Before you go…

After contemplating my options I finally came up with the answer. "Yes…" I said in almost a whisper as I looked down at my feet. Mr. Kadam smiled happily and clapped his hands together, "Thank you, Miss Dakota, you are very brave." I swallowed and smiled at him. "But I'd kind of like to know what will happen to my family."

"Don't worry; Lokesh will not be after your family. It's only you and Kelsey he will want, and you have us to protect you." Mr. Kadam had replied confidently. His confidence rubbed off on me and my grin spread "When do I start?" Mr. Kadam chuckled softly "That's the spirit! We will be able to start in a couple days, however long it will take for you to train for the journey." I tilted my head to the right slightly "Train?" Mr. Kadam nodded "Yes, Ren and Kishan will be helping you prepare for the tasks ahead. First, before we start anything we will go to Durga's temple for a gift specifically for you."

I felt special suddenly, as if I actually mattered to someone other than my dad.

I blinked my eyes open and smiled as I stared at the white wall above my bed. I yawned and stretched just as the door opened. Nilima shot me a sweet smile "Good morning, Dakota, I brought you breakfast. The Golden fruit prepared it for you." She made her way to me and set down a meal of French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I grinned widely "Thank you Nilima. What's the Golden Fruit?" I questioned, feeling as dumb as a bat.

Nilima giggled when she saw my confused expression and then waved my question away "I'm sure my grandfather will explain everything to you this morning. You're going to the temple with the brothers." Excitement traveled through my body then all of a suddenly I felt queasy. "Oh yeah," I shifted uneasily "I'm not going to die… am I?" I muttered and heard her laugh. "Don't worry; the brothers are there to protect you." She replied and straightened a part of the bed. I bet I sounded like a naïve child. "Right, sorry for asking."

After finishing the best breakfast I ever had, I put on comfortable clothing which was a t-shirt saying 'I NY' and some light blue capris. I walked into the bathroom and pulled my hair into a tight ponytail then reached for my favorite body mist; Peaches and cream. I sprayed a reasonable amount on my skin and then inspected myself in satisfactory.

I walked down the stairs and a much more relaxed Ren was walking up the stairs before he shot me a smile. "Good morning, Dako-" He suddenly stopped and stared at me with a sad expression. "Ren?" I asked carefully, taking a step back. "Is that peaches and cream?" He asked like a sad puppy dog. I carefully nodded "Yes, why?" He reached out and grabbed my hand and then rubbed his thumb over my palm over and over again. "Kelsey used to smell the same way." He muttered and I watched as his shoulders slumped. I gasped and covered my mouth with my free hand "I'm so sorry Ren! I'll go get my strawberry one instead." I rushed up the stairs, my face flushed in embarrassment as I passed Kishan. He blinked for a moment before turning to me "Peaches and cream?"

"Sorry!" I said before going into my room and shutting the door. I quickly stripped off my clothes and hopped into the shower. I made sure to wash off the scent, once I was sure there was no possibility of Ren smelling the peaches and cream, I jumped out. I dried myself off and then wrapped the towel tightly around my body before searching for under garments and clothes.

I found a bra and underwear and then went off searching for my clothes. Suddenly the door creaked open and I froze. Slowly, like in one of those horror movies, I turned around to see who was standing in the doorway. Kishan. His face was straight and he was holding something in his hand. What was that? A brush? I swallowed hard, "Kishan…" I began and turned to him in my underwear and bra "Get out, please."

Kishan dropped whatever was in his hand, apologized, and then ran out of the room before shutting the door. I walked over and picked up the object. It was in fact a brush, and it looked kind of fancy. I set it down on my bed and then resumed what I was doing, trying to ignore the fact that my face looked like it had just been set on fire.

I had chosen to wear cream colored shorts and a reddish pink tank. It was simple and easy to move in. As I walked down the stairs with my hiking boots in one hand, I noticed Mr. Kadam talking to the brothers about something that seemed pretty important. Mr. Kadam's eyes adverted to me and he grinned "Ah, Miss Dakota, come join us. We are talking about the route the three of you shall take." Mr. Kadam nodded to the seat across from him that happened to be in between the two brothers.

I sat down and watched as Mr. Kadam continued his conversation, trying to ignore the fact that Kishan was slightly blushing. "Now, as I was saying," Mr. Kadam announced "We will be going to see Phet first." I blinked in confusion and Mr. Kadam smiled softly. "We'll explain that later." I nodded "Okay." I really did feel like an idiot when they spoke about their religion and journeys they went on.

Ren patted my leg gently before his attention was turned back to Mr. Kadam. "After we visit Phet we will meet with Durga in a hidden temple in a similar cave Ren and Kelsey traveled through. Except there are a lot more obstacles to tackle." He said matter of fact like. I nodded as he slide a piece of paper to me. On it was a map with a route sketched out with a red pen. It was actually very neat for free handed. I looked at it, took a mental picture, and then slid it to Kishan.

The paper was passed around and then returned back to Mr. Kadam. "I've decided that we could drive to Mumbai next week. How does that sound?"

Author note:

I hate to flood you with all this writing, but I decided to give you as much of the story as I could before the weekend ends since I won't be able to write another chapter throughout the week.

I might possibly be able to write two to make it up to you guys. c;

thanks so much loyal readers!