Over and over, Achilles dreams that he is dying.

However, and much to his dismay, it is not that simple. Achilles dreams that he is back in Troy- fighting Hector. The walls of the once great city are still high and far from him, but he can see Paris' face clearly. He is the only one watching, and his face is wrought with concern. Achilles fights his best, but he is distracted. Distracted with the hope that Paris might be concerned for him as well as his brother. In his dream, Achilles looks over to Paris watching from the wall one too many times, and is not even giving Hector his attention as the elder Trojan prince cuts him down.

He is dreaming, so he doesn't feel the pain of the cold metal piercing his flesh. But what he does feel is the agony and sorrow caused by the pure joy and relief written on Paris' face as he watches him die.

Indeed, he feels it even more acutely when he wakes up alone in his bed

He has had this nightmare every night since he has been home in Phtia, musing that if his slave were to have the very same nightmare, it would not be a nightmare at all.

Upon their arrival, Achilles had decided to distance himself from Paris- both publicly and otherwise. True, Achilles' business was war, but he knew his own heart well enough to realize that if he were to indulge himself too much, he would lose control of his emotions more than he already had in concern with the Trojan. Thus, he had given orders for Paris to be put to work with the house slaves, and to be given no special consideration apart from the fact that he did not want him permanently marked.

"It will bring down his price if I should decide to sell him." He had told Eudoras, as his second in command had held Paris- hands unbound, but with the makeshift leash about his neck- awaiting orders about what to do with him. Paris had made a guffawing sort of sniff at this remark- barely audible. Achilles still didn't know whether it was a snort of disappointment because he thought his master had lied when he'd told him aboard the ship that he would never sell him, or a snort at the fact that his master was blatantly lying now. He'd had every intention to command more quietly that if Paris proved disobedient or surly that he was not to be punished at all, but rather sent straight to him.

He had hoped that Paris would become himself again, and give whomever he was charged with enough sass to have him given back. It never happened…

"Very well, my Lord. Shall I also leave orders for him not to be…er…touched, my Lord?"


"Well, the servants here are a lusty lot, my Lord. And even if they weren't one as beautiful and innocent looking as this would attract a lot of attention."

"He is not to be given attention from anyone but me."

"As you wish, my Lord." Said Eudoras. Achilles turned swiftly and made for the palace. Eudoras started to follow, but turned to Paris first, eyeing the rope around his neck. If they walked into the kitchen- for that was where Eudoras intended to find him work- with Paris presented the way he was now, it wouldn't lead anywhere nice for the poor lad. The soldier brought his hand up to where the rope was knotted.

"You won't try to run, will you?" he asked solemnly. His young charge laughed brokenly.

"Run? Run where? Away from you and the rest of the garrison behind us, back down to the docks and onto the ship, untie it and sail it all alone back across the ocean to the corpses of my family and countrymen lying in my destroyed city?"

Fair enough Eudoras thought, releasing the boy with a sympathetic glance and leading him to the palace kitchens. Once there, he left Achilles' instructions, along with the captive prince, with Memnos, the head cook.

The master of the kitchens inspected his new servant, touching his face and making an impatient noise, and mumbling something that sounded like 'impractical' as he felt of Paris' long curly locks. He prodded at the boys' chest and felt his arms almost like a doctor performing an examination, all the while Paris stood quietly and obediently, not making so much as one sound of protest. Memnos clucked his tongue as he took hold of Paris' hands.

"And what am I to do with you, little slave of the soft hands and exotic beauty? Wherever would that band of brutes find one such as you?"

"He's a Trojan." Offered one of the kitchen maids helpfully.

"Ah, you've been conquered then, have you, boy?" At this question, Paris trembled a bit, the killing and burning and raping and pillaging appearing in his mind as fresh as if it were happening again. He met Memnos' eyes briefly as his own brimmed with tears, then bowed his head as one lonely tear slipped down his cheek. However, Paris kept his composure.

"Y-Yes, sir." He said softly.

In truth, the gruff cook had once himself been a victim of the Myrmidons' sacking, and hadn't meant to hurt the poor boy's feelings. He put a soothing hand on Paris' back and pushed him towards the immense fire. "Cheer yourself, young one. You'll have no rough treatment from anyone here. Do forgive me and my mouth, didn't mean anything by it. Warm you up, now, and we'll see about something to keep you busy."

"Thank you, sir." Paris sat by the fire as he was instructed, truly grateful for a bit of respite. He'd no idea why Achilles had tossed him to the side so quickly, but he embraced it even though he did not believe it would last.

He probably thinks my sense of vanity will not allow me to toil with the rest of the slaves down here, and that I will fall to my knees and be his eager whore for a lavish chamber and fine clothing.

But Paris had no intentions of holding on to his vanity. If he could stick it out long enough in the kitchens, be humble and not mess anything up too badly, he might be able to gain back a sense of normalcy. If Achilles realized that Paris would not grovel for an elevated position, he might leave him alone. And at this point, that was what Paris had convinced himself that he wanted.

After a little while, Memnos came back and spoke to Paris softly.

"Feeling better, my young friend? Why don't you give us a hand by making a big pot of stew for the servants' supper? Nothing too strenuous for you, I hope."

"I-I am very sorry, sir." Paris started. "But I-I have never worked in a kitchen before. I don't know how to make stew, sir, or anything else for that matter. I'm so sorry-"

"Ah, well, the rumors must be true then… Prince Paris." Memnos smiled. Paris froze. He had been so relived that no one seemed to know anything about him besides the fact that he'd come from Troy.

"Please, I'm not anymore. I promise not to put on airs, or try to place myself above anyone. I'll work very hard, you'll see! If you'll only tell me how I can make the stew for everyone, I'll do it gladly. You will only have to show me once, I swear!"

"Easy now, my fine young fellow, I'll teach you. And like I said before, you don't have to worry about anyone berating or punishing you. You're safe here. Although," Memnos paused with a smile. "You'll have to beat off a good many of the lads and lasses that work here." The cook gave a signal for someone to assume the work he had been doing, and began to show the Trojan how to prepare stew. Over the next few hours, he was pleased to find that Paris did indeed work hard, and he only had to show him how to do things once. As the weeks passed, Memnos discovered that Paris was especially good at the baking of bread, and so it became his special duty to get up early in the mornings and prepare it…

Odysseus, King of Ithaca, did not like to announce himself when visiting friends. True enough, such a formality could not be avoided with acquaintances- especially noble ones. But with a true friend, Odysseus knew that he could sneak in, find out what was really going on as opposed to what was presentable enough to be exposed, and be forgiven for it afterwards.

It was extremely fortunate that Achilles was a true friend, because Odysseus, upon hearing what had happened at Mycenae, was sure that he wouldn't have been able to resist investigation- friendship withstanding or no.

He crept around the lower level of the palace finding his way through the servants' passages. True, it wasn't like him at all to meander about without knowing exactly where he was headed, but he was enjoying the opportunity to seek his way incognito without having to worry about being killed for a spy if he was caught.

It was that yet unnamed hour- not yet day, yet not truly night anymore, when only the slightest trace of the sun lit the sky- barely enough to make seeing any easier. Much too early for most people to be awake, so Odysseus was genuinely caught off guard- not something that was often wont to occur- when he heard a continuous thumping sound.




He had heard the sound before, and now that he couldn't place it, it would drive him half-mad if he didn't follow it to see what it was. Odysseus made a few turns and found himself on the palace kitchens.

"Kneading dough!" he berated himself out loud when he saw the young slave at the task. The exclamation startled said slave, who dropped his dough and turned about sharply. Odysseus' eyes widened with curiosity, and at this, the boy simply looked confused- and wary. There was no reason for the boy to know him, as they had never actually met. But Odysseus had been able to see the boy, and hear him quite clearly from inside the horse as he implored his father to burn it. It had fascinated the Ithacan king after it had frightened him. This boy was so foolish- and yet also more intelligent than every person in Troy.

"Whatever are you doing down here in the kitchens?" Odysseus asked.

"I…er…I am baking bread, my lord. Are you looking for someone? Everyone else is still asleep." Odysseus recalled at this point that the young Trojan had never met Odysseus in his former life as a prince, and so could not recognize him now. He watched as Paris resumed his task, not seeming at all to mind toiling at menial work while everyone, even the other slaves, still rested.

How odd! The Ithacan king thought, and was only more intrigued by the boy.

"My lord?" Paris prompted as he continued kneading.

"Ah, yes. I am here to see Achilles. Do you by chance know where he is?"

"Do you, by chance, have an appointment for an audience with him? He is quite busy these days, despite a lack of people to slaughter. Besides that I doubt any of his stewards would have told you to come this early. As I said before, nearly everyone is asleep." Odysseus couldn't help but start to laugh at the boy's impudence. He was rather fond of impudence.

"I am a very old friend of his." Odysseus explained kindly. "If you would spare a moment to take me to his chamber I would be very grateful." Paris looked dolefully at his dough.

"Will you wait until I set this into the oven, please, my lord?"

"Of course, my young friend." Odysseus decided quite firmly that he liked Paris. The boy pounded the dough a few more times, then used the flat, wooden spade to place the dough into the oven and remove two baked loaves from it and place them onto a shelf to cool. He was careful to wipe the flour from his hands before he preceded The Ithacan king through the halls, so Odysseus opted not to tell him that he had a bit of it on his nose.

Odysseus thought less of the boy's cleverness when he did, indeed, lead him straight to Achilles' chambers.

"If I were a spy, I could walk right into the rooms of you master while he sleeps, and it would be your fault, my twice foolish young Prince." Paris didn't even flinch at his reference.

"If you were a spy who intended to walk right into the rooms of my master, I would pity you." He turned immediately and went back to his bread, not seeing the shocked look on Odysseus' face.

Achilles, of course, had alerted from his sleep at the sound of voices outside of his chamber, but was drowsy enough not to be able to discern them properly. When Odysseus entered, Paris was already halfway back to the kitchens.

"Still in bed at this hour, Achilles?" he quipped. "No wonder nothing ever gets done around here- except apparently bread baking." Achilles laughed although he did not fully understand the jibe.

"There's not another war, is there? That seems to be the only reason you come visiting, King of Ithaca." He smiled, at ease, as always, around Odysseus, who mocked a wounded gesture at the question.

"That stings, old friend. But no, there isn't a war. Shame, really, since you seem to be so bored with your spoils from the last one."

"Spoils? What spoils? None of my men did any sacking like yours, coming out of that abominable horse. I've been meaning to tell you just how I felt about that one, you lying fox. War is a nasty business, but if you're going to fight an enemy, do so honorably. I don't hold to all of that skulking in like thieves in the middle of the night and slaughtering innocents while they sleep. I was very disappointed in you when I heard what was going to take place." At this, Odysseus, too, became serious.

"I was disappointed in myself, especially after I saw the suffering of Troy. But what could I do? There was no telling how long that war might have gone on, how many tens of thousands more might have died. It was clear that Agamemnon meant to stop at nothing, and after you killed Hector…I cannot help but feel as though I granted the city a quick death as opposed to a lingering one." They each considered this for a moment. "I am quite disappointed in what I've found out since I've been skulking around here. Once I caught wind of all the rumors about what happened since I last saw you, I was looking forward to catching you in the middle of showing your Trojan captive how us real Greek men conduct our business in the bedchamber, but I found him down in the kitchens baking. Have you got him on punishment? He has got a saucy little mouth on him."

"What did the brat say to you?" Achilles demanded harshly. Odysseus' talk of Paris had aroused him and he couldn't have been angrier about it. These few months of avoiding him and trying not to think of him—for naught! He was still bewitched by the boy!

"No need to fuss about it. I found him quite amusing, actually. You'd have been much more offended at what he said than I ever would." Odysseus chuckled. For some strange reason his friend seemed appeased by this.

"Is he angry with me for putting him to work with my other slaves, then?"

"Ah no, not in the least bit from what I could tell. He looked quite content down there pounding at his dough when I caught sight of him, serene, almost. Perhaps he was imagining it was your head."

"Well then…what did you think of him?"

"He is incomparably lovely, of course. All the gossips say and then some."

"I shall have him wait on us at breakfast then, if you care to stay." Achilles offered eagerly, at which his companion simply smiled and acquiesced.

"Paris," Memnos was saying, as Paris was about to sit down and have a bit of breakfast. He had just finished with his work, and had done a good job of it, as always.

"Yes, sir?"

"I'm sorry, my boy, I know you've worked hard, but you'll have to forego your meal for a bit."

"…Oh, sir? May I know why please, sir?"

"The master wishes for you to attend him, and his friend King Odysseus at his own breakfast. Don't worry, my little friend. I'm sure they'll be done with you soon enough and you can have your much deserved meal." Memnos did not mean it, as he pat Paris' back in a friendly way, but, but the young prince did not at all like the connotations that came with the phrase "they'll be done with you soon enough". Still, there was no choice at all involved for him. He could do nothing but put aside his meal and take the tray he was offered before shuffling off reluctantly to Achilles' chambers again.

He knocked politely and was bade to enter by that voice—the last voice he wanted to hear in all the world.

…and yet…

Had he not heard that voice whisper him tenderness in the palace of Agamemnon? Had he not then loved its deep and overconfident timbre?

But it didn't matter any longer. The best thing to do was to be now what he'd been striving to become—the perfect slave. He would not speak nor lift up his head nor even raise his eyes unless absolutely necessary. He would be attentive and invisible and then perhaps he would be let go.

But when he walked into the room—Almighty Zeus! It was like diving into the ocean, to be away from him so long and then be completely surrounded by his presence. And Achilles did have presence. It was heady and powerful, and Paris felt as if he were drowning, sinking more and more with each step he took towards his master.

The two royals sat on couches, with a table before them. Paris made to simply set the tray down and leave. He knew slaves served each dish of a meal during feasts and formal dinners, but surely he wouldn't be expected to now, what with just the two of them and such a small tray of food.

"No, you fool, you're supposed to serve it to us." Snapped a voice.

That voice. It shamed Paris to be called a fool by that voice deeply. He murmured his apologies contritely in a voice his master could not even hear.

"What was that, slave?" Achilles demanded.

"He says he's never done this before." Odysseus offered. The blond warrior scoffed as if offended,

"Spare me, brat. You have been toiling since one month, three weeks and twelve days. I'm sure you can serve a meal properly."

There should have been quite the silence at this, at the fact that Achilles was aware of exactly how long it had been since last they had seen each other. Achilles truly had not even been conscious of the fact that he'd been aware until it had slipped out of his mouth. He prayed that the boy had not noticed, that he'd missed it. It was no use praying about Odysseus. Achilles didn't even have to look at him to see his eyebrows rise at his words because he was Odysseus and Odysseus just didn't miss things. He thought of how he could clean up his slip, but ended up not having to say anything because Paris was already apologizing.


"Yes, I—I know. But I just bake things and help with the stew for the servants—and sometimes help with the cleaning when they like—but…but I have not served any meals since I was put to work, sir—master, I mean." Paris wrung his hands and shuffled his feet a little, truly ashamed that Achilles had found fault with him so quickly. He dropped to his knees and began to arrange the food…onto the plates that were sitting on the table.

Idiot! Paris chided himself. If I hadn't been so nervous I would have realized they were sitting there waiting for me. Paris wanted to sink into the ground and vanish, and focused every ounce of his attention on his task. He did not notice his master staring.

Achilles was wholeheartedly considering self-castration. He had practically banished the Trojan captive, made every effort to avoid him altogether. But here he was now, clad in the servants livery. Pure white, to contrast against the black of the Myrmidons' garments. A short and simple tunic that cut across the chest diagonally so that it exposed one nipple. One dark, perfect nipple that Achilles knew was beyond sensitive. One nipple that he wanted to reach out and touch…lick, tease, pull, bite, torment. He could pretend to have only called for Paris at his guest's behest, but had he not offered in the first place?

One month, three weeks, twelve days and about seven hours. Almost two months of avoidance and frustration, two months of coming into his hands with the Trojan's name on his lips, two months of plunging into lusty chambermaids and stable boys for a fleeting and empty climax for what? To have his slave here in front of him fully clothed, and performing a task as innocuous as any could be, and want to pounce upon him and ravage him atop the table where he so meticulously set up the meal—Odysseus and anyone else be damned.

Paris on the other hand, dared not look at anyone. He only knew that simply being in the presence of Achilles unnerved him even though he had raped him quite viciously before. If he did not concentrate he would err again. But Gods it was hard, Achilles was so very close to him!

Odysseus looked on in amusement. It was ridiculously obvious to him exactly what was transpiring. He opted to speed things along—and of course have fun while doing so.

"They can't have been working the lad too hard—such lovely hands. Come here, boy, and feed me with them." To his credit, Paris didn't even flinch. He went obediently to Odysseus' couch, took his plate, and began placing bits of the meal into his mouth gingerly.

Achilles was beet red and scowling with jealousy in an instant, but how could he begrudge his dear friend the use of a slave? It would be impolite. In the meantime, Odysseus had made a name for the little game he was playing. 'See how jealous the Demi-God gets before he explodes'. He sucked on Paris' slender digits blatantly, and sent the boy back once he was sure his friend would not say anything.

At length, Odysseus said "Take off your clothes, boy." Paris reddened, but started to obey immediately.

"Why did you tell him to take off his clothes?" Achilles snapped.

"Because I want to see his body." Came the simple response.

"He's scrawny. It's nothing special." Paris' garment dropped to the floor as soon as Achilles said this, and it made him look like a fool indeed. And it was not exactly calming, to see Paris naked body again. Odysseus stood and went over to the boy, scrutinizing silently at first.

"Nothing special? Where are you hiding finer slaves than this one, Achilles? I have not been introduced to their charms, that's for certain." He reached out and stroked Paris' belly "Such fine, taut skin, wouldn't you agree?"

Achilles bit his lip and nodded.

"And what a fine mane of curls." He ran his fingers through the luxuriant mop and sniffed it. "Ah, he smells as sweet as a honey cake."

"I suppose." Achilles grated. Odysseus' hands traveled down from the back of the captive's head to his rounded buttocks, feeling him tense up. He let a finger slide down just where the small of the boy's back parted into two.

"And how smooth and tight he is back here, a temple of delight! And to think, you just snatched him up—didn't have to pay anything. But how much would you pay, if by chance you had to?"

"I don't know—I wouldn't."

"You don't mean that, surely. A finer specimen I have never laid eyes—or hands—upon. However, if you wish to sell him, I would readily give you a thousand pieces of gold." Achilles laughed, scoffing at such an overtly generous offer.

"You my friend are much too smart to be willing to pay such a ridiculous sum for a slave that could actually be useful, much less a soft, spoiled boy like this."

"Perhaps. But you know that if you saw such a beauty on the block somewhere that you wouldn't pass up the opportunity to own him."

"Very well, I'll admit to that."

"What then, would your bid be?"

"I wouldn't pay a copper penny more than a hundred silvers, Odysseus, honestly." Paris quivered. Ashamed that his master would say such a thing, ashamed even more so that he cared.

"You'd be outbid so quickly the utterance would be futile. Anything less than six hundred gold would be laughed at at any slave market and you know it."

"Well, your thousand pieces is ludicrous. Give me a reasonable price."

Paris wanted very much to cry. They had taken everything from him, these Greeks, why must they be so cruel now? Had he not been meek and obedient and accepting of his misery as any slave should be? What was he being punished for? Just as the tears began to gather, seemingly wrenched by the haughty, biting laughter, one thought pushed them back, dried them. Paris remembered that even though his foolhardy mistake had expedited the suffering of his countrymen, it had been a mistake—that he was a good person, and not malicious like these men who now owned him. He would never do to another what they did to him. That he was still a Trojan, and his history was rich and valiant and beautiful even though he had not done it justice. And that he was loved—once –truly loved. By his mother and father, before they died. By Helen, and Andromache, wherever they were. By Oenone. By all of his friends, and by Hector most of all. Loved deeply and truly, that was what mattered most. So when Odysseus and Achilles finally declared how much they would be willing to pay for the young captive, Paris smiled and inclined his head—a slave's gesture of thanks—and there was no facetiousness in it.

Achilles did not know whether or not this pleased him, but he had no time to think about it.

"Gentle of temperament, to top it all off, it seems. I find that after all this banter I have lost my appetite—for food, at least. I must have a taste of him before I go, and I would prefer sooner to later."


"The boy I mean. It shouldn't take long; I'm hard as a stone already. Shall I just take him across the hall? I'll have him back to you before you've had done with your breakfast." Odysseus did not laugh, but it took up every bit of his effort.

Achilles could only nod helplessly. He always loaned his friend whichever slave the Ithacan king took a fancy to—it was rudimentary hospitality. How could he let a mere thrall come between his best and oldest friend? It made no sense at all.

He still wanted to do it, though. When Paris, obviously stiff but still compliant, moved to set down the platter on the low table before his master. As he knelt, he looked up at Achilles. There was only the subtlest hint of pain in the slave's eyes. There was no room for all the foolishness of what had past between warrior and servant in the past few moments—or the past few years, for that matter, in those honey brown orbs.

"how could you?" They whispered. Achilles tore his gaze away sharply before his own face could show emotion. He could not bear to look at him.

Paris, after having set down the tray followed Odysseus to a vacant bedchamber across the long hallway. As they entered the room and the King shut the door behind them, Paris could have sworn that he heard the other man laugh. He did not bother turning around to face his master-on-loan as he climbed up onto the bed—positioning himself on his hands and knees and preparing himself mentally for the worst.

"Don't be afraid, lad. This is going to be fun." Said King Odysseus.

He was laughing! Paris shivered, but for a long while the Ithacan simply sat on the bed beside Paris in his bestial position. And then he said.

"Give him just a few more minutes—he's concerned about offending me, you see." Paris didn't have the faintest idea what Odysseus was talking about, he just wished the man would have done with it already. As if on cue, Odysseus began to touch the boy, both massaging his cock and pushing a few fingers into his anus. Paris both moaned with pleasure and whimpered in pain.

"Sorry, but this has to sound real, and I don't think you'd play along, given the choice." He continued to fondle the boy until all of a sudden he began to count backwards. "Five…..four……" he pulled his hand out of Paris' entrance. "…three……two…." And away from Paris' cock.

Achilles had been pacing outside the door in a frenzy since almost the very moment his friend had made off with his slave boy. He could hear sounds, definitely the Trojan, but couldn't tell whether they were from pain or pleasure. Not that it mattered—the thought of either circumstance maddened him equally. He knew it was wrong, knew that a friend should come before a…

…what exactly was Paris? Not a lover, but obviously not just a slave to Achilles either. He was a prize, Achilles decided. A prize that displayed a triumph in a war, a victory over Agamemnon, a conquering of a people. Yes, this was why he was valuable, why he should belong to Achilles and Achilles alone. It was rude, and it broke all of the laws of guest-friendship, but Achilles couldn't stand it, couldn't let it happen. He broke down the door to the room occupied by his friend and his prisoner.

"…One." And the door broke down. Paris whirled around from his position in shock. The feeling of relief he felt when he saw his master standing in the doorway made him nauseous.

"Your wife!" Achilles shouted at Odysseus.

"What about her?"

"You're…you're about to dishonor her, that's what. I won't let you do that—not under my roof and with my slave. I have too much respect for her."

"I have rutted many of your slaves before."

"Yes well…that was before you were married."

"No it wasn't." Odysseus protested.

"Yes it was!" Achilles insisted sharply, forgetting all about his friendship with the Ithacan. Right now he could almost throttle him. And what was he giggling about?

"Ah. Then I must be mistaken. Of course you are right, I cannot let such a lowly one come between me and my lady wife." He got up and walked towards the door. "Thank you so much for… showing me what I hold dear, my friend." And he left. As he walked away, he could tell that this trick was wasted on the warrior now—poor idiot—but also that it wouldn't take too long for him to see straight.

With Odysseus gone, all Achilles could do was to stare at Paris' positioned form. He was still rigid with desire, and seeing his captive like this was sending him over the edge. He was on top of the boy in seconds, spitting hastily into his palm and coating his rock hard length before delving into the young prince.

"Ohh, Zeus. Let me never be parted from this boy you have given to me he thought as Paris' tightness coaxed his seed from him in but one mighty thrust. He collapsed, bringing the boy down to a laying position along with him as he crushed the slight Trojan with his weight. Smiling, he closed his eyes to bathe in the afterglow.

Paris, on the other hand, was not so happy or lethargic. It was not so easy being chattel when he was expected to serve sexually like this—to be treated like a whore and fucked without any consideration of his feelings. He realized with much dismay that him being in the kitchens had only acclimated him to being a good house slave, which he did not find so deplorable. But it did nothing to get him used to being his master's whore as he had been on the ship. In fact, it was more of a disservice, since everyone in the kitchen was so kind.

Could he bear it again, serving his master in this capacity? Being nothing but the warmth and tightness his body could offer those that used it? It didn't matter, really. Achilles would have what he desired. As his master drifted of into a blissful sleep, Paris didn't try to free himself from under the man and return to the kitchens. He knew he wouldn't be baking bread again for a very, very long time. Burying his head into a pillow, he wept.