“Flynn had to stay with me,” Verity replied unexpectedly. “And I had to stay because the Hedge is my responsibility.” She held out her wrists. “See?”
Sterling put out a callused finger, and gently traced the pattern tattooed into the skin. It was a stylised representation of tree branches, wound together to form a ring around both wrists. A similar pattern entwined her ankles, and the wrists and ankles of every hedger in the Circle.
“So you're...a gardener?”
“Hedger,” Flynn corrected her. “She awakens the spirit trees from the Loam, and teaches them where to grow. How to protect us.”
“They already know where to grow,” Verity said dreamily. “It's just...they don't understand how to exist here at first.”