Chapter 2

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London, 1888

The Cupids Matchmaking Service is written in black letters across the front of the shop. A sign reading Not taking on any new clients at this time hangs from the door handle.

I grin at my reflection in the blackened window – my teeth flashing white, the scar across my eye emphasised against my dark skin even in the murky glass. The cupids are looking for me, but they will only catch me if I desire to be caught.

I place a hand on the handle, turn, and walk inside. A bell above the door tinkles but the blonde male sat behind the reception desk, reading by candlelight, doesn't look up. I cross the black and white tiled floor, past the wooden chairs collected around a shabby table, and stop before the sturdy wooden reception desk. I rest my hand on the surface.

"We're not taking on any new clients at this time," drawls the Matchmaking Agent, still not looking up, his American accent cutting through the dimly lit room.

"That's a shame, I was so hoping for a chance at love."

His head jerks upwards and he springs to his feet. His eyes flash silver as they fix onto my face.

"Mino."

I grin.

"Cal, my old friend!"

His gaze flicks onto the bow and arrow, propped against the wall behind him.

"I wouldn't bother," I tell him. "You won't reach it in time."

His body is tensed, taught. He appears to deliberate for a moment, then nods stiffly.

"What do you want, Mino?"

"I heard you were looking for me."

He nods again. His eyes are wary, suspicious. I can sense the quickened beat of his heart beneath his white shirt. He would never admit it but he fears me.

He is right to be afraid.

He forces his lips into a tight smile.

"Well I'm glad you've decided to turn yourself in."

I laugh, my voice echoing around the large reception area.

"Oh, I'm not turning myself in, Cal. I've merely come to reason with you. You don't really think I'm the Ripper, do you?"

He shifts slightly, moving a step closer to the bow and arrow. I slam my hand down on top of his, holding him in place. He winces as I bring my face closer to his. I look into his eyes.

"You know I could enter your mind if I wanted," I lean forward. "Walk down the paths of your subconscious, push you further and further inside a labyrinth of your own making... "

He swings a fist at my face, hitting me in the jaw. I grab his throat with my other hand. His pale face flushes slightly. He is embarrassed. I am bigger than him, more muscular, and I have a beast inside of me. He knows he cannot win.

His face contorts into one of anger and disgust.

"You can't kill me. I'm one of the original cupids. There is only one weapon that can."

I nod calmly.

"I know. I can drive you mad, though," I say, "If I want to."

I release him and he gasps for air.

"Did you know that the mind is a labyrinth? It is filled with wrong turns, dead ends, and darkness. Get too far inside and you may find yourself lost. You may find that you cannot get back out again."

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