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Tevos scrunched her eyes, holding them shut for several seconds before releasing the pressure. Spots flashed in her field of vision as she attempted to read the datapad in her hands, but she didn’t absorb much. The dim, usually inoffensive glow of the screen threatened to give her a splitting headache.

She’d been in the office for hours, without having made more than a dent in her work. There would be Council petitions that afternoon, each prefaced by a short summary Neota had prepared in advance. Afterwards, meetings, including a dinner engagement with several important matriarchs visiting from Thessia. Judging by her schedule, she’d be lucky to make it to bed without collapsing first.

All of that, Tevos could have handled if Aria wasn’t scheduled to leave for Omega early the next morning. Though it was far from their first work-related separation, Tevos’s heart ached more than usual. She leaned back in her chair, resting a hand on her stomach. Her pregnancy wasn’t public knowledge yet, but she knew, and just imagining Aria’s absence left her hollow.

I wish we could have spent her last day on the Citadel together, so I could soak her in before she leaves.

Tevos shook away the wistful thought, activating her omnitool to record a memo: “Note to self, ask Neota to clear my schedule three weeks from now, on the date of Aria’s return.” Today might have been a wasted opportunity, but she wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

“Did I just hear my name?”

Tevos’s head snapped up, and she sucked in a surprised gasp. “Aria?” It was indeed her bondmate, leaning casually against the doorframe. As usual, Aria hadn’t bothered to knock, nor announce herself. Her pose was relaxed, but deliberately seductive, in the most delicious way. “One of these days, I swear you’ll scare my soul from my body.”

Aria seemed completely unrepentant as she stalked toward the desk, with a sway in her hips and a predatory glint in her eyes. “Is that any way to greet your bondmate?”

Tevos sniffed in disapproval, but her heart swelled with joy. She hadn’t expected to see Aria until late that night, so she was hard-pressed to pretend the visit was unwelcome. “I could say the same of your interruption.”

“Oh? Am I interrupting?” Aria cast a bored glance at the datapads on Tevos’s desk and the active terminal. “Nothing too important, I hope.” She leaned her hip against the desk as though she owned it, her voice dripping with insincerity. She wasn’t the least bit sorry for interrupting.

“No, nothing important,” Tevos replied, in a clipped tone. It took an effort of will not to admire the way Aria’s trademark leather pants hugged her legs. “I’m only the asari councilor, after all, the foremost political representative of our species in the galaxy—”

“You look bored out of your mind.” Aria placed both hands on the desk and leaned forward, giving Tevos a rather incredible view down the front of her corset. “Leave with me. We’ll grab lunch.”

Aria’s heated stare made it clear what ‘lunch’ would entail, and Tevos couldn’t deny her interest. The prospect of stealing a few minutes with her lover was sorely tempting, but responsibility nagged at her. “I’m too busy. The Council has almost twice as many ongoing petitions as usual.”

Far from deterred, Aria smirked and circled the desk, stopping behind Tevos’s chair. “Know what you need?” She began a knowing massage, digging her thumbs in behind Tevos’s shoulder blades.

Tevos nearly melted. She sagged forward, and a whimper broke in her throat. “You seem to know,” she moaned, surrendering to the relaxing pressure of Aria’s hands.

“You need to relax,” Aria said, with a note of concern anyone but Tevos would have missed. That tone of voice was reserved only for her, and she had to admit, it fueled her ego. The Queen of Omega didn’t offer such tenderness freely.

Tevos smiled. “You’re making a good case for that.”

“I don’t always use brute force. I can be persuasive, too.” One of Aria’s hands came up to scratch the divots in Tevos’s crest, and she shuddered with delight.

“I’m well aware.”

“As you should be.”

Tevos wasn’t at all surprised by the graze of Aria’s lips against her neck, but her body’s reaction was stronger than she anticipated. The warm, syrupy relaxation Aria’s skilled hands had provided flared hot, shooting straight to her core. She sucked in a shallow breath, tensing her thighs.

Aria chuckled, her breath tickling Tevos’s throat above the high collar of her dress. “If only they knew how easy you were.”

Tevos chewed indecisively at her lower lip, but realized she was already tilting her head sideways, offering Aria more access. Her body had betrayed her yet again. Aria had seized command of it years ago, and seemed in no hurry to relinquish control.

As always, Tevos gave in. She’d fucked Aria in her office plenty of times before—their very first time, in fact. Her work, though undeniably important, wouldn’t bring about the galaxy’s downfall were it to be delayed five minutes. She doubted it would take much longer than that to find satisfaction, unless Aria was in a playful mood.

“We need to be quick,” she warned.

To Tevos’s surprise, Aria offered no arguments. “I’ll take what I can get.” She stepped back, turning Tevos’s chair to one side and kneeling before it.

The dotted markings on Tevos’s forehead lifted in surprise. She’d expected Aria to pull her out of her chair and bend her over the desk, perhaps with an arm behind her back, but it seemed her bondmate had other plans. Aria took the hem of her dress, which reached all the way down to her ankles, and lifted.

Tevos trembled as the fabric slid up along her legs. Aria’s touch was electric, and her toes curled as her bondmate’s fingers grazed her knees. It was a whisper of a touch, only a delicate suggestion, yet it struck her full-force. It isn’t fair, how she undoes me with so little effort.

But two could play at that game. Tevos knew how to push Aria’s buttons, too. After pondering a moment, which was incredibly difficult to do while Aria’s fingertips skimmed her inner thighs without actually lifting her dress any further, she landed upon an idea. It seemed Aria was in the mood to tease after all, but they didn’t have the time, however much Tevos might have wished to indulge her.

Perhaps she’ll settle for teasing someone else instead?

“We could record this,” she suggested, reaching down to caress Aria’s cheek.

Aria leaned into the touch, pressing an open-mouthed kiss to Tevos’s inner wrist. “Why?” she asked, though from the gleam in her dark eyes, Tevos could tell she already knew the reason. She simply wanted to hear it spoken aloud.

“I was thinking…” She had to concentrate doubly hard to form words as Aria finally lifted her dress all the way, pushing it up around her hips. “About how much I’ll miss you.” She shifted forward on her chair, spreading her legs as Aria’s fingers hooked into the waistband of her panties.

“So, you want a little something to view while I’m gone?” Aria purred. “Amara Anjali’s vids aren’t entertaining enough?”

Tevos licked her lips. “Of course they’re entertaining, but she isn’t you. Besides, I had a different plan.”

Aria pulled Tevos’s panties down in one smooth motion, while she raised her hips to assist. “You want to send it to Liara and Shepard?”

“Liara’s alone on Thessia at the moment. She might appreciate it.”

That did it. Aria went for the bait without a second thought, activating her omnitool’s record function and resting it casually on Tevos’s inner thigh. Tevos barely suppressed a smirk. Aria didn’t have many weaknesses, but she could never resist the opportunity to torment Liara T’Soni.

Moments later, Aria’s mouth was on her, warm and firm. Tevos gripped the chair’s armrests, head lolling back as Aria’s tongue circled her clit. The angle was strange, probably because Aria was playing to the camera, but she didn’t care. It felt wonderful, so she rocked forward in search of more.

Rather than tease, Aria seemed content to indulge her. She moaned, and the ticklish vibrations made Tevos shudder all over again. “Aria,” she gasped, moving one of her hands from the chair to her bondmate’s head. She desperately needed something to hold onto.

Instead of allowing herself to be guided, Aria drew back, licking her lips with exaggerated satisfaction. Though Tevos knew part of the show was for the camera, her heart skipped a beat. Something lived in Aria’s eyes and expressions that was hers alone.

“Aria, please.” Gently, she urged Aria back between her legs. If her bondmate’s mouth didn’t return in the next few seconds, she thought she might fall to pieces.

“Let go. I want to enjoy you.”

The statement left Tevos blissfully dazed. She removed her hand from Aria’s crest, swept up in the thrill. In just two sentences, her bondmate had managed to combine tenderness and the desire to please with a heady dose of dominance and objectification. 

Tevos relaxed back into her chair, allowing Aria full access. Wetness poured from her, smearing over Aria’s cheeks and chin as her bondmate’s tongue resumed lavishing her with attention. The idea that Aria loved her and wanted to please her drove her wild, and the opposing idea that her body was merely an object for Aria’s enjoyment only fueled her need further.

The confusing swirl of sensation and emotion sent Tevos racing toward a powerful peak. She felt beautiful, and the conflict within her was beautiful, too. Wanting to share her feelings, she reached for Aria through the places where their skin connected: firm hands on her thighs, a warm tongue sweeping over her clit.

‘Meld with me,’ she pleaded, waiting for an invitation to deepen the connection. It would definitely come. The only question was how long Aria would make her wait for it.

The buzz of Tevos’s omnitool interrupted them before Aria could answer one way or the other. She flinched and sat up straight, while Aria drew back, adopting a playful smirk that only looked more infuriating and enticing thanks to the gleam of wetness on her lips. “Aren’t you going to answer that?”

Tevos squirmed in discomfort. She most definitely didn’t want to answer it. She’d been so close…

Her omnitool buzzed again. This time, she actually bothered to check the caller identification. When she saw Neota’s name, she exhaled in relief. No problem at all. She would answer, tell Neota to keep any visitors at bay for another five to ten minutes, and all would be well. It certainly wasn’t the first time she’d made such requests of her assistant.

She answered the call voice-only, spreading her legs and gesturing for Aria to continue. Though Neota had caught her and Aria in far more compromising positions, she didn’t want to traumatize her poor, hard-working assistant any more than necessary. “Yes, Neota?”

“Councilor, you have a visitor—”

Tevos immediately noted the agitation in Neota’s voice. “Whoever it is, tell them I’ll be another five minutes,” she said, trying valiantly to keep her breathing steady. It wasn’t easy to do while Aria’s tongue slid down to her entrance, applying soft pressure there. “Please apologize for the delay, too.”

“It’s Sparatus,” Neota told her. “He walked right past me, and he’s headed back to your office.”

Apparently, Neota’s voice had carried from the speakers, because Aria stopped what she was doing and drew back in mild alarm.

Tevos’s reaction couldn’t be described as mild. Panic set in as she picked up the sound of footsteps approaching her office door. Goddess! Could his timing be any worse? Before she could come up with a plan, or at least some kind of excuse to offer her fellow councilor, Aria slid under the desk. She disappeared from sight moments before the door opened, leaving Tevos just enough time to yank her dress down and turn her chair.

“Good afternoon, Sparatus,” she said as the broad-shouldered turian entered, offering him a polite nod. She hoped her face was its usual shade of blue instead of a telling violet. With her luck, probably not.

Either Sparatus didn’t notice, or he was distracted by his own thoughts. Instead of returning her greeting, he slumped in the empty chair on the other side of the desk, giving Tevos a long-suffering look. “Remind me how long salarians live again?” he growled, the flange in his voice more pronounced than usual.

Tevos’s racing heartbeat slowed slightly. Against all odds, she and Aria were getting away with their deception. She gave Sparatus a wry look, trying her best to forget that her bondmate was hiding under her desk, listening to every word. “Only a few years less than turians, from my perspective.”

Sparatus’s mandibles twitched. “Ha-fucking-ha.”

“You were the one who brought it up,” Tevos reminded him.

He sighed. “I suppose we can’t all be ethereal beings with excessively long lifespans.”

Tevos grimaced inwardly at the thought of Sparatus with an asari’s lifespan, but her face remained outwardly placid, a skill honed over many centuries. He wasn’t that bad, all things considered. Somewhat brutish in his political tactics, and a bit lecherous, but not altogether stupid—and he was willing to make difficult decisions and stand by them. He was far from the worst turian councilor Tevos had worked with.

“What has Valern done to offend you this time?” Something in her tone must have amused Aria, because a soft snort came from under the desk, and Tevos had to clear her throat to conceal the noise.

“He’s obsessed with the ceremony of it all,” Sparatus complained. “I asked him if, since we’re hearing so many petitions back to back this afternoon, he’d agree to dispense with the pre-petition instructions.”

Tevos was quite familiar with those instructions. They were given to new petitioners who had never stood before the council before, or those who didn’t appear often enough to be well-versed in the expected etiquette. The councilors’ assistants took it in turns to read them aloud, and Tevos had them memorized.

Aria’s hand skimmed Tevos’s knee, and she felt a warm tingle at the back of her head as her bondmate established a very shallow meld. ‘Memorized? Hmph. You say them in your sleep sometimes.’

‘I do not.’

‘You definitely do. Want me to record you and prove it?’

Tevos remembered that Aria’s omnitool had been recording their liaison, and thought about asking her to make sure it was turned off, but Sparatus demanded her attention once more. He was looking at her expectantly, and Tevos realized she had no idea what he’d just said.

“And Valern was offended at the very idea, of course.”

That seemed to be the correct thing to say. Sparatus rolled his eyes downward, as if seeking divine help. While asari typically looked toward the stars in such moments, whether they were siarists or followers of Athame, turians were in the habit of looking earthward, toward the grounding spirit of Palaven, or whichever planet they happened to be on.

The spirit of the Citadel, if it possessed one, did little to ground Sparatus. “He’s a… hmm, the humans have a good word for this. A prick. Yes. Valern’s a total prick.”

Once more, Aria snorted beneath the desk, and once more, Tevos cleared her throat to cover the sound. She felt her bondmate’s amusement through their shallow connection, but didn’t encourage it. She sealed off her mind, putting up an impenetrable wall that even Aria couldn’t force her way through. It was one of her specialties, after all—and she didn’t want Aria to feel the awful ache that lingered between her legs and decide to take advantage, either. 

“Where did you learn that kind of language?” she asked Sparatus.

“Really, Thea? I’ve heard you say worse.”

“Ah. Sometimes I forget you speak Armal.”

“Well, not around you. My accent’s atrocious.”

Tevos fidgeted in her seat. Her conversation with Sparatus had become a meandering nightmare, and he showed no signs of stopping any time soon. “What do you expect me to do about Valern?”

Sparatus gave her a scathing look. “Back me up, of course. Tell him the instructions are too damn long to read out twenty times in a row. The petitioners have to read them beforehand anyway.”

It wasn’t an unreasonable request, but Tevos was prevented from agreeing by the ticklish sensation of her dress being lifted. Her first instinct was to reach down and bat Aria’s wandering hands away from her knees, but she wasn’t confident in her ability to do so without attracting Sparatus’s attention. That left only one option: to pretend nothing was amiss.

“Very well,” Tevos said, once she had collected herself. “I don’t exactly want to hear the instructions twenty times in a row, either.”

Sparatus offered a dry laugh. “It wastes a bigger percentage of my lifespan than yours, but I don’t blame you.”

Tevos was hardly listening. Aria had lifted the lower half of her dress back up to her hips, and without any underwear, there was nothing to protect her as knowing hands spread her thighs apart. She considered closing her legs—she knew she should close her legs—but Aria’s touch reawakened her need as it crept higher.

Dangerous thoughts entered Tevos’s head: selfish thoughts of the pleasure she’d been denied mere minutes ago, and the pleasure Aria was clearly offering now. She was still wet, swollen, aching—and Aria’s tongue was the perfect cure, as Tevos was vividly reminded as it dragged along her trembling inner thigh.

No. We can’t. This is a terrible idea. But even as her mind rattled off the long list of reasons they shouldn’t—couldn’t—continue while Sparatus was in her office, Tevos’s body made its disagreement known. The ache within her became a heavy throb, far too strong to ignore. She scooted further forward in her chair.

‘Come on,’ Aria said within their bond, her thought-voice low and coaxing. ‘Sparatus is a horny old bird anyway. If he catches us, it’ll probably make his decade.’

Tevos felt a conflicted stab of arousal. She had to admit, the idea of being caught was thrilling—in theory. But not in reality, and definitely not by Sparatus. But she found that she didn’t have the strength of will to make Aria stop. It was all she could do to keep from rolling her hips into Aria’s mouth, which already knew all her weaknesses. She bit back a curse as Aria’s mouth sealed around her clit, sucking with the perfect amount of pressure.

She gritted her teeth, trying to pay attention to Sparatus, who had gone off on a rant while she wasn’t paying attention. “And he wears that stupid robe and headdress everywhere . It hasn’t been a required part of the ceremonial council attire in years…”

A firm suck, followed by a flick of Aria’s tongue, made Tevos grit her teeth.

“...I think they dispensed with it even before you joined the council...”

Tevos stifled a whine as Aria, apparently unsatisfied with her lack of reaction, moved lower, burrowing her tongue inside. It pressed against sensitive walls, adopting a curling motion which caused Tevos’s legs and rear to tense. What had to be a river of arousal poured from her, smearing against Aria’s chin.

“The outfit doesn’t matter,” Sparatus continued. “The etiquette doesn’t matter. We’re just supposed to listen to people’s problems and try to come up with workable solutions! It doesn’t have to be a whole ceremonial affair…”

Tevos was immensely grateful that Sparatus didn’t seem to be looking for input during his monologue. She nodded along and held a tight-lipped smile, struggling not to squirm as Aria’s tongue worked its wicked magic inside her. Her inner walls pulsed, and she felt the overwhelming urge to deepen the meld and come.

‘What’s stopping you?’ Aria withdrew her tongue and took the opportunity to slide inside with two fingers instead, returning her mouth to Tevos’s clit. ‘Come if you want. Just don’t let him see your eyes.’

The delicious stretch, combined with the renewed stimulation against her ridge, was almost enough to push Tevos over the edge. She made a strangled noise as Aria’s fingers hooked inside her, applying pressure against her front wall.

That got Sparatus’s attention. “What’s wrong?” he asked, looking mildly concerned.

Tevos called upon her many centuries of experience smoothing over awkward situations. “A headache, I’m afraid,” she said, fighting a hidden battle with each syllable. All she wanted to do was scream Aria’s name and beg for release. “I’ve been fighting it all morning.” She gave Aria’s arm a nudge with her foot, urging her bondmate to ease up while she rummaged inside one of the desk’s drawers for a tube of medigel.

“Use it,” Sparatus said, while Tevos smeared a stripe of medigel across her forehead and down the bridge of her nose. “Tell Valern you aren’t feeling well and want to wrap up petitions as quickly as possible so you can sleep it off.”

Aria resumed curling her fingers as Tevos put the tube of medigel aside, but not before she managed a quip: “How kind of you to use mmmh—my discomfort for your ohhh—own personal gain, Sparatus. Hmm...”

“What?” Sparatus tilted his head in confusion.

“Feels good…” Tevos’s face burned as she realized what she’d said, and she clenched harder around Aria’s fingers. “The medigel. It’s helping.”

“Good. But Valern is…”

She didn’t hear whatever Sparatus said next. Aria gave her clit another firm suck, and she was gone, nails gouging uselessly at the surface of her desk as she threw her consciousness into Aria’s for the briefest, most blissful of moments. She bit her lip to stifle a scream, and every muscle in her body stiffened as she came, barely remembering to close her eyes.

It was one of the most powerful releases Tevos had ever experienced, perhaps because she had to remain completely still and quiet the whole time. All the energy she might have put into expressing her pleasure was suppressed, and had to find some way to let it out. She rippled around Aria’s fingers and drew from her mind, finding a reflection of her own arousal there.

‘Of course I’m turned on,’ Aria thought. ‘It’s so fucking sexy, convincing the noble councilor to break all the rules. Never gets old.’

Tevos was too overwhelmed to comment. She braced her elbow on the desk, buried her face in one hand under the guise of nursing her headache, and prayed to the stars that Sparatus wouldn’t realize anything was amiss.

She was in luck. The turian councilor was still complaining about their salarian coworker, hardly paying attention to her at all. He might as well have been talking to a wall, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

“He just needs to loosen up. I understand how important our jobs are, but you can’t live the job, you know?” Tevos lifted her head weakly, and Sparatus grinned at her with wickedly sharp teeth. “I used to think you were kind of uptight too, but you surprised me.”

Tevos decided to head him off, and hopefully get him out of the room. Aria’s fingers were still moving gently inside of her, and she didn’t want to give her bondmate the opportunity to start up again. “I’ve heard that a lot since I got married. I promise I’ll deal with Valern after lunch. Consider it done.”

“Excellent. Knew I could count on you.” He stood from his chair, circling the desk to clasp her forearms in the typical asari manner. 

Tevos tensed, but to her immense relief, Aria withdrew her fingers, scooting further under the desk and well out of sight. Tevos flipped her dress down and rose from her chair with mere seconds to spare. Her legs wobbled, and she had to hold the side of the desk until she found her footing.

“Thanks, Thea,” Sparatus said, giving her arm a squeeze. “I owe you.”

“You’re welcome.” But you're not the one who really owes me.

Apparently satisfied, Sparatus released her and headed for the door. He paused momentarily, turning to look over his shoulder. “Tell your bondmate I said hello. Spirits, I still don’t understand how the two of you happened. Of all the asari in the galaxy…”

“It still surprises me sometimes, too,” Tevos said, shepherding him out of her office. “I’ll see you this afternoon.” With more brusqueness than she might have used otherwise, she sent him on his way and closed the door, making sure to lock it behind him. She exhaled, then whimpered, nearly collapsing with relief.

Aria emerged from under the desk with her usual lithe grace. “That was quite the orgasm,” she said, looking about as smug as Tevos might have expected. “But you aren’t finished, are you? I felt it.”

Tevos cast her a pleading look. All she managed was, “Please.”

This time, Aria didn’t tease. She circled the desk and swept Tevos into her arms, bending her over its edge face-first. Her dress was hitched up unceremoniously, and Aria’s fingers slid back inside her azure, applying pressure exactly where Tevos needed it.

‘Please,’ Tevos begged as Aria entered her mind, a balm for the fever of her desire. The mental connection was the only thing keeping her sane.

‘Are you sure you didn’t want to get caught? Because you certainly didn’t try too hard to stop me…’

Tevos arched beneath Aria’s lithe form, feeling the texture of leather on either side of her where Aria’s arms caged her in, elbows braced upon the surface of the desk. She inhaled her bondmate’s smell, the scented oil Aria used on her crest as well as the obvious scent of sex. She wondered if it had been so potent before.

‘I don’t think so, but the noises you were making almost gave us away. Greedy little slut.’ It was said with the utmost affection as Aria twisted her fingers for a better angle, bringing the heel of her gloved hand to bear on Tevos’s clit.

‘Aria!’

‘Yes. I’m here.’

That was all it took. Tevos went limp as the ripples coursed through her, surrendering completely to the strong, lean body atop hers, and to the unwavering presence of Aria’s will within her. She gave a choked cry, but bit her forearm to muffle them, a few watery tears squeezing from her eyes. Even with Sparatus gone, she couldn’t risk being loud in her office.

The end came sooner than Tevos wanted. Dazedly, she realized that Aria was grinding against her upturned rear, enjoying a few final aftershocks of her own. She lifted to offer her bondmate more purchase, but there was no need. Aria relaxed with a sigh and bent to kiss the back of her neck.

“Well? Did I accomplish my goal?”

It took Tevos a few moments to summon a response as their meld faded out. She gave Aria one last mental caress before letting go. “If your goal was to embarrass me, torment me, and drive me insane, then yes. I should say so.”

Aria snorted. “Yes, those are my usual goals when it comes to you, but that isn’t what I meant. Are you relaxed?”

Tevos took stock of herself. The desk was pressing uncomfortably into her hips, and the temperature was too hot for half-clothed cuddling, but other than that, she felt surprisingly at ease. She even had a bit more energy as she urged Aria to withdraw and step back so she could straighten up. “You know? I think I am. Although I should be furious with you right now.”

Aria merely smirked. “No harm done, though.”

“I suppose not,” Tevos admitted, a little reluctantly.

“Liara and Shepard will probably think it’s hilarious. You should see Shepard’s impression of Sparatus sometime. She does the air quotes and everything.”

Tevos’s eyes widened in alarm. “You mean you didn’t stop recording?”

Aria’s smirk became an outright leer. “Should I have? There was enough light under the desk, and I had a good angle.”

“I can’t believe you,” Tevos said, even as she fought to suppress a fit of laughter. It burst forth as Aria stepped forward to embrace her, kissing her lips at long last. Tevos’s stifled laughter became a moan as she tasted herself on Aria’s mouth.

To her surprise, it was Aria who ended the kiss by placing a gentle hand on her chest. “Later,” she said, still with the same infuriating smirk playing about her lips. “Hear your petitions. Have your boring little meetings with the matriarchs. But come home at a reasonable hour, because I’m not spending my last night on the Citadel in a cold, empty bed.”

“I’ll make it happen,” Tevos promised.

“Good, because it wasn’t a request.” Aria turned to depart, sucking on her fingers in an idle manner Tevos just knew was meant to tease her. “Enjoy the rest of your day,” she drawled, pausing at the door. “And don’t forget to put your panties back on. I think they’re under the desk.”

***

Liara flopped back onto her bed, mourning how large it was without Shepard by her side. It always felt empty while her bondmate was gone, which happened far too often in her opinion, especially since the birth of their first child. Shepard gladly took on her fair share of parental responsibilities, but over the past several months, Liara had learned that dealing with an infant was ideally a two-parent job. She didn’t know how her own mother had done it alone.

Athena was currently fast asleep in her bassinet, which had been a gift from Ashley Williams. Thank the Goddess, she’s finally quiet. Hopefully, Liara thought, she’d be able to steal a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Her eyelids drooped, and her head felt heavy with exhaustion.

She was half-dozing on top of the covers, not having bothered to tuck herself in or remove her clothes, when her omnitool lit up. With a sigh, she checked to see who was trying to reach her. If it was the university again trying to get in touch with her while she was on maternity leave…

It wasn’t the university. The message was from Aria, and there was a video file attached.

Her curiosity was piqued. Although she and Shepard had made love a few times since the birth of their daughter, pleasant and intimate experiences, the raw passion of their physical relationship had temporarily softened into domesticity. Similarly, Tevos and Aria hadn’t made any overtures, allowing Liara space to recover while she had such a small child to care for.

Liara wasn’t unduly concerned—she had no doubt they would all be back at their old antics before too long—but she was pleased by the unexpected flutter of arousal in her belly. Maybe sooner rather than later. She opened the video and pressed play.

In a matter of moments, her eyes widened, her breathing became shallower, and her heart began to race. The video was indeed of a sexual nature, as she’d expected, but what she didn’t expect was the other voice she heard in the background. A male, turian voice. 

“Goddess, is that Sparatus?”

It was. He was complaining to Tevos, something about their fellow councilor Valern, but Liara barely heard what he said, possibly because she didn’t care. The Shadow Broker part of her brain realized this would make excellent leverage—one councilor complaining about another—but she was far more interested in the angled shot of Aria’s tongue sliding into Tevos’s azure.

Far more interested.

Heat bloomed between Liara’s legs, and she wished Shepard were home even more fiercely. Her need had come back in full force, not just the need for intimacy and closeness, but baser layers of the same desire. The need to be bitten and scratched and fucked into the mattress until she was raw and sore.

Though she knew it would only leave her frustrated, Liara watched to the very end. She soaked it in until Aria, having given Tevos a second orgasm on the desk after Sparatus’s departure, finally ended the video with one of her trademark smirks. Liara stared for several moments afterward, distinctly wet and uncomfortable.

Goddess. Shepard can’t get back home soon enough.