After being cruelly beaten by an unfair master, Shula is saved by Ace, and he changes her life in more way than one giving her hope to live once more. Ace Fluff!!
I DO NOT OWN ONE PIECE!!!
Shula watched as people walked passed the window of her mentor's flower shop. She knew that they were pirates, they came every year, they were the reason that the town was so rich. They would come for the week and stock up on supplies, then they would leave without saying a word. The town knew they would return the next year, they always did.
Shula always felt protected when they were in town, especially when Ace was there. She had met the young pirate only a few years back, and ever since they had met up every time he was in town. She couldn't believe her luck when they had met, she thought that he would have to be one of the most gorgeous men that she had ever seen, and he had noticed her. No one ever noticed her, it was as if she was invisible all of the time. Ace had noticed her crying by the river the first time that he had ever visited the town; instead of ignoring her he had asked her what was wrong. Her first reaction was to flinch away so that he could not see the whip wounds on her back.
She had stared at him for so long, and he had just sat there talking to her quietly. Eventually she found her voice, and her mind long enough to stop staring at his perfect muscles that here not covered by a shirt. He had started to tell her a story of the adventures that he had while he was out at sea, she remembered how his face had lit up at the mention of the dangers that he had faced. She listened with the intent of a small child hearing their faveourite bed time story, which seemed to boost Ace's ego even more as his story soon became more animated. Gently he had eased into asking her why she was crying, and she had not held back. He had told her his story, so she felt as though she had to tell him hers.
She had told him how she had accidentally stepped on a flower after it had fallen out of the bouquet that she was making. Her boss had gotten extremely angry and had punished her thoroughly. She told him that she wasn't aloud back at the shop until the next morning, and she had no where to stay. Ace had smiled and wrapped her in his arms, she had been uncertain at first but the longer he held her the calmer she became until she closed her eyes and fell to sleep on his chest which seemed warmer than an average man's.
He had woken her the next morning aboard a ship. The crew had been very nice to her and had given her breakfast and a clean change of clothes, as well as the use of their shower. She had left stuttering her thanks, not sure how she would ever repay them for their kindness. Ace had walked her all the way to the shop, before he slipped off into the crowd and out of her sight for the next year. She had felt sad that she would never see him again, but it had soon become a tradition that they would meet on the bank of the river and tell each other the stories that they had been saving over the year.
Suddenly Shula realised that she was staring off into the distant past, her head wrapped in a dream like state. She checked herself and shook her head, it would not do for her to be daydreaming about him like that, her boss and mentor didn't agree with her meetings with him. She had been beaten often for seeing him, though she would never tell Ace that, it would only upset him.
"If you're going to daydream and not be productive you can go out and get me some more flowers for this bouquet!" Ange, her boss grumbled from behind her. "Make it snappy as well I have two more orders to make before five!"
Sula froze and turned to stare into his cold grey eyes as they pierced her flesh. She felt herself flinch automatically before she scuttled from the shop without saying a word. She had seen the look in his eye, it was the same emotion he always got just before he beat her sensless, today would not be a good day to annoy him, he was not in a forgiving mood and she would do well to remember that. She was so lost in her traumatic thoughts that she did not hear her name being called, and it was only when she was lifteed from behind by strong warm arms did she snap back to reality. Her eyes aligned with those of Ace and she felt a smile glue itself to her face.
"I didn't think that I would ever get your attention." Ace said placing her back on to her feet. His smile soon faded as he read the blank look on her face. "Hey Shula are you okay? It's me Ace!"
"Oh, I'm sorry Ace, I just have so much on my mind." Shula stressed walking quickly down the path not stopping to wait for Ace. He jogged up beside her worried that something may have happened that she wasn't telling him about. "I need to get some flowers for the shop!"
"I'll come with you." Ace soothed as she slowed her pace and nodded. She couldn't help but be comforted by his presence.
It did not take her long to find the flowers that she needed and she quickly said goodbye to Ace after he walked her back to the small flower shop. Quietly she walked over to Ange and handed him the basket of flowers, he stared at them for a moment his fist clenching in anger.
"I told you not to see that filthy pirate ever again." His voice was a cold as ice as he raised his hand. "You will pay the penalty for disobeying me!"
Shula squeezed her eyes shut as tightly as she could as she waited for the familiar blow of his fist. It never came however and when she ventured to open her eyes, she saw that Ange had been blocked by Ace.
"Ace what are you doing here?" Shula cried almost launching onto him. "Please don't hurt yourself!"
"Ace what are you doing here?" Shula cried almost launching onto him. "Please don't hurt yourself!"
Ace grinned at his old time friend. "I won't hurt myself, this guy is way below my league! I will not kill him. After I am done here I will take you with me, and you won't be coming back."
Ace watched as Shula sighed. She looked as though she was extremely stressed out, and he knew why. When the two of them had first met in the street she had looked distracted, he had been worried so he followed her back into the shop. He found that she had been forbidden to see him, and was about to cop a beating from Ange. He had felt the fire stir within him, though he would not use it in front of her. He had not told her about his ability and was not sure if he ever would. She would not understand and would back away disgusted that she was friends with him. She didn't like the devil fruits she had already told him as much so long ago.
Pulling his fist back he brought all of his power into the blow upon Ange's face. He felt something snap beneath the force of his punch but he did not care, the scum that was now unconscious on the floor deserved a lot more than what he had just received. Ace only held back for Shula's sake, though he was pleasantly surprised when she launched herself upon him, wrapping her arms around his neck and wheezing great sobs as she let her pent up emotions spill out. He held her close and rocked her gently as he slid his fingers up and down her spine. He waited for her to finally calm down and stop sobbing and when she did he held her at arms length.
He couldn't help but notice how beautiful she actually was, she had short blue curly hair, and large blue eyes. She had an aura that surrounded her that gave him a bubbly feeling, it was what seemed to draw him to her.
"Are you alright now?" He asked her gently as he looked into her troubled eyes. "You don't have to worry about him ever again, I will look after you! You can come with me and forget all about this, start a new life on the sea!"
"It's not that simple Ace, I wasn't just given to him! I was sold to him so that when I was older he could have an heir with me!" Shula said. "He owns me and he will never leave me alone, he will send the Marines after you and me, and I will never be free of him!"
"Yes you will! You will be with Whitebeard, the Marines won't dare to go after you when you are with him, and they are already after me." Ace smiled and gave her a reassuring hug. "I will look after you, and as for giving him an heir, he can find someone closer to his own age. The stupid pervert doesn't deserve you, you are too good for him, you do everything right and yet he beats you!"
"I am scared Ace! I don't know what to do on a pirate ship, I cannot fight and I have never used a weapon before in my entire life! This is all I have ever known!" Shula cried, clinging to Ace once again. "I only know how to make a nice flower arrangement and complete an errand or two!"
"That's okay, we will find you the best position on the ship. We need some one to look after the old man's plants and you would be the best person for that. At the moment I am doing it, but I don't know the first thing about plants, and they are starting to die." Ace admitted ruefully, glad when he saw her face break from the tears and into a smile. "You are quite welcome to take over, the Captain won't mind, he likes having new people in the crew, and not many of the women fight, so you won't be alone!"
"Are you sure that he will let me, because I have only met him once, and I am not anything like the rest of your crew mates!" Shula said as Ace guided her out of the small shop. "Do you think that they will like me?"
"I know that they will love you!" Ace assured her as the two of them stepped out into the open air, and he led her to the ship. It was a fair way away and with each step that they took he could feel Shula becoming more and more tense. He smiled slightly at her apprehension before trying to calm her down some more. "Just relax, and don't worry about it, they will not make you feel uncomfortable. You will be fine!"
"I know that you are right!" Shula said taking a big breath and visibly relaxing. "I am just nervous to meet all of your friends. You are the only person that I have ever really talked to properly, so I find it hard to meet new people."
"Then don't think about it like that! You are so pessimistic! Did you know that?" Ace laughed throwing his arm around her shoulders and letting out a large sigh. "I would not put you into a situation that you could not handle. Besides I will be with you the whole time, to make sure that you are treated properly; though I have no doubts that the old man will treat you right and make you feel at home straight away!"
"Is he really that great?" Shua asked breathlessly, her eyes wide as she looked into the unknown future. Ace wished that he could read her mind so that he knew exactly what she was thinking. "I have only ever heard the stories that you have told me. I never heard much else, that's why I always looked forwards to your visits. I like your stories."
Ace felt his head swell as he pulled her closer to him. "I have plenty more for you to listen to don't you worry!"
Ace watched as Shula walked towards him in a dream like state. She had only been part of the crew for a week and yet she had blended in perfectly, she no longer cringed from the men and her face was glowing with a radiance that he had never seen on her before. It made her seem more alive and more beautiful than he had ever seen her. He often had to ignore his groin region when she was around as it had a mind of its own and seemed to find her undeniably attractive, so he had taken to trying to avoid her as much as he could until the problem subsided.
"Ace, where have you been? I have been looking for you everywhere!" Shula said as she moved close to him. "I thought that we could do something together today, just the two of us, like old times."
"Sure, we can do that, the ship is pulling up to a dock now anyway." Ace said uneasily as he felt the blood rush to his member. He tried not to focus on her lest he give himself away to her. He just had to get out and find someone to relieve him. He could not think like that about Shula, she was his friend and he had to protect her, not seduce her. "I haven't really been around all that much have I? I sort of abandoned you as soon as you became part of the crew, and comfortable with them."
"Don't feel guilty Ace! You have done more than I could every thank you for! You gave me a new home, one where I am not scared every minute of my life. Though I do not like it when we are attacked by enemy pirates, that scares me a lot!" Shula smiled, and Ace found himself forced to as well. He felt so uncomfortable around her, though that was partly because his body was currently not thinking with his brain. "Are you alright Ace? You seem so strained, as if there is something really big on your mind and it's eating you from inside out!"
"Sorry, I am fine, I was just thinking about something. I shouldn't have bothered you, I will hide it better in the future." Ace apologized forcing another smile to his face and masking a groan as she moved closer to him, her body touching his slightly.
He watched as she lifted her hand and placed it on his forehead, worry creasing her brow. Her hand was cold against his hot skin and he felt the need for her to touch him in more places all at once. As he closed his eyes tightly shut, he heard her give a shocked intake of breath. "Ace you are burning up! Do you have a fever? I should have seen this before, I will go and get you a doctor!"
As Shula turned to run and alert the Ships doctor, Ace grabbed her wrist and pulled her back around to face him. He knew that he didn't have a fever, though he showed all the symptoms of one. "It's just the heat of the sun, I will be alright, how about the two of us go swimming?"
As Shula's eyes lit up and she ran to find her bathing suit, Ace cursed himself harshly. He had not been thinking when he had told her he would take her swimming, he could not swim and yet she was expecting that he would be in the water with her. He plastered a smile to his face as she skipped over to him a vibrant smile on her face.
"Are you ready to go?" She asked eagerly as she grabbed hold of his hand and giggled. She reminded him of a child that was seeing a candy store for the first time. A genuine smile crossed his features at the wide eyed and starry look on her face. "Let's hurry!"
The two of them made their way down to the waters edge and Shula shed her clothing so that she was wearing only her bathing suit. It was the same blue as her eyes and it hugged her figure as she bounded towards the sea. Suddenly Ace could wait no longer and he plunged himself into the water. It was then that he froze as the ocean took its hold upon him. He hoped that Shula would realise and would pull him to the surface. He was relieved when she did just that, her face pale with worry.
"Ace what's wrong, are you alright." She demanded. She held him tightly as he did not move, her panic rising with every moment. "Don't worry I will get you to the shore, and you will be alright!"
Ace felt himself tugged to the shore by her and once he was at land, he was able to move, so he climbed further from his worst enemy. He felt Shula fling herself hard against him her arms around his neck and her heart beat erratic. He smiled and let her hair glide through his fingers as he held her to his chest.
"What happened are you alright? I was so scared!" Shula said in a high pitched voice that was filled with terror. "I thought that you would drown for sure."
"Sorry, I forgot that I can not swim." Ace lied to her. He smiled weakly, though the look on her face soon wiped the smile from his lips. "What's wrong?"
"I hate you, you jerk." Shula screamed and Ace felt her hand connect with his cheek in a hard and unforgiving slap. "I can't believe you would do that to me! That was so mean, how could you do that?"
"Shula, I'm sorry." Ace said helplessly. Shula shook her head violently and he wanted to wrap her in his arms and show her how much he regretted what he had done. "Don't leave!"
"Stay out of my sight until I am ready to deal with you!" She screamed and Ace could feel how much she hurt. "I thought you were my friend!"
Ace watched Shula stand to her feet, and run towards the nearby forest without turning back. As he got to his feet to follow he was sure that he saw tears running down her face. Silently he cursed himself as he set off at a slow jog. He would have to come clean, no matter how much it hurt the two of them. It was his job to protect her and he couldn't do that while she hated him.
Shula ran as fast as she could from Ace, as the tears streammed from her eyes. She felt as though he had betrayed her by not telling her the truth. He didn't even care that he could have died, and he almost had. She couldn't believe that he would play such a stupid trick on her, did he not see how much she cared for him?
Furiously she wiped the tears from her cheeks and continued to march deeper into the forest around her. She didn't care that she was defenseless in such a place, she was too upset to even stop and view her surroundings. It would serve Ace right if she did end up getting lost, it would be all his fault and then he would feel guilty about what he had done. Shula pouted as she thought about how big a baby she was actually being, maybe he had been telling her the truth when he had said that he could not swim. It was not rare for him to fall asleep at random times, so it would make sense if that had done something to his memory. Suddenly feeling bad about the way she had reacted, she peered around the forest only to find that she was completely lost and could not find her way back. Panicking she turned around and tried to trace her footsteps to where she had come from.
To her chagrin she found that five minutes later she was even more lost than what she had been when she had first realised that she was lost. Letting out a ragged breath Shula dropped to the ground, finally giving in and accepting defeat. Surely Ace would come after her, he was her friend after all. Biting her lip she remembered how nasty she had been to him before she had left, she had told him to stay out of her sight, so maybe he would respect her wishes and stay away. It was not his fault if he did not follow, she would not blame him. He did not know that she had got herself completely lost in the middle of an unknown forest where there were many dangerous and wild beasts prowling.
Lifting up her knees to her chin, she wrapped her arms around her legs and buried her head in her lap. She hoped that she was found soon by a person rather than an animal. She would not be able to hold off an attack, she was too weak and she had no weapons with her at all. She was in very deep trouble and her luck wasn't improving as time slowly ticked passed. She found herself sobbing after what seemed like hours that she had been sitting on the hard and damp ground. She wished she had not over reacted after Ace had taken her swimming, she shouldn't have lost her head.
Shula froze as an almighty growl split the air. The fine hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as she held her breath and prayed to whoever was listening that the growl didn't come any closer to her than what it already was. She was unpleasantly surprised when it did come closer, and she turned to see a huge brown bear standing on two legs above her. She dared not to move as the bear came closer, screeching its fury at her tresspass on its territory. Not making a sound she backed up slowly as not to startle it, though it seemed intent on following her.
Just as she was about to let out a high pitch scream as the bear cornered her, fire made a ring around her and sent the bear scuttling out of fear in the other direction. As the fire died down, Shula lifted her head to find Ace standing in front of her, flames licking his skin like a well known lover. She had never been more happy to see him in all her life, and ignoring the fact that he looked as though he was on fire she threw her arms around him and lifted her legs so that she straddled him. Laughing he supported her weight with his arms and she discovered that the flames that had been all around him just moments ago, were now gone and nowhere to be seen.
"How did you find me?" Shula asked pressing her forehead against his. She didn't care how angry she had previously been with him, he had still come to find her and for that she was grateful. "I thought that I was going to be that bears dinner!"
"You thought that I would not follow you into the forest?" Ace asked curiously as he spun her around in circles. "I do admit though it did take me a while to actually find you after I entered the forest, though in the end I did, and just in the nick of time as well."
"I have only one more question to ask." Shula said timidly. She tightened her grip slightly around his neck and moved closer. She was not sure weather she was over stepping her mark. "Why were you on fire, it did not look as though it hurt you and it scared the bear away!"
"Do you remember the story I told you about the magical fruits that were said to be made by the devil?" Ace asked, and at her nod he continued. "Well I ate one of them, and I can now turn my body to flame, but I can't swim. Pretty cool huh?"
"Yes, it is cool. If I had have known this earlier then I would not have become so angry at you, I know that it was me who was in the wrong." Shula said quietly looking up at Ace through her eye lashes.
"That's alright, I had fun trying to find you anyway!" Ace grinned and an idea formed itself in Shula's head.
"You liked finding me?" She giggled as she jumped from his grip and ran further into the forest, throwing playfully over her shoulder. "I bet you can't find me again!"
Shula ran through the forest for the second time that day, though this time she couldn't help letting out small giggles as her body collided with the warm and hard chest of Ace. His arms wrapped around her and held her in a vice like grip, one that no matter how hard she tried, she would never escape. He smiled as his body warmed and he stared at her in the eye. Shula held her breath scarcely daring to even try and move.
Without warning Ace's head swooped down and captured her lips with his own. His tongue quickly demanded access, and she was not about to stop him. She felt herself melt into his chest as he strengthened the kiss and moved closer. They were so close that their bodies touched in every place. As Ace's hands slid beneath her shirt to roam, Shula let out a small groan, urging him to go on and to continue. When he deepened the kiss, she felt his mouth warm until she thought that she would explode from the heat that he was giving off. Slowly he pushed her to the ground where she made a noise of protest. It was hardly the place to do anything remotely intimate.
"Trust me." Ace said against her neck as he pulled the shirt over her head. "I won't let anything happen to you!"
Shula relaxed slightly and let Ace continue, until the two of them lay on the ground panting and sweat drenched. She snuggled closer to him, still feeling warm by the act that the two of them had just taken part in.
She'd had sex with Ange before so she wasn't a virgin, but afterwards she had always felt dirty, and soiled. He had beat her before and after, becoming aroused as she screamed in pain and begged for his mercy. With Ace it had been gentle, he had acted at first as if she was a virgin, though when he had found out that she was not, he did not become any rougher.
"Who was your first?" Ace whispered into her ear. "I'm not angry, I would just like to know who beat me to the most beautiful woman in the world."
"Well of course it was Ange." Shula replied trying to keep the raging emotions from showing on her face. She felt Ace stiffen and his skin become dry and extremely hot. "He was not like you though, I always felt so stupid afterwards, like I wasn't worth a thing to anyone in the world."
"That's not true! Did he hurt you?" Ace asked quietly as she started to sob into his chest. She felt his fingers glide up and down her spine gently. She could feel his patience and so wasn't scared to tell him everything that had happened.
"He used to beat me of course, he really didn't like me Ace! I thought that I was going to live and die like that, though you saved me. You don't even know how happy you have made me!" The tears streamed down her face once again, though this time she felt as though she was being cleansed, she felt as though she was dropping a huge weight from her shoulders. She sighed as she moved closer to the man who had saved her and shown her that there was more to life than what she had known. "Of course I ate special herbs to stop pregnancy, there was no way that I was ever going to give him an heir! I knew that he would beat even his own child, he cared for no one but himself!"
"You are a very brave woman, did you know that?" Ace asked quietly as he kissed her neck, making her giggle. "You are very strong as well, I admire your courage to do what you did, not many women would have that forethought."
"Maybe not, but I bet you that each and everyone of them would do anything in their power to save their child." Shula smiled. "I am not ready to think about babies anyway, I want to see some more of the world now that you have given me a taste of freedom!"
Ace smiled and kissed her once again on her swollen lips and then threw his head back in a throaty and all too male bark of laughter. He gave her a look that she had never seen before as he whispered huskily in her ear. "With me you will forever have as much freedom as you can possibly want. I promise to treat you right!"