I stand by Apollo's altar, waiting for Achilles. I turn to the corner where I know Paris hides with his bow. I can't see him, and I hope Achilles won't either.
Footsteps echo on the stone floor. Achilles has come. He envelops me in his arms, "I've missed you." He lies kisses on my neck. I try not to give in as I have so many times before. I remind myself how many of my loved ones he has killed. Kiss. Memnon. Kiss. Penthesilea. Kiss. Hektor. Kiss. Troilus…
The thought of my twin, speared from behind, an image that has not crossed my mind in months, is what gives me the strength to push Achilles away. I look at his eyes and see confusion. I brush my hand across his cheek, "I'm sorry."
For a moment Achilles stands in shock. He looks down at his heel, where an arrow is shot through his ankle. Then he looks back at me and the betrayal in his eyes cuts deep.
"Why?" As he asks, Paris steps out from behind the column. My brother is always elegant, but today he walks with the air of a god. I look behind him and see a shimmering form where Paris had stood. I blink, and it disappears.
"You killed so many of our brothers yet you ask why?" Paris says to Achilles, his voice full of venom.
I try to hold back tears when I look back at Achilles, but I feel them stream down my face anyways, "You took away my future." I answer him myself. "You took away everything that gave me hope for a life after this wretched war."
I kneel next to him, "I wish it didn't have to come to this."
Paris places his hand on my shoulder, "Polyxena, we have to go."
I stand and follow Paris out of the shrine. When we step outside the memory of Troilus' death plays through my mind and I see the spear pierce through his chest. I shudder and Paris puts his arm around me, "It had to be done."
"I know," I feel no regret for betraying Achilles. Does that make me a monster, to be pleased with my part in a man's death, a man I thought I cared for? "We should go home and tell father. The other Greeks will surely come looking for Achilles soon."
Paris nods and we mount our horses and ride back to the city.
It is Kassandra who greets us when we enter the citadel, "Is it done?" She asks.
"Aren't you all-knowing?" Paris asks mockingly.
She narrows her eyes, "I'm a prophet, not a god."
"Yes, he is dead," I reply. She sighs in relief, nods, and leaves us.