You lose.

xxx

He was perfection.

There was no other way to describe it. A mind as sharp as her own, masterful in his manipulation of his crew. Even Miranda, brilliant and delectable as she'd been, couldn't have predicted just how far it went. Only she, with her centuries of experience in the exact same thing could watch and applaud his prowess. The way he played off everyone's hopes, aspirations and fears; the way he commanded their respect under the façade of a kind and gentle man. It was more beautiful than any work produced by Forta.

But it was in combat that his power shined greatest. His enemies never saw him coming, and if they did it was already too late. His accuracy was perfect, his form fluid as he fazed in and out of sight and through cover. When a shot rang out from his rifle something died, a mirror or what happened when she set her sights on someone.

He was the perfect prey, she the prefect trap, and their game was one of danger and lust. He was cautious of her, and she of him. Both knowing the other's capacity for death. He was the only one she'd ever met capable of resisting her mind games and he didn't take kindly to being deceived. She had the bruises and scars to remind her of her failed attempts to take him.

But just as she was forced to handle him with care he was in much the same boat. She was an Ardat-Yakshi, a nymphomaniac black widow who had her eye trained on claiming his soul. To link with her mind was to embrace a terrible and painful death. Contrary to what she had tried to convince him, when she ravaged her prey's nervous system she inadvertently set off every single pain receptor in their body. It was a horrible death, and when she remembered the screams of her previous victims she took some comfort in the fact that she would never experience such pain.

They were both dangerous, deadly even to the other, and it was that constant danger that made their mating so interesting; lust and caution intermingling as they shifted against one another. His bright eyes locked on her sapphires, watching for the telltale shift in color should she try to spring her trap. She kissed him fiercely, the addiction pumping through her very bones, wanting to capture him, trap him and make him a part of her forever. Her eyes shifted onyx as they reached their climax and she felt his control slip. Yes. Yes! At last she had him, he was trapped now.

The hand that wrapped itself tight around her throat and the feel of cold ceramic on her side told her otherwise.

"Stop it." He growled; his voice a rumble of thunder and dripping with nothing short of utter malice. The pistol dug itself deeper in her side and she hissed, hating him and loving him all at once. "Now."

His hand tightened on her neck and she allowed her eyes to fade back into their natural shade. "Damn you." Her own voice was a gasp at their exertion, his hand loosened and he slid off to the side his pistol still firm against her gut. "I will claim you yet, Dante Shepard. Mark my words."

"Promises, promises." His smirk was dark, his eyes alight with amusement. She sneered back at him, pushing him back to the bed and climbing over him. "I had you going there for a moment didn't I? You thought you were so clever waiting until the end."

"Shut up." She smacked his cheek and his head turned in accommodation, even as his eyes remained trained on her.

She saw a subtle glee enter them as he turned his head back to face her and put a finger to his cheek. "Oh, now you really shouldn't have done that." She didn't even have time to blink before she was flipped on her back with his arm pressed against her throat, choking her. His forehead was pressed to hers, his rubies staring into her sapphires. "Say mercy and I'll let you go."

She hissed something his translator didn't pick up and he frowned before a wild smirk crossed his lips and he put the pistol to his own head. Her eyes widened in fear and he fought a laugh. He knew one of her greatest weaknesses in this game of theirs. If he died before she claimed him she would never know what power she could gain from him. He rarely used the ploy, of course, he didn't want it to get stale or repetitive. "You wanna run that by me again?" He asked, his voice a low dangerous whisper.

Goddess, she hated the man above her. Hated his brilliant mind and loved it all at once. It would almost be sad when she finally caught him, she hadn't had so much of a thrill in a long time. "I said," He biotics flared. "Never." He blinked once as she unleashed a pulse of biotic power knocking him off her and to the end of the bed. His pistol went skidding near the other end of the room as she sat up, leering at him. His smirk was gone and his eyes wide with surprise and…Was that fear? Oh, she hoped it was fear. Fear hadn't entered into the equation since their first time.

To his credit, he recovered quickly and didn't backpedal as her mother had. She stalked towards him, taking her time as he rose to his feet. She reached out for him and whipped him to her with her biotics. He grunted as her knee met the shins of his legs which he pulled up to block the kick. He fell on his back and spun to avoid a stomp before tackling her to the floor.

They glared at one another for a minute before she delivered a rough kick to his shoulder. He was sent back enough for her to dive for the pistol before he landed on top of her and pinned her down. Her eyes shifted black as her biotics sought out his mind. She felt elation fill her as she realized the perfection of it all. He was unarmed now, unable to stop her.

She had won.

"Checkmate, Shepard." She laughed as she reached out to grip his mind and rip it asunder.

"You're right." His voice was low in her ear, sensual as she felt the knife's edge run along her back, poised to dive deep into her chest. "I win again."

Goddess, damn him…

xxx

I did this because no one else has done a Shepard/Morinth fic. And so I can say "FIRST!"

GN