Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me.


The day was hot, hotter than it had been in a long while. It was not unusual to see Briar Moss out on a day like that, but rarely did the redheaded girl next to him venture out in the sun, preferring the stormy weather that better reflected her temperament.

Tris turned the pages of her book lazily, occasionally glancing up at the dark haired boy a few yards away. He was hunched over, carefully pulling weeds and watering the rest of the garden, seemingly oblivious to anything else.

She found herself looking up more and more, silently enjoying the way the sunlight gleamed on his bare back, and how the taut muscles in his arms and shoulder rippled as he worked steadily.

She shook her head at her folly—her, Trisana Chandler, getting silly over a boy!—and turned her mind firmly back to the book in her lap.

A bee hummed drowsily off in the distance, and the sound was strangely distracting. Unable to concentrate, she felt her gaze pulled up again by invisible strings, as if she were a marionette in his strong hands.

Amused green eyes met her own startled gray ones.

Caught you, Coppercurls, he mind spoke, a satisfied grin spreading across his face. She sniffed.

I really don't know what you're talking about, she retorted. I was merely admiring your roses.

Ah, yes, lovely specimens, aren't they? he asked, his grin growing wider.

She hid a small smile and red cheeks, and flipped the leather-bound novel open to her book-marked page. She read and he worked in silence for some minutes, until the Hub bells started chiming the hour.

He straightened and dropped the fistful of green he was holding. He stretched up, up, turning his face toward the sun and smiling joyously, looking for all the world as if he could put out roots amid his beloved plants.

She shut her book with a snap, not even bothering to pretend to read it anymore.