He found her laying there in the middle of the hotel bed, pretending to sleep. No one slept in V-World- it simply wasn't necessary, but the dead girl didn't know that. She was still searching for some way to make playing the game more like the life she'd lost.
The bed sank beneath his weight as he sat down beside her.
"Close your eyes," he said, putting his hand to her forehead.
Tamara stared up at him and he down at her. Her lips were so full and ruby red. He remembered the portrait of her at the funeral, smiling, natural, and happy. She would never look at him like that.
"Trust me," Heracles said.
Tamara bit down on her lower lip. He brushed his hand over her face, concentrating on the gentle curves of her nose and lips, and the soft brush of her eyelashes against his fingers. When he pulled his hand away, her eyes were closed and her lips were parted just slightly, letting her shallow breathes enter and escape again.
He pulled the coins from the breast pocket of his jacket and ran one thumb over the ridges that ringed the coin. It was warm from his body heat, but heated up in his hand until he could smell the warm metal. Heracles took his time in placing the coins on Tamara Adama's eyelids, positioning them just so.
Tamara brought a hand up to touch the coins, but he caught it in his before she could. Heracles guided her arm back to her side, then leaned over her to place her other arm in the same position. Her body went rigid, almost as if she were concentrating on not moving a hair's breadth from where he positioned her.
On the coins, Nike was eternally in flight; her wings spread wide, ready to crown a victor. They were the coins he had stashed in his dresser in the real world, somewhere Tamara Adama would never set foot again, Heracles thought as he looked down at her. He had ported them into the game just for this. Anything less would be disrespectful.
"What are you doing?"
"Mourning you," Heracles said.
He brushed a strand of hair out of her face. He'd seen dead people before, but none of them had been this pretty. As much as he ached to kiss her, it was taboo he refused to break, especially now.
In her attempts to sleep, Tamara's skirt had ridden up around her thighs. Gently, he pulled it back down, taking care as he draped it over her legs.
"Heracles," Tamara said. " You're scaring me."
"There's nothing to be afraid of," Heracles told her, then stood back to admire his work.