The late afternoon sun baked already golden skin as the woman lay atop of a large ruin, her eyes were closed as her face turned to the sun, the sound of clashing wooden swords and affectionate fighting words familiar to her, she let her arm hang over the side of the warm stone, her fingers mindlessly scratching at the crumbling rock.
"You told me never to change sword hands" her cousin Patroclus could be heard, amusement tingeing his voice and she could almost see him smile. She heard the scrape of wood on wood as he was disarmed.
"yes, when you know how to use it you won't be taking my orders" her brother Achilles, replied easily, he kicked Patroclus sword from him and alerted by the sound of horses hooves he grabbed his spear sending it flying into the woods, she felt a rough hand grab her own and she was pulled unceremoniously, instinctively she lashed out with her foot, catching Achilles in the ribs and twisting from his grip, she landed softly.
Achilles rubbed his ribs laughingly, "still sharp, even after all your time spent lying in the sun, little sister" his eyes full of pride.
"I can still beat you any day, you do well to remember that, big brother" Arianna replied quickly, but she was smiling widely.
Achilles chuckled and looked over to the entrance of the ruins and his smile grew wider as he saw his old friend, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, the only king he could stand to be around. The tall well built man, his handsome face lined and his dark hair shorter than most threw Achilles spear back to him "your reputation for hospitality is fast becoming legend" he joked as Achilles chucked the spear with his others and turned back to face the man, he held Patroclus out by his arm, the tip of his sword in his neck.
"My cousin, Patroclus" he smiled at Odysseus before looking back to Arianna, "and you remember my sister"
"Patroclus, I knew your parents well, I miss them, but now you have these two looking after you eh? Some kings would kill for the honour" the king smiled clapping the young man on his shoulder, he looked over Achilles large shoulder at the lithe beauty behind him "of course I remember, how could I forget a face as beautiful?"
Arianna rolled her eyes and stepped forward knocking the sword from Achilles and engaging Patroclus in a fight, laughter dancing in her violet eyes "you are such a good liar Odysseus, we may make a king of you yet"
Odysseus laughed and turned seriously back to Achilles "we need to talk"
"Are you here on Agamemnon's bidding?"Achilles asked sceptically, turning to watch as Arianna disarmed a panting Patroclus and danced her way back over to them, cleverly avoiding her cousin's blows. "I will not fight for him"
"I'm not asking you to fight for him, im asking you to fight for the Greeks" Odysseus stated
"Why are the Greeks tired of fighting themselves?" Arianna interjected with a slight smile, coming to stand beside her brother
"For now" he nodded, couldn't help but smile at her beauty
"The Trojans never harmed me"
"They insulted Greece"
"They insulted one Greek, a man who couldn't hold onto his wife, what business of that is mine?"
"War is your business my friend" Odysseus challenged
"Is it? The man has no honour" Achilles replied
"Let Achilles fight for honour and Agamemnon fight for power and we shall see who the gods chose to glorify" Odysseus charmed
"Were sending the largest fleet that ever sailed, one thousand ships" Arianna raised her eyebrows at this
"Is prince Hector as good a warrior as they say?" Patroclus asked Odysseus still slightly in awe of the king who held so much power, and oddly so much kindness.
"The best of all the Trojans and, some even say he is better than all the Greeks" a well aimed attack on Achilles pride and Arianna had to commend him for that
"Yes, but they haven't met me yet have they?" she winked
Odysseus smiled "that is true Arianna, very true, but this war is not for you" he ignored her icy glare and turned to her cousin "but Even if your cousin doesn't come, I hope you'll join us, Patroclus. We could use a strong arm like yours"
Achilles tilted his head and pointed his sword at Odysseus in a non threatening way, "Play your tricks on me, not my cousin"
"you have your sword I have my tricks, we both play with the gifts the gods give us, we sail in three days" he began to move away back to his horse "This war will never be forgotten, nor will the heroes who fight in it" were his parting words as he mounted his horse with a wave, disappearing behind the ruins.
Arianna sighed heavily, "Well, I'm going, just to prove him wrong, this is my war"
"I wish to go to! We must fight for the Greeks!" Patroclus shouted eagerly
Achilles rubbed his face with his hands "I have no choice now do I?" smiling as Patroclus ran to fetch some water
Arianna smiled and faced the setting sun, Achilles rested a heavy hand on her shoulder "I do not wish for you to go, you know you can't, so I don't see that you should fight it"
"I'm going Achilles, every war you have let me bear witness to, or join with the myrmidons, you have taken the advancing men down, claiming the enemy in ways other men can only dream of, while I wait in the back ground, when you know I can fight, I'm the only one to defeat you in every fight, yet you still refuse to acknowledge this, and still you chose Patroclus, a very inexperienced fighter, over me?" she argued.
Achilles looked down at his sister, her large violet coloured eyes shone brightly as she argued, framed by thick lashes, that complemented her creamy complexion, they appeared even bigger, her sun darkened skin contrasted against her almost white blond hair, similar to his own, hung down to her waist when she relieved it from the two ceramic combs that held it high on her head, he would kill for his sister that much went UN said, but to allow her to fight in a war that could end the lives of more experienced men seemed absurd, yet it was true, she did best him in their fights, always had since they were young, and that could not be faulted. He sighed dejectedly.
"You must keep away from Agamemnon, if he sees you I do not think of what he would do, and subsequently my actions against him"
Arianna smiled brilliant and threw her arms around her brother "thank you, thank you, now on to troy!"
"Please don't make me regret this" he said
Arianna shook her head "never, although I do not agree that this war is worth it just to retrieve her highness" she narrowed her eyes, she had never like Helen "I do wish to travel"
Achilles chuckled and shook his head, what am I going to do with her?