Chapter 35

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"So what is the plan?" I ask

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"So what is the plan?" I ask.

I look from Selena to the two brothers. The twinkling fairy lights reflect from Cupid's eyes as he opens his mouth to respond. Before he can speak the siren calmly raises a hand.

"Not here" she says.

Subtly she gestures towards the bar.

"People are watching."

Following her gaze I see four teenagers sat on a picnic blanket just across from us. They're drinking a bottle of wine from small china tea cups.

I breathe in sharply.

Selena is right, they're all looking right at me; unreadable expressions on their faces.

Quickly I avert my gaze.

"Djinn?" I ask Cal quietly, still feeling the force of their stares.

He gives a slight shake of his head - his lips pursed tightly.

"No." He replies "Cupids."

I frown.

"Is that bad?"

Cal nods once then turns to his brother.

I recall what Selena had said earlier; that not everyone would be on our side.

Suddenly I feel even more uneasy.

The Matchmaking agent gives him a pointed look and Cupid raises his eyebrows.

"OK, OK brother..." he says "I get the picture."

He grins at me.

"Time to go."

Selena gets up first, pushing herself up from the chequered blanket with the grace of a dancer. Cupid looks up at her.

"Coming with us?" he asks.

She shakes her head.

"I presume they'll want you to take your match to a drop off point?" she asks quickly.

Cupid nods.

"The Forever Falls fountain, this time tomorrow" he says. "Do you know how many of the Arrows are in town?"

"Three" she replies.

Cupid grins widely.

"Perfect" he says. "Do you need me to bring you any weapons?"

Selena cocks her head to the side and raises an eyebrow.

"Honey" she says "I don't need weapons."

She looks at me and grins.

"Nice to meet you" she adds before flicking back her hair and walking purposefully back through the bar.

Cupid gives an exaggerated sigh of relief.

"Well that went better than I expected." he says.

I turn my gaze to Cal who doesn't look convinced. The Matchmaking Agent starts to get up.

"I'll go settle the tab" he says "Meet me in the car – I don't like the way those cupids are looking at us."

I dare another glance at the group of teenagers as Cal makes his way through the picnic blankets; they are still watching me.

I look away nervously and find Cupid staring at me too.

For a moment he looks uncharacteristically serious, and I feel startled by the intensity of his gaze, but then he grins. He stands up and holds out his hand to pull me up. For a moment I ponder taking it and our eyes lock onto one another. Then I brush his arm aside and push myself up from the blanket.

Cupid laughs.

"Why are you so set on fighting this?" he says "We're matched. We must be perfect for each other."

For a moment I'm sure I catch a little bitterness in his tone, but looking at his wide grin I think I must have imagined it.

I glare at him; secretly taking in his broad shoulders and boyish smile.

Fine. I admit it. He's attractive.

But are we really perfect for each other?

"Let's get to the car" I say shortly, setting off towards the little wooden door we came through.

Cupid shrugs and steps into line beside me.

***

About half an hour later we're all back in the Aston Martin approaching the outskirts of Forever Falls.

"So let me get this straight" I begin "the plan is to pretend that Selena is your match, go to the fountain with her and lure out the Arrows, then fight them off?"

Cupid peers at me through the mirror.

"Sounds about right." he says.

My phone buzzes on the backseat next to me. I glance down at it.

Charlie.

I switch it off.

I'll deal with her and James later.

I turn my attention back to the more pressing issue.

"Can I come?" I ask.

Cal looks at me sharply.

"Absolutely not" he says.

I suppress a grin and notice Cupid in the mirror doing the same.

"Will it work?" I ask "Are there only three Arrows?"

Cal in the passenger seat shakes his head.

"More will come." He says. "There's always more."

He looks at Cupid angrily, the angles in his face lit up by passing street lamps.

"Why did you have to come here?" he asks again.

Cupid ignores him.

"It'll buy us some time to find the Finis" he says "Once we have that – they lose a lot of their leverage."

I catch a glance at Cal's features in the rear view mirror. He looks doubtful.

As we reach the centre of Forever Falls I notice where Cupid is driving.

"Wait. You're going the wrong way." I say, peering out of the window. "I live that way."

Cupid peers over his shoulder at me.

"Oh you're not going home tonight" he says "much too dangerous."

He looks at me intensely then grins.

"You're staying with me."


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