Title: Richard's Letter Author: Loisarah Rating: PG Distrubution: If you want it, ask. Feedback: I'd be thrilled. But be nice, constructive criticism and no flames, please. Loisarah@hotmail.com Dislcaimer: Characters property of Paramount and Pet Fly, I do not own and am not making any money off this story. Don't sue. Timeline: after season 4 Summary: Richard writes Westlake a letter Author's Notes: As you can tell by the content, I started this AGES ago and decided to work on it while going through some old files. I hope you all enjoy. Spoilers: An old Acquaintance

"Morning."

"Morning, Westlake. Oooh, coffee, thanks." Frankie said as he took a cup from the tray she carried.

"No problem, Frankie," she said, taking one out for herself. She took the last cup out of the tray for Joe and set it on the table in the kitchen area. "Joe's not here yet?" she asked as she threw away the cardboard carrier

"Nope. I was just watching the news before our new mandatory phone conference with Catlett," Frankie replied as he took a muffin and the coffee Westlake brought him and walked back to his seat in front of his computer and the main video screen. A news channel was on, the volume down.

"Yeah, can't wait for that," she sarcastically replied, following Frankie.

Frankie turned back to the tv and turned the volume back up, as Westlake took a seat beside him.

"...reports from the AP news agency are that the journalist killed
while covering the action in Kabul was 35 year old
photojournalist Richard Evans..."

"Why does the name Richard Evans sound familiar?" Frankie asked, then turned to see Westlake staring at the picture flashing on the screen briefly, her face pale.

"Oh, no, is that...

"Yeah, that's Richard. My Richard, oh, god..."

Joe pulled up in front of Westlake's house, and walked slowly up the front walk to her door. He wasn't sure whether or not she would want him there. She was grieving her ex husband ... he hadn't wanted to call and ask her if she wanted him there, so he just drove over after Frankie told him why Westlake had gone home for the day.

She answered the door, and he could tell she'd been crying, but she seemed calm now.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, come in," she said as she turned and walked away from the door and into her living room. Joe shut the door and followed her to the couch. She sat down on the couch, still holding a crumpled tissue in her hand, but not crying, just sitting calmly.

Joe sat down next to her and she leaned towards him, her head on his shoulder. "I'm glad you came over," she told him.

"I wasn't sure if you'd want me here," he began to say, but she cut him off.

"Not earlier, but I'm glad you're here now."

He put his arm around her and looked at the pictures scattered across the coffee table in front of her. Wedding pictures... of her and Richard.

"I always gave Richard a hard time about not moving on, but I guess I didn't do so well myself, since I still had all of the pictures."

Joe looked at the one on top... Cameron, younger... she looked very young, he had to admit, was dressed in a long gown, simple, but very beautiful. The veil was also very simple, and her hair looked much longer that it was now, swept up on top of her head. She looked beautiful, holding the bouquet of white roses. Joe studied the other person in the picture, a dashing young man, looking a few years older than Cameron, tall and dark, the whole cliché of tall, dark, and handsome. She was holding his hand, and both of them were smiling, possibly laughing in the candid photo.

Joe opened his mouth to say something, but when he noticed how she'd closed her eyes and leaned into him, clutching her tissue tightly, he closed his mouth and shifted so he could take her into his arms and hold her.

A few days later, Cameron came home to a small package from a law office, one she recognized as Richard's attorney. She unlocked her door and stepped inside, dropping her purse and keys on the small table inside her door and staring at the package still in her hand, confused. She took a deep breath and opened it, finding a small jewelry box and two letters. She opened the letter addressed to her from Richard first.

Dear Cameron,

As I write this, I know you're thinking about all the times you told me that we divorced to put our past behind us and move on, but I had to write anyway. I just hope you read this.

I accepted a job covering the war in Afghanistan. You knew this was a job I had to take. I just wanted to tie up loose ends before I go. I don't think this will be like any action I've covered before and while I want to go, I know I'm taking risks.

I love you. I always will. As I hope you'll always love me, even though it is not enough to keep us together. You'll always be in my thoughts somewhere, even though I don't send you flowers on your birthday anymore. You did promise to think of me from time to time, and I am holding you to that, Cameron.

Pray for me, as I pray for you, in your job. I am proud of you. I know I never told you that when we were together, or afterwards, but I am proud of you. First in your class at the academy, and a detective already, and good at what you do. From what you told me about your father, I am sure he'd be proud as well. If I don't come back, I'll be up there looking for him to tell you how much you've accomplished, but I'm sure he'd already know.

Still thinking of you, Richard

Cameron stared at the letter through blurry eyes. She couldn't believe he was gone, and he was right, even though they couldn't make it work, they'd always love each other.

She walked into her kitchen and pulled a few tissues out of the box and wiped at the tears that had escaped, still clutching the letters and jewelry box in her other hand.

Taking a deep breath she put down Richard's letter and the box and opened the second letter, addressed by the law firm. A short letter from the firm and a small hand written note were enclosed.

Ms. Westlake,

I regret to inform you of the death of Richard Evans. Mr. Evans left instructions for the occasion of his death, and he wished for the following note and the property enclosed to be sent to you.

Once again, our regrets,

Joshua Carpenter Hart, Swinney, and Stewart

Cameron,

I wanted to send you my letter before I left, but I couldn't. I left it with my attorney in the case of my death. I wanted you to know how I felt, and I wanted you to have this present. Just take it and think of me.

Love Richard.

With a shaky hand Cameron opened the jewelry box and gasped at the diamond necklace. She knew it had belonged to Richard's mother. A platinum setting with an antique pendant. Richard's father had gotten it for her on their first anniversary, she'd loved that necklace, and had wanted to pass it along to a granddaughter. The thought that that hadn't happened made Cameron sigh. She took out the necklace and put it on, hooking a finger around the chain as she closed her eyes. "I'll think of you, Richard, I promise. I love you, too," she whispered.

The End © 2004 Loisarah