There was just something about a military vessel that put Ashley at ease. The hum of the engines, the soft chatter of crew, and the knowledge that should something happen, every man and woman on board would fight until their dying breath to protect their brothers and sisters in-arms.
The Alliance was in her blood. She was a fourth generation solider and proud of it. Her weapons were always in pristine condition and she made sure to keep in shape and hone her shooting abilities on the range. And it finally looked like her efforts were paying off. The Commander had praised her skills in battle and already taken her on several ground missions.
A subvocal grunt from the other side of the storage lockers startled her from her task of cleaning her shotgun. Ashley knit her brows. Shepard had taken Vakarian and Wrex planet-side with her in search of some lost Alliance module. Which meant the owner of the voice that she could now hear muttering and swearing had to be Nihlus.
The turian Specter had narrowly avoided getting shot in the head on Eden Prime. After his attempted murder at the hands of his former mentor, Nihlus had elected to stay onboard the Normandy. His stated reason was to assist Shepard and help her learn the ropes, but everyone knew his real motive for staying was revenge on Saren. Not that Ashley could blame him. Hell, were their positions reversed she’d probably be doing the same thing.
As the sepia plated turian rounded the storage lockers still muttering to himself, Ashley couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. “Something I can help you with Specter?” She asked.
Nihlus almost appeared surprised to see her, but quickly regained his composure. “Chief Williams.” He greeted her. “I seem to have misplaced the heat sinks for my rifle.”
Ashley stepped away from the weapons bench and gestured to the pile of sinks on it. “Those?” She asked, trying not to sound too smug.
Nihlus rumbled before walking over to retrieve his property. Once, not so long ago, Ashley would have found the taller turian’s presence disquieting. She’d even compared Nihlus and the other alien crew to dogs at one point. But after speaking with the Commander and working with Nihlus, Vakarian, Tali, hell, even Wrex, Ashley was big enough to admit she’d been wrong. Now, Nihlus was just another member of the crew; though a big one, with sharp talons and burning emerald eyes.
Nihlus turned to face her, arms full of heat sinks. “Thank you.” He said with a polite bow before heading around the weapons locker once more.
Shaking her head once he was out of sight, Ashley finished cleaning her own gun and finding herself suddenly unoccupied, decided some nostalgia was in order. She pulled her battered, dog-eared copy of Tennyson’s Ulysses, out of her locker and headed for the elevator to go read in the mess hall.
As the doors to the elevator started to close, a large, three-fingered hand slid between them forcing them to reopen. Ashley moved aside as Nihlus entered the small space and pressed the button for the second level of the ship. The doors shut, and the lift began to move but no sooner had it begun, then the lights started to blink, and the elevator froze, doors still fastened tight.
Nihlus made a low sounding growl as he futilely punched at the controls. “Specter Kryik and Chief Williams, the Normandy is experiencing technical difficulties.” The V.I. said in its disinterested voice.
“No shit,” Ashley mumbled. “How long to fix the elevator?” She asked in a louder voice to the onboard intelligence.
“Unknown. Will run diagnostics to assess the problem and implement repairs.” The calm voice responded.
Ashley huffed and leaned back against the wall. Not like this thing moved fast anyway, she thought irritably.
“It would seem we have a unique opportunity,” Nihlus rumbled to her in that sultry voice of his that always did… things to her.
Ashley narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean Sir?” She asked.
“It would seem,” Nihlus said copying her posture and leaning against the opposite wall. “That we have an opportunity to talk, without being interrupted.”
“I suppose…” Ashley was taken aback. Though, in all honesty, she did find Nihlus fascinating, and wouldn’t mind learning more about him. He was so calm and collected on the battlefield, and the way he moved and handled his weapon was beyond impressive.
“Tell me, Chief William, why did you join the Alliance. Family tradition?” Nihlus asked, pulling her from her thoughts.
Ashley might have been surprised by his statement were her record not public knowledge. It appeared even people unconnected with the Alliance were familiar with the Williams family and by extension, herself.
“To an extent,” she answered. “I always knew I wanted to serve. I’d dreamed of being stationed on a warship since I was a kid. What about you?” She said, trying to turn the conversation back on him. “Did you always want to be a Specter?”
Nihlus made a humming sound in his throat. “No,” he said deliberately. “My only dream when I was young was to escape my childhood home and find a way to live comfortably. My parents were…” he trailed off, considering her for a moment. “They were not people you’d want as family. Red sand can turn even the best of people into raving lunatics, and neither my mother nor father were very good to begin with.”
Ashley wasn’t sure what to say. She’d never considered the Specter’s past or family life. Living on different colony worlds growing up hadn’t always been fun or easy, but at least her parents and sisters were loving and supportive. Without them, her life would be a bleak and empty place.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said, genuinely meaning it.
“It’s alright,” he assured her, mandibles flaring out in what she interpreted as a smile. “They’ve both been gone for a long time now.”
Ashley nodded, unsure what else to say. Hoping to change the subject, she asked, “do you like poetry?”
Nihlus chuckled – a pleasant, deep sound – as he eyed her book, still clutched firmly in her left hand. “I do actually.” He said. “The theater is another favorite pastime. I’ve seen Elcor Hamlet three times, in fact.”
“Really? You’re a fan of Shakespeare?” Ashley said, allowing herself to slide down the elevator wall and sit on the floor.
Nihlus cleared his throat before proclaiming, “cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” He gave her what she thought was a grin. “Julius Caesar. My favorite of Sir William’s works.”
Ashley smiled. “That was pretty good,” she told him. Pulling her book in front of her, she read him her favorite passage, the one her father would always recite before leaving for an extended period.
When she finished, she looked up to see Nihlus smiling at her again, with eyes that didn’t so much as burn, but smolder. She shivered involuntarily. When the hell did I start to find turians attractive? She wondered to herself. Any attraction to Nihlus was likely the Skipper’s fault. Shepard wasn’t exactly subtle in her sideways glances at Vakarian, and Ashley had slowly begun to check out their turian crewmates, curious to discover what the Commander found so alluring.
Nihlus lowered himself to the ground, leaning forward on his knees. He asked her a question about her firearm, and Ashley had answered, though her mind – and alright, her eyes – had taken to admiring Nihlus’s figure and speculating on what he’d look like out of all that armor. She hadn’t seen him or Vakarian in the showers – not that she was trying to spy on them – and as her eyes coyly darted over the Specters shoulders, slim waist and two-toed feet, she wondered if she’d still find Nihlus attractive if he were naked.
Nihlus scrunched his nose up in an action she would have normally missed were she not staring at him. “Ah, Chief William, I was wondering,” he said slowly. “Can I call you Ashley?”
The question surprised her, and she blinked at him in response before mentally slapping herself. “Sure. But only if I get to call you Nihlus.” She said.
Nihlus made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a purr. “I’d like that,” he said quietly. “So, Ashley, what has been your favorite experience on the Normandy so far?”
Ashley hummed, smiling to herself as she remembered escaping the active volcano with Dr. T’Soni. She related the moment in detail back to Nihlus, who hadn’t been present for that particular mission; holed up in his quarters pouring over reports about Saren.
Time seemed to lose all meaning, and the pair discussed everything from missions they’d been on, Ashley’s sisters and family, Nihlus’s apartment on the Citadel and Specter training and back to theater and the arts. By the time she thought to check with the ships’ V.I. over two hours had passed.
“A marvel of engineering indeed,” Nihlus said dryly when they were informed that the problem with the elevator was still unresolved.
At least the company is good, Ashley thought as Nihlus spread out his legs, ostensibly to stretch them. What happened next, she still couldn’t fully explain, but she had ended up blatantly staring at Nihlus’s cod piece and wondering if the rumors about turians having ridged cocks was true. She’d felt heat pool between her legs and had subtly tried to squeeze her thighs together.
The purring noise Nihlus had made earlier practically thundered around her in the metal enclosure and when she looked up at his face – her own cheeks flushed a brilliant red as she realized she’d been caught ogling his crotch – Nihlus’s brilliant green eyes were dark with something she dared not name.
“Ashley,” he started, almost cautiously. “How do you feel about... stress release, but not with an Alliance crewmate?”
It took her longer than it should have to realize what he meant. Normally, she would have shut down any offer for sexual intercourse with a fellow soldier. Memories of Sergeant Donkey and his horrible attempts at seduction flashed in her minds eye. But Nihlus was not Alliance, nor was he human. There were no regs preventing her from accepting his offer. But did she want to? In an elevator of all places? And how awkward would it be afterwards?
As though reading her mind, Nihlus scooted closer to her before gently rumbling, “if you want to, and never want to discuss it again, that’s fine. I can be a professional and know you can as well. But, if it’s good…” he trailed off, letting the notion sink in. “You’re an incredible woman. I wouldn’t mind being exclusive, if you wanted that.”
Why the hell not? She found herself thinking. God only knew the Commander was a turian lover, there was no risk of judgment on that front should Shepard find out. And it’d been far, far too long since she’d had any action.
“Turn off all cameras and monitoring devices on the elevator,” she heard herself commanding the V.I. She heard the computer acknowledge her order and then suddenly Nihlus’s face was right next to hers. Feeling her ears heat up, she inclined her face forward and kissed him on his rubbery textured mouth plates.
She’d joked about kissing turians, and now here she was actually doing it. And as Nihlus moved to deepen the action, a large hand free from it’s gauntlet coming up to tenderly cradle the side of her face, Ashley had to admit that kissing a turian was pretty damn fantastic.
When she finally had to pull away to catch her breath she was more than ready to explore the rest of her unexpected partner. Reaching up, she gently traced over the regal white colony markings on Nihlus’s face. He closed his eyes and leaned into her touch, seeming to enjoy the feel of her hands on him.
As she ran her fingers back behind his fringe to follow a particular bold stripe, Nihlus went ridged before moaning softly. “There,” he said with a low whine to his voice. “Behind my fringe there’s a sensitive patch of hide. Could you – ”
Ashly was massaging the area before he could finish his request and he responded by groaning loudly and wrapping his arms around her waist to drag her closer to him. “Spirits, Ashley,” he whispered into her ear.
Wanting to feel more of him, Ashley ran her hands around his armored cowl, searching for the releases. Nihlus pulled back with a winded chuckle before saying, “how about I take mine off and you take yours off?”
It made the most sense to take off their own armor, and they both rose shakily to their feet before the sounds of metal and kevlar hitting the steel floor in a rush of excitement filled the air. Before she knew it, she was totally naked and staring at a similarly bare Nihlus Kryik. Public nudity wasn’t new to Ashley; years in the military had banished all sense of modesty she might have had. But the way Nihlus was looking at her as he slowly reached out to bring her in close for another kiss had heat pooling in her belly faster than she could ever remember.
Their hands roved over the other. She discovered that his unplated hide was especially sensitive, and traced patterns over the flesh of his inner thighs as he groaned, and lowered a hand to her apex, making her gasp when he rubbed a knuckle against her clit.
Using the pad of a finger, he slowly rubbed the sensitive nub, spreading her own slick arousal over it as he went. Ashley clutched at his shoulders, her breaths coming in small gasps. Don’t just stand there, she mentally ordered herself. She lowered her own hand to Nihlus’s groin, feeling something hot, heavy, and apparently expanding, touch her fingers.
Wrapping a hand around his member, she stroked him in an up and down motion, marveling that the rumors of ridged dicks and self-lubrication were all true. Her ministrations faltered as a particularly deft move of Nihlus’s finger had her trembling.
She all but whined when he moved his hand and pushed her back, so they could make eye-contact. “Ashley,” he panted, “would it be alright if I used my tongue?”
Her face split into a wide grin. She and several other female crew members had been speculating about turian tongues and how good they’d be at oral after watching Nihlus lick his fingers when he’d spilt some of his drink on them.
“Ever heard of the position 69?” She asked him, seized with a sudden desire to show him what a human mouth could do.
“No.” He responded. “But, I’m more than willing to learn.”
“Lie down,” she ordered, taking some small thrill away from the fact that he immediately complied.
Straddling him so her ass was toward his face, she stretched out as far as she could, thankful that she was tall for a human given Nihlus’s own height. Using one hand to rub up and down on his shaft, she slowly lowered her face and wrapped her lips around the head of his cock, both hearing and feeling his subvocal moan.
Catching on to what he was supposed to do, Nihlus parted her thighs and she felt his long, slender tongue lick up her slit. She moaned around him as she sucked harder on his dick, pulling more of him into her mouth.
Encouraged, Nihlus delved his tongue inside her, as the thumb from one hand moved up and through her pubic hair to play with her clit once more. His purr was so loud she could feel it through their bodies, and she marveled that receiving oral from a turian was, without a doubt, the best she had ever had.
As she continued to use her hand and mouth in tandem on his cock, Nihuls used his tongue and hand on her in a steadily building tempo, until her entire body shook, and she cried out in pleasure as she came around his tongue.
She gently released his cock and rolled off him as he crawled over to her, pulling her into his lap. He panted into the side of her neck before asking in a rough voice, “can you wrap your legs around my waist? I think we’re the perfect height for me to lean you against the wall.”
“I can definitely do that,” she replied, excitement seeping into her voice as they both rose to their feet. Nihlus pulled her close to his heated body and grabbing her around the hips, helped lift her so she could wrap her arms around his neck and legs about his waist. He carried her to the wall of the elevator, the cold steel a sweet balm against her over-heated skin as he positioned himself between her legs.
Ashly tipped her head back against the wall as he slowly pushed his slick, ribbed cock inside her. To say he felt incredible would be an understatement. He filled her better than any partner she’d ever had, and those ridges when he pulled out only to push back in had her toes curling and nails digging into his cowl. Ashley squeezed his waist with her legs before reaching up to rub at the soft patch of hide behind his fringe. Nihlus swore something her translator didn’t catch, but he picked up his own pace, pulling her down onto him hard and causing her clit to rub against his groin.
The wet sounds and smells of their coupling filled the area, and Ashley felt her body begin to tingle as a second orgasm rushed over her. Pushing herself into Nihlus, she sobbed out his name, and with several more powerful thrusts he was growling out hers as he came inside her.
Carefully, Ashley unwrapped her legs from his waist and they both crumpled to the floor in a sweaty, wet tangle of limbs and heavy breathing. Nihlus reached out to her and Ashley laid her head on his shoulder. He used the back of the talons from one hand to gently brush the lose hair out of her face.
“Ashley,” he said softly, after laying together for a while.
She moved her head to look into his gorgeous face. No longer alien, but somehow dear, and almost shy. “I thought you had never looked more beautiful than in battle,” Nihlus continued in that soft tone of his. “But seeing you now, like this? You are truly a vision.”
Ashley blushed and smiled at his comment. The sweetest compliment she’d ever received from a lover. “You’re pretty handsome yourself,” she told him quietly.
As they continued to gaze at each other, affection in their touches and soft words, the ship’s V.I. suddenly interrupted the sweet stillness. “Chief Williams and Specter Kryik, the diagnostic is now complete. Elevator functions will return momentarily.”
“Wait!” Ashley yelled at the ceiling, rolling off Nihlus to grab for her bra. “Hold the elevator for ten minutes!”
“Acknowledged.” The V.I. said in it’s monotone voice.
The next few minutes were a flurry of clothing, armor, and hoping around as Ashley managed to get her last boot on just as the elevator began to move. She and Nihlus all but rushed out into the vacant deck once the doors opened. Unsure what to do next, Ashley turned to look up at Nihlus.
“So,” she began.
“Worth a repeat performance, or a one-time thing?” He finished, staring at her with intense – and she thought hopeful – eyes.
Well, he doesn’t beat around the bush, she mused with a small smile.
“Definitely worth a repeat performance or twenty,” she laughed.
Nihlus flared out his mandibles in a wide grin. “Well, unless you have something else to do, the Commander is still away, and I have a passcode to lock the door to the showers.”
Ashley bit her lower lip. “Lead the way,” she told him.
He leaned forward and softly pushed his mouth plates to her lips. She cupped his face and kissed him back. I could get used to this, she thought.
Sometimes, you just needed a different perspective to realize romance was right in front of you.