Chapter One

"Felicity!" yelled her mother, Diana, standing in the doorway of their small, quaint house.

She held her hand up to her eyes in attempt to shield away the brilliant orange sunset. Diana looked past the perimeter of the green fields and hills surrounding the home. Alas, her

daughter was nowhere in sight. The dinner on the table would be getting cold soon and her husband, Thomas, would be getting impatient now, but still, there was no sign of Felicity

anywhere. Sighing, Diana rang the dinner bell and went back inside to join Thomas at the dinner table in the kitchen.

Down the mud trail to the only nearby house, the dinner bell echoed inside the ears of young fourteen-year-old Felicity. She was sitting on the ground behind a large horse barn,

but jumped up the moment she heard the distant yet distinct ringing. She looked down at her neighbor, James, who was across from her, still sitting on the grass.

"I should go," Felicity said.

"You shan't leave yet," James said, jumping up to meet her gaze. He took both her hands in his.

"But I must! 'Tis only time until Mother and Father get impatient with me."

"Then you shall go, my little deer."

"James!" scolded Felicity. "I am no deer! I am a bird; daintily flying my way back home where I belong; not prancing through the forest like some wild animal. A deer?!"

James chuckled and gave Felicity's hand a quick squeeze, then let go, saying, "You may think you are a bird; for petite you are; and your shining gold hair is as radiant as the sun a

bird flies in from of and blue eyes as bright as the sky a bird flies around. Your skin is as pale as a bird's belly. 'Tis not what I am talking about, though. It's you mind; your spirit that

is a deer! It is always wandering about, chasing your dreams and fantasies; cunning and careful! A deer is more useful than a bird!"

"Or so you may think," Felicity responded. "Birds can track, they always know where they are, and they can give of signals to each other! Birds can be either pack animals or lonely

animals; but best of all, they can fly!"

"Doesn't that seem cliche though?" James asked. "What is it with women always wanting to fly? I don't understand what is so great about it."

"Of course you wouldn't, James. After all, even you said, it's a fantasy of a woman, not a man."

"And a man I am glad to be. For it automatically garrantees me to be no bird."

"Oh, Mr. Ellison. You are no bird nor deer! For whatever animal you may be, it is none I can think of. You are rash but gentle; handsome but frightening, witty but sarcastic; and

genuine."

"But," James continued on for Felicity, fascinated by what she had to say.

"There is no 'but!' I am not sure what you are, James Ellison. Whether you are animal or angel, I shan't know."

"What you describe, Miss Jones, is no animal nor angel; but purely man."

"Man," Felicity sounded out as if it were a foreign word. She opened her mouth to say something more, but just then, an echo of an aggressive bell rang in her ears once more. "I

really must go, now!"

"Fine, then! Go, but only if you promise to return tonight. Oh, please don't forget our plans, Felicity!"

"James, I'd die a thousand deaths before I'd forget about our dear vows to each other."

"I'd count those deaths for you," James said. "When the clock strikes nine I shall be ready, waiting here for you."

"And wait, you will not! Not only will I be here with you by the hour of nine, but for every second after that, forever and ever," Felicity said.

Felicity took James's hands in hers and leaned in closer to him. She pursed her lips, hoping to receive a gentle, caring kiss from him; one she had not yet received. While only an

inch away from the lips of James Ellison, she thought that he just might let her kiss him. James was a gentleman, though. It was in his and his family's belief that the first time a

couple's lips touch each other's should be on the day of their wedding. Felicity also held those beliefs, but unlike James, she couldn't control herself. She leaned in closer and closer

until James put his finger on her lips, stopping her. Felicity opened her small eyes and pouted at him.

James kept his finger on her lips and whispered, "Not yet, love. You must be patient and wait as I am. If I gave into all the times I had wished to intimately acquaint myself with

you, you'd be stripped away of your pride by now!"

Felicity kissed his finger on her lips and said, "Why make me wait, James? 'Tis only a few hours anyways. It makes no difference!"

"Don't pout, my darling. You must leave now. Your parents will be nothing less than upset with you. I'd hate to get you in trouble."

"Alright. Expect me back the moment the clock strikes nine, though!"

"I shall; and I shall expect you to stay for every second after that forever and ever," James said, repeating what Felicity had said.

"I will!"

"Oh, those blessed words! I cannot wait for you to repeat them tonight."

"Let me hear you say those words, now," whispered Felicity.

"I will," James said, inching closer to Felicity.

Felicity closed the space between them and wrapped her arms around James, embracing him tightly. He hugged her in return. They held onto each other for several moments,

neither of them wanting to let go of each other . The abrupt sound of the dinner bell along with another yell for Felicity came once more and they immediately released each other.

Felicity began backing away from James, not wanting to leave his side.

"Until nine," she said.

"Until nine," James repeated.

Felicity then turned away from him and picked up her skirt. She then brushed her hair to the back. Then, she waved to James and ran home to her parents.