Title: A Matter of Perspective
Word Count: 795
Summary: An imposter king comforts a woman, kin to the man he is betrothed to. She explains she is not the “harlot” some call her. In fact to lie with a man will rob her of her gift – or curse, as others name it. That does not mean she is deprived of worldly pleasures, not even “release”.
Content Notes: No standard warnings apply. No sexual content but contains discussions around sex, virginity, masturbation, and same gender relationships.
Author Notes: A second original fiction piece that uses MMoM and my solo bingo card (prompt “I only make love to myself”) for inspiration. This short piece takes place in a fantasy world I am hoping to write more about in the future. I’m still working out many of the details but I hope this snippet is intriguing.
Originally posted to my fiction blog
He sat down next to her on the stone steps. She had her cloak wrapped tightly around her against the chill of the evening air and he wished he’d worn a shirt that had longer sleeves.
“Are you all right?”
He gazed out across the estate. Was that the word? Estate, or was it grounds? His kingdom anyway, except it was all a lie. A lie the others thought necessary, but a lie nonetheless.
“Would you like to me have him, er, whipped?” He wasn’t sure about the laws of this kingdom, what punishment would be suitable or allowable.
She shook her head.
He hated to see her so quiet, so withdrawn. He wondered if he ought not to find his betrothed and let him deal with his family. Yet somehow he thought she was his responsibility too. She was going to be his family. Would that be a lie too, if the wedding was real but one of the grooms was an imposter? Surely it wouldn’t come to that. This charade must end before then.
“Talk to me,” he said. “Please.”
She glanced over at him, then back out over the grass and trees. The first star of the evening twinkled above them.
“I know what people say about me. I’ve heard worse than what he said. But it’s not true. I like to have fun. I like to drink and dance and, and, to kiss, to hug. I let people touch me sometimes, a little more than I should perhaps. But I do not lie with them.” She sighed. “You may not believe me. But I have not lain with a man.”
He remained silent a moment. “Never?”
“Oh.” How terrible.
She shook her head. “Do not sound so sad. I do not forgo pleasure. Did I not just tell you I have fun? Including the – what do you call it? We call it the release. When you make love until there is a rush of pleasure.”
“Little death,” he recalled, with some distaste.
He nodded fervently at her disapproving tone. “I agree.”
That drew a smile. “I make love only to myself,” she said. “Partly because I have never met a man I truly want to bed, and partly because if I do, I will lose my gift. My curse. Many with this gift lose their virginity early, desperate to be rid of the power. They would rather be loved than feared.”
She shook her head. “Curse, gift; they’re just perspectives. It is power and it is mine. And any man who would have me powerless rather than powerful is not worthy of my body or my mind.”
He nodded, thoughtful. He had dishonoured her, underestimated her as people had always underestimated him, until he took on the identity of a king.
“So you’ve had release?”
This line of questioning raised her eyebrows. “Indeed.”
“So it isn’t the release that takes your gift?” He’d never met a law or a spell that didn’t have a loophole.
“Only a penis.”
She laughed. “You are more direct than any noble I have ever met. Yes, your highness, so far as I have been told, it is the act between a man and a woman.”
“So his penis is the destroyer of magic.”
This time she laughed until she choked. Patting at her chest, she wheezed, “I have never heard it put quite like that.”
“But what about if he uses his fingers? What about a – what are they called? Wooden things, marble if you afford it – and no chance of splinters, shaped like a penis.”
She stared at him. “I cannot say I’ve ever tried such a thing.”
He shrugged. “It’s something to think about.”
She put one hand on his knee. “Can I tell you something secret?”
“I am not much concerned with a penis, neither flesh nor marble.”
He nodded. “I guessed a while ago that you prefer women.”
She flushed, bobbed her head in acknowledgement.
“But why is it not acceptable for a woman to love a woman in your kingdom? You don’t care when a man loves another man.”
She rolled her eyes. “Because women are vile creatures that need to be tamed by a man. Imagine if women could love other women. Who knows what we might get up to!”
He snorted. “What a lot of horseshit.”
“Yes, highness,” she said, and the inflection on the title he had no claim to suggested she was becoming suspicious. “Thank you for saying so.”
He got to his feet, held out his hand. “My buttocks are frozen. I’m going inside for a warm drink. Would you like to join me?”
She took his hand, let him help her up. “I’d love to.”