Chapter 32

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I follow Cupid through the small, wooden door

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I follow Cupid through the small, wooden door. Cal closes it behind us and the loud throbbing music from outside ceases- replaced by soothing live jazz notes.

My jaw drops as I look around.

It's nothing like I expected.

A vast space stretches out before us. The ground is green Astroturf, and covered in chequered picnic blankets; a paved walkway lit by small solar lights cuts through to a bar serving drinks in the centre. Rope netting drapes from a transparent ceiling wrapped up with white fairy lights – every few seconds they twinkle and add to the stars in the night sky visible above.

The air smells sweet like honey and sugared lemons.

It is full of people.

Cupid grins at me as I take it all in.

"This is just the bar," he says "There's a pretty cool club underneath too."

He approaches a Wait here to be seated sign and moments later a man in a suit approaches.

"Rug for three?" he asks.

Cupid nods.

"A place by the water," he replies.

The man reaches towards a basket just by the door. As he does Cupid turns to us.

"By the way," he adds "About the...friend...we're about to meet. She may not be too pleased with me at present...Just a heads up..."

I'm about to ask what he means when the waiter passes us each a large, plush cushion, then sets off down the path. He gestures us to follow him.

I cast a questioning look at Cal who nods and we walk along behind him.

"Is Hermes in tonight?" I hear Cupid ask the waiter "I need him to send a message for me."

His reply is muffled amongst the sound of chattering.

The bar is much bigger than I'd thought – and filled with bushes and erected trestle fences which give some privacy to the patrons sat on picnic blankets. I could almost imagine I was outside were it not for the ceiling and red brick wall visible at one side.

Through all the sights and sounds around me, I find my eyes homing in on a group of teenagers. They're sat around a shisha pipe in the centre of their rug and as I stare, one of the males looks right at me.

His eyes flash a brilliant, unnatural green and I gasp and fall back a step.

He laughs and nudges his friends who all turn to look – each of their eyes flashing brightly as they giggle at me.

Cal takes my arm and pulls me away from the group.

"Djinn," he says. "Probably won't harm you but best to steer clear."

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