"Ugh…" Connor groaned as he picked himself up and heard someone running towards him.
"Hey, you okay? That hit looked bad." A familiar voice asked him.
"Does it look like he's okay Pearson?"
Connor checked his phone as they continued to chatter. It hadn't been damaged, but he could see his reflection on his phone screen. He had a nasty black left eye now.
"Oh well, this isn't that bad." Connor muttered to himself as he started to walk off.
"Hey! Are you okay?" Pearson asked as he grabbed Connor by the shoulder and turned him around. His eyes went wide when Connor's hood fell off and his black eye was revealed to the others who had come to spectate the fuss. Connor simply scoffed as he slapped Pearson's arm away, drew his hood again, and started to walk off.
"Hey! I'm talking to you!" Pearson shouted in irritation as Connor stopped and spared a glance towards him.
"Looking forward to seeing you with one of these too." Connor spat before walking off.
Connor got back to the Matchmaker Club with fifteen minutes of lunch break left. He walked in on Brad talking with two other guys. One of them was taller than Connor with black hair and a red tint to it, while the other had short brown hair and was average in height.
"Oh hey Connor, let me introduce you and ouch...what happened to your eye?" Brad winced.
"Don't worry Brad, just an accident with the football team." Connor laughed.
"Uh alright then...anyway, these are the two other current members of the Matchmaker Club." Brad replied.
The tall one then extended his hand and gave Connor a firm handshake.
"Nice to meet you Connor, I'm Christian! Also known here in this club as the Fateful Cupid! Looking forward to having another fellow comrade here in the Matchmaker Club!" Christian happily exclaimed as he shook Connor like a soda can.
After he stopped, Connor shook his head a few times to hopefully alleviate his dizziness before the other male walked up to him.
"Sorry about Christian, he can get a little too energetic and dramatic...hence the title. I'm Paul. Glad to see someone else joining the club that's for sure." Paul said politely.
"Aw come on Paul, don't you like your title of Heartache Healer?" Christian pouted, but it was clearly faked.
Connor shared a much more relaxed handshake with Paul before Brad got their attention from his desk.
"Alright, now let's talk business. Connor, do you have something for us?" Brad inquired.
"Yes I do." Connor replied as he brought out his phone and started a playback.
The three others listened intently until the end, and when the recording was over Christian spoke up in a very serious tone.
"How despicable. Toying with the feelings of others like that…" He muttered.
"Hey Christian, tell you what, after school today let's bring Emily and Pearson here." Brad replied, much to Christian's confusion.
"Did you forget what you usually get us to do?" Paul scolded.
Christian seemed to ponder for a second before he seemed to have a realization.
"Ah yes, this development with Pearson means it's time for a Love Trial!" Christian exclaimed happily.
Connor felt completely lost, and Brad seemed to realize that.
"Love Trials are something that Christian likes to hold to handle certain relationship issues that other students come to us for. They are very dramatic." Brad explained.
"And if we're going to be doing one, we have to give Connor his own title!" Christian said as he ran off to go grab something.
"Wait, I'm going to be part of this too?" Connor asked in confusion.
After school, Connor was sitting in the corner of the clubroom, now wearing a black cloak with a hood as well as a black face mask of somesort. Apparently Christian had gotten this from the Drama Club, and not only did it get Christian all pumped up for the "Love Trial"; it would also keep Pearson from recognizing him due to his black eye. He looked around the clubroom to see that desks and chairs had been organized in a way that turned the room into a makeshift courtroom. Christian had taken the position of the judge wearing a judge wig, while Brad and Paul were the jury. Although as explained to Connor, this was not going to be a typical trial.
Emily was also already there in the room, looking at her phone and sitting at a pair of desks. Shortly after she put her phone away the club room door opened and Pearson walked in.
"Hey Emily...you texted me? Why are you here at the Matchmaker Club?" He naively said.
"Just...have a seat." Emily flatly muttered as Pearson shrugged and sat down.
Christian then took a gavel (Connor assumed he got that from Drama Club too) and tapped it down once.
"Court is now in session for Pearson Mittleman. Mr. Mittleman, you are here for this Love Trial facing charges of cheating on your girlfriend. How do you plead?" Christian stated.
"Huh? What the heck is this?" Pearson replied in confusion.
"Your plea, Mr. Mittleman." Christian repeated.
"Ugh this is stupid, I plead not guilty….Your Honor." Pearson reluctantly pleaded and leaned back in his chair.
"Thank you. Now I'd like to ask the victim of this case, Miss Stevenson, to please tell the court about these charges you have made." Christian said as Emily stood up.
"I've come here to the Matchmaker Club because I have suspected that my boyfriend is cheating on me. We started dating during the first month of the term, and things seemed fine when we took it a little more seriously...but with the sudden lack of time that Pearson has for me and how squirrely he can get when I ask him about it...It would be weird if I didn't suspect anything." Emily explained.
"Aw Emily...I'm just busy you know? Football and all that…" Pearson quickly replied.
"Just like that! Why can't you be honest?" Emily retorted before Christian started slamming his gavel down.
"Order! Order in the court!" Christian shouted, breaking the argument up.
Emily took her seat again before Christian continued.
"You plead not guilty Mr. Mittleman, but I'd like to bring some decisive evidence to light."
Pearson looked at Christian in confusion as he beckoned towards the corner of the room.
"The court acknowledges our evidence bearer to step forward...Our very own Love's Shadow!" Christian exclaimed as Connor stepped out from the dark corner he was sitting in.
"Woah what the?" Pearson said in surprise at Connor randomly coming out.
"Now then, please present Exhibit A." Christian ordered as Connor brought out his phone. Connor then hit the play button.
An eerie silence fell over the room as everyone listened to the recording.
When it ended, Christian stood up and slammed his gavel down.
"This conclusive evidence proves that you have been cheating on your girlfriend. What does the jury say?"
Both Paul and Brad stood up with glares.
"Guilty!" They both replied as Pearson looked around in a panic.
"How, this is bullshit! You guys made that recording yourselves! I never said that!" Pearson tried to desperately defend himself, but he was cut off by a sudden slap to the face from Emily.
Emily was on the verge of crying as she glared at Pearson before leaving the room abruptly. Pearson held his cheek as he glared at Christian and the others.
"Why, why do you care so much?" Pearson growled.
"Because you gave Emily the impression that you cared for her, only to betray the trust she put in you. And here at the Matchmaker Club, we don't tolerate that." Christian calmly replied.
Pearson got up and made to follow Emily, but Christian got his attention one last time.
"And remember Pearson, you think you can hide your affairs, but you'll never escape from your own shadow."
Pearson turned to glare at Christian and then Connor in his mask before leaving the room in a hurry. After he left, the tension that had built up in the room seemed to immediately disperse.
Connor let out a quick sigh of relief as Christian came over to him.
"That was great Connor! The way you appeared was just perfect! Ever think of joining the Drama Club?" He happily exclaimed.
"Uh, I'd prefer not to, thanks. Still, this costume is really cool. Would it be possible if I bought it from the club or something?" Connor replied as he fiddled with his cloak.
"Oh...my friend, it makes me ecstatic to know that you enjoy your persona as Love's Shadow! You'd actually be doing the club a favor by taking that old costume off our hands so go right ahead."
Connor laughed a bit as Brad caught their attention.
"Well, the Love Trial is over. Club is now dismissed for today!" Brad announced before everyone began to pack up their belongings.
Connor had to admit, that was fun.