Heroes of Skill


The Queen had always had her quirks, Ben knew. He trudged through the snow of the Mistpeak Valley, his breath steaming in the air as he chafed his arms. She'd admonished him when she caught him following the first time, telling him to go back to the lodge and wait for her.

Like hell.

After the Crawler, he'd be damned if he was going to be left behind again. So he slogged through the snow, following the trail of footprints and the bodies of various balverines scattered about as he entered the protected valley where the demon door was located.

The mouth of the valley led through a twisting corridor of rock, the single set of footprints there leading him onward. His boots crunched in the hard-packed snow, and he slipped behind the scrub of trees that grew twisted out of the rock and provided cover. The snow was softer here, and he sank to his booted ankles, shivering in the cold. He never thought he'd be warm again until he heard the murmur of the Queen's voice, her low laughter sending a thrill of heat through him. He pushed through the cold, coming to a stop at the tree line behind a thick-trunked pine.

She was speaking to someone, but to whom he couldn't tell. He knew he should have stayed at home, and that she would be very cross with him, but he couldn't help it. He peered around the trunk of the tree, eyes widening.

The Queen of Albion was locked into the embrace of another woman, delving into her mouth in a passionate kiss. Ellie, his Ellie, had a lover, and it wasn't him.

Ben would not have considered himself a jealous lover under normal circumstances. His relationships before had been fleeting at best, mutual pleasure taken as it was given. This one was different. He could say with sincerity that he loved Ellie. The flare of rage in his chest spurred him forward, intent on separating them.

As he strode forward, they separated with a guilty start, Ellie turning to speak to him, but he'd already stopped in his tracks. The other woman was Ellie, if he were looking through a mirror slicked with oil. Little differences, slight lengthening of the hair, the scar on her leg missing, made the other Ellie stand out in his eyes. She was no less beautiful, big, dark eyes framed with the same reddish hair, and the same bow of a mouth that begged to be kissed. She also wore a kilt, but in a different pattern with a different color of plaid, and a swordsman's shirt accentuated the swell of her cleavage. Short boots drew attention to her long, pale legs.

"Wh–" He swallowed his anger, his curiosity overwhelming him as Ellie blushed a brilliant shade of pink, the other Ellie giving him a bemused smile. "Please tell me I didn't hit my head on a rock because I slipped and fell in the blasted snow."

"No, but you can't follow instructions to save your life." Ellie frowned at him. "I told you to stay at the cabin."

"You can't expect me to listen to you, especially after the Crawler." He folded his arms, his unwilling gaze drawn back to the other Ellie, who gave him a wink. He flushed. "I want to keep you safe, Ellie."

She sighed. "I know you do. Look, I can explain this."

"Good, because I'm very confused. She's your long lost sister, isn't she? I've had dreams like this, you know." He grinned at Ellie, waggling his eyebrows.

"Not exactly." Ellie rolled her eyes at his hopeful tone. Her sibling snorted laughter, earning her a glare from Ellie as well. "What would you say if I told you that there were multiple Albions, as many as you can imagine, all with infinite minute differences about them?"

"I'd call you daft, and send you to have your head checked." He raised an eyebrow. "Until I saw your mirror image there."

"In essence, Ben, I am Ellie, yet not. In my version of Albion, I'm Queen." The doppelganger rocked back on her heels as she stretched, her voice similar to Ellie's, and yet so unlike it that it caused him a little confusion.

"Heroes can call upon these other Heroes, and answer the call if need be. Anna here was helping me open this demon door. It's a specific ritual, and requires us to…well, you saw."

She gestured at the demon door, and he saw that the two halves of the door were sliding apart as she spoke, revealing a swirling vortex of color. Anna clapped her hands.

"I told you it would work!" She leaned forward and brushed Ellie's cheek in a kiss. "Well done, dear. Now, I'll pop on back so that you can make it up to Ben here."

"Wait," Ben said. Anna paused, her eyebrow raised. "I – erm – don't know how to apologize. I had no idea that Heroes could do…this."

"Your stammering is always adorable, Ben, no matter which side of the line I'm on." Anna laughed, a low, husky sound that sent shivers up his spine. "No need to apologize. Ellie has it good here, especially if she has you pelting to break up an imagined affair."

He flushed again, glancing at Ellie. She looked amused at his consternation. "You know, Anna, you don't have to leave just yet. You're welcome to stay as long as you like."

"I don't think Captain Finn appreciated me manhandling you, despite his jokes. You're a lucky woman, Ellie." Anna grinned. "In my Albion, Ben wouldn't give me the time of day. He buggered off after the war ended, seeking fame and fortune."

"Then he's insane," said Ben. Ellie snorted laughter this time. "I mean, let's be honest here. Exploring the world, or coming home to you every evening? I know what I'd pick."

"You're being charming to the wrong Queen, Ben." Anna shrugged. "It's a nice thought, but I don't think he wanted to be tied down."

He glanced at Ellie, who had her lower lip between her teeth. He rolled his eyes in a meaningful way toward Anna, and Ellie looked at the other woman, still frozen in uncertainty. She searched his face for a moment, and then nodded. Ellie moved closer to Anna, taking her hands.

"No, I'm being honest. You don't have to leave." Pale fingers tangled in Anna's longer red hair, Ellie drawing her in for a chaste kiss that soon turned possessive as Anna got over the shock of it. A small moan slipped from between them, and Ben swallowed around the sudden dryness of his tongue. He still couldn't believe his luck. Ellie suckled at the white column of Anna's throat, the other woman's head thrown back as she swept a caress down Ellie's back.

It was too much, and his feet were moving before he could stop himself, carrying him through the snow to the two women. A low growl rumbled from his chest as he reached out and ran rough-padded fingers along Ellie's neck, encouraging her to angle her throat so that he could get to it. She obliged, guiding Anna's hands to his vest as she kissed the other woman once more. He nibbled at Ellie's neck, giving her a gentle bite that he soothed with a pass of his tongue.

Tentative fingers stroked the skin of his cheek, and he turned to Anna, circling an arm about her waist as he drew her closer. He slanted his mouth over hers, delving his tongue into uncharted territory. She tasted of rich spice, and where Ellie smelt of rosewater, the scent of lilies wafted to his nose from Anna's skin. She shivered against him and responded with a low whine of need as she tugged on his coat, making him growl again and plunder her mouth with all the expertise he could muster.

Ellie availed herself of his back, sliding her hands down his torso and around his ribs, across his lower back to his rear, squeezing with possessive lust as she nipped at his earlobe. He turned his head, breaking his kiss with Anna and meeting Ellie halfway, nuzzling against her ear and tasting at the delicate outer shell with a flicker of his tongue. Anna's teeth grazed beneath his ear, sending a shudder through him as both their hands wandered over his chest. He was hazing, his arousal numbing, and he couldn't tell whose hand palmed him through his trousers first, but it seemed to be a particular point of interest to them all as his hips gave a jerk. Identical chuckles sounded in his ear, one breathier in pitch than the other, and the thought of making both of them wail his name and how they would sound consumed him.

Ellie gave a shiver against him, one that had nothing to do with his or Anna's touch, and the tips of her fingers brushing his neck were chilled to the bone. He stopped, nuzzling those cold fingers, and realized that Anna's fingers were also chilled as they pressed against his arm. He chafed both girls in an awkward embrace, aware again of his numb toes.

"Look, I really hate to pause this for even a second, but the lodge isn't too far, and I would hate for either of my two favorite ladies to catch a cold." He gave them both an ingratiating smile, the one he saved for when he was trying to wheedle something out of Ellie. She snorted, recognizing it, and her eyes softened as she stroked his face.

"And you both are…sure about this?" Anna asked, uncertain now that the heat of the moment was gone.

"If we weren't, we wouldn't be inviting you. Come on, worrywart." Ellie grinned and took her hand. "I think poor Ben would be forever disappointed in you if you went home now."

"Don't pile all the responsibility on me, sweetheart," he said, jogging to keep up with them as they made their way through the snow. "I saw that first kiss. I had nothing to do with that one. Just think, if I hadn't popped out from behind the tree, you wouldn't be entertaining these thoughts at all. I am, in fact, the best influence."

He grinned as both of them rolled their eyes. "What? I am."

"Shut up, Ben." The twin smiles that softened the insult were differentiated by the small chip in one of Anna's front teeth. Just another thing to set them apart, but it would be fun figuring them all out, Ben decided. He made a mental note to speak with care, lest he insert both of his feet in his mouth, as was his wont.

A slurry of snow blew down from the canyon that marked the entrance to the secluded vale that held the lodge. Fat flakes covered their shoulders as they shivered in the cold, and they wasted no time in getting inside. Ben tossed several fresh, dry logs into the cold stove, shivering as Ellie conjured a finger of flame before shucking her gauntlets. Soon the stove was crackling with merry warmth, and they huddled around it, their hands out to the blaze.

Ellie nudged Anna closer to Ben. "Entertain him while I got get some things."

Anna smiled at Ben, and he ran his thumb along her lower lip. The flicker of pink tongue against his skin rekindled a memory of the heat between the three of them, and he leaned forward to capture her lips, his hands resting on her hips as she opened to his kiss. There was a thumping from upstairs that meant Ellie was coming back down, but Ben had always been a thorough man; he kissed Anna hard, pressing her up against the wall as the door opened and Ellie wandered back inside.

The shirr of something silken was the only warning he got before a dark scarf was slipped over his eyes. He was pulled away from Anna as the light faded, and he sucked in a breath as two sets of fingers wandered over his face, adjusting the blindfold and caressing his features. Blunt nails sent the flesh on his neck rippling into goosebumps as he turned his head toward the sensation, only to leave himself open for a pair of lips to descend on the other side, nibbling against his pulse point, which was now hammering triple time.

He sucked in a breath, identical husky laughter ringing in his ears as hands tugged him closer to the stove.

"You girls aren't going to tie me up and then leave me, are you? That happened once in Bloodstone. I was seeing this really pretty – "

Fingers shushed him before he could begin rambling in his nervousness, descending from his stilled lips to the buttons on his coat as he stood, his hands at his sides. He could see flickers of movement at the edges of the blindfold, but not enough to take initiative and reach for either of them. He could feel the buttons of his vest being undone, the sound of the fabric rustling the only noise above the crackling pop of the fire and the steady inhale of their breathing.

Ellie and Anna were wraiths, their fingers ghosting along his skin as it prickled from the attention. They lifted the vest from his shoulders, two sets of lush curves pressing against him as he turned his head this way and that, following the rustle of cloth as they made short work of his vest and shirt. He felt his belt loosen, and then he was urged to sit, guided by gentle hands.

He settled onto a makeshift pallet, comfortable quilts and pillows piled around him. He lay back, a small smirk on his lips as he did. He felt a familiar weight settle itself across his hips, and he ran his hand along her waist, surprised when his hands were lifted away and the shirring of silk preceded his hands being tied above his head. He swallowed, his heart pounding as the weight was gone again, its task completed.

Then the teasing started.

Light touches, the brush of fingertips along the sides of his belly made him squirm. The silence of the two women became smug as two sets of hands toyed with him, sliding over his sides and across the wiry hair that covered his chest, burrowing through it. One of his nipples was teased to a peak by wandering fingers, and he arched against it, a low whimper cutting through the crackling of the fire. He was rewarded with the pass of a tongue over it, and his arms flexed against the silk restraint as he tried to bring his hands forward to touch.

The tongue withdrew, a teasing breath of air replacing it as he wiggled beneath their ministrations. He cleared his throat, about to speak, but the press of fingers against his lips silenced him before he could start. The touching began again, until he was a squirming mess in the grip of the soft quilts before the fire, his breathing harsh in his ears as he gave a wordless whine for release.

Lips pressed against his own, and he tasted Ellie, so precious and familiar to him. He gave as good as he got, lifting his head at her urging so that she could slide her hands through his hair. He drank his fill of her, his Ellie, even as he felt a second pair of hands on his waist, fumbling with the buttons on his trousers. He lifted his hips as directed, and they were tugged from his body, freeing his erection at last to the open air. He hissed at the glide of the cloth against it, his full body shudder unrepressed as hands wrapped about the base, giving a gentle squeeze.

A pair of supple lips pressed a kiss to the head of his shaft, and he jerked against his bonds, an oath passing through gritted teeth as the warm wetness of her mouth closed around him, applying an incredible amount of suction before withdrawing, the tongue teasing across the overheated flesh. Ellie moved, leaving him bereft of sensation around his mouth until he felt the bonds at his wrists slip loose. He brought his hands down, seeking her, but she was already ahead of him, straddling his face and kneeling over him. He discovered her nakedness with tentative fingers, questing along her leg.

He passed over the scar that confirmed it was indeed Ellie, the rough edges of the marks left by the balverine a clue to his heightened sense of touch. She shivered as he stroked his hands up to her hipbones, and he placed a nipping kiss along the inside of one leg, urging her scent closer. He felt Anna's hands along his shaft, and he wriggled his hips in appreciation of her technique even as he felt Ellie lower herself over him. He nuzzled into the warmth of his lady's sex, the broad flat of his tongue earning him an appreciative murmur on the first upward stroke. He made a game of timing his ministrations with Anna's, the swipe of his tongue matching the woman's pace as his growls of appreciation for both of their charms caused Ellie to squirm and gasp as her hips ground down against him.

She slid a pillow beneath his head after a moment, earning her a suckling kiss right at the throbbing bundle of nerves as he gripped her hips to keep her stable. She shifted off of him with a sigh of lust, only to return at a different angle, returning her scent and taste to his questing mouth. He heard Anna shifting as well, the woman murmuring something he couldn't hear. He didn't pause, knowing how to please his Ellie, and he knew they were discussing something important for the moment by the timbre of their voices.

He found he was right, for after a few moments he felt an unfamiliar weight settle across his hips as Anna straddled him. He tossed his head back with a growl as she slid onto him, guiding herself with steady palms as she hilted herself all the way to his base. He heard a low keen come from her lips even as he felt Ellie lean forward, the sound of a hasty kiss loud over the crackling pop of the logs in the stove. Sweat was beginning to run down his chest, but he was far more interested in the way Anna rotated her hips as she started to move, a slow rock that became a sliding, rhythmic thing that sent him into a haze of arousal he hadn't thought possible.

Ellie was coaxing her along with words of encouragement, and he could see his lady arching above him in his mind's eye, stroking and touching Anna as she spoke, the words punctuated with soft moans as Anna rode him to completion. He braced his palms flat on the floor and ground his hips upward with an incoherent grunt, the slap of flesh overridden by Anna's surprised and pleased gasp. His name slipped from her lips as he did it again, grinding his hips against her.

He felt Ellie lean back, and took it as a personal challenge to please both women at once. He reached up, spreading his lady's thighs wider as he swiped his tongue along her folds once more, causing her hips to jerk back as she voiced a shuddering cry. He gave a hum of pleasure as he felt Anna rear up, snapping his hips upward to meet her rolling downward thrust. He flicked his tongue against Ellie's most sensitive spot, adding the press of fingers to her slick entrance as she hovered above him, her quivering driving him to seek more of her. The taste was heady, and she was enjoying the noises he made against her tender flesh, for she wriggled in his grasp every time one of Anna's movements wrenched a groan from him.

Time hazed outward, darkened by the blindfold and the brain numbing pleasure that was washing through him. All he knew was the sensation of Anna wrapped around his hips and Ellie's soft inner thighs brushing against his face as he nibbled, licked and kissed her through a shuddering release, his lady trembling against his chest as he lapped up the taste of her. Ellie leaned forward again, and he felt her fingers near his shaft, the small, circular motions meaning only one thing. His suspicion was right as he felt Anna clench around him, her outcry marked by a final snap of his hips as she came undone.

She slid from him, leaving him twitching in the cooler air of the lodge. He didn't have long to wait, however, as Ellie moved off his chest, allowing him a deep gulp of air before she settled herself against his thighs. He felt himself twitch at the first touch of her hand, his shaft still hard and aching despite Anna's effort to the contrary. His lady's sweet lips closed about him again, her hand giving him a firm stroke as he fisted his hands in the quilts below him, arching damn near off the floor. The thread of arousal wound tighter and tighter, her hands and lips driving him closer and closer to the precipice. Anna's fingers wound into the thick mat of hair on his chest, her voice low in his ear as she whispered words of encouragement to him, begging him to give in, then demanding, the orders driving him over the edge as stars exploded across his vision from the force of his efforts.

He felt the rasp of Ellie's tongue as she swallowed every drop, his twitching flesh oversensitive as he softened in her mouth. She cleaned him up, crawling up his body to nestle in the crook of his shoulder opposite Anna, who had taken residence on the other side. He gave their waists a squeeze, boneless and sated. He heaved a breath, twin peals of laughter sounding in his ears. He worked an arm free enough to tuck a thumb under his blindfold, lifting it from his eyes.

Both ladies were staring at him in obvious adoration, hands twined over his chest. Satisfied, he let his head drop back even as Ellie pulled the quilt over them all. He gave a cheeky grin to the ceiling, his laughter rumbling in his chest.

"I really am the best influence."

"Shut up, Ben."

He couldn't tell if it was Ellie, Anna, or both of them. He grinned and draped possessive hands over twinned hips as they snuggled closer, drifting to sleep in the shared warmth of the blankets and the crackling pop of logs in the stove.


A/N: This is what I get for playing Fable until the wee hours of the morning. The topic of a Ben-sandwich was brought up over both Skype and AIM, and the idea wouldn't leave me alone. Obviously, with the way the co-op works in Fable, this is a very feasible scenario. (I claim no responsibility for Ben Finn not being beddable. That's all Lionhead's fault.) Now maybe someone will leave me alone so I can work on Aquila some more. (You know who you are.)