Chapter 23

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School closes early

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School closes early.

Charlie and I now lay on her bed. 

Her house is only a block away and the sounds of sirens still drift in through her open bedroom window. I imagine the police tape that must now contain the bloody scene.

It is rumoured that when the ambulance arrived Jack was still breathing. 

After it happened the courtyard was so full of screaming and panic that I couldn't see for myself. Nor could I find Cal amongst the crowd.

I glance at my friend.

Charlie lies on her stomach staring at the phone on her pillow; waiting for any news about the boy hit by the Ardor. I stare solemnly at the ceiling – where the glow in the dark stars Charlie stuck up there as a kid still fragment the perfect white.

The air is sombre – but my thoughts are still cast onto Cupid's party.

I find myself clenching my fists as I think of him in the Love Shack holding up the red tipped arrow.

I'm going to confront him.

I'm going to do it tonight.

Suddenly Charlie's phone buzzes.

My heart leaps and I flip around to face it.

She swipes it up and reads; staring intensely at the small screen for a few moments before sighing.

"Relief sigh?" I ask cautiously.

She nods.

"He's broken both of his arms and his neck – and his condition isn't great, but.... he's stabilised."

I furrow my eyebrows in question and Charlie grins.

"They think he's going to make it," she says.

I feel the tension inside of me release slightly and smile.

Quickly I glance at my own phone.

Two missed calls from dad who must have heard what happened, R U OK? from James, and a text from Cal.

"I don't know how he survived it," Charlie continues, pushing herself up and leaning back against her pink pillows, "He must have put his hands out at the last minute to cushion the fall. He's lucky he didn't hit his head too hard. A couple of storeys higher..."

I read the message from the matchmaking agent;

Whatever you are thinking of doing - Do NOT confront Cupid.

I said before - whatever he is planning will come to a head at the party. 

If Jack wasn't the grand finale, then I dread to think what is.

May I again remind you - HE IS DANGEROUS.

This is my responsibility. 

Cal

I stuff the phone back into my jeans pocket then sit up. 

I take in the room I know so well as I shuffle up to the headboard to sit beside Charlie; the deep pink walls covered with movie posters, hard wood floor, cushioned window seat, and white painted desk covered with journals.

"I wonder what possessed him to do it," she says, looking at me with wide brown eyes. "I don't know Jack or Laura, but I know they're in completely different social groups. I would never have guessed he even liked her at all."

I wonder for a moment whether to tell Charlie what I know; about Cupid and Cal and the arrows and the secret paranormal race of matchmakers...

I shake my head to myself.

She'll think I'm going mad.

"I guess you never know what's going on inside someone's mind," I murmur in response.

Charlie shrugs then suddenly beams – transformed back to her old self.

"Well – the party's still on," she says. "Still up for it?"

My memory flashes back to Cupid's ocean eyes challenging me across the pink, sticky dance floor.

I think of Cal's text, warning me not to go.

Then I think of Jack hurtling through the air – his arms outstretched like a fallen angel.

Anger bubbles inside me.

I smile tightly.

"Hell yes," I reply.


A note on Lila!

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A note on Lila!

Quite a lot of people get really frustrated with Lila here (as well as at a few other points)! I thought I'd pop up in her defense! It's not her fault! It's mine! lol!

My writing process for the first draft of Cupid's Match on Wattpad was basically to establish a way to the end of the book via a sequence of events, then work on the character development/motivations better in the edits. Lila was kind of my eyes and ears as I was discovering this new world, and sometimes I had to get her from one place to the next to keep the plot moving. But sometimes this made her decisions seem reckless or a bit strange!

Good news is the published version that will be coming out October 1st 2019 is very different (there are so many new scenes, much more depth, and some of the things you've already read happen really differently!). And alongside that we get to see a lot more to Lila's character (as well as the other characters!)! I can't wait for you to read it!

(The published version looks like this!)

(And you can pre-order a copy by typing bit

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(And you can pre-order a copy by typing bit.ly/CupidsMatch into your search bar!)

Anyway - hope you're enjoying Cupid's Match!!!

Love, Lauren

xxx

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