Ship: Troy – Briseis/Achilles
Rating: Story rated T for adult content.
Disclaimer: Wow, its been awhile since I have written anything for any of my stories and I apologize. I just could not get inspired and then some personal stuff occurred that completely threw me out of the writing zone. However, I am hoping to get back to it by posting a revised version of the first part of Wounded Heart. I've since retitled it to Eternal. This is still a modern day Troy story, but I will try to make it as interesting as possible. I have had this idea in my head since I began writing A Change in Action. I am not sure how far I will take this story, but if you do enjoy it and even if you do not, leave a little feedback for me. Okay, here we go. Italics are thoughts.
Brenna hung up the phone with a sigh. She would rather be anywhere but back in this country. If her editor had not insisted she complete her new book before the deadline, Brenna would never have agreed to fly halfway across the globe. "Really?" she asked herself. Who was she trying to convince with that one? In all honesty, this place was where she felt the most inspired, where a great deal of what she had written about in her latest novel had occurred. As soon as she arrived, the words simply flowed onto the page.
Two months later, the last chapter of Flowers for a Ghost was complete. Her editor had been overjoyed to say the least and in truth Brenna was relieved as well. Flying all the way to Turkey of all places may have been inspiring beyond belief, but the country also opened old scars she long thought had healed. Why she had agreed to write this book to begin with was beyond her. "Maybe because you're a glutton for punishment", she mentally scolded herself before standing up. Spending two months locked in her hotel room left Brenna in desperate need of getting out for fresh air. Grabbing her room key, she slipped out of her room and made her way out of the hotel.
Like so many times before, Brenna found herself walking along the nearby beach. On every visit she made to this part of the country it was inevitable that she would end up on this particular beach. She smirked in subtle amusement, slipping out of her shoes. This place brought with it a mixture of emotions; it was so like the shores she knew as a child. Walking barefoot along the shore, Brenna watched as the sun began to set on the horizon. The sunsets here were some of the most beautiful she had ever witnessed. The sun dipped below the sea, the dying rays painting the sky a crimson hue.
She sighed, slowing her pace. Closing her eyes she began recalling images from her childhood. She remembered running along the shore with her two cousins; the laughter as they jumped into the cool waves and splashed each other playfully. The visions of those days long gone, continued to flood her mind. Those two boys, her dear cousins, had been merciless in their antics and she smiled thinking about how many times they all had tried to dunk each other under the water. Even now, she could see the boys throwing seaweed at one another and her, none of them having a care in the world.
Her smile quickly faded. Childhood passes by so quickly, far too quickly. In those days, she had spent every waking moment with her cousins, but as they each grew into young adults, the time they shared together grew shorter and shorter. Her eldest cousin was the first to break away. He took a beautiful and charming woman as his wife, and as was to be expected, spent as much time as he could with her, building a family of his own. His little brother went off on his own romantic exploits, though he never remained with any one woman for long. Women loved him and he enjoyed returning that love; a trait that would bring much misfortune to him and those dearest to him.
While she did not wish to deny her cousins their happiness, the loss of their company had taken much of the warmth from her life. In time, though she learned to fill the empty space in her life with her religious studies. Eventually, those studies had led to her to choosing what she thought to be her calling. How foolish she was then, to think she would ever truly be happy with that sort of lifestyle.
Thinking on it now, she had often berated her cousin for his recklessness. He and his romances had been the cause of much scandal. Who would have thought that the same rash behavior that would bring such devastation to their family would give her the few moments of happiness she would experience in her life. In his youthful indiscretion, her cousin would unwittingly bring into her life the only man she had ever loved. He was a man that challenged everything she believed in, saved her and showed her passion she had only witnessed between her eldest cousin and his dear wife.
The rush of sweet memories with him was like a warm breeze drifting over her. If Brenna closed her eyes long enough, she could still see him standing here on the beach taking on those who had tried to do her harm. At times, late at night, she could still feel his rough hands touching her gently as he made love to her for the first time. As the years passed by her in a blur, it was these images that she held close to her heart. Sadly, they were not the only images burned in her mind. For with the sweet memories came bitter ones. The loss of someone dear to him at the hands of her elder cousin had sent him into a rage, one in which he had nearly killed his best friend. When she had tried to stop him from doing so, the care and gentleness he had shown her since they had met, vanished.
With eyes closed, Brenna placed her hand on the front of her neck. Even now she could still feel his strong fingers pressing against the flesh as he lashed out in pain. Unable to quench his own anger, he took his revenge upon the man who had caused his pain. In the end, she was left to mourn the painful loss of her cousin. After that, nothing in Brenna's life was ever the same. She had fallen in love with this man and nothing could cleanse those feelings from her heart. Not even the knowledge that because of him, her eldest cousin was dead. Her affection for her cousins' killer was a slight that her family could never accept.
When he returned her to the care of her uncle, she had longed to refuse to leave, knowing what torment awaited her back home. Her uncle had given her little choice and so Brenna had left her lover standing there, watching with sadness in his eyes as she departed. That moment had been added to the long list of regrets in her life. If only she had stayed with him that night, things may have turned out differently.
Opening her eyes, Brenna sighed. How she longed to forget those days when her world had burned into ash, but she simply could not let them go. With such ferocity, she clung to the last moments she had shared with him. The tender words he had spoken to her the first time they parted ways had helped to heal the wound he brutally inflicted when he had killed her cousin. His last words to her; however, shattered her heart. In his own way, he had finally spoken of his love for her. At the time, she had not the words to tell him the same and in the end, her love was not enough to save him. He had given his life to save hers and was gone forever. These words were left out of her book, for she could not bring herself to share them with anyone.
A tear streaked down her cheek and she quickly moved to wipe it away. She had shed so many tears for him since the night he had died. There were times she wondered how she could have any tears left. The only comfort she had was that perhaps, in death he had found the peace that had been so elusive while he lived. As for herself, she was not granted such fortune. The rejection of her remaining family after they learned of her affair broke her heart. They refused to speak to her and she was forced to find solace with no one but herself for company. For him alone she carried on as bravely as she could. Eventually, not of her own choosing, she parted ways with them permanently. Brenna doubted they had cared much about her departure at that time.
Now, as she watched the sun vanish, Brenna wondered why she kept returning to this place. She was no longer that girl; had left her behind so long ago; and while she still thought of him often, she had learned to live without him.
With a sigh, Brenna once known as Briseis, stood up and brushed the sand from her pants. Over 2000 years had passed since that fatal night when he had been taken from her life; when she had realized that she was fated to live without him forever. Though it was difficult to accept, Brenna had little choice in the matter. It had been a hard lesson to learn, but she had no choice in the matter and so she had found a way to survive. Her past discretions with Achilles could not be changed, nor would she ever wish to change what she had experienced with him.
He had shaped the woman she became; strong and independent. Her eyes gazed over the waves as they crashed into the shore. Thoughts for another day, for now all she wanted to do was return to her hotel room, take a warm bath and sink into a soft bed. Tomorrow she would fly back home, hand her editor the manuscript for her last book, and find a new project to occupy her time.
Once she was off the sane, she put her shoes back on and headed back towards her hotel. As she was stepping through the doors of the hotel her shoe caught on a snag in the carpet. Looking down, Brenna carefully remedied the situation only to end up walking into someone when he shoes came loose. "Ooh, oh my goodness I am so sorr…" Brenna started before looking up at the person she had bumped into. Her breath words caught in her throat at the so familiar face before her. She gasped in surprise, taking a step backward. "Oh my god, I must be seeing things, it can't be you." She whispered under her breath.
The cocky grin that spread across his face was the same as it had been all those years ago. The voice was slightly different. The accent he once had was gone, replaced with an American one. "That's quite alright. No harm done." Noticing she was shaking, he gently asked, "Are you alright?"
After finally regaining her ability to speak, Brenna replied, "I'm, I'm fine. I…I should…I need to go." She brushed past him as fast as she could, heading towards the elevators.
Before he could stop her, Aiden watched the beauty race around the corner, most likely going back to her room. "Well I'll be damned." He whispered to himself before following after her as quickly as he could. How long had he held out hope that she was still alive? He had lost track of how many times he had been let down by one lead or another over the many years. As Achilles, he had never been a man to hold on to such frivolous things. People died, it was a fact of life, but for some reason a part him did not want to believe that his Briseis was gone forever. However, after so many years without being able to find her, Aiden had resigned himself to the fact that she was beyond his reach. This trip back to Turkey was to of been his last; a chance for him to lay his past to rest once and for all. He found it both ironic and amusing that just when he was ready to do so, his past should quite literally come slamming into him.
He was never a man to give up easily and with this in mind he caught up to her as she moved quickly into one of the elevators. The doors closed before he could get in but he watched the numbers carefully trying figure out which floor she was staying on. The numbers began to slow and with the agility that had made him such a threat on the battlefield, Aiden made his way up the nearby stairs. By the time he reached her floor, he was breathing hard but out of the corner of his eye he saw her rushing towards her room. Not one for subtlety he called out to her, "Briseis!"
Brenna stopped dead in her tracks when she heard his voice. Her eyes went as wide as saucers. No one had called her by that name for a very long time. The way he said it was achingly familiar, but it couldn't be him. She turned slowly towards him, "Who are you?" She spoke softly, pain evident in her voice.
"Who do you think I am?" Aiden asked as he slowly walked towards her. His eyes filled with surprise and delight. Had he truly found her?
"I know…it can't be. It's not possible." Brenna leaned heavily against the door to her suite. How could this be? How could he be here, now, after so long? He stood before her and brushed a strand of hair out of her face. She couldn't breathe as his fingers touched her skin. Throughout the centuries she had dreamed that he might return to her or that she would finally be able to return to him, but dreams die hard. Over time, she had made peace with the fact that this dream was not to be. Closing her eyes, Brenna knew that when she opened them he would be gone. To her amazement, he remained smiling down at her. She fought back tears as she lifted a hand up to touch his face. "Achilles, it is you isn't it?"
"Must I prove who I am… to the woman who gave me peace in a lifetime of war?" Achilles whispered.
"You just did." Brenna whispered back before wrapping her arms around his neck, tears streaking down her face. "Oh my god, my god" she murmured.
Achilles held her close, lost in feeling her against him again. Rare was there a day that passed that he did not wonder what had become of her. For years after his "death" he had searched high and low for some bit of news on where she and her kin had escaped to when Troy fell. Most of the news about the surviving Trojans was sparse or vague at best. Saddened at not being able to find her, Achilles had reluctantly let the matter go. He moved on, made a new life for himself and continued to do so as the numerous years came and went. Still, sometimes he would still think about her, wondering if she had married another, had children, and lived a happy life without him. While it had once left him feeling bitter, he was never one to dwell on the past for too long. Funny how when he thought things in his life could not get any odder, she appeared. She was just as beautiful as the first time he had laid eyes on her. Achilles released her, wiping away the lingering tears in her big brown eyes. He had to smirk at her mention of god. "Not any god, just me. Shh, it's alright, it's alright."
Trying to reign in her emotions, Brenna she looked up at him and though she wanted to shush him for his teasing, in this moment she could not bring herself to do so. She whispered sadly, "You spoke those words to me once and it was never alright again."
"I know, I know but it is truly alright now. We have found each other again." Noting that they were still standing in the hallway, Achilles spoke softly, "Come on; why don't we go inside. I think we have quite a bit to discuss and I think you would agree that what we have to discuss needs to be in private." He grinned down at the women in his arms.
She looked up at him, the amused look on his face did not go unnoticed and Brenna hit his arm lightly, a small smile forming on her lips. "Of course, you're right let me just…" She turned around and unlocked the door, her hands shaking the entire time."
Brenna stood leaning against the door to her hotel room her eyes carefully observing Achilles as he looked around the room. He still looked as handsome and had as much presence as he did all those years ago. When he turned to look at her, she looked away nervously missing the grin that spread across his face. Clearing her throat Brenna decided to end the silence. "You um, you look good." She blushed as soon as the words came out of her mouth
Achilles grinned before sitting down on the edge of the bed. "It's nice to know I can still make you blush." He paused and then with more seriousness, "You look amazing, Briseis".
"It's actually Brenna now. I changed it some time ago." Brenna replied.
He spoke her name silently, testing it out on his tongue. "A beautiful name, though I still prefer Briseis."
Brenna smiled shyly. "Thank you. I kept my old name for quite a while after…after I fled Troy. As time passed though, it just wasn't appropriate any longer." She paused then chuckled, "After all, I'm sure you don't go by Achilles anymore."
Achilles laughed, "No, if I went around calling myself Achilles people nowadays might think me a little crazy. I would probably end up locked in a hospital somewhere. No, I had to change my name after, well that night. I go by Aiden now."
Brenna couldn't resist teasing him, "Doesn't strike as much fear into the hearts of your enemies as the name Achilles did I imagine." Her laughter died
"You would imagine correctly, but that really isn't something that concerns me nowadays." Aiden stated softly.
They shared a few moments of laughter before Brenna grew silent and began fidgeting with the items on her desk. She felt his eyes on her and it brought back all those old feelings; feelings she had thought never to experience again. Overjoyed as she was that he was truly here, something kept her from fully embracing the moment. "Fear" she thought. "Fear that this is all just a dream, that I'll wake up and once more be alone."
Aiden watched her as he had done so often during those few days on the beach. The apprehension coming off her was obvious as he watched her move the stack of papers from one side of the desk to the other and shuffle around the pens and pencils that scattered across the table. He stood up and walked over to her. "What's this?" he said as he picked up the cover page of her manuscript.
Before she could stop him he had grabbed a page from her latest novel. Slightly embarrassed, she tried to grab it back but he was still far quicker than she was. "It's nothing, just something I was working on." Once more she sought to take it but he lifted it out of her reach.
A cheeky grin formed on his lips as he read the title. "Hmm, Flowers for a Ghost. So, you're a writer now?"
Giving up momentarily on retrieving the paper, Brenna sighed before smiling. "Well, I did have a great deal of spare time on my hands as you can imagine. After traveling the world at least dozen times over, I had to find something to occupy my time. I chose to write about my experiences. This is actually the last book in the series."
Aiden nodded. He too had delved into a great many projects to keep himself busy over the years. He glanced over at her, noting the slight blush she wore. As in the past, Aiden could not resist playfully teasing her. "I'm impressed, a whole series; and just what is this particular story about?"
It was amazing that they could so easily fall back into old habits. He had always seemed to enjoy provoking her. Then again, she too had done her fair share of testing his patience as well. "Do you really want to know?" She moved closer to him, her hands coming to rest on his chest.
Aiden inhaled deeply as her fingers lay gently over his heart. He fought to keep his emotions in check. He didn't want to frighten her with the strength of what he was feeling at that moment. "I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to know."
Lifting a hand off his chest, she quickly reached up and snatched the paper back from him. "Then I guess you'll just have to wait till it's published." She winked at him, turned and placed the page back down onto the others.
He laughed unable to hold it in after her stealthy move. Aiden placed his hands on her arms, "There's my girl; still as spirited as ever." He felt her take a sharp breath in at his touch and the trembling of her body. "Are you afraid of me Briseis?" He whispered into her air.
Brenna closed her eyes at his touch. Those hands; they felt just like she remembered. His breath on her neck sent a shiver through her body. Her lips curved into a smile when she heard his speak familiar words and knew there was only one reply she could give. "Should I be?" She was rapidly losing the struggle to control what her heart wanted in that moment. When he turned her around to face him, her eyes were still closed and she refused to meet his gaze
Aiden slipped a finger under her chin, forcing her to look up at him. "You never have to fear me, ever." Slowly he leaned down and gently kissed her on the lips. For so many years, Brenna had dreamed of his kisses, longed to feel his lips upon her just one more time. Now, here she stood living that very dream and it was so much more than she could have ever hoped. Her arms snaked around his neck as the kiss grew more intense.
As they kissed, memories flashed through both their minds. Though they had only had a short time together all those years ago. The moment they had met, when she had stopped him from killing Agamemnon's men, when he had saver her from those very same men, the first time he had taken her, the happy moments they had shared before everything came crashing down on them.
When the need to breathe became too much, they both pulled away. Tears slid down Brenna's cheek. "I missed you." She stroked his cheek as she spoke before pulling him into another kiss.
Aiden held her face in his hands pouring every part of himself into the kiss. He had felt the same way throughout the years apart. The need to breathe forced them apart once more. Aiden spoke the words he had long held in his heart, the tears that were forming in his own eyes unchecked. "You don't know how long I searched for you." He looked down, "I was such a fool to have never told you what you truly meant to me."
Brenna placed her fingers over his lips. "But you did. Maybe not in the words that most men use, but the words you did speak were enough for me. They always have been."
Aiden spoke softly between soft kisses. "I should have said more. I was such a blasted idiot back then. You deserved better."
Brenna looked up at him, longing in her eyes. "Don't you dare say that; yes, you had your faults, but we all do. We can't change what we did or didn't do back then. All we have is now."
Aiden smiled before drawing her into another passion-filled kiss. He pulled her closer, and then lifted her up into his arms. Breaking the kiss for a moment, he spoke, "Then I suppose we have to make the most of right now," he paused his lips twitching up into that famous cheeky grin of his, "and perhaps make up for lost time."
For the first time in a long time, Brenna felt true happiness. She returned his grin with one of her own. "Hmm, indeed, but it's a lot of years to make up for."
"We have all the time in the world now don't we?" Aiden stated as he laid her down on her bed.
She looked up at him, biting her bottom lip. "Well, I do need to get back and get my manuscript to my editor and then there's…" Brenna was cut off as Aiden's lips came crashing down on hers once more. Soon his lips were trailing down her neck. The moan that came from her lips was music to his ears. His hands reached for the hem of her top and Brenna obliged him by lifting up her arms.
The rest of their clothes were quickly upon the floor. Hands were not idle; her small fingers trailed over his back remembering the smooth, firm skin. One of his hands held her face, while the other grazed down her leg. Brenna gasped as his lips and hands brought about sensations she had thought dead with him. Aiden paused to gaze at her naked form. Her beauty had not diminished with time. Aiden smiled, capturing her lips against his own. At first, the feeling of truly being one again after so long overwhelmed them both. Like that first night, it was pure ecstasy. No woman before her had ever felt as right for him, as she did. Her skin was like satin as she curled around him and his lips found their way to her neck, eliciting the tiniest moans.
All too soon, what began slow and gentle gave way to a fiery blaze of passion. When it was all over, Brenna slumped back down onto the bed, Aiden slumping down against her. For some time, the only sound was of the couple's heavy breathing. Hours later they lay entwined still damp with sweat. Aiden's head rested on her chest as he grasped one of her hands. He had forgotten how small they were in comparison to his.
Brenna ran the fingers of her other hand through his hair. She could still feel her heart pounding in her chest, his breath against her still damp skin, sending chills through her body. Her eyes fluttered closed as she attempted to catch her breath. When he lifted his head from her chest, Brenna opened her eyes to look down at him curiously. He wore an expression she had never seen before. "What? What is it?"
Aiden gazed up into her brown eyes. For a moment, he debated on whether he should tell her what he was thinking. While normally he was not a man to shy away from saying what he wanted, in this instance he decided to show some of the wisdom he had gained over the years. Instead, he smiled "Nothing, just enjoying this." He moved up her body, and gently kissed her lips. After several minutes of kissing, he moved off to the side allowing her to curl up against him.
Brenna laid her head on his chest, while he wrapped his arm around her to draw her closer. "Mmm, it seems so surreal for you to actually be here." Her fingers danced over his skin and she frowned slightly, "I'm afraid."
He gazed over at her curiously, "Of what Briseis?"
Lifting up her head she raised a hand to touch his face. "I'm afraid that I'll go to sleep and when I wake up and you'll be gone again. Seeing you here, now, it seems like I'm lost in a dream, but I don't care. If I can only have you in dreams, then I'll take it."
Aiden leaned up and kissed her lips. It was so damn hard for him to express the things he was feeling. He had always been a man of action, but for her he would try. "If this is a dream, then let us pray to those gods of yours that we don't wake up anytime soon." He paused, "But if it's not, then we can sleep knowing that we will be together again tomorrow."
Brenna leaned down and kissed him before he gently pulled her back down to rest against him. She sniffled then yawned. "Tomorrow" she murmured letting her eyes flutter closed. Aiden watched her for some time. "Yes, tomorrow." Before long, his own weariness sent him into a deep sleep.
I hope you enjoyed the rewrite. Do me a favor and listen to Trevor Morris's lovely instrumentals from the Tudors soundtracks called, "I the Eight Henry/Brandon Lux Aeterna and Death of Jane Seymour/Howling Wilderness. You can find them on YouTube. Please leave a little feedback and let me know what you think of the rewrite. Achilles might seem a bit out of character but remember he has had many years to change as an individual.
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