Chapter 27

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A cold breeze circles the terrace as I spin back around to face Cal

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A cold breeze circles the terrace as I spin back around to face Cal. He stands rigidly - his silvery eyes unmoving from Cupid's face.

"He's your brother?" I blurt "Is that just what you call other cupids? Or is he actually, like, your brother brother?"

A dark look crosses the Matchmaking Agent's face.

"Unfortunately the latter," he says shortly - still staring at Cupid.

Cupid lets out a laugh as Cal moves forwards to stand beside me.

I size them both up; Cal slender and clean cut with his serious eyes and angular face - and Cupid, broad and rugged, grinning boyishly. They don't look alike - and I wonder momentarily whether both of their parents are the same. 

"You didn't tell her we were related?" asks Cupid, his ocean eyes twinkling in the moonlight.

He drags his gaze away from his brother's pale features and back to me. 

"He always seems to want to keep me secret," he says, giving an exaggerated shrug.

"I can't imagine why..." I reply.

I notice the ghost of a smile flicker across Cal's face before he looks serious once more. 

Cupid looks back at the Matchmaking Agent.

"So brother, what got me off the hook?" he asks. "Crystal tell you?"

Cal gives a tense nod.

"The other branches were tracking your movements," he replies. "I presume we've come to the same conclusion?"  

Cupid nods, a half smile on his face.

"You presume right."

"How long have you suspected that they were here?" Cal says.

Cupid shrugs.

"Since the Ardor in the Love Shack." 

Cal sighs heavily, his whole body seemingly deflates.

"What are you talking about?" I cut in, "Who is here?"

Cal ignores me.

"It's because of you you know," he fires coldly at his brother. "You should never have come."

Cupid raises an eyebrow.

"And miss all this fun?" he says. 

Cal does not look amused but Cupid's eyes blaze excitedly. They fall silent. I look from one brother to the other. The Matchmaking Agent has never looked so tense.  And that is saying something.

"Is someone going to tell me what is going on?" I repeat "What are you talking about?"

Cal looks at me sideways.

"It's none of your concern," he says sharply.

Cupid gives an incredulous laugh.

"Well I should think it is now...!" he replies. 

Cal runs his hand through his fair hair agitatedly. 

"She should never have been involved in any of this," he says. "Why did you come here?"

Cupid shrugs again.

"She's my match, brother," he says. "You really expect me, of all people, not to show?

A look of disdain passes over the Matchmaking Agent's face.

"Terrible job of hiding her from me by the way..." Cupid adds.

I frown.

"Seriously guys," I say.  "What the hell is going on?"

Cal sighs and looks as though he is about to speak when there is a loud clattering noise downstairs. I jump; a surge of adrenaline pumps through my body.

The two brothers lock gazes.

Screams suddenly fill the night air along with an odd whooshing that sounds somewhat familiar. Then moments later silence falls once more.

A chill travels through my body, and my skin prickles.

I rush to the balcony edge, leaning against the black fence to see the pool below. Everything looks normal - my classmates still stand chatting with drinks by the water. No-one seems as though they even noticed the disturbance.

I furrow my eyebrows and look back at the two brothers who seem to be silently communicating something. 

This isn't right. Something is wrong.

Suddenly Cal darts forwards towards me, pulling me back from the edge and knocking me over on top of him.

"What the..?" I begin to screech, when a single arrow shoots through the air where I was stood moments before. 

It embeds itself into the wall; bronze and pink. 

It's the Capax.

And there is a slip of paper pinned to the wall behind it.

My heart races.

"A message," says Cupid, almost to himself.

He walks casually over and pulls it out just moments before the arrow turns to ash. He glances over it then looks back at Cal, who has pushed me off him and is now back on his feet.

He nods as though confirming something.

"They're here," he says, raising an eyebrow lazily. "We were right. It's them; The Arrows."

Then he looks straight at me, still crumpled on the floor.

 "We need to get Lila out of here. Now."


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