Much's lids drooped as his mother drew to the end of the lullaby. There could be nothing sweeter than her voice, and it made him so happy to fall asleep hearing it.
His father came over and leaned next to her ear. Softly, he asked, "Sing for me later?"
As she smiled up at him, eyes twinkling, Much drifted off. Just before he did, he thought how nice it was that adults liked lullabies, too.
The fall fair in Nottingham was one of the highlights of the year, not least because it got Much out of his many chores; and the wandering minstrels were his favorite part. There was one woman in particular with the voice of an angel, and he could listen to her for hours.
Apparently, he was not the only one who thought so. "Wonder what she'd ask for a private concert?" a man near him said to another.
"I'd give a pretty penny to get her to sing to me," his friend agreed, and they laughed. Much understood why it was so funny; after all, that must be expensive, and they were certainly not wealthy.
They would all just have to enjoy her singing here, at her normal performance.
May Day was drawing to a close, and a wonderful one it had been, too. The weather was glorious, and the weaver's pretty daughter-- the one with the green eyes-- had granted Much a dance. She had even thought it sweet when he made a misstep, and they laughed together about it. Perhaps, he would take her a flower tomorrow. There were some purple ones growing at the edge of the forest which looked nice.
Maybe, if he was lucky, she would let him hold her hand. Maybe, if he was very lucky, he could eventually get a kiss from her...
A slightly older couple went by on their way into the greenwood, fingers entwined, a garland of daisies in the girl's hair. As they passed him, Much heard the boy ask, "Think I can get you to sing tonight?"
The girl giggled. "I think you can try."
Much smiled. It was a lovely night for a song, and he began humming a merry tune as he strolled home. He wondered if the weaver's daughter liked to sing; he did enjoy a harmony.
London was noisy, smelly, crowded, and just generally revolting. Most of the people were rude, the food was lacking, and Much could not wait to go back to Locksley.
Master Robin, on the other hand, could not stop enthusing about it. The sixteen-year-old earl was in his element, and Much was frankly sick of hearing about the cut of the dress on one lord's daughter at court, or the landed assets of another (often, in the same sentence, which was also rather annoying; he really should learn to separate his thoughts when speaking). Finally, however, Master Robin said something which caught his manservant's attention: "You should have heard her sing." His voice was quite pleased, and it cheered Much greatly.
London was not so bad, if it taught the master to appreciate singing.
Tomorrow was going to be a big day. Much was still bothered that the plan meant Eve and her mother had to flee the only lives they had ever known, but she seemed willing to do it. She was so very brave... and so very beautiful. He turned his head to watch as she joined him by the hearth, having finished dressing after the bath.
They smiled at one another, and then she placed a hand on his shoulder, resting her head against his arm. After a few moments spent in warm silence, she said quietly, "I think it's time for bed."
Much sighed, not wanting to be apart from her yet, but knowing they did need their rest. "All right." Surprised when she took his hand and began leading him toward the stairs, he asked, "What are you doing?"
"I wondered if you might sing for me," she replied mischievously.
Catching the look in her eye, his smile returned. "I thought I had a terrible voice?"
"I never said I didn't like it," she pointed out, tugging on his hand. "Are you turning me down?"
Falling into step behind her, Much shook his head. "Absolutely not. In fact, I know a song I think you'll like."
She grinned. "Teach it to me?"