Chapter 4

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I walk through into an immensely hectic, open plan office

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I walk through into an immensely hectic, open plan office.

It's predominantly white - like the reception area- with ancient styled black columns reaching up to the high ceiling. The left wall instantly grabs my attention; across it is a huge collage of faces, names and places - linked together with pieces of pink string. Towards the far wall is an arch, and beyond it a regal stone statue of a woman draped in a toga.

There is a babble of noise as people in white suits rush around talking into headsets. I can't help but notice that everyone who works here is stunningly attractive â do they put good looking as a job requirement or something?

Cal strides through them, looking once over his shoulder and raising his eyebrow at me. I shake my head to myself and follow him along a walkway between the rows of computers, manoeuvring myself around the people hurrying about.

It looks almost like a stock trading floor in here, not a dating service.

As we walk forwards, I notice a number of monitors hanging on the walls, looping through a stream of different images. Top ten undesirables suddenly flashes across one of the screens. For some reason one of the pictures catches my eye and I jolt my gaze upwards, but before I can focus on it the screen fades into darkness.

I cast my gaze back to Cal, who has now reached the door to a glass walled office. He opens it and gestures that I should go inside.

"Take a seat Miss Black," he says, his tone of voice still cold.

I glare at him and walk inside; sitting down in a quaint, red armchair facing the desk.

He closes the door, grabs a black envelope from a filing cabinet against the wall, then takes a seat in front of me. He sighs heavily, making him seem much older than the seventeen years I presume him to be. In fact, his whole air makes him seem much more grown up.

"You're really not what I was expecting," he says, shaking his head and opening the envelope.

"Yes, you said," I reply dryly "Now are you going to tell me what I'm doing here?"

Cal slides a piece of paper out of the black packet and looks it over before flicking his gaze back to me.

"We recently ran your details through our system," he begins "And you were matched with someone...someone we did not expect to see matched with anyone."

I shake my head.

"Why would you even run my details through your system? Why do you even have my details?" I say irritably.

Cal smiles coolly.

"We have everyone's details," he replies "but that is not the issue here."

I look at him angrily.

"Well can you tell me what the issue is?" 

He stares at me, his eyes flashing an icy blue. Then he sighs again.

"It's a difficult situation for us here," he says "I risk breaking our...our laws by telling you what I'm about to tell you."

I raise an eyebrow.

"What? Dating club laws?!" I ask mockingly.

Cal ignores me and takes a deep breath as though preparing himself for something.

"We are...cupids," he says, running a hand through his perfect blonde hair "We match people. We have done for many centuries. But we do not dabble with love ourselves. It is too dangerous."

He pauses. I stare at him, nonplussed.

What is he talking about?

"Many years ago, one of our own went off the rails. Dabbled with human affairs, human hearts. Obsessed over human women, and made them obsess over him," he says darkly "He became very dangerous. His power grew, his ideology got increasingly extreme. And we banished him from our organisation. From the cupids. Forever."

I roll my eyes.

"Is this some kind of joke?"

Cal shakes his head slowly.

"Unfortunately not Miss Black," he replies quietly.

I decide to humour him.

"So what has this got to do with me?" I say.

Cal takes a deep breath, and looks into my eyes intensely.

"Recently, for the first time in cupid history, he was matched with someone," he shakes his head "He shouldn't even be in the system. He definitely shouldn't have a match. It's too dangerous for him to have a match. And if he finds out..."

I raise an eyebrow.

Cal pretends not to notice. He doesn't remove his gaze from my face.

"Lila Black. He will do anything to get what he wants. He is the original. The most powerful of us all. He is....Cupid himself."

He narrows his eyes.

"And he has been matched...with you."

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