There was a soft tapping on the door. She heard the maid announce that Sifu was requesting her presence out on the patio. She responded hesitatingly, washing up without hurry, and then met with Sifu out on the patio. Makayla smiled as she sat next to him. He was looking straight ahead, out into the garden before them. "It's not easy having a student like you," he spoke suddenly. She looked at him, puzzled. "Sifu, I am sorry if I have troubled you," she quickly apologized. "Did you sleep well?" he asked. "Yes, Sifu," Makayla answered softly. "Did you dream of him?" he questioned with a slight bitterness. She could feel the heat come to her cheeks as she blushed and glanced downward. "Yes, Sifu" "Good," Allen replied, although he couldn't help the jealousy he was feeling because of the overpowering emotions he was experiencing for Makayla. He had hoped she would have developed feelings for him by now. But when she started having those dreams, the pain of realizing she was not interested in him cut deep. "Now you are ready to become the woman you are meant to be," he said, rising to his feet, turning his full attention to her. "You will learn humility, appreciation, discipline, and your place as a woman." "My place?" she questioned, feeling confused. "Yes, your place," he repeated. "I don't understand, Sifu." "Come with me. Let's take a walk," Allen instructed as he began to walk. Makayla quickly rose to her feet and followed Allen. Silently they walked until they came to the bank of a brook. Allen paused, finally giving her additional instructions. “See that stone?" He pointed at a rock near a tree. "Pick it up." She did as she was told. She picked up the stone and turned to face Allen. She patiently waited as he gazed out at the brook. Makayla knew to wait respectfully for her Sifu to speak. Looking down at the rock in her hand, she wondered what lesson he would be teaching her. "What's the strongest element?" Allen questioned. "I don't know," Makayla answered. "Guess." "Earth?" she blurted, slightly agitated with his demeanor. "Pick a stone from the brook." Makayla walked into the fresh water and carefully selected a stone from the water. Returning to Allen's side, she held up the stone. "Tell me, what are the differences between these stones?" he questioned, smiling. She looked down at the stones, now resting in the palms of her hand. "One is smooth, and one is rough." "The one that is rough, where did you get it?" he asked, provoking her mind to think deeper. "Sifu, where you told me... by that tree," she answered. "And where did you get the smooth stone?" "From the water?" "Why is the stone from the water smooth?" Makayla smiled as she began to understand the lesson that Allen was teaching her. "The water, it erodes the rock, making it smooth." "Water is the strongest element; it can move mountains. It can maneuver around any rigid form to reach its destination. Women are naturally like water. You don't need to gain strength because you already have it. I have watched you from day one. While your father was here, you hid behind him, using him as a shield. And when he left, you put up your guard, but not in a healthy way."