I don't own Fable 3 – Lionhead Studios and Microsoft does. Based on the 2010 game.
Rated M for explicit adult content.
Princess Rowena is not a woman who experiences the pleasures everybody else seems to... in bed. Her fear that she can never properly love a man, or he her, is becoming more of a problem, especially since a certain Major has captured more than just her attention.
Major Problem For the Princess
The stark white light of the virgin moon bathed their slowly writhing bodies in its glow. The young man was atop the young woman and his exertions began to escalate in intensity. The woman attempted to hold the man's body closer to hers to slow him, but he would not be deterred. He resisted her efforts to restrain his movements. Perspiration shimmered on his body, emphasising his attractive muscled form. The perspiration on the woman, however, should have betrayed her frustration, but it was unnoticed by the man.
Elliot grunted as he thrust ever more fervently into Princess Rowena, who raised her hips in an attempt to gain as much pleasure from their coupling as possible. Unfortunately, she was not enjoying their lovemaking as much as he was.
But this had always been so. She and Elliot had been lovers, or rather, they were involved with each other sexually, for nearly two years. They were not in love, although they did have great affection for each other. If Elliot indeed loved her, he had never declared himself, and that was of tremendous relief to Rowena, for she did not love Elliot in the way a woman should love a man. Or, rather, she did not love him as she wished to love a man she would ever consider marrying.
Still, they were quite fond of each other and enjoyed the pleasures of an intimate physical relationship. Rowena was content with their clandestine affair, but realised that with time her enjoyment and pleasure was fading. Elliot was a handsome young man and had great endurance as far as physically ministering to her body was concerned, but she had never reached that elusive peak of ultimate bliss she had read of in her romance novels and heard whispers of in the Palace corridors.
Elliot, on the other hand, always reached that peak. He never failed to experience that wondrous thing she craved; the orgasm. At first she had believed her failure to achieve it was due to her being as new to the sex act as he was. However, months passed and although Rowena enjoyed their activities, she began to become frustrated to be always 'left behind' as Elliot unfailingly climaxed.
Only once had she spoken of her problem to him.
"Rowena, I am truly sorry," he had said. "I had no idea! You always seemed to enjoy this as much as I do, and now I feel foolish that you have not been pleased!"
"Oh, no, that is not true, Elliot!" she had cried out, embracing him to soothe away the guilt that betrayed itself on his sensitive boyish face. "I enjoy our lovemaking so very much! Perhaps the sensations I feel at the finish are what I am supposed to feel. Perhaps I've read too many embellished novels and have come away with the wrong impression of sex!"
Elliot had smiled at this and kissed her tenderly. "That could be so, Rowena! I've heard that those writers exaggerate something awful, and for women even more so than for men! Does it feel good when I am inside you? Do you like how I kiss and caress you?"
"Yes," she said, "I do, very much."
"Then perhaps you are correct about those books. Still, next time tell me what I can do to make you feel even better, Rowena!"
She had promised to do so.
She had failed abysmally.
How could she tell Elliot what to do when she herself did not know? She liked his kisses, she savored his caresses, and his lovemaking was passionate and, from what she could discern, without flaw. So, she at last resigned herself to the acting she had always employed with him; she exaggerated her pleasure. As long as Elliot believed her 'problem' was solved, she was content. For a time.
Mourningwood Fort is very good for me, but not for all the reasons Walter believes. Indeed, it is true that I need to learn to use firearms properly and become an expert if I am to continue on my path as the Hero. The rigours of constant training and the constant threat of Hollowmen attacks, however, also serve to somewhat relieve my bodily stresses. Hah! If only it were my body! My mind and heart are also troubled; and I am ashamed that simply because I am a woman who is incapable of experiencing the pleasures of love that I allow that to trouble me so profoundly. Does a woman like me need love, much less deserve it?
My mother was the Hero before me, and she loved my father so very much. But for all the letters and journals she left behind she never was one to share the most intimate details of her life. Is it possible that she was as I am? Did she love, but had to live without the most exquisite pleasures of its expression? I suppose I will never know. For now, I fear, I shall have to push such thoughts aside. My training beckons and I suppose that in the grand scheme of things, one woman's emotional emptiness is no great thing. I should be grateful for my blessings and not focus on petty personal frustrations.
Ah, if only the Major wasn't so damned... oh hells, I cannot even write of it!
"Oh, come now, Rowena," her mentor and surrogate grandfather urged her, "have a drink! Dance a bit! We've not taken a leave from Mourningwood Fort with Swift and his men just to stand about in the finest pub in Bowerstone and be dull!"
Walter was right, Rowena realised. She was standing about like a dullard instead of joining in on the fun. She had been with Walter's oldest friend, Major Swift, and a handful of his best soldiers in the tavern for several hours and had yet to dance a single dance or even indulge in one mug of ale. Her purpose in life now was to fulfill the destiny unfolding before her of becoming the Hero who would someday either save the world of Albion, or lose it to an impending Darkness and evil.
Rowena sighed. Since Walter and her butler, Jasper, had spirited her away from the Castle and her brother, King Logan, so very long ago, she had been working hard to hone her skills as a fighter and a magic user. She was also performing as many good deeds as possible to earn the favour and support of the People so when she had a large enough following she could seize the throne from her brother, King Logan, and become the Queen who could save Albion. Or so the Blind Seeress, Theresa had said.
Several years, at least, had passed, and according to Walter, her progress was good, although Rowena had hoped for better time. Still, she knew such things were never easy and quick. She must learn to be more patient. After all, her own mother took many years to eventually become the Hero Albion needed in her day and eventually also its Queen.
Someone suddenly pressed a cold mug of ale into her hand. She absently murmured a thanks and raised it to her lips, downing a large gulp. It was excellent! Her spirits raised a little at the obvious quality of the brew. She turned to properly thank the man who had given her the drink.
It was Major Jack Swift. Her smile froze for a moment as she realised that his hand was still on hers, as she had raised the mug so quickly that he had not had time to remove it for fear she would lose hold of it. She did not mind his touching her, did she? Her feelings quickly jumbled together and she stood stupidly, wondering what to do or say now.
Jack Swift was the Major of the 'Swift Brigade,' and protected and defended the wilderness and swamplands known as 'Mourningwood.' Legions of undead had plagued the area for years, and currently Walter and Rowena were remaining with Swift until either the attacks ceased, or reduced enough for herself and Walter to proceed onward to secure her next allies in the planned Revolution.
To both her pleasure and consternation, she and the Major had become close friends. It was a relationship that Rowena had never thought would be possible. She was four and twenty, and he was nearly forty years of age. It was not that the gap in their ages was so great, she reasoned, for her and Logan's parents had had more years between them, but Jack Swift was so experienced in the ways of the world, so educated, so cultured, and such an incredible soldier that she simply did not see why he would take an interest in her other than for what she could someday do for Albion.
Of course he was an amiable man besides a true gentleman and would never dream of being discourteous to her, but Rowena did not know why he had taken not only a professional interest in her; for she desperately needed his tutelage in the use of firearms and also military strategy, but he also took a deep personal interest in her as a human being. Or as a woman. She truly did not know which it was, or if both were the case.
In either event, the man had become, even more so than Walter, her closest friend and confidante. To her surprise and underlying dread, she had grown not only quite fond of Jack Swift, but found herself teetering on the brink of the most dangerous, and yet the most exquisite of feelings: love.
Rowena swallowed and snatched her hand away from his. She also pulled back her unbidden surge of fondness and warmth for him. It would never do to feel such things for this man, or any man for that matter. Her time with Elliot had taught her only too well that as a woman she was lacking. She could never be truly happy with any man, and knew that remaining a woman alone would be preferable to falling in love but having the true passion and bliss in the expression of it be forever beyond her reach. She was a flawed woman, and Jack Swift, of all men, deserved more. He did not deserve an actress to warm his bed, but a real woman he could love, love him in return, and share mutual pleasure with.
"Rowena, have I offended you?"
She did not look at Swift, but turned to try and locate Walter.
Damnation! The man had disappeared; again. By now it had become blatantly obvious to Rowena that Walter had taken it upon himself to throw her into Jack's company alone as often as possible. What did he think to gain? Did he truly believe that the Major would come to love her? And even if he did, could he not see from her aloof behaviour, especially in leisurely and relaxed circumstances, that she had no desire for a man's company in such a way?
Sighing, she turned to Swift. "Of course not, Major. I am just out of sorts, I suppose."
"I had hoped that an evening away from the grind of the Fort would cheer you," he said, looking down at the hand she had recoiled from so swiftly.
"Cheer me?" Rowena was startled. "Why ever would you concern yourself with me? Your men are the ones who need cheer, not I, Major."
"I beg to differ, Princess Rowena," he replied. "Do you think me so obtuse as to not see how troubled you are? Do you think I do not see the terrible burdens that weigh you down and dampen your spirits? Come now, we are very close, if I am not flattering myself. Will you not tell me what is on your mind, even if it is just what is troubling you today?"
Trying to gain time to decide how to respond, Rowena lifted the mug to her lips and drank again. What was she to say; that besides being a reluctant Hero who was expected to someday overthrow her brother, whom she loved and respected despite his questionable acts of late, that she was a lonely woman dangerously close to loving a man whom she could never have?
Besides, why would such a foolish personal problem, which had no importance to anyone but herself, be of concern to him? Yes, he was her friend, but she had to keep him at a safe distance. She was coming to care for him far too much for comfort.
She set down the mug. Why not throw caution to the winds and have done with it? Then she could get on with her busy but dreary life, one slow and tedious day at a time.
"Very well, Major, here it is. I am sick unto death of this Hero and Revolution business and wish it were over and done with; better yet, that it also would be someone else's responsibility. I have no desire to become Queen, much less harm my brother. Hells, I do not know, Hero or not, if I can save Albion regardless of how many allies I may gain. And, besides all that, I am falling in love with a man I can never, ever have."
She stared him straight in his face now, seeing the surprise and concern there, and concluded her litany. "So, are you satisfied? Before you is a woman who is weary, worn, discouraged, sick nigh unto death of her miserable life, and lonely beyond words. Now, shall we tackle something of immediate and true importance, such as the next Hollowman attack? Or perhaps which ale we should bring back to the Fort?"
She knew she was being rude, but she had to dissociate herself from Jack Swift, else risk her heart, and that was not something she cared to do. She had enough at stake as it was. Besides, she reminded herself, Jack deserved better. If Walter was indeed trying to 'match them up' then he was in for disappointment. She knew that Jack had many women who were vying for his attention. Even tonight, more than a handful had approached him in this very tavern. He had, for reasons unknown to her, politely discouraged them all and did not dance with, nor converse with, any of them. Still, she had heard rumours from the men that he hoped to marry once the Revolution was over.
He deserved no less.
"Rowena," he said, interrupting her thoughts, "will you grant me the honour of being my partner for the next dance? I have requested an appropriate tune."
His large dark eyes bored intensely into her green ones and she feared that he may be seeing her true feelings for him in them. She looked down at her hands, discomfited.
"I... I fear I..." she stammered, not knowing how to refuse. She desperately wanted to dance with him, but she did not dare!
"There is nothing to fear, my dear Rowena," he said. As it turned out, he did not give her a chance to refuse him. He tucked her hand into the crook of his arm and lead her, speechless with shock, onto the floor as the next song by the small band began.
Nearby, Captain Ben Finn and his favourite drinking partner Lieutenant Chapman had willing and eager young ladies all but climbing all over them as the musicians began to play.
The song was a relatively slow one, and Rowena was uncomfortable dancing so intimately with the Major. Waltzing with him was eroding her resolve to distance him. His chocolate eyes were soft and his careworn but handsome face was lit with pleasure. His gentleman's moustache twitched slightly as he smiled warmly at her.
"You are a lovely woman and a most graceful dancer, my dear Rowena," he said, pulling her closer to him.
She felt her face flush as the muscled hardness of his strong and well-toned body accepted her softer and curvaceous one against it. Rowena lowered her gaze to his chest, but acutely felt his bare hand holding hers, his calloused thumb caressing it. His other hand gently but firmly held her waist, its heat making her embarrassingly aware that she was hopelessly past feeling mere friendship for him. She desired him. What's more, she cared too deeply to be only infatuated with him; she feared that she loved him.
Oh, this was unendurable!
"Jack, I must... I must leave you now. I am so sorry!" She tried to pull away from him, but to her surprise he refused to allow her to escape.
"Rowena, forgive me, but I must have at least one dance with you. Please, do not deny me this pleasure!" His eyes beseeched her although his countenance remained calm.
"Why? What does it matter? There are plenty of women here who..."
"Who I do not care to dance with," he finished. "I wish to dance with you, Rowena. Why is that so difficult for you to understand? I cannot believe that you find me so repulsive!"
"Of course not!" she snapped, then bit her lower lip. He had goaded her temper, and thus was one step closer to weakening her resolve to not confide more intimately in him. It was a tactic he employed expertly, and on more than one occasion had used it to coax her into sharing her feelings with him. However, she had, at least so far, managed to hold her tongue when it came to her feelings for him.
"Then tell my why you wish so fervently to escape one dance with me," he said, slowly turning her around in time with the music and then pulling her closer yet.
"You have not danced with any of my men, and I am well aware that young Finn has been after you all night."
Rowena smiled wryly. "Poor bastard; I can see how he suffers!"
They both chuckled as the heavily painted woman in nearly blinding colours clung to him. Finn clutched her rear and she his, and neither knew how they managed to 'dance' at all!
"Well, perhaps he does suffer," Swift said wryly, suddenly frowning. "I have observed him for months. His eyes follow you everywhere and he never misses an opportunity to speak with you or stand near you. I must conclude that he either fancies himself in love with you, or you with him."
"Any fancy would be on his part alone," Rowena replied. "I like him well enough, as I do all your men, but I do not care for any of them in such a fashion. Besides, Ben never lacks for female company. How he manages to keep all his ladies names straight is beyond me!"
They turned gracefully again, and this time Rowena was overwhelmed by Swift's closeness and his obvious concern for her. She was weary, frustrated, and needed her dearest friend. She was tired of fighting it tonight. She stepped as close to him as she could and flouted propriety by resting her cheek on his chest. Such an action was not unheard of, especially in Bowerstone, but Rowena had not intended to allow herself to get closer to the Major either physically or emotionally.
Something in his carriage, his gentleness and sincerity of speech and manner, and the way he held her, had at last breached her defenses. Month after dreary and painful month at last wore her down. She may as well tell him a little more. But only a little, she told herself. Just enough to let him know that he would be wise to either no longer be her friend and confidante, or else be certain that things would go no farther between them. Not that she had any illusions that he cared for her in such a fashion, but if he knew she cared too much for him, he would likely be more than happy, relieved even, to dissociate himself from her.
She gasped in surprise when she felt his fingers smooth through her unruly red curls and tuck her face closer to him. Even through his thick coat she heard the steady beat of his heart. It was soothing, and unbidden, she tightened her arms around his neck.
"Talk to me," he whispered, and to her further surprise, kissed the top of her head.
She stiffened but he held her firmly. "What will your men think?" she gasped, forgetting that they likely already saw how closely and intimately they were dancing.
"I don't care what they think," he replied firmly. "This is none of their concern, and they will do well to remember that. Now, please talk to me, Rowena. If you do not wish to speak here, we can step outside."
Rowena did not know if she felt anger, relief, or a mixture of both. She wrapped her arms around him and squeezed him tightly. "Yes," she finally said, "I'll talk to you, though I wager you'll regret it."
"I highly doubt that."
"Oh, you'll regret it, all right. Still, let us get this over with."