"This is a bad idea," Kaidan muttered into his coms. He was lying down on the top of a bushy hill, sniper in front of him. He peered down the scope of the gun that was never his favorite to use, looking at the warehouse a hundred yards in front of him.
"It'll be fine," Shepard muttered back.
"You only just got back on your feet a few days ago, we haven't even really tested your implant," Kaidan countered as he watched the dark figure of his friend and commander slip into an upper window on the warehouse.
"I used it quite a bit on the ship," she protested.
"We both know that you push yourself too hard in combat, and that we haven't tested," he grumbled, switching to thermal vision on the scope so he could at least track what was happening.
Shepard didn't respond as she slowly crawled along the beams at the top of the warehouse. Below her was an impatient looking krogan pacing back and forth. According to the emails she read from Nihlus' terminal the krogan was supposed to meet up with the organ dealer any time now. She settled herself down on one of the beams so her belly was against it. What she didn't tell Kaidan is that she needed this, she needed something to distract her from the thought of what happened to Nihlus. And she was scared, if they went back to the Citadel and there was no news, or bad news, she didn't think she'd handle it well. Her crew needed her to be strong, and it would break her. She swallowed and shook the thoughts from her mind, focusing on the krogan. Her mind started wandering as the minutes ticked to nearly over half an hour. Then the door to the warehouse opened and a salarian walked in, flanked by a sick looking krogan and an armed turian.
Nihlus circled the warehouse that the deal would go down in with a few of his drones. The security is what he had expected, minimalistic from the krogan buyer, but when Saleon's ship landed it was different. Half a dozen armed guards exited the ship, checked the perimeter, and then the man himself made an appearance with a sick krogan and personal guard. Nihlus choke back a growl and did another wide sweep on the area, his mandibles twitching as his drones detected a heat signature on a nearby hill. This was an unknown, and thus needed to be dealt with first. He slid down from the fire escape of a nearby building where he had been hiding out and worked his way over to the warm body.
When he got close he silently crept up on the man, and it appeared to be a man, maybe batarian. He had a large sniper rifle pointed at the warehouse. Nihlus pulled a knife out of his armor and with a swift movement he wrapped his arm around the man's neck. He slammed his foot down the rifle, jerking it out of the man's hand, as he pulled the man back, posing the knife to slide into the mesh of the man's armor on his side.
"Shit," the man gasped in surprise, trying to pull Nihlus' arm off his throat. "Shepard…"
Nihlus paused at the mention of Shepard. The voice was familiar and he tossed his knife into the dirt, freeing his arm to pull the man's helmet off. "Kaidan?" Nihlus said, letting of the man's throat and both panted in relief and needed air.
"Nihlus?" Kaidan croaked out after a second, recognizing the voice and armor that Nihlus was wearing, even with his helmet still on. "Good to see that you are alive."
Nihlus let out a slight chuckle. Then horror set in as he started connecting all the dots of the situation. "Where is Shepard," he snapped.
Kaidan looked over at the warehouse.
"No, no, no…" Nihlus said and grabbed Kaidan's discarded helmet. "Shepard, abort, get out of there," he called into the com, but only static answered. "Sam," he tried again, his voice desperate. No answer came and he threw the helmet down, moving towards the warehouse, pulling his gun out as he went.
"What's wrong? I didn't want her in there either, but she can handle herself," Kaidan said. Despite his questioning he fell into step behind Nihlus, pulling out his gun as well.
"It is Saleon," Nihlus spat the name "he is the organ dealer."
Kaidan's stepped faltered for the briefest of movements, then he was moving past Nihlus and both men picked up the pace.
Shepard dropped one of Nihlus' small drones and, with enough effort that her tongue stuck out from between her teeth, piloted it so it was hovering just close enough to give her decent audio and visual on the interaction.
For a second her heart race increased, thinking that she recognized this salarian. Then she remembered that that particular individual was in jail and couldn't be here. With a deep breath she forced herself to calm down, telling herself that it was just because she didn't have enough experience telling salarians apart yet.
The new group stopped in front of the impatient krogan buyer.
The krogan looked at the three, looking at their hands and trying to see behind them. "Well?" he said, his face contorting in what she thought was anger. "Where is it?"
"Patience," the salarian said and Shepard shuddered at the voice. This time when her heartrate increased she couldn't calm it down again. "They just need to be… harvested." With a large, sadistic grin, he turned to the sick krogan, a scalpel in his hand.
He didn't get a chance to enjoy carving into his latest victim, the "volunteer" that the krogan testicles had grown in. As he turned from the krogan buyer a thud sounded from the corner of the warehouse. He turned back with a start, malice on his face. His first assumption was that the buyer had double crossed him and brought a guard of his own. His guard moved and started towards the noise, gun raised.
Saleon could see an armored female figure getting up from a laying position. He glanced up at the rafters and saw a sniper rifle hanging by a strap from one of them. What a terrible guard, she fell out of her hiding spot. He was just about to turn back to the buyer and make his accusations when the female moved to her hands and feet and ripped off her helmet. Red strands fell around her head and Saleon knew that there could be no mistake in who this was. His grin was back and he licked his lips in anticipation of being able to start his experiments again on his most promising subject.
Shepard groaned as the air flooded back into her body. The fall was enough to knock the wind out of her. The groan was an automatic response, though, as she did not feel any pain. Her mind was too preoccupied in the terror that ran through her at seeing her torturer again. She got to her hands and knees and managed to rip her helmet off just in time before she vomited.
"What the fuck is that?" the turian said, standing in front of her now and pointing his rifle down at her head. His finger moved to the trigger, but his employer stayed his hand.
"Don't kill it, capture it. We are taking it and leaving." Saleon said, his voice dripping with malice and anticipation.
"We aren't done here," the buyer protested. "You are supposed to 'harvest' those organs and—" He didn't get to finish before Saleon sliced the sick krogan's carotid artery.
Blood sprayed out of his body and he clenched his hand over the cut in vain. A full strength krogan might be able to heal from such a wound, but this one was already near death from Saleon's lack of care. Three more spurts of blood sprayed past his hand before he fell to the ground, dying. "Harvest them yourself if you want, we are done here," Saleon said, walking back towards the door they had come from.
The turian picked Shepard up by the arm and started dragging her after Saleon. She was completely dead weight, just staring unseeing at the ground as it passed under her. He was here, but he was supposed to be in jail. He wasn't supposed to be here. And now she was going back. She was going to be strapped to that table again and have to stare into that smile while he cut into her. She vomited again, drawing out an annoyed curse from the turian.
"It's leaking," he complained to Saleon.
"You'll do more than leak if you do not shut up and get her on my ship," Saleon spat at him as he opened the door. When he turned to walk through it he paused, looking up at the very tall, very angry turian standing in the doorway.
His armor was black with red trim. His plates where dark and his face was covered in white clan tattoos. He knew this turian.
"You—" Saleon started but Nihlus punched him in the face. Slamming past him and towards the turian that was holding Shepard, his Sam.
Kaidan stepped into the room after Nihlus had moved through and pointed his pistol at Saleon. "Give me a reason, hell knowns I want to shoot you," he growled. He wasn't an angry person, or at least he tried to not be. But this bastard had hurt his friend. This bastard was the reason she woke up screaming in the middle of the night.
The guard saw the angry turian, heard the protective growl coming from him, and dropped Shepard in surprise. Turians were a race that instinctually valued a pack mentality. You work together and you submitted to those above you. Normally that was just in reference of ranking in your job or social class. Nihlus' ferocity triggered something in him, though, and he submitted and backed away from the weird creature.
Nihlus kept an eye on him as he touched Shepard's shoulder, calling her name. She didn't respond to the sound of his voice, but when he touched her she recoiled. She glowed blue and Nihlus had just enough time to think "Oh no," before he was slammed backwards. Everyone was slammed backwards. The turbulence of biotic energy swirled around the warehouse like a storm with Shepard in the eye of it. It grew and grew, slowly continuing to push everyone away from her. The metal of the warehouse creaked as it bent under the force of her anguish. Nihlus was pressed firmly against one of the walls and could feel it buckle outward as the force Shepard was producing increased.
"Sam," he shouted over the roaring of the wind around them. She didn't move from her beetle position on the floor, her hands over her head, nails digging into the back of her neck. He gritted his teeth and activated his magnetic boots. It allowed him to ever so slowly creep towards Shepard.
"Nihlus, are you crazy?" Kaidan barked at him from the doorway he was holding onto for dear life. His gun wasn't currently on Saleon, but the man was on the ground and pinned against the wall so Kaidan knew he wasn't going anywhere.
Nihlus didn't respond. He had a singular focus to get to Shepard, to help her in her torment. It hurt, and with every passing second and every small step he was able to take towards her the pressure increased. He could taste blood in his mouth and knew that some damage had been done, but he continued. One foot sliding forward a centimeter at a time, then the other. Twenty feet from her and he had to move to be on his hands and knees, activating the magnetic properties in these as well. He continued, his limbs propelling him forward bit by bit. Eight minutes just to cross those last twenty feet. Then the pressure was lessened immensely. It was not gone and the wind still rushed around him, but he had made it to the eye of the storm. Shepard sat on her knees in front of him, blood trickling down from where her hands clawed at her neck. She was letting out a pained whimper with each labored breath. His chest ached seeing her like this. He took her hands in his and she let out a scream of rage from being touched, trying to struggle from his grasp. He held fast, removing her hands from her neck and pulling her against him in a tight hug.
"I'm never letting you go," he told her quietly, his chin resting on her head. "You can yell or scream or beat against me, but I am never letting you go."
His voice and presence finally started to get through to Shepard and the storm she had created started to lessen. The four onlookers sighed in relief as they were no longer being crushed between her power and the metal walls.
The krogan buyer ran out the door, just wanting to be away from these crazy people. The turian guard wanted to follow, but if he left Saleon he wouldn't get paid, so he just moved warily towards another door out of the warehouse for now. Kaidan looked on at his two friends and felt worry and sympathy for the emotional pain he knew Shepard was trying to manage right now. Saleon smiled widely, a giddy laugh threatening to escape from his lips. She was so powerful. His test subject had grown much. The things that he could do, the heights that he could get to her to reach. He desired to order his guard to kill these two lesser beings and to take his pet back, to continue his mission to make the galaxy's most powerful biotic, to please that voice that tickled the back of his mind. Self-preservation won out, though. He was fairly sure they could kill the other of her kind easily. Human is what the news had called them. The turian was a spectre and they were highly trained, he doubted his guard could do much. Even if they killed both, his pet would be difficult to restrain with her abilities as progressed as they were. He cursed his luck and slipped out of the door towards his ship before Kaidan could focus on him again. The guard saw him leaving and quickly slipped out of the other door he had moved by. They met at the ship and took off.
Kaidan heard the ship start up and turned to where Saleon had been, cursing when he saw the salarian missing. With a glance back at his friends, he sprinted out the door, aiming his gun at the cockpit of the ship and firing. It didn't stop them and he screamed curses up at the sky. "Damn it," he shouted as the heat sink popped out of his rifle, spent.
"Joker, there is a ship leaving from this location, bring it down," he ordered into his omni-tool, sending it to Joker as quickly as he could. Curse him for leaving his helmet back where he and Nihlus has scuffled.
He watched as the ship grew smaller and smaller in the sky. Then another ship came speeding by, its large gun noticeable charging up as it closed the distance to the smaller ship. Kaidan silently thanks the turian need to always have a large gun on hand.
The ship fired and sent out a large blue beam barreling down towards its target. The little ship tried to jerk out of the way, but the beam skidded across its left wing. It faltered, falling several dozen feet. Joker was bringing the ship back around for another pass at the ship when it managed to pull out of the nose dive and engaged its hyperdrive.
On the Vereclaw Joker let out a surprised curse, slamming the controls back to halt any forward movement as the ship they had been after slammed right in front of where they would have been without his fast action. "Fuck, hang on guys," he called back to the drell and humans in the living quarters. The sudden rapid movement from the other ship through the atmosphere flipped them end over end.
Kolyat let out a surprised scream as he was thrown off the couch where he had been playing a game on his omni-tool. The humans did not fare much better. Chakwas had been in a chair in the same sitting area as Kolyat, reading up on all she could of the medical advancements of this galactic society. Adams had been in the engine room examining everything he could to figure out how it worked. Presley was sulking in their room. All of them were thrown about and desperately grabbed hold of whatever they could to anchor themselves with.
"I warned you," Joker defended as he desperately tried to level them out.
Kaidan on the ground watched in horror as his friends spun through the air, hurtling towards the ground.
"Damn it, Nihlus is going to kill me if I crash his ship while he was gone," Joker tried to lighten the mood. His fingers were a blur as he hit buttons, trying to absorb the information the ship was giving him quickly enough for him to fix this. Finally he grabbed the controls, eyes glued to wind readings on one of the monitors. When he saw what he was looking for he pulled, grunting in effort. The ship caught the wind and pulled them level. For a moment Kolyat breathed in relief as he was allowed to stand up from the floor, and that he was even on the floor. Then they crashed.
Kaidan gave one more glance back at Shepard and Nihlus, making sure that they would be okay, then ran off towards the distant warehouse that their ship had just slammed into.
By the time he got there everyone was stumbling out of the cargo bay door, even Joker who wasn't able to get the pilot's door to open.
"As far as crash landing go…" he said to the group of humans and one drell that were glaring at him.
"What happened?" Kaidan asked.
"That ship you had us go after engaged their hyperdrive in orbit, the air displacement sent us spinning and we were too close to the ground to fully recover," Joker answered.
Kaidan nodded and squinted his eyes, looking at the local authorities' cop cars flying their direction. He pulled out his omni-tool and hit a few buttons. After a few seconds they all heard Nihlus' voice over it.
"He is back?" Joker asked, shock in his eyes and a smile on his face.
Kaidan ignored him, "Hey, if you can move her could you come over to the smoking warehouse? The police are going to want to talk to all of us and we could use that 'I'm a Spectre' crap you pull."
"Why is a warehouse smo—is that my ship?"
"Yeah… please hurry," Kaidan said, cutting the call off as Nihlus started demanding to know what happened. The first police car touched down and two turians got out. "Good evening officers," Kaidan said with what he hoped was a disarming smile.
Kaidan spent the next several long minutes trying to convince the two turians that they work with a Spectre and had been after a dangerous target when they crashed. They believed that they knew Nihlus, they had seen the news and there weren't other humans in the galactic society. They did not believe that they were currently working with him, after all where was he?
Nihlus walked quietly up with Shepard bridal style in his arms, half conscious. He stopped beside Joker and they both looked at the smoking ship for several seconds. "I hate you," Nihlus said, turning to the man.
"I do not blame you," Joker said with a sigh. "Does it make it any better that I tried my best?"
"You just crashed my house and now I have to deal with this before I can… turians don't deal with being away from their…" he looked down at Shepard and Joker could hear a crooning coming from Nihlus, just on the edge of his hearing range.
"I mean, you can't do that until she wakes up anyways," Joker commented.
Nihlus rolled his eyes, "Fair point. Chakwas," he turned to the older woman "please keep an eye on her, and later I want to hear why she is not bleeding out of every orifice." He set Shepard down on the ground and then moved over to the police.
By this point both of them had stopped bickering with Kaidan and the three of them were staring at him. Kaidan had an "I told you" look on his face and the turians had a look of admiration and fear on theirs.
"You two are lucky I do not tear apart your entire precinct to uproot the reason that illegal black market organ sales are happening here," he spat at the two turian. There was a brief moment where they looked like they would protest, but then their instincts took over and they both looked down and away, submitting to their superior. "Now go get some sort of engineer or a tow to get my ship up and running." The two turian snapped to attention. They had gotten all the information from Kaidan already and Nihlus' presence confirmed its validity. Now they would do what this man asked and get the hell away before he asked anything else.
Nihlus muttered something in a dialect that wasn't translated to the humans, his head shaking. Once the officers got into their car and flew off, he turned to the group. "Now," he turned to Joker specifically "what happened to my ship?"
Joker took a deep breath, then pointed to Kaidan. "He did it."
Kaidan glared at him as Nihlus turned to him, confusion on his face. "I don't believe that you were piloting the ship," Joker coughed uncomfortable "but I do want to know how Saleon got away. Last I saw you had him at gun point."
It was Kaidan's turn to cough uncomfortable. "Well, I did have him at gun point," he confirmed. "But then Shepard went nuclear," he paused at the confused look on Nihlus face. "Idiom sorry, she went all biotic hurricane and threw us all backwards." Nihlus nodded, he was aware of this. "And once that stopped, he slipped away before I could get my gun back on him. I tried to shoot him down, but spaceship beats gun."
"I heard the shots," Nihlus nodded "I was preoccupied trying to calm Sam down though."
Kaidan nodded in understanding. "Right, so as I realized my gun wasn't going to work, I gave Joker the order to shoot them down. He did, but they managed to get off their hyperdrive."
Nihlus sighed, his mandibles flaring. "And the ship got caught in the resulting wind and then…" he sighed again as he looked at his battered ship.
"Now that we are caught up there," Chakwas interrupted, still crouched by Shepard's side "What happened to the Commander?"
Kaidan and Nihlus both went silent, sharing a look of sadness and anger. "It was Saleon," Kaidan finally said and both Joker and Kolyat spat in disgust. "I didn't know that you had a feeler out for him, Nih. If I had we wouldn't have made this pit stop."
"Why did you anyways? I was waiting for you back at the Citadel for a month, and that was after being stuck in the jungle for two weeks." Nihlus paused, "Actually, let's back up and tell me all that happened since you jumped through the mass relay to spirits know where."
"It's a long story," Kaidan sighed.
Nihlus gestured to the crashed ship, "We have time." He took in the look that Kaidan was giving him. "Over food and alcohol?"
"Sounds great, I'm starving."
They all jumped and looked down at Shepard who had woken up. Nihlus' mandibles spread in a grin, his subharmonics letting out an affectionate rumble. He reached down and helped her up.
"Alright, food first, then we all get caught up," Nihlus said, turning to call a few transits for them, but paused as he saw Kaidan already working on his omni-tool. He nodded approvingly; it seems that the man had stepped up a bit since his absence.
It took two transits to fit all of them. Kaidan went with Adams, Presley, and Joker in one car, satisfying Presley's refusal to ride with an "alien." Which left Nihlus, Shepard, Kolyat, and Chakwas in the other car. Shepard had wanted their car to only have people who knew about her and Nihlus, knowing that he wanted the closeness as much as she did, but Chakwas refused to let her out of her sight until she had a chance to be fully looked over.
Nihlus sat in the driver's seat, Shepard beside him, with Kolyat and Chakwas in the back. Once they were in the air Nihlus set their location and let the autopilot take over. Then he leaned back and a devious look appeared on his face. Shepard had just enough time to wonder what he was plotting when he grabbed her, pulling her close, and pressing his mouth against hers. She fought him, forcing space between him, but couldn't get his arm from around her back. She glanced worriedly back at Chakwas.
"She already knows, Sam," he said with a laugh, still refusing to let her go.
"I woke up in the hotel when you had the panic attack," Chakwas admitted. "I didn't want to say anything until you were comfortable enough to breach the topic."
"I…" Shepard's cheeks went red and she looked away. "He is a different species is all. And I am your commanding officer, I didn't want it to compromise your faith in my judgement."
Chakwas gave a short laugh, "I'm just happy that you are finally off the market, it might calm down those you serve with."
Shepard blinked at her, "What?"
Chakwas turned to Nihlus, "Dense as ever."
Nihlus laughed and pressed his face against Shepard's shoulder where his bite mark was under her armor. She huffed and pushed him off, glaring at both him and Chakwas. She moved back into her seat, crossing her arms and staring out the window, her face red.
They stopped by a food truck and Nihlus got a large container of food for himself. With that done they went to a levo restaurant that was recommended by a few asari locals.
"Does that make cooking on the ship difficult? That you can't eat the same thing as we do?" Adams asked, curiously.
Before Nihlus could reply Kolyat spoke up. "Yes," they all turned and looked at the normally quiet teenager "I have to cook two sets of meals every night. I didn't even know how to cook anything dextro before. I had to search for recipes online, and I can't taste test any of it."
Nihlus' mandibles twitched in an uncomfortable acknowledgement. "Yeah… those first meals were… You got much better, and I thank you for cooking for all of us."
Kolyat's neck frill darkened, looking away from the group. "It's not like I can do anything else to help. After you saved me, and didn't drag me back to my aunt…"
Nihlus clasped him on the shoulder as a waitress came up to show them to their seat.
Kaidan, Joker, and Shepard ordered the food for the group, as they knew better on what it all once. The waitress took their order and left them alone at their large table. It was quiet until Nihlus spoke up.
"So, you jumped through the mass relay," he said, looking at Shepard, then to Kaidan, and lastly to Joker. "Then what happened."
They recapped the chase towards the mass relay and not having a choice but to make the jump with their cargo bay open. Nihlus told them that was very risky and they should never try that again. When asked to elaborate he just shook his head, saying he would tell them after they had finished their meal, not before for fear of losing their appetite.
Then they told him how after the jump they were out near the far rim in a glacier field and no way to move or contact anyone. What made matters worse was that Shepard had to be kept sedated because of issues with her implant. The few times they had tried to wake her went, well bad. Shepard commented that she didn't remember any of that.
They had picked up a ship on their sensors and, not having another viable option available to them, decided to risk hailing them. It has turned out to be quarians on a trip to get ice for water for the flotilla. They had agreed to help repair their ship and see what they could do for Shepard in exchange for ventilation equipment that had been on the stolen transit. Nihlus nodded and confirmed that he had already reimbursed the company that he had stolen it from. He also informed them that the quarians were also so willing because they would want to investigate the geth like aspects of the implant. That brought a pause to the story and Nihlus was asked to give information on what geth were. They had gotten the gist of it from the quairans, but the suited aliens were agitated whenever asked to talk about them so they didn't pry to deep.
"That is understandable," Nihlus sighed. "The quarians made the geth, they started out as a robotic workforce for mundane tasks. But quarians love technology. Fiddling with it. Improving it. Eventually the geth became something… more. There was a rebellion and the geth ended up kicking the quarians off of their home planet. They never have had a strong immune system, and living isolated in clean ships has only made it worse. They can't leave their suits without getting sick now."
They all nodded, expect Presley who wouldn't understand any of what Nihlus said. Nihlus took note of that, but didn't say anything. He would have to forcible implant the little xenophobe. While he understood why Presley was untrusting of aliens, he refused to let it cripple the basic need of a society to be able to understand each other.
"Then what happened?" Nihlus said, starting up the recap of events again.
The quarians worked on Shepard's implant for days. It had grown down her ribs of it's own accord and was transmitting data to an unknown location.
"Maybe to Saleon?" Nihlus suggested. Shepard shuddered at the name. All but Chakwas agreed that it was likely. The doctor was still shaken up by what she had seen and some part of her thought there more to the story. She had also been the only one there to have prolonged exposure to the red orb. Sure, they told Nihlus about that oddity too, but there weren't words for what it felt like to be near. Sometimes she still heard the itch in her brain.
There wasn't much more to tell. Shepard got better, the ship finished being repaired, and they left the flotilla. Then it was Nihlus' turn. He kept his side short. He fought with the justiciar, he outsmarted her and escaped the planet, then he went to the Citadel where he recovered from his injuries. Both Kaidan and Shepard gave him an annoyed look at the lack of details. They also suddenly knew why Nihlus had never progressed far in the regular military structure. His field reports must have been crap. Joker was okay with the tale. Shepard gave him a look and he smiled smugly. His field reports were also crap and Shepard had rewritten many of them.
They all ate, drank, and enjoyed each other's company until Nihlus' omni-tool beeped to inform him the location his ship was towed to. The damage had been minimal and would be ready by morning. "Looks like we are getting a hotel," Nihlus muttered, looking at the rest of the group. He looked across the way at Shepard and let out a long sigh. She gave him a sympathetic look.
Nihlus booked the rooms at one of the nicer hotels in the transit ride over to them. After confirming with Chakwas and Kolyat off to the side that they would be comfortable sharing a room, he made a special request to have a pair of the rooms be joined.
The rooms would be two per each. Kaidan and Presley would be together. Joker and Adams took a room. Shepard and Chakwas were in a room together seeing as they were both women. And Nihlus and Kolyat were together. They all went up to their rooms that were all in the same hall, two on either side so they were all close. Once several hours had passed by and they were fairly certain no one would come knocking Kolyat and Shepard swapped through the joined door between their rooms.
"And you're sure that you're okay rooming with Kolyat?" Shepard triple checked for the second time.
"Yes," Chakwas said, exasperated. "We've been sharing quarters on the ship, it'll be fine. The two of you need some couple time." And with that the older woman shut the door and locked it so that Shepard wouldn't be able to second guess the situation.
It was an unneeded measure. As soon as the door was closed and she was not upholding the image of a commanding officer, she became an infatuated woman in her twenties. Nihlus had thought that he was going to have to drag her away. That was why it surprised him so much when she tackled him to the bed, her mouth over his and her legs around his waist. Their armor clanged together as they both cursed in frustration at it's hinderance. They worked to systematically take off each other's armor. At one point their eyes connected and their gazes locked for several seconds. 'Well that settles it,' Nihlus thought, looking at the hunger in her eyes 'I am going to marry this woman.'
A/N: I am alive, I promise. I am also done with my BA, yay. But now I am in my post-baccalaureate program. Turns out that it is even harder. I have found snippets of time to continue my writing of this story, though. I actually really enjoyed writing this chapter. It has been a reflection of mine to see how better of a writer and person I have become since the start of this story. Kaidan's personality has become more than what I always saw him as, an annoying creepy stalker dude. I tried to help him shine in this chapter as more than that and hopefully he feels that way to all of you.