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Cupid Valentino (the modern-day Cupid) wakes to the blue DVD logo on the television. He’s most of the way on the couch; Yelena’s asleep in the recliner and Aggie’s sprawled out on the floor. He was trying to remember something. Yes. Right. The Kolchak marathon? But no, they definitely got through that. He gathers dishes and ponders whether the remains of the pizza are worth trying to save.

On his way into the kitchen, he blears at the bright green clock on the front of the player. 3:24 am, 02-15-2008.

There’s definitely something he was supposed to remember.


“Power?” he asks, judging the size of the empty room.

“Out,” she says, and flicks the lights to demonstrate. “Sorry. We’ll get that turned on very soon. And we have an excellent furniture rental service…”

Valentino stands in the middle of the carpet, hunching, hands in his pockets. He seems to have no intention of putting on a shirt.

“I know this isn’t ideal,” says Yelena. “The situation changed on short notice and we’re doing our best to–look. It’s hard to guess what you people want, sometimes.”

“What does any god want?” he asks.

“Power?” she guesses.

“Out,” he says.


Rountree ducks through scaffolding and leaps a gate, but his pursuer freestyles like it’s almost respectable. He kicks from streetlight to brick and clears the gate wallwise. Rountree could swear he had wings.

He shakes the tail, maybe, with a tripleback over a pedway; Rountree cuts a corner and finds himself eating gun barrel. The gun is serious. It’s also pink.

“Sorry, player,” murmurs Valentino, bare chest slick and hand steady. “Got my good shoes on.”

Rountree’s eyes flick around. There: curvy, short, fro and glasses. Not even his type.

“Oh no,” he says around the gun.

Valentino grins, and fires.