Everyone in the village shuns Shaylee, but a mischievous orphan boy stands by her side and helps to discover her newfound powers.
Something is unusual about Shaylee. She sees the forest and its creatures differently than other folks. This ability makes her shunned in the village and puts an edge of fear into her father, but one person understands her, her new friend, Oran. Together they will learn about her newfound abilities and about one another as well.
Her heart thrummed in her chest. It felt like the embarrassment Ghazi had put her through, but instead of making her want to cry she wanted to shout for joy. The boy had asked for a kiss from her! He thought she was pretty, or nice, or sweet, or something. He didn't dislike or shun her like the rest of the town. He was different. He wanted a kiss.
She didn't think she would be able to answer. She had never kissed anyone before, besides Gorm, and that didn't count. She wasn't sure if she knew how to do it right. Finally she stammered, "Ohyyes. Certainly. It's the least I can do. You were so brave."
She stepped forward and felt her cheeks grow warm, knowing that a stupid smile stretched her mouth from ear to ear. She forced the smile away by puckering her lips. He stared, as if waiting for something. Finally he said, "Well, ye got to close yer eyes. I can't be kissin' ye with yer eyes open. That ain't how it's done."
Her cheeks reddened at her foolishness and inexperience, but the comment didn't extinguish the flutter that she felt within her chest. "Oh, of course."
She closed her eyes. Her lips puckered, head tilted forward. She waited in silence.