Chapter 76

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I jolt back down behind the upturned bench, pressing my back against the hard mahogany

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I jolt back down behind the upturned bench, pressing my back against the hard mahogany.

I feel faint. My heart is racing and my skin cold.

To save Cal, I have to kill Cupid.

I can hardly breathe.

"Come on little match" says Venus "We haven't got all day."

There's a silence. I don't move.

"Very well" she chimes "We'll start with the Ardor."

There is a pause and a whooshing sound before the air is filled with Cal's contorted screams. My heart tightens.

I can't let them torture Cal.

But I can't shoot Cupid either.

My mind feels dizzy, unfocused. Cal's shrieks cut through any train of thought and make my stomach turn.

I peer over the top of the bench again. Venus still stands there, her hands extended; offering the golden arrow to me.

I can shoot Venus though.

I'm the only person in the room that can.

I take a deep breath then resolutely I stand up.

"That's right little match" says Venus "Come to me."

I begin to walk towards the stage. Apart from Cal's grunts, the courtroom is silent. I can feel everyone's eyes on me.

"Lila" says Cupid as I pass. "Don't do anything stupid."

Our eyes lock onto each other. His expression is defeated. He gives me a half nod.

"Do what you have to do." He says.

I'm not going to kill him. I won't.

I'll kill her.

"That's close enough" barks Venus as I pass Cal.

I turn towards him. He is writhing in pain, his wrists bleeding where the cables have been tightly bound around them.

"Cal" I whisper.

He looks up at me, his silvery eyes weary and unfocused. A drop of blood congeals at the corner of his mouth.

I want to reach out and help him.

I've never felt so powerless.

"Lila" he whimpers back "I..."

Suddenly another red tipped arrow plunges into his stomach. He screams and I jolt my gaze forwards.

The Commander is stood beside Venus, a quiver full of red tipped arrows slung over his shoulder. Venus nods at him and he takes another and shoots it into Cal's thigh.

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