Chapter 21

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I sit at the head of long table – my fingers steepled, my chin resting upon them. Romulus sits at the seat to my right, his booted feet resting on the mahogany. I look around the exact replica of my dining hall at home. Then I fix my eyes on Romulus's face.

"This isn't real, you know?" I say to him.

He stretches, runs a hand through his wild, tangled hair, then nods.

"I know, we're in a cupid simulation. Probably in their dungeons. I take it my brother stopped our father returning?"

I nod slowly. He shrugs his slender shoulders.

"That's a shame." He fixes his brown eyes on mine. "I was so hoping for War. Well, I know why I'm here. But what about you?"

"Oh, I won't be here for long. But as for the reason why – well – Jekyll was killed. And I decided to make the people responsible pay."

I fix my eyes on him – but he doesn't notice. He is looking around him – taking in the chandelier, the high ceiling, the grand fireplace. Light from the flames flickers across his face.

"I always thought the cupids kept their prisoners in their own personal simulations. And I expected they'd be less luxurious than this," he says.

"They do. And they are," I say. "You're in my Sim, and you're here because I brought you here."

"Why did you bring me here?"

"We have something to discuss."

I reach for the decanter of wine by my side and pour the red liquid into two goblets. I pass one to him. He grabs it and gulps it down. I take a sip of mine, savouring the smoked, oaky flavours. Then I fix my eyes on his once more.

"You see, the way I see it there are two people responsible for Jekyll's death. There is Cal – who for now, is unreachable to me," I put down my goblet, then flash a smile at him. "And then there is you."

I see him shift slightly in his seat. His eyes harden.

I wave my hand, make an elaborate gesture, and the walls surrounding us disintegrate into ash. The table now sits on a raised platform. And around us is a dark labyrinth, stretching out for as far as the eye can see.

"The Simulation is about to get very interesting for you, Romulus," I say.

I lean forward. I lock my eyes on his.

"So, tell me. What is it you fear the most?"


When I am done with Romulus I wander down the dark corridors toward the exit. I smile when I see it. I didn't create this. She left it here for me.

I find the doorway, open it, and my eyes jolt open. I'm in a small cell, a barred window inches away from my face.

Behind it blazing blue eyes lock onto mine through the darkness.

My lip tugs upwards.

"Crystal, my love, I thought I might be seeing you here."

I hear the sound of a click in the lock, and the door opens. She stands over me, now wearing her elegant blue dress, pinched in at the waist, her skirts billowing. She holds a dark cloak in her hand.

She throws it at me, then turns.

"Put it on, come with me. I head to America tonight. You're coming with me."


I lean out on side of the large boat as the dark waves crash against the wood. Crystal stands beside me. Her sweet scent mixes with the salt and seaweed in the cold are. The moonlight reflects off her fair hair as it whips her face in the breeze.

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