“You know the Commander?”
The question had been innocent enough, yet Kaidan couldn’t
help the pang that shot straight to his heart.
Yes, he knew her. He knew her better than anyone else in the
galaxy, or at least he had before everything had turned to hell.
He knew the way she smiled at his flustered sentences, back when
he was still her staff-lieutenant who couldn’t string two words together around
the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. He knew the breathy sighs she let out when
he placed feather-light kisses along the juncture of her neck and clavicle. He
knew the touch of her fingertips along his skin, and the way she felt under
his. He knew of the softness of her skin, a miracle after everything she’d been
through, and every single scar she’d had. He knew what she smelt like, what she
tasted like, and what to say to bring a smile to her face.
But he knew the pain she’d caused him, too. It hadn’t really
been her fault that she’d been brought back to life, although he hadn’t
believed her then, and hell, still couldn’t really believe her now. He knew
that he’d hurt her too; the pain he’d seen in her eyes on Horizon and the way
she’d simply let him go without another word were testament to that. He’d seen
the pain in her eyes a few moments before, before her mask came down and a
smile that would have convinced everyone but him spread across her lips.
She’d said she was happy for his promotion, and that hadn’t
been a lie, but Kaidan knew that she wasn’t really happy to see him. He couldn’t
blame her after everything that’d happened between them. Duty had separated
them; his to the Alliance, and hers to the entire galaxy, and he didn’t know
how, or even if, they’d ever recover. God, he wanted them to, more than anything
else, but what he wanted wouldn’t change anything, nor would it turn back time.
And it broke his heart all over again.
“I used to.”