Nothing is easier...

Those three words, so simple, repeated in her head long after they had been spoken. Long after their lovemaking, when their breathing had mellowed and the glistening sheen of sweat on their skin had cooled and dried.

Briseis lay quietly, her body still, thinking about what had just transpired between Achilles and her. In just an hour she had given herself up, her body, her chastity.

It had been so pleasurable then, so wonderful, those new feelings coursing through her veins, those aches in places she yearned for his touch, places that colored her cheeks red thinking about them now. Everything had been so new to her, so sensual, adrenaline rushing through her, consuming her every drawback. She had delighted in the sensation of his wet, moist lips all over her skin, those rough hands and how he had groaned and whispered her name in such a elicit manner it made her shiver even in the warm heat from their bodies.

And she had responded, moaning and crying out his name as well, pleading, begging for more; more smothering kisses, more coarse caresses with his hands, more of those prohibited yet ever so desirable, foreign sensations.

And now that their desires had been fulfilled, what was there left?

Just guilt, shame and the inescapable horror that confronted her.

Was it really worth it? She asked herself countless of times after she had been certain Achilles was asleep.

It didn't seem worth it now, after the heady passion had filtered away, but then…then it had seemed like it was everything she had ever wanted, everything that she would ever want.

When she thought about it now, it felt like a dream, something that she had floated through, something that had etched itself in her memory, but would come to pass and fade as a tiny wisp of fantasy.

But while it had been taking place, it was not so much a dream than it was reality. The rushed breathing in her ear, the slow smooth strokes of his fingertips on her, the salty smell of the sea and sweat, the burning emotion beneath those lavish kisses and blue eyes…If anything, it had been startlingly real.

Her insides felt as though they were being torn apart. She was caught in between; the truth, the reality, her illusions, fantasies, vain justifications…they were all just spiraling towards her in a never-ending, uncontrollable torment.

Her eyes, which she had closed tightly shut, sprang open. Her first instinct was to sit up, but she ceased her movement when she saw Achilles' arm wrapped about her middle. His hold, though he was sleeping, was strong, and the weight of his muscled arm pressed down heavily on the stomach.

Carefully, she struggled to lift his arm and place it quietly beside him, hoping that he would not wake up. He was a experienced warrior and after years of living in battle, his ears had been trained to pick up any sound, and Briseis knew that just one quickened breath was enough to jolt him out of sleep.

The dark blue silk sheet that had been covering her slid off like liquid when she stood up and the thick breeze shimmied across her bare skin. Her eyes gradually adjusting to the velvety darkness, she spied the brown garment Achilles had given her lying on the ground. Her white priestess robe lay strewn haphazardly on the ground, but it was not fit to be worn no longer. Achilles had nearly ripped it apart when they made love and it was now nothing more than pieces of dirty shreds.

Crawling silently and groping for the cloth, she managed to pull the dress over her, the coarseness of the cotton prickling her skin. Then she held the leather flaps at the entrance open and slipped out before she could have second thoughts.

She wasn't planning on running away; it was near impossible, and apart from the fact that her body was aching and she was physically and mentally exhausted, she didn't know any secret route to the walls of Troy.

Briseis stood still for a moment, closing her eyes and breathing in the salty sea air. Everything was so quiet now, peaceful and serene as even the toughest and most bloodthirsty men slept. She ran to the edge of the water, settling down in the soft sand, drawing her knees to her.

She had come here with the purpose to think, to sort out her thoughts, but ironically, as she stared at the black sea, the breeze swirling about her seemed to blow all the thoughts out of her head instead.

And as she sat there, looking but not seeing what was ahead of her, she felt an emotion that she never expected to feel at her present state.

She felt alive.

As though that at last, finally, she was living. Living not for others, not for an invisible purpose, but for herself. And as she slowly drew strength from that understanding, she came upon a revelation. She was human, just like any other person, with faults, strengths, weaknesses and emotions.

For so long, she had lived with the thought that as a priestess of Apollo, she was holy, above mortal, pure and unfailing. And so it kept her from living, while that thought bonded her so tightly that she had almost forgotten about the mortal underneath the white robe.

As she began to pry apart those misguided thoughts, Briseis felt her heart grow lighter and lighter, the burden weighing upon her disappearing.

Because as a mortal, it was only natural to make mistakes, make promises and break them and most of all…love. It was natural, how they were, and even the gods above were made to love, for more gods and goddesses were made from their offspring.

And slowly, but surely, she smiled, smiling idly at the endless water before her. It was something she herself hadn't done in days.

She started to feel a warm hand on her shoulder and looked up to see Achilles face peering down at hers. He held in his hands a long thick wrap and placed it on her.

"Here, take this. It's cold out here."

"Thank you." She managed to say, glad that he couldn't see her blush in the darkness. It seemed improper to look at him now, when just a few hours ago they had lain together in the throes of passion.

"What are you doing out here Briseis?" His voice broke through the silence.

She thought about the question, it was so simple. She looked up to answer, to say that she had come to think about her actions, that it was wrong.

Though the moonlight was faint, she saw the slight glimmer of concern in his eyes. And at that moment, she knew it wasn't wrong. It was quite the opposite.

"I, I just needed some fresh air. Nothing is the matter." She nodded to him, swallowing, willing her blush to go away. Briseis stood up and turned to go, pulling the warm wrap about her, with Achilles following.

She gave one last look at the calm dark sea before turning her head away, finally looking and seeing what she was really made of, the illusion of herself falling and slipping away into the darkness.

…………………………….

I hope you like this. Sorry about the long wait. If you don't get the last part, please tell me and I'll explain. Thanks for all your reviews though.