To Mira, the night had been a blur after Drake died. She'd carried his body to a black SUV and Remy had driven them somewhere. His body had stiffened and she knew it wasn't Drake anymore, so she hadn't said a word when Remy covered the body and took it in to some official-looking building. She didn't know where they were and she didn't care. She didn't want to see Drake like that anymore. She wanted to keep her memories of him as he was when he was alive. She wished she had pictures of what he really looked like, not just what the camera saw.
They had been driving some more when Mira asked Remy if they could stop at Drake's apartment. There were a few things she wanted to pick up before it all went away.
When they stopped, she went in alone. She collected a few scraps of clothes that were hers, paused to hold one of his shirts a while, then remembered his words about the blue and green engraved box. She found it in his bedroom where he said it would be.
She opened the little box to find a letter and a small drawstring velvet bag. She opened the letter first.
- My love,
- If you are reading this letter, then I did not survive our confrontation with the Jaguar Lord. I wish there were words I could write here that would console you, give you some kind of comfort. Know that I love you, and I died doing what chose to do, protecting you, your friends, and the Golden Mesa.
- This letter serves as my last will and testament. I leave all of my earthly possession to the Golden Mesa, to be used to help those who need it, except for the following items:
- To Rey Lafitte, the Lady Sage, I leave my collection of books and manuscripts. Rey, you have been a fount of knowledge and helped me when I needed your wisdom. Hopefully these books will help you in the future.
- To Mythic City Museum, I leave my collection of swords. It is my wish they be donated to their collection. Contact Alicia Ferwell - she is a friend and works for the museum. She knows what needs to be done, and has copies of the provenance for all of the swords.
- Lastly, to you, Mira, I leave the sword I bore into combat, this box, and the velvet pouch contained in the box. Of the contents, Mira, you'll recognize one of them immediately; the other is one I'd hoped one day you’d accept if you said yes.
- While I am no longer with you, let my love for you be the strength you need when things seem darkest. Live for me. For us.
She put the letter down and then removed the bag. The rich velvet bag was dark blue, smelled faintly of the aftershave Drake always wore, and contained two rings. One, like the letter said, Mira recognized immediately: it was the silver ring he always wore. She had been too distracted with everything to notice he wasn't wearing it when he died. The second was an elegant gold woman’s ring, set with a teardrop-shaped sapphire that was almost exactly the same color as his skin, flanked by two tiny pearls.
She cried a little. She'd never really been able to understand her own feelings about him. She knew she loved him. Was he the one? Was she in love with him? Maybe. She'd made choices she couldn't ever take back, choices that might have disappointed Drake greatly. She even knew that it would have been unfair to let things continue with Drake without talking to him about it. It's possible, probable that she wouldn't have been allowed to stay in her relationship with Drake.
She knew he had deserved better, much better than her. Yet he'd fought for her so hard, given even his life. That was simply the man he was. He'd never have made a different choice where his nymph was concerned.
Mira smiled a little with the realization that in the end, maybe Drake's greatest gift to her was to let her know what it was like to be loved. Whatever else happened in this life, she would always have that pure, unspoiled feeling of being loved by someone who knew her flaws but loved her anyway. That was something she could be thankful for.