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Waking the Tiger

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Tattoo’s march across Jack’s skin in a defiant wave of rusty red, inky black and silvered grey. A symbolic scream of rage against the world she loves to hate and, Shepard suspects, hates to love. She lays curled against her like a blood-stained tiger, her tattooed stripes blending with the shadows as her chest rises and falls in time with her slow, even breaths.

The stars cast a faint glow upon them as they lay in bed together, not much light, but enough to see by, and the gentle burble of the fish tank blends with the ever-present hum of the Normandy’s engines up in the captain’s cabin. The atmosphere is calm, her lover; serene, and in these snatched moments it’s easy to forget that there is a war going on and people who are dying.

Shepard traces patterns on Jack’s body, her touch feather-light, one long finger following the dark smudges on her lover’s skin. She knows every line and curve on her body; every splash of ink, every scar, and knows well the swell of her hips and curve of her breasts. She follows the path of one tattoo across her shoulder blade, down one arm, and then across her chest, circling a rosy tipped breast.

Teasing.

Provoking.

Waking her tiger.

She grins as Jack bites her lower lip, her eyes shining in the low light as she turns her head and glances up. There is an invitation in those rich tawny eyes, and the smirk on her full bee-strung lips cannot be denied. Shepard smiles, leaning down and stealing a kiss as her hand wanders lower, over a taut belly and trembling muscles, over the planes of her tummy and hips, and dips between her legs where she finds her wet and waiting.

There is only a rustle of silken sheets as the women find each other in the starlight of the room, their mouths meeting in hungry kisses and hungry grasping hands. Limbs entwine, and bodies meet, hips rising and falling to a beat as old as time; both hungry for comfort and love; needing the shelter of each other’s bodies.

The need is essential.

Undying.

Eternal.

Jack is more perfect and more beautiful than any other woman Shepard has ever met, and in their moments, moments like these, she knows she’d give her life to keep her safe.