The Achaeans had been fighting the Amazons the whole day, but now their leader, Penthesilea, had fallen and the battle for them was more like a hunt, the Achaeans were bloodthirsty, lusting for vengeance; killing their way through the fight to make the Amazons leave their dust and dead behind.
Achilles was bent before the fallen woman. He ardently admired her when the two of them were dueling. Grace clad with masculine strength.
He took her helmet off to observe her whole. Beautiful dark features, the eyes of a sufferer and a tender mouth.
She had paid the price of a murder she had committed in the past. She had marched here in all her glory, to save the doomed ones. She had died to help others.
Such a few, fainting differences.
I had left the moody noon sky and Zeus' raging thunders outside as I entered my darker tent. There was only the weak fire which was put there to break the freezing cold. When he noticed that I had arrived, Patroclus appeared before me; he had been waiting. Like a loyal dog, one might say. In reality, he was just a worried man.
"You hear that?" I asked.
"Zeus is responding to your prayer..."
"They've been losing and retreating since dawn. Now they are struggling to keep Hector away from that freshly made wall of theirs. Cornered like that, they're very vulnerable to the Trojans, and for sure a lot of them will be killed today, even by their own spears and the moat which they themselves have dug," I described, pleased with it all. My laughter was met with silence.
"Though," I continued, "the Trojans won't manage to eliminate them until sunset. That's more likely to happen tomorrow."
He was frowning. "Do you desire this that much?"
"You should had seen Agamemnon running in panic from his hut, holding his chiton, climbing on a ship and yelling at the soldiers," I said mirthfully. "He hadn’t been expecting the Trojans to come this near to his safe shelter so soon!"
He was not amused like I was. Still, this would not affect my mood. The sounds of the battle could be heard even behind the thunderblasts now.
"I expect that Agamemnon will be coming here to plead for my return, tonight. Though I doubt that he'll do this personally... He’ll surely send envoys on his stead. Until then, I want to relax. Pass me the silver lyre."
When he turned to go bring me what I had taken from king Aetion after I’d slain him, I walked into the yard again to temporarily lock my gate. The wind was blowing colder and stronger; the clouds had become so thick that it all was so dark as if it was dusk. Zeus was the only God at present today. And until I would have my way.
Once finished, I entered the tent and sat nearby the fire and kicked another piece of wood in it. Finally, my turn to enjoy some luxuries in this army.
Patroclus offered me the lyre. I reached my arm and then clasped the hand that was holding the metal.
"Tell me, why are you on their side?" my voice was all but severe.
"...You do not hate them, Achilles. Why are you letting them be destroyed? And you don’t hate Briseis. Why are you exiling her for a second time?"
He was thinking with his emotions. Like I usually do, but so very differently.
"You are right, I do not hate them," I said, taking the lyre but still holding his wrist, "I just watch them leading their own selves to demise. As apathetic as a statue of a god."
A mite of my bitterness should have been shown since I saw concern on his face. But he mostly seemed scared. Terrified.
"And Briseis..." I added, "She is the real innocent victim in all this. She does not deserve the slightest of what she's going through. But it is necessary."
He should've been wondering how could an emotional man like me be so heartless. I did, too. But I had no regrets.
Patroclus just stood there, his eyes reflecting disappointment. The dim light of the fire near us was toning up the signs of his sorrow, the shroud of darkness around and the cold silence that was broken only by the wind outside was giving him an unearthly aura, like a wandering shade before me.
Any sane person would've been spooked by this regretful view, that way he looks whenever guilt overtakes him, but I had always found it mesmerizing. I stood up, letting go of his hand and we looked at each other.
"I do not force them to fight, Patroclus. They have made their own choices, just like I did." I grinned at his pleading look and touched his shoulders.
"If it is meant for them to die, be it so. And may they take all the Trojans into Hades with them. Kill each other. Let only the two of us remain alive," I concluded, placing my forehead against his.
To me, that was my purest confession of my love, the exposure of my utter loyalty and bond with him, to wish for us to be side by side and proudly living, rulers of the vastest cemetery.
To him, it was the confirmation of my cruelty. But I could see that he understood; in fact, he had always been the only one who could understand. This is why he was feeling so helpless: he knew that a lifetime had been slipped off my fingers. My young age's foolishness had failed to keep my initial quest for immortality ardent; wounds and questions through the years had gradually opened my eyes, until the cause of my Wrath sealed it all.
Knowing that he'd not accept my indifference to the soldiers' fate and that I would not submit to his concern for them, he remained standing rigid, waiting for me to let him go and to return to my previous need to sing. But I had changed my mind, and forgotten of my decision to relax. This moment was one of the few chances for us to be alone this way, and it has been a while for me to feel so drawn into him. I curled my fingers in the long black hair laying against his neck.
"She will be better off with Agamemnon. At least she will not have to live with her destroyer," I whispered, trying to calm his nerves. He was cold and resentful, not letting himself yield, but he did not try to avoid or to stop me.
Suddenly, but carefully, hugging him with one arm, I brought us down onto the ground. He soon found himself beneath me, next to the fire and on the chilly earth. Despite the dark and the shadows around, he was ardently visible to me, and after pausing a bit, I leaned down to kiss his neck. Using my hand to loosen his white chiton, I placed kisses on his face and lips; but he wouldn't kiss me back, or respond at all.
He didn't know this was making me want him so much more.
Knowing that he was being true to his feelings -sympathetic enough to let me release the pent up frustration since my wrath, yet refusing to be an accomplice- I moved lower on Patroclus' now naked body. I approached it, inhaled its masculine scent and tasted the skin; kissing, licking from the chest down to the stomach, feeling the solid muscles under my lips and tongue. He was refusing to receive any pleasure while our comrades were struggling outside, so I was seeking to increase my own excitement.
My hips rested between his limbs and right there I had forgotten of the cold. I gazed down at his lying form and shivered. Peaceful, resting, so calm -like sleeping- with half-lidded eyes looking and not looking at me the same time. I pressed my lips gently against his, caressed them with mine and then tenderly kissed them.
Using my hands to lift up his unresisting thighs I knelt to position myself. Leaving his mouth, my head rested on his shoulder, and in a sharp moment I was inside him.
For every languishing minute, I was moving him with the motions of my body. He had surrendered, open and just taking; taking every part of me, for I wanted to give, to affirm my confession, and I kept on thrusting, making my skin burn over his, released inside him and collapsed, spent from it all.
I remained there, letting the blindness of passion drift away, my chest pressing his with my heavy breaths. With my head still beside his neck I was unsure what this could have left him with. For I had crossed the line once more.
Between the curls of my hair, I felt the smooth caress of his fingers. I was forgiven.
Back to the present...
The soldier who had touched Achilles' head flinched back as Achilles, dazed and shocked, lifted his head up. He blinked. With a blurred vision, he noticed that his comrades, most of them from quite a distance, were staring at him. It seemed they had been there for some time...
When he started to regain his senses and felt the flesh underneath him, its warmth and narrowness surrounding him, right then he understood. He realized that he had been in the midst of a battle. And he had forgotten it, forgotten his comrades and the enemy army. In an instance, the only ones that had existed were only him and the sprawled out body that had made him remember.
He supported himself with his arms, and he saw her: her neck violently slit, the pouring blood messing up her armor, her black hair on the ground. The corpse beneath him was twisted, soiled with filth and dirt, and so was he. The thick crimson covering his blond hair fell in drops on her dusty face. He was still inside her, so he pulled away and slowly stood on his legs, the softening erection between them shamelessly exposed.
He just moved a few steps here and there thinking and feeling nothing. The previous silence had now been replaced by some quiet murmurs of the soldiers and gradually by more vocal mutterings.
This place was annoying, it made Achilles feel that he was caged by the presence of everyone there, and he wanted to escape. The commotion they were making was slowly trapping him there, to breathe all alone the stench of his own sickness. He just wanted to get away and be alone in this new graveyard.
The noises around were nauseating him, especially one. That voice was louder than the rest, but differed because of its tone. He still was unable to figure out anything, but it was clear that this one was mocking him, and that realization made the voice louder in his ears. So he could decipher the words.
He turned towards the crowd, furious, and walked big, fast steps towards it; in seconds he was already there, Thersites stopped what he was saying, Achilles' eyes were invading his, the men went silent and they all heard the crushing sound. Thersites fell, and was now what he had a moment ago called 'dead meat'.
There was silence, then turbulence behind him. He didn't care; he took in his arms what he had lost, and begun to walk alone across the shadowed plains.