~*~

Forbes Lowery arrived almost four hours later. Vishan met him at the main gate and rode in his American made S.U.V up to the entrance of the Quampela Compound. His bags were packed and neatly stacked on the curb. Bishaden stood next to them clutching a black tote bag to her chest. Tearstains still marred the girls face as a light drizzle began to fall from the slate gray sky. Vishan avoided looking at her as he hauled himself out of the gas guzzling monster and moved to the back of the beast to open its trunk. One by one the bags disappeared into the hold . Big enough to fit a small elephant the car symbolized all that American was. Large overpowering taxing the environment for all it was worth the dynamic beast chortled in the driveway releasing toxic fumes Bishaden had heard of on TV as the two men stuffed it full of packaged goods.

Vishan silently took the black bag from her arms and sadly shook his head. It was not empty but he knew it didn't hold anything too valuable to her. Even after the fight after the long violent argument she had changed her mind and decided to stay . Confident that the stories The Old man had told her as a child were true she refused to believe the angry words Malusia , Sarasvati and then even timid Tavallah had thrown at her after the dinner catastrophe. Bishadens small tote was the last thing placed into the trunk before it was closed with a loud solid thump.

"This is it," Vishan said looking everywhere but in her eyes when everything was packed away. "Are you ready ?"

Bishaden looked at her feet to hide the tears in her eyes. This is the furthest she had ever been in her life. To her and Little Tampulo the main gate was some fantastic place only adults going away on "business" ever saw. Someplace even Old Tampulo spoke of in hushed tones. This was suppose to be an exit to the world beyond Quampela Compound full of fantasy, adventure and intrigue. She saw none of this now.

Behind her a magnificent roman arch with flowery ionic columns grew out of the lush front garden. The Arch was connected to a tall gray wall which circled the entire compound. The very wall she had gazed longingly at just this morning seemed dull and boring yet it held the comforts she had known her entire life. In Front of her stood a strange beast like a mechanical dragon come from some distant land to bore her away. She was over come with emotion as Vishan rested a veined hand on her shoulder and tilted her chin up to look into her eyes.

"I have to go now Shadi." He whispered breathlessly. His eyes were as blood shot and puffy as her own. They had lost the sparkle but something resembling hope still gleamed behind the tears. "Are you sure you want to stay ?"

"Y-ye.no." She threw her arms around him pressing her face into his chest. "I want to leave but I cant they will kill you !" she sobbed clinging to her cousins shirt. "There are men waiting to kill you!" she wailed shoulders heaving as she clung to him.

Vishans eyes sprung up and raced around the scenery. He should have known Malusia would never back down when she wanted something especially when it had to do with the 'Family'. On the wall less than fifty yards away barely camouflaged in the dead grass and hedges crouched a man in a green shirt and khaki pants. The evening sun glinted off the barrel of a poorly hidden pistol. There were men dressed in this way hidden in the bushes all along the outer wall of the complex waiting for Bishaden to get into the Car before they open fire.