a/n: i swear, reviewers are the best thing that has ever happened to me. french today was awful and nothing beats coming back home to a whole load of awesome reviews. much love to Victoria Stokes, mad and megane-d, Supercell and Tomoyuki Tanaka, oh gosh you guys totally made my day! and... here's the fifth chapter lol.


Caleb felt like he stood out like a sore thumb hanging out with his friends. It wasn't a matter of dressing - like the rest, he wore a t-shirt, except his had a keyboard printed on the chest, with the caption 'play me' printed underneath and he wore a pair of black cargo pants. He felt uncomfortable with the way Bianca had latched on to Wyatt's arms. In an odd way, she looked like a parasite clinging to him. He coughed and did his best to clear the thought out of his head. She seemed nice enough to him, although her dabbling in Shia's business spoke otherwise.

His gaze fell on to Lyon, who looked as if he wanted him to be somewhere else. Caleb didn't know what to make of it. Part of him wanted to demand an explanation, yet he knew that the knowledge of the private lives of others was a privilege they extended, not a given right. He sighed. "Well, the road to Hell is probably paved with good intentions," he murmured.

"Something wrong?" Wyatt asked, raising an eyebrow. The four of them sat at the benches outside the mall, waiting for Jem to arrive.

Caleb shook his head, half wishing that he could be like his friend, blissfully living in ignorance, not knowing about the tensions hidden from the naked eye that ran between the four of them. In reality, it was probably just between Lyon and Bianca, but the fact that he knew what happened made him feel that it accounted for something, although the duo probably didn't know he knew.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun was shining brightly overhead, the sky was clear and they were all set to go biking by the beach. For a moment, Caleb wondered what Shia might be doing, then he thought of the blonde he had seen her hang out with all the time in school. He had heard of Kaine and all the rumours about how he was gay but was still interested in Shia. The way the two of them acted as if those rumours didn't bother them one bit made him a little uneasy, for some odd reason.

"Earth to Cal," Bianca said sweetly and waved a hand in front of his face.

He jerked backwards immediately and swatted her palm away.

"You didn't have to do that, you meanie," she pouted and Caleb sighed.

"Sorry, instinct," he shrugged.

"Bianca, chill," Lyon rolled his eyes and she glared at him, as if her eyes were shooting daggers his way.

Caleb gulped nervously. "Guys-"

"HEY DUDES!" came a loud cry and he looked up in relief - Jem had arrived.

*

Ashwyn stared at the group, feeling exasperated and slightly embarrassed to be with them. He felt that the friendship between the five was just plain weird, if not superficial. He wanted to scream that Wyatt's Cupid had pharked up big time except he was afraid it would offend one of the Council. The last thing he needed was to be slapped with a harsher sentence. Bianca and Wyatt clearly did not match. Maybe Bianca and Lyon would've been better off together. He wondered what Wyatt's Cupid did to screw up so badly and shuddered as he thought of how he could create a pharked up ending just like whoever-the-Cupid-was... And remembered the Cupid who lost his wings three months ago. He hoped that it was for the Wyatt and Bianca pair up, which seemed to him as the greatest phark up in history. Ashwyn wondered if that Cupid had broken the one, sole rule within the Ten Cupid Commandments that any Cupid would never break - 'Thou shalt not use the love juice on two who are not meant for each other.' Even though he had caused an awful hurricane with it, at least he didn't break that rule, although whatever he did came close.

Shaking his head, Ashwyn started to observe Caleb. His skin was fairly pale, skin tone just right for a female. The boy told Shia he was in shooting and he guessed it was an indoor activity, which explained the fair skin and to Ashwyn, it created a nice contrast to the boy's otherwise masculine features. His arms were toned, but not bulky and muscular and he couldn't tell if there were well toned abs under Caleb's shirt, but the way the material clung to his skin when he moved about spoke volumes about what was underneath. Ashwyn's eyebrow started twitching as he realised that he was assessing the boy as if he would assess a female, hoping that what he had seen of Zhen and Kaine had not affected him that badly.

He turned his attention to Lyon, hoping that he could get some information about the type of males Shia liked from him. He knew that mortals placed a tonne of importance on first impression and his first impression of Lyon sucked. Ashwyn bit his lip as he twirled his fingers in his hair, floating about, watching Lyon struggle with his bicycle. The way the boy tried to flirt with Bianca to no avail made him want to write a book entitled 'Flirting for Dummies' and shove it under his nose. Lyon's jet black hair was slicked back, showing his forehead completely and Ashwyn found the amount of hair wax involved absolutely disgusting.

Revolted, Ashwyn decided that Jem and Wyatt were not worth his time. Bianca seemed to attach herself to those two more than to Lyon and Caleb, so he left them, happy to be rid of their 'company'. He felt like tearing out his hair by now and started freaking out to no one in particular.

"PHARK!!!" he screamed at the sky, knowing that no one could hear him. He tried to punch a garbage bin but his arm went right through it, much to his annoyance. "Phark this shit man, what the phark, Council did this to make sure I lose those wings. Dammit, I'm a pharking neutral Cupid in that pharked up world up there, can't somebody pharking respect my views?!" he ranted and swore, half wishing Eurydice was there so he had someone to complain to.

"Phark," he muttered. "I know that I didn't do my job. Phark it, I'm sorry, but I really hate that stupid war you have up there. I don't give a phark about who's backstabbing who in the council. I don't care about having to enter Council just because I've been around since the beginning of time. I don't want that shit. Find someone else, dammit. I only want to be with Eu," he groaned as he realised how pathetic he sounded.

He looked at the group of five friends, walking farther away from his current position. He shook his head. "Being mortal is so painful. Being a Cupid is equally bad. But at least, as a Cupid, I have Eu, unlike..." he grimaced as he thought of Shia. He didn't exactly know what happened between her and Lyon but whatever it was, it definitely wasn't pretty. He gulped. "Maybe I'll help someone. For once. And. Well. For Eu, I guess, I'll try."

*

Shia sat at her Steinway and Sons grand piano, running her fingers across the ebony and ivory keys, trying to get a particularly difficult passage in Claude Debussy's 'La Plus Que Lente (Valse)' right before her piano lesson the next day. She had been practising for ages but somehow, she just couldn't get it.

Ashwyn watched her from a distance, stuffing his fingers into his ears. Romantic and Impressionistic music didn't appeal to him and he wished stuffing his fingers into his ears really worked, because he could still hear the strains of music from the piano.

"SHIA!" came a shrill cry and Shia frowned, irritated.

"What is it?" she got up from the piano bench and walked towards the kitchen.

Her mother stared crossly at her and Shia resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "What are you doing? Can you go do your homework? I don't want you to be up until midnight again."

The teenager opened her mouth to protest but was cut short.

"Don't talk back. And for goodness' sake, stop playing that sort of rubbish and play your pieces properly."

Shia felt grossly insulted but did not argue. "Ignorant fools," she muttered darkly as she cleared her scores off the piano and Ashwyn felt his palms grow sweaty, feeling that the insult was directed at him. He frowned as he wondered how he acquired the ability to have sweaty palms and Shia headed for her room, slamming the door behind her.

"How rude," her mother shook her head as she continued chopping vegetables for the night's dinner.

*

"Hey Kaine," a short, stout man yelled from across a crowded bar. "Can you double up as bass for a little while? Our bassist won't be here until the rain stops and it looks like it's gonna be rainin' for a long time," he offered Kaine a crooked grin and the blonde laughed.

"Sure boss," he put down a cocktail glass gingerly by the sink and removed the apron from his waist, making his way across the floor to where the band was setting up.

*

Zhen watched Kaine perform, fingers moving deftly and skilfully across the frets of the double bass. Some part of him wondered how it felt to have those fingers dance across his skin instead and he hastily shoved those thoughts into a folder in his mind he labelled 'To Be Deleted'. He closed his eyes, swaying to the music as he swallowed a mouthful of beer. He had always hated the taste of alcohol but somehow, tonight made him want to chug down a few mugs of the golden liquid.

Kaine was improvising on his bass line for the classic 'Quando Quando Quando' and he felt good. It was great fun to play with a jazz band instead of a string quartet and something about that made even the air he breathed from the bar slightly different from the usual mix of cologne, alcohol and cigarette ash.

A head of dark hair from across the bar caught his eye and he froze for a fraction of a second, realising who it was. Determined not to screw up, he carried on, asking the singer for a break when the song ended.

Someone tapped Zhen on his shoulder and he frowned, wondering who it was.

"Bitch," Kaine narrowed his eyes. "What are you doing here?"


a/n: AND YES I QUOTED MADONNA LOL. so now, be awesome and review, because i still have math paper two and a full music paper on monday, am gonna need all the 'consolation' i can get after it! (cries)