Water Avlyn had seen greater lights than those Owen Lancaster displayed, but he had a formidable shine.
Much brighter than most really, she thought. She felt instantly confident he was worthy of her time and energy.
His photo on the cover of TIME Magazine, citing him as “Man of the Year,” hung framed behind his desk. Avlyn remembered the article well. He was a man that did his best to give back to the world and took great care in staying in harmony with the environment, no matter the cost.
Not everyone who had great publicity had a matching inner glow—though Avlyn deemed Mr. Lancaster one of the few billionaires in the world who truly deserved such success.
She could see by the look on his face that it was going to take much more than just a look at her for Mr. Lancaster to decide if she was worthy.
Looking at Lancaster’s poised assistant, standing between them with his back to the window; she assessed him quickly, and gave him a small nod of recognition.
Avlyn had learned over the years that a rare number of people had a more distinctive glow and a slightly distinguishable pattern to the movement of their light that meant something distinctive. This man was not that different from her. She had felt so alone as a child with her unique view of the world, but as she grew older she eventually came across other people that not only understood her visions, but also had a few of their own ‘unusual’ skills and views.
They were few and far between, but meeting others like her was like greeting a secret friend. Especially when she felt so alone surrounded by people who could not really see her as she truly was. Friends who knew and loved her completely with a deep understanding of the whole of her—she immediately recognized, even though they may have only first met in this life and in these bodies.
Avlyn noticed over the years that with every generation, more souls like her were showing up on the Earth. As an adult, she was delighted to see many children who recognized her as she passed them in the world, sparkling brilliantly as she smiled at them, confirming they recognized each other—as they truly were.
It was so rare for these children to experience an adult who could recognize them by their light!
Simon nodded back to Avlyn with a subtle knowing smile and turned to Owen saying, “Sir, may I introduce Ms. Avlyn Shaylee.”
Owen was caught off–guard, an unusual feeling for him. Already astonished at the concept of a single woman tackling such an unfathomable challenge as the Sutra; but to see such a woman stand before him—stunningly beautiful—was far beyond his expectations.
She was a small-framed woman with curving proportions that spoke of both athleticism and a softness that was. . . deeply inviting. She wore a light soft crème jacket with matching pants and a light peach t-shirt that alluringly displayed her slender shape without any blatant advertising.
He thought it was just the light color of her clothes or the reflection from neighboring skyscrapers, but she appeared to glow, she was. . . luminescent. Her long honey-blond hair, loosely braided, framed a knowing and confident porcelain face bejeweled by sea-foam green eyes that. . . looked at him with such intensity, he almost had to look away.
In all his years as a powerful businessman, no one had ever caused him to break eye contact first. He’d be damned if he’d break it now.
“Hello Ms. Shaylee,” he said with a nod.
Avlyn nodded silently in return as she continued her unsettling gaze.
“My assistant tells me you have some skills that might prove to be invaluable in the recovery of my diamond.” He paused, choosing his words respectfully. “I’ll admit I am in doubt that a solitary woman could have much success against the stacked odds the Sutra present, but Simon tells me you are worth my every consideration. As he has been invaluable to me on countless occasions, I have no reason to doubt him.”
He eyed her again, doubtfully measuring her small frame before continuing. “I will however, reserve judgment until I have seen these skills with my own eyes.” Owen sat back in his chair before continuing.
“You see, Ms. Shaylee, I do not wish to needlessly put your life in danger, no matter how much I trust Simon. Introductions aside, let’s get to business.”
Ominously, he continued, “It is our belief that the Sutra have a plan for this diamond. The Perfect Lady, being the largest and most precision-cut diamond in the world, has unique properties that could possibly endanger the lives of millions, perhaps threatening the world’s entire population. So this recovery mission is not merely for my own personal benefit . . . we believe the continued existence of mankind could depend on it.”
“Understood,” Avlyn said simply, calmly.
It was the first word Owen heard from her lips. Her voice was so calm and. . . melodic. The three syllables so simply spoken, strummed a gentle chord that vibrated through his entire body.
If he had not spent so many hours of his life practicing the art of Tai Chi and focusing on presence in his body, he may not have noticed the feeling. Perhaps he would have thought it was a slight draft from the air vents. He knew this was very different; it went deeper. As it was, he knew this woman was much more than a beguiling beauty.
Avlyn well knew the subtle effects she caused in Owen. She raised her chin slightly.
“Shall we begin?”
“By all means madam, please.” Owen reached for his glass of water. As he sat back in his chair he prepared for a show.
This ought to be good; he thought as raised his glass to his lips, never taking his eyes from Avlyn’s face.
As he took a drink of the clear liquid, his eyes bulged at the unexpected incredible heat in his mouth. He suddenly leapt from his chair, spraying what he thought was simply water, out in a huge burst of blue flame that spanned the desk—dissipating just before it reached Avlyn.
Avlyn didn’t flinch a muscle.
If he had not felt the extreme heat himself, he never would have believed it had happened. In complete shock, he looked from Avlyn’s calm demeanor to Simon who looked mildly amused back to Avlyn again.
Flustered and angry, Owen stood and demanded to the woman before him “what was that liquid you replaced my water with?”
He quickly ran through all the possibilities in his mind. From his college days, he grew to know the taste of 180 proof alcohol—very well. This was certainly nothing like that. It bore no similarities to any gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid he’d ever encountered.
In fact, it bore no flavor at all.
Then his awareness quickly noted; there was no flame or spark present to ignite any of these liquids.
The confusion was maddening!
Furthermore, he had asked his secretary to bring this crystal glass and pitcher of water into his office earlier this morning. Not only had he been drinking from it, he had not left his office once in the several hours since. The glass contained pure water just minutes before and there had been no opportunity for Avlyn to switch or add anything to it.
She had never been closer to him than 15 feet.
“I did not replace your water with anything Mr Lancaster,” she said in a calm steady voice. “I merely—altered it, harmlessly, of course.”
“You what?” Owen asked.
Simon spoke up “Ms. Shaylee, if I may?”
Avlyn nodded knowing he understood.
“Sir, it has been scientifically proven that when water is exposed to focused energy, it takes on some of the properties of that energy in a clearly measurable way. In fact, its molecular structure can also be altered. Dr. Masaru Emoto was the first to photograph and document crystals from water exposed to various energies, and as a result showed discernible qualities resembling the frequency to which it was exposed.
“Ms Shaylee has the ability to actually change the molecular structure of water into some property of her choosing by the focused intention of her mind.”
Glaring pointedly at Avlyn, Owen spoke with clear skepticism.
“Simon are you telling me that Ms. Shaylee turned my water into some combustible liquid using only the power of her mind?”
The idea was beyond any reason known to Owen.
He much preferred the thought she’d switched the water.
“Take another drink of your water,” suggested Avlyn in a firm, calm voice.
Owen narrowed his eyes and looked down at the glass on his desk. Hesitantly, he lifted the glass and examined it closely.
It certainly looked like plain water.
It smelled like nothing more than water.
With a moment’s hesitation—locking eyes with Avlyn—he brought the glass to his lips and sipped. Nothing but the taste of pure clean drinking water filled his mouth.
Owen’s face dropped.
He looked first at the glass, then Avlyn, with amazement, and swallowed.
This cannot be possible, he thought as the cool water slid down his throat.
He sat heavily and stared in wonder at Avlyn, trying to comprehend what his every sense had just experienced.
Avlyn kept her gaze locked on Owen.
As he glanced out the window, he suddenly felt very tired and—though he was in professional company—he felt completely at peace in shifting back in his seat to get more comfortable. He felt warmth spreading throughout his body and a feeling of being wrapped in a soft feather comforter and held with loving arms.
Happy memories drifted through his mind of his mother stroking his hair as a small child as she held him in her arms rocking him gently to sleep.
A deep inner peace and love arose in him that he’d experienced before in varying degrees; like when he knew he’d met the woman he was going to marry and love the rest of his life; the incredible overwhelming love and joy when he’d held his first child and the next two that followed over the years.
His mind blissfully floated to the day when he gave his first daughter away to be married . . . then a few years later when he held his first grandchild . . .
The difference now was it felt as if he were experiencing it all at once and it was all encompassing. He felt light as air and so at peace he closed his eyes to savor the sensation.
His mind drifted effortlessly from exquisitely joyous moment to joyous moment.
Breaking through his blissful state, he heard Simon clear his throat.
Owen took little notice, not wanting to be disturbed while languishing in such delightful, divine joy.
Suddenly Owen was fully aware he was leaning back in his chair, his feet on his desk, his hands resting comfortably on his chest.
He felt vibrantly alive and every cell in his being felt energized—like there was nothing he could not do; no problem he could not overcome; no mountain he could not move.
Astonished at his own relaxed posture and apparent vulnerability, he sat up quickly. Regaining his composure and his poise, Owen looked Avlyn straight in the eyes.
Avlyn looked back with a knowing smile.
Owen was hit with the realization—she had done this to him.
Somehow, she had taken over his very senses.
His face went white, as it lost all expression.
How could she have done this? He was no weak man! Never a pushover to anyone—and yet he was complete putty to this woman’s whims. She didn’t manipulate with tones or insinuations, batt an eyelash or barely move a muscle.
Completely at a loss for any words, he linked his fingers together and said with complete surrender:
“You have my full attention, Ms. Shaylee.”
“Thank you.” Avlyn smiled broadly with a slight nod.
Fifteen minutes later, Avlyn opened the double doors from Mr. Lancaster’s office, releasing a cloud of steam and smoke as she strode smoothly past the shocked secretary.
The elevator doors at the end of the hall swished opened just as she approached and she never broke stride as she stepped between them.
She turned, leaned against the rail and looked back at Owen and Simon—still watching her through the open doors of the steaming, smoky room.
She had to admit, it always pleased her to leave men in such a state of shock.
She smiled slyly, feeling a deep satisfaction as her eyebrow raised.
Owen was completely baffled.
The marvels he’d just experienced, he never would have believed it.
He barely believed it now.
As he watched the elevator doors close, Ms. Shaylee behind them, he spoke to Simon, “I don’t think the Sutra know what they’re in for.” He contemplated a bit and then said:
“She is worth every penny of the $5 million I am paying her—yet I’m still concerned for her as if she were my own daughter . . . this world needs her.”
Simon looked from the elevator to his boss and friend.
“Yes sir, the world needs lights like her, but she has a deep need as well. When she finds out what it is, her power will be even greater and everyone within thousands of miles will shift with her, creating a rippling wave that will reach across the world.”
Simon’s words were so far beyond Owen’s scope of comprehension. He turned to stare blankly at Simon.
Simon calmly looked back.