“What is a Delver?” I ask first.
“Someone able to see into minds,” Damin replies. “That is the simple answer.” He keeps his voice low, for this admission will see him hung, but he does not look away.
“How are you a Delver?” I ask next.
“We are born with the gift, as you are.” He smiles then. “I heard you singing once, while I wandered the forest back home. When I tracked the sound to you, I found you sitting on the flat rock overlooking the river. Your mouth wasn’t moving, Lyra, and yet you were singing. I thought I was mad or something and only later understood what had happened.”
I swallow. “You never told me.”
Damin shrugs. “How do you tell someone this?”
“Do you see into all minds?”
“Most, but they are generally images to signify emotions. A red sun, for instance, means fear … saw many red suns this night.” He pauses to thread a hand through his fair hair. “When a Delver hears, though, the one he hears is fated to be his partner. This can be a man or woman. Lucky for me, you are a woman.” Damin offers a wicked smile.
“Is this why you left?” I whisper.
He nods after a moment. “I heard you all the time. I needed to find a way to control it. Listening is an invasion of privacy.”
“Can you control it?”
“Yes, but last night I discovered that frenetic action is able to sunder my holds.” Damin touches my face. “I do not listen, Lyra, to your innermost thoughts, not anymore, and I will find the means to control this breach also.”
I stare at him. I do not know this Damin. “Fate?” I say. “Where is love in fate?”
He takes my hands into his. “Lyra, love enables our gifts.”