Later, she would try to more accurately describe the sensation that she'd felt when the Queen's lips pressed against her own – frenching an electrical socket seemed an apt description at the time.

But that was neither here or now.

At that moment, however, she felt her heart miss a beat, her breath catching in her throat. She was faintly aware of the Queen's arms wrapping around her waist, pulling her close, though that was the extent of her awareness at the time. A muffled moan left her as she felt the other woman's tongue probe at her lips.

With her capability for rational thought diminishing with every passing moment, she obliged the unspoken request, and her knees nearly gave out as the Awoken's tongue began to explore her mouth. Quickly, she wrapped her arms around the Queen for support, sloppily kissing back in earnest. It did not take her long to become aware of a curious warmth building inside her chest, a sensation that was slowly, but steadily making its presence known throughout her body.

Eventually, she remembered that breathing was actually a thing – with some effort, she pulled back from the Queen, her heart beating mile a minute, the gap between their lips bridged by several strands of saliva – much to their shared surprise, the Titan licked that bit of slobber up. The stunned silence lasted but for a moment before the Queen spoke, a coy smile on her face.

"Well, someone's greedy today..." Her voice could be described with just about every word that started with a soft 's' – smooth, silky, seductive and sultry being among those running rampant through the human's mind. Still wearing that lustful expression, the Queen led her would-be lover over to the bed where they sat down. "That being said, however, I will not force this upon ymmMMH~" Whatever argument she was coming up with was masterfully defeated by the Guardian's kiss as she was pulled down on the bed.

Though the woman's lack of experience was amply made up for by her sheer vigour, the Queen knew that this was very likely to end in something more than merely swapping mouth linings with the Guardian. Breaking the kiss, she spoke up before the human had any chance to resume her ministrations.

"Well, I guess that answers my question. But there is something I should tell you before going any further..."

Curiosity overriding her arousal, the Titan looked at the woman, quietly waiting for her to continue.

"My name is Mara Sov. Only my brother knows it. And now, so do you." Seeing the confusion on the other woman's face, she decided to elaborate. "When I claimed the throne, there were many who would see themselves crowned. During my rise to the throne, I had to take a false name to protect my family from retribution. It is my hope that you will keep this secret, too."

The Guardian nodded, and Mara relaxed, wriggling out from under the woman. Anxiety was replaced with self-confidence as the Awoken shed her dress and high-heels, propping herself on her elbows as she posed for the Titan, wearing naught but black lingerie.

"I take it by your flabbergasted expression that you approve of my looks, Guardian."

"..." The blushing woman could only stare silently as a fierce blush spread across her face, followed by a scent that she could only describe as almonds.

Humina humina humina humina-"Guardian?"

"Bwuh? Oh, uh, sorry. Was lost in thought for a moment."

"Is that so?" Mara chuckled lowly, scooting closer to the Titan, noting how the woman's blush only grew. "Well, I think it is your turn..."

That seemed to jar the blonde out of her trance. Her expression grew hesitant as she righted herself. "Just a heads-up - I'm not as well-kept as you, Mara." She stood up, and without further ado, she slipped the dress off. Whatever snarky retort the Awoken had prepared was summarily forgotten as she beheld the Titan.


Myriad scars covered the woman's pale-skinned body – gunshot wounds, lacerations, the whole nine yards. But the Queen's eyes were drawn to one that curved across the woman's right shoulder – the length alone indicated that the Guardian almost lost her right arm at one point.

"Warlocks and Hunters aren't exactly frontline material, see. Sure, at range they'll tear just about anything a new one, but up close their chances are poor. So I intercept shots intended for others. Or nearly get my arm loped off by a Swarm Prince. Or get swarmed by Hive Thralls. I've had my armour on since my Ghost resurrected me outside Cosmodrome." The Titan reached up to rub at the scar, her eyes downcast. A moment later, however, she felt fingers grasp her chin, forcing her to look up – Mara was standing in front of her, the Awoken's eyes full of admiration.

"It's quite an enigma you present – you're beautiful, selfless, courageous, determined... And yet you still are single. But we can talk later. For I do not think I can keep delaying any longer." The blue-skinned seductress cooed, dragging the woman back onto the bed. "Just relax – I'll take care of you..." The tone of her voice, however, clearly suggested that what would follow was going to be anything but relaxing – the Titan let out an eep as she was pushed on her back. Exploiting the woman's confusion, Mara straddled her, the Awoken's fingers gently trailing across the large scar. "I prefer to think that your scars are a testament to your refusal to give up, even in the face of adversity. But that is not important now..." She grinned predatorily as their lips met again, the Titan letting out a soft moan at the contact.

Many a night had been spent with nothing but her Ghost and weapons to keep her company. There was always something to watch out for – Fallen, Cabal, Hive, or Vex.

Mara was definitely far more preferable. Especially with the woman's thigh grinding between her legs as their heated bodies pressed together – the Awoken's lithe, slender figure had lit a desireful flame inside her, one that she didn't readily recognise.

But she was damn well enjoying it, finding courage to blindly paw at the strap of Mara's bra in a poor attempt to get the piece of lingerie come off. Sensing the human's fingers, the Awoken sat up, grinning at her as she deftly undid the clasp and tossed the lacy bra aside.

Her grin vanished just as quickly when her lover pulled her back down, into a passionate kiss.

And then sex happened and it was good.

The ringing wouldn't stop. Where had it come from?

Other's fingers were gentle in their caress, stroking her cheek softly. Her voice was smooth and loving, saying something that escaped her ears.

Her heart was beating at a mad pace, but seemed to be slowing. Why was she so dizzy?

Other spoke again, her tone turning concerned – she grasped her by the shoulders, giving her a slight shake. The irritating din eased off, but the empty pangs in her chest did not abate.

There was a sharp jab into her side. With a wheezing gasp, she reflexively inhaled, her back arching for a moment before she collapsed into an immobile pile of sweaty limbs, her chest heaving as she swallowed great gulps of air.

"You had me worried for a moment there when you didn't breathe." Mara sighed relievedly, sitting up at her lover's side. "But then again, considering this was your first time, I shouldn't be so surprised." The Awoken's naked body glistened with sweat as she beheld the recovering woman – the rise and fall of her ample bust as she came down from the climax-induced high, a rivulet of sweat that ran down her cleavage... the woman was insanely beautiful, even in her debilitated state.

"W-wuh..." The human tried to speak, but fell silent as Mara pressed a finger to her lips.

"Sshhh. You need to rest." Carefully, she pulled the blankets up to their necks, cuddling with the woman.

"I-I... I love you..." The Guardian managed to say before oblivion took her, falling asleep in Mara's arms. The Awoken looked at the sleeping woman in surprise – she'd had praise heaped upon her far more times than she cared to remember, mostly by nobles trying to brown-nose their way into her favour.

Her new-found lover had said three simple words. Except she meant it – there was no doubting the sincere affection in her voice. Feeling warmth well up in her heart, she lay down, resting her head on the Titan's chest, relishing the heat and heartbeat emanating from the woman, her heart playing the most precious music of them all – the music of life.

Mara came to her senses as she heard something beep incessantly. Soon, she came to realise that someone was trying to contact her. She would respond, except there was a slight problem.

Her lover was proving to be exceptionally cuddly. The blonde woman's face was peaceful as she dozed, warming the Awoken's heart.

But she had a duty to the Reefborn as their Queen. Regretfully, she slipped out from the woman's arms, quietly sneaking through the low-lit room over to a screen mounted in the wall, mindful not to open a video feed, instead electing for audio only.

"Yes? What is it?" She grumbled sleepily.

"Your Grace, we have a problem. Someone has snuck into your chambers undetected. They are heading towards your bedroom."

"Another would-be assassin? You would think they got the hint after the last one. Thanks for notifying me, Guard-Captain. I'll deal with this myself, but keep the exits covered nonetheless."

"Understood." The comm-link went dead and Mara quickly tiptoed over to a table, arming herself with a hand cannon before quietly making her way to an alcove just to the left of her bedroom's doors. It wasn't a perfect location, but it'd have to do. Hastily covering herself up with a spare bedsheet, she crouched down, hoping that whoever the assailant was, they'd be distracted by the woman in the bed first.

A minute passed before she heard quiet, stealthy footsteps of the would-be assassin. The door opened a moment later, letting in a solitary figure. Quiet as a ghost, she stood up, pressing her weapon's muzzle against the back of the intruder's head.

"I think it's best if you do not attempt anything untoward."


Well, that she did not expect.

"What do you think you're doing, sneaking into my chambers?" She asked quietly, eyeing the other Awoken in the dimly-lit room, slowly lowering the gun.

"And what are you... Do you mind explaining why you are wearing a bedsheet?" Her brother inquired, turning around to face her. Instinctively, she cast a sidelong glance at the Guardian, still sprawled in the bed, her half-covered form barely visible. Her brother, however, caught the movement and turned to examine the bed. It didn't take him long to put two and two together – when it clicked, he stuttered furiously.

"Wh-what is the meaning of this!?" He took a step towards the bed, unsheathing his dagger, fury overriding his common sense. Nonetheless, he only managed to take two steps forward before he found himself face down on the floor, munching on a mouthful of carpet, his knife arm twisted behind his back.


"Choose your next actions with exceptional care, dear brother. I will not let any harm befall her."

"Neeerg nerrghll?" Sighing, Mara liberated the weapon from her brother, letting him go afterwards. He stood up, wincing as he massaged his abused shoulder. "Please tell me this is all a bad dream. Please tell me you didn't have sex with that Guardian. Please, by all that is good and holy in this world, tell me that you didn't."

A cocked eyebrow was all he got.

"Do you have any idea what the repercussions for this will be? The nobles will be furious! What possessed you to even consider this?"

"I... love her." Mara admitted quietly, something that made her brother regard her as if she'd grown a second head. A moment later, however, he began to snicker quietly.

"Oh, t-that is just rich... And here I thought you'd grown less manipulative or deceptive over the years, Mara. Winning the Guardian over with sex appeal – no way that wouldn't work! A person like her would jump at every chance to please you, now that you've gotten her on a leash."

"What are you talking about, Uldren?"

"Oh, don't play dumb, dear sister. We both know that your regency is tenuous at best, and you need a means to de-claw the nobility. An alliance with Earth and its Guardians would be well-received by the commonfolk. Believe me, I made some inquiries. And I do not doubt the Guardian will jump at the chance to help you reaffirm your rule." His tone turned sinister, and before his sibling could retort, he continued. "Oh, I know what you're going to say – that you would never abuse her trust like that. But we both know better. We stabbed, shot, murdered, lied, and blackmailed our way to the throne. Our pasts are dripping with blood. If you think you can get rid of it by taking pity on a lonely, worn-out human, be my guest. But do not expect me to be okay with it." With a grunt, he snatched his dagger back, sheathing it as he turned to leave.

"You're afraid."

"Excuse me?"

"You're afraid that I'll devote more time to her than you. That you'll fall out of my favour and be replaced by her. Uldren, you are my brother. And that will never change. You are family. And that means no one gets left behind."

"And her?"

At that, Mara turned to look at the still-sleeping woman, chewing on her lip for a moment as she thought. "It's different... She is like the Wall her predecessors gave their lives to build – stalwart and unyielding. A port to weather a storm in. You'll understand when you find someone that finds a place in your heart."

"That makes no sense."

"Love makes no sense."

"Just don't blame me when I say 'I told you so' because this relationship you've struck up goes south." Uldren sighed exasperatedly and departed. As he shut the door behind him, the Titan stirred from her slumber. Quickly, Mara put her gun down, making her way over to the bed, settling down at the Guardian's side.

"You're awake. I trust you slept well?"

"Like never before." The blonde replied groggily, slowly sitting up and stretching her arms out, her spine popping as she did so. Letting out a content sigh, she continued. "So, er... Where do we go from now? I mean, last night was amazing and all, but-" She fell silent and closed her eyes as Mara pressed their lips together. A moment later, the Awoken pulled back.

"We keep going. And we see what happens. One step at a time."

"I can do that." The Titan smiled, yawning once before scratching her head. "So, you never did tell why you summoned me."

"Ah, that. Well..." The Awoken twiddled her thumbs awkwardly before speaking, her brother's words echoing in her mind. "We need help. The Reefborn need help. Our supplies are always strained and we are living by the skin of our teeth out here, so to speak. We would certainly appreciate any aid your City can provide. And I think that more than a few people here would prefer strengthening our political ties." Internally, she was cursing herself – her brother was rarely wrong, and she'd just proved his words were true.

"An alliance? I'd have to talk to the Speaker about that. And the City's faction leaders. I'm not going to promise any miracles, but I'll give it a try. Or several, depending on how it goes."

"Thank you, Guardian." Mara smiled, though she felt like punching herself. Though she swore now to herself that this would be the last time she'd exploit anyone, she knew it'd be a difficult promise to keep.

But as she remembered those three words the woman had said last night, she knew it was more than worth the effort.

"Well, if that's all, I guess I should head back, or at least check up on my Ghost."

"So soon? Surely you can delay your departure another couple of minutes..." Mara chuckled, shuffling closer to the woman.

The Titan let out a hum, contemplating it for a while. And then she pulled the Awoken down on top of her.

"There are more than a million words in the English language but I could never string any of them together to explain how much I want to hit you with a chair right now." The hovering form of her Ghost materialised in front of her, bobbing up and down agitatedly.

"Uh... Excuse me?"

"Where have you been for so long? And why were your vitals all over the place a short while after you'd gone to meet the Queen?"

"It's a long story, Ghost. I'll tell you on the way back."

"It better not be what I think it was."

It was what he thought it was.