Ferin mumbled something that Ella didn’t understand as their lips parted. “I’m back on my heels”, he roughly translated and she understood the feeling immediately – the unexpected euphoric wave of a first kiss. They had known each other for years as just friends, until she finally worked up the courage to ask him out. His silence shook her confidence and she tried changing the subject until he said yes; he explained his pause was taking the time to look at her with a new perspective. Ferin was a very private and formal person – never exact about where in Russia he came from – and would earnestly take time to think over even simple questions. He said that he treated every question as if he had never thought of it before; in truth, there had been many times when he considered pursuing a relationship with Ella. When she asked him, he pored over what they might be like as a couple – how their respective personalities may clash and bond – and decided it to be a worthwhile endeavor; their first kiss confirmed his suspicions.