Chapter 39

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"What weapons have you got?" asks Cal as he collects our empty plates

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"What weapons have you got?" asks Cal as he collects our empty plates.

He stacks them in the sink then turns back to face his brother. The early sunlight from outside blazes through the glass front of the kitchen behind him.

Cupid, still sat at the breakfast stool beside me, shrugs.

"Not many." he replies "Just my bow from back in the day, some training weapons, and a few black arrows."

Cal throws him a stern look.

"You shouldn't have any weapons at all" he says "But still...that's not enough."

Cupid raises an eyebrow.

"Well brother" he says "I think that's where you come in..."

Cal's silvery eyes flash irritably but he nods.

"Fine" he says "I'll go get my bow and stock up on arrows. I can probably get hold of an old Sim as well. Just...don't get into any trouble whilst I'm gone."

He looks pointedly at me then turns on his heel and heads out of the back door. Cupid and I watch him in silence for a moment as he strides down the footpath then he turns to me and grins.

"So Lila. What kind of trouble shall we get into?" he says raising an eyebrow.

I roll my eyes and shrug.

"Drinking coffee wouldn't be last on my 'things to do' list" I say, suppressing a yawn.

Cupid laughs and slides off the stool - making his way over to a metallic contraption on the counter. He pushes a white mug underneath and presses a button. A whirring noise sounds out and moments later the smell of freshly ground coffee fills the room.

"You didn't sleep much?" he asks.

He slides another mug under the machine and presses the button again.

"I didn't sleep at all" I say.

For a moment I think about telling him my conversation with Charlie - about how she can see the arrows too - but I decide against it. 

If we're going to follow the two brothers to the square later on it's probably best not to alert my Cupid to my intentions.

He raises an eyebrow as he makes his way back over carrying the two mugs. He places one down in front of me.


I shake my head and take a sip of the dark liquid. It's strong and I immediately feel the caffeine rush down my veins.

"What were you saying about training before?" I ask, taking another sip "You said that I could help."

Cupid pauses a moment then smiles.

"Follow me Miss Black." He says "I have something to show you."

I shrug, and jump down to the ground, clasping the coffee mug in my hands.

I follow Cupid out of the kitchen and down the corridor. I notice his feet are still bare, and the shirt he has slept in is gently ruffled.

When we reach the black spiral staircase, he takes a left and opens one of the doors.

Inside is another spiral staircase and we head downwards, emerging into pitch black darkness at the bottom. It smells old and musty, and I wonder why he's brought me down to some sort of dank basement.

I wait for a few moments while Cupid fiddles around with something against the wall, and then suddenly the room is filled with light.

I feel my mouth drop open.

We stand at the edge of a large room that must stretch below the foundations of the entire house.

The design of the space wouldn't look out of place at the Cupids Matchmaking Service.

The floor is made of large stone slabs, and there are temple like columns supporting the high ceiling.

In the centre of the room lay a number of deep pink coloured gym mats, and past them a treadmill and some weights face the opposite wall. Mounted beside them I notice a bow - much like the one Cal showed me back at school - and some arrows in a kind of display case. A few of them are black but others look like ordinary arrows scattered amongst them. Against the adjacent wall are a number of pink and black targets which I assume must be for arrow practise.

In one corner of the room a number of computer monitors hang from the wall, and in another there is a statue. An old sheet has been placed over it concealing it from view.

I frown as I look at it. Something about it gives me the creeps.

Cupid sees me looking but doesn't say anything, only walks slowly forwards towards the centre of the room. I follow him and notice that the wall to the side is a mirror. I groan as I catch sight of the wildness of my hair and hurriedly tie it back into a pony tail.

"What is this place?" I say as I reach the pink gym mats - still clasping my cup of coffee.

Cupid grins.

"This is my combat training room" he says. "When my brother returns he should have a Sim. It's a kind of simulation they use at the Matchmaking Service to train new recruits. I can programme in similar conditions to what we'll be facing later today, and we can have a run though. We need you to stand in for Selena."

He looks me up and down then steps onto the mat.

His eyes flash excitedly.

"Now, you really want to help?" he says "Take off your shoes. Let's see what you're made of."

My eyes widen.

"You want me to fight you?" I say.

Cupid rolls up his sleeves and I involuntarily find myself looking at the muscles in his arms.

He grins.


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