In the aftermath of that revelation, I walk away, needing privacy for equilibrium. I hear Alyssa and Emily question Damin exhaustively and his voice in answer, but what they say is akin to another language. My mind is in turmoil.
A Healer and Elemental? These are terms Damin mentioned, but I have no idea what they mean. Damin needs to talk to me, soon, about what he knows.
I sit on a boulder. Rain sluices over me, but I feel nothing. My body is no longer relevant.
How long later, I do not know, but time passes before Damin hunkers before me.
“The sisters will speak to their kind. Hopefully all will follow, but the two of them have committed to the walk south. Lyra?”
“I am returning to Grenmassin,” I tell him, staring at my hands.
Damin is silent so long I am eventually forced to look at him. He is watching me, frowning. I have the clearest impression he debates with himself.
“What is it?”
“If we go back, Lyra, we will not make the deadline. Truthfully, it’s already too late for Grenmassin.”
A shiver passes over me, for I hear only truth. I refuse to surrender family and friends to that fate, however. “I am going back. For Horin, for Siri, for my mother. If it means I die with them, so be it.”
He stares at me. “What about us, Lyra? You and me? I have told you I love you, but never have you said those words to me. Do I not count, is that it?”
My eyes close. By the stars. I do love him. “I made a vow, Damin.” Opening my eyes, I kneel before him and kiss him. “I love you, but I will not break my word.”
His arms enclose me. “Then we live or die together.”