The beach was quiet, except for the rocking waves that knocked against the shore and for the first time since I saw him, I could gather my thoughts. It had been a long time since I have visited this beach, felt the wet sand, tasted the cool breeze, closed my eyes and wondered about love.

Love, what a cruel and fickle thing love had to be, for it had tempted me and tortured me for so long. I had never been in love, never felt love, and never tasted love. I had instead been used by a rough, cruel man who knew nothing of love, only lust, and pleasure, pleasure, which he took for himself without a second thought. No, I had never felt love or even loved, but for the first time, in a long, long time, I was pondering the meaning, and why? Because a dark-eyed Prince had brought it back into my mind…

Paris. He was gorgeous, flawless, even…though, I knew no man was flawless, but in the banquet hall he had seemed so. He had captured my imagination and now as I sat, savoring each detail, I feared it would lead to trouble. I had no right to daydream about a Trojan prince, not when my husband had just formed a treaty, though a loose treaty, for peace. Peace should be more important than a girlish dream and yet…

Was it so wrong for me to want someone, to crave someone, to see me for who I am? To look in my eyes and not see a goddess or the legend, but just see a girl, a girl who has flaws. How funny, I thought, that most women wanted their husbands and lovers to see them, as perfect and I would give anything to be labeled with flaws. Flaws made you human, made you real, made you alive, and some days, I felt so unreal, so dead.

My flaws were what made me human and I was that. Regardless of the tales that old wives spun, I was human and I was real. And Paris seemed to know that. For he had not stammered, not gone on and on, but instead studied me. Not the way someone studied a work of art or a particularly pleasing meal, the way Menelaus devoured me with his eyes, instead, he had looked at me as if I was his equal. Nothing more, yet nothing less…just two humans connecting above all the rest.

I felt a tear slip down my painted cheek, salty and hot. I had been sentenced to a lifetime of pain, marrying for someone else's lust and greed, rather than my love. I was sentenced to living inside a shell, living in the shadow of Queen Helen. Just Helen…I wanted to scream at their blank faces, expressionless faces, I AM JUST HELEN! But I never screamed, never uttered a sound, instead, I had retreated inside myself.

But he had found me…when I couldn't even reach myself, he had reached out with a smile and light in his eyes and found me.

i hope you enjoyed this chapter...i know it's kinda corny (he found me) but i want everyone to understand my helen (my version or "take" on the character)...and i thought it would be another way to make everyone see the level of her depression....

thanks so much to everyone who's reviewed :) xoxoxoxox love y'all so much

hunny