Rhys was dead.
She couldn't stop staring. Her eyes were on her mate. Dead and lifeless on the ground. Tamlin had refused. He'd given her mate a look of distaste before winnowing away.
"I'm sorry, Feyre." He'd said, "But no."
That word rang in her ears. Over and over and over again. No no no no no.
And along with that word, she could hear Rhys's last proclamation. I love you.
She hadn't understood that it was a goodbye, but now...
A pair of soft hands gently grasped her shoulders. Feyre turned to see Mor kneeling beside her, face gleaming with tears. She hadn't realised, but she'd been trembling. The other high lords had left by now. She wondered how long she had been hunched over her mate's body. a soft sob drew her attention to where Azriel had been standing last. Elain, Nesta, and Cassian had arrived at some point. Silver was leaking from each of their eyes, save Nesta, though her face also contained sorrow rather than her usual ice.
Feyre turned back to her love's body, leaning down to press a kiss to his forehead. A tear rolled from her cheek to his. There was a thud next to her as both Cassian and Azriel knelt next to their brother to say their own goodbyes and prayers. She rose shakily, Mor coming up with her, to give them their privacy.
After Mor, Cassian, and Azriel had their own time with him, they returned to the town house. Rhys's body had been burned. They had kept his ashes in a small jar for the time being. They weren't in the right head space to decide what they would do with them.
8 DAYS LATER
"Feyre, you need to eat." Mor sighed from behind the door.
She was met with silence. Feyre didn't have the energy to say much these days.
"I'm leaving you a plate outside the door, okay? We're giving you time, Feyre, but we will not let you waste away." Mor's footsteps sounded as she padded away.
Feyre sat in her bed, staring at the wall. Paperwork was piling up on her desk, along with a plate of uneaten food. She knew not how her sisters were doing. Mor, Cass, and Az checked up on her often. But they had decided to give her time to mourn, as they themselves were doing. She knew they were handling the court in her absence and that it was wrong, but she couldn't drag herself out of bed most days. She hadn't even figured out to do with his ashes. Cauldron, she had become a shell of a person.
She thought of him. Every single day. His violet eyes, twinkling with mischief as he held her. His raven black hair, tussled with the wind after a long flight. His smile-his real one-when laughing at one of her sarcastic remarks.
She also thought of Tamlin. Of revenge. Of killing him for what he had done to her, and to her family. He had destroyed her.
She thought of a lot of things.
A thud sounded, breaking Feyre from her thoughts. Her hairbrush had fallen from her dresser. With a sigh, Feyre pulled herself from bed. Might as well pick it up and grab her lunch from outside the door while she was at it.
Her hands grasped the silver handle and she laid it upon her dresser. A scent wafted to her nose. Jasmine. She opened the upper drawer of her dresser and found a stack of letters lying next to a bouquet of jasmine.
Her hands shook as she picked up the bouquet and then the stack. Bringing the flowers up to her nose, she took a sniff and smiled. A note was attached.
For you, my love. Something to remember me by. I'm yours and you're mine.
-Your beloved mate,
A tear leaked from her eye as she beheld her mate's writing. She ran her fingers over the words, almost able to imagine him writing them. She set down the flowers and picked up the stack of letters. There were a few boxes under them.
It read, Do not open until you read your letter. That goes for all of you.
She picked up the letters and untied the string binding them together. There were six of them. Each of them marked with a name.
She opened the letter with her name marked upon it and took a shallow breath. This was her mate's goodbye.