632 B.C.

298 20 14

Hektor bows his head as he glances at the shrine he's built. "Sweetest Aphrodite, goddess of love, how you hold the world with your tender touch and shine light into the darkest of places with your blessing that is love. Your beauty and grace flow from you and into the heart of the land we humans walk on. The only thing I ask of you today, Aphrodite, is the gift of love. I want nothing more than to have someone to hold for the rest of my existence and to love with all of my heart. I promise that if you may grant me the gift of having another one person to love I will never lose that person. I will hold them, dear, far past my death and will teach about your grace to others. I, Hektor, ask only this of you and thank you for all the love you've bestowed on this land," Hektor prays.

Hektor places a small bouquet of flowers he had picked earlier on his make-shift shrine. He silently prays that Aphrodite is okay with his offering. Knowing that she's the goddess of love, Hektor made sure to pick only the prettiest of flowers. He wishes he could've offered something a little more extravagant for her, alas his mother would've noticed if something of importance went missing.

Sighing loudly, he finishes up the rest of his prayers and starts packing his things. He promised his mother he'd be home in time for dinner and Hektor never likes to go back on his promises. Eyeing the flowers one last time, Hektor smiles and heads off towards his home.

For most people, the woods are forbidden. There isn't a law saying they weren't allowed in the woods, but most people fear the wild beasts that may hide among the trees. Hektor has learned over the course of his lifetime, that the stories of wild beasts in the woods are a myth. He'll gladly tell anyone to stay out though, because the woods are his little secret.

The crunching of leaves behind him startles Hektor, making him jump. He nearly trips and falls, but he steads himself before he has the chance. Slowly, Hektor turns, hoping that what he heard was nothing. He prays that it's only his mind playing tricks on him.

"Hello," Hektor calls. His voice is shaky and echoes around him, bouncing off of the tress. After waiting for a beat and hearing nothing, Hektor continues to the edge of the woods. He figures it must be nearing dinner time now and he really must be on his way.

The sound of a snapping branch stops Hektor again. Surely something must be following him. He could write the first noise off to a figment of his imagination, but the noise coming again can't be a coincidence. Something's following him.

Slowly, he turns around scared of what he might encounter. He doesn't speak this time, worried he might scare the thing off. Sweat has started to form on the back of Hektor's neck and his hands are starting to shake.

Not wanting to risk anything, he races out of the woods and into the safety of the outskirts of the agora. He keeps his eyes on his feet as he makes his way through the bustling market place. Being the son of a well-known town's baker, Hektor can't really go through the agora without being stopped once. However, he doesn't have time to stop and talk to anyone at the moment.

He pauses when he notices the apple sitting at his feet. Its skin is a yellow color and shiny. Hektor bends down and picks it up, hoping to find the apple's owner. His eyes are met with that of another.

The feeling isn't anything Hektor's ever felt before. He's looked into the eyes of strangers before, but he's never been so taken aback. It's as if Cupid followed him out of the woods and struck Hektor with a love arrow.

His heart beats twice as fast as normal as the boy's blue eyes meet Hektor's. The boy's skin is a beautiful golden color and his hair lays brown on his head. If he looks closely, Hektor can see a beard starting to dot along the boy's jawline. Hektor's sure he's never seen eyes as blue before in his life, the color challenging that of the crystal blue of the sea.

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