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“I am not sure this routine is within my capabilities.”

Aria smirked from her upside-down position on the pole, spreading her legs and crossing them in the opposite direction before descending head first. She flipped in slow motion, arching her body as she set both boots on the ground. “Don’t tell me you’re scared, T’Soni.”

Liara frowned. She was, actually, more than a little nervous, but she most certainly wouldn’t be telling Aria that. “Of breaking an ankle, perhaps. Dancing in those seems very unwise.” She gestured at Aria’s knee-high stilettos, which were something of a departure from her usual footwear. The Queen of Omega’s style certainly wasn’t modest, but it was usually practical in addition to being revealing.

“Hey, you asked for this.” Aria swung casually around the pole, hooking one knee as an anchor point and dipping backwards. The new position gave Liara a distracting view down the front of her jacket and corset, and she wasn’t sure whether to admire the scenery or look away so Aria wouldn’t have the satisfaction of gloating. “But if you’ve changed your mind…”

“No.” Liara tried not to show any awkwardness as Aria’s eyes locked with hers. She really was a predator, always hunting out weaknesses. “I am ready when you are.”

Aria righted herself, swinging once more around the pole before coming to a stop. “Are you sure? You’ve let yourself go a bit since the end of the war…”

“I had a child,” Liara grumbled.

“So did I. Two, in fact.”

“But the one you carried was well over a century ago. And besides, I work at a university now.”

“Partly,” Aria said. “Don’t tell me you let your agents do all the field work for you? Where’s the fun in that?”

Liara rolled her eyes. It seemed Aria was in a mood today, which meant her lesson might be more of an exercise in banter than learning how to pole dance. “As if someone who calls herself the Queen of Omega does her own field work on a regular basis. Don’t you have a reputation to maintain?”

“I do field work when it suits me.” Aria stepped forward, giving Liara’s jacket a tug. “Lose this bulky number. I’m going to make sure you sweat.”

In spite of her annoyance, Liara couldn’t help but blush. She was no longer the shy ingenue she’d been aboard the SR-1, but this promised to be a new and somewhat intimidating experience. Nonetheless, she stripped off her lab coat, folding it and draping it over Aria’s couch. Aria’s forehead tattoo rose in mild surprise, but she didn’t ask Liara to move the jacket, which Liara took as a minor victory.

“Pants too,” Aria said, eyes flicking down to Liara’s hips. “You’ll have bare legs tonight, and the friction of the metal feels different on skin.”

“Ah. So you want me to remove my clothes solely for my own benefit, of course.” Liara shimmied out of her pants, purposely doing so with efficiency rather than seductive intent. She refused to help Aria enjoy this — at least, not yet.

Aria gave Liara’s legs a casual, lingering look before returning to the pole. “Here’s your first move: an outside step. Even you should be able to get this.” She crossed one leg over the pole, placing her toe on the opposite side, and shifted her weight to swing around in a graceful circle.

Liara observed carefully. The move seemed much easier than the complicated routine Aria had been going through before, and she felt slightly more confident. “I believe I can handle that.”

“Yeah?” Aria left the pole, sauntering off to one side and folding her arms expectantly. “Go on, T’Soni. Show me what you’ve got.”

Head held high, Liara approached the pole, wrapping both hands around it. The metal was warm to the touch, and her heart gave a weak flutter as she realized why. Aria’s body heat. She stuck one leg out, landing on the ball of her foot and attempting to swing around as Aria had demonstrated.

It was a moderate success. She felt a little awkward after having watched Aria’s effortless performance, but she didn’t stumble or fall, and she ended up back where she’d started. She almost felt proud of herself, until Aria started chuckling.

“What?” she said, shooting a reproachful look in Aria’s direction.

“That wasn’t terrible,’ Aria conceded. “I’m just imagining what your mother would say if she knew I was teaching you to pole dance.”

Liara waited for the brief flash of pain, but it didn’t come. While she would never stop grieving her mother’s death, enough time had passed for her to recall the good memories — the memories before Saren. She laughed softly. “She would be horrified. My father, however, will be thrilled.”

“Oh?” Aria tilted her head. “You’re going to tell her?”

Liara shook her head. “Never. But she has the uncanny ability to find out all my most embarrassing secrets, so it’s easier to assume she will.”

“Fair enough. Do another outside step.”

Liara repeated the move, a little more fluidly the second time. It was actually somewhat enjoyable, the brief moment of freedom she felt as her center of gravity shifted.

“Not bad. Again.”

Liara blinked. “Is this a lesson, or drill instruction?”

“Both. Again.”

Twenty repetitions later, Liara’s thighs felt sorer than expected. “This is surprisingly tiring,” she said, stepping away from the pole.

Aria offered a careless shrug. “I never said it was easy.”

“You make it look easy,” Liara said, although she instantly regretted it. Aria didn’t need anyone else to feed her enormous ego.

“I should hope so.” Aria returned to the pole, spinning until it aligned with her arched spine. “Pirouette.” She repeated the move, and Liara watched, impressed despite herself. It was a very simple motion, but Aria made it look…

This is no time to get distracted. You have to practice.

Liara shook herself, tamping down her arousal. Sometimes, it annoyed her how easily Aria got to her, especially since Aria was most definitely doing it on purpose. Especially since her nerves made her all the more vulnerable…

“All right.” She and Aria switched places, and Liara did her best to mimic what she’d been shown.

This time, she wasn’t as successful on the first try. She didn’t trip, but the roll of her spin was awkward, and happened in jerky stages. Aria didn’t say anything, but her expression spoke volumes.

Without being asked, Liara tried again. Gradually, the move got easier, especially when Aria came over to move her hands higher on the pole. The warmth of her palms made Liara’s skin flush, but she steadfastly ignored her body’s reactions.

Remember, you are doing this for Shepard. That only made the problem worse. Her bondmate’s birthday was coming up — a more important tradition for humans than asari, Liara had learned. Although I have a feeling this gift might be even more pleasurable for me than Shepard. In addition to her worry, Liara couldn’t deny the tingle of anticipation she felt.

Aria leaned in, breathing hot breaths against the back of Liara’s neck before stepping away. “Again. Impress me.”

Liara sighed. At least, I hope it will be pleasurable. Right now, it feels more like torture.

***

Liara toweled her face in front of the bathroom mirror, wiping away any remaining droplets. She trembled, although she couldn’t tell how much of that was from nerves, and how much was the cool sensation of water evaporating from her skin. She felt unusually vulnerable in her nakedness, and foolish for feeling that way.

Shepard and Aria have seen me naked too many times to count, and Jack and Miranda have a dozen times at least. I have no reason to worry.

And yet, the outfit waiting in the next room, draped across the foot of the bed, set Liara’s heart pounding. Putting it on would probably leave her feeling more exposed than not wearing clothes at all. Nevertheless, she threw her towel in the laundry port and strode into the bedroom, summoning her confidence. It was Shepard’s birthday, after all.

Liara’s lips quirked when she noted the outfit and shoes Aria had supplied. The black leather boots went knee-high, but thankfully, they had a very low heel. It seemed Aria did care for her wellbeing, very deep down. Thank the Goddess. The last thing I want to do is fall… especially not in front of Aria. Shepard would surely fuss over her if she did, and Jack and Miranda likely would as well, but if she ruined the evening by twisting an ankle, Liara knew she wouldn’t hear the end of it from Aria for at least a few hundred years.

The rest of the ensemble Aria had so graciously gifted her was far less practical. The bustier, black with purple highlights, was designed to accentuate Liara’s assets, and was predictably difficult to squirm into. She struggled more than she wanted to admit, huffing as she fought the straps and buckles.

Eventually, she managed, and the results were undeniably pleasing. “Hmm,” she said, admiring her reflection in one of the guest bedroom’s many mirrors. Sometimes, she didn’t recognize the person staring back at her — a person with ancient eyes and more than a few scars. But today, those thoughts were distant enough not to bother her. In fact, she looked rather beautiful. Aria might have teased her about putting on a few pounds, but Liara doubted her audience would complain while they were on display like this.

Next came the underwear. The material was much flimsier than the bustier, the same deep purple color as its accents. Liara suspected that was on purpose. It would show any stains, and seemed easy enough to rip off if someone got impatient.

Goddess, I hope Shepard gets impatient…

Anticipation and arousal churned in Liara’s belly. It had been a while since she and Shepard had made time for a scene like this. Between their busy schedules and raising their daughter, who seemed to need increasing amounts of attention, it was easier to just get each other off and pass out from exhaustion. But not tonight. She was going to enjoy this, and enjoy it thoroughly.

She turned her attention to the chaps, which were simpler to put on than the bustier, but similarly uncomfortable. Liara frowned at the gaps along her inner thighs. Her skin was still sore and slightly chafed from Aria’s lesson earlier that day, and she had a feeling she would need a good lotioning later.

Ah well. Aria never promised this would be a comfortable endeavor.

Once her outfit was properly adjusted, Liara returned to the bathroom mirror. She uncapped a bottle of oil and massaged it into her crest, moisturizing the dry spots. A shudder raced down her spine, and she tried not to imagine Shepard’s fingers stroking through the grooves there in place of her own. Or Aria’s fingers. Or Miranda’s. Or…

A pity Tevos won’t be able to join us. It might have been nice to perform for at least one person with a gentler touch.

Tevos, she knew, would have been kind about her debut performance, too. A few hours of practice wasn’t enough to guarantee perfection, and Tevos was the only person alive capable of tempering Aria’s sarcasm.

Liara took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders, breasts straining within the confines of the bustier. She was due to make her entrance above Afterlife in a few minutes, and she needed to get going. Hopefully Aria is feeling kind today. Relatively speaking.

***

Aria, however, showed no hint of kindness or encouragement when Liara arrived at the appointed time. She sat sprawled in the L-shaped corner of her infamous couch, both arms draped across the back, one leather-clad knee crossed over the other. Her eyes passed over Liara, and the silken robe she’d donned to protect her modesty on the stairs to the platform, with casual boredom.

“You’re late,” Aria announced, although it wasn’t true.

Liara hesitated, unsure how to respond. She hadn’t expected Aria to dive into the scene so abruptly, but she realized she should have. Of course she isn’t going to make this easy on me with a little reassurance first. Well, if she can do it…

“I apologize. There’s quite a crowd downstairs.”

Aria remained unimpressed. “Isn’t there always? I need you for a private show tonight.” She gestured at Shepard, Miranda, and Jack, all of whom were seated on the couch as well. Only their physical closeness revealed any hint of intimacy between them. For all any observers might guess, they were merely business associates, not friends and casual lovers — except for the fact that Jack did have a hand resting on one of Miranda’s thighs.

Their stares made Liara flush. Her earlier suspicions had been correct: not even the addition of the robe over her lingerie kept her from feeling naked before their stares.

“This the dancer you were talking about? The new one?” Shepard sat on Aria’s left, wearing black pants with a red and white stripe down the side. Her tank top showed off her broad shoulders, and her silver dog tags hung just below her prominent collarbone.

Instinctively, Liara reached for her own throat, taking the other tags Shepard had given her during the war in hand for reassurance. She distracted herself by ogling the patchy white scar on Shepard’s left bicep, a line her tongue knew by heart.

“She is,” Aria drawled, dark lips playing into a smirk. “Shepard? Meet Liara. She’s new, of course, but there’s something… appealing about the fresh ones, wouldn’t you say?”

“She does have a certain aura of innocence,” Miranda said. Though she carried herself with her usual cool detachment, she didn’t bother to hide the appreciation in her eyes, for which Liara was grateful. To be admired by someone so exquisitely beautiful was always flattering, and it relaxed her considerably.

Beside her, Jack laughed. “So, opposite of you, then?”

Miranda arched an eyebrow at Jack, who hadn’t bothered to dress for the occasion at all. Her makeup looked like it had survived several showers, and the closest she’d come to neatness was the straight line of her undercut. The gleaming metal studs on her jacket and pants made her hopelessly smudged eyeliner look more intimidating than it might have on anyone else.

“If you want to go home alone,” Miranda said, “by all means, keep talking.”

“Eat me.” Jack flashed a rude gesture, which made Shepard chuckle and Miranda scoff in feigned exasperation.

“If that’s your goal, you aren’t off to a promising start.”

Aria didn’t join the banter. She continued staring, and the fixed intensity of her gaze made heat bloom beneath Liara’s skin. Her eyes darted toward Shepard again. Her bondmate was always her place of safety and stability.

“If this is the kind of greeting your visitors get, I’m impressed.” Shepard did her best to leer, but her expression was so hopelessly lovestruck that it came across as adorable. Liara had to bite the inside of her cheek to keep from giggling at her bondmate, herself, and the absurdity of the situation.

She may look terrifying in the heat of battle, but Shepard has absolutely no Skyllian 5 face.

“Well, it’s your birthday, and I’m too cheap to buy you a present. I think a little re-gifting is in order.” Aria snapped her fingers, pointing toward the pole in the middle of the balcony with all the imperiousness of a verbal command. “Give her a good show, Liara. I heard she saved the galaxy or something once… or so she claims.”

Shepard almost looked offended. “So I claim?” she said, at the same time Miranda raised her eyebrows and said, “Once?”

Jack chuckled. “Nah. I hear it’s all bullshit. Never happened.”

While the others joked and teased, Liara’s breaths felt painfully dry within her chest and throat. She knew what was expected of her, what she’d asked for and arranged herself. Still, her legs suddenly didn’t want to cooperate. She’d practiced the routine, and had the sore muscles to prove it, but she hadn’t realized starting would seem like such a huge obstacle.

Don’t be foolish, Liara. This is nothing compared to fighting Reapers or getting your Doctorate.

“Of course, Aria.”

With completely manufactured confidence, Liara untied the front of her robe, allowing it to slide from her shoulders in a whisper of fabric. It pooled on the floor, and Shepard gasped. Liara couldn’t hear it above the throb of the music from the dance floor below, but she saw the sharp movement of Shepard’s chest and the noticeable widening of her green eyes. Those eyes were undeniably hungry, just as Liara had hoped they’d be.

“Nice outfit,” Miranda said, giving Liara’s newly revealed form a more searching gaze than before. This time, Liara did feel a little judged. Not everyone could pull off the type of skin-tight ensembles Operative Lawson preferred. It seemed to meet with her approval, because a smile crept about her lips, and she brushed back a lock of hair that had spilled alongside her perfect face.

Jack’s appreciation was more obvious. She whistled and raised her eyebrows, grinning from ear to ear. “Damn.” She took a slug from her drink, which she held casually in one hand. “They make ‘em full on Thessia, don’t they?”

“You should visit sometime,” Aria said, with more than a hint of wry amusement. “Although Liara here is a little fuller than most.” The way Aria’s heavy gaze rested on her, pupils already expanding, made the comment a compliment, and Liara was undeniably pleased beneath her nerves. She knew her flush must be visible, and not just on her face, but she carried on anyway, allowing her audience to look their fill.

“I’m sure your bondmate will appreciate it too,” Miranda said, aiming a flirtatious smile in Aria’s direction. “You’re recording this little performance, aren’t you?”

Liara’s heart skipped a beat. She hadn’t forgotten, exactly, but with so many other things competing for her attention, it hadn’t been at the forefront of her mind.

Aria nodded. “Of course. Poor Tevos is stuck on the Citadel, trapped in those boring hearings she always complains so much about. She needs something to watch on her breaks. I just hope her eagerness doesn’t get the best of her. We wouldn’t want her colleagues to see the show without even paying, would we?” She stared directly at Liara as she said it, and the heat crawling along Liara’s skin fairly burned.

Tevos would never do that… would she? No. Of course not. She knows better… I can trust her to protect my privacy. But what if she did...?

“But that’s beside the point,” Aria said, suddenly all business. “You want your birthday dance, don’t you, Shepard?”

Upon being addressed, Shepard blinked in confusion. She’d been staring at Liara with slack-jawed lust, and it took her a moment to remember they were acting out a scene. “Er, yeah,” she said, trying to hide her adorably smitten expression. “You’ve bragged so much about this new acquisition of yours. I wanna see what she can do.”

“Me too,” Jack said. “Unless you were just bullshitting like usual…”

Aria shot Jack an icy look. “Liara,” she said, “show them.”

Liara took a deep breath, breasts straining against her bustier. This was it. Either she would put on the performance of her life, or fall flat on her face. But she’d never backed down from a challenge, and so she summoned her courage, strutting toward the pole in the middle of the balcony and silently thanking Aria for providing her with relatively sensible boots.

The metal was cold beneath her hands. She tried to focus on that instead of the blazing eyes that roamed her body, but she knew she couldn’t focus inward forever. This was supposed to be a performance, after all, and so she tried to hold Shepard’s gaze as she started her routine, swinging around the pole with an outside step, the very first move Aria had shown her.

Her legs shook a little, but she managed, and her confidence rose as the lovestruck look returned to her bondmate’s face. A brilliant smile stretched from ear to ear, causing dimples to form in Shepard’s freckled cheeks, and Liara tried to force a sultry smirk in return. She hooked her knee around the pole, leaning back to offer Shepard an excellent view down her cleavage.

“Damn,” Shepard muttered, her eyes locked onto Liara’s breasts.

Aria hummed, a noise of feigned boredom overtop mild appreciation. Liara knew her intimately enough to hear different layers in the sound, despite how subtle they were. “Keep it in your pants, Shepard. She’s just getting started.”

Liara rolled back up into a standing position, turning and arching her spine away from the pole. She tried to move fluidly, although her legs shook a little, mostly from nerves. Hopefully no one would notice. Well, no one but Aria, whom Liara was certain could pick out every flaw…

No! Do not think about Aria. Look at someone else. Look at…

She caught a glimpse of approval in Miranda’s eyes, and decided to hold the operative’s gaze for a little while. Shepard was obviously very appreciative, but she would also be the easiest to impress. If Liara was going to do this, she wanted to do it right, and her pride demanded she give all four audience members a show, no matter how awkward she felt.

Taking a deep breath, Liara gripped the pole with trembling hands, using her upper body to lift her legs off the ground. She hooked her knees around it, going into a spin. For a moment, she feared she might fall. Her hands slipped an inch, and she held tighter to recover, but she made it back to where she’d started, and her boots landed on the platform only a little more loudly and clumsily than intended.

Purely by accident, she found herself facing Aria. Much to her surprise, her demanding teacher didn’t look disappointed. Still, Liara shifted her gaze. She didn’t feel quite brave enough yet to look directly at her, and Jack was a much safer option.

Pretend it’s real. Pretend these are your customers. Aria did order you to focus on them…

Liara curled one leg around the pole, lifting up and twirling with her heels touching to form a triangle. She landed on both knees, making sure to keep her legs spread wide, and ran her tongue deliberately over her lower lip, staring into Jack’s eyes all the while.

Jack’s leer was much more genuine than Shepard’s, although still warm and friendly enough to put Liara at ease — at least a little. “Not bad. But does she know how to work the top?”

Liara flushed. The double-entendre was obvious, so obvious that Miranda rolled her eyes. “Don’t harass her. Let her do her job.”

My job...

The words made Liara shudder. She lost herself in the fantasy. In the throbbing music that pulsed throughout the club. In the lustful gazes that roamed her body. Her nervousness didn’t go away, but she viewed it from a new angle. She was no longer a scientist and war hero, afraid of looking foolish because she had skipped out on this kind of youthful debauchery in favor of academics. She was a shy maiden from Thessia who had left home to wander the galaxy and ended up here, in way over her head.

The next time she spun around the pole, lifting her legs off the platform, there was a moment of vertigo, but also exhilaration. She was smiling genuinely by the time she landed on her feet again, and felt confident enough to go straight into a cartwheel, swinging both legs in the air one by one with her toes pointed toward the ceiling.

“Flexible,” Miranda said, raising her beautifully shaped brows.

“Sexy as fuck,” Jack said.

“Not bad,” Aria drawled, with a glint of amusement in her eyes.

Liara might have pouted, if not for Shepard’s follow-up. “Gorgeous.”

Her heart pounded. It was working. She was actually doing this, and her bondmate was most definitely appreciative, judging by the look on her face and the lustful glaze in her eyes.

No. Not your bondmate. Not tonight. Shepard is your customer, and you have to please her… and your employer.

That only made Liara more determined to impress. She cartwheeled again, swinging her legs even higher. Instead of landing on her feet, she kept her right leg extended, forming a tight triangle with the left, foot to knee, and lowering herself down to her hip.

Aria’s forehead tattoo rose the slightest bit. Her gaze seemed to say, ‘go on’.

Liara seized the moment. She splayed out on her side, making sure the silhouette of her curves was clearly visible, and pointed at Shepard with what she hoped was enough grace, crooking her finger in invitation.

Shepard grinned. “Me?” she mouthed, or perhaps said — thanks to the thrumming bass, Liara couldn’t tell.

Liara smirked and nodded.

Shepard stood and swaggered over, thumbs stuck through the belt loops of her fatigues. The gesture put the considerable bulge at the front of her pants on prominent display. It wasn’t a surprise that Shepard had packed — they’d discussed it in advance — but the visual was far more arousing than mere knowledge, and Liara felt a rush of heat between her legs.

Shepard offered her hand, and Liara took it, rising to her feet.

Her heart leapt when Shepard placed a warm kiss on her knuckles. The courtly gesture, a contrast to the seediness of the entire scene, only made Liara fall more deeply in love. Nevertheless, she slid her hand out of Shepard’s grasp, strutting around the poll in a circle before dropping in a steep bend, stroking her hands up along her body. Slowly, she removed the bustier, maintaining eye contact with Shepard all the while — and trying to hide the fact that it was a difficult endeavor.

She managed with only a little fumbling, and the results were well worth it. This time, she was close enough to hear Shepard’s ragged intake of breath. Her hands twitched, as though she wanted to reach out, but Liara swiveled away, facing the pole and grinding deliberately against it.

That earned whistles from her audience. Not from Shepard, though. Her brow furrowed, and the pout on her face was adorable. Too adorable to resist. Liara strutted away from the pole, placing a hand in the middle of Shepard’s chest and walking her back toward the couch. She straddled Shepard’s hips, positioning her breasts near her bondmate’s face.

Shepard’s hands were on her in an instant. She ran them up Liara’s legs, sliding around to her ass and squeezing without hesitation. Treat her like you would a handsy customer, Liara thought. Put her off, but gently, so she tries harder the next time…  She swatted Shepard’s hands away, tousling her hair as she did so.

Jack, Miranda, and even Aria laughed.

“Don’t you know the rules, Shepard?” Miranda quipped. “No touching the entertainment.”

“Hey, she touched me first!” Shepard licked her lips, looking exceptionally hungry. “Can’t blame me for trying.”

“Luckily for you, the rules are a little different on Omega,” Aria said. “In fact, I know this particular dancer enjoys the attention.”

Liara blushed, stealing a glance at Aria. The look on her “employer’s” face was no longer quite so cold, but hungry and expectant.

Well… I suppose I should stay true to character.

She resumed her dance, swaying to the throb of the bass, then dropped until her thighs touched the backs of her heels. She placed her hands on her knees and spread her legs, giving Shepard a clear view of her underwear. As expected, the purple material Aria had chosen sported a dark stain in the middle. Shepard’s eyes widened, and a shiver raced down Liara’s spine. Shepard can see how wet I am. They can all see…

But she wanted more. Even though she was supposed to be playing a part, her need was getting the best of her. She wanted Shepard’s hands on her body, wanted to feel the force of the lust she could see written all over Shepard’s face. She slithered back up along Shepard’s body, placing one boot on the couch between her legs, quite close to the bulge at the front of her fatigues.

More whistles and cheers. Even Aria laughed in approval, and Liara’s heart skipped a beat. Her face burned, and she got distracted from her heady rush of accomplishment as Shepard’s hands returned to her hips, toying with the waistband of her panties. She didn’t protest when Shepard tugged the damp fabric off, although she did have to pause to kick them away. She flicked them in Aria’s direction with the toe of her boot, and Aria — much to Liara’s surprise — caught them in midair.

Shepard snorted, momentarily distracted. “Show off.”

Aria smirked, stuffing the panties in her pocket and leaning back on the couch. She motioned carelessly for Liara to continue. “Go on. Show the birthday girl what you’ve got.”

Liara did so, freshly determined. She shot Shepard her sultriest look, leaning in so close that their mouths almost brushed. Shepard’s lips parted expectantly, but instead of kissing her, Liara drew back, turning to present Shepard with her backside instead.

Shepard leapt on the opportunity. She cupped Liara’s ass with unbridled enthusiasm, seemingly pleased to be touching it without any barriers in the way. Liara tried not to let it distract her as she moved to the music, but it was exceptionally difficult — especially because Shepard wasn’t merely content to grope her. Her fingertips wandered along one of Liara’s thighs, and then Liara heard a sharp intake of breath.

“You’re wet.”

The words, though quietly spoken, sounded to Liara like a thunderclap. They were full of forceful intent, and she shot Shepard a burning look over her shoulder. Even though Shepard had touched her this way countless times, it felt different in this context. Filthy and forbidden and electric.

“It is my pleasure to be whatever you want me to be.”

“Oh?” Shepard’s fingers moved inward. “And if I wanted to do this?” She dragged them through Liara’s folds, gathering even more wetness on them.

Liara shuddered. “Yes.”

“Hmm. What about this?” Shepard slid inside her, with only one finger at first, and Liara clenched around it, swallowing a whimper.

Goddess, only one? That is just cruel, Shepard. Out loud, though, she said: “Yes.”

“And if I wanted something like this?” After a stirring motion that made Liara’s head spin, Shepard withdrew and pulled her into a seated position, making sure Liara could feel the bulge in her lap.

Liara’s eyes darted to Aria, who shrugged carelessly. “Do whatever you want with her, Shepard. She’s all yours for the night.”

“Really?” Jack asked, from surprisingly nearby. “Just Shepard?”

Liara shook herself. She hadn’t noticed how close Jack and Miranda were, so intense was Aria’s stare, and so distracting were Shepard’s hands, which continued to roam her body.

Miranda snorted. “Well, maybe if you asked politely, Shepard would let you take a turn.”

“I’m willing to share,” Shepard said, removing one of her hands from Liara’s hip to unfasten her pants. “But I go first. She’s my present.”

Liara turned to face her. Riding Shepard in any direction was enjoyable, but she wanted to watch as pleasure overtook her “customer’s” face and know she was the cause. Her eyes darted down to the thick tan shaft jutting out of Shepard’s fly. It was hard and ready for her, and she felt a curious, but not unfamiliar, sensation of relief. It was relaxing to know that, at least for tonight, this was her only job: to take care of Shepard’s needs. Nothing else mattered.

She straddled Shepard again, prepared to tease and go slowly, but Shepard was having none of it. She grabbed Liara’s hips and pulled her straight into position — and Liara didn’t bother to resist. She wasn’t allowed to resist, and that thought only made her more eager.

The first push of Shepard’s cock caused Liara’s breath to hitch. She had taken it countless times before, in every imaginable position, but the stretch burned more than usual. Felt better than usual. Perhaps Shepard had adjusted the size. Perhaps it was their audience. Or perhaps it was the tension in her body, thrumming through every cord of muscle.

“Relax,” Shepard murmured, running a soothing hand down the curve of her back to cup her rear. “I know you can take me.”

Liara groaned, relaxing enough for the shaft to sink inside. She would always take Shepard, any and every way she could.

Once inside, she found she appreciated the stretch. Straddling Shepard’s lap, it was easy to make sure her bondmate’s shaft hit all the right places, at all the best angles. Shepard gave slow, deliberate strokes from below, maintaining eye contact with Liara the entire while. “Beautiful,” she said, and Liara felt beautiful. Nothing ever made her feel more lovely, more worthy, than the absolute adoration shining in Shepard’s eyes.

“Tight, isn’t she?”

Aria’s voice intruded, a stark reminder of where Liara was and what she was doing: riding Shepard’s cock in a public place, in front of a fully clothed audience. Even Shepard hadn’t undressed other than to unfasten her pants, and Liara could feel the zipper scrape her inner thigh. Her entire body flushed purple at the power imbalance, and her mouth went dry as other parts of her became a great deal wetter.

“Fuck, yes,” Shepard grunted. She pumped her hips again, adding more force, and Liara couldn’t swallow her whine of delight.

“She looks it,” Miranda said.

Liara tensed again. While she’d been distracted, Miranda had scooted close to Shepard’s other side, close enough to cup one of Liara’s breasts with one hand and twist its hardened tip. Miranda’s other hand slid down her belly, and she spread her legs wider. Aria told you to let the customers touch… to do whatever they wanted…

Shepard gave another thrust, as if jealous of Liara’s split attention. “You said she was new,” she said to Aria, maintaining eye contact with Liara all the while. “But this is something else. Never fucked an azure this tight.”

Liara trembled. Shepard knew how much she enjoyed being discussed like this, like an object to be used, and with Miranda admiring her as well, toying gently with the ridge of her clit, it simply wasn’t fair. She tensed the muscles in her thighs and rear to keep from rocking her hips. If she did, she feared she would reach her peak far too early.

“Hey, don’t hog all the fun.”

A tattooed forearm curled around Liara’s belly, and she gasped in surprise. She hadn’t seen Jack leave the couch and come to stand behind her, but she most definitely noticed as Jack nudged Miranda’s hand away from her breast and took both of them in hand, squeezing firmly.

“Oh…”

Liara hadn’t meant to make any kind of sound, but she couldn’t help it. Shepard’s cock hit all kinds of wonderful spots inside her, and Miranda rubbed her clit just so, and Jack had started twisting her nipples with firm, unrelenting pressure. She was nothing more than their plaything, and she didn’t stand a chance under such an onslaught.

On Shepard’s next thrust, Liara clenched around the thick shaft, letting her head loll against Jack’s shoulder. Jack placed a kiss against her temple, while Miranda pinched her clit and refused to let up. Liara bucked, whimpering as their combined efforts sent her barreling feelings-first into Shepard’s mind, and coaxed a flood from her very core.

Goddess, so much…

I’ve got you—

…all at once…

It’s okay, sweetheart. We’re okay.

For a moment, the fantasy went away, replaced purely with feeling — the feeling of being joined with her bondmate. Although she hadn’t melded on purpose, Liara clung to Shepard’s thoughts and emotions as tightly as she could. They blended with her own, until she was as one with the movements of Shepard’s hips, the rise and fall of her chest, the rapid but sure thump of her heart.

Our heart…

Fuck, Liara. Warm—spilling… you’re spilling all over me.

In the physical world, some of the mess ran over Miranda’s hand, but most of it flooded around the base of Shepard’s cock. She grunted, tightening her grip on Liara’s hips, and the possessive hold, followed by a rhythmic gush of warmth from her cock, only made their shared peak more powerful.

A low tsk from nearby caused Liara to open her eyes. She turned, staring hazily at Aria, who wore a smirk that somehow managed to be both playful and condescending. “Coming before you’ve serviced all my guests, Liara? You know that isn’t allowed.”

The purr of Aria’s voice sent a jolt pleasure down Liara’s spine. It hooked low in her stomach and pulled, causing her to ripple around Shepard’s shaft. All of a sudden, she remembered the role she was supposed to play, and it made her clit twitch under Miranda’s fingers. “I—I apologize…”

“You will,” Aria said, “by doing the job I hired you to do, and making sure everyone is completely satisfied.” Her eyes flashed. “Am I clear?”

Liara licked her lips. “Yes.”

“If she’s getting us all off, I call next.” Jack gave Liara’s breasts another squeeze before letting go and stepping back, already opening the buckle of her belt. The brash assumption made Liara squirm in anticipation, while Miranda gave Jack a fond smile.

Shepard, however, wasn’t pleased. She growled, leaning forward to set her teeth against Liara’s throat. She bit down, hard, and Liara yelped at the dull pain. Apparently, she wasn’t finished, even though they’d both come.

Aria chuckled. “I’d tell you to be careful not to mark up the merchandise, but since this is my gift to you, I’ll cut you a break. Just make sure you return her in good working order.”

Liara’s stomach fluttered at being referred to so dispassionately, like a possession rather than a person, but Shepard didn’t react to Aria’s barb. She sucked the spot she had bitten, undoubtedly leaving a bruise.

Meanwhile, Jack dropped her pants. “If you don’t wanna pull out, just put her on her hands and knees. She can eat me while you fuck her.”

For a moment, Shepard looked as though she might object. Liara almost wanted her to. Although the thought of using her mouth on Jack was undeniably appealing, so was the thought of Shepard throwing her down on the couch and pounding into her with a surge of possessive lust. But after one last jerk of her hips, the force of which made Liara’s vision swim, Shepard lifted her up and positioned her the way Jack had suggested, sending a few trails of wetness from their first release running down her thighs.

Liara hardly had time to prepare before Shepard slid back in and resumed the rhythm, seemingly glad to have more control and range of movement. Her body rocked with the force of Shepard’s thrusts, and she didn’t bother to stifle her moans. A different sound, an embarrassingly high-pitched whimper of want, cracked in her throat when Jack returned to the couch, without any pants or underwear.

Jack’s tattoos were truly a sight to behold. Liara had seen the tapestry before, quite close in fact, but the overall effect remained stunning. The colors and patterns seemed even more vivid when compared to Miranda’s bare, pale arms, which wrapped around Jack’s waist from behind. “Look at her face,” Miranda murmured, resting her chin affectionately on Jack’s shoulder.

Liara flushed. Part of her wanted to duck away from their searching gazes, but another, greater part was determined to hold them. To leave her expression of lust bare for the looking. It was her job, after all, to be sexually appealing. And I want to do my job. I want to be good.

“Fuck,” Jack rasped. “I’d rather see it between my legs.”

“Go ahead and try her,” Aria suggested. “She probably needs the practice before she’ll be of any real use to me. I would’ve hired a more experienced dancer… but I know Shepard likes the innocent-looking ones.”

Liara shuddered. She hadn’t forgotten Aria’s presence, exactly, but she hadn’t been expecting that cold voice to remind her exactly who, supposedly, owned her services. She was also mildly annoyed. While she hadn’t gone through a wild phase like other asari, she most definitely knew how to use her mouth to more than satisfactory effect.

Jack grinned at Aria, then glanced at Shepard. Within the context of the scene, she waited for agreement — and in reality, she sought permission to continue, her eyes darting briefly to Liara as well.

One of Shepard’s hands rested gently in the middle of Liara’s back. Its warm, sure weight was a reminder that they could slow down or change course, but Liara had no desire to do so. She shifted forward as best she could without disrupting Shepard’s strokes inside her, lowering her upper body to the couch in order to remove her weight from her hands and run them up along Jack’s lean thighs.

“Sure,” Shepard grunted, obviously distracted. “Use her mouth. As long as I get her pussy.” She gave a slow thrust, one meant for savoring, and Liara whined in surprise and delight. The slight change in tempo forced her tender muscles to remember just how big Shepard’s cock was.

Her head was still spinning from the sensation when Jack caressed the top of her crest, pulling her forward. Liara allowed it, whimpering as Jack guided her face into wet, waiting warmth.

Jack tasted good. Not quite like Shepard — and Shepard would always be her favorite, for sentimental reasons if nothing else — but delicious, heavy with salt that lingered on her tongue. She put said tongue to good use, swirling it around the stiff bud of Jack’s clit, already prominent beneath its hood.

“Shit, yeah,” Jack gasped, the rough affect of her voice softening into something a little smoother, a little higher. “Suck me like that.”

Liara was happy to oblige. Servicing her guests would provide her with immeasurable benefits as well. The others had truly designed this scene to torture and delight her most of all. She sucked eagerly at Jack’s clit, moaning around it as gentle nails raked between the grooves in her crest.

Not Jack’s nails. Those were chewed, with chipped black nail polish, and uneven. They were Miranda’s, polished and perfectly manicured.

There wasn’t time to absorb all the eroticism of the gesture, because Shepard picked up the pace. Liara felt a tingle at the back of her mind, the familiar sensation of Shepard reaching out. Although humans couldn’t establish melds, sometimes Shepard’s feelings radiated strongly enough for Liara to sense them when they shared a great deal of skin contact, and even though Shepard’s clothes were still mostly on…

Mine.

Liara was surprised to hear Shepard’s voice in her head. She hadn’t realized she’d slipped into another shallow meld, but what she felt through Shepard kept her from withdrawing. Lust. Possessiveness. Not jealousy, exactly, but a determination to prove herself. To capture more of Liara’s attention than Jack, Miranda, and Aria.

Mine, Liara. Always will be…

Liara couldn’t help but send back a wave of love and reassurance. Of course she was Shepard’s. Of course their connection was special and unbreakable, and of course her bondmate’s every thrust filled her body with joyful waves of pleasure, swiftly bearing her toward a second release…

A release she knew she wasn’t supposed to have. Aria’s threats had been for ambiance before, but Liara realized with delightful dread that if she did come again before she’d finished her job, she would most likely be punished. And Aria’s punishments weren’t always the fun kind, either.

Fortunately, she found an unexpected ally in Miranda. While she sucked Jack’s clit, struggling valiantly to ignore the almost irresistible tug of Shepard’s feelings, the hand on her head moved down to caress her cheek. “I’ve got it,” Miranda said, taking over with practiced rolls of her fingers, the ease of the long-bonded.

Liara needed no further instruction. She plunged her tongue past Jack’s entrance, which was warm, wet, and spilling over with more of the same wonderful flavor. Some of the mess smeared over Liara’s chin, but she didn’t mind. She worked until her jaw ached, allowing Shepard’s strokes to aid her own thrusts.

It was difficult to see anything but Jack’s folds and Miranda’s fingers, but plenty of other sensations clouded Liara’s mind. The smell: sharp and heavy. The taste: hot salt. The sounds: Jack’s muttered curses, Miranda’s soft laughter, and Shepard’s ragged panting. Jack’s slickness made everything feel like silk, and Liara clenched around Shepard’s cock. Her shaft throbbed — probably because Shepard was experiencing everything she felt through the meld.

“So, is she adequate?” Miranda said, but Liara found it hard to concentrate on her words anymore. She was too close. Too overwhelmed.

“Uhhhn…” For once, even Jack didn’t have a smart comment. She bucked against Liara’s mouth, rubbing more wetness onto her chin.

Aria wasn’t as distracted. “I should hope so. I need to recoup my investment in her training somehow.”

Liara was too involved to offer a rejoinder. Once more, she surrendered to the fantasy. Pretended she was one of Aria’s dancers. That she had been hired to entertain Aria’s guests. That she had no responsibilities other than this, and the war had merely been a horrible nightmare. It was such a relief that she nearly melded too deeply and tipped over into the orgasm she most definitely wasn’t supposed to have.

She almost lost it when Jack came.

“Fucking… fucking fuck!”

It wasn’t the most articulate cry, but it was exceptionally enthusiastic, and the rush of warmth that flooded Liara’s mouth more than made up for it. She licked eagerly, trying to catch as much as she could, while Miranda stopped circling Jack’s clit and pressed down hard.

“That was fast,” she noted, “even for you. Not that it matters. I’m looking forward to my turn.”

Shepard jerked against Liara’s ass, unsuccessfully swallowing a groan. She slowed down her strokes, trying to be helpful — even during a scene where she was supposed to be a selfish customer, she didn’t want Liara to fail.

Are you okay? It isn’t too much—

Fuck me, Liara begged, possibly out loud as well, mumbling with her mouth still pressed to Jack’s mound. Just… fuck me.

Apparently, she wasn’t very articulate anymore either.

She whimpered in disappointment when Jack flopped back on the couch and scooted her hips away, but it wasn’t long before Miranda straddled Jack’s panting, sweat-soaked body, in a position much the same as the one her lover had taken. She’d unzipped her catsuit, and the sight of her full breasts was almost as distracting as the soft triangle of neatly trimmed dark hair between her legs.

“Can you get her upright, Shepard?” Miranda asked, with fire in her eyes. “I like a little foreplay before I come.”

“Watching that wasn’t enough?” Jack panted, although from her tone, she was joking.

Nevertheless, Shepard stopped thrusting long enough to stand Liara upright, so all three of them were on their knees. Shepard couldn’t get as much depth at the new angle, but Liara whimpered anyway. Being trapped between two warm bodies, one hard and muscular, the other also strong and fit under a fine coat of padding, was almost too much to bear.

“Turn her this way a bit,” Aria said, and Liara bit her lip as she noticed the active omnitool on her wrist. Filming. For Tevos, obviously, but the thought that anyone might see it was embarrassingly arousing.

She  nearly came again. The thought of Tevos seeing her, watching her be the center of attention, made her stomach flutter wildly. Will she be jealous?

Most definitely, Shepard said, sounding amused. I’m sure we’ll have to make it up to her.

It’s only fair, Liara agreed, but then Miranda’s breasts were in her face, and a stiff brown nipple was being guided into her mouth. She moaned and sucked, lashes fluttering as she swirled her tongue over the puckered bud.

Miranda really did have the most beautiful breasts. Liara knew that Shepard actually preferred Miranda’s ass, and she understood why — it certainly was impressive. ‘Top shelf,’ as Shepard liked to say. But she couldn’t very well ignore Miranda’s other assets with her face pressed in them. She kissed from one to the other, relieved Shepard wasn’t really thrusting anymore. It gave her a much needed break.

Liara was about to slide one of her hands down Miranda’s belly, in order to help move things along, but the operative beat her to the same goal. She gasped as clever fingers stroked her clit, very close to the place where Shepard’s cock split her open.

Oh… oh no…

“Don’t stop,” Miranda said, stroking the back of her crest. “We want to put on a good show, don’t we?” Her other hand took Liara’s and guided it between her legs, for which Liara was pathetically grateful. She wouldn’t have been able to find the coordination on her own. Miranda was just as wet as Jack — her comment about foreplay had clearly been teasing, because she took two of Liara’s fingers almost immediately before angling her hips for a third.

Then Shepard bit Liara’s shoulder, and she was overwhelmed by sensation.

Liara didn’t know how long she remained between them, touching Miranda while Miranda touched her, enduring the gentle but insistent strokes of Shepard’s length inside her azure, but it was both too long and not nearly long enough. In a matter of minutes, she was a sobbing mess, having forgotten the camera and Jack and Aria until a stray glimpse or sound would reminder her, and all the sensations increased with a vengeance.

She wanted to come. Needed to come. She would have come ages ago if she’d had permission. But the only thing she desired more than release was praise. She’d always had a weakness for it, for being told what a good girl she was and what an excellent job she was doing, and she especially wanted Aria’s praise.

Shepard always praised her, which she deeply appreciated, but it was a common occurrence. Even Miranda, Jack, and Tevos praised her. Miranda was praising her right now, in fact, nibbling her bottom lip between kisses that Liara didn’t even remember starting…

… but Aria would be difficult, and Liara didn’t want to stop enduring this torture until she’d earned praise from the hardest to please of them all.

Aria kept filming, her expression frustratingly blank during the brief moments when Liara looked over, full of hope. Shepard and Miranda always drew her back in, but she still kept checking. Waiting.

She’d ridden the edge for so long that Shepard’s strokes almost hurt inside her over-sensitive azure by the time Miranda finally came. Liara suddenly found her lips caught in a searing kiss, and then heat spilled through her fingers, dripping down her wrist to stain Miranda’s thighs. Shepard, sensing what was happening, jerked out of rhythm, and Liara yelped into Miranda’s mouth.

“Two down,” Aria said. “How are you doing, Shepard? Enjoying my pet?”

While Miranda stopped kissing Liara and stroked her crest in affectionate thanks, Shepard merely made a choked gasp. Upon hearing it, Liara felt a stab of guilt. Because they’d melded so early, Shepard was sharing her torture — and she’d been so overwhelmed by her own emotions that she hadn’t even thought about her poor bondmate.

Don’t. Don’t apologize… Shepard’s thoughts were as breathless as her voice would have been, if her teeth hadn’t still been clamped on Liara’s shoulder. Love riding it with you. Love…

… Love you too…

“Shepard? Omega to Shepard?”

Shepard detached from Liara’s shoulder. When she finally managed to speak, her words were slow and thick. “Fuck off, Aria.”

Instead of being offended, Aria laughed. “That’s the thanks I get for giving you one of my dancers? Ungrateful.” She sauntered over with a sway in her hips, her eyes gleaming with wicked intent. “Just for that, I’ll join you. Want me to show you how this one can take two cocks at once?”

A jolt of pleasure shot through Liara’s body at the suggestion, and through Shepard’s as well, echoing back on itself. She cried out, giving voice to the tight ball of need deep within her, winding tighter and tighter.

“Fuck,” Shepard grunted. “Do it.”

To Liara’s utter relief, it seemed even Aria had grown bored of making dry commentary from the outskirts. She didn’t remove her clothes, but she did unfasten her tight leather pants, which sported a bulge similar to Shepard’s. Liara swallowed around a gasp. She’d seen Aria wear this exact toy many times before, but the atmosphere was different. More… dangerous? But an exciting kind of danger.

Maybe this is what restless young maidens from Thessia leave home to find while they’re exploring the galaxy… I suppose I can’t blame them.

“You’ll have to get under her,” Aria said, pumping herself casually with her fist and waiting with clear expectation. “Unless you want her ass first? Since you’re my guest.”

The nonchalance of her tone made Liara burn with lust, but Shepard was too distracted to participate much in the banter. “No. Staying where I am.” She pulled out, leaving Liara cold and bereft and painfully alone, and stretched out on her back.

Liara hurried to straddle Shepard’s hips. The pink shaft jutting out from her pants gleamed, slick with the evidence of their arousal, and she sank down onto it with a moan of blissful satisfaction. She wasn’t sure if she could have endured another second of emptiness.

It’s okay, Shepard soothed. You’re okay. Can you handle this?

Liara was almost offended. She had done it before, after all, albeit not within a scene like this — but she lost her train of thought when Aria knelt behind her, running both hands along her sides to cup Liara’s rear. She squeezed firmly, holding her open over Shepard as if for inspection. “Lube,” she said, and Liara caught a glimpse of Jack passing Aria something. She didn’t fully process it until she felt Aria’s fingers against her other opening, spreading something cool and slick there.

She flinched at the first contact, but sighed as Aria eased a finger inside her. It didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it sent sparks of delight through her as Aria pressed and rubbed, feeling for the thickness of Shepard’s cock.

Shepard’s hips jerked. “Fuck.”

Aria smirked. “Just wait.” There were more slippery sounds, then another finger. Trembling, but surprisingly relaxed as well, Liara accepted them, clutching the back of the couch with one hand as Aria pushed deeper.

“She’s got the tightest ass I’ve ever fucked,” Aria said, tucking her chin over Liara’s shoulder to look at Shepard. “It’s why I hired her, to be honest.” The shaft of her cock brushed the back of Liara’s thigh, and then its blunt tip settled at her rear entrance.

Liara braced herself, but it wasn’t as difficult as a small part of her always feared. Shepard sent soothing emotions at her, and Aria was almost gentle — almost, until she got most of the head in and gave a short push of her hips to bury the widest part. Liara hissed. It was a good stretch, but still a lot to handle.

Perhaps for Liara T’Soni, professor and information broker. Not for Liara the dancer. She relaxed further, allowing Aria to slide the rest of the way.

“Fuck, Aria,” Shepard growled. Her muscles strained in her splayed-out position on the couch, highlighting her abdominals. “Move already or I’m coming without you .”

“I believe you humans have an idiom… patience is a virtue?” Nevertheless, Aria gave a short stroke, and Liara wailed.

Too much. It was too much . She’d been able to endure the fullness while the two cocks inside her were still, but the feel of them moving was… Goddess. There weren’t words. Only ‘too much’, but her body rocked back anyway, searching for more, because she realized that somehow, at the same time, it also wasn’t enough.

Fuck. Liara.

Liara noticed Shepard staring between their legs, where they were joined. Her bondmate had a clearer view, and through the meld, Liara saw that Shepard could see both her own and Aria’s shafts disappearing inside. Liara’s own eyes fluttered shut. She clenched down hard, unable to help herself.

“Don’t,” Aria growled, right against her neck. Liara could smell her, leather and perfume overlaying just a hint of sweat, which was somehow just as good. “Don’t come. Not until I’m finished with you.”

Liara didn’t know if she could obey, not because she wanted to challenge Aria — not this time, anyway — but because her body threatened to betray here with each stroke. Slow but deliberate, they were angled in such a terribly wonderful way that Liara’s eyes watered.

Shepard was her only solace.

Got you, she thought. Relax. Enjoy this. I am.

And so, Liara did. Instead of focusing on how close to the edge she was, she tried to enjoy the movement inside her, the stretch, the fullness. It was overwhelming, but also something of a relief. A complete halt would have been far crueler, but luckily, Aria didn’t seem to be in that kind of mood. She was fairly aroused herself, judging by the way her cock twitched.

“Fuck.” She nibbled Liara’s neck, sliding a hand around to grope one of her breasts. “Tight.”

Liara felt another intrusion on her consciousness — not unwelcome, but very demanding. Aria waited a mere moment for consent before joining the meld with her and Shepard, and her thrusts faltered as the intensity overwhelmed her. Even the Queen of Omega, it seemed, was not immune. Goddess. You two. She sped up, thrusting harder and deeper now that their torment was her own.

The new pace lifted Liara off Shepard’s cock, before Shepard’s hands, which had grabbed her hips in Aria’s place, dragged her back down. She grunted as she did so, and Liara clenched at the noise. Her bondmate was close. All three of them were. Just a little more, and then…

“Fuck!”

To Liara’s surprise, Aria was the first to come, perhaps because she wasn’t attempting to hold back. Go ahead, Aria thought, her mind-voice as breathless as her gasps against Liara’s neck. You’ve earned it, my little dancer.

Those words of praise would have triggered Liara’s release all on their own. She came silently, too overstimulated to make a sound as her body seized and shivered. Pleasure eclipsed her torment entirely, far more powerful than her earlier, stolen release — and as she squeezed down, Shepard tensed beneath her, releasing a powerful flood of heat inside her azure.

Fuck. That’s it. Good girl.

At that, Liara wailed. Her voice came back, and she screamed so loud she feared the patrons below might hear them. Although they didn’t have a view up, and the throbbing of the bass was loud, she couldn’t help but fear… or maybe hope…?

Let them hear, Aria thought. They’ll all be jealous.

Liara sagged forward, still coming, bracing herself on her hands above Shepard. Aria continued thrusting and spilling, and feeling herself filled twice over only drew out Liara’s release. Though it had hit her hard and fast, it didn’t seem like it would end any time soon, stretched out by all three of them.

And it didn’t.

By the time she caught her breath, she was covered in sweat, trapped between two warm bodies: one hard and muscular, the other also fit, but leaner. She exhaled deeply, burying her face in the crook of Shepard’s throat. Aria licked a teasing stripe up her back, and she half-giggled, half-moaned in surprise — only to hiss as the aftershocks hit.

Your thighs are a mess, Shepard thought, bringing a hand down from Liara’s hip to feel them. Liara’s face burned, but she didn’t deny it. She was sore and sticky, but far too satisfied to be even slightly uncomfortable. Her release had been a long time coming, and Aria had been right. She had earned it.

You did, Aria admitted. And the pole dancing wasn’t terrible, either.

Liara smiled. I had an excellent teacher.

“Damn. Just, damn.”

An approving whistle intruded on Liara’s post-orgasmic bliss. Her lids fluttered, and she glanced sideways, noticing Jack and Miranda watching from quite a close distance.

“Very impressive,” Miranda agreed. Though her catsuit remained off, and she had a few new marks on her neck — undoubtedly from Jack — she still wore her omnitool, and it glowed on her wrist. “Don’t worry. I recorded the rest for Tevos. Cut my footage together with Aria’s, and she should have quite the pleasant surprise.”

Aria smirked. “Hopefully she’ll be in the mood to thank me when I get back to the Citadel.”

“Isn’t she always?” Miranda said.

“True,” Aria said. “I can be… persuasive.”

Liara yawned. She couldn’t help it. Despite the debauchery she’d just indulged in, she felt safe here, in Shepard and Aria’s arms, among friends and loved ones whom she trusted. Shepard noticed, of course, despite the meld having faded.

“Tired?” She stroked Liara’s flank, giving her a reassuring pat. “Poor baby.”

“Mmhmm.” Holding out for so long had utterly exhausted her.

“Hold still,” Aria murmured, with rare gentleness. “I’ll pull out.” She withdrew slowly, but the slick sound and the sensation of emptiness still made Liara whimper. Once Aria had left, she dismounted Shepard’s cock and collapsed in the opposite direction, relieved Aria had left room for her. She rolled onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, trying to catch her breath.

“Come on,” Jack complained, although from her tone, Liara could tell she was teasing. “Don’t tell me you’re done already. The night’s just beginning.”

“Five minutes,” Liara mumbled. She took stock of her trembling limbs. “Make that ten.”

“Fine,” Aria said. “Even my actual girls get breaks once in a while… although they don’t usually do anything quite so intimate with their customers, either.”

“I’m sure we can think of something to do without you for ten minutes,” Shepard added. “Right, Miranda?”

Miranda made a noise of agreement. “Certainly.”

Liara gave them a weak smile. “I think I would enjoy being in the audience this time.”

Shepard grinned, sitting up beside her and placing a loving hand on her thigh. “I think we can arrange that. Anything for you.”

That was true enough. Liara was aglow with the knowledge that Shepard would do anything for her, and did quite often. “Well?” She looked around the platform at all of them. “Are you going to give me another of Omega’s most exclusive shows, since I starred in the last one?”

Aria licked her lips. “I doubt you’ll be hard to impress.”

Oh. So we’re back to that, are we? “I don’t know,” Liara said. “My standards can be quite exacting. You should ask my students about their papers sometime.” It was nice, sliding back into her old skin again. Her brief time as someone else made her appreciate her own identity all the more.

“Shit.” Jack snorted. “Way to be a boner killer, T’Soni.”

“You don’t think the teacher thing is sexy?” Miranda asked, winding an arm around Jack’s waist. “Not even a little?”

Jack shrugged. “Never had teachers. But older women in positions of authority?” Her eyes gleamed appreciatively. “There are worse things.”

“I’ll have you know I’m quite young,” Liara said, only pouting a little.

“Wasn’t talking about you.” Jack’s eyes darted to Aria, who looked very much like…

How does Shepard put it? Liara wondered. The varren that got the pyjak.

Aria stretched deliberately, showing off the lean shape of her body in addition to the toy she still wore. “Fine. Just let me sterilize this thing, and don’t start arguing about who gets to go first.”

Shepard laughed. “She’s an asshole, huh?”

Liara hummed, but did not disagree. Fortunately for her, Aria had become a much more enjoyable asshole to socialize with, and have sex with, in recent years. Tevos had had a wonderful effect on her.

“So,” Shepard said, letting one of her hands creep up Liara’s thigh. “Are you sure you want a break? Because…” She continued without words, slipping two of her fingers inside Liara’s well-used azure and probing for a well-learned spot.

Liara shuddered. Perhaps she wasn’t as tired as she’d thought after all.

***

Tevos smiled to stifle a yawn, keeping her face as pleasantly neutral as possible. Today’s council session had been particularly boring, and that, on top of a rough morning managing Lycoris by herself before heading to work, had exhausted her, even though lunch hadn’t yet arrived.

Lunch. Her stomach growled, and she barely resisted the temptation to check her omnitool for the time. As soon as she got the chance, she would eat something and message Aria. It had been several days since her bondmate’s departure, and while the first few had been fine, Tevos badly wanted her to come home.

My home, anyway…

Their living arrangements were still imperfect, to say the least. Although they both had their own busy lives, which kept them from missing each other too desperately when they were apart, Tevos did feel the occasional pang of loneliness. She knew Lycoris missed Aria more than usual this time, too. That was part of why she’d been crying that morning, Tevos was sure, although her daughter didn’t yet have the language to express it.

“And so,” the turian on the platform below continued, “we would like to request a .75 percent increase in the budget, in order to cover pay raises for the maintenance crew.”

Tevos blinked. That was actually somewhat interesting. It had been a while, she recalled, since the Citadel’s maintenance staff and engineers had gotten a nice bump in their pay. Valern, however, looked displeased — and Tevos spoke up before he could shoot the turian down.

“Surely we can find room,” she said, shooting a warning look in his direction. “The people who make sure our air is breathable and our irrigation systems are working smoothly deserve fair compensation… not to mention all the repairs in recent years.”

At that, Valern capitulated before he’d even really started to argue. “Very well. Our staffers will send you the details in writing. Thank you for your time, Verkus.”

The turian gave a toothy smile of sorts with his mandibles. “No. Thank you, Councilors…”

Tevos didn’t pay attention to the rest. She gave in and snuck a glance at her Omnitool. Lunch was so close…

A message from Aria popped up, and she opened it without thinking. It was a link to a video. A video with a still of a very naked, very occupied Liara as the preview.

Blushing furiously, Tevos hurried to switch her omnitool off. She definitely didn’t need her colleagues seeing that. But she most certainly did want to see it. Thoughts of food vanished from her mind.

“I believe we’re finished,” she said, interrupting whatever Valern had been saying. He looked rather put out, but Sparatus pounced, as if he too were impatient.

“Agreed. Let’s eat. Not to be blunt, but I’m starving.”

Thank the Goddess!

Tevos left her position on their platform, not even bothering to pause and stretch. Instead of hurrying to the break room, she headed for the restrooms, where she might actually find a modicum of privacy. Although the restroom definitely wouldn’t be private enough for what she already wished she could do…

Perhaps we can start the next session late, and I can stop by my office. For… personal reasons.

It was somewhat unprofessional, but Sparatus had a habit of running late anyway, so he had no room to complain, and she didn’t care what Valern might think. She licked her lips, already halfway to the lift. Maybe she could watch a few seconds in there, if no one else joined her.