Chapter Twenty Five- Until You Come

"Watch me!" Achilles inclined his head, shading the sun with his hand. Pat jumped from the lowest branch of the tree he climbed to the ground, landing perfectly. Achilles smiled and nodded to him. Once the boys joined together sprinting down the beach, Achilles returned to the blanket spread beneath the tree. Achillae sat there, curls tossing about in the gentle breeze.

"Hi daddy," she said sweetly, a bright smile in greeting.

"Hi princess," he replied, sitting down next to her. The four-year-old child scooted close, sighing as his arms wrapped about her tiny frame. He bowed his head, inhaling the scent of jasmine on her golden locks. He reveled in the affection of his daughter: simple, pure, honest love on both parts. She looked up to him, their similar blue eyes connecting.

"Whatcha thinking?"

"I was thinking how beautiful you are." She giggled, blushing at his compliment. He gave her an inquiring look. "What were you thinking?" Achillae looked down, then back up, obviously building up courage.

"I miss momma," she said softly. His smile faded, focusing on the sand. He lifted her into his lap, cradling her still tiny form in his arms. Her face pressed into his chest, tiny arms around his neck.

"I miss her too, my dove."

Achilles pulled the blankets up over Achillae's sleeping form. She curled into her pillows, rubbing her face against them briefly. Stepping back, he realized that Briseis was wrong about their daughter. She may have his eyes and hair, but she looked exactly like her. And acted like her too.

With the boys already settled into bed, he headed down to his room. He entered, shutting the door and going to the window. He looked upon the ocean with a calm he never knew. He leaned his head back, listening to the movement within.

"She's grown up so much," he said aloud. He gave a small laugh then looked back to the glittering water. "I can't believe she'll be five. Soon I'll be defending her from suitors."

"And you'll love every minute of it." Soft hands caressed his causing him to shut his eyes. When he felt fingertips on his cheeks, he opened them, blue meshing with brown. Briseis smiled softly. "You'll enjoy protecting her every move," she said, running her fingers through his hair. "As you do protecting me."

Three years allowed her to recover slowly. The scar across her belly remained as proof of her ability to heal. Unable to walk for a good three months, Briseis resolved to staying in bed, the children constantly at her side. She now returned to her former strength and stamina, preferring less time in the sun. Achilles studied her features, a mature beauty sweeping across them.

Briseis felt his vigil of her and decided to distract him. She took his hand, kissing each of his fingertips softly. He cupped her chin and moved closer, his other hand gently pressing on her waist, slipping down to her thigh. He bent, lips grazing her own, embracing her tightly now. In a slow and gentle motion, he lifted her up and carried her to their bed.

A/N: That's the ending. Thank you to everyone who reviewed and stuck it through. I appreciate all of the support, love and cheers. I feel like dancing, but I won't. Thank you.

Until next time,