The ironic thing was that she thought that she wasn't beautiful. Her nose too big, her mouth too wide and her knees too knobby. Maybe she wasn't beautiful. He wouldn't know. He didn't look at other women anymore; notice their features or beauty. He only ever saw her. And he didn't care that she lacked the conventional beauty that most looked for. She was unique, one of a kind, and that made her all the more special.

He loved her eyes. When he met her, it became immediately clear why the goddess of wisdom had grey eyes; her eyes. They lit up from the inside out, flashed with understanding when she worked out a problem. He could read her emotions through her eyes. They spoke to him. He enjoyed watching them first thing in the morning, watching her lashes flutter and her clear eyes gaze back at him, welcoming a new day.

He loved her wrists. They seemed so delicate to him. When he wrapped his hands around them, his fingers overlapped each other. The underside was pale, and he could see the blood running through her body in pulses of blue.

He loved her hands. They were different from his own, smaller, softer. They were always cool, when she reached for him in the night, when she brushed his hair out of his eyes. The fingers of hers and the fingers of his fit together perfectly, and he was content to simply sit there and watch her do mundane daily tasks for the sake of watching her slender fingers flutter about, catching the light on her smooth, perfectly rounded nails as she folded clothing or wrote on her tablet.

He loved her collarbone. Her alabaster skin stretched over the bone tightly and made her seem more breakable than she really was. It always peeked out of the top of her tunic, and made it nearly impossible for him to resist running a finger along it. If he laid his head on it, he could hear her heartbeat, and he knew she was really there, strong and vibrant and alive.

He loved her hair. Like her, it was indefinable, somewhere between blonde and brunette, falling in generous waves down her back. The first time he watched her take it down from its knot, he hadn't been able to resist running his fingers through it. It was silky smooth and cool and begged for him to twist his fingers into it and hold on tight. From that first night on, he never let her brush it herself. He always did it before they went to bed, first as a novelty and then as a habit. He loved the way it felt when she used him as a pillow, streaming wild and free across his chest. He toyed with it any chance he got, and could hardly bear to see her pin it up each morning.

He loved her back. It was smooth and perfectly flawless, except for one long scar, a reminder of a more painful time. But the lash was a reminder of her loyalty, of her unfailing devotion, so even though rage washed through him every time he saw it, rage towards anyone who had ever hurt her and anyone who ever would, he welcomed the sight. He knew that she did need to be protected, more than she thought that she did, and so he took that single mark on her flawless back as a reminder to always be there for her, to protect her from pain.

If there was one thing that he hated about her, it was to see her suffering. It wasn't even a trait really, and he didn't hate her for it. He hated the others, the ones who caused it. He hated himself for it, because he knew that he was one of the ones who had caused her pain, way back once upon a time. If he had his way, anybody, even himself, would pay for hurting her. He would have killed each and every one of them, he was absolutely positive of that, except that she didn't want it. So he restrained himself. He couldn't cause her anymore pain.

She wasn't beautiful to the rest of the world. She was stunning to him. She wasn't perfect. She was perfect for him. She was his, and he loved her. Her quirks, her idiosyncrasies, they made her herself. He wouldn't have it any other way.