She entered the hall and, as always, all eyes were instantly upon her.
Most of those pairs were filled with raw lust, some with pure hatred, while others have what you can call that half-pitying, half-condescending look. And she was aware of all these, yet still did not betray any real emotion and acted as what her father expected of her – proud, graceful, and exceedingly superficial. For a thousand and one years she has done perfectly all that was demanded of her and she was not about to falter now. She laughed, and drank, and charmed all the men, and yes, even the women in the great hall. And as the night was about to end, she stood at once upon the boom of her father’s voice.
Faster than lightning bolts, all the other ladies disappeared, leaving her alone with the men to perform the last ritual.
This was expected, for this has happened every time her family gathers for a celebration. She stood in all her glorious nakedness in the center of the room as her cousins, uncles, nephews, and brothers fed upon her – relishing all that they could of her inexhaustible love essences. They fed ravenously as she made sure to look as one in complete ecstasy until her father voiced out his satisfaction. Then, as had happened with all the revelries for the past thousand years, all the men in the room formed a ring and watched with frenzied anticipation as her father, in all his kingly majesty, approached her to take the final feeding that will satisfy the desire he pleasurably formed all night. Thunder roared and lightning flashed as he ravished on her daughter, and when at last he reached full consummation, resulting in lightning sparks that seemed to turn the night sky to day, he marveled once again at his pure genius for creating her. Then one by one, all in less time to complete a mortal blink, they were all gone.
All except she, the world’s foremost symbol of love, who at that moment would have given everything to be anything but.
She garbed her shame and started towards the deepest dungeons, all the time maintaining the ever composed, proud, and insurmountably beautiful face. She did not once change her pace until she arrived on their chamber doors, opened it, and at last found herself looking at the man, the only man, who aroused in her the purest of love. The worlds of both men and gods looked at his face with repulsion, distrust, and contempt. But she who knows real love and genuine beauty takes one look at him, and only then could she find it possible to reveal her true form. If all beings, from monsters to gods, could not deny that she is Beauty and Love in one when they look at her, would have been blinded with sheer admiration when they see her reveal her truest, purest form in the comforting warmth of the man she loves.
“Hush, hush, love…we’re together now,” consoled the fire god Hephaestus, as his broken wife shed all her life’s pretenses in his arms.