Chapter 44

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The three of us stand frozen in Charlie's living room

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The three of us stand frozen in Charlie's living room.

My best friend's brown eyes are wide as Crystal holds the black arrow to her neck. She doesn't drop her weapon.

"Don't do it," the blonde receptionist warns. "Don't shoot her."

My heart thumps in my chest.

I flick my gaze towards Crystal.

She is wearing the white suit I saw her in at the Cupids Matchmaking Service and there is a quiver full of arrows slung over her shoulder. Her eyes blaze fiercely and her expression is set.

I can see it in her face.

She'll really do it. She'll really kill Charlie if she has to.

I look at my friend pleadingly.

I don't want to get shot, but I don't want her to die either.

Crystal pushes the arrow closer against her skin.

"Drop it," she hisses.

With a sigh Charlie lowers the bow and lets it clatter to the ground.

I exhale in relief as Crystal grabs her by her hair and pushes her down onto the couch. She keeps her arrow pointed at Charlie's neck.

"You OK?" asks the receptionist - not moving her gaze away from Charlie.

I walk towards the two of them.

"Yes," I say - my voice shaking slightly.

I sigh.

"I never thought I'd be pleased to see you again," I add.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a quick half smile flash across Crystal's face.

"What are you doing here anyway?" I mutter - looking at my friend whimpering on the sofa.

Crystal spares a quick glance in my direction - keeping the arrow close to Charlie's throat.

"Charlie was part of my assignment.." she says.

"To match with my boyfriend," I interject.

She sighs, flicking her hair over her shoulder.

"Yes - that was the assignment," she says. "I've been monitoring the two of them - especially after the incident with the Capax."

I shake my head - my emotions of anger, shock and relief all jumbled together.

"The surveillance went momentarily down in the early hours of the morning," she continues. "That was suspicious so I came here to check it out."

I frown and cast my gaze back to Charlie. She is watching Crystal warily. A mixture of vulnerability and anger on her face. I lean over and attempt to touch her arm reassuringly. She flinches and looks at me.

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