Changing of Jazadeem
She changed into a simple black dress with long sleeves. The neckline scooped perfectly to show only her collarbone. It fell just above her knees fitting perfectly to the curves of her body. She rubbed lotion onto her legs, assessed her toe nail polish before slipping on her toe rings, one on the left, two on the right. She strapped on the black high-heeled sandals and decided that the pearl earrings were perfect. She took a deep breath and found her way back to the atrium pool.
On her way back, she scrunched her hair and shook it out hoping that it would dry more quickly. She couldn’t bring herself to admit that loose, long and curly was her sexy look, and she wanted him to see that in her.
Aidan stood waiting in a small area that was raised over the water. He had changed into blue jeans and a tee shirt that clung to his chest and made him look delicious. His wore only socks on his feet and his hair was completely down. It fell around his handsome face and made him look far younger than his years. As she entered, he bowed slightly from the waist, smiled and gestured to the divan that sat wide and low to the ground with its back to the pond area facing a large stone fireplace that was ablaze. His smile was dazzling and his voice was deep and warm, and had an intensely sensual quality when he spoke.
“I thought to make our meal casual. I want you to be comfortable and I realize that you have not been. This might be due to my being unfamiliar with you and your customs. I hope to change this Sasha. What I am about to ask means a lot to me. I like your work very much and would be quite unhappy if you choose to decline my offer.”
He was trying to put her at ease. He wanted her there and she could feel it. Actually, she had been very pleased with the impact she had made on him. At first, she had been embarrassed by the display of her underwear that the wind had made possible at the airport. Then by falling asleep on the plane, which meant he must have carried her from the plane to the car and from the car to the bedroom. And then there was the little incident where she tried to coach him into bed, not to mention him catching her swimming nearly naked. Never in her life had she been so drawn to a man. Every time he had touched her, whenever she was in the very proximity of him, her mind had gone blank, her temperature skyrocketed, her heart raced, her breathing would become erratic and she could feel herself wanting him worse than a spoiled child wants candy.
“Look Aidan, it strikes me that we are both having a little trouble controlling our…bodies’ reactions to one another. I’m not going to deny the effect that your chemistry is having on my chemistry,” She lowered her voice,
“and vice versa. Obviously, you have felt this as well. But it’s a bad start Aidan, and if you are truly interested in my doing this job for you, it can’t happen again. You can’t have both.” There... that was a good ploy. Tell a man he can’t have something and he will never stop trying to get it. Aidan sat back. A frown furrowed his brow. Okay, two could play this game. He tried to look confused. Feigning ignorance was not his best suit.
“Sasha, I am now even more confused. Are you telling me that I have a choice? That I can have you do this work for me…or…I can have you?” Sasha couldn’t help but smile. She thought that maybe his exotic accent also impaired his comprehension.
“No Aidan. That is not what I am telling you. I am saying that if you want me to do this job for you, then it is a bad idea to pursue a romantic entanglement.” He was now looking at her in total bewilderment.
“Sasha, the traditions of my blood line… where I come from, we do not allow for romantic entanglements. They are forbidden. We, the bloodline of the Varda, are only allowed one bonded mate and it sounds like you are asking me to choose. You said I could not have both, and if that were the case then I would choose to have you. I would think this would be a good arrangement for me. As my mate, you would do as I ask, and I would ask you to do this task for me and as my mate, we could also share intimacies. How could this be a bad thing?” She could hardly believe the words she had just heard. He was looking at her in total innocence as if completely unaware. She put her hand up to stop him as a small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. Truly, he was unrelenting…or maybe …just maybe, actually, kind of innocent.
“Okay, Obviously, the wrong approach. Let’s start from the beginning.” His words played over in her mind. ‘Only allowed one bonded mate. No romantic entanglements. Forbidden.’ As recognition dawned, curiosity got the best of her. She knew it was completely inappropriate but she absolutely had to have the answer to her next question.
“Are you telling me that you have never been with a woman?” Aidan smiled, almost as if embarrassed.
“No Sasha, I have been with a few women. On my world…I mean, in my country, the men of my bloodline are tutored in the art of pleasuring his mate by women who have been trained in the sensual arts. But we learn these things to share only with our bonded mate. It is a man’s duty to see to his woman’s happiness and his responsibility to see to it that his woman experiences the greatest of pleasure. The needs and desires of my bonded mate would be of the utmost importance to me. It would be her pleasure that would bring me pleasure.” Sasha tried to conceal her astonishment at not only his words but his enthusiasm. He continued.
“Did you know Sasha, that there are eleven levels of sexual ecstasy? Most people do not experience even one of these levels in their entire lifetime. It is my purpose and my intent to be absolutely certain that my bonded mate experiences all eleven…and on a regular basis.” Sasha sat dumbfounded. She had absolutely no response to this. Playing his words over inside her head, she could not imagine actually being tutored in the art of making love. Although it didn’t strike her as a bad idea, she felt herself suddenly jealous of his teachers. Quickly, he sent her mind an image that was intimate and sensual beyond belief. And certainly, something she never would have thought of, but something she didn’t even know a man could do to a woman - or even should be doing to a woman. Her skin began to feel unusually warm. Hot, actually. The tips her fingers had begun to tingle again. Then she realized her mouth was open. Feeling the need to change the moment, she pushed at her hair and expelled a sigh that was something between, ‘Oh my Gawd...and OK baby let’s.’
“Okay, you know Aidan, I’m really hungry. Could we just eat? And while we are at it you can tell me about this job.” Dimples dazzled as he smiled brightly, happy that his words had definitely had the desired effect as well as the erotic image he had conjured inside her mind. She was physically drawn to him and extremely curious. Her sexual chemistry stirred each time they came into proximity. Better than that, it stirred every time she thought about him. His voice was like velvet, and as sexy as warm hands caressing an eager body when he said.
“Dinner is served.” He gestured towards the door. Bernard entered carrying a tray followed by Willa and Sophean. They brought in several small dishes of things that smelled exotic and delicious.
“Sasha you have met Bernard and Sophean. This is Willa, our cook. She takes care to feed me on a regular basis.” He was smiling proudly as he made introductions to the woman that was right around Bernard’s age. Deep laugh lines shown around her eyes as she spoke.
“He gets so busy that sometime he forgets to eat. Then he gets as grouchy as a child in need of a nap.” Willa glanced to Sasha as she set out the plates and glasses, assessing the woman that would soon be the mistress of the house and the first bonded mate of the sons of the ruling house. It was an exciting day.
“I’m glad you’ve come. Now you can remind him. It is nice to make your acquaintance.” Bernard had begun to lay out a bevy of small dishes all with covers on them. Sophean sat down her tray and removed four dishes as she explained.
“I made dessert this night. Willa only instructed, but I made them by myself.” She beamed at Aidan then Sasha. She squirmed excitedly as Aidan smiled brightly at her.
“Thank you Sophean. Between you and Willa, I will have to be diligent not to begin to look like one of your pastries. You cost me an extra hour each day in the gym, but I wouldn’t pass this up for anything.” Aidan’s eyes moved to Willa then Bernard. Sasha added,
“Thank you. Everything smells delicious.” The three moved to leave. Sophean ran back. She fumbled nervously.
“You will let me know if you like them. Won’t you?” Aidan was good with her.
“If they are anything like the last delicacies you prepared, which were superb, Sasha and I just might have two helpings.” His smile increased as he bowed his head to her.
“Your parents are so proud of you Sophean, as is Willa, as am I.” Her face beamed. She curtsied and then ran smiling to catch up with Bernard and Willa. Aidan noticed that Sasha had glanced to Sophean’s shoes. He heard her mind wonder if her family could not afford to buy her new ones.
“She is so cute, Aidan. How old is she? She looks twelve or thirteen, fifteen at most.” Aidan frowned as his finger quickly moved to his lips.
“Shhh, Sasha. Sophean sees herself as all grown up. She sees herself to be a woman. She is twelve.” Twelve years old in Beddian years, but if Sophean were on Sasha’s world, she would be an under developed twenty seven year old girl, older than Sasha by a couple of years. No matter, there would be plenty of time for Sophean to look her age. She was Thimm, of the Fae race and would probably live a few thousand years. By their standards she was still just a baby.
“Isn’t that a little young for an apprenticeship?” Aidan had slipped from the sofa to kneel before her holding a pair of socks in his hand. As he unfolded them, he reached for her foot. Pulling them back, she asked curiously.
“What are you doing?”
“It is our tradition. We do not eat with shoes on our feet. It impairs proper digestion, as does a belt or anything with a tight waist. Also, the feet must be warm.” He reached for her foot again and this time she allowed him to take it. He removed her sandals and gently caressed her instep before he began to roll the socks onto one foot and then the other. His hands were warm and sent thrill chills careening through her body. She wondered for a moment what his hands would feel like on other parts of her body. Aidan was in her mind, watching her thoughts. He smiled at that one, and then quickly said,
“These belonged to my sister, I am sure that they will fit you.” He continued to talk, answering her question regarding Sophean.
“It is custom to our people that all education is taken in apprenticeship. Sometimes they go on for years.” Sasha’s stomach growled. She covered it with her hand to silence it. His smile widened as he watched her close her eyes to inhale his scent deeply, a sultry scent that was almost hypnotic. He lowered his head. Yes…dinner was served.
Moving back onto the sofa and picking up an antique brushed bronze water pot that was elaborate in design and looked like it had been around for a few hundred years, he held it over a large ornate bowl that looked to match. She realized he was waiting for her and quickly held her hands out over the bowl. He poured the warm water over them. Sitting the pot down, he reached for a small towel then took her hands and dried them gently. When he was done drying them, he held his hands out over the basin bowl. A smile crept onto her face as she picked up the water pot and poured the water over his hands. This was a nice tradition. She liked the way that it felt so ceremonial in nature.
Oddly, she found herself feeling closer to him. She liked this custom and wanted to learn more, experience more of his ways and his world. However, at that moment, she believed that ‘his world’ was a place on earth, an ethnic lifestyle and a political view. She had absolutely no idea where she was. ‘The ways of his people’ she repeated the way that he had spoken it over in her mind.
“Thank you Sasha. I realize our customs must seem strange to you. But they are simple ones and mean much to us. Traditions bind us to honor. Ceremonies reinforce our faith by acting upon those simple things that give beauty to our lives, and to the lives of our loved ones. Take Sophean, she honors the ways of her clan. The shoes she wears have been passed down to her by her grandmother and then her mother. She wears them on this day to honor our special guest. That would be you. One day she will pass them to her own children, to be worn only on special occasions.” As he spoke, he had prepared a plate for her. He sat it down in front of her.
“One day I am afraid, she will be passing along threads with worn soles. But it means much to her.” Sasha thought about what her thoughts had been regarding Sophean’s thread bare and patched slippers. They were an heirloom and precious to her. She had worn them to honor her arrival. How simple. How sweet. It was a beautiful tradition. Aidan interrupted her thoughts.
“I would like to introduce you to a few dishes from my home world.” Aidan’s words caught in her mind. What an odd expression... from my home world.
“It is our custom to pick up our food and to eat with our fingers whenever possible. We believe that if you are afraid to touch it, you should not be putting it in your mouth.” He winked. Sasha laughed and cheerfully stated,
“I like your sense of humor.” Aidan leaned into her to say,
“But it is true, is it not? Food is a gift that replenishes our spirit, gives us life and strength.” His voice dropped almost to a whisper as if he was telling her a secret. His expression became almost serious.
“Also food is sensual. It is an expression of our bodies and of our love of pleasure. In the way that we touch it, bring it to our mouth and bite into it. To feel it on our tongue, taste it in our mouth and on our fingers. To breathe in the aromas gives us sensual joy. Do you not believe this?” Oh, he so had the innocent smile thing down. Sasha‘s eyes caught his, ‘Gawd, he just can’t help himself. I would love to bring him to my mouth and taste him. Aidan tried to keep the look of smug satisfaction off his face. The words came out of her mouth before she even realized.
“Aidan, I believe that it’s your touch that provides the sensual rush and if anyone could make eating a sensual art form, it would be you.” The smile left his face as his eyes narrowed on her and she could have sworn that they turned a darker shade of brown, if that were even possible. She couldn’t tell where the iris ended and the pupil began. He leaned into her as he asked,
“So you find me sensual, Sasha?” Her breath expelled sharply, she had to close her eyes to speak. She was contemplating the fact that she may live to regret what she was about to admit.
“Beyond words, Aidan. Now, what is this job you want me to do for you?” She raised her eyebrows asking the question once again with her eyes.
“Tell me Aidan. Just tell me now.” She said it firmly, committed to the fact that she was not going to allow the intrigue to continue. Aidan cleared his throat.
“I would like for you to do a series of frescos for me, Sasha. I like your work, and find your style to be that of complimentary to my family’s estate and was hoping to have more of it in our home. I am hoping you would consider it.” And on that note, he took a bite of something that looked like fruit bread. The filling squirted onto his cheek and then dripped down to his chin. Sasha watched as his tongue moved across his lips in a provocative gesture. It was hypnotic. She could almost feel the warmth of his tongue on her skin. Watching as his finger moved to gather the fruity filling from his cheek and chin to then bring it to his mouth. She swallowed as he slowly pulled his finger from his mouth. Odd…she thought, some moments actually do move in slow motion. Her stomach lurched as parts farther south began to tingle.
“I would be honored if you would do this thing that I ask. I know that I make you uncomfortable Sasha and if you should choose…if you asked it of me, I would go away and let you work in peace. I have honestly sought you out for the beauty I found in the art I have seen you create. Also, please remember Sasha, that you sign your work…S. Romanoff. For a long time, I did not even know that you were a woman. That I should be able to look upon not only the beauty that you create, but the beauty that you are, is a gift to me from the Maaz-ra-Dune.” Her heart melted. She wanted to do it and he was undeniably her incentive. There was no way that she wanted him to go away and leave her alone to work because honestly, the money had nothing to do with her decision.
“Thank you Aidan, that is very sweet.” A quiet moment slipped by before she asked,
“What is the ‘Maaz-ra-dune’?”
“The Maaz-ra-dune is the universal life force that flows through all things. The intelligence of the universe that knows all things, that creates all things, or I should say, assists in creation. We…people…the human kind assist in creation as well. But it is the power of the Maaz-ra-dune that binds our thoughts and our words and desires into existence. We are powerful beings in this that we share with our creator.” Sasha was touched by the reverent manner he took while trying to explain his belief to her. It struck her as curious as to why he had qualified ‘people…the human kind’ but decided not to ask.
“Are you a religious man, Aidan?” He smiled at his food before saying,
“Sasha, I do not know what that means. On your world…I mean in the world that you come from…your country…” He fumbled in an attempt to adjust his words.
“Religion is different where I come from. The well-being of our world and of her people is our religion. My people do not abuse our lands, for all land is sacred. We believe our planet to be a living being, gracious enough to allow us to live with her. She cares for us and in return, we care for her. We would never think to put poison in her soil, or her air or water. No one would ever consider hurting someone who is weak or already helpless. Our families are everything to us, old and young alike. We revere our elders and the wisdom they have acquired. Our offspring are precious, not only to us as parents, but also to our community for the gift of their innocence, their laughter, their joy and curiosity. It is an honor for us to bestow upon them our knowledge of life. Our friends are our treasures. Our animals are forever our happy curiosities. We would never think to eat them.
We would never abuse our bodies in the manner in which your society does, with drugs and the pollution of our food supply and promiscuity’s that steal and debase our spirit and corrupt our nature, or other atrocities that I have witnessed in the culture of your world. Our young people are taken into apprenticeships at an early age and are surrounded by helpful, loving peers that seek only to encourage their gifts and abilities. Intimacies are usually only shared with our bonded mates. Adultery is a fairly abstract idea in our kingdom. To abuse ones body and spirit in this manner is distasteful to us. Although it does happen, divorce is a strange idea to us. It is a difficult concept to grasp. We, my people, my culture is just different from the one known to you Sasha. Our ways are just different.” He paused, measuring the look on her face.
“Maybe I did not understand the question.” Looking deeply concerned, he waited for her answer. Sasha couldn’t help but smile at him. His words had had a profound effect on her. She wanted him, to be around him, to hear his voice and watch him move. She already knew she loved the life he had just described. Before she even realized it, words were forming in the air.
“Aidan…I would be honored to do some frescos for you.” It had just spilled right out of her mouth without even giving it any thought. His total belief of what he had just spoken made her believe him to be an honorable and good man. She had no idea what he was about to do to her. There was a silence between them. He had expected resistance, negotiations, but it had been even simpler than he had imagined. Sasha wanted to clarify her terms.
“There’s no reason for you to leave your home. You make me a little nervous but you don’t make me uncomfortable. I’m sure that once I get to know you a little better it will pass.” He sat back looking a little puzzled.
“Thank you, Sasha. This pleases me greatly. Maybe after supper I can show you the areas that I had in mind. I have a few ideas, but in this arena, I am just a man. I will concede to your judgment regarding the content of the work.” Aidan felt positively giddy. She was his, no negotiations or entrapment necessary. She was staying of her own free will. His mind drew him back to his purpose. Soon he would betray her, use her. He prayed he would not harm her. Her voice broke his train of thought.
“I just have one question Aidan.”
“Anything Sasha.” She loved the way her name sounded when he spoke it.
“What are you going to do with all of the art work you purchased from Le Crème’? I was told you bought everything. Is that true?” His expression looked like a child who was just caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He tried to act casual as he fussed with his food.
“I have plans for all of them. A number of years ago this was my families’ vacation home. When the war began it became impossible to visit here, it fell into disuse and has remained as such. I have used it very little and not all of the rooms are yet refurbished or complete in their furnishings. I have returned here only recently and have only opened the two lower levels of the east wing.” He shifted his position. It drew him closer to her. She tried to ignore the heat his body was generating. He continued with enthusiasm.
“I have eight brothers and a sister. My mother has passed, but my father still lives. He has given his permission that this place shall become my family home, if I am ever fortunate enough to find a lifemate. In the meantime, I would like to make it a welcome retreat for both family and good friends. Still there is much work to be done here.” Aidan’s dark eyes seemed to dance, coming to life as he spoke of family and friends and of the future. Sasha found herself wishing that she could be a part of it. It was something that she had really never thought of or hoped for… before tonight.
“I would also like to show you our stable. It was the first thing that was restored. I have been breeding some foundation stock from my home world…my country. Do you like horses Sasha?” Sasha was astonished at how his entire demeanor had changed. She knew that he believed that she was going to turn him down. He had already steeled himself for it, maybe was even ready to negotiate. Her easy agreement to his proposition had surprised him. He flashed his sexy smile at her. Beautiful, straight white teeth framed by the warmest, most kissable looking mouth. She kept her answer brief.
“I love horses Aidan.” Smiling at her, his deep dimples making him look so sweet and irresistible. He picked up his wine glass and swirled it.
“My brother made this wine. He is responsible for the harvest and the production. It is the finest anywhere.” He winked at her.
“Reza is also a General in our army. When you meet him, he will try to steal you from me.” Sasha felt flattered by his words and the fact that he seemed to have already staked a claim on her.
“He does not follow the path of our people. He cannot be trusted with women. He likes them all…more than is allowed by our traditions. Be careful of him. He is charming and I am told that he is handsome as well. But I believe it is his ways that win the women’s affections.” Sasha asked,
“His ways, like what?”
“He is a renegade. He takes what he wants. I am told that many women like this trait in a man.” Throughout the evening, Aidan continued to regale her with stories of family. Overall, dinner had gone well. The conversation enticed and Aidan had gotten what he wanted.
The tour of the one open wing of the house had taken almost three hours. He had avoided the strategy room with holographic maps of star systems and terrain’s of alien planets. As well, he avoided the indoor arena where physical combat arts were practiced. It also contained a complex course of obstacles to be traversed and could only be viewed from a room with a balcony looking out over the lower levels. He also avoided the SimX chamber, a room designed for training and education that emanated tanographic images so palpable to the touch that everything seemed completely real. ‘Simulated experience’ modules used for education were kept there as well. Tanographic or Tangible Reality Education would not be an easy thing to explain.
They never made it to the third floor on purpose. The structure and elaborate system of waterfalls would have had to be explained. There was nothing like it on Earth. The great Keep had been carved from the very mountain itself. The stone was stronger than any steel known to earth. The rooms, halls, and walkways had been carved out with the particle stabilizer. One side still connected to the mountain and the water that fell into ponds and waterfalls in the rooms of the below levels emanated from this place. The mountain and the Keep were one in the same. Sasha had been asleep when she had arrived so she missed the view of the structure. Aidan had planned it that way.
They never made it to the dungeons. At one point in their history, they were used on a regular basis. It was from this point that the tunnels emanated out and wound their way deep inside the mountain to snake their way down into the depths of the earth. Some of the tunnels moved like crocked fingers stretching outward. The tunnels that ran up and down and through the inside of the mountain, opened in many places to areas even larger than the battle rooms. It had several exits over the facing of the mountain. Most had been sealed. It would have been an ideal place for someone to hide indefinitely…if it were not for the inhabitants. Dragon’s Keep had been named for the Grand Dragons of Lao that dwelt in the caverns and tunnels in the grounds of the castle. They were small, elegant creatures of a peaceful nature. This was not information that Aidan wanted Sasha to have, as of yet.
He kept her busy discussing possibilities of the content of the frescos. Sasha had also made several suggestions regarding complimentary decor. Aidan had been thrilled, hoping that it was her nesting instincts kicking in. So far, this had been easy. Much easier than what he had gone through to find her.
Sasha had begun to really like this man. There had been chemistry between them from the beginning, no question about that. But now that she had gotten to know him a little, she genuinely liked him. She liked his ways, his beliefs and his sense of humor. He was playful and kind, and so sexy there were moments when she could not breathe. Off and on during the tour, he had offered his arm and she had taken it, relishing the close proximity to him. They had laughed together, smiled at each other. Off and on during the evening, she wished she could be wrapped up in his arms again. Each time the thought crossed her mind he had stepped closer or would reach to take her hand. Twice he had even pulled her hand to his lips and kissed her fingertips almost as an unconscious gesture. She liked it. He was affectionate, polite, deadly gorgeous, and he made her knees weak.
But it was time. He could not put it off any longer. “There is something else that I would like to share with you Sasha.” He hated what he was about to do but the lives of his brothers could depend upon this. As they stepped inside the ballroom, the first thing to catch her eye was the size of the room. It was expansive, with high ceilings and affluent fixtures. The second thing she noticed was the floor. The wood looked rich and cool and was inlaid with another wood that looked like ebony. The ebony made the pattern of the -V- in a very ornamental style, once again making Sasha smile.
“You like your family crest, don’t you?” Aidan liked that it was one of the first things she noticed. She did not know that soon it would be her family crest as well.
“Yes. My family line is rich in culture and can be traced back centuries. Among my people it is known as a crest of honor, it has become the cartouche’ of all of those that have gone before us. We, the Varda, were bestowed the rule of our Kingdom by her people. It was not sought by us nor did we war to acquire it. I am proud to be of Varda blood.” She had begun to wonder what it would be like, what it would feel like, to be able to trace family bloodlines that far back. His statement about rule being bestowed upon them was causing questions to form when a stage area with long drapes caught Sasha’s eye. Aidan began to walk towards it. She watched his body move. He looked dangerous, predatory in the gait of his step. His body moved with power and strength. As he slowly began to pull the ropes, she watched as his muscles rippled through his clothes. He said,
“This is from my homeland. It has immense power.” The drape pulled away and there stood what Sasha thought had to be the most enormous crystal in existence. It was split perfectly, smoothly, down the center and stood opened wide exposing the magical interior. Her mouth dropped opened in amazement as her eyes froze on it. It had to be at least thirty feet tall and she wouldn’t even begin to try to guess its circumference.
“It is without price.” Again, she heard sadness in his voice, but it did not distract her for very long. It was as if she was becoming hypnotized, drawn by the crystal clusters and light refracting and radiating from the imposing vision towering over her. Inside was a myriad of beautiful blood red crystalline clusters in all shapes and sizes. Sasha hadn’t realized that she had been holding her breath until she started to feel dizzy. Aidan instructed.
“If you put your hand inside you can feel a cool breeze. Go ahead, it feels wondrous.” Sasha reached to put her hand inside and sure enough, there was a cool breeze emanating from it. It was an OMG moment as she drew a quick sharp inhale of breath.
“How does it do that?” Aidan then reached into his pocket to pull something out. He smiled and winked at her as he opened his hand, and in it was a crystal bound by a gold chain. Sasha stared at it in amazement. There was something strange about it. Right down the center there was a string of red that moved and wavered and seemed to be alive.
“May I?” Sasha asked reaching for it. Aidan nodded. She picked it up and held it to the light. She watched the tiny string inside the crystal began to change. From its base, a cloud appeared and began to move up towards the tip. She had never before seen a crystal do anything like this. From inside the crystal it cracked and sparked and seemed to be alive. She wondered if it a real crystal or was it something manufactured? Was this a trick of illusion or was it like a mood ring? It looked and felt real. She didn’t know that these types of things existed. It was breathtaking. Aidan had been watching her, listening to all of the questions that had poured through her mind. He explained.
“Crystals hold tremendous power. More power than you will ever know. This one, like you, is one of a kind.” He gestured to the giant enigma standing before them.
“My people call it, the Sanji crystal. Sanji, in our language, means soul. It is what we call a Seiqua grade crystal. This one is but a baby. Left on their own they become even greater in size than this one.” Aidan reached to take the smaller crystal from Sasha. He held it up to her to say,
“You will wear this one for me and I will be honored.” He moved to place the crystal around her neck. She could have sworn that she saw the perfect red crystal give off tiny electrical charges that were sent buzzing through it. Maybe her eyes were playing tricks on her. Maybe it was just the way it caught the light that gave the illusion of electrical charges. The crystal was suspended by a gold chain that was braided in a pattern, bound in gold by the same symbol as on the signet ring that he wore. The same signet ring that her likeness held in the portrait she had seen in her dream. Sasha thought that the gift was too expensive to be appropriate but at the same time was delighted and flattered when he slipped it around her neck and fastened it. She felt the weight of it around her neck. Strange…it felt as if it was generating a curious heat. Or was that just her? Then she felt it. The crystal around her neck was emanating a low humming or vibration. Heat spread across her breasts and continued down, warming her body.
“This is amazing, it’s getting warm.”
“This crystal you wear recognizes the harmonics of its likeness. Would you like to stand inside? It is empowering. But you will have only a few moments. The energy inside is a force of nature.” He smiled and his dimples softened all of his features. His dark eyes danced with light as he gestured with a wave of his hand to the tower of crimson crystal. He continued.
“This, makes it possible for our soul, our energy matrix, capable of transporting itself into a corresponding frequency…a ‘like’ energy to that of our own, Also, it is as a doorway to other places of existence.” Sasha was staring at him, totally lost at the analogy. Cocking his head, he rephrased.
“It feels really good inside.” This, she could understand. All that other stuff about energy matrix and corresponding frequencies and doorways to who knows where had caught her off guard. Who would believe in such things? Sasha thought she would have some fun with him and joked.
“Well, maybe we will become good friends and when my job here is done, you can use this as a doorway and come visit me in San Francisco.” Taking a wide stance placing his hands on his hips, he stood with a pleasantly puzzled look on his face. She clarified,
“It was just a joke.”
“No…No, I like your way of thinking. You are my kind of girl.”
“Now you’re joking right…because, as you can see I am no girl.” Catching herself, she wondered why on earth she had said that. He didn’t try to conceal his grin as he leaned so close to her she could feel his warm breath on her ear. Almost in a whisper, he said.
“Yes…I can see that. Now hop inside.” Sasha could feel the thrill already.
“Are you sure I won’t hurt it?”
“No, little one…You cannot hurt this. Step inside and I will close it. The energy will reflect and will cause it to remain light. Do not be afraid. Just close your eyes and feel the energy pouring through you. Stand there for a few moments very quietly and let it inside you.” Said the spider to the fly, the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Sasha did not think. She stepped inside. He pushed the two halves closed. His head dropped in shame, his breath escaped him in a rush and in that moment, he despised himself. There was no other choice for him. He stepped back to watch and wait. His heart was pounding. He wiped the palms of his hands against his pants, his stomach twisted and for a moment and he felt nauseous.
It remained light inside as a breeze began to stir, then, intensify. A strange fog began to swirl around her and she felt herself holding her breath. Opening the palms of her hands, she could feel the energy becoming more intense. A low humming vibration shook her. Little tiny bolts of electricity began to explode all around her. A shock wave hit her. A tiny scream escaped her throat as hundreds of little tendrils of electric energy grabbed her. She was suddenly frozen in fear.
Visions began to appear in her mind. Images inside her head became vivid and intense. It was as if she were in a waking dream. She watched the parade of scenes unfold in front of her of places she did not recognize and people she did not know. The images continued to come to her, like memories unfolding…only they were not her memories. They increased in speed and intensity. So many feelings, so many memories, visions flooded through her. Emotions embedding themselves in her consciousness, pulling at her heart making it difficult to breathe or swallow. She felt fear and sadness, love and hate, knowledge tempered by discipline. Control spinning out of control. She could feel herself falling into darkness.