Another deathbed, another lover...

Jack walked in, the family silent. Resentful, but understanding.

"Mariette," he said , tracing his fingers along those lips, those...

He tried to fight back the tears. Lately, they had been all too frequent. Young (young? The man was 59...) Joquaine tried to comfort, but he guided his hand aside.

Her eyes flickered open, and Jack's heart melted.

"Mon dieu, noble heart," rasped his love, " I told them you would get none, forgive-" a cough " but, you have my heart."

Jack gave her another kiss. "They have my sword."

"Thank you, my soldier."

He strode out, unheeding of consequence.