A Scholar's Purpose: A Story of Elska (ch. 4) by Acton Bell

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D'quin could feel his heart breaking as he held the shaking woman in his arms. Her pain was his own and he had no idea how to heal it.
There was no doubt. Elska bound them. He accepted it. Would Lyrel? She had shown intelligence, wit, and strength during their afternoon's conversation. Never before had he enjoyed the act of listening so much as he had that day.
But through their bond, he had also sensed her fragility, her fear of their connection. Emotional ties were something unknown to his Scholar. She might run from them.
He looked down at her. She had ceased shaking and seemed almost asleep. Her head was pillowed against his shoulder and he marveled at how right it felt there, as if he had been shaped to support her.
And he, in his clumsiness, had hurt, rather than healed her. He should not have spoken of her studies; but he sensed a shadow that pained her when the subject was broached. He'd thought only to help by asking her to speak of it, so that he might share the burden, whatever it was with her.
That the task was unworthy of her talents he had known immediately. An Elysium Scholar should not be set to work on something each child of Byshen studied in the primary grades. The similarities between A'nth and Terra's Icelandic were well-documented. It was a now barren field of study.
His heart burned with anger for the humiliation his hjarta félagi must have suffered at the hands of her fellow scholars.
"Don't minn hjarta," Lyrel murmured. She shifted slightly in his arms, though her eyes never opened. She might have been unaware that she spoke. "Don't be angry. They brought me to you." She sighed and nestled closer. Her breathing deepened and D'quin knew she slept.
He brushed a light kiss across her forehead; a feeling of hope expanded within his chest. Part of her accepted their bond. Minn hjarta, she had called him. My heart.
When they had entered the hestvagn, D'quin had set the controls for ‘Tour' to give Lyrel an opportunity to regain control of herself. Now she needed to sleep and he would not wake her to enquire where she was staying. Careful not to jar her, he reached out to code the system to take them to his private apartment. As his hand touched the controls, he stiffened.
A House Ladye impatient with her crying child. University students eager for an evening on the town. An Avonian pilot hurrying to the port. A weary dsk after a day of negotiations. A doctor returning home after an unsuccessful operation. A grandmother waiting for news of a grandchild's birth. Two Terrans involved in an illicit affair. An angry—
Lyrel's small moan brought D'quin to his senses. He pulled his hand back from the controls and concentrated on rebuilding mental shields that had shattered under the post cognitive onslaught.
He had never experienced such vivid impressions, not even when he was a child new to his Talent. The psychic impressions left imbedded in an object were usually the result of some strong emotion – love or fear or hate. The mental shields he had been trained to build and that were now an engrained part of him kept D'quin from intruding on others' private experiences through their effects.

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