MY SECOND STORY ON THIS WEBSITE! I am ecstatic. If ya'll like it (or not) I'll post some more. :P

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of Adele Geras' plots characters... etc.

***

I brushed my hands through my short blue‐black hair once more and sighed. Once again I left my room, heading for my new charge, Helen of Troy. If she talked anymore about Paris and how handsome he is, I swear I will puke right on her dress.

After all, I'm only 8 summers‐what did you expect?

Ok, so I'm not that good with keeping up with my swears, obviously. Because the first thing Helen said to me this morning after her usual "Hi" was "Isn't Paris just the most amazing person you ever met? He's just so kind and.." I forgot to puke. There I had to cut her off anyway, if anyone was more selfish than Paris, it would probably be the great sun god Apollo. So I spent the rest of my time in Helen's room brushing out her silken gold hair and soaking her in scented oils and curling her hair with carefully fashioned irons.

Then it was my free time. I only have two hobbies in my life; one is caring for horses. The second is trying to keep Cassandra's hating nails out of Helen's perfect cream‐colored skin and liquid blue eyes. Cassandra is as darkly gorgeous and perfect as Helen is magnificent and white and cream. She has silky raven black hair with liquid brown eyes and a full soft body. Cassandra however, was cursed by mighty Apollo's "gift" of the sight. She can see into the future, but only the bad things. Her twin, Helenus, can hold in his worrying visions, but Cassandra cannot. Her visions trouble her so badly that she has to scream them to the world at some point of time or another. She is my best friend; I miss having her to talk to in the morning. Her most recent prophecy is the most troubling; she thinks that Helen will be the downfall of Troy I had warned Helen of this prophecy time and time again. But the only voice that Helen seems to register is Paris'. Anyway, it is time to check on Mione, the pregnant horse who the stable master promised me I could care for. The foal will grow to be the most beautiful and strong of them all! Her father is a great war‐stallion and her mother a strong wild horse we found roaming the city streets.. Later today there will be a Truce meeting between us Trojans and the Greeks. I hope our king will be strong enough in his mind to return Helen to her rightful husband. But I think Helen has charmed the man to the point of determination to keep her with the Trojans. It is very hard not to be charmed by Helen. She is perfect!

8 SUMMERS LATER

"I will take… The Singer and his granddaughter, Menaus, and you." King Priam pointed at me. I nodded my assent‐ but when he turned around‐ I turned to gawp at Adara. (A.K.A. the Singer's granddaughter.) There was no reason I deserved to go to the Greek's camp while King Priam begged for Prince Hector's body from the great warrior Achilles. Menaus came over to me, "Come on my little dove", I winced, "Let's go fetch the cart." I sighed and followed; no matter how many times I told him I wasn't interested; he just kept trying. I have to hand it to men‐ they're persistent.

King Priam turned to me, "You're to spy on the soldiers. Help serve their food and pay attention." I nodded.

I scooped up my serving tray from the kitchen table and smoothed my skirts to my advantage; my curves showed more clearly, I wouldn't be dismissed too soon to learn what was going on tonight. I walked out into the clearing where they ate, with my tray held at the appropriate level for once. I knew that I had the potential to be as beautiful as Helen or Cassandra, this would be a pinch. Literally, as I passed Menaus, a man who cared for me in almost an obsessive way, he reached out and pinched my arm. Many of the Greeks gave me approving glances and one was brave enough to reach out and slap my.. ummmmm… rear. I gave him my cute/annoyed pout (while I secretly fumed) and continued serving the wine. A stronger shorter Greek man coughed, "Are we going to start this meeting or mess with the serving women?" he questioned, making the younger officers flush and fidget in their seats.

"Er‐ yes Odysseus. Let's begin". Oh my! That was Odysseus!? He was a Greek legend for his skill, bravery, and quick thinking. I felt my heart skip a beat and gave a quick look in his direction. He gave me a kind, understanding smile, reminding me he was married. I flushed and put down my wine tray and left to fetch the tray of bread and butters. Odysseus cocked his head to one side and looked at me, I flushed again and started to pass out the rolls and butter to the soldiers. My face was burning, but I continued with my work. I joked and flirted with the young men through their dinner and let them think I was interested, smiling promisingly. Quite a few commented that it was nice to have a wench serving their meals. I giggled; hoping the blush spreading across my cheeks would pass as embarrassment, not rage‐ the true reason. A man's cough sounded behind me, I turned, it was King Priam. I flushed the harder. After the dinner had finished Menaus stomped up to the young soldier that had… ummmmm… slapped me.

"How dare you touch her! Leave her alone you filthy Greek! Low‐down flea!"

The soldier narrowed his big black eyes,"Since when do you have the right to command me Trojan toad!"

"Stop‐ we already are going to have to fight a war outside, let's keep it there." I butted in.

Both men just stared at me, women were supposed to remain silent around men. Finally Menaus just stroked my arm and left. I swore under my breath, I didn't mind other men, just him. The soldier walked up to me until he was only a hands' width away from me. I stared defiantly up into his coal black eyes. He chuckled softly and ran one of his fingers down the inside of my neck and leaned in to whisper " meet me in the peach orchards in Troy at 10, don't be late lovely warrior." I froze in position as I watched him walk away, I realized without a doubt- I'm going to the peach orchards- I need to go to the palace therapist if I really want to do this. And I really do. This was going to be a very interesting night.

That night, the peach orchards, why did I come? I don't owe him anything, I should just go back to my bedroom and sleep, and I don't see him anywhere anyway. "Aaaaah!" I screamed as a pair of strong hands grabbed my shoulders and turned me around to face their owner. I flushed deeply, it was him. He grinned boyishly and tugged on a lock of my hair.

"Look who showed up, the little fighter."

"Oh please, I don't know why I even bothered to come. And how did you manage to get back through the gates into the city?"

"You see, Helenus happens to be one of my friends, he was happy to let me in." He cupped my face in his hands; I backed out of the touch. I didn't know if I wanted him that close yet. He just took another step towards me again. The moonlight shone through the trees, allowing me a better look at him. He wore a general's cloak and a helmet rested on the ground by a tree. His hair looked to be made of liquid obsidian that hung down to his mid‐neck. He was well muscled but not overly muscled. I had to face the facts; he was perfect, despite being annoying beyond belief. Now was not the time to be stricken by Eros! No matter how humorous he thinks it may be.

"How did you and Helenus get acquainted?"

"We met when he visited Greece years ago with Cassandra, remember?"

"Oh, yes. Well, I am going."

"You can't go yet!" The soldier sounded panicked. "I don't even know your name."

"Adonia. You?"

"Aeron." He sounded more relaxed now.

"Nice name. See ya'" I turned and stalked towards the edge of the clearing. I was almost disappointed that he hadn't stopped me. I mentally slapped myself for even thinking that. How sick am I?

"Why are you still going?!"

"You're not getting nothing from me tonight Boy."

"I'm older than you."

"Yes, you are. Technically. Mentally, you're far younger. Far too young for me." He grabbed my wrist and yanked me back to him. His eyes were furious. I think that was the wrong thing to say.

"I've barely known you two minutes and you're insulting me?" His bewildered and angry voice was sounding right in my ears. Painfully. The hand that he had grabbed felt like it's circulation was being cut off. OW.

"Let GO OF MY WRIST!" I finally choose to direct my pain to anger. Then I am sprawled across the grass, in complete shock. Menaus is standing over me, glaring at Aeron. I am completely winded. Everything seems fuzzy and indistinct.

"That could have killed her!" Aeron shouts in fury.

"You could've too, Boy."

"I wouldn't have tossed her halfway across the orchard!"

"Then what are you doing with her here?" I carefully pull myself onto my hands and knees and try to crawl away. I am sick of being with these crackpots. "Where do you think you're going, eh?" Someone (with really sweaty hands) grabs my ankle and lifts me straight into the air. I can only thank Artemis for my skirt remaining on; and not falling over my head. What a shocker- it's Menaus. I notice how close my elbow is to his... private area, grimace, and slam into it with full force. He lets out a howl of pain and drops me. I stand and run. Through the orchard, and straight into Aeron. He grabs my wrists and pulls me to him.

"Stables, tomorrow night. Got it?" I can only nod, then he's gone. Is he crazy? Why does he want to see me again after what happened tonight? Know what the worst thing is? I know where I'm going tomorrow night. How sick am I? I should talk to Helen. She knows all about being disloyal to her country. And I stink at keeping secrets.

I get a whiff of my pits as I stalk to my home in the city, and halt. I need a bath. And some cookies- something. This is all way too deep for my personal preferences.