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Aphrodite sat in her chambers in the Olympic Palace of Gods. She contemplated her life in silence, while brushing her hair at her vanity mirror. She had her own private bedchambers, as she demanded she be allowed to keep them after her father, Zeus, had so unceremoniously given her to the grotesque Smith God, Hephaestus. 

After their marriage, Aphrodite had retreated to her chambers and cried herself to sleep. Hephaestus would come whenever he had wanted to. He had brought her all sorts of fine jewellery, which he had crafted himself. She would then take him to her bed, and do what a dutiful wife does. She would give him her body. But she would never give him her heart.

Ares would visit her as well, seeking comfort in her bedchambers after battle, enamoured with her glorious beauty. She had never given him her heart, either, and she never would.

But she had loved, and fiercely. She had fallen in love with her Adonis, a mortal youth who was desirable above all others. His face was luminescent in its beauty, and his chiselled body was such that even the Gods envied him. Aphrodite had found Adonis as an infant, and taken pity on the orphaned child. She bought him to the Underworld, to her sister, the lovely Persephone, who took him in and raised him. As he aged, Persephone fell in love with him as well, and this caused a great feud between Aphrodite and her sister. In the end, Adonis had chosen Aphrodite, and their love grew and blossomed into a thing of wonder.

But Aphrodite would not know eternal bliss with her mortal lover. Ares, who had beheld her and Adonis in the throes of their passion, became feverish with jealously. He nursed his anger, until one day, Adonis went into the woods to hunt. Ares transformed himself into the image of a wild boar, and went down to the earth, where Adonis searched for prey. The youth caught sight of the magnificent boar, and threw his spear with all his might. But Ares was too fast, and he dodged the weapon, lunging towards Adonis, snarling.

Aphrodite had later found her love, mangled and barely breathing. Her Adonis was beyond saving. She held him in her arms and sobbed, as the life slipped from him, and his soul found its way into Hades. She left the empty body of her lover, and ran as fast as she could to her sister and begged and pleaded Persephone, who had found that young man's soul and retrieved it. It was no use. Persephone had laughed at the sorrow of her sister, and rejoiced that Adonis was now under her control, and would stay with him until that day forth.

Thousands of years had passed since then, and nothing had changed. She would let her husband and the God of War use her body at their will, and cry herself to sleep, hating herself. She let her misery devour her soul, until all that was left was a hollow shell, and all that remained was her everlasting beauty. She became very ill-tempered and vain. The only solace she took was by leaving her home in disguise to walk the earth, roam the forests, traverse the cities, and discover things in her world. She took mortal men into her bed at night, and sent them away thereafter. This made her feel somewhat better for short periods of time, but it never lasted.

Aphrodite laid her head down on her arms, and was engulfed in her grief. She cursed the Fates for her life, and let the tears flow down her alabaster cheeks. All she wanted was an end to her eternal misery. But her reverie was cut short by the sound of footsteps approaching. Her head snapped up, and she hastily wiped the tears from her face, hoping whomever it was would pass, and leave her be. But she was not so lucky.

Hera opened the door and stepped in without knocking. She quickly closed the door behind her, and then she stood there. Aphrodite waited for her to speak, but all she did was stand there, with her cold glare fixed upon the great beauty. She kept her silence, waiting, but Hera just kept glaring, her eyes dark as the nights that Nyx gave the world, chilling Aphrodite to the core. Finally, she could keep her silence no longer.

"What in Hades do you want from me? Are you mute? Can you not speak?" She sneered at her aunt. But Hera's only response was to quirk up one side of her mouth in a cruel half-smile, narrowing her eyes. Chills went up and down Aphrodite's spine as her aunt drew a blade from within her robe...

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