"Morgan, I'm sorry." Rhaelgyr stood nearby in elven form. I stared down into a small crater, lost, numb, unable to think.
An hour ago, Steven had been here. In another realm, sure, but this was the last place I'd seen him. He'd looked at me, he'd told me he loved me, and he'd sacrificed himself anyway.
He was gone. Even if he were alive, he was locked away. Neither Rhaelgyr nor myself could sense the pocket dimension. Like it had never existed.
But this world was saved. A crater and some scorched crops were a tiny price. Insignificant in the light of how bad it could have been. In a year, no one would know. The humans would forget and move on.
No one would remember that Steven had even been here.
I sobbed, and the dragon closed the gap to take me into his arms. The dragon held me close, cradling me as I collapsed. He said nothing, but there was nothing to say. Rhaelgyr's presence offered condolences enough.
Crying wouldn't bring Steven back, but it would offer me some relief. Tears for the past I couldn't remember. Tears for the future that would never be. Tears that he'd searched for me, only to die when he'd found me.
Rhaelgyr stroked my hair, holding me close, letting me cry myself out. When they finally tapered off, he kissed the side of my head. "He did it for you," the dragon whispered. "Not the humans. Just for you."
I sniffled, and managed a smile. For all my need not to be selfish, it warmed me to know his love was real.
"Let's go," I whispered, looking up at midnight blue eyes.
"Where to, my lady?" Rhaelgyr ran hands through my hair.
"Anywhere happy. Without adventure." The dragon took me away, and I didn't fight him this time.