On this page will be a compilation of the extras, cut scenes, short stories, and other bonus features or special content within the series, released alongside The Infernal Devices or by Cassandra Clare herself.
On the Bridge
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- On the Bridge: Will and Jem before Clockwork Angel.
It was past midnight, and London was as quiet as she ever was: the sound of carriages never stopped completely, nor the cries and calls of the dwellers in the city, or the lively chatter of the mudlarks at the side of the river, picking through the detritus the Thames coughed up for any items of value. Will Herondale and James Carstairs sat on the edge of the Victoria Embankment, their legs dangling down over the side. To the left of them, they could see Cleopatra’s Needle, piercing the sky, to their right, Hungerford Bridge.
Will yawned and stretched his arms back. A short-sword, unsheathed, gleamed in his lap. “You know, James, I’ve started to believe this Leviathan demon doesn’t exist. Or if it does, it’s long swum out to sea by now.”
“Well, it won’t be the first time we’ve sat up all night for nothing, nor the last, I’d wager,” said Jem agreeable. His dragon-headed cane was balanced across his shoulders; his arms draped over either end. His bright hair shone as the moon dodged in and out between clouds. “Are you still pursuing that investigation? The dead girls in the East End?”
“It has led me to some quite interesting places,” said Will. “I won sixty pounds off Ragnor Fell at faro the other night. When you join me again—” “I do not much like those clubs. Fleecing mundanes, setting them at games they cannot possible win, mocking and drugging even Downworlders, it all leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. And you know what Charlotte would say if she caught you gambling.”
“Charlotte worries too much. She is not—” Will broke off, and looked up at the stars, or what could be seen of them at least between smoke and cloud. They lit his eyes, so you could see the blue of them even in the dimness, ameliorated only by the Embankment’s characteristic dolphin lamps.
My mother, Jem knew he had been about to say. It was a way of Will’s, to cut himself off carefully before he ever revealed too much.
“You told me your father used to gamble,” he said with deliberate casualness, tapping his fingers on the head of his cane.
For a moment, Will looked as far away as the stars he was gazing at. “Just the occasional flutter at cards. My mother discouraged anything else. She did not like gambling. And he was never one of those madmen who used to bet on anything — when the sun would go down that day, or whether old Henderson could climb Minith Mawr drunk."
Jem did not know what Minith Mawr was, and did not ask. Instead he said, “Your father must have loved your mother very much, to give up being a Shadowhunter for her.”
Will winced, almost imperceptibly, but his tone was surprisingly calm as he said, “He did. I asked him once if he was ever sorry, but he said he never was. He said there are thousands of Shadowhunters, but great love comes once in a lifetime if one is lucky, and one would be a fool to let it go.”
“And do you believe that?” Jem spoke with enormous care; talking to Will about anything personal was like trying not to startle away a wild animal.
“I suppose I do,” said Will, after a pause. “Not that it matters for me, but —” He shrugged. “If love is great, then it is worth fighting for.”
“What if it is immoral somehow? Forbidden?”
“Forbidden? But my father’s love for my mother was forbidden, or at least against the law. Or do mean if she is married, or a vampire?”
“Or a married vampire.”
“Well, nevertheless,” Will said, with a grin, “one should fight on. Love conquers all.”
“I shall warn the vampire husbands of the neighborhood,” said Jem dryly. “And you, Carstairs? You’ve been very quiet with your views.”
Jem unhitched his arms from his cane and sighed. “You know I believe we are reborn,” he said quietly. “I think if two souls are meant to be together, they will remain together on the Wheel and be together again in the life after this one, whatever happens to us now.”
“Is that an official teaching or something you invented yourself?” Will asked. Jem laughed. “Does it matter?”
Will looked at him curiously. “Do you think you will see me again?” At the change in Jem’s expression, he added, “I mean, is there a chance for me? To have another life after this, a better one?”
As Jem opened his mouth to answer, a rustling came from beneath their feet. Just as they both looked down, a tentacle shot from the surface of the river, wrapped itself around Jem’s ankle, and yanked him beneath the surface of the water. Will bolted to his feet with his blade in hand; the water was still boiling where the creature’s tentacles were thrashing wildly, indicating that Jem was getting some good blows in. Will’s heart pounded, firing blood and the call of battle through his veins.
“Hell,” he said. “Just when it was getting interesting, too,” and he leaped into the water after his friend.
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- Jem's meeting with Tessa from his viewpoint. This is available from Walmart's special edition of the book.
Jem's father's violin had been made for him by the luthier Guarnerni, who had made violins for musicians as famous as Paganini. In fact Jem sometimes thought his father might have been a sort of Paganini himself, famous all over the world for his playing, if he had not been a Shadowhunter. Shadowhunters might dabble in music or painting or poetry, especially after retirement from active duty, but they were always Shadowhunters first and foremost.
Jem knew his talent for the violin was not as great as his father's — who had taught him how to play when he was still young enough to have trouble balancing the heavy instrument — but he played it for reasons that went far beyond art alone.
This evening he had felt too unwell to join the others at dinner — pain in his bones and a creeping lassitude in his limbs — until he had finally given in and taken just enough yin fen to quell the pain and spark a bit of energy. Then had come the annoyance at his own dependence, and when he had gone looking for Will, always his first line of defense against the addiction, his parabatai had —of course — not been there. Out again, Jem thought, walking the streets like Diogenes, though with a less noble purpose.
So Jem had retreated to his room and to his violin. He was playing Chopin now, a piece originally for piano that his father had adapted for violin. The music began with softness and built to a crescendo, one that would wring every ounce of energy, sweat and concentration out of him, leaving him too exhausted to feel the yearning for the drug that plucked at his nerve endings like fire.
It was, in fact, one of the pieces his father had wooed his mother with, before they were married. Jem's father was the romantic, his mother more practical, but the music had moved her nonetheless. His father had insisted Jem learn it — "I played it for my bride, and one day, you will play it for yours."
But I will never have a bride. He did not think it in a self-pitying way. Jem was like his mother: practical about most things, even his own death. He was able to hold the fact of it at arm's length and examine it. Every one of the children of the Institute was peculiar, he thought: Jessamine with her bitterness and her dollhouse, Will with his lies and secrets, and Jem — his dying was only another sort of peculiarity.
He paused for a moment, gasping for breath. He was playing by the window, where it was cooler: he had cracked it slightly open, and the bitter London air touched his cheeks and hair like fingertips as the bow in his hand stilled. He stood in a patch of moonlight, silver as yin fen powder . . .
He clamped his eyes shut and threw himself, again, into the music, the bow sawing against the strings like a cry. Sometimes the desire for the drug was almost overpowering, stronger than the desire for food, for water or air, for love . . .
I played it for my bride, and one day, you will play it for yours. Jem held to that thought resolutely. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to look at girls as Will did, with his dark blue eyes raking them, offering insults and compliments loud enough to get him slapped at nearly every Christmas party. He wanted casual companionship, sometimes, when a pretty girl flirted with him, or when he was especially lonely.
But Jem did not, could not, think of girls that casually: he supposed an affair might be possible, but it was not what he wanted. He wanted what his father had had — the sort of love poets wrote about. The way his parents had looked at each other, the peace that had wrapped them when they were together. The facsimile of love would not bring him that, and were he to waste time on it, he might miss his opportunity for the real thing — and he would not have many.
A twinge went through him as his need for the drug increased, and he sped up his playing. He tried not to look at the box on his nightstand. It was times like this when he asked himself why he did not just take handfuls of the stuff at a time. Most who were addicted to yin fen took it unceasingly until they died for the euphoric feeling of being untiring and indomitable, of having the force and power of a star. It was that euphoria that killed them in the end, burning out their nerves, crushing their lungs and exhausting their hearts.
Sometimes Jem felt as if he wanted to burn. Sometimes he did not know why he struggled against it, why he valued a longer life of suffering over a shorter life without pain. But then he reminded himself that the lack of pain would only be another illusion: like Jessamine’s dollhouse, like Will’s stories of brothels and gin palaces.
And, if he were truly honest, he knew it would end his chances to find the kind of love his parents had once had. For that was what love was, wasn’t it — to burn bright in someone else’s eyes?
He continued to play. The music had risen to a crescendo. He was breathing hard, sweat standing out on his forehead and collarbones despite the chill of the evening air. He heard the click of his bedroom door as it opened behind him and relief spilled through him, though he did not stop playing. “Will,” he said, after a moment. “Will, is that you?”
There was only silence, uncharacteristic of Will. Perhaps Will was annoyed about something. Jem lowered his bow and turned, frowning. “Will —” he began.
But it wasn’t Will at all. A girl stood hesitantly in the doorway of his room. A girl in a white nightgown with a dressing-gown thrown over it. Her gray eyes were pale in the moonlight, but calm, as if nothing about his appearance startled her. She was the warlock girl, he realized suddenly; the one Will had told him about earlier, but Will had not mentioned the quality of stillness about her that made Jem feel calm despite his longing for the drug, or the small smile on her lips that lit her face. She must have been there for quite a few moments, listening to him play: the evidence that she had enjoyed it was in her expression, in the dreamy tilt of her head.
“You’re not Will,” he said, and immediately realized that this was a terrifically stupid thing to say. As she began to smile, he felt an answering smile beginning on his own lips — for such a long time Will had always been the person he wanted most to see when he was like this, and now, for the first time, he found himself glad not to see his parabatai, but someone else instead.
- source: CA "deleted scenes" on the website
- A very early conversation between Will and Tessa in which the nature of their escape was much different, and in which the Dark House was actually a working brothel of clockwork prostitutes.
Will handed Tessa up into the carriage, then swung himself up after her, shouting "Thomas! Go! Go!" at the driver, who cracked the reins. The carriage lurched forward as Will yanked the door shut, sending Tessa tumbling again him.
"Steady on," he said, and reached for her, but Tessa had already pulled away, settling into the seat opposite his. She yanked the curtain back from the window and stared out—there was the dirty street, the shabby buildings crowding in on either side. As the carriage whipped forward, they passed the alley she had spent so many days staring at—it was there, and then gone as they careened around a corner, nearly knocking over a costermonger pushing a donkey cart piled high with new potatoes. Tessa screamed.
Will reached past her and yanked the curtain shut. "It's better if you don't look," he told her pleasantly.
"He's going to kill someone. Or get us killed."
"No, he won't. Thomas is an excellent driver."
Tessa glared at him. "Clearly the word excellent means something else on this side of the Atlantic." The carriage lurched again, and Tessa clutched at the seat, squeezing her eyes shut. Her head was spinning, and not just from the movement of the carriage: it was the first time she had been outside the Red Room in over a month, and the sounds of the street outside, even filtered through the closed windows, seemed to echo inside her head like the booming of a drum. She heard Will, distantly, calling something out to the driver; the carriage slowed, and Tessa's grip on the seat relaxed slightly, the dizziness abating. She opened her eyes, and saw Will looking at her curiously. "Did you tell him where we were going?" she croaked.
"Yes," he said, "although I can't help finding it odd that someone like you would have a brother with an address in Mayfair."
Tessa blinked at him. "Someone like me?"
"A prostitute," said Will.
Tessa's mouth dropped open. "I am not a—a—"
"A prostitute?" Will said again, raising his eyebrows.
Tessa shut her mouth with a snap. "What a horrible thing to say. If that's your idea of a joking way to insult me—"
"I never joke," said Will, "or at least, I only joke when the occasion truly warrants it, which this one does not. I assumed you were a prostitute due to your presence in what can only be termed a brothel."
Tessa stared at him.
"You can't expect me to believe you were entirely ignorant of the Darke House's function?" Will inquired. "You must have seen what was going on."
"I told you, I was never allowed out of that room."
"I didn't realize that meant no one else was ever allowed in," Will said.
"What—oh, ugh. Ugh. There's something horribly wrong with you, isn't there? It's like you can't stop saying awful things."
Will's eyebrows went up; despite her anger, confusion, and horror, somehow Tessa couldn't stop herself from noticing that they made perfect dark half-circles above his eyes. "Now you sound like Jem."
"Never mind that," said Will. "I'm trying to figure out how someone could live in a brothel for a month and not notice. You must be terribly dull-witted."
"If it helps at all, it seemed to be quite a high-class establishment. Nicely furnished, fairly clean..."
"Sounds as if you've visited your fair share of brothels," Tessa said, sourly. "Making a study of them?"
"More of a hobby," said Will, and smiled like a bad angel. Before Tessa could say anything in return, the carriage jerked to a stop. "Seems that we're here," Will announced, and Tessa reached past him to pull back the curtain across the window; she stared out and saw that the carriage had drawn up in front of a tall Georgian townhouse in a pretty square lined with trees and other, similar houses. There was a iron-railed fence around the house, the number 89 marked prominently in silver numbers on the gate.
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- Will's perspective on his kiss with Tess in Clockwork Angel, pages 285-292.
Will Herondale was burning.
This was not the first time he had consumed vampire blood, and he knew the pattern of the sickness. First there was a feeling of giddiness and euphoria, as if one had drunk too much gin — the brief period of pleasant drunkenness before the morbs set in. Then pain, starting at the toes and fingertips, working its way up as if lines of gunpowder had been laid across his body and were burning their way toward his heart.
He had heard the pain was not so great for humans: that their blood, thinner and weaker than Shadowhunter blood, did not fight the demon disease as Nephilim blood did. He was vaguely aware when Sophie came in with the holy water, splashing him with the cool stuff as she set the buckets down and went out again. Sophie’s hatred of him was as reliable as fog in London; he could feel it coming off her whenever she got near him. The force of it lifted him up onto his elbows now. He pulled a bucket close to him and upended it over his head, opening his mouth to swallow what he could.
For a moment, it doused the fire burning through his veins entirely. The pain receded, except for the throbbing in his head. He lay back down carefully, crooking an arm over his face to block the dim illumination coming from the low windows. His fingers seemed to trail light as they moved. He heard’s Jem’s voice in his head, scolding him for risking himself. But the face he saw against his eyelids wasn’t Jem.
She was looking at him. The very darkest voice of his conscience, the reminder that he could protect no one, and last of all himself. Looking the way he had the last time he had seen her; she never changed, which was how he knew she was a figment of his imagination.
“Cecily,” he whispered. “Cecy, for the love of God, let me be.”
“Will?” That startled him; she appeared to him often, but rarely spoke. She reached her hand out, and he would have reached for her, too, had not the clang and clatter of metal brought him out of his reverie. He cleared his throat.
“Back, are you, Sophie?” Will said. “I told you if you brought me another one of those infernal pails, I’d—”
“It’s not Sophie,” came the reply. “It’s me. Tessa.”
The hammering of his own pulse filled his ears. Cecily’s image faded and vanished against his eyelids. Tessa. Why had they sent her? Did Charlotte hate him as much as all that? Was this meant to be a sort of object lesson to her in the indignities and dangers of Downworld? When he opened his eyes he saw her standing in front of him, still in her velvet dress and gloves. Her dark curls were startling against her pale skin and her cheekbone was freckled, lightly, with blood, probably Nathaniel’s.
Your brother, he knew he should say. How is he? It must have been a shock to see him. There is nothing worse than seeing someone you love in danger.
But it had been years, and he had learned to swallow the words he wanted to say, transform them. Somehow they were talking about vampires, about the virus and how it was transmitted. She gave him the pail with a grimace — good, she should be disgusted by him — and he used it again to quench the fire, to still the burning in his veins and throat and chest.
“Does that help?” she asked, watching him with her clear gray eyes. “Pouring it over your head like that?”
Will imagined how he must look to her, sitting on the floor with a bucket over his head, and made a strangled noise, almost a laugh. Oh, the glamour of Shadowhunting! The warrior life he had dreamed of as a child!
“The questions you ask . . .” he began. Someone else, someone not Tessa, might have perhaps apologized for asking but she only stood still, watching him like a curious bird. He did not think he had ever seen someone with eyes the color of hers before: it was the color of gray mist blowing in from the sea in Wales.
You could not lie to someone with eyes that reminded you of your childhood.
“The blood makes me feverish, makes my skin burn,” he admitted. “I can’t get cool. But, yes, the water helps.”
“Will,” Tessa said. When he looked up again, she seemed to be haloed by light like an angel, though he knew it was the vampire blood blurring his vision. Suddenly she was moving toward him, gathering her skirts out of the way to sit by him on the floor. He wondered why she was doing that, and realized to his own horror that he had asked her to. He imagined the vampire disease in his body, breaking down his blood, weakening his will. He knew, intellectually, that he had drunk enough holy water to kill the disease before it could burrow into his bones, and that he could not put his lack of control down to the sickness. And yet — she was so close to him, close enough that he could feel the heat radiating from her body.
“You never laugh,” she was saying. “You behave as if everything is funny to you, but you never laugh. Sometimes you smile when you think no one is paying attention.”
He wanted to close his eyes. Her words went through him like the clean slice of a seraph blade, lighting his nerves on fire. He’d had no idea she had observed him so closely, or so accurately. “You,” he replied. “You make me laugh. From the moment you hit me with that bottle. Not to mention the way that you always correct me. With that funny look on your face when you do it. And the way you shouted at Gabriel Lightwood. And even the way you talked back to de Quincey. You make me . . .”
His voice trailed off. He could feel the cold water trickling down his back, over his chest, against his heated skin. Tessa sat only inches from him, smelling of powder and perfume and perspiration. Her damp curls curled against her cheeks, and her eyes were wide on him, her pale pink lips slightly parted. She reached up to push back a lock of her hair, and, feeling like he was drowning, he reached out for her hand. “There’s still blood,” he said, inarticulately. “On your gloves.”
She began to draw away, but Will would not let her go; he was drowning, still, drowning, and he could not release her. He turned her small right hand over. He had the strongest desire to reach for her entirely, to pull her against him and fold her in his arms, to encompass her slim, strong body with his. He bent his head, glad she could not see his face as the blood rushed up into it. Her gloves were ragged, torn where she had clawed at her brother’s manacles. With a flick of his fingers, he opened the pearl buttons that kept her glove closed, baring her wrist.
He could hear himself breathing. Heat spread through his body — not the unnatural heat of vampire sickness, but the more ordinary flush of desire. The skin of her wrist was translucently pale, the blue veins visible beneath. He could see the flutter of her pulse, feel the warmth of her breath against his cheek. He stroked the softness of her wrist with the tips of his fingers and half-closed his eyes, imagining his hands on her body, the smooth skin of her upper arms, the silkiness of the legs hidden beneath her voluminous skirts. “Tessa,” he said, as if she had the slightest idea the effect she was having on him. There were women who might have, but Tessa was not one of them. “What do you want from me?”
“I—I want to understand you,” she whispered.
The thought was quite horrifying. “Is that really necessary?”
“I’m not sure anyone does understand you,” she breathed, “except possibly Jem.”
Jem. Jem had given up on understanding him long ago, Will thought. Jem was a study in how you could love someone entirely without understanding them at all. But most people were not Jem.
“But perhaps he only wants to know that there is a reason,” she was saying. Her gaze was fierce. Nothing stopped her arguing, he thought, or caring: in that way, she was like Jem: loss did not make her bitter, and betrayal did not beat down her faith. Unconsciously, she moved to draw her hand back, to gesture passionately, and he caught at it, slipping the glove off her hand. She gasped as if he had put his hands on her body, blood rising to stain her cheeks. Her bare, small hand, which curled like a dove inside his, went still. He lifted it to his mouth, his cheek, kissing her skin: brushing his lips across her knuckles, down to her wrist. He heard her cry out in a low voice, and lifted his head to see her sitting perfectly still, her hand held out, her eyes closed and her lips half-open.
He had kissed girls, other girls, when basic physical desire overcame common sense, in dark corners at parties or under the mistletoe. Quick, hurried kisses, most of them, although some surprisingly expert — where had Elspeth Mayburn learned how to do what she did with her teeth, and why had no one ever told her it wasn’t a good idea? — but this was different.
Before there had been controlled tension, a deliberate decision to give into what his body asked for, divorced from any other feeling. Cut free of any emotion at all. But this — this was heat flowering through his chest, shortening his breath, sending a tide of goosebumps over his skin. This was a feeling of pain when he let her hand go, a sickness of loss cured only when he pulled her toward him across the splintery wooden floor, his hands cupping the back of her neck as his lips descended on hers with equal parts tenderness and fierceness.
Her mouth opened under his, hesitant, and some corner of his mind cried out to him to slow his pace, that by any reasonable guess this was her first kiss. He forced his hands to slow down, to gently unclasp the fastenings in her hair and smooth the curls down over her shoulders and back, his fingertips tracing light patterns on her soft cheekbones, her bare shoulders. Her hair felt like warm silk running through his fingers and her body, pressed against his, was all softness. Her hands were light as feathers on the back of his neck, in his hair; when he drew her closer, she made a low sound against his mouth that nearly drove every last thought from his head. He began to bend her back toward the floor, moving his body over hers —
And froze. Panic rushed through his blood in a boiling flood as he saw the whole fragile structure he had built up around himself shatter, all because of this, this girl, who broke his control like nothing else ever had. He tore his mouth from her, pushing her away, the force of his terror nearly knocking her over. She stared at him through the tangled curtain of her hair, her face pale with shock.
“God in Heaven,” he whispered. “What was that?”
Her bewilderment was plain on her face. His heart contracted, pumping self-loathing through his veins. The one time, he thought. The only time —
“Tessa,” he said. “I think you had better go.”
“Go?” Her lips parted; they were swollen from his kisses. It was like looking at a wound he had inflicted, and at the same time, he wanted nothing more than to kiss her again. “I should not have been so forward. I’m sorry —”
“God.” The word surprised him; he had stopped believing in God a long time ago, and now he had invoked him twice. The pain on her face was almost more than he could bear, and not least because he had not intended to hurt her. So often, he intended to hurt and to wound, and this time he had not — not in the least — and he had caused more hurt than he could imagine. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and take her in his arms, not even to satisfy his desire but to impart tenderness. But doing so would only worsen the situation beyond imagining. “ Just leave me alone now,” he heard himself say. “Tessa. I’m begging you. Do you understand? I’m begging you. Please, please leave.”
Her reply came, finally, stiff with hurt and anger. “Very well,” she said, though it was clearly not. He chanced a look at her out of the corner of his eye: she was proud, she would not cry. She did not bother to gather up the hair clips he had scattered; she only rose to her feet and turned her back on him.
He deserved no better, he knew. He he had thrown himself at her with no regard for her reputation or the indecorousness of his passion. Jem would have thought of it. Jem would have been more careful of her feelings. And once upon a time, he thought, as her footsteps receded, so would he. But he no longer knew how to be that person. He had covered up that Will for so long with pretense that it was the pretense he reached for first, and not the reality. He dug his nails into the floorboards, welcoming the pain, for it was little compared to the pain of knowing that he had lost more than Tessa’s good opinion this evening. He had lost Will Herondale. And he did not know if he could ever get him back.
Why Will Hates Ducks
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- Takes place at the beginning of Chapter 9, "The Enclave".
Will kicked his heels impatiently against the legs of the library table. If Charlotte were there, she would have told him to stop damaging the furniture, though half the furniture in the library already bore the marks of years of abuse — chips in the pillars where he and Jem had been practicing swordplay outside the training room, scuffed shoe-prints on the windowseats where he’d sat for hours reading. Books with turned-down pages and broken spines, fingerprints on the walls. Of course if Charlotte were there, they wouldn’t be doing what they were currently doing, either, which was watching Tessa Change form from herself to Camille and back again. Jem sat beside Will on the library table, occasionally calling out encouragement or advice. Will, leaning back on his hands with an apple he had stolen from the kitchen beside him, was pretending to be barely paying attention. But paying attention he was. Tessa was pacing up and down the room, her hands clenched at her sides in concentration. It was fascinating to watch her Change: there was a ripple, as of the smooth water of a pond disturbed by a thrown pebble, and her dark hair would thread through with blond, her body curving and changing in such a way that Will found it impossible to pull his eyes away. It was not usually considered polite to stare at a lady in such a direct way, and yet he was glad of the chance . . .
He was, wasn’t he? He blinked his eyes as if meaning to clear his head. Camille was beautiful — one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. But her beauty left him cold. It was, as he had said to Jem, like a dead flower pressed under glass. If his heart was beating hard and his gaze was caught, it was by Tessa herself. He told himself it was the fascination of such unusual magic, not the rather adorable scowl that twisted her features when she had difficulty capturing Camille’s gliding walk — or the way her dress slipped away from her collarbones and down her shoulder when she turned back into herself, or the way her dark hair, coming unpinned, clung to her cheeks and neck as she shook her head in frustration — He picked up the apple by his side and began ostentatiously polishing it on his shirtfront, hoping it would hide the sudden shaking in his hands. Feelings for Tessa Gray were not acceptable. Feelings for anyone were dangerous, but feelings for a girl who was actually living in the Institute — someone who had become an intricate part of their plans, who he could not avoid — were especially so.
He knew what he had to do in such a circumstance. Drive her away; hurt her; make her hate him. And yet everything in him rebelled against the idea. It was because she was alone, vulnerable, he told himself. It would be such a great cruelty to do it . . .
She stopped where she was, throwing her arms up, and making a noise of frustration. “I simply cannot walk in that manner!” she exclaimed. “The way Camille simply seems to glide . . .”
“You point your feet out too much when you walk,” Will said, though it wasn’t strictly true. It was as cruel as he felt he could be, and Tessa rewarded him with a sharp look of reproof.. “Camille walks delicately. Like a faun in the woods. Not like a duck.”
“I do not walk like a duck.”
“I like ducks,” Jem said. “Especially the ones in Hyde Park.” He grinned sideways at Will, and Will knew what he was remembering: he was remembering the same thing. “Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?”
He felt Jem shake with laughter beside him. What Jem did not know was that Will’s feelings about ducks — and yes, he knew it was ridiculous to have complicated feelings about waterfowl, but he could not help it — were caught up with his memories of his childhood. In Wales, there had been a duck pond in front of the manor. As a child, Will had often gone out to throw bits of stale bread to the ducks. It amused him to watch them quacking and fighting over the remains of his breakfast toast. Or it did, until one of the ducks — a particularly large mallard – upon realizing that Will had no more bread in his pockets, raced at the boy and bit him sharply on the finger.
Will had only been six years old, and had retreated posthaste to the house, where Ella, already eight and immeasurably superior, had burst out laughing at his story and then bandaged up his finger. Will would have thought no more about it had it not been that on the next morning, upon leaving the house through the kitchen door, meaning to play the back garden, he had been arrested by the sight of the same black mallard, its beady eyes fixed on him. Before Will could move, it had darted at him and bitten him viciously on his other hand; by the time he had an opportunity to yell, the offending bird had vanished into the shrubbery.
This time, when Ella bandaged his finger, she said, “What did you do to the poor creature, Will? I’ve never heard of a duck planning revenge before.”
“Nothing!” Will protested indignantly. “I just didn’t have any more bread for it, so it bit me.”
Ella gave him a doubting look. But that night, before Will went to bed, he drew back the curtains of his bedroom to look out on the stars — and saw, motionless in the middle of the courtyard, the small black figure of a duck, eyes fixed on his bedroom window.
His yell brought Ella running. Together they stared out the window at the duck, which appeared ready to remain there all night. Finally, Ella shook her head. “I shall manage this,” she said, and with a toss of her black braids, she stalked downstairs.
Through the window, Will saw her come out of the house. She marched up to the duck and bent down over it. For a moment, they appeared to be in intense conversation. After a few minutes, she straightened up, and the duck spun round, and with a final shake of its tailfeathers, strode out of the courtyard. Ella turned and came back inside.
When she returned to Will’s room, he was sitting on the bed and looking up at her with enormous eyes. “What did you do?”
She smiled smugly. “We came to an agreement, the duck and I.”
“What kind of agreement?”
Ella bent down and, brushing aside his thick black curls, kissed his forehead. “Nothing you need to worry about, cariad. Go to sleep.”
Will did, and the duck never bothered him again. For years afterward he would ask Ella what she had done to get rid of the blasted thing, and she would only shake with silent laughter and say nothing. When he had fled from his house after her death, and was halfway to London, he had remembered her kissing him on the forehead — an unusual gesture for Ella, who was not as openly affectionate as Cecily, who he could never seen to detach from clinging on to his sleeves — and the memory had been like a hot knife going into him; he had curled up around the pain and cried.
Throwing poultry pies at the ducks in the park had been helpful, oddly; he had thought Ella, Ella, at first, but Jem’s laughter had blown away some of the pain of the memory, and he had only thought how glad his sister would have been to have seen him laughing there in that green space, and how he had once had people who loved him, and still did now, even if it was only one.
“They ate it too,” Will said, taking a bite of his apple. He was practiced enough now that he knew none of what he had been thinking showed on his face. “Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck.”
Tessa looked at him sideways, and for a single moment, Will had the unnerving feeling that perhaps she saw through him better than he had imagined. She was Tessa then; her eyes were gray as the sea, and for a long pause all he could do was look at her, all else forgotten — apples, vampires, ducks, and everything else in the world that was not Tessa Gray.
“Ducks,” Jem muttered beside him, too low for Tessa to hear. “You are mad, you know that?”
Will dropped his eyes from Tessa’s. “Oh, I know.”
From Chapter 14
- source: CA "Deleted Scenes" on the website
- A deleted bit of the conversation between Jem and Tessa on Blackfriars Bridge in which Jem talks more about his heritage and the state of relations between Britain and China during and after the Opium Wars.
"There was a place in China," said Jem, "called the Yuánmíng Yuán. The Gardens of Perfect Brightness. It was an Imperial residence. My mother went there to visit the Emperor once, a sort of ambassadorial visit from the Nephilim. She said it was the most beautiful place she had ever been. There were exquisite gardens, paintings, music, beautiful pavilions. They called it 'the Garden of gardens.'" He looked out over the water. "Fifteen years ago the British tore it to the ground. Reprisals for something that happened during the Arrow War. They killed the guards, stole anything they thought they could sell, and set the palace on fire. It took three days to burn. There's nothing left of all that beauty now but silent stones and scorched earth."
"I'm sorry," Tessa told him, having no idea what else she could possibly say.
"No one here cares, of course," said Jem. "They have never heard of the Gardens. Lord Elgin was the one who ordered the Gardens burned; for that, they made him viceroy of India. He is a celebrated man now. For what he did in my country I should hate him and all the Englishmen like him."
His voice was cool and clear, and sent a shiver up Tessa's spine. Across the bridge from them, the strolling couple had paused at a parapet; the man seemed to be pointing down at something at the water, the woman nodding as he spoke. "And do you? Hate them?"
"It does not matter," said Jem. "I am more than anything else a Shadowhunter. I am a brother to the Nephilim of England more than I am a brother to any mundane of the land where I was born. And when Nephilim look at me, they see only a Shadowhunter. It is the mundanes who look at me and see something they do not understand—a boy who is not quite white and not quite foreign either."
"Just as I am not human, and not demon either," Tessa said softly.
His eyes softened. "You are human," he said. "Never think you are not. I have seen you with your brother; I know how you care for him. If you can feel hope, guilt, sorrow, love—then you are human."
From Chapter 17
- source: CA "Deleted Scenes" on the website
- Nate and Tessa discuss Jessamine while she isn't around.
"You know," said Nate, "I'm feeling rather parched—I think I'd like some tea. If we could ring for a servant?"
"Oh, dear, you must be parched. I'm afraid I've been a most negligent hostess." Jessamine rose, all distress. "There are no bells in the library, but I'll get Sophie and have her ask Agnes to make up a tray for you."
She hurried from the room, smoothing her skirts down as she went. Nate watched her go with an appreciative glance before turning back to Tessa, who shot him a dubious look.
"You don't really want tea," she said. "You hate tea."
"I do, but I love my little sister." He grinned at her. "You were looking miserable. I take it you don't like Jessamine much? Why not? She seems delightful to me."
"She is delightful to you. Not so much to the rest of us." Tessa thought of Jessamine clinging to her in Hyde Park and hesitated. "It's just—she's like a child. Cruel sometimes and kind other times, at a whim. Other people aren't real to her. Of course she likes you—you're not a Shadowhunter. She despises Shadowhunters."
"Does she?" Nate's voice deepened the way it did when he was genuinely interested in something.
Tessa's letter to Nate
- source: Cassandra Clare's on Instagram
- A letter from Tessa written during the events of TID that came in Illumicrate special editions of the 10th anniversary edition Clockwork Angel. A snippet:
Many strange things have happened to me since I last wrote you. I was rescued most unexpectedly from the Dark House by a cross young man named Will. He is very vexing. His manners are rude, his speech is ungentlemanly. He does not have the most genteel sympathies, and his eyes are an irritating shade of blue. However, he does seem dedicated to helping me find you, and so for the first time in a long while I have a belief that with the help of my new friends you and I may be reunited...
- A map of London, with certain locations featured in the series marked and illustrated on the map. It was released with the repackaged editions of all the series installments.
An Offering of Moonlight
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- This takes place in Chapter 9 of Clockwork Prince, entitled "Fierce Midnight". The scene in which Tessa and Jem first kiss from his perspective.
- I wish to offer you moonlight in a handful
- — Zhang Jiu Ling
The first thing Jem did the moment he entered his room was stride to the yin fen box on his nightstand.
He usually took the drug in a solution of water, letting it dissolve and drinking it, but he was too impatient now; he took a pinch between his thumb and forefinger, and sucked it from his fingers. It tasted of burned sugar and left the inside of his mouth feeling numb. He slammed the box shut with a feeling of dark satisfaction.
The second thing he did was to retrieve his violin.
The fog was thick against the windows, as if they had been painted over with lead. If it had not been for the witchlight torches burning low, there would not have been enough illumination for him to see what he was doing as he wrenched open the box that held his Guarneri and took the instrument from it. A snatch of one of Bridget’s songs played in his head: It was mirk, mirk night, there was no starlight, and they waded through blood to the knees.
Mirk, mirk night indeed. The sky had had been black as pitch down in Whitechapel. Jem thought of Will, standing on the pavement, dizzy-eyed and grinning. Until Jem had hit him. He had never hit Will before, no matter how maddening his parabatai had been. No matter how destructive to other people, no matter his casual cruelty, no matter his wit that was like the edge of a knife, Jem had never hit him. Until now.
The bow was already rosined; he flexed his fingers before he took hold of it, and drew in several deep breaths. He could feel the yin fen surging through his veins already, lighting his blood like fire lighting gunpowder. He thought of Will again, asleep on the bed in the opium den. He had been flushed, his face smooth and innocent in sleep, like a child with his cheek pillowed on his hand. Jem remembered when Will had been young like that, though never a time when he had been innocent.
He set the bow to the strings and played. He played softly at first. He played Will lost in dreams, finding solace in a drugged haze that muffled his pain. Jem could only envy him that. The yin fen was no balm: he did not find in it whatever opium addicts found in their pipes, or alcoholics in the dregs of a gin bottle. There was only exhaustion and lassitude without it, and with it, energy and fever. But there was no surcease from pain.
Jem’s knees gave out, and he sank to the trunk at the foot of his bed, still playing. He played Will breathing the name Cecily, and he played himself watching the glint of his own ring on Tessa’s hand on the train from York, knowing it was all a charade, knowing, too, that he wished that it wasn’t. He played the sorrow in Tessa’s eyes when she had come into the music room after Will had told her she would never have children. Unforgivable, that, what a thing to do, and yet Jem had forgiven him. Love was forgiveness, he had always believed that, and the things that Will did, he did out of some bottomless well of pain. Jem did not know the source of that pain, but he knew it existed and was real, knew it as he knew of the inevitability of his own death, knew it as he knew that he had fallen in love with Tessa Gray and that there was nothing he or anyone else could do about it.
He played that, now, played all their broken hearts, and the sound of the violin wrapped him and lifted him and he closed his eyes —
His door opened. He heard the sound through the music, but for a moment did not credit it, for it was Tessa’s voice he heard, saying his name. “Jem?”
Surely she was a dream, conjured up by the music and the drug and his own fevered mind. He played on, played his own rage and anger at Will, for however he had always forgiven Will for his cruelty to others, he could not forgive him for endangering himself.
“Jem!” came Tessa’s voice again, and suddenly there were hands on his, wrenching the bow out of his grasp. He let go in shock, staring up at her. “Jem, stop! Your violin — your lovely violin — you’ll ruin it.”
She stood over him, a dressing-gown thrown over her white nightgown. He remembered that nightgown: she had been wearing it the first time he had seen her, when she had come into his room and he had thought for one mad moment that she was an angel. She was breathing hard now, her face flushed, his violin gripped in one hand and the bow in another.
“What does it matter?” he demanded. “What does any of it matter? I’m dying — I won’t outlast the decade, what does it matter if the violin goes before I do?” She stared at him, her lips parting in astonishment. He stood up and turned away from her. He could no longer bear to look her in the face, to see her disappointment with him, his weakness. “You know it is true.”
“Nothing is decided.” Her voice trembled. “Nothing is inevitable. A cure —”
“There’s no cure. I will die and you know it, Tess. Probably within the next year.I am dying, and I have no family in the world, and the one person I trusted more than any other makes sport of what is killing me.”
“But Jem, I don’t think that’s what Will meant to do at all.” She had set down his violin and bow, and was moving toward him. ”He was just trying to escape — he is running from something, something dark and awful, you know he is, Jem. You saw how he was after — after Cecily.”
“He knows what it means to me,” he said. She was just behind him: he could smell the faint perfume of her skin: violet-water and soap. The urge to turn about and touch her was overwhelming, but he held himself still. “To see him even toy with what has destroyed my life — “
“But he wasn’t thinking of you —”
“I know that.” How could he say it? How could he explain? How could he tell her that Will was what he had devoted his life to: Will’s rehabilitation, Will’s innate goodness. Will was the cracked mirror of his own soul that he had spent years trying to repair. He could forgive Will harming anyone but his own self. “I tell myself he’s better than he makes himself out to be, but Tessa, what if he isn’t? I have always thought, if I had nothing else, I had Will — if I have done nothing else that made my life matter, I have always stood by him — but perhaps I shouldn’t.”
“Oh, Jem.” Her voice was so soft that he turned. Her dark hair was unbound: it tumbled around her face and he had the most absurd urge to bury his hands in it, to draw her close, his hands cupping the back of her neck. She reached out a soft hand for him and for a moment, wild hope rose up in him, unstoppable as the tide — but she only laid her hand against his forehead, careful as a nurse. “You’re burning up. You should be resting —”
He jerked away from her before he could stop himself. Her gray eyes widened. “Jem, what it is it? You don’t want me to touch you?”
“Not like that.” The words burst out before he could stop them. The night, Will, the music, the yin fen, all had unlocked something in him — he barely knew his own self, this stranger who spoke the truth and spoke it harshly.
“Like what?” Her confusion was plain on her face. Her pulse beat at the side of her throat; where her nightgown was open he could see the soft curve of her collarbone. He dug his fingers into the palms of his hands. He could not hold back the words any more. It was swim or drown.
“As if you were a nurse and I were your patient,” he told her. “Do you think I do not know that when you take my hand, it is only so that you can feel my pulse? Do you think I do not know that when you look into my eyes it is only to see how much of the drug I have taken? If I were another man, a normal man, I might have hopes, presumptions even; I might —” I might want you. He broke off before he said it. It could not be said. Words of love were one thing: words of desire were dangerous as a rocky shore where a ship could founder. It was hopeless, he knew it was hopeless, and yet —
She shook her head. “This is the fever speaking, not you.”
Hopeless. The despair cut at him like a dull knife, and he said the next words without thinking: “You can’t even believe I could want you. That I am alive enough, healthy enough —”
“No —” She caught at his arm, and it was like having five brands of fire laid across his skin. Desire lanced through him like pain. “James, that isn’t at all what I meant —”
He laid his hand over hers, where she held his arm. He heard her indrawn breath — sharp, surprised. But not horrified. She did not pull away. She did not remove his hand. She let him hold her, and turn her, so that they stood face to face, close enough to breathe each other in.
“Tessa,” he said. She looked up at him. The fever pounded in him like blood, and he no longer knew what was the desire and what was the drug, or if the one simply enhanced the other, and it did not matter, it did not matter because he wanted her, he had wanted her for so long. Her eyes were huge and gray, her pupils dilated, and her lips were parted on a breath as if she were about to speak, but before she could speak he kissed her.
The kiss exploded in his head like fireworks on Guy Fawkes’ Day. He closed his eyes on a whirl of colors and sensations almost to intense to bear: her lips were soft and hot under his and he found himself running his fingers over her face, the curves at her cheekbones, the hammering pulse in her throat, the tender skin at the back of her neck. It took every ounce of control he had to touch her gently, not to crush her against him, and when she raised her arms and twined them around his neck, sighing into his mouth, he had to stifle a gasp and for a moment hold himself very still or they would have been on the floor.
Her own hands on him were gentle, but there was no mistaking their encouragement. Her lips murmured against his, whispering his name, her body soft and strong in his arms. He followed the arch of her back with his hands, feeling the curve of it under her nightgown, and he could not stop himself then: he pulled her so tightly against him that they both stumbled, and collapsed backward onto the bed.
Tessa sank into the cushions and he propped himself over her. Her hair had come out of its plaits and tumbled dark and unbound over the pillows. A flush of blood spread over her face and down to the neckline of her gown, staining her pale skin. The hot press of body to body was dizzying, like nothing he had imagined, more fierce and delicious than the most delirious music. He kissed her again and again, each time harder, savoring the texture of her lips under his, the taste of her mouth, until the intensity of it threatened to tip over from pleasure into pain.
He should stop, he knew. This had gone beyond honor, beyond any bounds of propriety. He had imagined, sometimes, kissing her, carefully cupping her face between his hands, but had never imagined this: that they would be wrapped so tightly around each other that he could hardly tell where he left off and she began. That she would kiss him and stroke him and run her fingers through his hair. That when he hesitated with his fingers on the tie of her dresssing-gown, the reasonable part of his brain commanding his rebellious and unwilling body to stop, that she would neatly solve the dilemma by undoing the fastening herself and lying back as the material fell away around her and she looked up at him in only her thin nightgown.
Her chin was raised, determination and candor in her eyes, and her lifted arms welcomed him back to her, enfolding him, drawing him in. “Jem, my Jem,” she was whispering, and he whispered back, losing his words against her mouth, whispering what was true but what he hoped she wouldn’t understand. He whispered in Chinese, worried that if he spoke in English, he would say something profoundly stupid. Wo ai ni. Ni hen piao liang, Tessa. Zhe shi jie shang, wo shi zui ai ni de.
But he saw her eyes darken; he knew she recalled what he had said to her in the carriage. “What does it mean?” she whispered.
He stilled against her body. “It means that you are beautiful. I did not want to tell you before. I did not want you to think I was taking liberties.”
She reached up and touched his cheek. He could feel his heart beating against hers. It felt as if it might beat out of his chest entirely.
“Take them,” she whispered.
His heart soared, and he gathered her up against him, something he had never done before, but she did not seem to mind his clumsiness. Her hands were traveling gently over him, learning his body. Her fingers stroked the bone of his hip, the cup of his collar. They tangled in his shirt and it was up and over his head, and he was leaning into her, shaking silvery hair out of his face. He saw her eyes go wide and felt his insides tighten.
“I know,” he said, looking down at himself — skin like papier-mache, ribs like violin strings. “I am not — I mean, I look —”
“Beautiful,” she said, and the word was a pronouncement. “You are beautiful, James Carstairs.”
Breath eased back into his lungs and they were kissing again, her hands warm and smooth against his bare skin. She touched him with hesitant, curious strokes, mapping a body that seemed to flower under her ministrations into something perfect, healthy: no longer a fragile device of swiftly diminishing flesh lashed to a framework of breakable bones. It was only now, that this was happening, that he realized how sincerely he had believed it never would.
He could feel the soft, nervous puffs of her breath against the sensitive skin of his throat as he drew his hands up and over her body. He touched her as he would touch his violin: it was how he knew to touch something that was precious and loved. He had carried the violin in his arms from Shanghai to London and he had carried Tessa, too, in his heart, for longer than he thought he remembered. When had it happened? His hands touched her through the nightgown, the curve and dip of her waist and hips like the curve of the Guarneri, but the violin did not give gratifying gasps when he touched it, did not seek his mouth out for kisses or have fascinating eyelids that fluttered shut just so when he stroked the sensitive skin at the backs of her knees.
Maybe it had been the day he’d run up the stairs to her and kissed her hand. Mizpah. May the Lord watch between me and thee when we are parted. It was the first time he had thought that there was something more to his regard than the ordinary regard for a pretty girl he could not have; that it had the aspect to it of something holy.
The pearl buttons of her nightdress were smooth under his fingertips. Her body bowed backward, her throat arched, as the material slipped aside, leaving her shoulder bare. Her breath was quick in her throat, the curls of her brown hair stuck to her flushed cheeks and forehead, the material of her dress crushed between them. He was shaking himself as he bent to kiss her bare skin, skin that most likely no one but herself and perhaps Sophie had ever seen, and her hand came up to cup his head, threading through the hair at the back of his neck . . .
There was the sound of a crash. And a choking fog of yin fen filled the room.
It was as if Jem had swallowed fire; he jerked back and away from Tessa with such force that he nearly overbalanced them both. Tessa sat up as well, pulling the front of her night-dress together, her expression suddenly self-conscious. All Jem’s heat was gone; his skin was suddenly freezing — with shame, and with fear for Tessa — he had never dreamed of her being this close to the poisonous stuff that had destroyed his life. But the laquer box was broken: a thick layer of shining powder lay across the floor; and even as Jem drew in a breath to tell her she must go, that she must leave him if she were to be safe, he did not think of the loss of the precious drug, or of the danger to him if it could not be retrieved. He thought only:
The yin fen has taken so much from me: my family, the years of my life, the strength in my body, the breath in my lungs. It will not take from me this too: the most precious thing we are given by the Angel. The ability to love. I love Tessa Gray.
And I will make sure that she knows it.
From Chapter 17
- source: Cassandra Clare's twishort tweet
- A "deleted scene from Clockwork Prince and, at the bottom, a line from City of Lost Souls (with some spoilers redacted) released as a promise to Cassie's Google Group when they hit 5,000 members.
The darkness came and went in waves that grew ever slower. Tessa was beginning to feel lighter, less like an awful weight was pressing her down. She wondered how much time had passed. It was night in the infirmary, and she could see Will a few beds away from her, a curled figure under the blankets, dark head pillowed on his arm. Brother Enoch had given him a tisane to drink once the [redacted] was cut out of his skin, and he had fallen asleep almost instantly, thank God. The sight of him in that much pain had been more harrowing than she could have imagined.
She was in a clean white nightgown now; someone must have cut away her blood-stiffened clothes and washed her hair before bandaging her — it lay softly over his shoulders, no longer twisted into rat-tails of tangles and drying blood.
‘Tessa,” came a whispered voice. “Tess?”
Only Will calls me that. She opened her eyes, but it was Jem seated on the side of her bed, looking down at her. The moonlight spilling through the high ceilings turned him almost transparent, an ethereal angel, all silver but for the gold chain at his throat.
He smiled. “You’re awake.”
“I’ve been awake here and there.” She coughed. “Enough to know I’m all right besides a crack on the head. A lot of fuss about nothing —” Tessa’s eyes dropped, and she saw that Jem was carrying something in his hands: a thick mug of some liquid that sent up a fragrant steam. “What’s that?”
“One of Brother Enoch’s tisanes,” said Jem. “It will help you sleep.” “All I’ve been doing is sleeping!”
“And very amusing it is to watch,” said Jem. “Did you know you twitch your nose when you sleep, like a rabbit?”
“I do not,” she said, with a whispered laugh.
“You do,” he said. “Fortunately, I like rabbits.” He handed her the cup. “Drink just a little,” He said. “It is right for you to sleep. Brother Enoch says to think of the wounds and shocks to your spirit as you would think of wounds and shocks to your body. You must rest the injured part of yourself before you begin to heal.”
Tessa was dubious, but she took a sip of the tisane anyway, and then another. It had a pleasant taste, like cinnamon. Barely had she swallowed the second mouthful when a feeling of exhaustion swept over her. She lay back against the pillows, listening to his soft voice telling her a story about a beautiful young woman whose husband had died building the Great Wall of China, and who had cried so much over his loss that she had turned into a silvery fish and swum away across a river. As Tessa drifted off into dreams, she felt his gentle hands take the cup from her and set it down on the bedside table. She wanted to thank him, but she was already asleep.
The Whole of It
- source: Cassandra Clare's tumblr
- Will tells Jem about his secret.
“And that is it?” Jem said. “That is the whole of it? The truth?”
He was sitting at his desk, one of his legs bent up on the chair beneath him; he looked very young. His violin was propped against the side of the chair. He had been playing it when Will had come in and, without preamble, announced that now was the end of pretense: Will had a confession to make, and he meant to make it now. That had been the end of the music: Jem laying his violin down with a startled look and leaning back, tensed as if he were readying himself for whatever Will might throw at him.
“That is all of it,” said Will, who had been pacing back and forth as he spoke, and had only now paused to look at Jem. “And I do not blame you if you hate me. I could understand it.”
There was a long pause. Jem’s gaze was steady on his face, steady and silver in the wavering light of the fire.“I could never hate you, William.”
Will’s guts contracted as he saw another face, a pair of steady blue-gray eyes looking up at his. “I could never hate you Will, no matter how hard I tried,” she had said.
In that moment he was painfully aware that what he had told Jem was not “the whole of it.” There was more truth. There was his love for Tessa. But it was his burden to bear, not Jem’s. It was something that must be hidden for Jem to be happy. “I deserve it,” Will said, his voice cracking. “I believed I was cursed that all who cared for me would die; yet I let myself care for you, and let you be a brother to me, risking the danger to you —”
“There was no danger.”
“But I believed there was. If I held a pistol to your head, James, and pulled the trigger, would it really matter if I did not know that there were no bullets in the chambers?”
Jem’s eyes widened, and then he laughed, a soft laugh. “Did you think I did not know you had a secret?” he said. “Did you think I walked into my friendship with you with my eyes closed fast? I did not know the nature of the burden you carried. But I knew there was a burden.” His voice softened. “I knew you thought yourself poison to all those around you,” he went on. “I knew you thought there to be some corruptive force about you that would break me. I meant to show you that I would not break. That love was not so fragile. Did I do that?”
Will shrugged once, helplessly. He had almost wished Jem would be angry with him. It would be easier to face. But how could he tell Jem that that forgiveness would haunt him, every time he looked at Tessa and wanted her, every time he remembered how much he wanted what he could not, did not deserve, to have. “You saved my life, James.”
A smile spread across Jem's face, as brilliant as the sunrise breaking over the Thames. "That is all I ever wanted."
Will's letter to his family
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- A letter Will wrote to his parents on his 17th birthday, unsent and unfinished. All print first editions of Clockwork Prince in North America, the UK/Ireland and Australia/NZ contain this beautifully formatted letter from Will to his family, that he never sent, in the back. A narrated version by Ed Westwick can be listened to here.
It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the Law. I know that I will likely tear this letter in pieces when it is finished, as I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion, the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other?
I wonder if when you woke this morning, you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son. I wonder if you think of me, and imagine my life, here in the Institute in London. I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains and the great, clear blue sky and the endless green. Here everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood.
I wonder if you worry that I am lonely, or as mother always used to, that I am cold or that I have gone out in the rain again without a hat. No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment, catching a chill hardly seems important.
I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name. But I heard you. I heard mother call for her bach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down and eventually Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that.
I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give, each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and sent them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted: by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting and killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood: the call to seraph and stele, to Marks and to monsters.
I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father; I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter. Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have not found them so. Charlotte especially is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man: he would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem—he is the brother Father always thought I should have, blood of my blood, though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household, too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean—that gray is the color of her eyes.
And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own.
Will's letter to Tessa
- source: Tumblr post
- An inscription from Will to Tessa in a copy of Tale of Two Cities. Available from Barnes & Noble's and Indigo Chapter's special edition of Clockwork Prince.
Tess, Tess, Tessa.
Was there ever a more beautiful sound than your name? To speak it aloud makes my heart ring like a bell. Strange to imagine that, isn’t it – a heart ringing – but when you touch me that is what it is like: as if my heart is ringing in my chest and the sound shivers down my veins and splinters my bones with joy.
Why have I written these words in this book? Because of you. You taught me to love this book where I had scorned it. When I read it for the second time, with an open mind and heart, I felt the most complete despair and envy of Sydney Carton. Yes, Sydney, for even if he had no hope that the woman he loved would love him, at least he could tell her of his love. At least he could do something to prove his passion, even if that thing was to die.
I would have chosen death for a chance to tell you the truth, Tessa, if I could have been assured that death would be my own. And that is why I envied Sydney, for he was free.
And now at last I am free, and I can finally tell you, without fear of danger to you, all that I feel in my heart.
You are not the last dream of my soul.
You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth.
With hope at last,
This family tree of the Carstairs, Herondale, and Lightwood families was featured in the first edition of Clockwork Princess. The tree focuses on characters featured in The Infernal Devices, The Last Hours, and their main descendants leading up to the characters of The Mortal Instruments.
Cassandra Clare has stated several times that this family tree is merely a found object within the series and is actually not completely reliable. The family tree also did not include several female relatives (aside from the ones necessary for the immediate accompanying series) as the tree focused on the males who would carry on the family name. It is also quite misleading as the family tree contains mistakes or information thought true by whoever wrote it, or was made intentionally misleading.
Some of the noted inaccuracies of the tree that has so far been explored in The Last Hours include:
- Lucie Herondale's listed birth year is 1891; she was in fact born in 1887. There is set to be a reason for this.
- Tatiana Blackthorn's birth year is incorrectly listed as 1857; she was born in 1862. There may be a reason for this.
- Sona Carstairs is listed as Colette Verlac.
- Barbara Lightwood's death year is listed as 1917; she died in 1903. There may be a reason for this.
- The status of Cordelia Carstairs and James Herondale's marriage is in question.
- Part of the Carstairs records ("missing or lost") was destroyed, possibly deliberately. Cordelia's unborn sibling is not included in the tree.
- Misinformation that has been teased by Cassie and yet-to-be-seen include: adoption/s, people being secretly dead, people being secretly other people, faked deaths, or people written in as dead when they, in fact, only turned or became Downworlders or mundanes.
- source: Cassandra Clare's Tumblr
- A rewritten scene from Clockwork Princess. It is the scene that begins around page 468, with Will in Henry's room.
“Tessa is awake!” Charlotte announced happily, darting through the door of her and Henry’s bedroom like an excited hummingbird.
Will, who had been sitting in the chair by Henry’s bedside, leaped immediately to his feet, the book he had been reading sliding from his lap. “Tess — Tessa’s awake?” he stammered. “And is she —”
“Yes, talking, and Brother Enoch has pronounced her quite well, if exhausted.” “I want to see her,” Will said, and began to move toward the door, but Charlotte held up a hand.
“Give her a moment, Will; Sophie is in with her, helping her dress.”
Will knew what “helping her dress” meant: if he burst in on them now, Tessa would be in the bath. A wave of desire, mixed wit the heaviness of guilt, hit him like a train. He sat down hastily, fumbling for the book on the floor.
Charlotte looked at him, her smile curling at the corner. Clearly he was providing her some small amusement. “Have you been reading to Henry?” she asked.
“Yes, some dreadful thing, all full of poetry,” Henry said peevishly. He was fully dressed, propped on the pillows of the bed with a pen in one hand and papers scattered all over the comforter around him. Will did not blame him for his peevishness. Tessa had been asleep, and Henry abed, for three days, when the Brothers gathered the members of the Institute around Henry’s bedside to tell them that though Henry would live, he would not walk again. Even with all the magic the Brothers had at their disposal, there was no more that they could do.
Henry had met the news with his usual fortitude, and a decision to build himself a chair, like a sort of invalid’s chair but better, with self-propelling wheels and all manner of other accoutrements: he was determined that it be able to go up and down stairs, so that he could still get to his inventions in the crypt. He had been scribbling designs for the chair the whole hour that Will had been reading to him from Idylls of the King, but then poetry had never been Henry’s area of interest.
“Well, you are released from your duties, Will, and Henry, you are released from further poetry,” said Charlotte. “If you like, darling, I can help you gather your notes —”
There was a knock at the door, and Charlotte, frowning, went to see who it was. A moment later she had returned, a somber look on her face. She darted a glance at Will, and a moment later he saw why: two Silent Brothers were trailing in her wake, and one of them was Jem.
Will’s chest tightened. Since the battle at Cader Idris, he and Jem had not spoken.
Will had been sure that they were all going to die, together, there under the mountain, until Tessa had blazed up in all the glory of the Angel and struck down Mortmain like lightning striking down a tree. It had been one of the most wondrous things he had ever seen, but his wonder had been consumed quickly by terror when Tessa had collapsed after the Change, bleeding and insensible, however hard they tried to wake her. Magnus, near exhaustion, had barely been able to open a Portal back to the Institute with Henry’s help, and Will remembered only a blur after that, a blur of exhaustion and blood and fear, more Silent Brothers summoned to tend the wounded, and the news coming from the Council of all who had been killed that day before the automatons who had attacked them had collapsed upon Mortmain’s death. And Tessa — Tessa not speaking, not waking, barely breathing. Tessa being carried off to her room by the Silent Brothers and he had not been able to go with her. Being neither brother nor husband he could only stand and stare after her, closing and unclosing his blood-stained hands. Never had he felt more helpless.
And when he had turned to find Jem, to share his fear with the only other person in the world who loved Tessa as much as he did — Jem had been gone, back to the Silent City on the orders of the Brothers. Gone without even a word of goodbye.
Though Cecily had tried to soothe him, Will had been angry — angry with Jem, and even, over the ensuing days, with Charlotte, for allowing Jem to become a Silent Brother, though he knew that was unfair: that it had been Jem’s choice and the only way to keep him alive. His anger had not been helped by his panicked worry over Tessa: though her physical injuries were minor, the shock to her system of what she had done had been great, and so was her pain. He had sat with her, on and off for days, taking her hand, begging her to wake up and see him, until Charlotte had had to rouse him from where he had fallen asleep half-sprawled across her bed.
Will stared at Jem now, hard enough to bore a hole through his head, but though Jem’s hood was down, exposing his face, he was looking away from Will determinedly. His hair had begun to return to its original dark color: the dark was mixed with the silver, strand beside strand, and his eyelashes were black again, too, and brushed against the runes on his cheeks when he lowered his eyes.
They were runes only the Silent Brothers bore: they looked to Will like injuries, like gashes across Jem’s face. He felt sick inside.
Charlotte, said Brother Enoch, and held out his hand: there was a letter, sealed with the seal of the Council. I have brought a message for you.
Charlotte looked at him in bewilderment. “The Silent Brothers do not deliver letters.”
This letter is of grave importance. It is imperative that you read it now.
Slowly, Charlotte reached out and took it. She pulled at the flap, then frowned and crossed the room to take a letter-opener from her bureau. Will took the opportunity to stare harder at Jem. It did no good. Jem did not return Will’s gaze; his face was blank; there was nothing there to hold on to. Will felt almost seasick — it was like having been a ship at anchor for years and being cut free to float on the tides, with no idea which direction to steer in. And there was Jem, his anchor, not looking at him or meeting his gaze.
The sound of tearing paper came, and they all watched as Charlotte opened the letter and read it, the color draining from her face. She lifted her eyes and stared at Brother Enoch. “Is this some sort of jest?”
There is no jest, I assure you. Do you have an answer?
“Lottie,” said Henry, looking up at his wife, even his tufts of gingery hair radiating anxiety and love. “Lottie, what is it, what’s wrong?”
She looked at him, and then back at Brother Enoch. “No,” she said. “I don’t have an answer. Not yet.”
The Council does not wish to wait.
“Well,” Charlotte said, and her voice was firm. “They will have to. Tell them I shall send an answer by day’s end.”
After a moment, Brother Enoch nodded, and turned to leave the room. Jem turned to follow.
And Will broke. He darted forward, and caught at Jem’s sleeve. The thick material of the parchment robes was slippery under his fingers. “That’s all?” he said, in a low, urgent voice. “You come back here, and you do not speak to me — or visit Tessa? Have you even formally broken your engagement, James Carstairs?”
Jem froze stock-still. Brother Enoch turned. He looked displeased, as much as any of the Brothers ever had expressions. A Silent Brother cannot marry or enter into engagements, he said, and Will could tell from the faces of those around them that he and Jem could hear the words, but no one else could. He has neither fiancée nor parabatai now.
Will’s hand was still on Jem’s sleeve. “You want me to tell her, then?” Will asked. Charlotte was looking at him, shaking her head, Will, no. He knew his anger was unfair, unwarranted — Jem and Tessa’s engagement was over, shouldn’t he be glad? — but he was not glad. Grief and rage spilled like water through the cracks in his broken heart. Jem, who never hurt anyone, hurting him, hurting Tessa — and what if everything that had happened between her and Will had happened only because she thought Jem was dead, only out of the desperation of grief and the passionate human need for comfort? What if she loved Jem and longed for him forever, knowing he lived but was gone from her, with never a word from him that might provide any sort of closing of that chapter of her life? How could she bear it — how could Will bear it? What kind of future could they have? And yet there was no future for him without Tessa. “James Carstairs, do you want me to tell Tessa you are done with her, if you will not do it yourself?”
“Done with her?” Jem wrenched his sleeve from Will’s grasp, and his eyes were wide and dark and hurt, the eyes of Jem-the-child, the dark eyes Will had known growing up. “I came here because Enoch told me she had awakened,” he said, and there was an anger in his voice Will had rarely heard before. “I asked leave to speak with her one last time. You know what I feel. I will not ever be done. Not in a hundred years. Not in a thousand.” He looked from Will to Brother Enoch, and then back again. “And yet I must be. I have no choice. It’s not like you, William, not to have compassion for that.”
Will swallowed. Everything in the room seemed to have dwindled down to this, there was only him and Jem. “I thought, perhaps — being a Silent Brother — might have taken from you your capacity to feel,” he said, and then burst out, “I could not bear it, a James Carstairs who does not feel. Not just for Tessa, but for myself. If she loves only you, if she wishes to spend her life mourning your departure, I can survive that, but not the death of your heart, or of hers.”
Jem looked at him, and in the depths of his dark eyes Will saw , for a flash, the Jem he knew. “Wo men shi jie bai xiong di,” Jem said. “You would know if my heart had died, and I would know the same of you. My departure, you say, though I shall still be in the world, and yet it is as if I take sail for some unknown island, some wild place where you cannot follow. But know,” he added, in a voice that only Will could hear, “I shall do what I can to make some provision that I might see you again, and Tessa again. For you are half my heart, and she is the other. As long as I have one of you to be my north star, my heart shall not die, and I shall remain your James Carstairs.”
“Will,” Charlotte said. She sounded worried. ”Will and J — Brother Zachariah, this is most irregular. Brother Enoch, I apologize —”
“I asked leave to speak to Will, too, before I came,” Jem said. “I was told I could have it as long as I did not speak to him or answer him while Brother Enoch was attending here to the matter of the Council.”
Will stared at him, and then at Brother Enoch, realizing with a sick drop in his stomach that he might have lost his only chance of speaking in private to Jem again — ever. Enoch’s face was blank, his expression giving nothing away.
“That is not fair!” Will said. “I addressed you first—”
Peace, little Shadowhunter, said Brother Enoch. The bonds of parabatai are understood by the Brotherhood. After all, we bound you with them ourselves. You have our leave to speak to him, one last time, before he goes.
After the Bridge
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- A story for those who might have wondered what Tessa and Jem did after they met on Blackfriars Bridge in the epilogue of Clockwork Princess. Those who do not like Tessa&Jem together or Jessa sexytimes probably should skip this one. (You will not miss anything that will affect your understanding of later books.) Those who like that sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like. After the Bridge alternates POV between Jem and Tessa. It [was] posted in [five] installments.
Now is the time of our comfort and plenty
These are the days we’ve been working for
Nothing can touch us and nothing can harm us
And nothing goes wrong anymore
As it turned out, Tessa had a flat she owned in London. It was the second floor of a pale white townhouse in Kensington, and as she let them both inside — her hand only shaking very slightly as she turned the keys — she explained to Jem that Magnus had taught her how warlocks could finagle their way into owning homes over many centuries by willing the properties to themselves.
"After a while I just started picking silly names for myself," she said, shutting the door behind them. "I think I own this place under the pseudonym Bedelia Codfish."
Jem laughed, though his mind was only partly on her words. He was gazing around the flat — the walls were painted in bright colors: a lilac living room, scattered with white couches, an avocado-green kitchen. When had Tessa bought the flat, he wondered, and why? She had traveled so much, why make a home base in London?
The question dried up in his throat when he turned and realized that through a partly open door, he could glimpse the blue walls of what was likely a bedroom.
He swallowed at that, his mouth gone suddenly dry. Tessa's bed. That she slept in.
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Are you all right?"
She took him by the wrist and he felt his pulse jump under her touch. Until he had become a Silent Brother, it always had. He'd wondered during his time in Idris, after the heavenly fire had cured him, if it would still be like that with them: if his human feelings would return to him. He had been able to touch her and be near her as a Silent Brother without wanting her as he had when he was a mortal. He had still loved her, but it had been a love of the spirit, not the body. He had wondered — feared, even, that the physical feelings and responses would not come back the way they had. He had told himself that even if Silent Brotherhood had killed the ability of his feelings to manifest themselves physically, he would not be disappointed. He had told himself to expect it.
He shouldn't have worried.
The moment he had seen her on the bridge, coming toward him through the crowd in her modern jeans and Liberty scarf, her hair flying out behind her, he had felt his breath catch in his throat.
And when she had drawn the jade pendant he had given her out from around her neck and shyly proffered it to him, his blood had roared to life in his veins like a river undammed.
And when she had said, I love you. I always have, and I always will, it had taken everything he had not to kiss her in that moment. To do more than kiss her.
But if the Brotherhood had taught him anything, it was control. He looked at her now and fought his voice to steadiness. “A little tired,” he said. “And thirsty — I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.”
She dropped her keys on a small rosewood side table and turned to smile at him. “Tea,” she said, moving toward the avocado-green kitchen. “I haven’t got much food here, I don’t usually stay long, but I have got tea. And biscuits. Go into the drawing room; I’ll be right there.”
He had to smile at that; even he knew no one said drawing room any more. Perhaps she was as nervous as he was, then? He could only hope.
* * *
Tessa cursed silently for the fourth time as she bent to retrieve the box of sugar cubes from the floor. She had already put the kettle on without water in it, mixed up the tea bags, knocked over the milk, and now this. She dropped a cube of sugar into both teacups and told herself to count to ten, watching the cubes dissolve.
She knew her hands were shaking. Her heart raced. James Carstairs was in her flat. In her living room. Waiting for tea. Part of her mind screamed that it was just Jem, while the other part cried just as loudly that just Jem was someone she hadn’t seen in a hundred and thirty five years.
He had been Brother Zachariah for so long. And of course he had always been Jem at the heart of it all, with Jem’s wit and unfailing kindness. He had never failed in his love for her or his love for Will. But Silent Brothers — they did not feel things the way ordinary people did.
It was something she had thought of, sometimes, in later years, many decades after Will’s death. She had never wanted anyone else, never anyone but Will and Jem, and they were both gone from her, even though Jem still lived. She had wondered sometimes what they would have done if it had merely been forbidden for Silent Brothers to marry or love; but it was more than that: he could not desire her. He didn’t have those feelings. She'd felt like Pygmalion, yearning for the touch of a marble statue. Silent Brothers didn't have physical desires for touch, any more than they had a need for food or water.
But now …
I forget sometimes I need to eat and drink now.
She picked up the tea mugs with still-shaking hands and walked into the living room. She had furnished it herself over the years, from the sofa cushions to the long Japanese screen painted with a design of poppies and bamboo. The curtains framing the portrait window at the far end of the room were half-drawn, just enough light spilling into the room to touch the bits of gold in Jem's dark hair and she nearly dropped the teacups.
They had hardly touched on the taxi ride back to Queen’s Gate, only holding hands tightly in the back of the cab. He had run his fingers over the backs of her fingers over and over as he began to tell her the story of all that had happened since she had last visited Idris, when the Mortal War, which she had fought in, had ended. When Magnus had pointed out Jace Herondale to her, and she had looked at a boy who had Will's beautiful face and eyes like her son James.
But his hair had been his father’s, that tangle of rich gold curls, and remembering what she had known of Stephen Herondale, she had turned away without speaking.
Herondales, someone had told her once. They were everything that Shadowhunters had to offer, all in one family: both the best, and the worst.
She set the teacups down on the coffee table — an old steamer trunk, covered in travel stamps from her many voyages — with an audible thump. Jem turned to face her and she saw what he held in his hands.
One of the bookcases held a display of weapons: things she had picked up around the world. A thin misericorde, a curved kris, a trench knife, a shortsword, and dozens of others. But the one Jem had picked up and was staring at was a slim silver knife, its handle darkened by many years of burial in the dirt. She had never had it cleaned, for the stain on the blade was Will's blood. Jem's blade, Will’s blood, buried together at the roots of an oak tree, a sort of sympathetic magic Will had performed when he thought he had lost Jem forever. Tessa had retrieved it after Will’s death and offered it to Jem; he had refused to take it.
That had been in 1937.
“Keep it,” he said now, his voice ragged. “There may yet come a day.”
“That’s what you told me.” She moved toward him, her shoes tapping on the hardwood floor. “When I tried to give it to you.”
He swallowed, running his fingers up and down the blade. “He had only just died,” he said. She didn’t need to ask who he was. There was really only one He when it was the two of them speaking. “I was afraid. I saw what happened to the other Silent Brothers. I saw how they hardened over time, lost the people they had been. How as the people who loved them and who they loved died, they became less human. I was afraid that I would lose my ability to care. To know what this knife meant to Will and what Will meant to me.”
She placed her hand on his arm. “But you didn’t forget.”
“I didn’t lose everyone I loved.” He looked up at her, and she saw that his eyes had gold in them too, precious bright flakes among the brown. “I had you.”
She exhaled; her heart was beating so hard that her chest hurt. Then she saw that he was clutching the blade of the knife, not just the hilt. Quickly she plucked it out of his hands. “Please don’t,” she said. “I can't draw an iratze.”
“And I haven’t got a stele,” he said, watching as she set the knife back on its shelf. “I am not a Shadowhunter now.” He looked down at his hands; there were thin red lines across his palms, but he had not cut the skin.
Impulsively, Tessa bent and kissed his palms, then folded his fingers closed, her own hands over his. When she looked up, his pupils had widened. She could hear his breathing.
“Tessa,” he said. “Don’t.”
“Don’t what?” She drew away from him, though, instinctively. Perhaps he did not want to be touched, though on the bridge, it had not seemed that way …
“The Brothers taught me control,” he said, his voice tight. “I have every kind of control, and I have learned them over decades and decades, and I am using them all not to push you up against the bookcase and kiss you until neither of us can breathe.”
She lifted her chin. “And what would be wrong with that?”
“When I was a Silent Brother, I did not feel as an ordinary man does,” he said. “Not the wind on my face or the sun on my skin or the touch of another’s hand. But now I feel it all. I feel — too much. The wind is like thunder, the sun scorches, and your touch makes me forget my own name.”
A pang of heat speared through her, a heat that started low in her stomach and spread through every part of her body. A sort of heat she hadn’t felt in so many decades.
Almost a century. Her skin prickled all over. “The wind and the sun you will get used to,” she said. “But your touch makes me forget my name as well, and I have no excuses. Only that I love you, and I always have and always will. I will not touch you if you do not want it, Jem. But if we are waiting until the idea of being together does not frighten us, we may be waiting a long time.”
Breath escaped him in a hiss. “Say that again.”
Puzzled, she began: “If we are waiting until —“
“No,” he said. “The earlier part.”
She tipped her face up to him. “I love you,” she said. “I always have and I always will.”
She did not know who moved toward who first, but he caught her around the waist and was kissing her before she could take another breath. This was not like the kiss on the bridge. That had been a silent communication of lips on lips, the exchange of a promise and a reassurance. It had been sweet and shattering, a sort of gentle thunder.
This was a storm. Jem was kissing her, hard and bruising, and when she opened his lips with hers and tasted the inside of his mouth, he gasped and pulled her harder against him, his hands digging into her hips, pressing her closer to him as he explored her lips and tongue, caressing, biting, then kissing to soothe the sting. In the old days, when she had kissed him, he had tasted of bitter sugar: now he tasted like tea and —toothpaste?
But why not toothpaste. Even century-old Shadowhunters had to brush their teeth. A small nervous giggle escaped her and Jem pulled back, looking dazed and deliciously rumpled. His hair was every which way from her running her hands through it.
“Please don’t tell me you’re laughing because I kiss so badly it’s funny,” he said, with a lopsided smile. She could sense his actual worry. “I may be somewhat out of practice.”
“Silent Brothers don’t do a lot of kissing?” she teased, smoothing down the front of his sweater.
“Not unless there were secret orgies I wasn't invited to,” Jem said. “I did always worry I might not have been popular.”
She clasped her hand around his wrist. “Come here,” she said. “Sit down — have some tea. There's something I want to show you.”
He went, as she had asked, and sat down on her velvet sofa, leaning back against the cushions she had stitched herself out of fabric she'd bought in India and Thailand. She couldn't hide a smile — he looked only a little older than he had when he'd become a Silent Brother, like an ordinary young man in jeans and a sweater, but he sat the way a Victorian man would have — back straight, feet flat on the floor. He caught her look and his own mouth tipped up at the corners. “All right,” he said. “What do you have to show me?”
In answer, she went to the Japanese screen that stretched across one corner of the room, and stepped behind it. “It's a surprise.”
Her dressmaker's dummy was there, concealed from the rest of the room. She couldn't see him through the screen, only a blurred outline of shapes. “Talk to me,” she said, pulling her sweater off over her head. “You said it was a story of Lightwoods and Fairchilds and Morgensterns. I know a little of what transpired — I received your messages while I was in the Labyrinth — but I do not know how the Dark War effected your cure.” She tossed the sweater over the top of the screen. “Can you tell me?”
“Now?” he said. She heard him set his teacup down.
Tessa kicked her shoes off and unzipped her jeans, the sound loud in the quiet room. “Do you want me to come out from behind this screen, James Carstairs?”
“Definitely.” His voice sounded strangled.
“Then start talking.”
* * *
Jem talked. He spoke of the dark days in Idris, of Sebastian Morgenstern's army of Endarkened, of Jace Herondale and Clary Fairchild and the Lightwood children and their dangerous journey to Edom.
“I have heard of Edom,” she said, her voice muffled. “It is spoken of in the Spiral Labyrinth, where they track the histories of all worlds. A place where the Nephilim were destroyed. A wasteland.”
“Yes,” Jem said, a little absently. He couldn't see her through the screen, but he could see the outline of her body, and that was somewhat worse. “Burning wasteland. Very … hot.”
He had been afraid that the Silent Brothers had taken desire from him: that he would look at Tessa and feel platonic love but not be able to want, but the opposite was true. He could not stop wanting. He wanted, he thought, more than he ever had before in his life.
She was clearly changing her clothes. He had looked down hastily when she'd begun to shimmy out of her jeans, but it wasn't as if he could forget the image, the silhouette of her, long hair and long, lovely legs — he'd always loved her legs.
Surely he'd felt this before, when he'd been a boy? He remembered the night in his room when she had stopped him destroying his violin, and he'd wanted then, wanted so badly he hadn't thought at all when they'd collapsed onto his bed: he would have taken her innocence then, and given up his own, without pausing, without a moment's thought of the future. If they hadn't knocked over his box of yin fen. If. That had brought him back, reminded him who he was, and when she'd gone, he'd torn his sheets to strips with his fingers out of sheer frustration.
Perhaps it was just that remembered desire paled in comparison to the feeling itself. Or perhaps he had been sicker then, weaker. He had been dying, after all, and surely his body could not have sustained this.
“A Fairchild and a Herondale,” she said. “Now, I like that. The Fairchilds have always been practical and the Herondales — well, you know.” She sounded fond, amused. “Perhaps she'll settle him down. And don't tell me he doesn't need settling.”
Jem thought of Jace Herondale. How he was like Will if someone had struck a match to Will and gilded him in living fire. “I'm not sure you can settle a Herondale, and certainly not this one.”
“Does he love her? The Fairchild girl?”
“I've never seen anyone so in love, except for …” His voice trailed off, for she had come out from behind the screen, and now he understood what had taken her so much time.
She was wearing a dress of orchid silk faille, the sort of dress she might have worn to dinner when they had been engaged. It was trimmed in white velvet cords, the skirt belling out over — was she wearing crinolines?
His mouth opened. He couldn't help himself. He had found her beautiful through all the changing ages of the century: beautiful in the carefully cut clothes of the war years, when fabric was rationed. Beautiful in the elegant dresses of the fifties and sixties. Beautiful in short skirts and boots as the century drew to a close.
But this was what girls looked like when he had first noticed them, first found them fascinating and not annoying, first noticed the graceful line of a neck or the pale inside of a feminine wrist. This was the Tessa who had first cut him through and through with love and lust commingled: a carnal angel with a corset shaping her body to an hourglass, lifting her breasts, shaping the flare of her hips.
He forced his eyes away from her body. She had bound up her hair, small curls escaping over her ears, and his jade pendant glimmered around her throat.
“Do you like it?” she said. “I had to do my own hair, without Sophie, and lace my own laces …” Her expression was shy and more than a little nervous — it had always been a contradiction at the heart of her, that she was one of the bravest and yet the shyest people he knew. “I bought it from Sotheby’s — a real antique, now, it was far too much money but I remembered when I was a girl you had said orchids were your favorite flower and I had set myself to find a dress the color of an orchid but I never found one before you were — gone. But this one is. Aniline dye, I expect, nothing natural, but I thought — I thought it would remind you.” She raised her chin. “Of us. Of what I wanted to be for you, when I thought we would be together.”
“Tess,” he said, hoarsely. He was on his feet, without knowing how he had gotten there. He took a step toward her, and then another. “Forty-nine thousand, two hundred and seventy-five.”
She knew immediately what he meant. He knew she would. She knew him as no one else living did. “Are you counting days?”
“Forty-nine thousand, two hundred and seventy-five days since I last kissed you,” he said. “And I thought of you every single one of them. You do not have to remind me of the Tessa I loved. You were my first love and you will be my last one. I have never forgotten you. I have never not thought of you.” He was close enough now to see the pulse pounding in her throat. To reach out and lift up a curl of her hair. “Never.”
Her eyes were half-shut. She reached out and took his hand, where it caressed her hair. His blood was thundering through his body, so hard that it hurt. She lowered his hand, lowered it to the bodice of her dress. “The advertisement for the dress said it did not have buttons,” she whispered. “Only hooks down the front. Easier for one person to do up.” She lowered her right hand, took his other wrist, raised it. Now both his hands were at her bodice. “Or to unfasten.” Her fingers curved about his as, very deliberately, she undid the first hook on her dress.
And then the next. She moved his hands down, her fingers intertwined with his, unfastening as she went until the dress hung open over her corset, folded back on each side like flower petals. She was breathing hard; he could not keep his eyes from where his pendant rose and fell with her gasps. He could not bring himself to move an inch more toward her: he wanted, wanted too much. He wanted to unplait her hair and wrap it around his wrists like silken ropes. He wanted her breasts under his hands and her legs around his waist. He wanted things he had no name for and no experience of. He only knew that that if he moved one inch closer to her the glass barrier of control he had built up around himself would shatter and he did not know what would happen next.
“Tessa,” he said. “Are you sure —?”
Her eyelashes fluttered. Her eyes were still half-closed, her teeth making small half-moons in her lower lip. “I was sure then,” she said, “and I am sure now.”
And she clasped his hands firmly to her sides, where her waist curved in, on either side of the flare of her hips.
His control broke, a silent explosion. He pulled her toward him, bent to kiss her savagely hard. He heard her cry out in surprise and then his lips silenced hers, and her mouth opened eagerly under his. Her hands were in his hair, gripping hard; she was reaching up on her toes to kiss him. She bit at his lower lip, nipped at his jaw, and he groaned, sliding his hands inside her dress, his fingers tracing the back of her corset, her skin burning through the bits of her chemise he could feel between the laces. He was kicking off his shoes, toeing off his socks, the floor cold against his bare feet.
She gave a little gasp and wriggled closer, into his arms. He slipped his hands out of her dress and took hold of her skirts. She made a noise of surprise and then he was drawing the dress up over her head. She exclaimed, giggling, as the dress came off most of the way but remained fastened at the wrists, where tiny buttons clasped the cuffs tightly. “Careful,” she teased, as his frantic fingers flicked the buttons open. He heaved the dress up and tossed it into the corner. “It's an antique.”
“So am I, technically,” he said, and she giggled again, looking up at him, her face warm and open.
He had thought about making love to her before; of course he had. He had thought about sex when he was a teenaged boy because that was what teenaged boys thought about, and when he had fallen in love with Tessa, he had thought about it with her. Vague inchoate thoughts of doing things, though he wasn't sure what — images of pale arms and legs, the imaginary feel of soft skin under his hands.
But he had not imagined this: that there might be laughter, that it might be affectionate and warm as well as passionate. The reality of it, of her, stunned him breathless.
She drew away from him and for a moment he panicked. What had he done wrong? Had he hurt her, displeased her? But no, her fingers had gone to the cage of crinoline at her waist, twisting and flicking. Then she raised her arms and twined them about his neck. “Lift me up,” she said. “Lift me up, Jem.”
Her voice was a warm purr. He took hold of her waist and lifted her up and out of her petticoats, as if he were lifting an expensive orchid free of its pot. When he put her back down, she was wearing only her corset, drawers and stockings. Her legs were just as long and lovely as he had remembered and dreamed about.
He reached for her, but she caught at his hands. She was still smiling, but now there was an impish quality to it. “Oh, no,” she said, gesturing to him, his jeans and sweater. “Your turn.”
* * *
He froze, and for a moment, panicked, Tessa wondered if she had asked him for too much. He had been so long disconnected from his body — a mind in a shell of flesh that went largely ignored unless it needed to be runed for some new power. Maybe this was too much for him.
But he took a deep breath, and his hands went to the hem of his sweater. He pulled it off over his head and emerged with his hair adorably ruffled. He wore no shirt under the jumper. He looked at her and bit his lip.
She moved toward him, wondering eyes and fingers. She glanced at him before she put her hands on him and saw him nod, Yes.
She swallowed hard. She had been carried this far forward like a leaf on the tide of her memories. Memories of James Carstairs, the boy she’d been engaged to, had planned to marry. Had nearly made love to on the floor of the music room in the London Institute. She had seen his body then, stripped to the waist, his skin pale as paper and stretched thin over prominent ribs. The body of a dying boy, though he had always been beautiful to her.
Now his skin was laid over his ribs and chest in a layer of smooth muscle; his chest was broad, tapering down to a slim waist. She put her hands on him tentatively; he was warm and hard under her touch. She could feel the faint scars of ancient runes, pale against his golden skin.
His breath hissed out between his teeth as she ran her hands up his chest and down his arms, the curve of his biceps shaping themselves under her fingers. She remembered him fighting with the other Brothers at Cader Idris — and of course he’d fought at the Citadel Battle, the Silent Brothers kept themselves ready to do battle, though they rarely did. Somehow she had never quite thought about what that might mean for Jem once he was no longer dying.
Her teeth chattered a little; she bit her lip to keep them silent. Desire was washing through her, and a little fear as well: How could this be happening? Actually happening?
“Jem,” she whispered. “You're so …”
“Scarred?” He put his hand to his cheek, where the black mark of the Brotherhood still remained at the arch of his cheekbone. “Hideous?”
She shook her head. “How many times do I have to tell you that you’re beautiful?” She ran her hand up the bare curve of his shoulder to his neck; he trembled. You are beautiful, James Carstairs. “Didn’t you see everyone staring at you on the bridge? You’re so much more beautiful than me,” she murmured, sliding her hands around him to touch the muscles of his back; they tightened under the glancing pressure of her fingers. “But if you’re foolish enough to want me then I will not question my good fortune.”
He turned his head to the side and she saw him swallow. “For all my life,” he said, “when someone has said the word ‘beautiful’, it is your face I have seen. You are my own very definition of beautiful, Tessa Gray.”
Her heart turned over. She raised herself up on her toes — she had always been a tall girl but Jem was yet taller — and put her mouth to the side of his throat, kissing gently. His arms came up around her, pressing her against him, his body hard and hot, and she felt another pang of desire. This time she nipped at him, biting at the skin where his shoulder curved into his neck.
Everything went topsy-turvy. Jem made a sound low in his throat and suddenly they were on the floor and she was on top of him, his body cushioning her fall. She stared down at him in astonishment. “What happened?”
He looked bewildered as well. “I couldn't stand up any more.”
Her chest filled with warmth. It had been so long that she had nearly forgotten the feeling of kissing someone so hard that your knees went weak herself. He pushed himself up on his elbows. “Tessa —“
“Nothing's wrong,” she said firmly, cupping his face in her hands. “Nothing. Understand?”
He narrowed his eyes at her. “Did you trip me?”
She laughed; her heart was still pounding away, giddy with joy and relief and terror all at the same time. But she had looked at him before, had seen the way he glanced at her hair when it was down, had felt his fingers in it, tentatively stroking, when he had kissed her on the bridge. She reached up and pulled the pins out of it, throwing them across the room.
Her hair fountained down, spilling over her shoulders, down to her waist. She leaned forward so that it brushed across his face, his bare chest.
“Do you care?” she whispered.
“As it develops,” he said, against her mouth, “I don’t care. I find I prefer to be reclining.”
She laughed and ran her hand down and down his body. He twisted, arching up into her touch. “For an antique,” she murmured, “you would fetch quite a price at Sotheby’s. All your parts are quite in working order.”
His pupils dilated and then he laughed, his warm breath gusting across her cheek. “I have forgotten what it is like to be teased, I think,” he said. “No one teases Silent Brothers.”
She had taken advantage of his distraction to rid him of his jeans. There was distractingly little clothing between them now. “You’re not in the Brotherhood any longer,” she said, stroking her fingers across his stomach, the fine hair there just below his navel, his smooth bare chest. “And I would be very disappointed if you remained silent.”
He reached for her blindly and drew her down. His hands buried themselves in her hair. And they were kissing again, her knees on either side of his hips, her palms braced against his chest. His hands ran through her hair again and again, and each time she could feel his body strain up toward hers, his lips pressing against her own harder. They weren’t savage kisses, not now: they were decadent, growing in intensity and fervor each time they drew apart and came together again.
He put his hands to the laces of her corset and tugged at them. She moved to show him that it also fastened in front, but he had already reached around to grip the front. “My apologies,” he said, “to antiquity,” and then, in a most un-Jem-like fashion, ripped the corset open down the front and cast it aside. Underneath was her chemise, which she pulled up and over her head and dropped to the side.
Then she took a deep breath. She was naked in front of him now, as she never had been before.
* * *
Jem had the feeling that later his hands would sting (he'd never torn a corset apart before), but at the moment, he could feel nothing but Tessa. She was sitting astride his hips, her eyes wide, her hair pouring down over her bare shoulders and breasts. She looked like Venus rising out of the waves, with only the jade pendant to cover her, shining against her skin.
“I think,” she said, her voice gone high and breathy, “that I need you to kiss me now.”
He reached up to draw her down, catching hold of her slender shoulders. He rolled them over so that he was on top of her, balanced on his elbows, careful of his weight. But she didn’t seem to mind. She adjusted herself under him, curving her body to fit his own. The softness of her breasts pressed against his chest and the hollow of her hips was a cup to hold him and her bare toes ran down his calves.
He made a dark, needy sound low in his throat, a sound he barely recognized as coming from himself. A sound that made Tessa's pupils expand, her breath come quickly. “Jem,” she said, “please, Jem,” and she turned her head to the side, pillowing her cheek on her unbound hair.
He bent over her. This much they had done together, before. This much he remembered. That she liked to be kissed in a line down her throat, and that if he followed the shape of her collarbone with his mouth she would cry out and dig her hands into his back. And if he had been terrified of what came next — not knowing what to do, or how to please her — it was washed away in the rush of her responsiveness: her soft cries as he ran his hands down her legs and kissed her chest and stomach.
“My Jem,” she whispered as he kissed her. “James Carstairs. Ke Jian Ming.”
No one had called him by his birth name in over half a century. It was as intimate as a touch.
He wasn’t entirely sure how the rest of their clothes were discarded, only that somehow they were lying on the wrecked remnants of her silk dress and petticoats. Tessa was not soft and pliant under him as he had long ago imagined but responsive and demanding, lifting her face to be kissed over and over, running her hands over him, each brush of her fingers igniting sparks in nerve endings he had feared long dead.
It was so much better than he had imagined. He was surrounded by her, her smell of rosewater soap and her soft skin and her implicit trust. It was not only that she trusted him not to hurt her; it was more than that. She trusted that his inexperience would not matter, that nothing mattered except that it was the two of them and they had always sought to make the other one happy. When he faltered and said, "Tessa, I don’t know how to —" she whispered against his mouth and placed his hands where they should go.
A sort of lessoning, but the gentlest he had ever received, and the best. He had not quite ever imagined this, that their responses would be mirrored, that her pleasure would magnify his own. That when he slid his hands up her legs she would wrap them around his waist of her own accord. That every thought would flee from his head except for the feel of her under him and then around him as she guided him to where he needed to be.
He heard himself cry out as if from a distance as he buried himself in her. “Tessa.” He clutched at her shoulders as if grasping for the shreds of his control. “Tessa, oh God, Tessa, my Tessa.” Coherency had left him completely. He babbled something else as well, not in English any more, he didn’t know what, and he felt her tighten her arms around him.
He was breathing in gasps as he moved, struggling desperately to hold onto himself, not wanting it to be over, not yet. His eyes were closed; light blazing behind his lids. So much light. He heard Tessa’s voice, whispering his name; they were so close, closer than he had ever believed possible. Her hands slid down his body to grasp at his waist. There was a thin line of concentration between her eyebrows; her eyes were squeezed shut, her cheeks bright scarlet, and when she tried to say his name again, a ragged gasp swallowed it up. One of her hands flew to her mouth and she bit down hard on her fingers as her body tightened around him.
It was like a match to tinder. The last remnant of his control evaporated. He buried his face against her neck as the light behind his eyes fractured into kaleidoscopic colors. He had carried the darkness of the Silent City with him even when he had left the Brotherhood. And now she had opened his soul and let in the light, and it was brilliant.
He had never imagined this. He had never even imagined imagining this.
When he came back to himself, he found he was still gripping her tightly, his head bowed down on her shoulder. She was breathing softly and regularly, her hand in his hair, stroking, murmuring endearments.
He drew away from her reluctantly, rolling to arrange the two of them so that they were lying face to face. Most of the daylight was gone; they looked at each other in a dim twilight that softened all harsh edges. His heart was beating hard as he reached out to swipe his thumb across her lower lip.
“Are you all right?” he said, hoarsely. "Was that —" He broke off, realizing to his horror that the brilliance in her eyes was tears. One rolled down her cheek, unchecked.
“Tessa?” He could hear the wild panic in his own voice. She gave him a quick, trembling smile, but then that was Tessa. She would never show disappointment. What if it had been awful for her? He had thought it was amazing, perfect; he had thought his body would break in pieces from feeling so much bliss at once. And he had thought she had responded, but what did he know? He cursed his own inexperience, his hubris, and his pride. What had made him think he could —
She sat up, leaning over the coffee table, her hands doing something he couldn't see. Her unclothed body was outlined in the twilight, unbearably beautiful. He watched her with his heart stuttering. Any moment now she would stand up and pull on her clothes, would tell him that she loved him, loved him always but not that way. That theirs was not a passion, but a friendship.
And he had told himself that he could bear that, before he had come to the bridge to confess himself. He had told himself that he could take her friendship and nothing else, that it was better than not being near her at all.
But now that he knew, now that they had shared their breath and bodies and souls, he could no longer step back. To be only her friend, never to touch her again, would tear him into a million pieces. It would be more agony than the heavenly fire had ever been.
She turned back to him, holding something in her hands.
“Jem?” she said. “Jem, you are a thousand miles away!” She had wrapped a folded gray throw from the couch around herself; she sat down beside him; the tears were gone and she was warm and smiling. “Honestly, if what we just did didn't get your attention, I don't know what would.”
He stared at her. “But you were crying,” he said, finally.
She looked at him quizzically. “Because I am happy. Because that was wonderful.”
He expelled his breath in a rush of relief. "So it was — that was all right? I could get better, we could practice —"
He realized what he'd just said, and clamped his mouth shut.
A wicked grin spread over her face. “Oh, we will practice,” she said. “As soon as you're ready.”
“I have no other appointments this evening,” he said gravely.
She blushed. “Your body may need time to — to recover.”
“No,” he said, and this time he allowed himself a small tinge of smugness. “No, I don't think so.”
She blushed even harder. He loved making her blush; he always had. “Well, I need five minutes, at least!” she said. “And I need you to see this. Please?”
She held out a piece of paper to him. Her expression was surprisingly grave; it wiped his smugness away, and his desire to tease her, too. Not daring to speak, he took the paper from her and unfolded it.
She cleared her throat. “I may have been joking, earlier,” she said, “when I said I owned this flat under the name of Bedelia Codfish.”
He stared down at the deed to the flat on Queen's Gate. It was made out in Tessa's name, or something like it. Not Tessa Gray, however, or even Tessa Herondale. It was made out in the name of Tessa Herondale Carstairs.
“When I spoke to Magnus in Idris, after the Mortal War,” she said, “he told me that he'd dreamed that you were cured. You know how Magnus is. Sometimes his dreams are true. So I allowed myself to hope for the first time in a long time. I knew it was unlikely, if not impossible. I knew it might be many years. But you asked me to marry you, once, a long time ago. And in a way, this is our wedding night. A long-delayed consummation.” She smiled at him, biting her lip, clearly nervous. Her fingers worked at the blanket she held around herself. “I shouldn't have borrowed your name, perhaps, but I have always felt in my blood that we were family.”
“Tessa Herondale Carstairs,” he whispered. “You should never worry about borrowing my name when you know that you can have it to keep.”
He let the paper slip out of his hand and reached for her. She tipped into his lap and he held her hard, against the choking sensation in his own throat.
She had never given up on him. He remembered saying to Will once that he had given him faith, when Will had none in himself. He had always hoped for better for Will, even when Will did not hope for himself. And Tessa had done that for him. He had long ago despaired of a cure, but she — she had always hoped.
“Mizpah, Tessa,” he whispered. “In truth, for surely God was looking out for us while we were parted from one another. And he has looked out for us while we both have been parted from Will and brought us back to each other.”
* * *
They slept, curled together, on the ruin of Tessa's dress, and later moved to the couch. It was quite dark, and they drank cold tea and made love again, this time more gently and slowly until Tessa was clutching at Jem's shoulders and begging him to go faster. “Dolcissimo, not appasionato,” he said with a smile of pure tormenting amusement.
“Oh?” She reached down and did something with her hand that he was clearly not prepared for. His whole body tensed. She giggled as his hands clawed suddenly at her waist, fingers digging in. His dark hair hung in his eyes; his skin shone with sweat. Earlier, she had closed her own eyes: this time she watched him, the change in his expression as his control broke, the shape of his mouth as he gasped her name.
And this time, she forgot to bite on her hand to muffle the sounds she made. Oh, well. Damn the neighbors. She had been quiet for nearly a century.
“Maybe that was more presto than I had intended,” he said with a laugh, when they were lying together afterward, wedged among the cushions. “But then, you cheated. You are more experienced than I am.”
“I like it.” Tessa kissed his fingers. “I am going to have a great deal of fun introducing you to everything. I can’t wait for you to hear rock and roll music, Jem Carstairs. And I want to see you use an iPhone. And a computer. And ride the Tube. Have you been in an airplane? I want to be in an airplane with you.”
Jem was still laughing. His hair was a terrific mess, and his eyes were dark and shining in the lamplight. He looked like the boy he had been, so many years ago, but different, too: this was a Jem Tessa had only just begun to know. A young, healthy Jem, not a dying boy or a Silent Brother. A Jem who could love her with all his strength as she would love him back.
“We’ll take an airplane,” he said. “Maybe to Los Angeles.”
She smiled. She knew why they had to be there.
“We have time to do everything,” he said, tracing one of his fingers down the side of her face. “We have forever.”
Not forever, Tessa thought. They had a long, long time. A lifetime. His lifetime. And she would lose him one day, as she had lost Will, and her heart would break, as it had broken before. And she would put herself back together and go on, because the memory of having had Jem would be better than never having had him at all.
She was wise enough to know that, now.
“What you said before,” she asked. “That Jace Herondale loves Clarissa Fairchild more than anyone you've ever known except someone — you never finished the sentence. Who was it?”
“I was going to say you and me and Will,” he said. “But — that’s rather a strange thing to say, isn't it?”
“Not strange at all.” She cuddled in close against his side. “Exactly right. Ever and always, exactly right.”
* * *
The end and the beginning.
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Will/Tessa comic from Cassandra Jean and [Cassandra Clare]. Tessa comes back from her yearly meeting with Jem with some news for Will. Or: when James Herondale got his name. With guest appearances by Charlotte and Cecily, Anna Lightwood and Charles Fairchild".
Fairy Tale of London
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr () and on Instagram
- Part 1 of a tale of Will and Tessa's wedding and wedding night that wound up being a riff on Sleeping Beauty. The rest will be released as bonus content for first editions of Chain of Gold.
Today will be the happiest day the two of you will ever have together.
Will Herondale sat in the window of his new bedroom and looked out at a London frozen under a chilly winter sky. Snow dusted the tops of houses reaching away toward the pale ribbon of the Thames, giving the view the feeling of a fairy tale.
Though at the moment, Will was not feeling very friendly toward fairy tales.
He ought to be happy, he knew that much — after all, it was his wedding day. And he had been happy, since the moment he'd woken up, even through having Henry, Gabriel and Gideon troop into his room and bother him with advice and jokes while he was getting dressed, all the way up to the end of the ceremony. That was when it had happened. That was why he was sitting on a window seat staring at winter-bitten London instead of downstairs by the fire kissing his wife. His brand new wife.
Everything had started out perfectly well. It wasn’t strictly a Shadowhunter wedding, because Tessa wasn’t strictly a Shadowhunter. But Will had decided to wear wedding gear anyway, because he was going to be the head of the London Institute, and his children would be Shadowhunters, and Tessa would run the Institute by his side and be part of all of his Shadowhunter life and they should begin as they meant to go on, in his opinion.
Henry, wielding a stele from his Bath chair, helped Will with the runes of love and luck he’d decorated his hands and arms with before he put his shirt and gear jacket on. Gideon and Gabriel joked about what a terrible bargain Tessa was getting in Will, and how they would happily take his place, though the Lightwood brothers were both engaged, and Henry was delightedly married with a small and loudly screaming son, Charles Buford, currently taking up much of his parents’ time and attention.
And Will smiled and laughed, and looked in the mirror to make sure his hair didn’t look disgraceful and he thought of Jem, and his heart ached.
It was tradition for Shadowhunters to have a suggenes, someone who walked alongside them up the aisle to the marriage ceremony. Usually a sibling or a close friend — and if you had a parabatai, the choice for suggenes was made for you. But Will’s parabatai was a Silent Brother now, and Silent Brothers could not be suggenes. So that place beside Will would remain empty as he walked the floor of the cathedral.
Or at least it would look empty to everyone else. To Will, it would be filled with the memory of Jem: Jem’s smile, Jem’s hand on his arm, Jem’s unwavering loyalty.
In the mirror, he saw a Will Herondale, nineteen years old, who looked composed and calm: inside his soul breathed grief and love. Until this last year, he had never thought that the heart could hold a full measure of sorrow and happiness at the same time, and yet as he grieved Jem and loved Tessa he felt both in equal parts. He knew she did, too, and it was a comfort to the two of them to be together and share what few others had ever felt, for though Will believed profound grief and profound joy could happen at the same time, as equal love did, he could not believe it was common.
“Don’t forget the cane, Will,” said Henry, snapping Will out of his reverie, and he handed Will the dragon-headed cane that had been Jem’s. Will carried it, the jade head smooth under his fingers, as they made their way downstairs and into the heart of the church.
Will came in through the back and moved swiftly to the altar, decorated with heaps of white flowers that had come from Idris. They filled the room with a scent that reminded him of Herondale Manor in the Idris countryside, a great pile of golden stone where he and Tessa would now spend summer months. His heart lifted at the thought.
It lifted further as he leaned Jem’s cane against the altar and turned to face the room: he had been afraid that the Enclave of London, in their prejudice and bigotry, would avoid the wedding: feelings about the fact that Tessa was half-warlock ranged from indifference to outright coldness. But the pews were filled, and he saw beaming faces throughout: Henry beside Charlotte, who had left baby Charles in the care of Bridget, her hat trembling with a mass of flowers; the recently married Baybrooks, the Highsmiths and Bridgestocks, Sophie moving to make room for Gideon and Gabriel, and even Tatiana Blackthorn, holding the blanket-wrapped bundle of her son, Jesse, and wearing an oddly familiar pink dress.
Will glanced toward the back of the church...
Sophie stepped forward, holding out a shallow velvet box on which had been placed two rings, both with the Herondale design. Inside each ring had been etched a single image of lightning, a nod to Tessa's Starkweather heritage, and six words: the last dream of my soul. Will didn't care if the quote wouldn't mean anything to other people. It meant everything to him and Tessa.
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- Cassandra Jean and I decided to contribute a comic for Heronstairs Day. Text by me, drawings by her. London, Hyde Park, 1877. Will sacks out after a long night of demon-fighting and Jem covers him up with his jacket.
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/47233957465/tlh-clockwork-princess-spoilers-under-cut
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/121990065974/robert-lightwood-the-evil-we-love
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/97665781984/did-lottie-and-henry-have-more-sons-or-they-only-had
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/97779222449/tlh
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/40657931510/hey-cassie-i-was-wondering-if-one-should-read
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/100835803649/hi-cassie-i-just-wanted-to-ask-something-about-the
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/100636365089/after-tlh-is-finished-will-you-post-all-the
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/100534070549/sorry-to-be-such-a-pest-with-questions-and-full-of
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/100535316674/hi-cassie-i-was-wondering-1-do-we-find-out-why-the
- ↑ https://twitter.com/cassieclare/status/647075264279781376
- ↑ http://cassandraclare.tumblr.com/post/81458906390/shadowhunter-series-es
- ↑ "The correct date is March 3, 1880." Cassandra Clare on Tumblr