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Mass Effect: A Hero Rises

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My alarm sounded and I managed to turn it off without waking her. Sliding out from under the covers, I managed to find my clothing in the darkness, peeking outside the curtains to see the sun only just starting to brighten the sky in the distance. Actually sunrise would still be a couple of hours. It was only as I was putting on my boots that Gianna finally stirred as she turned over and noticed I was missing.

“Shepard?”

I crept over to the bed and knelt on it, running my hand through her long dark hair. “I have to meet the crew for breakfast,” I whispered, “Ritual I must do before every mission. Busy day.”

“No breakfast this morning?”

“Not this time. Maybe tomorrow though?” I leaned down to kiss her. “I really enjoyed last night.”

“So did I. You’ll be back tonight?”

“Of course. Soon as I have the recruit back on the ship, we’ll quickly plan the next mission then I’ll head here. Not sure what time.”

“Just come straight here. I’ll send you the code for the front door in case I’m not here. Just come in, make yourself at home.”

“I could attempt to cook but… I can admit it’s not a strong point.”

“Oh, I love cooking, Shepard. Don’t worry. All you need to do is make sure my wine glass is never empty, and that you shower with me affection.”

“Both things I can do.” I leaned down to kiss her again. It was a long kiss, and the passion increased with every passing second, the sheet covering her body falling down to reveal olive skin and parts of her body I definitely enjoyed. Through sheer willpower only, I managed to pull away. “I’ll see you tonight.”

“Stay safe, Shepard.”

“I will.”

Grabbing my jacket, I glanced back as she simply watched me leave in the darkness. God, I hated myself for leaving her like that. I could have happily stayed with her all morning in bed, and not even for the sex, which was as great as I remembered, but the simple fact I really liked being with her. But the job came first. It always had, and the ritual of breakfast before the mission was one I wasn’t willing to break, even for her.

I checked the time as I walked back to the Normandy. Most people would still be getting up. Some early birds would be in the mess already, but most would be arriving by the time I walked out of the elevator. Even this early, Nos Astra was alive with people. I think it was one of those twenty-four-hour city’s that simply never sleeps.

The mess was starting to get busy as I lined up to get a tray of food, pleased to see that Gardner had been off the ship to gather plenty of ingredients. He told me that the storage unit was now full of better quality products, and while most of our meals while out traversing the galaxy couldn’t be with fresh produce, while we were on Illium, we would certainly be treated to more fruit and vegetables than usual. Music to my ears, in all honesty.

Taking my usual seat across from Garrus, next to Kelly, in the middle of the crew, I listened in as many discussed stories of what they’d been up to. It sounded like they’d been enjoying time away from the ship when they had the opportunity. I asked Kelly what she’d been up to. “Just wandered around, Shepard. I wouldn’t call it a conventionally pretty city but there are places of tranquillity.” She then shuffled a little closer, lifting her lips to my ear. “And I may have needed to get myself off last night. It’s a bit awkward in a room full of people. But don’t you dare apologise. I know who you’ve been with.”

“You do?”

“Word spreads quickly, Shepard. She was in your file.”

“Thanks.”

She left a soft kiss on my cheek. “You have quite a few women who like you, Shepard. You’re a lucky man.”

“I don’t know how you do it,” Garrus muttered.

Once breakfast was finished, I got in contact with Liara for any last minute intel regarding the whereabouts of the assassin. She’d been busy since early the next morning and she was hopefully going to deliver. “Jackpot, Shepard. As I told you, the arrival of drell pretty much anywhere outside Kahje is big news, simply because we don’t see many of them around. A couple of contacts have let me know that the drell, Thane Krios, is on Illium to assassinate Nassana Dantius.”

“That name sounds familiar.”

“You killed her sister, Shepard. She didn’t order it as you weren’t to know. But there was an investigation and it blew up in her face. She left the Citadel for Illium, where she now resides in Dantius Towers, surrounded by a small army of Eclipse mercenaries. I’m not sure who Thane is working for, but he must have some skill to enter a tower full of mercenaries to kill one person.”

“Any sighting of him since?”

“No. Your best bet would be to contact an asari by the name of Seryna. I will send you the details at the close of this call. I would be careful, Shepard. Drell mercenaries are extremely proficient. I have found out everything I could about Thane. Nothing official but he’s been linked with dozens of assassinations. If you go chasing him, he might get the wrong idea and want to fight you as well.”

“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Send me what you go and I’ll go from there. Thanks, Liara.”

“You’re welcome, Shepard. One more thing. I know you’re meeting with Gianna every night. Any chance we could have a chance to catch up while you’re here?”

“Of course. Definitely before I have to go.”

“Good. It’s hard knowing you’re here, off doing what you do. I have certainly missed the excitement. Being so close to death is quite the adrenaline rush.”

“You’re telling me! I’ll let you know as soon as I can. Talk later.”

Disconnecting, my omni-tool was soon flooded with information. A biography of Thane himself. Press articles that linked him to assassinations across the galaxy. An artist’s impression of what he looked like. A breakdown of his favourite killing style. A list of his supposed talents. From what I read, the man made murder a work of art.

Figuring his idea of infiltrating a building would be pure stealth, I’d want to attract his attention, so would go in fast and loud. That meant Grunt, Jack, Garrus and Zaeed. I asked them to be ready in an hour as I headed up to the CIC, where I grabbed Kelly, and escorted her to the elevator, pushing the button for my cabin.

“Don’t you have a mission?”

“In an hour.”

“You’re not…”

“I have plenty of time.”

Once the elevator dinged, I grabbed her hand and led her into the cabin, where she spun and immediately kissed me as I led her towards the bed. Clothing was ripped off quickly, and once I had her down to underwear, she immediately sat back on the bed, moving backwards, as I undressed and joined her. She lifted her arse so I could lower her panties, spreading her legs and simply dove in. I think just thought of what we were doing had excited her, and I wasted little time getting her going, feeling her hand on top of my head to keep me in place. “Just like that,” she breathed.

“God I love your taste,” I murmured, licking and sucking every inch of her pussy I could, plunging her depths with my tongue. Her hips were soon bucking at what I was doing, hearing her breathing rate increase as she was definitely turned on now.

“Oh god,” she cried quietly, almost squeaking, as she sat up on her elbows to watch me, lifting my eyes to look back at her. “Make me cum,” she pleaded. I simply smiled as I made her head roll back again as my tongue found her clit, and she was ready to go now, her body grinding down into my mouth as I did everything to her clit except bite the damn thing off.

When she finally came, she came hard, trying to squeeze her legs together as I held them apart. Her back arched at quite the angle before she slowly relaxed, managing to pick herself up onto her elbows again. She now looked absolutely beautiful in the low light, with her rather red cheeks, red hair stuck to her forehead, those green eyes of hers staring into mine.

I stopped what I was doing, instead slowly kissing up her body as she managed to remove her bra, giving her hard nipples a little attention before I kissed up her neck, making her moan as I gently bit her. When I kissed her, I slid my cock in at the same time. “I can taste myself on your lips,” she said with a giggle, followed by a gasp as I buried my cock.

Honestly, I would say it was the first time we made love. Feeling her pull her legs up, holding them to my side, I didn’t just pound her like before. It was certainly gentler, and more about the whole experience. We made out nearly the entire time, feeling her fingers really dig into my back when I really drove down into her, but it wasn’t hard, just deep, enough to earn a loud gasp or an appreciative moan.

“You feel fantastic,” I murmured, “Love being with you like this, Kelly.”

The smile she returned was simply fantastic, lighting up the entire room as she dragged my head down to kiss me. “You are so much better than my fingers, Shepard.” I couldn’t help chuckle though she laughed as well, the joke obvious.

She eventually wrapped her legs around me, feeling her ankles just above by arse, though I was in no hurry to cum, simply wanting to enjoy the feeling of being intimate with her again, as it had been a few days since our last time. But no man can last forever, and only when I could feel my orgasm arriving did I start to thrust into her a little faster, but even then, nothing like before. I kissed her hard again before I rested my forehead against hers, staring into her eyes.

“Cum in me,” she breathed. I was going to do that anyway but hearing a woman say that would always be sexy. I groaned as I felt the impending rush, burying myself hard a few times before I finally erupted, a louder, longer groan escaping me as I pumped until I simply couldn’t any longer, stopping with my cock completely buried inside her, resting down just above her body as I felt her arms and legs wrap around me tightly. “Think we both needed that,” she whispered.

“Definitely,” I said quietly. I stayed inside her, continuing to make out, until I simply had to move, falling onto my back beside her, feeling her immediately roll onto her side as I wrapped an arm around her, feeling her head rest on my shoulder, her fingers immediately running up and down my chest. “Shepard, this is probably the best time to ask something personal.”

I smiled and kissed her forehead. “Ask away, Kelly.”

“Is it hard not getting feelings? Do you… just ignore them?”

“I get feelings but I just ignore them, Kelly. Otherwise I’d feel guilty about what I do sometimes, and I don’t want that. I enjoy my life.”

“I know about Annie, but have you had feelings for others but haven’t admitted it to them?”

“Yes. Please don’t ask who.”

“I won’t. I was… just wondering, that’s all.”

I turned to meet her eyes. “I really like you, Kelly. And I mean that one hundred percent.”

She smiled, caressing my cheek before leaning forward to leave a soft kiss on my lips. “Those feelings are definitely returned, Shepard.”

I turned onto my side and kissed her again, pulling her body close to mine, my hand running down until I grabbed her arse. The making out was passionate, her fingers again raking down my back, whimpering into my mouth. I think we would have been ready to go again until there was a noise that made us stop. “Think that might be EDI,” Kelly whispered.

“Hmmm, you might be right.” I cleared my throat. “Is there something you needed, EDI?”

Apologies for interrupting, Shepard, but you told the others to meet in one hour. You have fifteen minutes until that time.”

“Ah, okay. Thank you, EDI. Appreciated.”

“You’re welcome, Shepard.

I looked back at Kelly. “I would suggest we pick this up later but…”

Kelly simply smiled. “Shepard, I said I understand so don’t worry about explaining yourself.” She kissed me again before saying, “I just loved what we did. Your entire focus was on me, like I was the only girl in the entire galaxy. You made me feel special. That’s all any girl wants.”

We headed to the bathroom for a quick wash before we dressed and headed downstairs. Kelly returned to her terminal as I walked into the armoury, quickly dressing in my armour and grabbing my weapons. Before leaving, I returned to Kelly, spun her around, and gave her quite the parting gift. The smile returned when I finally pulled back was reward enough. “Don’t do anything stupid,” she warned.

“I’ll be back later to at least drop all this stuff off.”

“Long as I get another kiss like that.” She leaned forward. “Though now they’re all going to gossip.”

“Kelly, they know we’re intimate already.”

That made her rise her eyebrows. “Intimate? I thought we were fucking?”

“That too.” I caressed her cheek as I added, “But I really enjoyed what we did today.”

I kissed her again then walked away, feeling the eyes of some of the crew on me. I’m sure Kelly was perhaps a little embarrassed, but I glanced back to be rewarded with another grin. This sort of behaviour would never have flown on an Alliance vessel. It would have been fraternisation and we’d have both been in deep shit. Considering it was Cerberus, and it wasn’t military, I was left thinking Fuck it. Enjoy life for a change.

The four I requested were waiting outside the ship, sitting around, shooting the shit, before my arrival. Once they noticed me, they all stood up and waited for orders. I explained briefly who we were looking for, who the target was, where we would be going and what to anticipate once we were inside. Zaeed looked around and asked, “So we’re not exactly going subtle then, Shepard?”

“Not at all. I want to either gain his attention or keep them distracted enough that they don’t kill him before we get to him.”

First port of call was to speak with Seryna. It was easy to understand within two minutes that she had a bone to pick with Nassana Dantius, but I wasn’t left believing she was telling any lies. To put it bluntly, Nassana was an unscrupulous bitch who deserved to be put in the ground. As we didn’t know where the towers were, she offered to take my team there, all of us managing to fit into her skycar. On the way, she provided more information, particularly in regards to infiltrating the building, the type of enemies we might run into, and a suggestion what we could do to Nassana if we got to her first. Dropped off in the parking lot outside, she wished us luck, and expressed the opinion that Thane would likely take care of Nassana thanks to us helping in our own way.

Walking towards the front doors, the sound of gunfire was a surprise, quickly taking out weapons and jogging forward. It wasn’t Thane, of course. I could see mercenaries gunning down people in uniforms such as janitors. I simply charged and slammed into one of the Eclipse mercenaries, turning and blasting away another one. I hadn’t taken Grunt down on Horizon, as he’d just woken up and I wasn’t exactly sure about taking him down on that setting. But he proved his worth, his enormous shotgun blasting Eclipse mercenaries away with ease. In fact, the shotgun was so powerful, it generally sent them flying.

Once the mercenaries were dead, we questioned a couple of the workers who had survived. They couldn’t tell me all that much. I had some medical training, as did Garrus, so we were able to patch up those we could, but a couple wouldn’t see the sun rising the next morning. Escorting the workers away, surprised that most of them were salarian, we gathered together as I issued final instructions. Well, a final instruction.

“Anyone in yellow dies.” I looked at Zaeed. “Not you, obviously.”

“Had me a little worried there, Shepard. Thought I might have to start wearin’ blue.”

“I was thinking why don’t we all start wearing black,” I suggested as we moved on.

“Why black?” Garrus asked.

“We’d look like sinister motherfuckers for one thing. All five of us turning up in black armour right now? We’d scare the shit out of most people.”

I shut up as we soon met more Eclipse mercenaries and we all got down to what we did best. I was charging around the exposed room, Grunt didn’t know what cover was, Jack used her favourite attack of shockwave, each one sending mercenaries flying through the air, Zaeed rarely missed a target, while Garrus worked from range. Nassana definitely had an army as we must have fought five to six times our number in that small battle alone. My shields went down more than once and it was only thanks to my armour that I wasn’t actually shot.

I was already wondering how the incessant fire didn’t attract the attention of the local police, though I’d been told Nassana had likely bought off anyone possible for protection. The only event that would probably bring anyone here was if we blew the towers to the ground. While that wasn’t my intention, I didn’t chuckle to myself as no doubt my reputation for destruction would only increase.

Stepping over the bodies, most of them bleeding out, shooting those who were not dead yet, we found an elevator that appeared to be in working order. Jack called me over, pointing her weapon at a door. “Voices,” she whispered.

I didn’t think mercenaries would be hiding behind a door, waiting for us to open, but I didn’t like surprises either. I gestured for everyone to be ready as I knocked on the door. “Who’s there?” asked a voice from inside.

“We’re friendlies. Name’s Shepard. You okay in there?”

“We are, but can you get us out. We’re trapped in here.”

“Stand back. I brought a krogan.” Stepping aside, I gestured from Grunt to the door. “Reckon you could…” Before I could finish my sentence, Grunt charged and bust down the door with ease. Inside were four terrified salarians, probably even more terrified having seen a charging krogan appear, but Grunt stepped back and I popped my head through the gap. “Hey, fellas. Doing okay?”

They were relieved to see some friendly faces and had more information for us. Thane had actually been through this way before us and had actually sealed them inside. So he appeared to be an assassin with a conscience, or at least he didn’t like collateral damage. We pointed them in the direction they could at least leave safely, suggesting they ignore the bodies though they were all dead. As they disappeared, we headed to the elevator.

In these situations, it’s never wise to stand near the doors, so we stood back and waited, weapons ready, just in case. Caution proved correct when the doors opened to reveal a krogan and two asari. Before they could even move, we poured so much firepower into the small space, they had no chance, dragging their bloodied corpses out before loading in and pressing the button to go up.

“Well, this is lovely,” Garrus joked, “I love it when I get blood all over my boots.”

“Ah, quit your belly achin’. Part of the fuckin’ job,” Zaeed muttered.

“I have standards,” Garrus retorted.

It was quite the journey before the elevator dinged, the doors opened, and ahead stood a lone mercenary. Gesturing for quiet, I walked forward until I could prod the barrel of my shotgun into his back. “How’s it going? Lovely view from up here, isn’t it?”

He was obviously having a smoke, watching his hand shake as he took it from his mouth. “Sure, what do you want to know?”

“Where’s the assassin?”

He choked back a laugh. “How would I fuckin’ know? I’m just smokin’ here, friend.”

“Not your friend. Where’s the assassin?”

“I told you. I don’t…”

I pulled the trigger, the blast going straight through his back, through his body, busting the glass partition in front of him, and with a soft kick, I sent his body falling over the edge. Without another word, we tuned and moved on, Eclipse now more than aware we were coming. We tried hacking into their radio channels, but they must have been encrypted, as none of us could get in, so we didn’t hear their chatter.

They were now flooding forward though and adapted their tactics, now grouping in threes and fours, and I simply couldn’t charge into groups like that. So I worked with Jack, swapping my shotgun for an assault rifle, watching as she would send shockwaves forward, leaving the flying mercenaries as easy picking for the rest of us. Grunt still didn’t really know what cover was but didn’t seem to take much damage, any blood drawn being a bade of pride for the young krogan.

We found more workers as we fought our way up the tower. Most of them were beyond terrified, lucky we hadn’t had our heads blow off by one salarian as he accidentally fired when we opened the door to the closet he was hiding in. I was on the verge of giving him a slap before he fainted to the ground, his colleagues thanking us for the rescue and they’d look after him.

Arriving at the bridge linking both towers, it looked like the perfect trap, all of us taking cover and assessing. “See much, Garrus?”

“Well, there’s no other way across, Shepard, unless you want to head downstairs and try door number two.”

“Machine guns too, Shepard. Two of the fuckers. One either side,” Zaeed reported.

“Okay, we need to take those out first. Garrus, those are yours. What I’ll do is charge over and draw their fire, allowing the rest of you to follow. Jack, you follow me first. Once you sight anyone, unleash hell. I want piles of dead bodies.”

“That sort of talk will get me nice and wet for later, Shepard.”

“Spirits,” Garrus muttered as Zaeed simply cackled with laughter.

“Grunt and Zaeed, you follow up with all the firepower you have at your disposal. Got it?” The four nodded. “Okay, get into position. Garrus, once you take out the first gun, I’ll move.”

We spread out, getting into position. I crouched behind cover and waited for the first shot. I knew the sort of rifle Garrus carried. It was fucking powerful, capable of causing immense destruction to man or machine. A direct shot at a machine gun? It would blow up easily.

I barely heard the shot before the machine gun exploded. That’s when I stood up and sprinted, gunfire immediately coming towards me so I charged forward, slamming into a crowd of three. The one I hit directly went flying back as I swung my shotgun like a bat, basically knocking out the second. I took a shot from a rifle, my shields almost failing as I spun and fired in return. Firing at the one on the ground, I then heard a roar as Jack appeared, a shockwave as wide as the tower itself, or so it seemed, spreading out, wiping out anything in front of us.

Charging forward again, most were now alone or at most a pair, so while I could charge, the biotic power of Jack meant I could hang back and simply shoot the unfortunate bastards being pulled, thrown or blasted out of cover by her biotics. It was an impressive display of her power… and I was starting to understand why she found it such a turn on. She noticed me watching her and smirked. “Want to come down and fuck me later?”

I could only chuckle at her bluntness as we moved on, quickly moving up a set of stairs. We entered what was the reception to an office, and when we found at least six dead bodies, that brought us to a halt, as we looked at each other. “Thane?” I asked.

Moving forward again, we reached another room, another dead body, before walking through the next set of doors. Only then did we stop. Ahead was an asari, watching for something out the window. She wore business attire, and though I couldn’t see her face, I knew it was Nassana Dantius. The Eclipse mercenaries, around six of them, had their backs turned. I gestured for the team to spread out, raising our weapons as I whistled for her attention. “Oh, Nassana,” I sang.

She turned around in surprise, first taken aback by our presence and the weapons aimed in her direction, before her eyes narrowed towards me. “Commander Shepard? What are you doing here?”

“Well, I don’t know about me, but I think you’re about to have a very bad day. Your mercenaries below us? All dead. Those in here with you? About to be dead.”

“Are you here to kill me?”

“Surprisingly not. I’m actually looking for someone, but he doesn’t appear to be here yet.”

"Bullshit, Shepard. You finished off my sister without any qualms whatsoever. And I can only guess someone else has now paid you to finish me off."

“What makes you think we want to kill you?” Garrus wondered. A good question, I thought.

"Why else would you have spent the past couple of hours wiping out my entire security force?"

“Well, that relates to what I just said. We’re not here for you, we’re here for someone else.”

"Are you after credits? Is that it?" she asked, "Come to blackmail me about my sister?"

I couldn’t help groan. “Are you deaf, dumb, or fucking retarded? I’m not here for you.” I glanced at Garrus. “Reckon we’re a good distraction though?”

“Hmmm. Possibly. We could just shoot…”

Before Garrus could finish his sentence, a figure dropped gracefully from the ceiling. He was so silent, no-one would have known his presence if you hadn’t seen him drop. He worked through the Eclipse mercenaries so fast, it was almost embarrassing, all of it without a weapon in hand. A crushed larynx here, a neck snapped there, all of his motions fluid, almost poetry in motion. Maybe one of the Eclipse mercenaries got off a shot, Zaeed putting a bullet in his head simply to help out.

The assassin immediately moved to Nassana, taking a hidden pistol off his body and firing with no hesitation whatsoever. What he did next no doubt surprised us all. The shot was fatal, as Nassana was bleeding out very quickly, though he caught her body and laid it down on the desk, crossing her arms over her chest and closing her eyes as she took a few more breaths before her head rolled to the side. He then lowered his head, clasping his hands in prayer.

I was taken aback. I’d expected a cold blooded assassin who killed for either money or the simple thrill of the kill. What stood in front of us? Frankly, I found it bizarre. I gestured for everyone to lower their weapons, placing my rifle on my back as I slowly walked forward. “Thane Krios?” I asked.

The assassin didn't look up but had noticed our presence at least. "I apologise, but prayers for the wicked must not be forsaken."

"Does someone like her deserve such a gesture?"

Only now did he turned around. I’d never met a drell before. I’d done a little research on them but seeing them in the flesh was altogether something different. Green skin… or scales. Dark eyes. Like a void, to be honest. He blinked once, then twice, two sets of eyelids. Never seen that before. Almost reptilian. But there were enough human features, like a nose, mouth, ears, hands and feet. He was tall as well.

"The prayer is not for her. The prayer is for me."

“Why?”

"The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone. Take you, for instance. All this destruction and chaos."

“It gets the job done. Had to find you and I wasn’t exactly sure if you could take out an entire building of mercenaries alone.”

"Indeed. What intrigued me most was how far you'd go to find me." The assassin rounded the desk and stood in front of me, appearing to appraise me in return. He then glanced over my team, each one getting a once over, before his eyes returned to me again. "Well, here I am. What would you like to discuss?"

“I’m putting together a team. Best of the best and you’ve come highly recommended. Collectors are attacking human colonies, abducting people for a reason we don’t know yet. The main objective is to travel through the Omega Four relay. I’m sure you’re aware no ship has ever returned.”

“Sounds like a suicide mission.”

“While that is possible, I haven’t come back from death just to die again. It seems I get the impossible job. I tracked down Saren and killed him. I intend to do the same here.”

He nodded as he gave my words consideration, walking over towards the same window that Nassana had been keeping watch. “An interesting proposal, Shepard. I have been seeking a job that would give my soul a deep cleanse.” No idea what he was talking about but he glanced back and nodded. “Yes, I will join your team, Shepard. It would be an honour. But, before I do, there is one thing you must know about me.”

“And that is?”

“I’m dying.”

“You look perfectly fine to me considering you’ve just done all this,” Garrus stated.

“While that is true, the disease I am suffering is killing me slowly. At the moment, many would consider me healthy. The actual dying part is a slow process, but it has already begun. I am not sure how many months I have left, but I believe they number no more than twelve.”

“And you’ll devote some of those months to our cause?”

He walked forward, offering his hand. “Yes, I would be honoured if you would have me.”

I accepted his hand immediately. “Of course. Welcome to the Normandy.”

He shook the hand of everyone else present before suggesting we should really head back to the ship. We just went down the same tower, seeing signs of his progress as there were dead bodies everywhere. Some had been shot but most were clean, quiet kills. Exiting through the doors at the bottom, I immediately flagged down a pair of cabs, having them take us straight back to the Normandy.

Back on board, I explained to Thane that he’s meet with two people. He’d have a physical with Doctor Chakwas, which everyone had had after their recruitment. And Kelly would also talk to them as she would confer with Chakwas in regards to a psych profile. Considering the mission we were on, both our physical and mental sides were being tested and we needed to be fighting fit regarding both. Thane agreed and headed first to Doctor Chakwas as I dumped my gear and weapons in the armoury before heading out to say hello to Kelly. She turned and hugged me straight away.

“Glad you’re back safe and sound. Having a drell on board will be an interesting experience,” she said before letting me go as I turned to lean back against her workspace. She stopped working while we talked.

“He’s… interesting. He’ll be good conversation, I reckon.”

“Are you going to stay here for dinner or are you going to meet Gianna?”

“I did kinda promise…”

“Shepard, I told you I understand. We had some fun earlier and you kept your word about coming back to see me.”

“Jack will definitely be disappointed. She actually flirted with me during the mission.”

“Well, she clearly likes sex like the rest of us. But I assume it’s just that?”

“Oh, it’s that but different.”

She gave it a little thought before nodding. “Ah, I think I might know what you mean. Well, that would be no surprise either.”

“Once we’re away from Illium, we’ll have dinner in my cabin. Make a night of it.”

“I love the sound of that, Shepard.” She casually slid her hand down my chest towards my crotch, giving it a subtle squeeze. Any crew was behind me so nothing would be seen. “I will miss this tonight though.”

I leaned closer to her. “I’ll miss the taste of your pussy, Kelly,” I whispered.

“You will?”

“I could eat you out for hours, Kelly. Though maybe I’ll have to eat out your arse one night too.”

“Oh, you’d like to do that? Maybe you’d like to fuck me there too?”

I raised my eyebrows. We hadn’t broached that subject as it normally wasn’t something I cared about. But I liked to talk dirty so… “Would you like my thick cock in your tight little arse, Kelly?”

My lips were now very close to hers. “Just get me on all fours, Shepard. Do whatever you want to me.”

“First your pussy, then your arse. I’ll leave a load in both.”

She kissed me after that, her hand now stroking my obvious erection in my trousers. If anyone had noticed, they were smart enough not to watch. Moving my own hand down her body, she spread her legs slightly and I felt her sex and she was wet despite the layers of clothing. She had to cover her mouth as she was about to moan loudly. “Too much?” I asked.

“We’d better stop. I really don’t want to but we are going to end up fucking if we’re not careful.”

She removed her hand from my crotch as I immediately turned around, standing behind her. I watched the crew, all of them focusing on their work, as I stepped forward into her. She rubbed her arse against my cock as I used my right hand to fondle one of her breasts, hearing her gasp before I ran a hand down her stomach back towards her pants. They were tight but I managed to get my hand down the front. “Shepard,” she breathed as I slid into her underwear and found what I wanted.

“Don’t make a sound,” I whispered into her ear.

So in the middle of the CIC, Kelly Chambers had her pussy fondled by the CO of the Normandy. How we didn’t get caught, I don’t know. But she barely made a sound, though was definitely rubbing herself back against my erection as we were both getting excited. I was now fondling her faster and faster, and she eventually had to ask, “Shepard, we need privacy. Now.”

“Conference room?”

We headed straight there. I locked the door behind us as I walked forward, kissing her immediately as she sat up on the table. We worked together to get her trousers and underwear down, before she rested back on her elbows as I lowered my mouth to her pussy and licked her up and down to start. “My god, Kelly,” I groaned. And it wasn’t fake. She was delicious.

“I’m sucking your cock after this, just so you know, Shepard.”

She was so turned on, I made her cum within five minutes. Not being arrogant, just facts. She wanted more, of course, and after sliding a couple of fingers inside her, I focused on her clit and gave her an even bigger one a few minutes later. Everyone would have heard her cry out as she came hard, and it was simply too much. Normally I could keep going, but she had to ask me to stop, immediately sitting up to kiss me. “You are far too fucking good at that,” she said.

I gave her a few minutes to recover before she pushed me back and immediately dropped to her knees, excitedly taking out my erection. She licked it up and down like a lollipop at first, using her tongue to tease the head, really drawing out the experience before she finally swallowed my length. Running a hand through her hair, she smiled as she sucked my cock, and I warned her I wasn’t going to last long. She didn’t have to say anything though as I now knew what she liked. If she wanted a facial, she’d stop sucking. Otherwise, I was to just going to cum in her mouth.

“Kelly,” I moaned as she was really giving me a treat, her teasing relentless. I was already feeling weak at the knees and I hadn’t even cum yet. I was polite enough to let her know I was getting close but that just made her double her efforts. I groaned loudly as I felt the first shot fire into her mouth, holding her head in place as I emptied what felt like a gallon before I had to let go of her head and lean forward to hold onto the table. And still she kept on sucking until my cock finally started to go limp. I then felt her pack me away before she stood up before me.

“Well, I think you taste just as good as you think I do, Shepard.”

I kissed her hard, which may have surprised most people, but if she could swallow my load, I could handle a lingering aftertaste. But she eventually had to push me back. “You need to go out soon, Shepard.” Then she pulled me forward to hug me. “But thank you. I feel wonderful now.

“So do I. I’m sure she’s going to wonder why I’m in a good mood.”

“I’ll still masturbate tonight though. Thinking of you, of course.”

“Good thoughts?”

“Only the best, Shepard.”

I escorted her back to the CIC, Mordin joking about strange noises coming from the conference room, before I headed up to my cabin to shower and change. Heading back downstairs, Kelly wished me goodnight with a kiss on the cheek, told me to have fun, and I could only walk away, wondering how she was so understanding. I clearly liked her, she clearly liked me, but she knew I had others, yet she accepted. It spoke of her character as a person.

She deserved better than me, to be honest. So did most of the women I was with, but they accepted me for who I was. So maybe I was just lucky.

Gianna was already home when I knocked on her door, greeted with a smile, a very long hug and a nice kiss. She didn’t ask about work as I didn’t really want to talk about that while with her, and she didn’t want to talk about hers. Talking about life while I was gone wasn’t too bad, as at least I could fill in the gaps of her life.

She prepared another Italian dish for us, this one a vegetarian offering, which I didn’t mind at all, as the sauce was divine and the filling was… filling. The wine she chose for it was perfect for the dish, really bringing out the flavours. We sat at the table for a couple of hours, drinking and chatting away about any topic that took our fancy, and she was certainly well versed in a number of subjects. I’d always loved women with a brain. I don’t understand men who go after airheads.

Eventually the conversation did slow down though as our inventions with one another were obvious. So I asked to simply wait for just one moment as I opened my omni-tool. “What’s up, Shepard? I take it this isn’t a social call.”

“No, it isn’t, Miranda. Everyone has the day off tomorrow. We’ll complete the second recruitment the day after. Once I disconnect, I will be turning my omni-tool on silent until the morning after next. Unless the Collectors suddenly invade Illium, you are in command until I return.”

“Okay, Shepard. I’ll make sure you are undisturbed until then.”

“Thanks, Miranda. I’ll see you later.”

Disconnecting the call, I immediately silenced every possible notification then closed it up before looking back at Gianna. “Well, I guess I’m not going to work either then.”

“I was hoping you would say that.”

She grabbed my hand and led me into her bedroom, turning and kissing me as she started to undress me first. When I wanted to take off her shirt or skirt, she slapped my hand away. “Wait, Shepard.” So I did, continuing to kiss her as my jacket and shirt were taken off, she asked me to at least take off my shoes, before I had my jeans and underwear taken off as well. Standing in front of her naked didn’t bother me as she simply took a step back, looking me up and down. “Damn, you’re a good looking man, Shepard.”

“Thanks. It’s not all natural nowadays due to be basically rebuilt.”

“Oh, I remember what you looked like back on Noveria, Shepard. Trust me, very little has changed. Maybe fewer scars and your tattoos aren’t there, but other than that, just the same.” She stepped forward, taking my cock in her hand, feeling it thicken as she kissed me again, gently stroking me to hardness within a few seconds. “Want me to blow you?” she asked quietly.

“You’re seriously asking that question?”

“I want to hear you say it, Shepard.”

“I want nothing more than your lips wrapped around my cock, Gianna.”

“I love a man who knows what he wants. Now, second question. Do you want me to swallow or do you want to give me a facial?”

“What would you prefer?”

“I’m asking you, Shepard. One of two choices.”

“I want to mark you like…” I paused and immediately though Shit.

She simply smirked. “Like the others, Shepard?” She laughed to herself. “I know about them. Well, I know I’m not the only one.”

“And you tolerate it?”

She stepped forward and kissed me hard, slipping her tongue into my mouth as she stroked me. I couldn’t help the groan into her mouth that made her break the kiss and laugh. “Of course I tolerate it, because I really fucking like you, Shepard.”

“Feeling is mutual then.”

“Good.” She kissed me again before moving across my cheek to my neck, which actually caused goosebumps to pop up as she kissed down my chest, actually focusing on my nipples, which felt rather nice, before she kissed down over my abdomen, eventually getting down on her knees, placing the cock on her face. “That’s how big you are, Shepard. You could blind a woman with this thing.”

“I think it needs to go somewhere other than your eye.”

She teased me first, of course. God, just the feeling of her tongue running along my shaft sent shivers up my spine. Running her tongue underneath caused an involuntary shudder and when she focused on my balls, I definitely groaned. The teasing went on for quite a while before she finally took my length in her mouth, ever so slowly taking a little bit more each time. Running a hand through her thick, dark hair, she looked up at me and smiled despite my cock being in her mouth. I could only smile back at her. “You are beautiful,” I whispered.

“You’re just saying that because I’m sucking your cock, Shepard.”

“That does help.”

I was never going to last long. She was simply too good and she’d turned me on completely. When I warned her I was close, she removed her mouth and simply waited as I stroked my cock for all of thirty seconds before I unloaded all over her face. She laughed, exclaiming it was warm, before she asked me to take a photo. I would have asked, but she sounded serious, so I used my omni-tool to take one. I then grabbed a towel so she could clean her face, throwing that in the laundry pile nearby as I helped her up. “Well, now I’m marked, Shepard. Next time, I’ll just swallow it because otherwise it’s a waste.”

“God broke the mould when He made you, Gianna.”

“No, He just brought you into my life and I thank Him every day.”

Now she allowed me to undress her. I did it ever so slowly, kissing and touching each bit of exposed skin. She watched me intently, gasping and breathing deeply whenever I touched a sensitive area. Once I had her down to a gorgeous red lingerie pairing, I stood up and pulled her close. “That for me?” I asked.

“Of course.”

“I almost don’t want to take them off.”

I stepped back and snapped another photo. She laughed before she pulled a seductive pose, snapping that one as well. Taking hold of her again, we fell onto the bed as I did remove her bra and panties, leaving her naked below me as I sat on my knees. She bit her lip as her eyes met mine. Not shy at all, spreading her legs slightly to show me how wet she was.

“So I have you all day tomorrow?” she asked quietly.

“You do? What would you like to do?”

“Go on a date.”

“Done.”

I must have spent the next hour and more teasing, licking, sucking, biting, caressing, fondling her body. Any sensitive part I could find was focused on. I ignored her pussy for ages, earning the occasional groan of frustration as I teased her, though she loved every single second. We made out constantly as I’d brush my cock against her pussy, feeling her move, desperate for me to enter her. “Not yet,” I’d whisper. She’d plead and beg for something, but I’d simply keep teasing her, which eventually make her giggle. It was a sound I loved.

Even I had to give in eventually though, finally lowering my mouth to her sex. The moan she released when I did that was probably heard around her apartment block. And she came within a couple of minutes at best. She couldn’t take anymore, immediately tapping my head. As I lifted myself up, she almost burst into tears, wrapping her arms around me as I held her on my side. “Sorry, just… lots of emotion right now,” she sobbed into my chest.

“Is it the me coming back?”

“A little of that. A little of ‘no man has ever made me feel that good in my life’ sort of thing. God, I had no idea an orgasm could be that powerful. I wanted to cry before you even made me cum.”

“Making you feel as good as you made feel, Gianna.”

It was only a quick little cry before she settled down, and after I’d dried her cheeks, we continued to make out, resting for a little while. We had all night, there was no rush. We had the next day and night, definitely no rush. I was going to savour every single moment.

Gianna gave in first, finding myself pushed onto my back as she swung a leg over my body, straddling my groin, feeling my cock pressed against her sex. She leaned forward, a hand to either side of me, a smirk on her face. “Well, that feels nice and hard, Shepard. I could now just sit here and do nothing, and you’d be powerless to stop me.” I raised an eyebrow at that, which made her laugh. “Oh, I think you’d do it if I ask you to do it.” She has me there.

Lifting herself up, I looked down to see my cock slowly disappear inside her, lifting my eyes to watch her face, the smile broadening as she lowered herself down until the entire length was inside her. Then she sat still again, leaning forward once again. “Want me to move?” she asked quietly.

“I’m loving the feeling as it is.”

“I don’t want you to move. Let me do all the work.”

“Sure?” She nodded. “I can touch you thought, right?”

“Back or breasts. No hands near my pussy.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She rode me so slowly, it drove me crazy, but it was definitely something for her benefit as the sounds she made suggested it was going to be a long road to an orgasm, but when it arrived, it was going to be as good as the one she’d just had. I didn’t touch her breasts or her back. I ran my fingers through her hair or gently caressed her face, occasionally leaning up to kiss her. That did change the angle, which made her gasp, and she did eventually ask me to bend my legs, which made her moan louder. “That’s the spot,” she whispered.

She took ages to up the tempo but when she finally started to ride me, she grabbed my hands, locking our fingers together, really starting to bounce up and down on my cock. I watched her, just mesmerised by her body, her face, her joy at the sex we were sharing. “Oh god!” she cried out. I felt her started to squeeze my cock, so I knew she was getting close. I didn’t say a word, just watching her, all the emotions expressed on her face, telling me everything she was feeling. “Shepard!” she moaned quietly.

Her head rolled back and she cried out as she almost squeezed my cock like a vice, her body seeming to shudder from her toes to her fingertips. She didn’t stop riding though, practically convulsing on top of me. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” she cried out, resting a hand on my chest, now really driving herself down onto my cock. That’s when she released a sob, immediately reaching up to caress her face. “Not stopping,” she whispered, “I need this.”

I’d still barely moved and watching her practically now impale herself was something else, each movement down harder and faster than the previous one. Her tears rolled down her cheeks, dropping onto my chest. I understood why, so I simply dried them when I saw them. Her second orgasm was just as good as her first, and she couldn’t keep going as she slammed herself down once, twice, then a third time before she released an almost guttural moan and practically passed out, grabbing hold of her and resting her on my chest, immediately embracing her.

“I love you, Shepard,” she whispered.

I knew those words had been coming since the day we’d first met. They’d definitely been coming since the day I walked through her door again.

And I knew I felt the same way.

So I bit the bullet for the first time since Annie.

“I love you too.” She lifted her head. The smile returned made my heart swell, leaning forward to kiss her before I ran the back of my fingers down her cheek. “Can’t deny it.”

She lifted herself up so my cock fell out, then made sure her head was above mine as she kissed me hard, and it didn’t take long for her to end up on her back, where I could slide inside her again. It didn’t take long for me to finish as I was so utterly turned on, I warned her I was definitely going to pass out once I’d cum, which simply made her giggle. She pulled her legs back, feeling myself go even deeper inside her, making her moan again and again. When I came, I made sure I was already resting on a forearm so I could catch myself, as I felt so light-headed, if I’d been standing up, I’d have collapsed to the ground.

Feeling her fingers run up and down my back, I eventually lifted myself up so I could meet her eyes. I had one question only. “What happens now?”

“Nothing has to change, Shepard. I think it was just about time we actually admitted we loved each other. I’ve known since Noveria. I carried it with me after you died. I mourned you for a long time. The idea of even dating again was horrible. And then, my prayers were answered. You came back.”

“My feelings were intense on Noveria,” I admitted, “But I knew the moment I saw you here. I had no idea. As I said, I was prepared to go back to Noveria to find you.”

I lowered myself onto the bed next to her, Gianna rolling into me. As she rested against me, I knew I had the largest grin on my face, closing my eyes and just enjoying the sensation of her once again. I think I even fell asleep for a little while as I was gently shaken away, Gianna asking if I wanted a shower. I suggested a relaxing bath, which she definitely loved the sound of, so after running the water, I lowered myself in first, Gianna joining me, leaning back against me. I nearly fell asleep again, Gianna laughing again. “It’s been a long day,” I explained.

“We’ll go to bed after this. To sleep, that is.”

Heading to bed later, Gianna shuffled backwards so her body was practically aligned to mine, grabbing my hands and holding them in her own. “Goodnight,” she whispered.

“Goodnight,” I whispered back.

The next day was everything we both wanted. We made love in morning, slow, soft and tender, our orgasms almost a mere afterthought. After breakfast and a shower, we dressed and headed out into Nos Astra. We wandered around aimlessly, hoping to find something that might gain our interest, though the only thing that really mattered was being together. I hadn’t been on a date since Annie. I’d been with quite a few women, but had I enjoyed a date like that? No.

We did find a little café for lunch before we went searching for some natural beauty. It was limited within Nos Astra, so hailed a cab and asked if there was anything nearby. We were eventually taken to a park, which was obviously artificial, but it had lakes, trees, grass, and everything else you would expect. We walked hand in hand around the park, and actually received a few stares from asari. I guess they didn’t get many human couples in this area of Nos Astra. We bought some ice cream as we wandered, taking a seat on a bench and taking in the view, spending a little time making out at the same time.

After a few hours there, we headed back into the centre of town, back to her apartment, where I looked for a place for us to have dinner. “Do you like to dance?” I asked.

“Yes. But can you?”

“No. But I’m willing if you are.”

As she changed, I headed back to the ship quickly for a change of clothes, returning in trousers and a pressed shirt with jacket as she opened the door to reveal her dressed in what could only be described as a little black dress. How she didn’t end up backed up onto the couch and having various things done to her was a lesson in self-control.

I found us reservations at a restaurant with great reviews. It sold mostly asari food but Gianna didn’t mind. It was the sort of place perfect for couples. Each table was lit but otherwise, there was plenty of privacy. We ordered a number of dishes to share, trying everything, enjoying a bottle or two of asari wine at the same time. Again, the conversation just seemed to flow. She did touch on what I was doing, and I was honest about everything. I didn’t tell her about the fact it might end with a suicide mission. It wasn’t the time.

After dinner, we headed to a nearby bar. A trio of asari were on stage, playing what must have been traditional instruments. It was a relaxing atmosphere, Gianna moulding herself into my body whenever we stepped onto the dancefloor, just swaying to the music, occasional sharing a little kiss, but otherwise I just enjoyed holding her in my arms. We stayed until the lights came on and they needed to close, walking out in the cool night air. I offered my jacket, wrapping it around her bare shoulders as we walked back to her apartment.

Heading straight to her bedroom, we didn’t take our time that evening. Clothing was definitely removed with haste, and there was practically little foreplay. I was hard. She was wet. That’s all we needed. When she got down on all fours, I definitely smiled, giving her perfect arse a light slap. I slid my cock inside her and immediately pulled her back against me, my lips and teeth finding her neck, one hand fondling a breast, the other fondling her clit as I gently thrust into her.

“I love you,” she breathed.

“I love you,” I whispered into her ear.

We made love for hours, or so it seemed. She’d enjoy an orgasm. I’d enjoy one. We’d stop for a little while. Then we’d continue where we left off. Any position we could think of, we tried. Nothing ridiculous. Real life wasn’t porn, it had to be enjoyable. I did like it when I proved my strength by pinning her against a wall and fucking her standing up. She loved running her hands over the muscles on my back and down my arms.

I have no idea what time it was when we finally just fell asleep, completely worn out after the day we’d had. The only reason I woke up was due to my alarm, glancing to see that it was time for me to leave. I didn’t like the thought at all, but I had a job to do. Gianna had been woken up by it, immediately rolling over to cuddle into me.

Grabbing her hand, I led her into the shower where we both washed, with a little kissing and cuddling at the same time. I dressed and headed to the kitchen, preparing us some breakfast. She walked in a little later, dressed for work, and we ate together in silence, swapping glances and smiles nearly every few seconds.

But it was soon time to go, so after she’d locked up her apartment, I took her by the hand and walked with her all the way to her office. Only there did we kiss again, and the only reason I stopped kissing her was that my omni-tool beeped. The groan of frustration made her giggle as I opened it up. “What?” I growled.

I assume you’re not coming for breakfast then?” Garrus asked.

“No, I’m quite busy right now, Garrus. I told Miranda…”

“Yeah, yeah, she’s told us already. Just making sure you haven’t got into trouble. Or run off.”

I glanced at Gianna and smirked. “Thought might have crossed my mind more than once. Look, I’ll be there in around fifteen minutes. I know we’ve got shit to do so keep your panties on.”

“But I don’t… Oh, another one of those human things. Spirits.”

He disconnected and I resumed kissing Gianna until I finally had to break apart. “I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here for, Gianna.”

She rested a hand on my chest. “Yesterday was perfect, Shepard. So… I’m sure you won’t be here much longer, and I know you’re busy. Can I ask one thing?”

“Anything.”

“Keep in contact with me. Let me know how you are. And come back to see me before you need to go through that relay. And when you come back through, just let me know you’re alive. That will be enough.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure, Shepard. Yesterday was the best day of my life. Last night was perfect. It’s the best way to part for now. I know you’ll be back. I don’t have to live in hope anymore.”

I kissed and hugged her before she let me go and turned to open the door into her office. She glanced back and smiled, told me that she loved me again, before she slowly closed the door and disappeared. With a sigh, I started my walk back to the Normandy and the next mission.

I know I walked back with a smile on my face the entire time.