She loves him, he loves her not, and there's nothing she can do about it.
In order for their tribe of Gob Edis to flourish, Naomi knows that things have to stay the way they are. She has to hide her feelings for her sister Noya's betrothed. She has to watch as an engagement between Noya and Akiba, future chief of Niatnuom, is made.
Then fate takes an astonishing turn when the wedding doesn't take place, and Naomi becomes Akiba's tribe servant instead. Now that she's part of the lowliest caste, she has to tamp down her emotions and instead carry out the duties of a Tribeless. But her new chief's tenacity and her own obstinate character make that task difficult.
When the real reason for the broken engagement is revealed, Naomi is given one last chance to profess her love, instead of just fulfill her duty.