"Your beauty would match that of Aphrodite, my dear Andromeda," Perseus breathed, his forehead tenderly leaning against hers. "You've possibly become even more beautiful in the years I haven't seen you. You've certainly changed."

Andromeda leaned in, fleetingly letting her lips touch the handsome enough demi-god's. She didn't care about just how filthy he looked, or how badly he really smelled. She herself must look rather disheveled as well. One did not fight Kronos himself daily. A soft smile passed over her features as her eyes naturally connected with his over the small distance between them. "I've come to reach independence, my Perseus. You're a hero, a warrior; possibly you are attracted by my warrior behavior – very unlike a queen, I know."

"I've always considered you very attractive, Andromeda. I've always loved you."

"You loved her more, the nymph mother of your son," Andromeda countered.

"I've loved Io with all my heart," Perseus whispered, hand trailing through dirty blonde waves, clinging onto it with no force but for a moment, then pushing it gently aside to reveal her scraped cheek. His hand moved down further over her jaw line, supporting her chin with one hand and turning it aside slightly. He slowly leaned in himself and kissed her cheek right below the open wound that had been covered by her hair earlier. He tenderly kissed her injured cheek… once, twice… four times, each time continuing the path to her cracked yet endlessly soft lips. His own slid across, his eyes fluttering shut at the familiar yet unknown sensation. He hadn't kissed in many years… His breaths grew quite heavy, finally feeling her against him, having her in his arms after so many years. He had always loved her.

His hand fell upon her hipbone, and he pushed into her a bit further, sandwiching her between his body and the wooden table digging in her lower back. He could feel her bosom heave against his muscled torso mercilessly, her heartbeat racing faster than he ever had experienced anyone's heartbeat racing. His eyes opened to her deep blue ones. "Io's given me a gift that surpasses every other I've ever received – my own flesh and blood. I love him above everything and everyone, and I would gladly give my life for my child, my son. However, it doesn't change the fact that I love you still with all that I am and the little I have. Do not compare yourself to Io, for you are incomparable. The differences between the both of you could never be laid bare."

"Indeed. She's given you a son, the gift of fatherhood. I will never be able to beat that," she whispered, her hand moving slowly atop of Perseus' upon her right hipbone and tightening. "You could never love me as you loved Io, make love to me as you would have to her."

"You're mistaken," Perseus said. "Love isn't about beating, unless the beating of a heart… as yours beats now in time with mine."

"I've never given myself to a man, Perseus," she said. "I've been accused of falling for women because of my endless rejections of all possible male suitors. However, I never met anyone that I could see myself waste the rest of my life with – not when my mother still lived and those suitors were met with such impossible riddles, and not when the choice was finally mine and mine alone. I kept comparing, but no one compares to you. They were just… not you."

A tear rolled down her cheek through the layer of debris and other dirt that had been matted to it. Perseus' free hand moved to wipe it away with the backs of bloody fingers. "I would want to waste the rest of my earthly life with you," he said, "though, it would never be a waste. I'll never regret my son. He's the light of my life, and I'll always love Io for giving me him, regardless of where she is right now. I've been alone for very long, and so have you. I'll be willing to do all that it takes to see you happy and to give you the life you're worthy of – I barely believe you imagined being a mighty queen like this."

"I quite like… this," she said, looking down at herself… the attires she wore. Her mother would have died rather than reveal herself in this. She looked into Perseus' eyes again: his depths showed a kind of maturity that certainly had not been there when he had first saved her many years prior. She wondered in which ways and how far that maturity manifested itself. She wondered, had he shared the bed with many women beside Io, maybe after her disappearance from pained loneliness? No, he wasn't that kind of man really. That was just what Perseus had come to be now: a man.

"Me, too," he whispered.