Chapter 30

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I sit in the back of the Aston Martin clasping my hands tightly together

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I sit in the back of the Aston Martin clasping my hands tightly together. I feel cold all over.

James and Charlie.

My mind can't process it.

Cal sits tensely in the seat in front; his eyes fixed on the rolling landscape outside of the car.

"What's up with you two?" says Cupid - breaking the silence. "What happened in there? This road trip is turning out to be as fun as a tour around the British Quilt Museum."

I stay silent - defiant - not wanting to say it out loud. Especially to him.

"And in case you're wondering, that's not fun. Believe me...I've been. Twice."

"It was the Capax, Lila," mutters Cal - still staring out of the window.

Cupid looks at his brother, then me.

"Ah - the boyfriend," he says, turning his head back to the road. "He got hit by an arrow I take it. Although you know...they only work when the person has feelings for..."

Cal shoots him a withering look, and thankfully Cupid shuts up.

He is right though. I remember Cal telling me – back in the school gym when he first showed me the arrows.

There has to be a feeling there in the first place for it to work  he'd said.

I sigh.

For a moment the only noise is the soothing sound of the engine. I lean back, feeling the cool leather against my skin. Peering out of the window I notice that we have driven out of Forever Falls, but I can't tell where we're going.

Cupid looks over his shoulder at me and raises an eyebrow – shadows flicker across his face.

"I don't know why you're so glum," he says. "You're my match anyway."

His blue green eyes shine under the light of the passing street lamps. It feels like they are looking right into my soul - trying to gage a reaction.

I glare at him.

"Where are we going?" I say. "What was on that piece of paper?"

Cupid raises his eyebrows then reaches into his pocket and pulls out the folded message. He gives it to Cal first, one hand still on the steering wheel.

"We're going to see an old friend of mine," he replies.

Cal skims over the letter then passes it over his shoulder to me without turning his head. I take it from his hand.

As I read, a sense of dread mixed with panic grows inside of me.

Terminate said match? Repercussions? Locate the Finis? The Arrows?

My heartbeat races.

I glance upwards and realize Cupid has been watching me in the mirror.

"Boyfriend troubles don't seem quite so bad now do they?" he says drily.

Understatement...

I look back down at the slip of paper.

"Terminate? They're going to terminate me?" I say "Does that mean...?"

Cupid shrugs.

"Kill probably," he says. "Or if you're lucky you might get shot with a black arrow – it'll turn you into one of us."

I raise my eyebrows in the mirror where he is still watching me.

"Are you going to take me to the fountain?!"

The two brothers share a look.

"Well....it would be simpler if we did..." begins Cupid.

"No," interrupts Cal abruptly.

Cupid grins and brings his gaze back to the road.

"I was just kidding brother," he replies. "You really think I'd turn in my match after coming this close?"

Cal doesn't reply.

"I would have thought you'd be keen to turn her in anyway," continues Cupid. "Seeing as you're here flying the banner for team 'no match for Cupid'. Didn't you come to Forever Falls to specifically stop the match from taking place?"

He casts his brother a sideways glance; there's an expression of amusement on his face mixed with a kind of knowing look. Cal glares at him and silence falls.

As we drive onward I notice that buildings and bright lights are popping up around us. The road is much wider now, and I'm fairly sure we're approaching LA.

"Who are The Arrows anyway?" I ask.

Cal sighs.

"They're formed from some of the European branches of the Cupids Matchmaking Service," he replies. "Some of their methods are a bit more extreme over there. A lot of the branches take a more traditional approach."

"Why do they want to terminate me?" I say. "This is insane."

I see Cal stiffen.

"Because a cupid cannot be matched," he says sharply.

Cupid grins in the mirror. He turns around again to look at me.

"Don't worry, love," he says. "If they can't get you then they're after me next."

I look back at the letter.

If we cannot terminate the girl, we will come for you.

Even if this requires locating the Finis.

I frown.

"What's the Finis?" I ask.

A dark look crosses Cupid's face.

"The last arrow," he says.

"And that means....?" I reply.

Cal faces me for the first time in the journey.

"It's a... lost arrow," he says ."One of a kind. Made of some kind of crystal. It is said that it is the arrow that can deliver the last breath to us. Other cupids can be killed by the black arrows. But the Finis is the only one that can kill myself or Cupid."

"It's been lost for centuries though," adds Cupid. "so don't you go worrying about me"

A strange look crosses Cal's angular face momentarily but he says nothing – only turns back to face the windscreen.

"I'm more worried about myself right now to be honest" I mutter, staring out of the window.

Suddenly Cupid pulls to a halt at the side of the busy street. 

A number of noisy clubs are situated along the boulevard, and palm trees loom up over the road. Cupid claps his hands together and stretches, cat like, in his seat - his forearms skimming the roof of the car. 

Then he turns to me and grins.

"We're here."


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