Daine was just propping herself up on her elbow when the door

opened and in came Numair, a tray held in both hands.

"How are you, my magelet?" he asked, putting the tray on her night table.

She groaned. "Can't you just fix me?" she asked, as he helped her up, laying more pillows beneath her head.

"You know I can't." He put the tray on her knees and sat on their bed. "I'm no healer."

"But you are one of the seven most powerful mages in the world, surely you can do something!" she retorted remorsefully, lifting the herbal tea to her lips. She felt so weak.

Numair chuckled. "First of all there are already eight black robes in existence. And anyway, I won't fix you because your body has to fix itself so it can build walls to shield you from this illness again. I won't always be there to "fix" you." Daine pulled a face at her husband. "And it's not like your situation is critical, it's only a head cold."

Daine drank some of the tea. It filled her body with warmth so contrasted to her coldness it sent shivers down her back.

"Oh, I just remembered, Maude sent you more peels." Numair got up and took the tray from her lap - handing her two peels and a glass of water. She took them.

"How come Maude can fix me and you can't?" she new she was acting silly – especially as she saw Numair rolling his eyes – but she really wanted to get well again.

"I'm no healer" he repeated "and she is just helping your body get stronger and fight the illness, not "fixing" you completely. It's wrong to use magic against illnesses." He sat down besides her again.

Daine was too tired to argue – and she knew what he had said makes sense – so she took the first peel, placing it in her mouth, and took a sip of the water, swallowing it. She tried to repeat these steps with the second peel but was unsuccessful and started choking. She coughed hard and Numair sat besides her, helpless. He hated not being able to heal her just as much as Daine had hated not to have been able to cure her animal friends but there was nothing he could do. She coughed until she could cough no more and Numair saw her eyes were filled with tears. He seized the opportunity – it was the excuse he had looked for – and wrapped his long arms around her, cradling her gently in his hold. He shushed her as she sobbed hard and stroke her hair. She was grateful to have him. After a while she calmed down and – it seemed – had fallen asleep. He put her down slowly and got up. He lingered for a moment near the bed, looking at her peaceful figure, before leaning down and pressing a soft, prolonged kiss on her lips.

Daine moved her head aside. "You'll be sick, stupid." She said sleepily.

"No I won't" he said backing up towards the door. Daine rose up. "I've got protection spells on me" and with that he left the room, leaving an open mouthed daine staring at the door.