|Between One World and the Next
Author: orliNkeira PM
BriseisAchilles. Of the events during the war. How does she feel, knowing her heart has been given to a Trojan murderer, a man whom she cannot claim to know? Why do her thoughts of hatred eventually become thoughts of acceptance and contentment? Review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 11 - Words: 15,885 - Reviews: 114 - Favs: 42 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 10-27-04 - Published: 06-12-04 - id: 1906401
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Myrmidons tugged at her white robes, once formally a stark clean white, now a dirty, blood-splattered garment, streaked with the grime and grease from their hands. Their muscled hands and firm grip was no match for her and Briseis knew that she was fighting a losing battle. But she did not stop her struggling, though growing weaker and more tired by the minute. She knew that if she stopped, it was a sign of defeat on her part and the Greek soldiers would have won. They had her as their captive no doubt, but they would not control her. She was a Trojan Princess and royalty had their pride and self-respect!
The soft brown hair that tumbled down her shoulders, once greatly admired by the ladies of the palace, now seemed to her like an unwanted pest. Her thick hair hung heavily down her face, sticking to her sweaty, bloodstained cheeks. It seemed to smother her and she gasped for air as the Greeks pulled her forcefully along, unable to keep up with their powerful strides.
Where were they taking her?
"Get up you wretch!" one of them shouted at her when she tripped on her torn robes and fell onto the sand. "Achilles has no pleasure for such a weak wench like you! Move on now!" Briseis heard another rough voice roar behind her.
She paled. She had heard of the Greek warrior Achilles, son of Peleus, the invincible wonder at the battlefields.
More like treacherous murderer, she thought bitterly. She knew what loomed ahead of her. Her future as the slave girl to Achilles, whore to the men when night fell. Then when they grew tired of her, she would meet her death in a brutal way, her body kicked and beaten around before they left her to rot on the sands.
Briseis cried out in pain as one of the Greeks took hold of a handful of her hair and started dragging her along the coarse sand, cutting tiny red scratches along her arms and legs. They continued to drag her, laughing at her screams and shouts as she hit her face against a chipped stone half hidden under the mounds of sand. Tears stung at her eyes, but she blinked them away. She would not let them see her cry like a helpless weakling of a princess. She would not give them reason to spit upon Troy and she honored it with her head held high. A thick warm liquid oozed into her mouth and she ran her tongue over it. It was salty, the taste of her blood.
The journey to Achilles tent seemed to take eternity. It was excruciatingly painful. Everywhere they passed, she could feel the lecherous stares from the Greek men, the taunting leers and cutting insults they threw at her. The hot Aegean sun shone harshly upon them and her long tresses clung to her skin like plague, matted with filth and sweat.
Tears threatened to overflow many times as Briseis thought of the situation she was in. A royal Trojan priestess, she would soon have no dignity to ever face her Uncle, her cousins and sweet Andromache. Neither would she again deserve to wear the virgin robes of Apollo's temple. She cried out to Apollo, remembering He, the Sun God was watching from above.
What would Hector, Paris and Priam say when they saw her like this? Never had she dreamed that it would all end this way. Oh Paris, what have you done!
Finally, after what seemed like endless hours of being dragged like a dead corpse, the soldiers came to a halt in front of a large tent, much larger than most of the other tents she had managed to glimpse on the way.
Without warning, she was picked up like a sack of flour, two calloused hands gripping her feet, another two grabbing her arms, her face facing upwards. The piercing sunlight glared at her sharply and she cringed, looking away while kicking feebly at the men's hold on her.
Swinging her like how she had seen workers do so with grain bags in the granary, they pushed past the leather flaps hanging at the entrance and tossed her inside. Briseis landed on the hard ground in the tent, bruising her hip painfully. She groaned and choked back a sob as the whole experience began to overwhelm her. She scrambled to get up and made a foolish dash for the entrance, seeing that the men were slightly distracted. But she had underestimated them, and before she could get her head out the door, they had grabbed her bruised arms and jerked her back in.
"Feisty little thing aren't' you, you whore?" a mighty soldier with fearful black eyes spat, giving her a slap across her face.
She gasped at the impact of his action, furious and horrified.
They pulled her arms back, throwing her towards a standing pole in the tent. Whipping out a length of leather strip, they began to bind her wrists and feet, tying the bounds on her hands to the pole.
"Lets see how you can get away now wretched girl!" The soldiers shouted at her brusquely, before they strode out of the tent, leaving Briseis to her own despair.
Briseis struggled against the unwelcome bounds, trying to break free. But the only thing she succeeded in doing was to chafe her wrists even further. She knew that the leather strips were cutting a tender raw circle around her wrists. She could feel the sharp stings and tiny trickles of blood when they oozed down to meet her fingers.
Taking a break on her hands, she tried pulling the bounds around her ankles apart. Perhaps the leather strips are old, she thought desperately, in search for some kind of comfort in this vile place. Briseis hissed softly as the leather strap cut into her skin, causing a dizzy pain to shoot through her body. She let out a few frustrated cries. What a sight she must be now!
Every now and then she would wrestle against her tight bounds, refusing to give up hope.
Just as a wave of tiredness washed over her and she felt that all hope was lost, hot tears springing from her eyes, there came a loud voice from outside.
"My Lord, I have something to show you."
Achilles! Her heart beat faster in fear, her breathing short and quick. In fear and a sudden drive of desperation, she started to pull and struggle furiously. Feeling as though she was in a fierce battle with Time, she wanted badly to win. With each moment he was getting closer and she knew what all captives were made to do. She did not want to break her promise to Apollo! She did not want to shame Troy and dishonor her family!
Briseis cried out softly once more, resigned to her bounds, feeling the hot tears mark a clean path on her dirty cheeks.
She looked to the entrance where a man was now entering, rustling the leather flaps. He looked up, and their eyes met in a short fleeting second.
Everything around her seemed to freeze when their eyes locked. He had crystalline blue eyes, as clear as the skies above, with irises as deep and intense as the heart of a sapphire. They seemed to see through her, its intensity unutterable, however much Briseis wanted to lose herself in them. But she was lost in them already. She was lost in never-ending depths of his eyes, where the emotions changed and morphed with remarkable swiftness. In that spilt second of time, his eyes had grown from hard and cold, to…
She did not know. They were unreadable.
Suddenly shockingly aware at what they, or she was actually exchanging, she broke the gaze, looking down at her dress, suddenly thankful again for her long hair that framed her face.
Slightly flustered, she kicked and wrestled against the straps once more, trying to rid her mind of the unexpected happening. She was upset that she should have allowed such a thing to take place, no matter how short it was.
A voice broke her train of thoughts that were becoming increasingly frantic, and she looked up toward it, grateful for the distraction.
"We thought she might…amuse you, My Lord." The soldier crouching by the entrance informed with a slight curl of his lips, and took his leave with a short nod of his head.
Her anger and hatred and misery returned to her immediately, overpowering her, as she remembered what she was going to be used for in awhile.
These arrogant Greeks! They think they can do whatever they want! They know nothing, only their greed and selfishness!
Briseis glared angrily at Achilles. It was the first good look she had of her captor. As much as she was furious at herself for actually looking at him, she could not help herself. She had never seen anyone, or anything like him before.
He was tall, much taller than her, with strong muscular arms and legs, befitting for a legendary warrior as him. His hair was gold like the sunlight and it hung around his chiseled face in matted, twisted locks. He had on a black armor with few intricate designs, unexpected from a man of such status and was covered with black dirty streaks running down his arms, neck, face and legs. And there was also blood. Blood splattered on his face, hair, arms, legs, armor, everywhere.
The blood of Trojans. My people.
Briseis could feel a fire blaze in her eyes and her hatred consuming her.
This good-for-nothing, conceited murderer! He deserves no more praise and glory then Hades himself!
Briseis turned her head sharply away from him, the moment before vanishing into the forgotten world. Inwardly, she was mocking herself for even allowing herself to be affected by that little exchange of glances.
I was looking into the eyes of a murderer! How could I not be affected, much less anyone else?
She gritted her teeth in anger, fighting, though weakly, at the painful bounds. Now it was not so much tiredness that she moved slowly, it was the intense pain that ran through her when she made the slightest movement. All the soreness and bruises from the morning had settled in her bones and she was aching terribly.
She kept her head looking straight ahead, seeing him take a long drink of water before pouring it down his armor. He began to remove the upper armor, and settled the heavy piece of metal on the ground. Briseis was in an inner conflict this time. She should not be doing so, but she could not look away from his firm, muscled back, tanned golden brown from all the years at war. There was not a single scar spoiling it.
Neither was there any, not even the faintest trace of one on his equally stunning chest.
This time though, she was more aware about her actions and gave him a fierce glare before looking away. Briseis managed to catch a glimpse of face and perhaps a reaction, but there was none. His face was calm and hard, expressionless. Like stone, she thought.
He walked over to the water basin and started splashing himself with water, rubbing away the dirt on his skin. A sudden anger erupted within her and she turned to face him, her chin held up, tossing her hair away from her face. She would show him she was not frightened! She was not the common slave girl who was going to listen to him and be controlled by him. She trembled slightly, her heart thumping heavily and she tried to erase any other emotion in her eyes other than defiance. Because deep down, Briseis was frightened. She was fearful of her future, fearful of what was to come next.
The Greek warrior turned to glance at her every once and then but he focused on cleaning himself up. Briseis, however, continued shooting hateful looks at him, desperately praying to Apollo to save her.
Right before her eyes, he undid his toga bottom and it dropped to the floor in a black heap. He stood standing naked in front of her, striding to the next washbasin, seemingly oblivious to her presence.
Horrified at what she had just witnessed with her very eyes, Briseis felt her cheeks grow hot and she looked down at her lap, hoping that he had not seen her blush.
Briseis nearly screamed in protest and the unfairness of it all. Yet she could do nothing for she was his captive.
The hotness in her cheeks would not go away, and she flushed deep with shame. She heard more water being splashed around and sensed him walking to her. Briseis looked up, thinking he had dressed already.
He had not and instead had only merely taken a clean toga bottom to wear on. She glared furiously at him, feeling more color creep on her cheeks as she looked up to meet his face.
Has he no respect? No shame? Do he not recognize the priestess of Apollo? Has he no fear?
Briseis tore her glare away from him, infuriated as his features had contoured into one of slight amusement.
I am not some sort of present here to amuse you! Briseis thought, wishing she could spit the words in his face.
Where has my courage gone?