Genia loved the countryside of Turkey, but at night, it was magical. She could
easily understand how the early residents came to believe in the gods and
goddesses and how the myths were born. Told repeatedly, generation after
generation, and embroidered with each telling. A tingle of pure delight rushed
through her when Achilles’ hand covered hers, drawing it to his lips for a quick
kiss as he drove. She smiled at him, and he at her, briefly before he again
concentrated on his driving. She wondered if he would be as persuasive, and
winning, as legend had purported his name sake was with women.
Though she had known many men and dated her share, she went to bed with
only a select few—only those whom she decided to sleep with. This one she
wanted, but never had she
slept with a man on the first date. Not that it was a rule, but more a policy.
She saw Professor Memnon watching them just before they drove away and
knew he saw Achilles’ kiss. That would cause problems, she was sure. Then
again, it could possibly eliminate the problem. Achilles placed his mark on her
with that kiss. Genia was no fool about men and their territorial tactics. It was a
surprising revelation when he told her his family owned the land the dig was on.
That, too, might keep the professor at bay.
“Achilles,” she asked when he looked over at her, “how long has the land at the
dig been in your family?”
Achilles laughed. “A very long time. Long before the first World War, even
before the church came.”
“You mean the Orthodox Church?” Genia didn’t attempt to hide the amazement
in her voice.
“I wasn’t joking, Genia, when I told you Achilles was a family name,” he chided
“But,” she giggled, “Achilles wasn’t a Trojan.”
“Of course he wasn’t, but then the Greeks did win the war,” he said with a
“Oh, you can’t be serious, to think that I would be foolish enough to believe… I
know far too much history for that.” Genia laughed.
“No, and I wouldn’t expect you to.” He laughed as well. “Still, our family does go
back many generations here. I really can’t begin to explain. We are Greek in our
lineage, not Turkish.
We own land here, but most of our family is still in Greece. I will, however, take
you to my parents’ home one day soon and let you look through some of our
That is, if you would like to meet my family?” He looked over at her, his
question a little anxious, as if she might refuse him.
“I would love to meet your family. That would be great,” Genia agreed,
surprised he would move so fast with her, and that she accepted so quickly. He
drove the car into the lot of a
small but elegantly decorated restaurant, then parked his red sports car beneath
an olive tree on a grassy spot. His old world manners were impeccable, and he
came around to open
her door then led her proudly into the establishment with his arm possessively
around her, as though she were a valued prize.
Genia expected the proprietor knew Achilles from the way he talked of the
establishment as they drove up the manicured drive. Expensive cars filled the
small parking lot, hinting the cuisine was excellent. Though the establishment
was busy, the quiet hum of the other patrons was a low murmur.
The owner escorted them to a quiet table beside an open window. The aroma of
the foods from the kitchen mixed with the perfumes of the twinkle-lit garden
floating in on a slight breeze, making breathing a gourmet event. Private, cozy,
and romantic, their table was away from the curious eyes of other patrons and
the bustling voices of the staff. Set in a curtained alcove, it proved a perfect
setting for a first date and an intimate conversation between two people about
to fall in love—
or lust. Achilles introduced Genia to the owner, who fawned over her, Genia
following as best she could, her Turkish limited.
Achilles ordered a bottle of wine, which appeared moments later for his
approval. In this restaurant, the patrons didn’t eat, as in many restaurants in the
States—here they dined. Each course was presented with artistry, served, and
savored—a masterpiece never rushed. Genia and Achilles came to know each
other better with each course as their hands touched, their legs rubbed
intimately beneath the table, the friction fanning the flames of passion already
smoldering. Genia knew her thong panties would never prove protection from
the arousal Achilles’ presence ignited. His intimate touches were devastating to
her first date policy.
When she dropped her napkin, Achilles retrieved it, and she wasn’t shocked
when his hand gently smoothed over the calf of her silk-covered leg, sending
tendrils of pure electric current through her already aroused body to the center
of her simmering core. Their eyes met as he straightened, and the passion she
saw in the depths of his made her mouth water with anticipation of after-dinner
delights. Without a thought, Genia touched his cheek and let her eyes speak
what she felt for him. He kissed the palm of her hand.
His lips brought a surge of memories so strong she became dizzy. Memories
she knew she could not have experienced in this life, but ancient ones from
time long ago assaulted her. She swayed a little and found his arms protectively
around her, his masculinity encircling her. Never had she known the feeling of
complete security before, until now. The memories continued longer than the
incident the first morning at the dig.
* * * *
As she glanced out the window, the garden seemed to fill with a thin mist. She
remembered Achilles’ face from another time, his hair longer, with beads braided into it.
He was heavily tanned, and wearing scarlet armor over his massive shoulders instead
of the stylish black dress shirt he now wore.
Her eyes grew wide and glassy, the pupils enlarged, and her face turned a little pale.
His features seemed translucent and wavered for an instant. She was held in fascinated
by the same face and body, yet somehow, the features were more authoritative and
stern, as if he held the lives of many at his command, and the responsibility of their
in his eyes and face.
“Genia!” Achilles voice held some concern. “Are you unwell?”
“I am fine, only…” Genia didn’t want to pull away from his arms. They felt so strong and
right, a feeling she had been without for what seemed centuries. Reality began to
invade her utopia, the mood fading. “I have never had such an experience before. I saw
you dressed, well, differently.” Her hand rested lightly on his shoulder, breathing in his
manly scent. Genia saw concern for her in his eyes, but she drew his lips down to hers.
Achilles seemed no longer able to fight the thirst for her lips despite the paleness of her
face. He kissed her, long and deeply, when she drew his mouth to hers. The first full
of his lips filled her with sweet desire, and she answered his embrace with the same
fullness. He tightened his embrace, pulling her willing body closer to his own. His
across hers and teased just a little before he drew away to look down on her face, pale
against his black shirt, her head resting on his shoulder.
“Genia, did you faint?” he said softly, fearing she might have done just that.
“No, my Lord Achilles.” She smiled sweetly, her eyes closed, her face tilted upward
toward his, anticipating another kiss. “You but overwhelm me in the zeal of your desires.
Kiss me again quickly, before my father Agamemnon comes and sees us.” Genia
anxiously answered him in perfect Greek, but in an ancient dialect and accent, one
Achilles would not have recognized had he not studied ancient languages.
“Genia!” Achilles said, alarmed, but she drew his mouth back down to hers, making
another kiss unavoidable. Her vision engulfed him, a strange mist flowing through the
open window, shrouding them in a pocket of lost time. Suddenly they weren’t in the
restaurant, but a garden, late in the evening, torchlight reflecting in the still ponds.
Genia was dressed in long period robes of fine wine-hued linen, her right shoulder
exposing her milk-white, smooth skin. The garment was
held together and supported by an emerald broach on her left shoulder, her long hair
partially coiffed in braids. Achilles’ mouth left hers after another kiss filled with passion
and promise to stare in awe at their surroundings. “Genia,” he said softly, noticing by
the look in her eyes reality had returned, “What has happened?” As if drawn by a
vacuum, the mist dissipated, and their clothing returned to normal.
* * * *
Slowly Genia sat up, still feeling strange, remembering what had just transpired.
Frightened by the way they were dressed while surrounded by the mist, she looked at
Achilles in a worried manner. “What did I say?” she asked anxiously.
He repeated her words and explained in what dialect and language she had spoken. As
the waiter passed their table, Achilles inconspicuously signaled him to close the drapes
hung around the alcove their table sat in, giving them more privacy. He took her
trembling hands in his. “Genia, you don’t know how to speak that language, do you?”
“No, I speak only a little modern Turkish and a few words of Greek, as you know.”
Shaken, Genia exclaimed,
“What has come over me? This isn’t the first time.” She explained the episode the first
morning on the dig. “Before coming here,” she added, “I have had small…ah…visions.”
shrugged. “Never anything like this.”
“You aren’t the only one having these…visions,” Achilles quietly admitted, then told her
of the short one he’d experienced while he waited for her to change.
“Have you encountered this before as well?”
“Not exactly, but the ruins at Troy have always been a special place for me. Mom used
to take me there, and things would happen.” He shrugged.
“We would find small artifacts where the archaeologist already completed an
excavation. Artifacts they should have found, but it was more like I was meant to find.”
“That’s like the room I found today,” Genia said softly. Then, with some hesitation, she
explained about the chamber she’d discovered. “I know if I tell the professor, he will take
full credit, and after what I have been told about him, he may take what is in the room.”
“Genia, as you know, the dig is on my family’s land, and the artifacts are property of the
Turkish government because we have dedicated them to the National Archives.
Memnon has come under suspicion before, not only of keeping artifacts but of doing
other things he should not.”
“Tell me about it,” Genia said with some sarcasm.
“What do you mean?” Achilles asked with some concern.
Genia explained about Brianna and the advances the professor made toward her. She
drew back, afraid of what she saw in Achilles’ eyes.
“No, Genia,” he said, before kissing her hands. “I am not angry with you, but with him,”
Achilles was quick to assure her. “Tell me what you were doing earlier today when we
She explained about the errands the professor sent her on and why she made him give
her written authorization. She told Achilles about making copies, and putting the originals
and one set of copies in the safe-deposit box, then sending the second to her parents’
home in Florida. “I know what he’s going to attempt. He will attempt to say I stole the
card, then try to either force me to go to bed with him, or now, after we have gone out,
he will try to have me arrested. I was relieved you witnessed me returning the card.”
“No, he won’t try that now. This is the last straw. I will speak with my father. You aren’t
going back there tonight,” Achilles told her.
“I have to. I value my work, Achilles.” Genia was quiet.
“Besides, there is something else…”
“What just happened?” Achilles guessed.
“Yes, I am drawn to those digs and to you. I’ve known you before, and, until I know what
has happened to us, I have to be on those digs. Since I was a girl, I’ve been drawn to
the digs and to Troy. I’ve had visions before. I am meant to be here.” Genia felt much
better herself now, knowing they had both shared one of her visions. “I also want to
know what is in that room. I found it. But I believe the entire team should get credit. I don’
t want to see him claim it all, as if he alone dug it out with his clean hands,” Genia
explained, then looked at her own damaged hands, embarrassed, and put them beneath
“Now let me explain what happened to me…” When he finished, he added, “There is
more going on here than a simple dig. Genia, you don’t have to live at the dig. You can
live with me and work at the dig. I have a car you can drive back and forth,” Achilles
“How would that look to the others?” Genia protested.
“Do you care?” Achilles asked, looking into her eyes.