'You faught well,' Gwinethe said to her wounded brother as she gathered him into her arms.
'Not well enough,' came his reply. At that moment, she closed her eyes, forcing unshed tears to flow like tiny rivulets down her cheeks.
'Hush now, Gwinny. It's not the end,' soothed Erik.
'But it feels like it...' He placed his bloodied hand on hers. 'Please tell Taliseinne that I love her, and...' he paused to draw and ragged breath, 'and tell her that it will not be forever. We shall meet again one day.'
With great effort, he pulled a small piece of cloth that still smelled faintly of roses though it showed many signs of wear from his tunic. Erik then pressed it into Gwinethe's palm. It bore the crest of Marlbury, Taliseinne's family.
As she shifted her her gaze to her brother's face, he smiled faintly then his breath left him with and shudder and his eyes cloesd for the last time.
'No!' she screamed, but no one heard, and no one answered save the shrill echo of her voice mimicking her cry of despair.