Alvor sighed. “Do you have to go?”
“You know I’d rather not, but yes. I do.”
“Are you going to tell her?” Alvor went into another coughing fit, his face flushed; she tutted, encouraging him to lie back onto the bed.
“I’ll only be gone for a couple of days. Nothing too serious.”
“Promise?” He was still gasping, but his smile betrayed his teasing.
“My word is my bond, Alvor.” She grinned back. “Oh, and promise you won’t tell anyone where I’m going?”
Alvor poked her in the ribs. “I’ll tell everyone in town.”
She stopped, then, and looked at him straight in the eyes. Her voice was soft, her eyes wide and piercing: “No, I’ll have your promise.”
Alvor nodded again. “I promise. Will you sing for me before you go?”
She smiled and nodded, but Alvor swore he saw her wipe at her eyes before she started the melody that had captured his heart years before.