A cigarette hung loosely in her lips as she leaned over the balcony of the hotel. The ocean was in her view, under the demanding scrutiny of her gaze as she watched the waves beat a white sand beach with water so black it could've been blood for all she knew. Her arms were rested comfortably on the wrought iron railing. Waves of dark hair cascaded down her back and over her shoulders. For once everything was void of any human interaction. The ocean was viciously crashing on the shore sending a gentle breeze to her. Peace and quiet.
"I wish you would stop doing that. It's a horrible habit."
She didn't flinch at the voice behind her. She used two fingers to take the cigarette out of her mouth. A thick cloud of smoke was carried away by the wind.
"There's a fine line between habit and addiction. I'm not a fool."
It was apparent to both of them the conversation was no longer about smoking.
"I don't remember saying you were a fool."
"You didn't need to. As if I wouldn't figure out who you were. I refuse to be one of thousands, you do understand that. Centuries of children and lovers should have taught you that much. I'm not like any of them, my lord," she explained. When his title flowed from her lips there was no respect in it.
"I realize that. I love you for that reason."
A quiet, disgusted laugh sounded from behind closed lips. A small judgmental smirk graced her face.
"Do you really? How many women have believed that? The world must be filled with them."
She felt him advance. He was directly behind her, his power radiating so strongly she almost wavered. But she had never been the kind to give up so easily.
"My dear, please listen to me. I will be honest if you just listen. There is one other but only one."
"And you think that makes it any better? Let me tell you again: I will not be another. I want you gone now."
What she didn't realize was it was too late already. She was already a number, one of the thousands destined to live the life of a myth. It was too early for her to come to the conclusion for herself, but he knew.
With a passion she cursed the sea, hating it with every string of sanity she still had. No one could know what was inside her, what was growing in her. She had no family to go to, no home to find comfort in. Fear began to fester as she began to take the child into consideration. What life could she provide for it? What hope could she give it if she could find no hope for herself?
It was a slow and persistent fall from a confident, cocky woman to the scared, pained child she had always been. She remembered one who could help her. But the strength she had to find him was fading, whatever was left of it was used to stay alive.
Dark alleyways were not where she should've found refuge. However she could find nothing else. The dark was something of a savior to her. How could she show her face to a world that would never accept it? She feared humanity to the point hiding was the best she could think to do.
After eight months she had only a swollen belly and sunken cheeks. She had gone far without realizing it. The pregnancy was not what weighed her down anymore. Death was around the corner at all times. It added unnecessary temptations to her burden. She realized then she didn't have any time to spend with her baby. At nineteen she would be taken off the face of the earth, leaving a child who would grow up shunned and disgraced in the best situation. She had no legacy, nothing of importance the world would see.
When she finally did give birth she was alone in a hospital room she could not pay for. The doctors were able to make her body stop hurting, but what did that do for her aching mind? They even had the audacity to take her baby away once it was born, not giving her the chance to see it. Her life was slipping away and it scared her.
When they finally brought the infant back, she was half gone. Her baby fit perfectly into her weak arms. The child was a tiny little girl. She herself was weak. It worried the new mother horrifically that the baby could find no energy to cry. But her mother could. Her mother wept with all her heart, despair and love creating an unstable mix.
She did not want to die. She wasn't ready to say good bye to her daughter so soon. But the Fates don't have the time to allow someone to choose their own path.
She pressed her lips to her baby's forehead. It was all she could give her.
"Andromeda…You, you be a good girl. Remember, remember that I love you. I love you so much, my girl. So much…"
Persephone stood just outside, listening to the painful last words of a mother. She closed her eyes and sighed. It occurred to her that she had the rest of forever to make just one life matter. She was the wife of death, ready to go back to the Underworld for six months while the world above died in her absence.
Shakily the goddess entered the room. The woman's eyes were closed and the monitors by her bed were drawing a consistent flat line accompanied by a high pitched blare that was going to wake the baby. Persephone walked forward and took the infant into her arms. It stirred only slightly before dropping back into a peaceful slumber.
"Andromeda," she whispered.