit her teeth and pulled her body into a ball to gather more of her energy as she got ready to release the last of her power in one final blast.
Just as she was getting ready to fire out her life force, her ki was cut off from her like a flame that had been snuffed out. Ara let out a weak gasp before falling from the sky. Her body landed in the sand she had created from her rage. Her black eyes stared up at the red sky with a lost expression before a man with purple skin and white hair appeared over her.
“You’ve certainly caused a mess, girl. I’m not sure what happened to you to cause such an outburst, but you were about to destroy countless lives. I’m afraid that something must be done with you otherwise your rage and power could wipe out galaxies.” The voice sounded sympathetic and yet, Ara couldn’t bring herself to care about anything anymore. She just wanted to be with Brassic.
“I’m sorry, girl, but this must be done until I can find a way to help you.”
Ara let out a raspy scream as a rose colored light enveloped her. The power that had been slowly seeping into the air around her suddenly was sucked inwards. She screamed louder then and clawed at the sand as the burning power filled her, and she choked on her breath. There was too much, she wasn’t meant to hold that much. A brief hope filled her. Maybe she would die after all. Searing pain encircled her wrists and ankles, white hot brands she could feel in her bones. All the while the power inside her twisted and rolled trying to get out before she drown in it. When darkness finally descended, she welcomed it.
Tired eyes blinked open to a purple sky. She wondered if this was what Tarro’s meadow looked like. Some how she thought there would be more stars and a night sky.
She sat up feeling odd....different than she had before as she took in the peaceful plant life around her. A weight on her neck caught her attention. Her breath caught in her throat while her hand shook before touching the blood red stone around her neck. The stone Nasu had made to replace her memories of Brassic.
With a shriek of rage, she ripped the necklace from her neck and flung it away watching as it clattered against a rock near by. Panting Ara got to her feet and called forth her energy. It was slow and sluggishly moving under her skin. She glared at the stone wondering how it managed to get around her neck. She wanted it gone. With a shout of fury ,she blasted it only to see the infernal thing still laying innocently on the ground. With another shout, she moved to smash it with another blast only to feel her muscles seize and her body freeze in place. The same man from before picked up the stone and held it in his hands and suddenly she could move again as she nearly stumbled.
“Give it to me! I’m going to destroy that abomination!”
“That would be a very bad idea, young one.” Her eyes narrowed.
“You’re the one that put that wretched thing on me, aren’t you.” She hissed. “You work for the Dark One!”
“I do not work for anyone, least of all one of the saiyan gods.” He said. “I don’t know why you’re so upset over this necklace. I thought you might appreciate having something nice that matched your outfit.” Glaring she snarled and lunged at the purple being only for him to vanish. Ara stumbled and landed hard in the grass.
“That thing was meant to trap me in a lie! To replace my mate with another in my memories! Why is it here with me in the afterlife?!” She shouted getting to her feet.
He blinked at her for a moment.
“My dear, you’re not dead.”
“....What?” No it couldn’t be...
“You are not dead.” The words cut painfully and Ara’s legs gave out as she collapsed to her knees. He was lying he had to be...Her land had a crimson sky. This was a pale purple much like this strange being’s skin.
“I have to be dead. This isn’t right. This isn’t my home.”
“Ah yes. Your race doesn’t know about the other worlds yet.” He muttered rubbing his chin. “Rest assured you are alive. This is the sacred realm of the kais, my home. I brought you here after that explosion of yours so you could heal.”
“Send me back.”
“Send me back home.” She could feel her sanity starting to fray.
“And what exactly do you want there?” He asked carefully.
“To finish what I started, I want to die.” She said as her energy seemed to drain out of her.
“Why?! I saved your life and the lives of billions. You think I’ll send you back just so you and make the same mess?”
“I just want to be with Brassic....” Ara broke down crying as her heart clenched in her chest like a gaping hole as one hand clutched at her chest. “Please...I just want the pain to stop...”
“And yet you were about to be mated.”
“I didn’t choose him!” She snarled as tears ran down her face. “He killed him! He....he killed Brassic. He took me there to that dark place. He ruined Brassic’s charm, made it into that...that thing!” She spat with a snarl before the fire just went out of her. “Please....I just want to be with him.”
The purple being looked at the necklace in his hands, and a wave of pity and regret flashed across his face.
“I’m afraid that’s not possible right now.”
Ara sobbed before pulling her knees to her chest and gave into the sobs that wracked her small frame. What had she done to deserve this punishment? She was faithful to Mother Tarro and Lord Kalious. Why wasn’t she allowed to move on? The pain in her chest felt like some one’s hand was crushing her heart. It hurt to even breathe and beneath it all was a sense of wrongness that she was here and her mate wasn’t.
“I’m sorry....I’m so sorry, Brassic. This was all my fault. I should have never helped Caul. You were right, and I’m so sorry. I wish I was with you.”
She didn’t know how long she sat there before she realized time was passing. The purple man was always near doing something or other, but he let her be. She didn’t know what he did with the ruby, but she didn’t care as long as it was away from her. It was slow as awareness struck her. There was no night here, no darkness but she could feel days going by. And yet there was no more fatigue than her utter reluctance to move or speak. She couldn’t remember the last time she slept actual sleep. Or ate even. But there was no hunger....why was there no hunger? She knew from experience after days with no food she should be starving or dead.
‘It’s a trick,’ she told herself. ‘Your mind is messing with you. It can’t have been days. Maybe it’s this place? Like my garden was....’
Her garden was gone.
Her nails dug into her skin as a new wave of grief passed over her. Her home was gone. She had abandoned the position that Mother Tarro entrusted her with. Maybe that was why she was being punished? But leaving hadn’t been her choice....Caul...helpless rage filled her. Why couldn’t her amazing new power have come sooner? She could have saved him, she could have driven Caul off herself. She smelled blood as her nails dug deeper making her release her skin. She stared at the bleeding wound apathetically only to feel her breath hitch when her skin knit itself back together.
That wasn’t normal. Nothing healed that quickly, even if Mother Tarro was helping her. Something tickled at the edge of her awareness and she spun jerkily to face the purple man again.
‘This must be done until I can find a way to help you...’
Tremors started in her hands before spreading to the rest of her body, and she finally realized there was a hum of power in the back of her mind that had never been there before, that was coming from the gold bands locked on her wrists and ankles. Pain like white fire searing into her wrists and ankles as this person stood over her jumped in her memory.
“What did you do to me....?”
“What I thought was for the best at the time. I contained your power so you didn’t kill us all.”
“You did something else!” Ara shouted as panic made her heart race. Realizations started falling together in her mind and it terrified her. “It’s been....it’s been 3 weeks. I don’t know how I know that but I do.....I...I haven’t eaten, or slept, or drank water even and my cuts heal instantly. What did you do you me?!” She demanded as her eyes filled with panicked tears. The purple man sighed and merely touched her shoulder causing Ara to gasp as air flooded her lungs and the panic and fear overwhelming her vanished.
“I gave you clarity of mind just now. It will wear off on its own shortly. I will answer your questions, but I do ask you try to remain calm.”
“What happened to me?” She asked with a small lost voice.
“When I found you, you were unleashing so much power you were about to destroy this universe, or at the very least a massive portion of it. In addition, you were destroying yourself. I made your body absorb that power to both stop you and protect you.” What she had almost done horrified her.
“But….I didn’t want to do that! I just wanted to end myself. I’ve never been that strong!”
“I suspected as much while you were unconscious. Your divine power is new, and from what I can tell, not originally yours.”
“Divine?” He sighed seeing she didn’t understand.
“Yes, divine. You told me that this Dark One tried to change your memories. How?” Ara shivered and hugged herself remembering the burning cold.
“He was like smoke and went inside me.” She explained after a moment. “I didn’t want it. I didn’t want him messing with my memories. Caul….he told me Brassic would want me to be happy….I was so angry….” Her voice trailed off as the memories replayed themselves in her mind. “Something, I don’t know how to describe it. It was like something shifted inside me, and there was all this energy suddenly. I just wanted the Dark One out of my mind. I wanted it to all go away.”
“I see. Can you tell me about the mark over your heart? It also bears divine energy.”
“Mother Tarro gave me that. I lost my family and was alone.” She answered fingering the mark through her shirt. “She gave me that mark to protect me and took me to her garden to care for it. It’s gone now….” Ara whispered as the grief crept into her voice.
“What I believe happened to you is that your mark of protection activated. Somehow you have absorbed the divine energy of this Dark One. You slept for quite a long time while everything settled and balanced out.”
“Are, are you telling me….I’ve become…”
“Not quite.” The purple man said. “You could have with time and had I not interfered. You will always possess the divine energy, but you are not a god.”
“Then what’s wrong with me!”
“Nothing is wrong with you, my dear. You have been changed however. When I bound your power, you became a dragon.”
“I’m a saiyan.” She growled. No matter what, she was fiercely proud to be a saiyan.
“Yes and no.” He said gently. “You are in a way still a saiyan, but you are a dragon. Dragons are unique beings in the universe with phenomenal powers, able to bend the laws of reality, not unlike a god. The difference is that your powers are bound to a particular object with certain restrictions. Those restrictions are unique to each dragon.” He pulled the ruby from his pocket and with a growl Ara lunged and tried to swipe it from his hand. With a shout of pain, she dropped the stone only to see a burn on her hand that slowly faded, but the pain was still there.
“That didn’t happen before.”
“Because I changed it.” He explained picking it up from the grass. “I regret choosing this particular item now that I know the circumstances, but there’s nothing for it now. The stone has already bonded to you.”
“Then destroy it, and we can pick something else!” She snapped. “I want nothing to do with that thing.”
“That would be inadvisable as you would die.”
“That’s what I want!” Ara said as tears filled her eyes. “I want to die, so I can be with my mate.”
“This is not the same death. You will not move on if your amulet is destroyed, you will cease to exist.” He explained watching her face pale. “Dragons are removed from the cycle of reincarnation, as such if they ‘die’ they do not move on and eventually move on to a new life, they stop existing. To simplify, you are now immortal so long as your amulet remains intact.”
Ara stared at the stone in numb shock, and her trembling stared again. She couldn’t die…she couldn’t, wouldn’t ever see Brassic again. She whined as the pain in her heart twisted. Tears fell uncontrolled as she felt the numb cold sensation from before begin over taking her. And suddenly it was gone. She saw the purple hand on her arm and jerked away angrily.
“Stop it! Stop messing with my feelings!”
“I’m trying to help you.”
“You have helped enough!” She stared at her hands before her clenching her eyes shut and hugging her stomach. “I’m not me anymore! I can’t die! I’ll never see my mate again! Even if I do manage to die from this pain in my heart I won’t go to the afterlife and find peace! You have put me in hell! What did I do to be punished like this!”
“This was not a punishment.” He said gently. “In truth, it was the only way I could find to save you. This state is not permanent. Dragons are wish granters. While you are bound to serve whoever owns your amulet, you are free to interpret wishes how ever you see fit. You may return to your mortal state if the owner of your amulet used your true name to wish you free.”
“Then do it! I don’t want to be like this!”
“Why do you wish to die so badly? I know you are hurting from your mate’s death, but surly you have something else to live for.”
“Because it hurts.” She said softly. “Everything hurts. It feels wrong to be without him. I’m supposed to be with him. He’s the only one that never left me alone, he came back…”
“He was your soul mate.” He said. “I’m so very sorry.”
“Soul mate?” Ara asked confused.
“Two individuals made for each other. It is rare for soul mates to find each other, and if they do, even more so for them to not die together. Had Nasu not interfered with your memories I imagine you would have faded. I believe your people call them Heart’s Light.” The words only brought fresh tears to her eyes.
“You can see him again.” Her head snapped up with a look of desperation in her eyes.
“In his next life. Everyone is eventually born again. Brassic will be again as well. All you must do is wait for him. He can set you free, and you will return to being mortal again.”
“That’s it?” She said as the first bit of happiness appeared in her eyes and voice. “I just have to wait a few years, and we can be together?”
“I’m afraid it will be more than a couple of years.” He said gently. “There’s no way of knowing how long it will take for a soul to enter the rebirth process. It will more likely be a hundred years or more.”
“A hundred years…..” Defeat crept into her posture. “I’ll be old then, he won’t want me.”
“You will be the same as you are now. Dragons do not age. Their appearances will not change from the moment they are bound.” He explained. “I can not tell you when you will see him again, but I promise the two of you will be together. One of the abilities I possess is to see glimpses of the future. While you were unconscious allowing your powers to adjust, I had a vision. You two will be together again.”
There was a familiar tug in the corner or her mind before she materialized in a swirl of flame. Her eyes scanned the young male in front of her with a critical eye before she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Oh goodie, another thief.” 1100 years of waiting, and it seemed like nothing ever changed.
“Thief? I’m not a thief!” He said indignantly.
“You took that necklace from the tomb behind us, didn’t you?” She said with little or no interest in her voice while she examined her nails.
“Well yeah but-”
“Then you are in fact a thief.”
“I’m an archeologist! I was exploring these ruins and found this buried in some rubble. Are you a saiyan?” He asked when he saw her tail. She sighed.
“No, not anymore. I’m a dragon, a being-“
“Capable of granting most wishes right?” He finished for her with an excited gleam in his eyes. “Holy cow I can’t believe I happened to find a dragon! This is incredible, you’ll really be able to help me out.” Ara sighed in resignation. Nothing was any different after all.
“Very well. What can I do for you? Let me take a guess. Wealth? Power? A kingdom?” The youth in front of her absently scratched his cheek with his index finger.
“Um....actually I was wondering if you could tell me about the Matu rebellion that was a hundred years ago?” She blinked as she processed things.
“You....want to ask me....history questions?”
“Is that allowed?” He asked nervously.
“You are very odd.....but no it is well within my abilities to answer your questions.”
“Wait, how many do I get?!” He asked suddenly realizing there was a probably catch. “Oh no, I hope that doesn’t count towards the number.” Ara felt the corner of her mouth twitch with the desire to turn upward. He was....interesting.
“There is no limit, only that you possess my amulet.”
“Awesome!” He blinked then realizing something. “I’m sorry, I’ve been rather rude. My name is Gohan, nice to meet you. Umm…what would you prefer I call you?”
“I’m -ara.” She answered with an amused expression. “Would you like to begin here or somewhere more comfortable?”
“I’m glad the two of you are overjoyed with the current state of events, but there is something we must address and now.” Ara said drawing the attention of the others. Gohan and Piccolo could see how tired the dragon was in her posture.
“Are you alright?” Gohan asked concern thick in his voice.
“Nothing some rest won’t fix. Do you remember the exact wording of the wish you just made?”
“I did as you asked but not in the way you would think. I must apologize to you as well, Piccolo.”
“What’s wrong, -ara? “
“I tried to do this another way, but my magic had other intentions. I’m sorry. You’re like me now.” She said with a sad look in her eyes.
“I’m...you made me a dragon.”
“My magic believed that was the only way to stop you from dying.” Ara answered. “Gohan, you have a choice to make, only one of us can stay once I’ve taught piccolo everything he needs to know.”
“Because no one is allowed to have two dragons at their disposal. That rule is absolute, and the Magics that govern our existence will insure that is the case. Once Piccolo is trained, his token will be banished if you don’t choose. I’m truly sorry, but there’s nothing else I can do.”
Gohan looked between the two horrified at having to choose between his closest friends.
“-ara....what will happen if I bind Piccolo to me?” Understanding filled her eyes then, and she nodded in a sad acceptance.
“Then the magic will banish my amulet to another world far from here so I might belong to someone new in time.”
“That’s not fair! You two are my family! My best friends, how am I supposed to choose? What if I free you?!”
“No.” Ara said quietly. “That’s not something meant for you to do.”
“Why not?! I know its possible.”
“Because I don’t want you to, Gohan.” Ara snapped angrily before taking a deep breath and calming herself. “If I am freed, I become mortal again. I have waited 1127 years to see my mate from my mortal life, Gohan. He is the one I’m waiting on to set me free. All souls not removed from the cycle of reincarnation will eventually live again. So I’m asking you, do not attempt to make that wish. You will lose both myself and Piccolo if that happens.” Her hand came up to lovingly touch the bite mark on her shoulder.
“Can I wish for him to-”
“Gohan,” She chastised cutting him off, “stop worrying about me. There is nothing I can do to speed up things. I’ll know when he is reborn. This mark will disappear so we can bond anew. Until then the only thing I can do is wait.”
“-ara, I haven’t made my choice!”
“Yes, you have, and it’s ok, Gohan.” She said softly. “I always knew one day you’d leave. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone leaves sooner or later, but they can come back as well. We may see each other again in another life for you. When you bind Piccolo to you, he will never leave you. The two of you will be together in each of Gohan’s lives.”
She was on a crowded street when she smelled his familiar scent. She had to remind herself that it could be a coffee shop, something that hadn’t existed on her world. It had been 30 years since her bond mark faded with his birth. Tarro, she missed him. The ache in her chest had dimmed over the centuries, but she was always aware of it. Gohan and Piccolo had made it bearable, and some of her masters since hadn’t been complete pigs.
Her eyes lazily scanned the crowds out of habit when she felt her breath catch in her throat.
There he was. It was him. After all this time there he was. Her body took a step forward before she paused when another woman approached Brassic. He smiled at her, the same smile that made Ara’s knees weak and her heart beat just a little faster, before he kissed her.
Ara’s tail that had been swaying happily went limp behind her. She gasped and clutched at her heart feeling like someone was stabbing her there over and over.
He left her, he left her and found someone else. He didn’t remember!
“I love you....so much.” She whispered as she closed her eyes shedding one last tear. “And I’m so sorry.” Her hand crushed the ball and light exploded around them.
“Brassic!” she smiled up at her mate as they tumbled in the grass. He leaned down and captured her mouth in a passionate kiss before she wound her arms around his neck to pull him closer.
“I love you, K----ara.” His voice was tender as he hovered over her and brushed her cheek with his thumb. “I love you so much.”
“Do you really have to leave?” Ara asked with tear filled eyes. She held onto Brassic’s arm as they stood in the entrance of her garden. “Why can’t you just stay?”
“I need to, —ara.” The man cupped her cheek to brush a stray tear away. “I need to let my lord know that I’m leaving. It wouldn’t be fair to him or my comrades to let them believe I am dead. As soon as he gives me leave, I’ll return to your side.”
He cut her off with a passionate kiss that had Ara’s toes curling in pleasure. When Brassic broke the kiss, he rested his forehead against hers while trying to regain his breath.
“With Lady Tarro as my witness, I promise I’ll come back. Nothing will keep me away from you.”
They were laying in the garden holding hands while looking up at the night sky. Brassic was using his free hand to point up at a constellation.
“That one is Leeke with his ever changing mirror.” She followed his finger as he connected the stars in the shape. “He’s one of my favorites especially when he helped trick the Dark One, Nasu.”
“I don’t think I heard that one.” Ara’s soft voice had the alpha looking down at her in surprise.
“Really? I thought everyone knew it. It’s my favorite legend.” He hummed in thought before starting to tell the story. “Nasu and Leeke were both known for their shapeshifting abilities, but they wanted to know who was better. Leeke challenged Nasu to a competition to finally settle things once and for all. They started to change into different animals, which both could do with ease. Then they tried to shift into their forms into other gods.”
Ara closed her eyes and shifted closer so that her head was resting against Brassic’s shoulder. Despite trying to pay close attention to his story, the sound of his voice and the warmth of his side pressed against hers lulled her to sleep.
“—ara?” Brassic looked nervous as he called out to her. Ever since he had come back that morning, they hadn’t been able to stay away from each other. “There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”
The pair had just finished dinner, and Ara watched the alpha with curiosity.
“What is it?” One of her soft hands came to cup his cheek, and Brassic leaned into the touch before he took her hand in his and lead her to a small hill in the garden that was directly under the almost full moon.
“—ara, ever since you pulled me out of that river and nursed me back to health, I’ve thought you were the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I remember when I first saw you, I thought you were a goddess with no equal. Since then I’ve discovered that you are a goddess in not only your beauty, but in your heart as well. You took in a solider that doesn’t have the cleanest of hands and took care of him until he was able to walk on his own without wanting anything in return. There’s something I want to give you in return for everything you gave me.”
“Brassic, I don’t need-.” He held a finger to her lips to silence her before taking a breath and pulling a blue, cloth wrapped bundle from behind his back.
“I picked this up before I left, and I spent every hour I was apart from you on this.” He knelt down on a knee and pulled the cloth away to reveal a moonstone carved in the shape of a lotus flower. Ara covered her mouth at the sight of the stone and looked up at him with happy and shocked eyes. “I want to give you this as a bonding token along with my heart. Will you bond with me and be my mate for the rest of our lives?”
“Yes!” She lunged at him in happiness before he caught her and they kissed in the grass. When they broke apart they could see the field around them was covered in blossoms that were opening and glowing faintly in the moonlight. They were blue lotuses shaped exactly as the carved stone in the same shade of blue as the fabric he brought with him.
“Mother Tarro approves.” Ara said happily. Growling in pleasure Brassic pulled her close and claimed her mouth again, purring when she melted against him.
“Something smells good.” Ara smiled as she saw Brassic come in with a heavy basket of fruit.
“I hope you like it.” She said with a shy smile before turning back to the bread she was making. A pair of strong arms wound around her waist while Brassic growled softly scenting her neck. Ara blushed deeply and went still as he did. It had only been a few weeks, and it was so different and wonderful being Brassic’s mate.
Gently he nuzzled her and purred, the deep sound helping her relax as her mate continued his attentions. His large hand spread across her stomach.
“I can’t wait to see you pregnant with my cubs.” His voice was soft and longing. “I want a family with you.”
“You want cubs?” She asked softly. They had never spoken of this.
“Of course I want cubs.” He said letting her turn to face him. “Don’t you?”
“Of course I want to have cubs with you, but you’ve never brought it up before. I wasn’t sure...” her hands nervously fiddled with her token. His lips settled on hers and all her anxiety melted away as she leaned into his strong chest.
“I’m sorry. I should have said something sooner.” Brassic explained. “I’ll be happy with however many cubs we have. I don’t care if you give me sons or daughters, just that they’re part you.”
“I want as many as you can give me.” She said wrapping her arms around his neck. “I want a big happy family.” He growled lifting her to sit on the counter where she was kneading the bread making her squeal in surprise.
“You shouldn’t have told me that, honoa.” He said with a playful smirk. “I think we’ll have to practice a lot to give you all those cubs.”
Grinning mischievously, Ara dropped the crown of blue and white flowers on her mate’s head.
“And what is this?” He asked her with a raised eyebrow before his tail latched onto her.
“You’re always putting flowers in my hair so I thought I’d return the favor.” She said with a soft smile before kissing his cheek. He growled nuzzling her neck before giving her a teasing nip.
The stranger was burning up with a fever when she checked him again. Mother Tarro urged her to help this man, this soldier, and was helping her heal him. She was surprised when he tilted his face into her touch. Realizing he was probably waking she stood and drew on of the curtains to dim the light some before she brushed his forehead again and saw his eyes open. Relief filled her, he would have a better chance of living from his injuries now.
“I’m so glad you’re awake.” She said softly. Leaning back she grabbed her pot from the small stand for it and poured some of the tea for fevers into one of her few cups. Carefully she pressed the small clay cup to his lips and slid her other hand under his neck to help him drink.
“Its some tea for the fever.” She told him when he seemed hesitant. Gratefully he drank until she took the cup from him.
“Where am I?” His voice was rough from his time sleeping.
“My home. I found you in the river. You were badly hurt.”
“Is it safe for you to take a soldier into your home?” There was worry for her. She had never met a soldier that cared if she was safe, and she wasn’t sure how to process that. Not to mention what he might do if he realized she was alone. She had to trust Mother Tarro would protect her.
“There’s no fighting here.” She answered getting her water pitcher. “Tarro doesn’t allow it and even the Tuffles know that. You’ll be safe while you heal.” This time she gave him a cup of water.
“But your village…”
“You need to rest.” She said placing a finger on his lips to silence him, this wasn’t the time for questions. He nodded slightly as fatigue began to set in from the tea.
“Brassic…my name….” He told her as she dipped and rung a cloth out. “Your’s…?” She smiled at him before placing a cool, damp cloth on his forehead.
Turles’s eyes snapped open. He remembered….Oh Kalious he remembered it all.
“Kakara,…” His voice was soft before excitement took over. “Your name is Kakara!” He watched as Ara’s eyes weakly fluttered open, eyes so different yet so familiar.
“Brassic?” The name was almost like a prayer before her eyes slipped back closed again, her breathing labored. Words jumped into his mind then, and he said them without a moments hesitation.
“I grant you your freedom, Kakara daughter of Burrock. I wish for your freedom.”
Turles wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but her cuffs suddenly lighting up was not it. Both of the kai’s quickly pulled him off her when they blazed into a blinding gold light before suddenly shattering into soft golden motes of light that faded away.
“Is that it?” He asked confused why they felt the need to pull him away from Kakara when a shockwave of wind blasted outward away from her with a force that knocked them all off their feet as she was suddenly wreathed an a corona of rose-gold light. The amulet was also wreathed in a matching light as both it and Ara hovered in the air briefly. When the light faded, Ara…Kakara was lying on the ground wearing the red skirt and top from her memories. He rushed to her side to check on her. The ribbon on her tail was gone but the other jewelry remained. An echo of pain shot through the pirate, she had never been more beautiful.
“Brassic?” Her eyes were open and staring at him with such a longing fragile hope in them.
“It’s me, honoa. I’m finally here.” He whispered caressing her cheek as tears filled his eyes. “I’m so sorry I made you wait so long.”
“Koutou…” She shakily reaches out for him before she quickly moved to hug him around his neck and bury her face in his shoulder. She was shaking as she held tight on the alpha. Tears fell on his skin and armor, and Turles moved to hug her. “It’s you. It’s really you.”
“Shh…” He held her to him with an arm around her waist and another holding the back of her head. “You were so brave. I’m proud of you, honoa. It’s ok. I’m here.”
He rubbed his hand up and down her back while keeping her close to him. The pirate wanted to wrap her in his arms and hide her from everything and everyone after what she had gone through.
They both clung to each other as things began to sink in for the two of them. Ara was trembling in Turles’ arms while he held her tight to him to reassure her that he was there.
The alpha’s fingers brushed over where her bond bite should have been and felt something in his chest howl in rage when he saw with his own eyes that it was gone.
A growl rumbled in his throat as he leaned down to lick that spot on the side of her neck, making the woman let out a mewling gasp. Her fingers slipped under the neckline of his armor to ground herself as he did it again.
A rush of want flooded Turles’ body over her reaction to his touch, and he smirked against her skin. She was still just as sensitive as she had always been. His arm that was around her waist shifted so that his finger slipped under the red fabric of her top to caress Ara’s soft skin.
“Now hold on a minute!” The voice of the Old Kai made the pirate growl in annoyance. “I know what you want to do, but you’ll have to do it elsewhere! However, before that…we need to go over a few things first. I promise it won’t take long.”
“Fine,” Turles huffed as he pulled away from Ara. “What is it?” She was here in his arms though and for now it would be enough. Ara sighed happily and curled against him while clinging to his arm around her waist as though she was afraid he’d disappear. The deep rumbling growl in his chest calmed them both.
Turles and Ara appeared in the garden of their planet in a flash of rose light before he pulled her to his chest and crushed their mouths together.
Ara melted in his arms, and they slowly fell to the ground among the flowers, Turles taking the brunt of the fall still worried Ara might be hurting from whatever Cooler had done to break her amulet. In the cool moonlight and heady scents of her flowers, Ara finally felt her fear this was a dream begin to leave her. Being here reminded her of the first time when they were together back in her garden before everything went so wrong. There was a familiar pulse of power from the small woman and blue lotuses burst to life around them, shimmering under the moonlight.
Her arms twined around his neck to thread her fingers in the spikes of his hair. When her nails lightly scratched his scalp, the captain let out a growling purr. His hands were sliding up her sides to meet the top of her outfit when a frantic voice shouted too close for comfort.
“Captain! Where have you been!?” Turles snarled with bared fangs as he flipped to put Ara beneath him and protect her. His instincts were screaming that his mate was at risk because she wasn’t marked.
He didn’t realize his tail was flaring behind him and his pupils had constricted in his rage. The sudden scent of fear from Kakara as she curled under him drew forth another low growl.
Almond froze immediately realizing Turles wasn’t himself at the moment. Gulping he noticed Ara under the man and that she was wearing something rather revealing.
“What do you want?” Turles snapped coldly. Almond wasn’t coming closer and that was the only thing calming down his instincts. There was an urgent need to reclaim Kakara. Someone else could try to steal her again. He shoved the impulse down. That was a hold over from the end of his previous life. No one on this planet would try to take her from him.
“You disappeared during a lock down. We were afraid an assassin might have infiltrated.” The large man said quietly. Turles had never come across this feral before. His eyes cut to the small woman again, and he noticed something. She had no jewelry on her wrists. Ara was wearing red and the moon was as close to full as two saiyans could be under without transforming.... “My apologies, Captain.” Almond offered slowly backing away. There was only one thing he could be interrupting, and he was amazed the alpha wasn’t immediately trying to rip his head off.
“Don’t bother us for the rest of the night.”
“Aye sir.” Almond said saluting with a low bow. “And congratulations. You look lovely in your bonding clothes, Miss Ara. I hope you and the Captain are happy together.”
Growling lowly as his subordinate retreated he turned his attention back to Kakara and frowned seeing her shaking with a distant stare in her eyes.
“Honoa?” Gently he touched her only for her to flinch and scoot away from him.
“Don’t touch me!” She shouted with tears in her eyes.
“Honoa? whats wrong?” He asked confused. What happened, she was fine before Almond interrupted.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Brassic....Turles...you must hate me....I’m sorry...”
“Why would I hate you?!”
“I let you die! I let your killer take me away and was almost m-mated....” She keened in distress before curling in on herself. “And then I...I did the same t-thing they were going to. I gave up....I’m s-sorry...” Choking sobs tore from the small woman. “You saw what I almost did.” Turles gently brushed her shoulder. She flinched sobbing. Her hands suddenly reached out and ripped the jeweled headband off, flinging it away before reaching for the earrings.
The alpha growled softly and firmly grabbed her wrists before he kissed her before nuzzling her forehead with a soft purr. Ara whimpered and cried softly, but she didn’t try to pull away.
“It’s not your fault.” He said kissing her again. “You couldn’t have saved me, Honoa. He blew out my heart. Nothing could have saved me except the goddess bringing me back.” He nuzzled her again when she sobbed. “I saw what happened. You didn’t let him do anything. He overpowered you. Kakara, you fought off a god to protect your memories, you waited over 1000 years for me, and I’m the one who betrayed you. I didn’t remember you. I don’t blame you for wanting to forget, Honoa.”
“I....I didn’t stop him...”
“Shhh, Honoa, it wasn’t your fault.” He whispered kissing her again. “None of what happened was your fault. Please don’t cry. I’ve waited all this time to be with you again. I love you so much. Even in this life, you are the only one I’ve ever loved or wanted by my side. Knowing what happened in the past hasn’t changed that. Ara....I have just as much blood on my hands as the first time, likely more.”
“I don’t care about that!”
“It’s the same for me.” Turles said shocking her. “I don’t care what you did or almost did. The only thing that matters to me is that you’re here in my arms again, and that you and I aren’t bonded. I want to be yours again. I want to know that I won’t lose you.” He brushed her tears away with his thumbs. “I love you so much, Honoa. Nothing will change that.”
Ara let out another sob as she hugged the pirate tight to her once more. Turles kept purring as he leaned his head further alongside the woman’s. He pulled back to give her a sweet kiss that had both of them calming down slightly as he gently eased them down into the flowers again.
“You know,” Turles started once he pulled back and slipped his hands under the top she had on. “There was a reason that I asked you about the Star of Chaos all those months ago.”
“What do you mean?” Ara looked up at the alpha’s soft expression with curiosity starting to distract her from her thoughts about the past.
“Hmm…” He hummed as he uses his ki to stealthily cut her the red shirt off her body. The small woman let out a gasp as the cool air brushed over her bare skin, and Turles bent his head to rub his cheek against the skin over her heart. “I had been having dreams about Kaoseren for as long as I can remember in this life. I now know that it was the memories of my time as Brassic trying to tell me to find you.”
He pulled back only to get rid of his armor before settling back over Ara like a living blanket. He relished in the feel of her cool skin against his, and a deep purr rumbled in his chest as he gave Ara another lazy kiss.
“I couldn’t believe that you were that goddess. If you hadn’t told me I might never have connected you with the figure in my dreams.When I found out, you weren't what I expected at all. ” He told her as he broke away and gave her a soft look at her unsure expression. “What I saw was so much better.”
“Really? But you didn’t know it was me.”
“Doesn’t matter.” His voice rasped in her ear as his hands slowly moved down her body to play with the hem of her skirt. He slipped the garment off those smooth legs and picked up the shirt. He pulled them both up, and right in front of Ara’s eyes, he used his ki to destroy the outfit that represented her almost being taken away from her mate.
She felt her breath catch in her throat as the leftover ash was suddenly blown away by a strong breeze, and the tiny woman felt some of tension in her body vanish.
“I saw a person that wasn’t some remote and cold goddess in human form. I saw someone who was not so different from me. I found Ara. A sweet and caring woman that I fell in love with. Someone who was lost and hurting just like I was.”
His large hand cupped her cheek and brush some tears away from those wide and hopeful eyes. The alpha’s body shifted slightly over her until his waist was resting between her thighs. He leaned down to slowly lick into her mouth and languidly explored her with his tongue.
Ara was a little hesitant to respond to the kiss, but the taste and smell of Turles was the same as Brassic. In what felt like no time at all, the small woman was kissing back and exploring the male above her like she had in the past.
Her petite hands rested on his shoulders before moving down to his chest, feeling over scars that were new to her. Turles didn’t have as many scars on him as he did when he was Brassic, but Ara just pushed that thought to the back of her mind to revisit once they had finished claiming each other once more.
The pirate purred as he broke the kiss and started to leave a trail of soft nips and kisses until he got to where her neck and shoulder met. He paused there, letting his lips brush petal soft skin as he spoke.
“Right here is where I remember my mark being before everything.” The tone of his voice had the tiny woman shivering as she buried one of her hands in his hair. “Before this night is over, I will make another mark here, and make sure that no one will ever part us again.”
“Do it now.” Ara said suddenly before she blushed and looked down at her sudden boldness. Steeling herself, she met his curious gaze. “I have waited 2634 years to be with you again. I want to bear your mark again, please.”
“You know it will hurt more if you aren’t-” she silenced him with a kiss.
“I don’t care if it feels like fire branding my soul. Koutou...nothing will ever hurt more than feeling you leave this world.”
A deep growl came from Turles’ chest over those words, and he shut his eyes tight as he rested his forehead on her shoulder.
“Then I want you to mark me when I’m done.” He growled out. He wouldn’t mark Ara without something to blunt the pain if she didn’t do the same to him.
The alpha licked Ara’s shoulder on the spot where he was going to sink his teeth in her skin while he focused his ki. He could feel his energy making his fangs itch and tingle as it pooled in his teeth.
Normally when a saiyan pair mates, their ki is instinctively focused in their teeth so that they could inject it into their chosen mate via a bite. When foreign ki is introduced, it’s a very painful experience, although the endorphins from sex counteracted that pain. That’s why bonding was almost always done during sex.
Not wanting to wait any longer, Turles bit down hard while pushing his burning ki into the woman’s body.
Ara let out a loud cry as soon as she felt the fire of Turles’ ki sink under her skin. She barely felt the large fangs in her neck or the sucking sensation there as her own energy flared up in a brief resistance before the burning was pulled throughout her entire body.
Slowly, the burning faded into a soothing warmth that sunk deep into her bones leaving her breathless as she stared up at the moon and stars.
“Ara? Are you alright?” Turles’s face was in her field of view then, worry plain on his face. The achingly familiar heat shifted and crackled under her skin like a bonfire. Leaning up she kissed him with a happy purr.
“Better than alright.” She said nuzzling him before he licked at her neck again. “I’m yours now.” Growling his hold tightened on her.
“Bite me.” Ara nodded before nuzzling his neck and breathing in his scent. Her mouth sought a place that was familiar to her memory, the exact place she bit him in his former life.
Turles snarled as her teeth pierced his skin. It wasn’t the bite that hurt so much as the flood of energy pouring into him. It was hot and burning, but as it settled he found himself comparing the sensation to sunlight. Power that could be gentle enough to nurture or dangerous and scorch the landscape. Ara’s energy gently pulsed inside him like a warm summer morning. And just like that, the almost literal hole he felt his entire life was gone. Growling he leaned down and kissed Ara passionately. She was his, and he was hers.
He growled as he felt her tongue give his new scar small licks to get some of the last trails of blood. The sensation made desire burn in his lower belly, and he crushed their mouths together once more. The lingering flavor of their blood mixed providing a unique taste that seemed to drive the need to finish what they had started.
Soon, the only sounds were cries of passion and low growls as Ara and Turles mated with the moon and stars as their only witness.
“And that is how I met your mommy and we became mates.” Turles explained. Looking up at him was a tiny cub with amber eyes and wild spikes that trailed down her back.
“Mommy is magic!”
“You bet she is, Barai.” Turles grinned. “Your mommy is something very special.”
“Are you still telling that story?” They looked to see Ara standing in the doorway of their daughter’s room with a smile on her face wearing a long pale sea green dressing gown with shear sleeves. “Aren’t you tired of hearing that story, Barai? You ask teti for the same one every night.”
“But you and teti are in the story, mommy. And teti says you’re magic! Like with the flowers in the garden.” Ara just laughed and ruffled her daughter’s hair as she slid onto the bed beside her husband who gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
“You have to admit it’s a good story.” Turles said with a wink.
“Did you tell teti your story, Barai?” Ara asked with a soft smile as the little girl’s face lit up.
“Look, look, look!” Turles watched her cup her tiny hands and focus intently for a few moments before a faint light glowed for a moments and vanished leaving behind a silver moonflower. A quick look at his wife and her nod confirmed everything for him.
“That’s amazing, Barai!” He immediately scooped the cub into his arms and gave her a quick spin before flopping back onto the bed behind them. Ara giggled along with them and watched contently as Turles cuddled their daughter, the child they had waited so long for. “I think you deserve another story. Did I ever tell you about the time mommy beat up the mean Prince Vegeta when he came and messed up her garden?”
Ara was kneeling by a pond that had silver lotus blossoms floating gently on the water while Turles was watching from his hammock a few yards away. It amazed him that she was still able to do small amounts of magic, but it made her very happy that she could care for her garden.
The alpha leaned back with a content sigh just enjoying the moment and the fact that Ara was free from her binding and they were together again. Things were good now, and Turles was looking forward to retirement from piracy.
The shout pulled him from his dozing with a jerk. Turles growled as he swung off the hammock to see Diaz, Matcha, and Almond running towards him.
“What is it?” He almost snarled out.
“Sir!” Diaz started with a worried look. “The sensors detected an unauthorized ship landing on the planet not far from here. The only thing we could make out was that it’s a saiyan ship.”
“Saiyan?” Turles frowned in confusion as Ara came over to him. “Who would come all the way-!”
There was a huge rush of wind that swept by them as someone blasted passed them before coming to a stop and floating back down to the ground.
“Found you, mongrel.” Vegeta snarled at Turles. He snarled at the dark skinned man as Turles moved Ara behind him.
“Aww…did daddy hear about what you did at the party you crashed?” The taller saiyan smirked. “I heard you got sent to the Red Gem for a timeout.”
“Shut up, bastard!” Vegeta snapped. “You and your whore will pay for my humiliation.”
His left arm shot out and fired a blast at the pair of saiyans. The prince growled as Turles pulled Ara and himself out of the way of the blast, and the ki burnt several beds of flowers and herbs.
Ara let out a gasp at the sight of scorched earth and deep groves that Vegeta’s attack had left. Seeing how upset the woman was only encouraged him and the prince smirked darkly before firing off a few more orbs that exploded when they made contact with some of the rest of the garden. Turles pulled Ara into his arms to shield her so she wouldn’t get hurt. She wasn’t invulnerable anymore and didn’t always consider that.
“What’s the matter don’t like me messing up your little flowers?” He taunted pointing the next blast at the patch of blue lotus flowers even Turles’s crew knew how lovingly she tended every day.
“No!” The woman cried out when a yellow blast destroyed the bed of blue lotus blossoms where she and Turles had reestablished their mating bond.
Vegeta smirked arrogantly at the horrified expression on Turles’s face once the smoke cleared to reveal a shallow crater. There was nothing left of the plants, and the pirate stiffened when Ara bolted for the scorched earth and dropped to her knees next to it.
“You’ve done it now, princeling.” Turles glanced over at his mate feeling his own heart clench.
“I told you she’s a weak little bitch, Turles. Honestly crying over some flowers? How pathetic can she be?” He taunted laughing. The former pirate was about to respond when Ara stood, her eyes shadowed by her bangs. The hair on his neck stood as he felt something in the air shift.
“How dare you.” Ara hissed softly cutting off the spoilt prince’s laughter.
“I’m the prince of the saiyans. I’ll do whatever I please.” Vegeta taunted.
“Do you…” Ara’s voice was soft as she clinched her hands into fists. “Have any idea how much work went into keeping those alive like that!? Do you know what you so thoughtlessly ruined?!”
The captain took a few steps away before diving down and hitting the dirt. Diaz and the others glanced at Turles in confusion before moving to do the same once they saw Ara begin to tremble in rage.
“Just try and stop me, bitch. You’re nothing. Just like your stupid flowers.” He raised a hand to blast another flowerbed. Ara moved so fast it was like she teleported. The pirates all winced at the shockwave of power that burst from Ara’s form when her foot squarely nailed the arrogant prince in the crotch.
She grabbed him by the collar of his armor and delivered several lightening fast slaps to his face.
“It’s time you learned some manners.”
“Bitch!” With no effort at all Ara drug him over to the small pond and pulled a bar of soap from somewhere. The crew watched in stunned horror as the tiny woman forcefully washed the saiyan prince’s mouth out before delivering several more slaps to his face when he tried to strike her. Finally she hauled his limp body up, and the two of them vanished.
“The flow of water coming from the mountains has increased with the rains we’ve had this year. We will need to watch-!”
With a flash of gold light Ara appeared a top the council table sending soldiers and nobles to their feet alike. She was barefoot wearing a simple dress of red cloth fastened at the shoulders with gold broaches and slit on the sides nearly to her thigh.
“Who dares intrude?!” One of the nobles demanded.
“I’ve come to return your offspring, Vegeta.” Ara said with a cold note in her tone. Before she dropped his son’s body on the table in front of the monarch.
“That’s impossible. The prince was serving on the Red Gem half a galaxy away.”
“Whatever he was assigned to do, he wasn’t.” She snapped. “Your son came to my home, insulted me and my mate before attacking us and destroying countless items of sentimental and monetary worth.”
“Your mate?” The king asked.
“Captain Turles.” Ara said coldly, her eyes narrowing at the uproar.
“She’s an exile, and she harmed the prince!” Many in the room raised their hands or weapons to her and found themselves flung into the walls.
“All I did was educate this spoilt brat on manners more befitting his station.” She snapped as the aura around her bled gold and red.
“You dare lay a hand on the heir of your race! You should be grateful he even gave you the time of day.” One of the lords shouted. “Not only that you disrespect your king-“ whipping around Ara seemed to lift him in the air by her energy alone.
“Did you not call me an exile?!” She glared before dropping him and addressing the whole room. “I am not, and have never been beholden to any saiyan king. Save one, Lord Kalious. I give Vegeta-ou more respect than owed with this visit.”
“My lady, what would you ask of me?” Vegeta asked politely.
“Keep your son on his leash or impart on him the importance of manners and his limits. He had no right to barge into my home in the manner he did.” Ara said as her aura flared. “Keep him away from my home and family or I will deal with him myself.” With that Ara disappeared in a blaze of light.
King Vegeta did not hear the loud uproar of his council nor the summons for a medic. His gaze was draw to the mural that had been behind this mysterious woman. It had hung in the council chamber for over 300 years. Kaoseren the goddess of chaos. A warning against conspiracy and bad faith in politics. A beautiful woman wreathed in red and gold energy.
A woman beholden only to the king of the gods.
Turles had somehow gained the favor of this goddess. He would make offerings to Tarro and Kalious in thanks that she had not murdered his son for such disrespect.
“We should have her and that pirate killed!” Retaso shouted breaking Vegeta from his thoughts. “She’s-“ A blast ripped through his shoulder from Vegeta’s finger tips.
“You are a fool. Do you not realize who that woman was? The likeness of who is on the very wall behind you?!” He snapped. “My orders are thus. Turles and his known associates are to be left alone. I don’t care what they do, but I wash my hands of this. He has found the favor of a goddess, a goddess claiming him as her mate. If you are fool enough to continue this ridiculous feud, you do so at your own peril. I’ll have no part in this nor sanction for you. If I catch anyone conspiring, you will find yourself an exile with your entire household.” He stood to leave.
“Get my foolish son to the tanks.” He needed to speak with Tarble about the future. His eldest would not learn. He was foolish and stubborn to a fault. Better to cut his losses and have an heir that wouldn’t send the saiyan race into civil war with his poor behavior. Perhaps his younger son might have an idea for how to send a peace offering to Turles and his goddess.
“Come on faster!” Turles shouted and he packed dirt into one of a dozen craters. “We need to fill these holes before she gets back.”
“But there’s no flowers.” Diaz said as he and the others helped.
“I’m hoping this will at least calm her down.” He winced as he stared at the spot where the lotuses used to be. “Damn it. Why’d he have to wreck this one?”
“What’s so special about this one. Seems like the little lady is always working on it?” Almond asked.
“We mated here.” Turles explained. “And this is a rare flower only Ara can grow. Used to it existed in a single place on Vegetasei before it died off. Ara managed to make it grow here.”
“No wonder she was so angry.” Almond muttered as he finished filling in another hole. He stomped down on the dirt to make sure it was packed in tight.
“I haven’t seen her that mad in…ever.” Turles shuddered at the expression on his mate’s face before she left with the prince. It made him cringe at the thought of her ever being that angry at him.
Another flash of rose gold appeared in an undamaged part of the garden, and Ara appeared there muttering under her breath with a scowl on her face.
Turles and the others just all froze at the sight of her. They all didn’t want to be there at the moment, but it was too late. There was no way for any of the men to try and sneak away. Diaz took a step back and his foot crunched down on some of the partially burnt plants. Almond, Matcha, and Turles all glared at the green haired man that broke out into a nervous sweat.
“Huh?” Ara finally looked up to see most of the damage gone. The holes and groves in the garden had been filled in, and all the burnt flowers and herbs had been pulled out. “Oh! Did you four do all this?”
Ara looked over at the group, and they all swallowed a lump in their throats and nodded with forced smiles.
“That was so sweet of you!” The small saiyan woman beamed at them, making Turles and the others let out sighs of relief. “You didn’t have to do this. I could have done it.”
“We felt bad at seeing all your hard work ruined like that.” Diaz spoke up.
“Yeah, and we wanted to help you out with fixing things.” Almond crossed his arms over his chest as he glanced around the garden. “There wasn’t much we could do with the plants, but we could clean up some.”
“We wanted to cheer you up, honoa.” Turles came over and gave her a kiss to the temple. “I’m sorry we couldn’t save the flowers.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that.” Ara smiled up at her mate. “I can handle the flowers. I’m just so touched that you all went through the trouble to tidy this mess for me. You stay here and I’ll fetch you all something to drink!”
She walked into the house, and Turles turned back to his crew.
“So…who else saw their life flash before their eyes?”
“Come on, reka, time to sleep.” Turles said as she yawned.
“Can I have another story?” The little girl asked rubbing her eyes with a loose fist.
“Not tonight, Barai, but what if I promise you a new story tomorrow? A brand new story just for you.” Turles said tucking her in.
“Really, what’s this one about!”
“Well....there’s a princess.” Turles said trying to think of something to catch the little girl’s interest.
“What’s her name?” Her amber eyes lit up at the word princess.
“It’s about the beautiful princess Ara and how she saves her family with the help of the magnificent pirate, Captain Turles.”
“Love you mommy, teti.” Barai said sleepily as she hugged her parents. She was asleep before they even left the room.
Turles and Ara both watched Barai for a moment before shutting her door most of the way. Turning the captain kissed his wife.
“The boys give you any trouble?” He asked cupping her cheek. Even after 7 years he couldn’t help but touch her as often as possible.
“They never give me trouble.” Ara laughed as they entered the nursery next to their bedroom. Turles couldn’t help but smile at the twins curled around each other in their sleep. They were sucking on their tails, but he couldn’t tell which tail belonged to who. He couldn’t believe they were almost a year old now. Turles had been so scared he was going to lose Ara when she told him she was pregnant with twins. Ara was so small and twins were even more draining than a normal saiyan pregnancy. He took both her and their daughter Barai and they stayed on Pital once Ara hit the three month mark. She had a dizzy spell and fainted in the garden, scaring Barai and him half to death. He didn’t care about the expense, he just wanted his mate and children safe. She delivered them nearly a full month early after a very hard labor.
“You’re thinking about it again.” Ara whispered leaning into his back nuzzling him between the shoulder blades while her arms wrapped around his waist.
“It’s hard not to. I was so close to losing you again. But I love our boys and am happy we have them.” He said turning in her arms to face her.
“Is it to soon to ask you if we can have another?” Ara asked with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“Please tell me you’re not pregnant.” Turles said with dread. He wanted some quality time with his wife before she had another cub. Ara giggled softly.
“I’m not.” She stood on her toes and kissed his lips. “I told you I wanted as many cubs as you could give me. That hasn’t changed, koutou.”
“I know ,Honoa, but is it too much to want you to myself for a bit longer? It’s nice to have you not pregnant. Although.....I suppose we could practice for another, you know when Kalen and Tarren are older....much older.”
“I like that idea....Captain.” Turles let out a purring growl as he scooped his mate up and carried her to the their bedroom.
In their bed, Turles couldn’t help but remember the last several years. This room held so many memories, good and bad.
In the beginning Ara would wake screaming and drenched in sweat as memories plagued her rest, as she could finally sleep after 2000 years. Sometimes she couldn’t even speak of the dreams that plagued her. He didn’t think Ara would ever be over the nightmares completely. But they managed well enough. He always stayed with her at night. He gave up traveling without her. The one time he tried near the beginning of their mating with the intent of surprising her with actual Vegetan moonstone Ara barely slept the week he was gone. Pamle had called them frantic when Ara woke her with her screaming and that she stopped speaking at all.
Ara broke their kiss as she snuggled into Turles’s hold pulling him back to the now. Ara nightmares were much less often now.
“Barai wants to visit Uncle Popo.” She teases making the former pirate flinch. “Oh come on he’s not that bad. He likes you, and he adores Barai. I want him to meet the boys.”
“I guess we could make a trip.” Turles reluctantly admitted. He cringed as he remembered the first time he met Mr. Popo.
The lookout wasn’t exactly what Turles was expecting when Ara teleported them. She was wearing he outfit he first met her in. She knew he wasn’t crazy about that outfit, but Ara wanted to wear it for some reason. The white marble tile and the sunlight of the blue expanse of sky was almost blinding.
About a third of the way in on either side of the circle, were small grassy areas that held pink and yellow flowers along with six palm trees total. It was a very peaceful place, and Turles took a moment to admire the serene atmosphere before following his mate to what looked like a small palace at the back of the lookout.
The odd assortment of humans loitering and doing what looked like training was certainly not what he expected, Ara either from the odd tilt of her head as she regarded them with a curious stare.
“Is this the right place?” He asked. She lightly smacked his arm when he grinned at her teasingly.
“Haven’t I always taken us to the right place?”
“Hey, who are you guys?” Turles turned to see a male with long dark hair in orange nearby. Next to him was a short bald man and off to the side but regarding them with suspicion was another pair, one a bald individual with three eyes who looked even bigger and more muscled than the one with dark hair and a small child sized being with white skin and red spots on their cheeks.
“My name is Turles, and this is Ara.” Turles said with a hint of a growl in his voice. He turned and saw his mate was busy investigating one of the nearby flowerbeds. Smirking he just shook his head. Some things never changed.
“Can we help you?” The three eyed man asked somewhat hostile.
“We just need to see Kami and…..Mr. Popo.” Turles answered finally remembering the name.
“Are you here for training?” The dark haired one asked. “And you brought your girlfriend with you?” Turles snorted before he laughed a gut wrenching laugh.
“I’m sorry that was just hilarious.” He explained a moment later. “You have the situation a little backwards. She brought me with her, and she’s my mate not my girlfriend. Ara knows Mr. Popo from way back and wanted to introduce us.”
“Wait I know that name….” The short bald man said before snapping his fingers. “The gala! My wife told me about you, and the winery you two own.”
“Eighteen right?” Ara asked coming over. “That would make you Krillin?”
“Yep!” He said puffing out his chest. “Prettiest woman on earth if you ask me.”
“Maybe before we go back we could meet up with her and you for dinner? Or have you over to our house for a meal?” Ara said with a bright smile before looking up at Turles with a hopeful grin. He chuckled and wrapped his arm around her waist.
“Don’t you live on another planet?” The dark haired one asked confused.
“Well yeah, but I can teleport us between the two places so its not that big a deal. I was going to pop over to Bulma’s place and invite her for a tour since she’s one of our investors. So where is Mr. Popo?” Ara asked clasping her hands in front of her.
“He’s busy with Kami right now, are you here for training?” The small white being answered.
“Kinda.” Ara nervously rubbed the back of her head. “I needed to talk to him, but I wouldn’t say no if he wanted to give me a training session.”
“You know, I could always fill in.” The three eyed man said with a smirk. “I’m the top pupil of our group.” Turles raised an eyebrow while Ara’s eyes went wide.
“Really? I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name.”
“Tien. So how about it? I’m sure I could give you some pointers.”
“I could go for a spar, ready when you are!” She said practically skipping to an open area.
“Ummm….are you ok with this?” Krillin asked.
“Ara’s a big girl, and if she wants to spar, she can.” Turles said leaning against one of the palm trees. He was curious if this human could actually touch Ara.
The pair got into their fighting stances, and the alpha noticed there were some similarities in the stances. The rest of the humans stood bedside him to watch the spar.
At an unspoken cue, Tien leapt for the saiyan woman with his arm cocked back for a punch. Just before the man could strike her, Ara gripped his wrist in one hand and pulled his body closer to her. She dug her knee in his solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him before twisting them around to pull Tien’s arm in a restraining hold behind him with her foot on his neck.
Turles was silent before he busted out laughing once more while the humans were gaping at the sight. When Tien made no move to break the hold, Ara pulled back. The three eyed man just groaned as his arm fell to the tiled floor.
“I’m so sorry!” She rushed to try and help the man up. “I thought you were expecting that!” Ara looked up helplessly at the group as she tried to get Tien back up on his feet.
“Did…did any of you see her move?” Krillin asked in awe. “I’ve never seen anyone move that fast…”
“That’s because she has fully completed my training.” A voice from behind made everyone but Tien, Turles, and Ara straighten in nervousness.
“Mr. Popo!” The saiyan woman perked up and got to her feet to bow at a black male with a red vest, white pants, and a white turban. “It’s an honor to see you again.”
“You called her by her name!” Yamcha said in shock.
“Pecking order.” Ara answered without missing a beat. Turles wondered why the other humans present all seemed to tense up and begin sweating profusely when the larger man simply smiled and pat Ara on the head.
“Now who’s this you’ve brought with you? A new trainee?”
“Actually I’m not sure if he’ll want to train with you. But this is my mate Turles.” Ara said with a bright smile as she wound her arms around his while their tails twined.
“You mated him?” The man asked with a raised eyebrow and Turles knew he was asking something else entirely.
“I did, I waited a very long time to be with Turles. I’m just happy it finally happened.” Ara explained.
“Ah…I see.” His eyes seemed to look through the alpha making him very uncomfortable. He swallowed harshly to try and get rid of the lump that had formed in his throat.
“It is an honor to meet you, sir.” The former pirate bowed slightly. He felt very nervous all of a sudden. “Ara has spoken highly of you.”
“At least you have manners, pirate.” Mr. Popo said dismissively before turning back to the saiyan woman, and Turles didn’t know to feel offended or relieved at the dismissal. “So are you here to train?”
“Well, I just wanted to make sure where my level is at now that my restraints are gone. Are you free for a quick lesson?” Ara looked hopefully at the arzu, and the genie just patted her head once more.
“For my best pupil, I’ll make time.” Mr. Popo turned back to the humans and smirked at Tien who had just gotten back on his feet. “Alright, maggots. Looks like you all got lucky today. You’re free from training for the rest of the afternoon, but I expect this lookout to be spotless by the time I return.”
Krillin and the others practically ran to the palace while Turles looked on in confusion. Was this man that bad?
“Come, Ara. We will train in the Time Chamber.” The saiyan woman almost squealed in excitement as she followed her mentor. “Stay out of trouble, pirate.”
“Is he really that bad?” Turles muttered to himself.
“That depends on if he likes you.” And older voice said behind him. Turning Turles saw an older namekian, Piccolo and a much younger namekian.
“You didn’t think Gohan and I lived in the wilderness did you?” He asked with a smirk. “I take it Ara is with Mr. Popo?”
“Yeah, the humans all seemed rather shocked he called her by name.” Turles said truly at a loss. “Anyways he took Ara to something called a time chamber, she was super excited about it.”
“That would be the hyperbolic time chamber.” The older namekian answered. “From what I remember Ara quite enjoyed training in there. Time moves slower in the chamber than outside. And it has a harsh environment that becomes more dangerous the further in you go.” Turles was alarmed as he heard that.
“What’s wrong? Ara can handle herself.” Piccolo asked.
“She’s....she’s mortal now.” Piccolo blanched at that.
“That might be a problem...”
“I think Kakara will be just be fine.” The older male said. “I’ve seen her abilities. She’ll manage with Mr. Popo well enough.”
“Not to be rude but you are?”
“Oh sorry. My name is Kami.” He said before gesturing to the others. “You know Piccolo, I believe, and this is Dende.”
“Turles, Ara’s mate. Or Kakara...still not used to the dual life thing.”
“I see. It is confusing at times.” Kami admit with a nod.
“You sound like you have experience with it.”
“Kami is unique. He lives, and when he is tired of life he begins life again through rebirth with all his memories.” Piccolo explained. “We originally were born from the same ancestor. My father did the same and for the longest while I was just like him until I met Gohan and Ara.”
“Anyway, I’m sure Mr. Popo knows that Ara is mortal once more and will train with her accordingly.” Kami told Turles. “He’s told me that she was the only person to ever complete his training. I couldn’t believe that someone had managed to finish his program.”
“What!?” The saiyan and three namekians looked over to see Yamcha gaping in shock. “She actually completed this hellish torture?!”
The other humans had heard that and were in shock as well.
“Well, yes.” Kami looked over the group in slight bemusement. “Mr. Popo always spoke fondly of that young woman whenever she was brought up. I believe that he even mentioned that she was the best student he had ever trained.”
“Ok, what the hell?” The former pirate looked back at Piccolo. “Why is it so remarkable that Ara has done this?”
“Mr. Popo has been around for a long time, and he is very powerful. Many warriors have come to him in the past for guidance and training, but none could come close to making it.”
“Until Ara, right?” Turles glanced in the direction that his mate and her mentor had gone.
“Yes. When she first came here, Ara was still trying to get use to her powers and extremely depressed.” Piccolo gave Turles a look that the saiyan understood. “Kaioshin brought her here and asked Mr. Popo to train her to fight and control her energy. At first he wasn’t very willing to take her seriously, but Ara was stubborn and never gave up. Soon Mr. Popo was teaching her everything he knew. I think the challenge was good for her, it gave her a sense of purpose and something to focus on.”
“But…that’s insane!” Krillin stuttered out. “Going through the-!”
“Shut it!” Yamcha slapped a hand over the smaller man’s mouth. “Remember the first rule of Popo’s training!”
The men took a quick look around only to sigh in relief when they didn’t see the arzu.
“Ok…?” Turles turned back to the namekians. “Do I even want to know?”
“Probably not.” Piccolo responded. The lookout shook then startling them all.
“What was that?!” Krillin shouted concerned.
“That would be Ara and Mr. Popo.” Kami said with a slight chuckle. “It’s been a very long time since we’ve felt that. They should be finishing shortly.” The lookout shook again knocking some of the humans off balance. Turles couldn’t help but glance anxiously where his mate had vanished with the dragon. Moments later Ara bounced out of the building with a smile and leapt at Turles with a grin on her face.
“I hit him! One solid hit he couldn’t block!” She said happily as Turles caught her. Ara wound her legs around his waist and giggled happily.
“You did exceptionally well, Ara.” Mr. Popo said as he stood there. “Feel free to return as often as you wish. Perhaps these maggots will actually learn something.”
“Sure! It might be fun training with them.” Ara chirped hopping down. Her tail wagged happily at the idea of training with fellow students. “Oh! I know something I could show them! Over here!” She grabbed Tien and Krillin before dragging them along behind her while Piccolo and the others followed.
“She really is something.”
“She certainly is, be sure not to screw things up this time.” Popo said coming to stand beside Turles as they watched Ara teach.
“I just want her to be happy and safe. If that means staying here or some other world, it’s what I’ll do.” Turles narrowed his eyes in thought though. He hadn’t told Ara but Cooler would figure out she was still around sooner or later. And this time she wasn’t immortal. Turles wasn’t stupid enough to think they could hide forever, and didn’t want to make Ara live like that.
“You seem to be thinking quite hard, pirate.”
“A problem I’ve been trying to deal with, without Ara finding out. It involves a prior master.” Popo raised an eyebrow.
“He almost killed her the last time he found us. Cracked the stone of her amulet. So I was wondering....”
“What would it take...to make him....disappear?” Turles asked with all seriousness as he carefully chose his words. If this dragon was stronger than Ara then maybe he could do something. A shiver ran down the pirate’s spine as the dragon cracked a grin.
“Oh, I like you.” Popo said still smiling.
“What’s got you so distracted tonight?” Ara asked with concern creeping into her voice. “Is everything ok?”
“Just remembering.” He said kissing her. “I promise things are fine.”
“You’ve just been busy with everything lately. Are you sure you don’t need me to help...”
“Positive.” Turles said cutting her off with a kiss. “You just worry about the vineyard and the cubs. The talks with Tarble are going fine.”
“Do they really think you’re trying to create a new saiyan empire? All we’ve done is offer the exiles a place to call home.”
“Tarble and I both know that, it’s just convincing the rest of the morons on the council that. His majesty, the king, doesn’t care what I do because he still thinks you’re a goddess that will smite his line if he does anything to me. You certainly made an impression on him, Honoa.” Ara blushed.
“I didn’t mean to give him that idea....”
“I know. But it’s certainly worked in our favor.” He said kissing her again.
“Do you ever regret it?” Ara asked softly.
“Mmm,” Turles hummed as he pulled her to lay on his chest with him looking up at her. “Regret stealing you? Falling in love with you? Having you and our cubs become my entire world?”
He brushed a strand of hair away from her flushed face before pulling her into a sweet and slow kiss that neither one of them wanted to part from. Once they parted, the alpha pulled Ara down so that her head rested under his chin.
“I’ve never regretted a single moment. You have and always will be my everything.” He held her tight to him as he thought about how lucky he was to have found his heart’s light in not one but two lifetimes.
“You’re a sap.” Ara’s tired voice made Turles chuckle as he kissed the crown of her head.
“Yeah, but I’m your sap.”