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 Mortal Instruments or by Cassandra Clare herself.
Note: Text added here belong to Cassandra Clare, and her publishers for some stories, taken from the public domain. They are copied verbatim and is not to be revised in any way.
- 1 City of Bones
- 2 City of Ashes
- 3 City of Glass
- 3.1 A Dark Transformation / Becoming Sebastian
- 3.2 A Sudden Departure
- 3.3 Simon's alternate arrival in Alicante
- 3.4 Jace kisses Alec
- 3.5 Ragnor Fell's cottage scene
- 3.6 Extended manor scene
- 3.7 Manor scene in Jace's POV
- 3.8 Jocelyn's story
- 3.9 Valentine and Luke's farewell
- 3.10 Director's Cut of last chapter
- 3.11 Jace's letter to Clary
- 3.12 Postcards
- 4 City of Fallen Angels
- 5 City of Lost Souls
- 5.1 Magnus & Alec
- 5.2 Clary & Simon at the Seelie Court
- 5.3 Clary & Simon at the Seelie Court 2.0
- 5.4 Chapter 7 outtake
- 5.5 Clary & Jace
- 5.6 Clary & Sebastian
- 5.7 Simon, Jordan & Izzy
- 5.8 Magnus & Jocelyn
- 5.9 A Question of Power
- 5.10 Clary, Jace & Seb
- 5.11 Extended DSCS
- 5.12 Stephen's letter to his son
- 5.13 Chapter 7 Clace
- 6 City of Heavenly Fire
- 7 Others
City of Bones
- source: CoB "Deleted Scenes" on the website
- CC's note: This was the original prologue for City of Bones. I had wanted to tell some of the story from Jace's point of view, but once I got further into the book I realized it would be better if we mainly saw him from Clary's perspective. It made him more mysterious and a mysterious character is always fun.
The marks on his skin told the story of his life. Jace Wayland had always been proud of them. Some of the other young people in the Clave didn't like the disfiguring black letters, didn't like the burning pain of the stele where it cut into the skin, didn't like the nightmares that came when runes too powerful were inked into the flesh of someone unready. Jace had no sympathy for them. It was their own fault they were not stronger.
He had always been strong. He'd had to be. Most boys got their first Marks when they were fifteen. Alec had been thirteen, and that was very young. Jace had been nine. His father had cut the marks into his skin with a stele made from carved ivory. The runes spelled out his true name, and other things besides. "Now you are a man," his father had said. That night Jace dreamed of cities made of gold and blood, of tall bone towers sharp as splinters. He was almost ten years old and had never seen a city.
That winter his father took him to Manhattan for the first time. The hard pavement was filthy, the buildings crowding too close together, but the lights were bright and beautiful. And the streets were full of monsters. Jace had only seen them before in his father's instructional manuals. Vampires in their finery, faces dead white as paper. Lycanthropes with their too-sharp teeth and their smell of wolf. Warlocks with their cat's-eyes and pointed ears, sometimes a forked tail protruding from the hem of an elegant velvet coat.
"Monsters," his father had said, with distaste. His mouth curled at the corner. "But they bleed as red as men do when you kill them."
"What about demons? Do they bleed red?"
"Some do. Some bleed thin blood like green poison, and some bleed silver or black. I have a scar here from a demon that bled acid the color of sapphires."
Jace gazed at his father's scar in wonder. "And have you killed many demons?"
"I have," said his father. "And some day, you will too. You were born to kill demons, Jace. It's in your bones."
It would be years later that Jace would see a demon for the first time, and by then his father had already been dead for several years. He pulled aside his shirt now and looked at the scar where that first demon had clawed him. Four parallel claw marks that ran from his breastbone to his shoulder, where his father had inked the runes that would make him fast and strong, and hide him from mundane eyes. Swift as the wind, strong as the earth, silent as the forest, invisible as water.
Jace thought of the girl in his dream, the one with the braided scarlet hair. In the dream, he had not been invisible to her. She had looked at him with more than awareness; there had been recognition in her eyes, as if he were familiar to her. But how could a human girl see through his glamour?
He had woken up shivering, cold as if his skin had been stripped away. It was frightening to feel so vulnerable, more frightening than any demon. He would have to ask Hodge about runes for nightmare protection it in the morning. Perhaps there would be something about it in one of his books.
But there was no time now. There had been reports of dark activity in a nightclub downtown, human bodies found limp and drained as the sun came up. Jace shrugged on his jacket, checked his weaponry, ink-Marked hands skating lightly over cloth and metal. Marks that no human eye could see--and he was glad, thinking of the girl in his dream, the way she had looked at him, as if he were no different than she was. Stripped of their magic, the marks on his body were only marks, after all, of no more power than the scars on his wrists and chest, or the deep scar just over his heart where his father's killer had stabbed him when he was ten years old.
The sound of his name startled him out of his reverie. They were calling him from the corridor, Alec and Isabelle, impatient, eager for the hunt and the kill. Sweeping thoughts of nightmares from his mind, Jace went to join them.
- source: Tumblr
- A story that takes place during City of Bones from Magnus' viewpoint. The hardbound, first editions of Clockwork Angel came with this.
Magnus Bane lay on the floor of his Brooklyn loft, looking up at the bare ceiling. The floor was slightly sticky, as was much else in the apartment. Spilled faery wine mixed with blood on the floor, running in rivulets across the splintery floorboards. The bar, which had been a door laid across two dented metal garbage cans, had gotten wrecked at some point during the night during a lively fight between a vampire and Bat, one of the downtown werewolf pack. Magnus felt satisfied. It wasn’t a good party unless something got broken.
Soft footsteps padded across the floor toward him and then something crawled onto his chest; something small, soft, and heavy. He looked up and found himself staring into a pair of green-gold eyes that matched his own. Chairman Meow.
He stroked the cat, who kneaded his claws happily into Magnus’s shirt. A bit of Silly String fell from the ceiling and landed on both of them, causing Chairman Meow to leap sideways.
With a yawn, Magnus sat up. He usually felt like this after a party - tired but too wound up to sleep. His mind was humming over the events of the evening, but like a scratched CD, it kept coming back to the same point and spinning there, sending his memories into a whirl.
Those Shadowhunter children. He hadn’t been surprised that Clarissa had finally tracked him down, he’d known Jocelyn’s stopgap memory spells wouldn’t work forever. He’d told her as much, but she’d been determined to protect the girl as long as she could. Now that he’d met her, conscious and alert, he wondered if she’d really needed all that protecting. She was fiery, impulsive, and brave - and lucky, like her mother.
That was if you believed in luck. But something must have led her to the Shadowhunters of the Institute, possibly the only ones who could protect her from Valentine. A pity that Robert and Maryse were gone. He’d dealt with Maryse more than once, but it had been years since he’d seen the younger generation.
He had a vague memory of visiting Maryse and Hodge, and there being two boys in the hallway, about eleven years old, battling back and forth with harmless model seraph blades. A girl with black hair in two braids had been watching them and vociferously complaining about not being included. He had taken very little note of them at the time.
But now - seeing them had shaken him, especially the boys, Jace and Alec. When you had so many memories, sometimes it was hard to identify the exact one you wanted, like flipping through a ten-thousand page book to find the correct paragraph.
This time, however, he knew.
He crawled across the splintery floor and knelt to open the closet door. Inside, he pushed aside clothes and various packets and potions, feeling along the walls for what he wanted. When he emerged, coughing on dust balls, he was dragging a decent-sized wooden trunk. Though he had lived a long time, he needed to travel light; to keep very few mementos of his past. He sensed somehow that they would weigh him down, keep him from moving forward. When you lived forever, you could spend only so much time looking back.
It had been so long since he’d unlocked the truck, it came open with a squeal of hinges that sent Chairman Meow skittering under the sofa, his tail twitching.
The heap of objects inside the trunk looked like the hoard of an unfastidious dragon. Some objects gleamed with metal and gems - Magnus drew out an old snuffbox with the initials WS picked out across the top in winking rubies, and grinning at the bad taste of the thing, and also at the memories it evoked. Others seemed unremarkable: a faded, cream-colored silk ribbon that had been Camille’s; a matchbook from the Cloud Club with the words I know what you are written on the inside cover in a lady’s hand; a limerick signed OFOWW; a half-burned piece of stationary from the Hong Kong Club - a place he had been barred from not for being a warlock, but for not being white. He touched a piece of twisted rope nearly at the bottom of the pile, and thought of his mother. She had been the daughter of a Dutch colonialist man and an Indonesian woman who had died in childbirth and whose name Magnus had never known.
He was almost at the bottom of the trunk when he found what he was looking for and drew it out, squinting: a black-and-white paper photograph mounted on hard cardboard. An object that really shouldn’t have existed, and wouldn’t if Henry had not been obsessed with photography. Magnus could picture him now, ducking in and out from beneath his photographer’s hood, racing the wet plates to the darkroom he’d set up in the crypt to develop the film, shouting at his photographic subjects to keep still. Those were the days when in order to render an accurate photograph, one had to remain motionless for minutes at the time. Not easy, Magnus thought, the corner of his mouth flicking up, for the crew of the London Institute.
There was Charlotte, her dark hair up in a practical bun. She was smiling, but anxiously, as if squinting into the sun. Beside her was Jessamine in a dress that looked black in the photo, but which Magnus knew had been dark blue. Her hair was curled and ribbons fell like streamers from the brim of her straw bonnet. She looked very pretty, but very unhappy. He wondered how she would have reacted to someone like Isabelle: a girl her own age who obviously loved Shadowhunting, who showed off her bruises and the scars of her marks as if they were jewelry instead of hiding them with Mechlin lace.
On the other side of Charlotte stood Jem, looking like a photographic negative himself with his silvery hair and eyes turned almost white; his hand rested on his jade dragon-topped cane, and his face was turned toward Tessa’s. Tessa - Tessa’s hat was in her hand and her long brown curls blew free, slightly blurred by their motion.
There was a faint halo of light around Will; as befitted his nature and would have surprised no one who knew him, he had not been able to stand still for the photograph. As always, he was hatless, his black hair curling against his temples. It was a loss not to be able to see the color of his eyes, but he was still beautiful and young and a little vulnerable-looking in the photograph, with one hand in his pocket and the other behind his neck.
It had been so long since Magnus had looked at the photograph that the resemblance between Will and Jace struck him suddenly. Though it was Alec who had that black hair and those eyes - that very startling dark blue - it was Jace who had more of Will’s personality, at least on the surface. The same sharp arrogance hiding something breakable underneath, the same pointed wit…
He traced the halo of light around Will with a finger and smiled. Will had been no angel, though neither had he been as flawed as some might have thought him. When Magnus thought of Will, even now, he thought of him dripping rainwater on Camille’s rug, begging Magnus for help no one else could give him. It was Will who had introduced him to the idea that Shadowhunters and Downworlders might be friends.
Jem was Will's other, better half. He and Will had been parabatai, like Alec and Jace, and shared that same evident closeness. And though Alec struck Magnus as nothing at all like Jem - Alec was jumpy and sweet, sensitive and worried, while Jem had been calm, rarely bothered, older than his years - both of them were unusual where Shadowhunters were concerned. Alec exuded a bone-deep innocence that was rare among Shadowhunters - a quality that, Magnus had to admit, drew him like a moth to a flame, despite all his own cynicism.
Magnus looked at Tessa again. Though she was not conventionally pretty in the way Jessamine had been pretty, her face was alive with energy and intelligence. Her lips curved up at the corners. She stood, as Magnus supposed was appropriate, between Jem and Will. Tessa, who, like Magnus, lived forever. Magnus looked at the detritus in the box - memories of loves past, some of whose faces stayed with him as clearly as the day he’d first seen them, and some whose named he barely remembered. Tessa, who like him, had loved a mortal, someone destined to die as she was not.
Magnus replaced the photograph in the trunk. He shook his head, as if he could clear it of memories. There was a reason he rarely opened the trunk. Memories weighed him down, reminded him of what he once had but did no longer. Jem, Will, Jessamine, Henry, Charlotte - in a way it was amazing that he still remembered their names. But then, knowing them had changed his life.
Knowing Will and his friends had made Magnus swear to himself that he would never again get involved in Shadowhunters’ personal business. Because when you got to know them, you got to care about them. And when you got to care about mortals, they broke your heart.
“And I won’t,” he told Chairman Meow solemnly, perhaps a little drunkenly. “I don’t care how charming they are or how brave or even how helpless they seem. I will never ever ever-“
Downstairs, the doorbell buzzed, and Magnus got up to answer it.
When Midnight Comes
- source: Cassandra Clare's newsletter
- Jace's point of view of the night he took Clary to the Institute's rooftop greenhouse for her birthday, and of his first kiss with Clary. This was released with special editions of some installments.
The Institute’s bell began to toll, the deep loud heartbeat of the apex of the night.
Jace set his knife down. It was a neat little pocketknife, bone-handled, that Alec had given him when they became parabatai. He’d used it constantly and the grip was worn smooth from the pressure of his fingers.
“Midnight,” he said. He could feel Clary beside him, sitting back amongst the remains of their picnic, her breathing soft in the cool, leaf-smelling air of the greenhouse. He didn’t look at her, but straight ahead, at the shining closed buds of the medianox plant. He wasn’t sure why he didn’t want to look at her. He remembered the first time he had ever seen the flower bloom, sitting on a stone bench in this greenhouse with Alec and Izzy on either side of him, and Hodge’s fingers on the stem of the blossom. The tutor had woken them up at nearly midnight to show them the marvel, a plant that normally grew only in Idris, and remembered his breath catching in the wintry midnight air, at the sight of something so surprising and so beautiful.
Alec and Isabelle had not been caught by the beauty of it as he had been. Isabelle was bored the moment she found out that the flower only had medicinal, not lethal, uses, and Alec—never a night person—had fallen asleep with his head on his sister’s shoulder. Jace was worried even now, as the bells rang on, that Clary would be the same: interested or maybe even pleased, but not enchanted. He wanted her to feel the way he had about the medianox, though he could not have said why.
A sound escaped her lips, a soft “Oh!” The flower was blooming: opening like the birth of a star, all shimmering pollen and white-gold petals. “Do they bloom every night?”
A wave of relief went through him. Her green eyes were shining, fixed on the flower. She was flexing her fingers unconsciously, the way he had come to understand she did when she was wishing she had a pen or pencils to capture the image of something in front of her. Sometimes he wished he could see the world as she did: as a canvas to be captured in paint, chalks, and watercolors. And sometimes—when she looked at him that way, as if she was taking him apart, bits and pieces to be separated out and painted or sketched, an almost emotionless analysis—he found himself on the verge of blushing; a feeling so strange he almost didn’t recognize it. Jace Wayland didn’t blush.
“Only at midnight. Happy birthday, Clarissa Fray,” he said, and her mouth curved into a smile. “I have something for you.” He fumbled, a little, reaching into his pocket, though he didn’t think she noticed. When he pressed the witchlight rune-stone into her hand, he was conscious of how small her fingers were under his—delicate but strong, callused from hours of holding pencils and paintbrushes. The calluses tickled his fingertips. He wondered if contact with his skin sped her pulse the way it did for him when he touched her.
Apparently not, because she drew away from him, her expression showing only curiosity. “Huh. You know, when most girls say they want a big rock, they don’t mean, you know, literally a big rock,” she said.
He smiled without meaning to. Which was unusual in and of itself; usually only Alec or Isabelle could startle laughter out of him. He had known Clary was brave the first time he’d met her—walking into that room after Isabelle, unarmed and unprepared, took the kind of guts he didn’t associate with mundanes—but the fact that she made him laugh still surprised him. “It’s not a rock, precisely. All Shadowhunters have a witchlight rune-stone. It will bring you light even among the darkest shadows of this world and others.” They were the same words his father had spoken to him, upon giving him his first rune-stone. What other worlds? Jace had asked, but his father had only laughed. There were more worlds a breath away from this one than there were grains of sand on a beach, he had said. Sometimes Jace wondered if there were other Jaces in those worlds, and if so whether their fathers and mothers were alive or dead. He wondered whether those versions of him were happy or sad, and whether they wondered about him.
Clary smiled at him and made a joke about birthday presents, but he sensed that she was genuinely touched; she slid the stone into her pocket carefully. The medianox flower was already shedding petals like illuminated rain, lighting her face with a soft glow. “When I was twelve, I wanted a tattoo,” she said. A strand of red hair fell across her eyes; Jace fought the urge to reach out and push it back.
“Most Shadowhunters get their first Marks at twelve. It must have been in your blood.”
“Maybe. Although I doubt most Shadowhunters get a tattoo of Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on their left shoulder.” She smiled as if she were fondly remembering, in that way she did when she said things that were totally inexplicable to him. It sent a twinge of fear sparking through his veins—but fear of what? The mundane world itself that she would one day return to, leaving him and his universe of demons and hunters, scars and battle, gratefully behind?
He cleared his throat. “You wanted a turtle on your shoulder?”
She nodded, and her hair fell back into place. “I wanted to cover my chicken pox scar.” She drew the strap of her tank top aside. “See?”
And he saw that there was some sort of mark on her shoulder, a scar, but he saw more than that: the curve of her collarbone, the light dusting freckles on her skin like a dusting of gold, the downy curve of her shoulder, the pulse at the base of her throat. He saw the shape of her mouth, her lips slightly parted. Her coppery lashes as she lowered them. And he was swept through with a wave of desire, of a kind he had never experienced before. He’d desired girls before, certainly, and satisfied that desire; he had always thought of it as hunger, a need for a sort of fuel that the body wanted.
But he had never felt desire like this, a clean fire that burned away thought, that made his hands not tremble, exactly, but thrum with nervous energy. He tore his eyes away from her before they could show too much. “It’s getting late,” he said. “We should go back downstairs.”
He glanced back to see her looking at him curiously, and he couldn’t help the feeling that those green eyes could see through him. “Have you and Isabelle ever—dated?” she asked.
His heart was still pounding. “Isabelle?” he echoed. Isabelle? What did Isabelle have to do with anything?
“I thought—Simon was wondering,” she said, and he hated the way she said Simon’s name. Jace had never felt anything like this before. Nothing unnerved him like Clary did. He remembered coming to her in that alleyway behind the coffee shop and wanting to draw her outside, away from the dark-haired boy she was always with, into his world of shadows. He had felt even then that she belonged where he did, not to the mundane world where people weren’t real, where they passed just beyond his vision like puppets on a stage. But this girl, with her green eyes that pinned him like a butterfly—she was real. Like a voice heard in a dream, but that he knew came from the waking world, she was real, piercing the distance he had set so carefully about himself like a moat around a castle.
“The answer is no. I mean, there may have been a time when one or the other of us considered it, but she’s almost a sister to me. It would be strange.”
“You mean Isabelle and you never—”
“She hates me,” said Clary.
Despite everything, Jace almost laughed; like a brother might, he took a certain delight in observing Izzy when she was frustrated. “No, she doesn’t. You just make her nervous, because she’s always been the only girl in a crowd of adoring boys, and now she isn’t anymore.”
“But she’s so beautiful.”
“So are you,” Jace said, automatically, and saw Clary’s expression change. He couldn’t read her face. It wasn’t as if he had never told a girl she was beautiful before, but he couldn’t remember a time it wasn’t calculated. That it was accidental. That it made him feel like going to the training room and throwing knives, and kicking and punching and fighting shadows until he was bloody and exhausted.
She just looked at him, quietly. The training room it was, then.
“We should probably go downstairs,” he said again.
“All right.” He couldn’t tell what she was thinking from her voice, either; his ability to read people seemed to have deserted him and he didn’t understand why. Moonlight speared down through the glass panes of the greenhouse as they made their way out, Clary slightly in front of him. Something moved ahead of them—a white spark of light—and suddenly she stopped short and half-turned to him, already in the circle of his arm, and she was warm and soft and delicate and he was kissing her.
And he was astonished. He didn’t work like this; his body didn’t do things without his permission. It was his instrument as much as the piano, and he has always been in perfect command of it. But she tasted sweet, like apples and sugar, and her body in his arms was trembling. She was so small; his arms went around her, to steady her, and he was lost. He understood suddenly why kisses in movies were filmed the way they were, with the camera endlessly circling, circling: the ground was unsteady under his feet and he clung to her, small as she was, as if she could hold him up.
His palms smoothed down her back. He could feel her breathing against him in a gasp between kisses. Her thin fingers were in his hair, on the back of his neck, tangling gently, and he remembered the medianox flower and the first time he saw it and thought, Here is something too beautiful to properly belong in this world.
The rush of wind was audible to him first, trained as he was to hear it. He drew back from Clary and saw Hugo perched in the crook of a nearby dwarf cypress. Jace’s arms were still around Clary, her slight weight against him. Her eyes were half-closed. “Don’t panic, but we’ve got an audience,” he whispered to her. “If he’s here, Hodge won’t be far behind. We should go.”
Her green eyes fluttered all the way open, and she looked amused. It pricked his ego slightly. After that kiss, shouldn’t she be fainting at his feet? But she was grinning. She wanted to know if Hodge was spying on them. He reassured her, but he felt her soft laughter travel through their joined hands—how did that happen?—as they made their way downstairs.
And he understood. He understood why people held hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it wasn’t. It was about maintaining contact. It was about speaking without words. It was about I want you with me and Don’t go.
He wanted her in his bedroom. And not in that way—no girl had ever been in his bedroom that way. It was his private space, his sanctuary. But he wanted Clary there. He wanted her to see him, the reality of him, not the image he showed the world. He wanted to lie down on the bed with her and have her curl into him. He wanted to hold her as she breathed softly through the night; to see her as no one else saw her: vulnerable and asleep. To see her and to be seen.
So when they reached her door, and she thanked him for the birthday picnic, he still didn’t let go of her hand. “Are you going to sleep?” he asked.
She tilted her head up. “Aren’t you tired?”
There was a hollow in the pit of his stomach, a nervous edginess. He wanted to pull her back to himself, to pour into her everything he was feeling: his admiration, his newborn knowledge, his uneasiness, his need. “I’ve never been more awake.”
She lifted her chin, a quick unconscious movement, and he leaned down, cupping her face with his free hand. He didn’t mean to kiss her—too public, too easy to be interrupted—but he couldn’t stop himself from lightly touching his mouth to hers. Her lips parted under his, and he leaned into her and he couldn’t stop —
Simon suddenly threw open the bedroom door and stepped out into the hall. And Clary pulled away from Jace hastily, turning her head aside, and he felt it with the sharp pain of a bandage ripped off his skin. Simon was saying something—a jumble of angry words—and Jace thought of all the times that he’d been in this situation before. Kissing some girl in an alley behind a bar, or pressed up against the wall of a club. And her boyfriend, or the poor guy who’d thought he had a chance, staring at them like someone had just reached into his chest and ripped out his heart.
Jace had always felt sorry for that guy, but in a distant sort of way, like the guy was a character in a play acting out being heartbroken. Now, looking at Simon, he realized he’d never feel that way again. Because the way Clary was looking at Simon, her whole attention caught up by him, her regret plain on her face, made him realize Simon wasn’t the guy in the play who was about to get his heart shattered into pieces. Jace was.
- source: TMI source
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
The Institute's bell begins to toll, the deep loud heartbeat of the apex of the night.
Jace sets his knife down. It’s a neat little pocketknife, bone-handled, that Alec gave him when they became parabatai. He’s used it constantly and the grip is worn smooth from the pressure of his fingers.
"Midnight," he says. He can feel Clary beside him, sitting back amongst the remains of their picnic, her breathing soft in the cool, leaf-smelling air of the greenhouse. He doesn't look at her, but straight ahead, at the shining closed buds of the medianox plant. He isn't sure why he doesn't want to look at her. He remembers the first time he saw the flower bloom, during horticulture class, sitting on a stone bench with Alec and Izzy on either side of him, and Hodge's fingers on the stem of the blossom — he had woken them up at nearly midnight to show them the marvel, a plant that normally grew only in Idris — and remembered his breath catching in the wintery midnight air, at the sight of something so surprising and so beautiful.
Alec and Isabelle had been interested but not, he remembers, caught by the beauty of it as he had been. He was worried even now, as the bells rang on, that Clary would be the same: interested or even pleased, but not enchanted. He wanted her to feel the way he had about the medianox, though he could not have said why.
A sound escapes her lips, a soft "Oh!" The flower is blooming: opening like the birth of a star, all shimmering pollen and white-gold petals. "Do they bloom every night?"
A wave of relief goes through him. Her green eyes are shining, fixed on it. She is flexing her fingers unconsciously, the way he has come to understand she does when she is wishing she had a pen or pencils to capture the image of something in front of her. Sometimes he wishes he could see as she did: see the world as a canvas to be captured in paint, chalks and watercolors. Sometimes when she looks at him that way he finds himself almost blushing; a feeling so strange he almost doesn't recognize it. Jace Wayland doesn't blush.
“Happy birthday, Clarissa Fray,” he says, and her mouth curves into a smile. “I have something for you.” He fumbles, a little, reaching into his pocket, though he doesn't think she notices. When he presses the witchlight runestone into her hand, he is conscious of how small her fingers are under his — delicate but strong, callused from hours of holding pencils and paintbrushes. The calluses tickle his fingertips. He wonders if contact with his skin speeds her pulse the way his does when he touches hers.
Apparently not, because she draws away from him, her expression showing only curiosity. “You know, when most girls say they want a big rock, they don't mean, you know, literally a big rock.”
He smiles without meaning to. Which is unusual in and of itself; usually only Alec or Isabelle can startle laughter out of him. He had known Clary was brave the first time he'd met her — walking into that room after Isabelle, unarmed and unprepared, took the kind of guts he didn't associate with mundanes — but the fact that she made him laugh still surprised him. “Very amusing, my sarcastic friend. It's not a rock, precisely. All Shadowhunters have a witchlight rune-stone. It will bring you light even among the darkest shadows of this world and others.”
They were the same words his father had spoken to him, upon giving him his first runestone. What other worlds? Jace had asked, and his father had only laughed. There are more worlds a breath away from this one than there are grains of sand on a beach.
She smiles at him and makes a joke about birthday presents, but he senses that she is touched; she slips the stone into her pocket carefully. The medianox flower is already shedding petals like a shower of stars, lighting her face with a soft illumination. “When I was twelve, I wanted a tattoo,” she says. A strand of red hair falls across her eyes; Jace fights the urge to reach out and push it back.
"Most Shadowhunters get their first Marks at twelve. It must have been in your blood."
"Maybe. Although I doubt most Shadowhunters get a tattoo of Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on their left shoulder." She is smiling, in that way she does when she says things that are totally inexplicable to him, as if she is fondly remembering. It sends a jealous twinge sparking through his veins, though he isn't even sure what he is jealous of. Simon, who understands her references to a mundane world Jace can never be a part of? The mundane world itself that she could one day return to, leaving him and his universe of demons and hunters, scars and battle, gratefully behind?
He clears his throat. “You wanted a turtle on your shoulder?”
She nods, and her hair falls back into place. “I wanted to cover my chicken pox scar.” She draws the strap of her tank top aside. “See?”
And he sees: there is some sort of mark on her shoulder, a scar, but he sees more than that: he sees the curve of her collarbone, the light dusting freckles on her skin like a dusting of gold, the downy curve of her shoulder, the pulse at the base of her throat. He sees the shape of her mouth, her lips slightly parted. Her coppery lashes as she lowers them. And he is swept through with a wave of desire, a kind he has never experienced before. He's desired girls before, certainly, and satisfied that desire: he had always thought of it as hunger, a need for a sort of fuel that the body wanted.
He has never felt desire like this, a clean fire that burned away thought, that made his hands — not tremble, exactly, but thrum with nervous energy. He tears his eyes away from her, hastily. "It's getting late," he says. "We should go back downstairs."
She looks at him, curiously, and he cannot help the feeling that those green eyes can see through him. “Have you and Isabelle ever dated?” she asks.
His heart is still pounding. He doesn’t quite understand the question. “Isabelle?” he echoes. Isabelle? What did Isabelle have to do with anything?
“Simon was wondering,” she says, and he hates the way she says Simon’s name. He has never felt anything like this before: anything that unnerved him like she does. He remembers coming to her in that alleyway behind the coffee shop, the way he had wanted to draw her outside, away from the dark-haired boy she was always with, into his world of shadows. He had felt even then that she belonged where he did, not to the mundane world where people weren't real, where they passed just beyond his vision like puppets on a stage. But this girl, with her green eyes that pinned him like a butterfly, she was real. Like a voice heard in a dream, that you know comes from the waking world, she was real, piercing the distance he has set so carefully about himself like armor.
“The answer is no. I mean, there may have been a time when one or the other of us considered it, but she’s almost a sister to me. It would be strange.”
“You mean Isabelle and you never—”
“She hates me,” says Clary.
Despite everything, Jace almost laughs; like a brother might, he takes a certain delight in observing Izzy when she’s frustrated. “You just make her nervous, because she’s always been the only girl in a crowd of adoring boys, and now she isn't anymore.”
“But she’s so beautiful.”
“So are you,” Jace says, automatically, and sees Clary’s expression change. He cannot read her face. It is hardly as if he has never told a girl she’s beautiful before, but he can’t remember a time it wasn't calculated. That it was accidental. That it made him feel like going to the training room and throwing knives, and kicking and punching and fighting shadows until he was bloody and exhausted and if his skin was flayed open, it was only in the way he was used to.
She just looks at him, quietly. The training room it is, then.
“We should probably go downstairs,” he says again.
“All right.” He can’t tell what she’s thinking from her voice, either; his ability to read people seems to have deserted him and he doesn’t understand why. Moonlight spears down through the glass panes of the greenhouse as they make their way out, Clary slightly in front of him.
Something moves ahead of them — a white spark of light — and suddenly she stops short and half-turns to him, already in the circle of his arm, and she is warm and soft and delicate and he is kissing her.
And he is astonished. He doesn’t work like this; his body doesn’t do things without his permission. It is his instrument as much as the piano, and he has always been in perfect command of it. But she tastes sweet, like apples and copper, and her body in his arms is trembling. She is so small; his arms go around her, to steady her, and he is lost. He understands now why kisses in movies are filmed the way they are, with the camera endlessly circling, circling: the ground is unsteady under his feet and he clings to her, small as she is, as if she could hold him up.
His palms smooth down her back. He can feel her breathing against him; a gasp in between kisses. Her thin fingers are in his hair, on the back of his neck, tangling gently, and he remembers the medianox flower and the first time he saw it and thought: here is something too beautiful to properly belong in this world.
The rush of wind is audible to him first, trained as he is to hear it. He draws back from Clary and sees Hugo, perched in the crook of a nearby dwarf cypress. His arms are still around Clary, her weight light against him. Her eyes are half-closed. “Don’t panic, but we’ve got an audience,” he whispers to her. “If Hugo’s here, Hodge won’t be far behind. We should go.”
Her green eyes flutter all the way open, and she looks amused. It pricks his ego slightly. After that kiss, shouldn’t she be fainting at his feet? But she’s grinning. She wants to know if Hodge is spying on them. He reassures her, but he feels her soft laughter travel through their joined hands — how did that happen? — as they make their way downstairs.
And he understands. He understands why people hold hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it’s about maintaining contact. It is about speaking without words. It is about I want you with me and don’t go.
He wants her in his bedroom. And not in that way — no girl has ever been in his bedroom that way. It is his private space, his sanctuary. But he wants Clary there. He wants her to see him, the reality of him, not the image he shows the world. He wants to lie down on the bed with her and have her curl into him. He wants to hold her as she breathes softly through the night; to see her as no one else sees her: vulnerable and asleep. To see her and to be seen.
So when they reach her door, and she thanks him for the birthday picnic, he still doesn’t let go of her hand. “Are you going to sleep?”
She tilts her head up and he can see that her mouth bears the imprint of his kisses: a flush of pink, like the carnations in the greenhouse, and it knots his stomach. By the Angel, he thinks, I am so…
“Aren’t you tired?” she asks, breaking into his thoughts.
There is a hollow in the pit of his stomach, a nervous edginess. He wants to pull her back to himself, to pour into her everything he is feeling: his admiration, his new-born knowledge, his devotion, his need. “I’ve never been more awake.”
She lifts her chin, a quick unconscious movement, and he leans down, cupping her face with her free hand. He doesn't mean to kiss her here — too public, too easy to be interrupted — but he can't stop touching his mouth to hers lightly. Her lips part under his and he leans into her and he can't stop. I am so —
It was at precisely that moment that Simon threw open the bedroom door and stepped out into the hall. And Clary pulls away from him hastily, turning her head aside, and he feels it with the sharp pain of a bandage ripped off his skin.
I am so screwed.
Not for Humans
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- A short piece Cassandra Clare and Holly Black wrote for John Green's Project for Awesome a few years ago. It's a crossover between Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tale series and Shadowhunter Chronicles. Kaye, Roiben, Corny and Luis are all from Holly's books. This is set before the beginning of City of Bones and tells the story of previously mentioned by Jace about eating faerie food and running naked down Fifth/Madison Avenue with antlers on his head.
Released with Son of the Dawn in 2018.
Kaye really wasn’t expecting Shadowhunters to come to Moon in a Cup, especially on opening day.
She wasn’t even really sure what Shadowhunters did. They appeared to believe that the world was menaced by demons, wore a lot of weapons, tattooed one another, and didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t one of them. Kaye had once pointed out that she’d never seen a demon and, really, she’d seen plenty of odd things. The Shadowhunter she’d been talking with had claimed her not seeing any demons only proved that the Shadowhunters were doing their job. She’d stopped arguing after that. You can’t prove a negative, Corny had said.
It annoyed her, though, because not only did they believe in demons, but they thought faeries like her were part demon too. That made all the weapon carrying and weirdness a little more nervous-making than it might have been otherwise. But Luis liked them and, besides, Kaye needed customers. She just hoped they didn’t eat the scones. Moon in a Cup was her dream and now that it was nally happening, she was incredibly nervous. She loved the smell of the espresso in the air, the clouds of steam and the sound of frothing milk. She loved all the things that she and her friends had scavenged from thrift sales and from the side of the road. Ratty little wooden tables that she and Valerie and Ruth had decoupaged with postcards and sheets of music and pages from encyclopedias. Gold-painted chairs. Outsider art and weird antlers and a few landscapes with sea serpents painted on top of them. Mismatched cups that ranged from bone china to chipped bowls with pictures of ducks on them to mugs with slogans for businesses long closed. Every single one felt like a treasure to her, but she’d never owned anything before or been very responsible. She’s worried over whether she could handle it – whether she’d even like it once it was real – for months.
And now, finally, finally, finally, the place was open.
Ravus and Luis had painted a big sign announcing their GRAND OPENING, which hung above the register. There, in somewhat organized canisters, were the makings for many things, both mortal and less so. In addition to various coffee drinks, including the terrifying Red Eye, and the Dirty Chai, they were serving herbal teas made from nettle, milk thistle and dandelion, rosehip and sticklewort, bluecap and coltsfoot. Then one of the Unseelie knights, Dulcamara, had sent Kaye a large basket of pastries – scones, muns, all tarts – all baked with faerie fruit, none of which Kaye could picture the knight making herself. Corny had put them out, but marked them NOT FOR HUMANS, which Kaye worried might confuse people who came in off the street. Still, she’d been too busy to do more than promise herself that she was going to keep an eye on them.
The place was already half full by the time the Shadowhunters arrived. There were a ton of faerie folk that Kaye didn’t know — denizens of Roiben’s court, looking curiously around at the décor. Corny was helping Kaye behind the bar, mixing up a pot of seaweed tea for a sharp-dressed kelpie who winked at him. Corny didn’t wink back, probably because Luis was watching him from across the room with an amused expression, flanked by Val, her short red hair growing out in curls, Ravus, and Val’s best friend Ruth with her new girlfriend whose hair was dyed the color of a blueberry.
Luis stopped watching his boyfriend, though, and looked over at the door when the Shadowhunters came in. They tended to attract attention, even though they were often glamoured up like they really didn’t want it. Still, it was hard to ignore a group of tall, heavily armed people whose cheekbones were as sharp as their weaponry.
It was a group of three of them: two boys and a girl. The taller boy had black hair and blue eyes, and wore a quiver of bows slung over his shoulder. His hands were in his pockets and he was glaring like he really didn’t want to be there. The boy next to him was blond, really bright blond, with hair the same color that the gold chairs were painted. He was wearing a long leather jacket so any weapons he had on him were probably concealed, although Kaye was sure they were there. The girl had the same long black hair as the tall boy — siblings, Kaye guessed — though her eyes were dark. She was wearing a owing lacy top and a velvet skirt, and a very unusual sort of golden bangle that curled over and over up her arm.
“Meliorn!” the girl cried out upon entering, and dashed across the room to throw herself into the arms of a faerie knight in white armor. Kaye recognized him as one of the Seelie Court’s knights, kind of a silent, stuck-up type. He returned the Shadowhunter girl’s embrace.
“Isabelle,” he said. “You are as lovely as a willow tree.”
Kaye smirked to herself. Ah, faerie compliments. Some willow trees were lovely and some weren’t, so the compliment didn’t mean much. The Shadowhunter girl, Isabelle, seemed to purr under his words, though; grasping him by his slightly pointed ears — maybe only a half-fae? — she kissed him warmly. Well, that was new. Shadowhunters dating faeries?
The two boys came up to the bar, looking around like they were sure that anyone would be honored to serve them coffee. Kaye wasn’t so convinced. “So what’s a red eye?” asked the blond one.
“It’s a shot of espresso in a cup of coffee,” Kaye explained. “Not for amateurs.” The blond boy grinned. He had that kind of grin that really good-looking people who knew they were good-looking had. It was more than a little intimidating. “I think you’ll find I’m not an amateur at anything.”
“So does that mean you want one, or not?” Kaye always felt awkward around boys like him, sure that they were laughing at her.
“I think it means if you come out from behind that counter and spend a few minutes with me somewhere a little more private, you won’t be disappointed.” Kaye stared at him, open-mouthed. Was he really suggesting they go have sex? Like right then, in the middle of her shift? Or maybe he meant something else. She took another look at him. Nope, probably not.
“Jace,” hissed the boy standing next to him. “Just order a freaking cookie or something.”
“I like cookies,” said Jace, with a particularly charming smile, “but what I really prefer is pretty ladies with green skin.”
“Slow your roll, Captain Kirk,” said Corny. “She has a boyfriend.”
“A serious one?” Jace inquired — he was still smiling in that charming way that made it hard to be irritated.
“He has a seriously big sword,” Corny said. “And he’ll be here any minute.”
Jace’s hand went to his waist. “Well, if it’s seriously big swords we’re discussing —”
The dark-haired boy thunked his head down on the countertop. “Stop this pointless flirting,” he said. “Or I will bash my head through this pastry case.”
“I wish you wouldn’t,” said Kaye. “We just had it installed.”
“Calm down, Alec.” Jace shrugged, in a no-harm-trying kind of way and flashed his grin at Corny. “In that case, I guess we’ll have to make do with two Red Eyes and a scone.”
“The scones aren’t for humans,” Kaye protested. “We’re not humans,” said Jace. Kaye was about to protest again, when Corny slid a plate with a scone on it onto the countertop with a flourish.
She wanted to snatch it back – faerie fruit wasn’t wise for anyone – but it would be bad for business to be seen wrestling food away from customers, especially when they were currently in the process of paying for it. Besides, she thought, trying to convince herself, people liked faerie fruit. It made them a little crazy, sure, and there was that one time that Corny had recited all the lyrics to Synchronicity while eating them and that other time that he’d maybe been involved in an orgy, but on the whole, Jace would probably be fine. Shadowhunters were supposed to be different. Maybe they had some control over themselves that ordinary human beings didn’t. The rumor about them was that they were part angel, and Kaye couldn’t imagine angels running around reciting all the lyrics to Synchronicity or getting into orgiastic situations. Then again, she couldn’t picture angels hitting on her either. “Enjoy it,” she said, giving up and setting their coffee drinks on the counter.
Alec took the change she handed out and dumped it in the tip jar. She felt bad for him. It was obvious he had a bit of a crush on Jace, and equally obvious that he was having a pretty bad day.
She watched as they made their way across the shop and sank down on a couch across from Isabelle and Meliorn, who were busy rubbing noses and making cutesy faces at each other. Jace and Alec rolled their eyes.
Another boy came in, staggering a little. His black hair stuck straight up, thick with glitter, and he appeared to be very, very drunk. He had a stack of papers with him and was handing them out to the patrons. Every time someone took one, there was a little electric burst of glitter. Finally he sprawled out in an armchair near Isabelle, and leaned over to her.
She broke away from Meliorn, frowning at him — he seemed to be saying something about his cat’s birthday as he waved another piece of paper at her. Or maybe he was talking about his own birthday, since his eyes looked very like the reective, unblinking eyes of a cat. Kaye wondered what he was. Not a faerie, and not a Shadowhunter either.
“The Magnificent Magnus?” Isabelle said, dubiously, then shrugged. “But, hey, thanks for the invite.” She took the paper, folded it up, and thrust it down the front of her shirt before going back to kissing Meliorn.
For a few minutes, Kaye was absorbed in making another pot of seaweed tea, passing over three espresso shots to a trio of hobgoblins and making one Dirty Chai for a human in a business suit who seemed a little unnerved, as though despite not being able to see through the glamour all around him, he was able to discern that something about the other customers was a little off. He scuttled away as soon as she handed him her drink, clearing the way for her to see across the room —
To where Jace was taking off his clothes. The scone plate on the coffee table in front of him was empty, and he had a dreamy expression on his face – the dreamy expression of a human who had eaten faerie fruit. He had already shrugged off his long coat, and was getting to work on the buttons of his shirt. “Jace,” Alec hissed. “Jace, what are you doing?”
“It’s warm in here,” Jace said, in a slurred voice.
Two knives hit the ground.
Across the room, several faeries began to giggle. Jace kicked off his boots and socks.
“Corny,” Kaye said. “Do something. This is entirely your fault, you know. You gave him those scones.”
Corny was watching Jace undressing with raised eyebrows and an appreciative expression on his face. “I think I might be some kind of genius. You couldn’t pay me to stop this.”
Jace had whipped his shirt off. Kaye squinted and had to admit Corny had a point. You rarely saw a body like that outside of magazine spreads. Some people had six-packs; Jace appeared to have a twelve-pack. It didn’t look humanly possible. “Could be good for business,” she mused and pulled herself an espresso shot. She thought she was going to need it.
“Maybe we could get him to do it every day?” Corny said, as Jace unbuttoned his jeans. Alec attempted to stop him, but Jace moved nimbly out of his way and kicked the jeans off with a flourish.
“Don’t try to stop me, Alec,” said Jace. “This body has to be free.”
Isabelle looked up from kissing Meliorn and her eyes widened. “Holy crap,” she said. “Jace —” She started to stand up, but Jace had already made his way to the door. He paused there and bowed — to not considerable applause — plucked the pair of antlers o the wall, and placed them gently on his head.
Then he darted out the door, just as Roiben came in. Roiben, in his long black cloak, raised both his silver brows and stared after Jace, a small smile playing at the corner of his lips. He looked about to ask Meliorn a question and then seemed to think better of it. Then, abruptly, he began to laugh.
“Oh, by the Angel,” Alec said mournfully. “Another place we can never go to again. You’d think, in a city as big as New York …”
Kaye noticed that the boozy Magnus the Magnicent was watching Alec with a gleam in his catlike eyes. It really was too bad Alec seemed too sunk in gloom to notice.
“We should have hung a sign on that guy,” Corny said. “Imagine the advertising.” And right then, Kaye realized two things. One was that Shadowhunters might be good at killing things, but their dating lives were a mess. And the other was that she was going to love owning a coffee shop.
- source: Cassandra Clare's newsletter
- The scene where Jace and Clary meet for the first time at the Pandemonium club, written from Jace's viewpoint, released in the special, hardcover edition of the City of Bones US repackage from Barnes and Noble.
- "It was like he was always half-awake where other people were concerned. And then we met you, and he woke up."
- — Isabelle to Clary, City of Glass
“How do I look?”
Standing on the hot pavement outside the Pandemonium Club, Isabelle Lightwood did a slow rotation in front of Jace and Alec.
“Kind of like you’re wearing a bedsheet,” Jace said.
Isabelle paused and gave him a dirty look. Alec laughed softly. He loved his sister, but her occasional discomfiture amused him.
“Shut up,” Isabelle said. “I look great.”
She did, of course. Izzy combined demon hunting and style. She was wearing a diaphanous white dress that hit her boots — great big black boots with buckles running up the side. Her ruby pendant, the heirloom of the Lightwoods, pulsed around her neck. She drew her stele out of the top of her boot and pointed the tip at Jace.
“You need more runes,” she said.
“I’ll draw them,” said Alec. “Parabatai runes and all that.”
Jace rolled up his sleeve and held his arm out. The street was alive with people, most of them moving to get into line for the Pandemonium Club. A bouncer was turning people away — everyone but pretty girls and rich-looking guys.
Summer heat rose off the pavement. The stele Alec held touched Jace’s skin and the tip traced up and down his arm, scrawling runes to protect, runes to make him stronger, faster, lighter on his feet. Alec’s head was down, his black hair hanging in his face, his lip caught between his teeth. He looked like a little kid, though he was nearly eighteen.
“We could probably go in without invisibility glamours,” said Isabelle, craning her neck to look down the street. “Half these people have more tattoos than we do.”
“But none of them are nearly as attractive.” Jace narrowed his eyes as his Farsight rune took effect, following Isabelle’s gaze. Halfway up the line he saw a flash of something bright. Red hair. A girl with bright red hair was standing in line next to a dark-haired boy who was gesturing animatedly. “Well,” he amended. “Almost none of them.”
Isabelle glanced quizzically toward the bar entrance. The red-haired girl was smiling. Jace wondered if Isabelle saw her. There was something about her. It was like looking at something bright. Not just her hair, the color of it, but a brightness that seemed to come from inside her.
“Well spotted,” said Isabelle. “Demon.”
Demon? She couldn’t possibly be —
“With the blue hair,” Alec said, putting his stele away, and Jace realized with a jolt that he’d missed the boy just in front of the redhead in line. He had blue hair that stuck up in spikes and piercings in his eyebrows. “Eidolon.” He tipped his head toward Jace. “Shall we?”
Jace didn’t respond for a moment. The demon slipped into the club, and the bouncer stopped the girl with the red hair and her friend.
Jace rolled his shoulders back. He could feel everything, all of a sudden: the still, hot air; the weight of the weapons at his belt, the gauntlets around his wrists. He hated the summer, when the heat kept him awake, burned his skin, swallowed his breath. It was only at times like this, when the world narrowed down to the fine sharp point of the hunt, that he felt cold.
The bouncer stepped back, and the red-haired girl slipped into the club, her dark-haired friend with her. She turned to glance back once, her face a small pale oval in the light.
“Jace?” Alec said, again, looking at him quizzically. “Do you want to get started?”
“Yes,” Jace said.
* * *
Inside, the club was full of dry-ice smoke. Colored lights played over the dance floor, turning it into a multicolored fairyland of blues and acid greens, hot pinks and golds.
Jace watched from the shadows as Isabelle slipped through the crowd like a white shadow amid darker ones. He saw heads turn as she passed among the mundanes.
“Maybe we should do something to try to fit in,” he said to Alec, who was him, leaning against a pillar. “Dance, or something.”
Alec looked at him with loathing. Alec didn’t dance. Alec liked to follow rules, and didn’t like to look silly. It was kind of too bad, Jace always thought, because Alec was a good fighter and people who could fight well could often dance well. But he was pretty sure Alec would rather date a Raum demon than dance in public, even if he was — technically — invisible.
“Mundanes dance,” Alec said. “Besides, we should be keeping an eye on Izzy.”
“Mmm.” Jace swept his gaze around the room. You’d think it would be easy to spot a blue-haired boy, but not in this crowd. Half of them had green or pink or orange hair. Two tall mundanes were kissing, their hair extensions tangled together. There were a few Downworlders, the harmless kind — a faerie boy with a glamoured backpack was selling bits of crushed root and magic powder. The DJ was very definitely a werewolf, as was a pretty girl with curly hair dancing by herself. She bumped into someone and scowled.
It was the girl with red hair and her friend. Jace stood up straight. The girl had taken her hair out of its ponytail and it spilled down over her shoulders, the color of a sunset. She was dancing with her eyes closed. And Jace felt something inside him stir at the way she moved, as if she had found her own circle of peace inside the chaos. She seemed sheltered by something he didn’t quite understand as she danced — and he had seen people dance and move with rare skill and amazing grace — with no sense of rhythm or practice.
Jace rarely thought about mundanes. They were the people he was supposed to protect, but his father had never brought him up to think about them as anything but an undifferentiated mass of needs and wants. A need to be saved. A want to be ignorant. Never to know of the darkness that surrounded them, the things that moved in the shadows.
He had never thought of them as carrying light themselves. But the girl with the red hair, there was a light around her.
“You’re staring,” Alec said. His voice was clipped, disapproving. “At that girl. With the red hair.”
“The one with the dark-haired friend?” Jace said. “I am not.”
“If you weren’t, you wouldn’t know she has a dark-haired friend,” said Alec, who was terminally literal. “And besides, he’s probably her boyfriend.”
“He’s not,” Jace said immediately, and then realized he had no reason for assuming that, and also shouldn’t be speculating about the love lives of mundanes. He scowled.
“Denial,” said Alec, “is not just a river in Africa.”
“Egypt,” said Jace. “It’s not just a river in Egypt, Alec.”
“Right,” said Alec. “It’s not a river there, either.”
Jace swung toward his parabatai. “No, look, Alec, the Nile is in Egypt.” He sighed at Alec’s puzzled look. “Never mind. The joke is dead. You killed it.”
“Speaking of killing,” Alec put a hand on Jace’s shoulder, turning him so that he could see the far side of the room. With some reluctance, Jace looked away from the girl on the dance floor and saw Izzy disappearing into a room marked NO ADMITTANCE. The blue-haired demon followed her.
Adrenaline rushed through Jace, cold and sharp, and he forgot the girl on the dance floor and everything but the hunt.
“Game on,” he said.
* * *
Isabelle was laughing.
What faint light there was in the storage room spilled down through high barred windows smeared with dirt. Piles of electrical cables, along with broken bits of mirrored disco balls and discarded paint cans littered the floor. Beside them lay the body of one blue-haired demon, snared by the ankle by Isabelle’s silver-gold whip.
Jace grabbed hold of the demon and hauled him off the floor, slamming him against a concrete pillar. Alec, ever Jace’s efficient half, already had the electrum wire out and was binding the Eidolon’s hands. Satisfaction purred through Jace’s muscles: he strolled to where he stood directly in front of the demon. He could see through its glamoured human face now to what lay beneath: vicious and alien.
Sometimes, staring into the eyes of a demon, Jace thought he could see other worlds: dead worlds demons had consumed. Rivers of lava and acres of burned sand like melted glass.
“Shadowhunter,” the demon hissed.
Just like every other demon. Jace felt a flicker of something — boredom? — as he reached for a seraph blade. All demons were the same: all the ones that could talk, anyway. They sputtered, they denied. They claimed they knew where Valentine was. They offered gold and gems, sometimes. Once one had offered him naked dancing girls. Jace had almost taken that one up on the offer. It had been a slow Saturday.
And then Jace’s boredom exploded into a million pieces as the girl with the red hair stepped out from behind a pillar. “Stop!” She cried. “You can’t do this.”
* * *
It was as if the ground had been yanked out from under Jace. He was barely aware that his blade had clattered to the ground.
Mundanes didn’t see Shadowhunters. They certainly didn’t follow them, and they certainly didn’t appear out of nowhere, looking fearful but determined, to defend the lives of demons.
“What’s this?” Alec said, looking baffled.
“It’s a girl,” Jace said. He moved closer to the redhead, who stood with her feet braced apart, her hands on her hips, clearly with no intention of being scared away. He was vaguely aware of her loose shirt, unbuttoned over a tank top. Of the pulse at her throat and the rise of her breath. “A mundie girl,” he said. She was definitely, definitely not a demon. Her skin was lightly freckled, her eyes green mixed with gold. “And she can see us.”
“Of course I can see you,” she snapped. “I’m not blind.”
Behind Jace, the demon exhaled a hiss. Its glamour was very thin now, and things moved under its skin. It was grinning, probably with amusement at being defended by a mundane.
“Yes, you are,” Jace muttered, retrieving his knife. “You just don’t know it.”
He glanced over at Alec and Isabelle. Killing a demon in front of a mundane, unless there was an immediate threat, was something of a no-no. Mundanes weren’t supposed to know about demons. For one of the first times in his life, Jace found himself at a loss. They couldn’t leave the girl with the Eidolon; it would kill her. If they left the Eidolon alone, it would escape, and kill someone else. If they stayed and killed it, they’d be exposed.
“Knock her out,” Alec muttered, under his breath. “Just...clonk her on the head with something.”
“Just go,” Jace said to the girl. “Get out of here, if you know what’s good for you.”
But she only planted her feet harder. He could see the look in her eyes, like exclamation points: No! No!
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said. “If I do, you’ll kill him.”
Jace had to admit that was true. “What do you care?” He pointed at the demon with his knife. “That’s not a person, little girl. It may look like a person and talk like a person and bleed like a person. But it’s a monster.”
“Jace!” Isabelle’s eyes flashed. They were depthless, black, angry. Isabelle never got angrier than when Jace risked getting himself in trouble or danger. And he was risking both, now. Breaking the Law — talking about Shadowhunter business with mundanes — and what was worse, he was liking it. Something about this girl, her storm cloud of red hair and her snapping green eyes, made him feel as if his veins were filled with gunpowder and she was a match.
As if, if she touched him, he’d burn up. But then, he loved explosions.
Alec was saying something, and then so was the girl, and Jace was staring at both of them. He heard Alec say his name, and then the demon burst free of its bindings.
He saw the red-headed girl trip and fall, and a spike of panic went through him — enough to distract him, and the Eidolon took him down. They rolled across the floor together. Pain sparked across Jace’s skin where the demon’s claws tore. Isabelle flew toward him with her whip; Alec slid in with his blade, and Jace twisted upward, freeing the knife. He plunged it into the shapeshifter’s chest.
He felt glad, then, that the mundie girl had fallen. She wouldn’t be able to see it as the demon’s face melted away, showing the insectile mask underneath, the circle of a dozen red eyes, the dripping fangs. She wouldn’t be frightened.
Jace thrust himself back to get away, stumbling to his feet. He felt Alec beside him, worried, his hands on Jace’s arm. There was blood on Jace’s forearm where the Eidolon’s claws had torn. Alec’s blue eyes were full of panic.
“It’s all right,” Jace murmured. “It’s all right, no stele, not in front of her —”
Alec looked incredulous. “But you’re hurt.”
“I’ll be fine —”
Jace heard a gasp, and whirled to see that Isabelle was standing across from the mundane, her whip wrapped around the girl’s wrist. “Stupid little mundie,” Izzy said. “You could have gotten Jace killed.”
The girl’s eyes flicked toward Jace.
There was no fear in them. The whip clearly hurt, and she was just as clearly shocked and angry. But she wasn’t afraid.
“Let her go,” Jace said, his voice soft. He hadn’t meant to speak softly or gently. The tone took him back years, years and years to a small boy comforting a bird, speaking softly to it, taming it, petting its wings. To a time and moment when gentleness had not been foreign, and love had not been destruction.
To his most treasured memory of home.
There was no reason for him to look at this girl, with her wild red hair and her bright eyes and think of home. But he did.
Isabelle let go, the whip falling away. The girl’s wrist was bleeding, but she refused to look down at it. Alec was saying something about how they should bring her back to the Institute, introduce her to Hodge, but Jace was pacing forward, moving closer to her. He couldn’t help it. He felt as if somehow, if he could just bring her into focus, he would understand what was going on.
His blood was racing. The room was dim, but felt too bright. Alec and Isabelle’s voices were too loud. He spoke, cutting across them: “Have you had dealings with demons, little girl? Walked with warlocks, talked with the Night Children? Have you —”
The girl’s chin went up. Her hands were clenched into fists at her sides. With a holt of surprise, Jace realized how small she was. Tiny. He could have picked her up like a doll. “My name is not little girl,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” Jace said.
He froze. Alec and Isabelle were staring at him. Both of them looked astonished. He didn’t blame them. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d apologized for anything.
Ironically, the girl didn’t seem to have even heard him. The door of the room had swung open with a clang, and light poured in. Someone was standing in the doorway. A tall boy, with dark hair and glasses. Beside him was one of the club’s bouncers.
“Clary?” he said. He was staring into the room, and from the expression on his face, it was clear that he could see the red-headed girl, but not Alec or Isabelle or Jace.
Clary. Of course that was her name. Clary, clarity, Clary sage that folklore said gave mundanes the Sight. A name that sounded like lightness, brightness and seeing. Exactly the right name for a girl who seemed to be able to see anything. To be able to see through anything. To be able to see right through him.
She gave a glance behind her, not at the three of them, but just at Jace. He stood very still as her gaze tracked over him — puzzled, dazzled, amazed. As if, like Hamlet, she looked on something that was wondrous strange to human eyes.
And in her green eyes he thought he saw a flicker of regret as she turned and walked away from them.
* * *
Isabelle laughed as the door shut behind her, and turned on Jace with an incredulous look. “What was that?” she said.
He shrugged, busying himself with sliding his seraph blade back in his belt. “I don’t think she was a mundane with the Sight,” he replied. “If she had been, she would have seen the Shadow World before.”
“Not that,” Isabelle said. “I mean, granted that was super weird and Hodge is going to freak that some mundie girl saw us, but I meant you.”
Jace looked up in surprise. Both Alec and Isabelle looking at him gravely. It was easy to see the resemblance between them in moments like this — they had the same pin-straight dark hair, the same seriousness to their expressions, the same quizzical bone structure. “What about me?”
“‘Have you had dealings with demons’?” Isabelle echoed in what Jace felt was an unsuitably mocking tone. “Was that your version of ‘come here often? What music do you like?’ Because you were totally obsessing over her.”
“Clary was here for about five minutes,” said Jace. “Not enough time for me to form an obsession.”
“Clary? You noticed her name?” Alec’s eyebrows went up. “All right, enough. Come here.” He pulled Jace toward him, baring his injured arm, and reached for his stele.
“We should find her,” Jace said, as Alec began to draw a healing rune. “Like I said, I don’t think she’s a mundane.”
“Well, we can tell Hodge about it,” said Alec, reasonably. “He can let us know what to do.”
“I already know what to do,” Jace said, looking down at the finished healing rune on his arm. Already the wound was closing. “Find her.”
Alec, who had been about to put his stele away, stopped in his tracks. “Why?” He said.
“Because I thought she was a Pisces and I wanted to ask her about it,” said Jace, irritably. “Because! She could see us! That might mean something!”
“Or it might not,” said Alec, looking annoyed.
“What do you two care?” Jace said. “It’ll give me something to do. The devil makes work for idle hands, you know. God knows what mischief I could get up to otherwise.”
“You’re crazy,” Isabelle said to him. “This is crazy. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Jace met her eyes. He couldn’t quite bring himself to meet Alec’s, though Alec was a sure, steady and beloved presence at his side. He looked at Izzy instead — Izzy, who had wildness in her soul, who chased oblivion with Downworlders, who kept her secrets but who, Jace felt, knew — just as he did — exactly the attraction of doing things that didn’t make sense.
She smiled. It was one of Izzy’s rare smiles, the ones she usually tried to hide. “Look at you,” she said. “It’s like you’re awake.”
“I wasn’t sleeping,” Jace said.
“If he were asleep, you’d know,” said Alec. “He snores.”
But Isabelle just gave another small smile. “Maybe,” she said. Alec had come to stand on Jace’s other side, clearly eager to be gone.
“Let’s head out,” Alec said, and as they went through the heavy door, Jace looked back once, over his shoulder, to where she had stood among the tangled wires. Clary, the girl with the red hair. Where she had stood, and seen him. Not just through his glamour, but through the armor he had put up, too, through the pretense and the talk: she’d looked at him, and she’d been curious and not afraid.
As he went back out into the music and the noise and heat, he closed his eyes once, and remembered a bird, flying free against blue sky.
New York map
- A map of New York, 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.
Official Clave Files
- The official Clave files on most of the main characters—such as Jace, Clary, Alec, Magnus, Raphael, and Church—featured in City of Bones. It specifies their birthdays, scars, Marks, and the Clave's analysis of their personalities. It was included as the special content in the 10 year anniversary edition of the book.
City of Ashes
- source: Cassandra Clare's website
- The story of Malec's first kiss, and how Alec asked Magnus out on a date.
- It was printed on thin paper, nearly parchment, in a thin, elegant, spidery hand. It announced a gathering at the humble home of Magnus the Magnificent Warlock, and promised attendees "a rapturous evening of delights beyond your wildest imaginings."
- — City of Bones
Standing in the stairwell of Magnus’ home, Alec stared at the name written under the buzzer on the wall. BANE. The name didn’t really seem to suit Magnus, he thought, not now that he knew him. If you could really be said to know someone when you’d attended one of their parties, once, and then they’d saved your life later but hadn’t really hung around to be thanked. But the name Magnus Bane made him think of a towering sort of figure, with huge shoulders and formal purple warlock’s robes, calling down fire and lightning. Not Magnus himself, who was more of a cross between a panther and a demented elf.
Alec took a deep breath and let it out. Well, he’d come this far; he might as well go on. The bare lightbulb hanging overhead cast sweeping shadows as he reached forward and pressed the buzzer.
A moment later a voice echoed through the stairwell. “WHO CALLS UPON THE HIGH WARLOCK?”
“Er,” Alec said. “It’s me. I mean, Alec. Alec Lightwood.”
There was a sort of silence, as if even the hallway itself were surprised. Then a ping, and the second door opened, letting him out onto the stairwell. He headed up the rickety stairs into the darkness, which smelled like pizza and dust. The second floor landing was bright, the door at the far end open. Magnus Bane was leaning in the entryway.
Compared to the first time Alec has seen him, he looked fairly normal. His black hair still stood up in spikes, and he looked sleepy; his face, even with its cat’s eyes, very young. He wore a black t-shirt with the words ONE MILLION DOLLARS picked out across the chest in sequins, and jeans that hung low on his hips, low enough that Alec looked away, down at his own shoes. Which were boring.
“Alexander Lightwood,” said Magnus. He had just the faintest trace of an accent, something Alec couldn’t put his finger on, a lilt to his vowels. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
Alec looked past Magnus. “Do you have — company?”
Magnus crossed his arms, which did good things for his biceps, and leaned against the side of the door. “Why do you want to know?”
“I was hoping I could come in and talk to you.”
“Hmmm.” Magnus’ eyes raked him up and down. They really did shine in the dark, like a cat’s. “Well, all right then.” He turned abruptly away and disappeared into the apartment; after a startled moment, Alec followed.
The loft looked different without a hundred churning bodies in it. It was — well, not ordinary, but the sort of space someone might live in. Like most lofts, it had a big central room split into “rooms” by groupings of furniture. There was a square collection of sofas and tables off to the right, which Magnus gestured Alec toward. Alec sat down on a gold velvet sofa with elegant wooden curlicues on the arms.
“Would you like some tea?” Magnus asked. He wasn’t sitting in a chair, but had sprawled himself on a tufted ottoman, his long legs stretched out in front of him.
Alec nodded. He felt incapable of saying anything. Anything interesting or intelligent, that was. It was always Jace who said the interesting, intelligent things. He was Jace’s parabatai and that was all the glory he needed or wanted: like being the dark star to someone else’s supernova. But this was somewhere Jace couldn’t go with him, something Jace couldn’t help him with. “Sure.”
His right hand felt suddenly hot. He looked down, and realized he was holding a waxed paper cup from Joe, the Art of Coffee. It smelled like chai. He jumped, and only barely escaped spilling on himself. “By the Angel —”
“I LOVE that expression,” said Magnus. “It’s so quaint.”
Alec stared at him. “Did you steal this tea?”
Magnus ignored the question. “So,” he said. “Why are you here?”
Alec took a gulp of the stolen tea. “I wanted to thank you,” he said, when he came up for air. “For saving my life.”
Magnus leaned back on his hands. His t-shirt rode up over his flat stomach, and this time Alec had nowhere else to look. “You wanted to thank me.”
“You saved my life,” Alec said, again. “But I was delirious, and I don’t think I really thanked you. I know you didn’t have to do it. So thank you.”
Magnus’ eyebrows had disappeared up into his hairline. “You’re . . .welcome?”
Alec set his tea down. “Maybe I should go.”
Magnus sat up. “After you came so far? All the way to Brooklyn? Just to thank me?” He was grinning. “Now that would be a wasted effort.” He reached out and put his hand to Alec’s cheek, his thumb brushing along the cheekbone. His touch felt like fire, training tendrils of sparks in its wake. Alec sat frozen in surprise — surprise at the gesture, and surprise at the effect it was having on him. Magnus’ eyes narrowed, and he dropped his hand. “Huh,” he said to himself.
“What?” Alec was suddenly very worried that he’d done something wrong. “What is it?”
“You’re just . . .” A shadow moved behind Magnus; with fluid agility, the warlock twisted around and picked up a small gray and white tabby cat from the floor. The cat curled into the crook of his arm and looked at Alec with suspicion. Now two pairs of gold-green eyes were trained on him darkly. “Not what I expected.”
“From a Shadowhunter?”
“From a Lightwood.”
“I didn’t realize you knew my family that well.”
“I’ve known your family for hundreds of years.” Magnus’ eyes searched his face. “Now your sister, she’s a Lightwood. You—’
“She said you liked me.”
“Izzy. My sister. She told me you liked me. Liked me, liked me.”
“Liked you, liked you?” Magnus buried his grin in the cat’s fur. “Sorry. Are we twelve now? I don’t recall saying anything to Isabelle . . .”
“Jace said it too.” Alec was blunt; it was the only way he knew how to be. “That you liked me. That when he buzzed up here, you thought he was me and you were disappointed that it was him. That never happens.”
“Doesn’t it? Well, it should.”
Alec was startled. “No — I mean Jace, he’s . . . Jace.”
“He’s trouble,” said Magnus. “But you are totally without guile. Which in a Lightwood, is a conundrum. You’ve always been a plotting sort of family, like low-rent Borgias. But there isn’t a lie in your face. I get the feeling everything you say is straightforward.”
Alec leaned forward. “Do you want to go out with me?”
Magnus blinked. “See, that’s what I mean. Straightforward.”
Alec chewed his lip and said nothing.
“Why do you want to go out with me?” Magnus inquired. He was rubbing Chairman Meow’s head, his long fingers folding the cat’s ears down. “Not that I’m not highly desirable, but the way you asked, it seemed as if you were having some sort of fit —”
“I just do,” Alec said. “And I thought you liked me, so you’d say yes, and I could try — I mean, we could try —” He put his face in his hands. “Maybe this was a mistake.”
Magnus’ voice was gentle. “Does anyone know you’re gay?”
Alec’s head jerked up; he found he was breathing a little hard, as if he’d run a race. But what could he do, deny it? When he’d come here to do exactly the opposite? “Clary,” he said, hoarsely. “Which is . . . Which was an accident. And Izzy, but she’d never say anything.”
“Not your parents. Not Jace?”
Alec thought about Jace knowing, and pushed the thought away, hard and fast. “No. No, and I don’t want them to know, especially Jace.”
“I think you could tell him.” Magnus rubbed Chairman Meow under the chin. “He went to pieces like a jigsaw puzzle when he thought you were going to die. He cares —”
“I’d rather not.” Alec was still breathing quickly. He rubbed at the knees of his jeans with his fists. “I’ve never had a date,” he said in a low voice. “Never kissed anyone. Not ever. Izzy said you liked me and I thought —”
“I’m not unsympathetic. But do you like me? Because this being gay business doesn’t mean you can just throw yourself at any guy and it’ll be fine because he’s not a girl. There are still people you like and people you don’t.”
Alec thought of his bedroom back at the Institute, of being in a delirium of pain and poison when Magnus had come in. He had barely recognized him. He was fairly sure he’d been screaming for his parents, for Jace, for Izzy, but his voice would only come out on a whisper. He remembered Magnus’ hands on him, his fingers cool and gentle. He remembered the death-grip he’d kept on Magnus’ wrist, for hours and hours, even after the pain had passed and he knew he would be all right. He remembered watching Magnus’ face in the light of the rising sun, the gold of sunrise sparking gold out of his eyes, and thinking how oddly beautiful he was, with his cat’s gaze and grace.
“Yes,” Alec said. “I like you.”
He met Magnus’ gaze squarely. The warlock was looking at him with a sort of admixture of curiosity and affection and puzzlement. “It’s so odd,” Magnus said. “Genetics. Your eyes, that color —” He stopped and shook his head.
“The Lightwoods you knew didn’t have blue eyes?”
“Green-eyed monsters,” said Magnus, and grinned. He deposited Chairman Meow on the ground, and the cat moved over to Alec, and rubbed against his leg. “The Chairman likes you.”
“Is that good?”
“I never date anyone my cat doesn’t like,” Magnus said easily, and stood up. “So let’s say Friday night?”
A great wave of relief came over Alec. “Really? You want to go out with me?”
Magnus shook his head. “You have to stop playing hard to get, Alexander. It makes things difficult.” He grinned. He had a grin like Jace’s — not that they looked anything alike, but the sort of grin that lit up his whole face. “Come on, I’ll walk you out.”
Alec drifted after Magnus toward the front door, feeling as if a weight had been taken off his shoulders, one he hadn’t even known he was carrying. Of course he’d have to come up with an excuse for where he was going Friday night, something Jace wouldn’t want to participate in, something he’d need to do alone. Or he could pretend to be sick and sneak out. He was so lost in thought he almost banged into the front door, which Magnus was leaning against, looking at him through eyes narrowed to crescents.
“What is it?” Alec said.
“Never kissed anyone?” Magnus said. “No one at all?”
“No,” said Alec, hoping this didn’t disqualify him from being datable. “Not a real kiss —”
“Come here.” Magnus took him by the elbows and pulled him close. For a moment Alec was entirely disoriented by the feeling of being so close to someone else, to the kind of person he’d wanted to be close to for so long. Magnus was long and lean but not skinny; his body was hard, his arms lightly muscled but strong; he was an inch or so taller than Alec, which hardly ever happened, and they fit together perfectly. Magnus’ finger was under his chin, tilting his face up, and then they were kissing. Alec heard a small hitching gasp come from his own throat and then their mouths were pressed together with a sort of controlled urgency. Magnus, Alec thought dazedly, really knew what he was doing. His lips were soft, and he parted Alec’s expertly, exploring his mouth: a symphony of lips, teeth, tongue, every movement waking up a nerve ending Alec had never known he had.
He found Magnus’ waist with his fingers, touching the strip of bare skin he’d been trying to avoid looking at before, and slid his hands up under Magnus’ shirt. Magnus jerked with surprise, then relaxed, his hands running down Alec’s arms, over his chest, his waist, finding the belt loops on Alec’s jeans and using them to pull him closer. His mouth left Alec’s and Alec felt the hot pressure of his lips on his throat, where the skin was so sensitive that it seemed directly connected to the bones in his legs, which were about to give out. Just before he slid to the floor, Magnus let him go. His eyes were shining and so was his mouth.
“Now you’ve been kissed,” he said, reached behind him, and yanked the door open. “See you Friday?”
Alec cleared his throat. He felt dizzy, but he also felt alive — blood rushing through his veins like traffic at top speed, everything seemingly almost too brightly colored. As he stepped through the door, he turned and looked at Magnus, who was watching him bemusedly. He reached forward and took hold of the front of Magnus’ t-shirt and dragged the warlock toward him. Magnus stumbled against him, and Alec kissed him, hard and fast and messy and unpracticed, but with everything he had. He pulled Magnus against him, his own hand between them, and felt Magnus’ heart stutter in his chest.
He broke off the kiss, and drew back.
“Friday,” he said, and let Magnus go. He backed away, down the landing, Magnus looking after him. The warlock crossed his arms over his shirt — wrinkled where Alec had grabbed it — and shook his head, grinning.
“Lightwoods,” Magnus said. “They always have to have the last word.”
He shut the door behind him, and Alec ran down the steps, taking them two at a time, his blood still singing in his ears like music.
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- "Interestingly, This was in the original version of City of Ashes. It got cut out, actually, of the final version since my editor didn't think it was necessary info."
"The Seelie Court?" Clary broke into their banter, confused. "What's that?"
It was Magnus who answered. "The faerie world is broken into a series of local warring courts, usually a Seelie and Unseelie Court, or a Bright and Night Court. In theory members of the Seelie Court are kinder, but I'm not sure that's substantiated in fact. The saying goes that while it's best not to offend a member of the Seelie Court, you don't even have to try to offend the Unseelie Court. They start out unfriendly."
Because It Is Bitter
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- The scene that takes place during pages 170-174 in City of Ashes, in the chapter The Seelie Court, here from Jace’s point of view. I (Cassandra Clare) even gave it a name — "Because It Is Bitter." Because boy, is Jace bitter here.
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart." — Stephen Crane
“I know that I will not leave my sister here in your Court,” said Jace, “and since there is nothing to be learned from either her or myself, perhaps you could do us the favor of releasing her?”
The Queen smiled. It was a beautiful, terrible smile. The Queen was a lovely woman; she had that inhuman loveliness that faeries did, that was more like the loveliness of hard crystal than the beauty of a human. The Queen did not look any particular age: she could have been sixteen or forty-five. Jace supposed there were those who would have found her attractive — people had died for love of the Queen — but she gave him a cold feeling in his chest, as if he’d swallowed ice water too fast. “What if I told you she could be freed by a kiss?”
It was Clary who replied, bewildered: “You want Jace to kiss you?”
As the Queen and Court laughed, the icy feeling in Jace’s chest intensified. Clary didn’t understand faeries, he thought. He’d tried to explain, but there was no explaining, not really. Whatever the Queen wanted from them, it wasn’t a kiss from him; she could have demanded that without all this show and nonsense. What she wanted was to see them pinned and struggling like butterflies. It was something immortality did to you, he’d often thought: dulled your senses, your emotions; the sharp, uncontrollable, pitiable responses of human beings were to faeries like fresh blood to a vampire. Something living. Something they didn’t have themselves.
“Despite his charms,” the Queen said, flicking a glance toward Jace — her eyes were green, like Clary’s, but not like Clary’s at all — “that kiss will not free the girl.”
“I could kiss Meliorn,” suggested Isabelle, shrugging.
The Queen shook her head slowly. “Nor that. Nor any one of my Court.”
Isabelle threw up her hands; Jace wanted to ask her what she’d expected — kissing Meliorn wouldn’t have bothered her, so obviously the Queen wouldn’t care about it. He supposed it had been nice of her to offer, but Iz, at least, ought to know better. She’d had dealings with faeries before.
Maybe it wasn’t just knowing the way the Fair Folk thought, Jace wondered. Maybe it was knowing how people who enjoyed cruelty for the sake of cruelty thought. Isabelle was thoughtless, and sometimes vain, but she wasn’t cruel. She tossed her dark hair back and scowled. “I’m not kissing any of you,” she said firmly. “Just so it’s official.”
“That hardly seems necessary,” said Simon, stepped forward. “If a kiss is all . . .”
He took a step toward Clary, who didn’t move away. The ice in Jace’s chest turned into liquid fire; he clenched his hands at his sides as Simon took Clary gently by the arms and looked down into her face. She rested her hands on Simon’s waist, as if she’d done it a million times before. Maybe she had, for all he knew. He knew Simon loved her; he’d known it since he’d seen them together in that stupid coffee shop, the other boy practically choking on getting the words “I love you” out of his mouth while Clary looked around the room, restlessly alive, her green eyes darting everywhere. She’s not interested in you, mundane boy, he’d thought with satisfaction. Get lost. And then been surprised he’d thought it. What difference did it make to him what this girl he barely knew thought?
That seemed like a lifetime ago. She wasn’t some girl he barely knew anymore: she was Clary. She was the one thing in his life that mattered more than anything else, and watching Simon put his hands on her, wherever he wanted to, made him feel at once sick and faint and murderously angry. The urge to stalk up and rip the two of them apart was so strong he could barely breathe.
Clary glanced back at him, her red hair slipping over her shoulder. She looked concerned, which was bad enough. He couldn’t stand the thought that she might feel sorry for him. He looked away fast, and caught the eye of the Seelie Queen, glimmering with delight: now this was what she was after. Their pain, their agony.
“No,” said the Queen, to Simon, in a voice like the soft slice of a knife. “That is not what I want either.”
Simon stepped away from Clary, reluctantly. Relief pounded through Jace’s veins like blood, drowning out what his friends were saying. For a moment all he cared about was that he wasn’t going to have to watch Clary kiss Simon. Then Clary seemed to swim into focus: she was very pale, and he couldn’t help wondering what she was thinking. Was she disappointed not to be kissed by Simon? Relieved as he was? He thought of Simon kissing her hand earlier that day and shoved the memory away viciously, still staring at his sister. Look up, he thought. Look at me. If you love me, you’ll look at me.
She crossed her arms over her chest, the way she did when she was cold or upset. But she didn’t look up. The conversation went on around them: who was going to kiss who, what was going to happen. Hopeless rage rose up in Jace’s chest, and as usual, found its escape in a sarcastic comment.
“Well, I’m not kissing the mundane,” he said. “I’d rather stay down here and rot.”
“Forever?” said Simon. His eyes were big and dark and serious. “Forever’s an awfully long time.”
Jace looked back at those eyes. Simon was probably a good person, he thought. He loved Clary and he wanted to take care of her and make her happy. He’d probably make a spectacular boyfriend. Logically, Jace knew, it was exactly what he ought to want for his sister. But he couldn’t look at Simon without wanting to kill someone. “I knew it,” he said nastily. “You want to kiss me, don’t you?”
“Of course not. But if—”
“I guess it’s true what they say. There are no straight men in the trenches.” “That’s atheists, jackass.” Simon was bright red. “There are no atheists in the trenches.”
It was the Queen who interrupted them, leaning forward so that her white neck and breasts were displayed above the neckline of her low-cut gown. “While this is all very amusing, the kiss that will free the girl is the kiss that she most desires,” she said. “Only that and nothing more.”
Simon went from red to white. If the kiss that Clary most desired wasn’t Simon’s, then . . .the way she was looking at Jace, from Jace to Clary, answered that.
Jace’s heart started to pound. He met the Queen’s eyes with his own. “Why are you doing this?”
“I rather thought I was offering you a boon,” she said. “Desire is not always lessened by disgust. Nor can it be bestowed, like a favor, to those most deserving of it. And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire your kiss, she won’t be free.”
Jace felt blood flood into his face. He was vaguely aware of Simon arguing that Jace and Clary were brother and sister, that it wasn’t right, but he ignored him. The Seelie Queen was looking at him, and her eyes were like the sea before a deadly storm, and he wanted to say thank you. Thank you.
And that was the most dangerous thing of all, he thought, as around him his companions argued about whether Clary and Jace had to do this, or what any of them would be willing to do to escape the Court. To allow the Queen to give you something you wanted — truly, truly wanted — was to put yourself in her power. How had she looked at him and known, he wondered? That this was what he thought about, wanted, woke from dreams of, gasping and sweating? That when he thought, really thought, about the fact that he might never get to kiss Clary again, he wanted to die or hurt or bleed so badly he’d go up to the attic and train alone for hours until he was so exhausted he had no choice but to pass out, exhausted. He’d have bruises in the morning, bruises and cuts and scraped skin and if he could have named all his injuries they would have had the same name: Clary, Clary, Clary.
Simon was still talking, saying something, angry again. “You don’t have to do this, Clary, it’s a trick—”
“Not a trick,” said Jace. The calmness in his own voice surprised him. “A test.” He looked at Clary. She was biting her lip, her hand wound in a curl of her hair; the gestures so characteristic, so very much a part of her, they shattered his heart. Simon was arguing with Isabelle now as the Seelie Queen lounged back and watched them like a sleek, amused cat.
Isabelle sounded exasperated. ‘Who cares, anyway? It’s just a kiss.”
“That’s right,” Jace said.
Clary looked up, then finally, and her wide green eyes rested on him. He moved toward her, and as it always did, the rest of the world fell away until it was just them, as if they stood on a spotlighted stage in an empty auditorium. He put his hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him. She had stopped biting her lip, and her cheeks were flushed, her eyes a brilliant green. He could feel the tension in his own body, the effort of holding back, of not pulling her against him and taking this once chance, however dangerous and stupid and unwise, and kissing her the way he had thought he would never, in his life, be able to kiss her again.
“It’s just a kiss,” he said, and heard the roughness in his own voice, and wondered if she heard it, too. Not that it mattered—there was no way to hide it. It was too much. He had never wanted like this before. There had always been girls. He had asked himself, in the dead of night, staring at the blank walls of his room, what made Clary so different. She was beautiful, but other girls were beautiful. She was smart, but there were other smart girls. She understood him, laughed when he laughed, saw through the defenses he put up to what was underneath. There was no Jace Wayland more real than the one he saw in her eyes when she looked at him.
But still, maybe, he could find all that somewhere else. People fell in love, and lost, and moved on. He didn’t know why he couldn’t. He didn’t know why he didn’t even want to. All he knew was that whatever he had to owe to Hell or Heaven for this chance, he was going to make it count.
He reached down and took her hands, winding his fingers with hers, and whispered in her ear. “You can close your eyes and think of England, if you like,” he said.
Her eyes fluttered shut, her lashes coppery lines against her pale, fragile skin. “I’ve never even been to England,” she said, and the softness, the anxiety in her voice almost undid him. He had never kissed a girl without knowing she wanted it too, usually more than he did, and this was Clary, and he didn’t know what she wanted. He slid his hands up hers, over the sleeves of her damply clinging shirt, to her shoulders. Her eyes were still closed, but she shivered, and leaned into him — barely, but it was permission enough.
His mouth came down on hers. And that was it. All the self-control he’d exerted over the past weeks went, like water crashing through a broken dam. Her arms came up around his neck and he pulled her against him, and she was soft and pliant but surprisingly strong like no one else he’d ever held. His hands flattened against her back, pressing her against him, and she was up on the tips of her toes, kissing him as fiercely as he was kissing her. He flicked his tongue along her lips, opening her mouth under his, and she tasted salty and sweet like faerie water. He clung to her more tightly, knotting his hands in her hair, trying to tell her, with the press of his mouth on hers, all the things he could never say out loud: I love you; I love you and I don’t care that you’re my sister; don’t be with him, don’t want him, don’t go with him. Be with me. Want me. Stay with me. I don’t know how to be without you.
His hands slid down to her waist, and he was pulling her against him, lost in the sensations that spiraled through his nerves and blood and bones, and he had no idea what he would have done or said next, if it would have been something he could never have pretended away or taken back, but he heard a soft hiss of laughter — the Faerie Queen — in his ears, and it jolted him back to reality. He pulled away from Clary before it was too late, unlocking her hands from around his neck and stepping back. It felt like cutting his own skin open, but he did it.
Clary was staring at him. Her lips were parted, her hands still open. Her eyes were wide. Behind her, Isabelle was gaping at them; Simon looked as if he was about to throw up.
She’s my sister, Jace thought. My sister. But the words meant nothing. They might as well have been in a foreign language. If there had ever been any hope that he could have come to think of Clary as just his sister, this — what had just happened between them — had exploded it into a thousand pieces like a meteorite blasting into the surface of the earth. He tried to read Clary’s face — did she feel the same? She looked as if she wanted nothing more than to turn around and run away. I know you felt it, he said to her with his eyes, and it was half bitter triumph and half pleading. I know you felt it, too. But there was no answer on her face; she wrapped her arms around herself, the way she always did when she was upset, and hugged herself as if she were cold. She glanced away from him.
Jace felt as if his heart was being squeezed by a fist. He whirled on the Queen. “Was that good enough?” he demanded. “Did that entertain you?”
The Queen gave him a look: special and secretive and shared between the two of them. You warned her about us, the look seemed to say. That we would hurt her, break her as you might break a twig between your fingers. But you, who thought you could not be touched — you are the one who has been broken. “We are quite entertained,” she said. “But not, I think, so much as the both of you.”
From Chapter 14
- source: CoA "Deleted Scenes" on the website
- CC's note: This scene was in the ARC for Ashes but was later deleted. It's a good scene for Isabelle, I think, but wasn't really necessary to the story. It begins at exactly the top of page 288 in the hardback US edition of City of Ashes.
"How convenient. Everyone's either unconscious or apparently delirious," said the Inquisitor. Her knife-like voice cut through the room, silencing everyone. "Downworlder, you know perfectly well that Jonathan Morgenstern should not be in your house. He should have been locked up in the warlock's care."
"I have a name, you know," Magnus said. "Not," he added, seeming to have thought twice about interrupting the Inquisitor, "that that matters, really. In fact, forget all about it."
"I know your name, Magnus Bane," said the Inquisitor. "And quite a bit more about you, besides. You were raised by the Silent Brothers of Madrid in the seventeenth century. They named you and turned you out on the world when you were sixteen. I know the things you've done, things you'd rather stayed hidden. It took you this long to build up your reputation; a word from me could tear it down again. So consider very, very carefully, if you wish to remain involved in this situation. You've failed in your duty once; you won't get another chance."
"Failed in my duty?" Magnus frowned. "Just by bringing the boy here? There was nothing in the contract I signed that said I couldn't bring him with me at my own discretion."
"That wasn't your failure," the Inquisitor said. "Letting him see his father last night, now that was your failure."
There was a stunned silence. Alec scrambled up off the floor, his eyes seeking out Jace's -- but Jace wouldn't look at him. His face was a mask.
Luke spoke first. "That's ridiculous," he said. Clary had rarely seen him look so angry. "Jace doesn't even know where Valentine is. Stop hounding him."
"Hounding is what I do, Downworlder," said the Inquisitor. "It's my job." She turned to Jace. "Tell the truth, now, boy," she said, "and it will all be much easier."
Jace raised his chin. "I don't have to tell you anything."
"Really?" The Inquisitor's words were like the flick of a whip. "If you're innocent, why not exonerate yourself? Tell us where you really were last night. Tell us about Valentine's little pleasure boat."
Clary stared at him. She could read nothing in his face. I went for a walk, he'd said. But that didn't mean anything. Maybe he really had gone for a walk. But her heart, her stomach, felt sick. You know what the worst thing I can imagine is? Simon had said. Not trusting the person you love more than anything else in the world.
When Jace didn't speak, Robert Lightwood said, in his deep bass voice: "Imogen? You're saying Valentine is -- was -- on a boat?"
"In the middle of the East River," said the Inquisitor. "That's correct."
"That's why I couldn't find him," Magnus said, half to himself. He still looked stunned. "All that water -- it disrupted my spell."
"But how would Jace even have gotten there?" Luke said, bewildered.
"Shadowhunters are good swimmers, but the river water is freezing -- and filthy --"
"He flew," said the Inquisitor. "He borrowed a motorcycle from the head of the city's vampire clan and he flew it to the boat. Isn't that right, Jonathan?"
Jace had dropped his hands to his sides; they were clenched into fists. "My name is Jace."
"There is no Jace. Jace is a ghost, a construct you and your father invented to fool the Lightwoods into loving you. You're your father's son and you always have been."
The Inquisitor turned to Isabelle. "Go around the side of this house," she said. "You'll find a narrow garbage alley. There's something blocking the far end, something covered with a tarp. Come back and tell us what it is."
"Izzy." Jace's thinned with strain. "You don't have to do what she tells you to."
Isabelle's dark eyes were snapping like firecrackers. "I want to. I want to prove to her that she's wrong about you." She spoke as if the Inquisitor wasn't there as she rose to her feet. "I'll be right back."
But she was gone, the door falling softly shut behind her. Luke went over to Jace and tried to put a hand on his shoulder, but Jace shook him off and went to stand by the wall. The Inquisitor was looking at him greedily, as if she meant to drink every drop of his misery like wine. Vicious bitch, Clary thought. Why is she torturing him like this?
Because she's right. The answer came as if another voice, a treacherous voice, were speaking inside her head without her desire or permission. He did exactly what she said he did, look at his face.
But Jace's face was a blank, his eyes all that lived behind the smooth, unruffled façade. Maybe this was all part of some plan of his to discredit the Inquisitor. Though she didn't look as if she feared discrediting, she looked --
The front door flew open with a bang and Isabelle marched back into the room, her black hair whipping around her face. She looked from the Inquisitor's expectant face to her parents' worried ones, from Jace's set jaw to Alec's furious scowl, and said, "I don't know what she's talking about. I didn't find anything."
The Inquisitor's head whipped back like a king cobra's. "You liar!"
"Be careful what you call my daughter, Imogen," said Maryse. Her voice was calm but her eyes were blue fire.
The Inquisitor ignored her. "Isabelle," she said, lightening her tone with an obvious effort, "your loyalty to your friend is understandable --"
"He's not my friend." Isabelle looked over at Jace, who was staring at her in a sort of daze. "He's my brother."
"No," said the Inquisitor, in a tone that was almost pitying, "he's not." She sighed. "You do realize what a serious breach of the Law denying information to an officer of the Clave is?"
Isabelle lifted her chin, her eyes blazing. In that moment she looked like nothing more than a smaller copy of her mother. "Of course I realize it. I'm not stupid."
"Christ, Imogen," Luke snapped, "do you honestly have nothing better to do than bully a bunch of children? Isabelle told you she didn't see anything; now leave it."
"Children?" The Inquisitor turned her icicle gaze on Luke. "Just as you were children when the Circle plotted the destruction of the Clave? Just as my son was a child when he --" She caught herself with a sort of gasp, as if gaining control of herself by main force.
"So this is about Stephen after all," said Luke, with a sort of pity in his voice. "Imogen--"
The Inquisitor's face contorted. "This is not about Stephen! This is about the Law!" She turned on Isabelle, who shrank back, startled at the fury on the older woman's face. "By defying me, you break the Law, Isabelle Lightwood! I could have you stripped of your Marks for this!"
Isabelle had recovered her composure. "You can take your Law," she said in a measured tone, "and shove it right up your--"
"She's lying." The words were spoken flatly, almost without affect. It Clary a moment just to realize that it was Jace speaking; he moved to stand in front of the Inquisitor, partly blocking Isabelle from her view. "You're right. I did everything you said I did. I took the cycle, I went to the river, I saw my father, and I came back and stashed the bike in the alley. I admit to all of it. Now leave Isabelle alone."
City of Glass
A Dark Transformation / Becoming Sebastian
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- Becoming Sebastian: An outtake from City of Glass. A short story about how Jonathan Morgenstern took over the identity of Sebastian Verlac. This is available from Walmart's special edition of City of Lost Souls.
It was a very small bar on a narrow sloping street in a walled town full of shadows. Jonathan Morgenstern had been sitting at the bar for at least a quarter of an hour, finishing a leisurely drink, before he got to his feet and slipped down the long, rickety flight of wooden stairs to the club. The sound of the music seemed to be trying to push its way up through the steps as he made his way downward: he could feel the wood vibrating under his feet.
The place was filled with writhing bodies and obscuring smoke. It was the kind of place demons prowled. That made it the kind of place that demon hunters frequented.
And an ideal location for someone who was hunting a demon hunter.
Colored smoke drifted through the air, smelling vaguely acidic. There were long mirrors all along the walls of the club. He could see himself as he moved across the room. A slender figure in black, with his father’s hair, white as snow. It was humid down here in the club, airless and hot, and his T-shirt was stuck to his back with sweat. A silver ring glittered on his right hand as he scanned the room for his prey.
There he was, at the bar, as if he was trying to blend in with the mundanes.
A boy. Maybe seventeen.
Jonathan ordinarily had little interest in anyone his own age — if there was anything duller than adults, it was other adolescents — but Sebastian Verlac was different. Jonathan had chosen him carefully and specifically, the way one might choose an expensive and custom-tailored suit.
Jonathan strolled over to him, taking his time and taking the boy’s measure. He had seen photographs, of course, but people always looked different in person. Sebastian was tall, the same height as Jonathan himself, and had the same slender build. His clothes looked like they would fit Jonathan perfectly. His hair was dark — Jonathan would have to dye his own, which was annoying, but not impossible. His eyes were black too, and his features, though irregular, came together pleasingly: he had a friendly charisma that was attractive. He looked like it was easy for him to trust, easy to smile.
He looked like a fool.
Jonathan came up to the bar and leaned against it. He turned his head, allowing the other boy to recognize that he could see him. “Bonjour.”
“Hello,” Sebastian replied, in English, the language of Idris, though his was tinged faintly with a French accent. His eyes were narrow. He looked very startled to be seen at all, and as if he was wondering what Jonathan might be: fellow Shadowhunter, or a warlock with a sign that didn’t show?
Something wicked this way comes, Jonathan thought. And you don’t even know it.
“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” he suggested, and smiled. He could see himself smiling in the grimy mirror over the bar. He knew the way it lit up his face, made him almost irresistible. His father had trained him for years to smile like that, like a human being.
Sebastian’s hand tightened on the edge of the bar. “I don’t…”
Jonathan smiled wider and turned his right hand over to show the Voyance rune on the back of it. The breath went out of Sebastian in relief and he beamed with the delighted recognition, as if any Shadowhunter was a comrade or a potential friend.
“Are you on your way to Idris, too?” Jonathan asked. He kept his tone professional, as if he was in regular touch with the Clave. Another dedicated Shadowhunter protecting the innocent. Can’t get enough of that!
“I am,” Sebastian replied. “Representing the Paris Institute. I’m Sebastian Verlac, by the way.”
“Ah, a Verlac. A fine old family.” Jonathan accepted his hand and shook it firmly. “Andrew Blackthorn,” he said easily. “The Los Angeles Institute, originally, but I’ve been studying in Rome. I thought I’d come overland to Alicante. See the sights.”
He’d researched the Blackthorns, a large family, and knew they and the Verlacs had not been in the same city for ten years. He was certain he would have no problem answering to an assumed name: he never did. He had never felt particularly attached to his real name, perhaps because he had always known that it was not his name alone.
The other Jonathan had been raised in a house not far from his, visited by his father. Daddy’s little angel.
“Haven’t seen another Shadowhunter in ages,” Sebastian continued. He had been talking, but Jonathan had forgotten to pay attention to him. “Funny to run into you here. My lucky day.”
“Must be,” Jonathan murmured. “Though not entirely chance, of course. I assume you’ve heard the reports of an Eluthied demon lurking about this place?”
Sebastian smiled and took a last swallow from his glass, setting it down on the bar. “After we kill the thing, we should have a celebratory drink.”
Jonathan nodded and tried to look as if he was very focused on searching the room for demons. They stood shoulder to shoulder, like brother warriors. It was so easy it was almost boring: all he’d had to do was show up, and here was Sebastian Verlac like a lamb pushing its throat on a blade. Who trusted other people like that? Wanted to be their friend so easily?
He had never played nicely with others. Of course, he had not ever been given the opportunity; his father had kept him and the other Jonathan apart. A child with demon blood and a child with angel blood: raise both boys as yours and see who would make daddy proud.
The other boy had failed a test when he was younger and been sent away. Jonathan knew that much. He had passed every test their father had ever set for him. Maybe he had passed them a little too well, too flawlessly, unfazed by the isolation chamber and the animals, the whip or the hunt. Jonathan had discerned a shadow in Father’s eyes now and then, one that was either grief or doubt.
Though what did he have to grieve over? Why should he doubt? Was Jonathan not the perfect warrior? Was he not everything his father had created him to be?
Human beings were so puzzling.
Jonathan had never liked the idea of the other Jonathan, of Father having another boy, one who made Father smile sometimes without a shadow in his eyes.
Jonathan had once cut one of his practice dummies off at the knees, and spent a pleasant day strangling it, disemboweling it, and slitting it from neck to navel. When his father had asked why he’d cut off part of the legs, Jonathan had told him that he wanted to see what it was like to kill a boy who was just his own size.
“I forget, you’ll have to excuse me,” said Sebastian, who was turning out to be annoyingly chatty. “How many are there in your family?”
“Oh, we’re a big one,” Jonathan replied. “Eight in total. I have four brothers and three sisters.”
The Blackthorns really were eight: Jonathan’s research had been thorough. He couldn’t imagine what that would be like — so many people, such untidiness. Jonathan had a blood sister too, although they had never met.
Father had told him about his mother running off when Jonathan was a baby. She’d been pregnant again, inexplicably weepy and miserable because she had some sort of objection to her child being improved. But she’d run away too late: Father had already seen to it that Clarissa would have angelic powers.
Only a few weeks ago, Father had met Clarissa for the first time, and on their second encounter Clarissa had proven she knew how to use her powers. She had sent Father’s ship to the bottom of the ocean.
Once he and Father had taken down and transformed the Shadowhunters, laid waste to their pride and their city, Father said that Mother, the other Jonathan and Clarissa would be coming to live with them.
Jonathan despised his Mother for running away. And his only interest in the other Jonathan was to prove how superior he was: Father’s real son, by blood, and with the strength of demons and chaos in that blood as well.
But he was interested in Clarissa.
Clarissa had never chosen to leave him. She had been taken away and forced to grow up in the midst of mundanes, of all disgusting things. She must have always known she was made of different stuff from everyone around her, meant for utterly different things, with power and strangeness crackling beneath her skin.
She must have felt there was no other creature like her in all the world.
She had an angel in her like the other Jonathan, not the infernal blood that ran through his own veins. He was very much his father’s son made stronger, tempered by the fires of Hell. Clarissa was Father’s real daughter too, and who knew what strange brew the combination of Father’s blood and Heaven’s power had formed to run through Clarissa’s veins? She might not be very different from himself.
The thought excited him in a way he had never been excited before. Clarissa was his sister; she belonged to no one else. She was his. He knew it, because although he did not dream often — that was a human thing — after Father had told him about his sister sinking the ship, he had dreamed of her.
Jonathan dreamed of a girl standing in the sea with hair like scarlet smoke coiling over her shoulders, winding and unwinding in the untameable wind. Everything was stormy darkness, and in the raging sea were pieces of wreckage that had once been a boat and bodies floating facedown. She looked down on them with cool green eyes and was not afraid.
Clarissa had done that — wreaked destruction like he would have. In the dream, he was proud of her. His little sister.
In the dream, they were laughing together at all the beautiful ruin around them. They were standing suspended in the sea; it couldn’t hurt them, for destruction was their element. Clarissa was trailing her moonlight-white hands in the water. When she lifted up her dripping her hands they were dark, and he realized that the seas were all blood.
Jonathan had woken from his dream still laughing.
When the time was right, Father had said, they would be together, all of them. Jonathan had to wait.
But he was not very good at waiting.
“You have the oddest look on your face,” Sebastian Verlac said, shouting above the beat of the music, bright and jagged in Jonathan’s ears.
Jonathan leaned over and spoke softly and precisely into Sebastian’s ear. “Behind you,” he said. “Demon. Four o’clock.”
Sebastian Verlac turned and the demon, in the shape of a girl with a cloud of dark hair, stepped hastily away from the boy it was talking to and began sliding away through the crowd. Jonathan and Sebastian followed it, out a side door with SORTIE DE SECOURS written across it in cracked letters of red and white.
The door led to an alley, which the demon was swiftly running down, nearly disappearing.
Jonathan jumped, launching himself at the brick wall opposite, and used the force of his rebound to arrow over the demon’s head. He twisted in midair, runed blade in hand; he heard it whistle through the air. The demon froze, staring at him. Already the mask of a girl’s face was beginning to slip, and Jonathan could see the features behind it: clustered eyes like a spider’s and a tusked mouth open in surprise. None of it disgusted him. The ichor that ran in their veins ran in his.
Not that that inspired mercy, either. Grinning at Sebastian over the demon’s shoulder, he slashed out with his blade. It cut the demon open as he’d once cut open the dummy, neck to navel. A bubbling scream rent the alley as the demon folded on itself and disappeared, leaving only a few drops of black blood splattered on the stones.
“By the Angel,” Sebastian Verlac whispered.
He was staring at Jonathan over the blood and the emptiness between them, and his face was white. For a moment Jonathan was almost pleased that he had the sense to be afraid.
But no such luck. Sebastian Verlac remained a fool to the end.
“You were amazing!” Sebastian exclaimed, his voice shaken but impressed. “I’ve never seen anyone move that fast! Alors, you have got to teach me that move. I’ve never see anything like what you just did.”
“I’d love to help you,” Jonathan said. “But unfortunately I’ve got to get going soon. My father needs me, you see. He has plans. And he simply can’t do without me.”
Sebastian looked absurdly disappointed. “Oh come, you can’t go now,” he coaxed. “Hunting with you was so much fun, mon pote. We have to do this again some time.”
“I’m afraid,” Jonathan told him, fingering the hilt of his weapon, “that won’t be possible.”
Sebastian looked so surprised when he was killed. It made Jonathan laugh: the blade in hand and Sebastian’s throat opening beneath it, the hot blood spilling onto his fingers.
It wouldn’t do to have Sebastian’s body found at an inconvenient time, ruining the whole game, so Jonathan carried the body as if he were helping a drunken friend home through the streets.
It was not very far at all to a little bridge over the river, delicate as green filigree or a dead child’s moldy, fragile bones. He heaved the corpse over the side and watched it hit the rushing black waters with a splash.
The body sank without a trace, and he forgot it before it had even sunk all the way. He saw the curled fingers bobbing in the current, as if restored to life and begging for help or at least answers, and thought of his dream — his sister and a sea of blood. Water had splashed up where the body went down, some of it splattering his sleeve. Baptizing him with a new name. He was Sebastian now.
He strolled along the bridge to the old part of the city, where there were electric bulbs masquerading as gas lanterns, more toys for tourists. He was headed toward the hotel where Sebastian Verlac had been staying. He had scoped it out before coming to the bar, and knew he could scramble up through the window and retrieve the other boy’s belongings. And after that, a bottle of cheap hair dye and…
A group of girls in cocktail dresses passed him, angling their gazes, and one, silvery skirt skimming her thighs, gave him a direct look and smile.
He fell in with the party.
“Comment tu t’appelles, beau gosse?” another girl asked him, her voice slightly slurred. What’s your name, handsome?
“Sebastian,” he answered smoothly, with not a second’s hesitation. That was who he was from now on, who his father’s plans required him to be, who he needed to be to walk the path that led to victory and Clarissa. “Sebastian Verlac.”
He looked to the horizon, and thought of the glass towers of Idris, thought of them enveloped in shadow, flame, and ruin. He thought of his sister waiting for him, out there in the wide world.
He thought he was going to enjoy being Sebastian.
A Sudden Departure
- source: Simon & Schuster
- The original first chapter of City of Glass, with a commentary by Cassie on what was changed and why she changed it. Check the link above for the footnote commentary.
Clary zipped her backpack closed and glanced around the room to see if she’d forgotten anything. Madeleine had told her it would be cold in Idris due to the high elevation, so she’d packed her long-sleeved shirts, some jeans, and her sweaters. She didn't have a winter coat, but she didn't plan on being in Idris long enough to need one. She was only going long enough to get what she needed to help her mother. Then she’d be back.
For the third time in fifteen minutes, she punched Simon’s number into her mobile phone. It rang and rang, finally going to voice mail.
It was Eric’s voice, not Simon’s, on the recorded message. “Ladies, ladies,” he said. Though it was the millionth time she’d heard the recording, Clary couldn't help rolling her eyes. “If you've reached this message, that means our boy Simon is out partying. But please don’t fight among yourselves. There’s always enough Simon to go around.” There was a muffled yell, some laughter, and then the long sound of the beep.
She hung up with a frown. Where was he? He knew she was leaving today. How could he not be here to wish her a safe trip?
Of course, their last meeting had been a little tense. He’d sat on her bed, watching her with an almost scary detachment as she ranted about Madeleine and Idris and her mother’s cure.
“You see, my mom knew Valentine was going to come looking for her one day,” she’d told him breathlessly. “She knew he'd try to torture the location of the Mortal Cup out of her if he could. She used this potion she’d had a warlock make for her. She brought it to New York with her from Idris. She knew it would put her into a sort of suspended animation, so she’d be no use to Valentine. She must have taken it when she heard the Ravener coming for her. Don’t you see? That's why the doctors can’t find anything wrong with her. The only thing that’ll cure her is taking the same potion again.”
“So where are you supposed to get more of the same potion?” Simon asked. “It doesn't seem like something you can just pick up at the local bodega.”
“It would have to come from the same warlock who made it in the first place.”
“You mean Magnus Bane?” Simon said. “He was the warlock your mom used to use for those memory spells, so—”
“No, it wasn’t Magnus. Weren't you listening? She brought the potion from Idris. It was someone she knew there.”
“So…?” Simon let the rest of the sentence hang delicately in the air.
“I’m going to Idris,” Clary told him.
He blanched. Since he was already very pale, this was impressive. “To Idris? By yourself? Clary—”
“Not by myself. With the Lightwoods. Madeleine says they’re going anyway. They have to: The Clave is recalling all the heads of Conclaves in different cities to Idris for some kind of summit meeting.”
“But going to Idris—it doesn't seem safe, Clary.”
“Safe as anywhere else,” Clary said. "I mean, with no one sure what Valentine is going to do next, or even where he is..."
“Maybe it’s better for you to be with the Lightwoods,” Simon said after a pause. “With Jace, anyway. He’d never let anything happen to you.”
He didn't say, What’s going to happen to me while you’re gone? but Clary knew he was thinking it. Simon had only been a vampire a little less than a week and was still trying to adjust. She was one of the only people he could talk to about it, and she was leaving. She thought of what it must be like for him, keeping that secret, going to school every day, pretending things were all right. "Simon, I’m sorry..."
He waved away her apology. “You have to do what you have to do to help your mother,” he said. “I wouldn't stand in your way.”
“You can hang out with Luke,” she said. “He’ll be here. Mostly at the hospital, admittedly, but he’s around, and you know he doesn't mind if you need someone to talk to.”
“I can talk to Maia,” Simon said.
“Great,” Clary said, with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Maia was also a werewolf. A werewolf with a crush on Simon. Clary had never been able to warm to her, though she’d tried. “I guess she must know what you’re going through, huh?”
Simon didn't answer. “This plan of yours, about going to Idris,” he said. “Does Jace know about it?”
Clary shook her head.
“He’s going to freak out.”
“No, he won’t,” Clary said. “He’ll be fine.”
* * *
Jace wasn't fine.
“You’re not going,” he said. He was white-faced, staring; he looked at her as if she’d sneaked up and sucker-punched him in the stomach. “If I have to tie you up and sit on you until this insane whim of yours passes, you are not going.”
“Why not?” Clary said. The straight-forwardness of the question seemed to make Jace even angrier. “Because it isn't safe.”
“Oh, and it’s so safe here?” Clary snapped. “I've nearly been killed a dozen times in the past month, and every time it’s been right here in New York.”
“That’s because Valentine’s been concentrating on the Mortal Instruments that were here.” Jace spoke through gritted teeth. “He's going to shift his focus to Idris now, we all know it—”
“We’re hardly as certain of anything as all that,” said Maryse Lightwood. Clary had nearly forgotten that the older woman was there in the library with them. She was sitting behind what Clary would always think of as Hodge’s desk, a thick plank laid across the backs of kneeling mahogany angels. Sharp lines of exhaustion drew Maryse's face down. Her husband, Robert Lightwood, had been injured by demon poison during the battle last week, and had needed constant nursing since. “And the Clave wants to see Clarissa, you know that, Jace.”
“The Clave can screw itself,” said Jace.
“The Clave wants a lot of things,” Jace added. “It shouldn't necessarily get them all.”
Maryse shot him a look, as if she knew exactly what he was talking about and didn’t appreciate it. “The Clave is often right, Jace. It’s not unreasonable for them to want to talk to Clary, after what she’s been through. What she could tell them—”
“I’ll tell them whatever they want to know,” Jace said. “They’ll be grilling me for weeks as it is.”
“And I hope when they do you’ll be a bit more cooperative and a bit less stubborn,” Maryse said. She turned her blue eyes, so much like Alec’s, on Clary. “So you want to go to Idris, do you?”
“Just for a few days,” Clary said. “I won’t be any trouble. Madeleine even said I could stay in her house. She’s got one in Alicante.”
“I know she does. The question isn’t whether you’ll be any trouble; the question is whether you’ll be willing to meet with the Clave while you’re there. They want to talk to you. If you say no, I doubt we can get the authorization to bring you with us.”
Jace was shaking his head.
“I’ll meet with the Clave,” Clary said.
Maryse rubbed at her temples with her fingertips. “Then it’s settled.” She didn’t sound settled, though; she sounded as tense and fragile as a violin string tightened to the breaking point.
“But—” Jace began.
Maryse waved her hand at him in dismissal. “That’s enough, Jace.”
Jace’s mouth was a hard line. “I’ll walk you out, Clary.”
“I can walk myself out,” she said, but Jace already had her by the elbow and was steering her toward the door. They were barely out in the hallway when he dropped her arm and spun to face her, glowering like a gargoyle. “Didn’t you listen to a word I said, Clary? I told you you can’t come.”
“But Maryse says I can, and you don’t give the orders around here, do you?”
“Maryse trusts the Clave too much,” Jace said. He started off down the hall, making Clary scramble to keep up. “She has to believe they’re perfect—and I can’t tell her they aren't, because—”
“Because that’s something Valentine would say.”
His shoulders tensed. “No one is perfect,” was all he said. They were in the foyer now; he reached out and stabbed at the elevator button with his index finger. “Not even the Clave.”
Clary crossed her arms over her chest. “Is that really why you don’t want me to come? Because it isn't safe?”
A flicker of surprise crossed his face. There were shadows ringing his eyes, Clary noticed without wanting to, and dark hollows under his cheekbones. The black sweater he was wearing only made his light, bruise-marked skin stand out more, and the dark lashes, too; he was a study in contrasts, something to be painted in shades of black, white, and gray, with splashes of gold here and there, like his eyes, for an accent color—
“What do you mean?” Jace said, snapping her out of her mental painting reverie. “Why wouldn’t I want you to come?”
She swallowed. “Because—” Because you told me you don’t have feelings for me anymore, and you see, that’s very awkward, because I still have them for you. And I bet you know it.
“Because I don’t want my little sister following me everywhere?” There was a sharp note in his voice, half mockery, half something else. The elevator arrived with a clatter; he reached around her to push open the ornate gate and the soft wool of his sweater tickled the back of her neck.
“I'm not going there because you’ll be there. I’m going there because I want to help my mother. I told you that.”
“I can help her for you. Tell me where to go, who to ask. I’ll get what you need.”
She stepped into the elevator, turned to face him. “Madeleine told the warlock I’d be the one coming. He’ll be expecting Jocelyn’s daughter, not Jocelyn’s son.”
“So tell her there was a change of plans. I’ll be going, not you.”
She bit her lip. “Madeleine said—”
“Madeleine said, Madeleine said,” he mimicked savagely. “Has that woman brainwashed you?”
“She said,” Clary went on, “that the warlock might even not believe that you’re who you say you are. She said half the people over in Idris think you’re really Valentine’s son. So what makes you think someone who helped her would even help you? I mean, the whole reason my mother took that potion in the first place was to keep Valentine’s hands off her—”
“And I’m not better than him? Is that what you’re saying?”
“What? No, of course not, you know I think you’re nothing like him, Jace—”
“Apparently,” he said, “not enough to pass that information on to Madeleine.”
He slammed the gate shut between them. For a moment, she stared at him through it—the mesh of the gate divided up his face into a series of diamond shapes, outlined in metal. A single golden eye stared at her through one diamond, furious anger flickering in its depths.
“Jace—” she said, again.
But with a jerk and a clatter, the elevator was already moving, carrying her down into the dark silence of the Institute.
That was the last time she'd seen Jace. He hadn't picked up the phone when she’d called him since, so she'd made all her plans to travel to Idris with the Lightwoods using Alec as somewhat reluctant and embarrassed point person. Alec. She sighed and flipped open her phone again. She might as well call him and see what time they were coming to pick her up on their way out of the city.
Since there was no longer a working Portal in the Manhattan area, they were going to have to drive to a location they hadn't disclosed to her and use a Portal there. They were so secretive, Shadowhunters, she thought; it was as if they could never forget that part of her that had been raised to believe it was mundane, ordinary. She would never really be one of them, privy to their secrets.
Alec wasn't answering his phone either. Clary snapped her mobile phone shut and swore. “By the Angel—”
A soft laugh came from her doorway. She whirled around. It was Luke, hands in his pockets, watching her with an expression of fondness mixed with amusement. His flannel shirt was crumpled—he’d probably slept on the plastic chair in the hospital again. “Now you're even swearing like a Shadowhunter,” he said.
“I guess it's catching,” Clary said. She smiled at him. “I'm glad you came to say good-bye to me, at least.”
“We said good-bye last night,” Luke reminded her. It was true. They'd gone to the hospital to see Jocelyn. Clary had kissed her mother and promised that when she came back, she'd have Jocelyn's cure. Madeleine had been there, though she and Luke were strange and stiff with each other and she'd promised Luke she'd take good care of Clary in Idris. And then Clary and Luke had come back to Luke’s house and had pizza and watched TV until midnight, when he'd gone back to the hospital.
“Well, Simon seems to have decided to blow me off, so it’s good to have a second good-bye from someone.”
“He's probably just worried about you going to Idris.”
“You're worried, and you still showed up.”
“I have the benefit of experience which tells me that sulking solves nothing,” Luke said with a grin. “Also that there's no point trying to tell you or your mother what to do.” He reached behind him and brought out a brown paper shopping bag. “Here, I got you something for your trip.”
“You didn't have to do that!” Clary protested. “You've done so much—” She thought of the clothes he'd bought her after everything she owned had been destroyed. He’d given her a new phone, new art supplies, without ever having to be asked. Almost everything she owned now was a gift from Luke.
“I wanted to.” He handed over the bag.
The object inside was swathed in layers of tissue paper. Clary tore through it, her hand seizing on something soft as kitten’s fur. She drew it out and gave a little gasp—it was a bottle-green velvet coat, old-fashioned with a gold silk lining, brass buttons, and a wide hood. She drew it on, smoothing her hands lovingly down the soft material. “It looks like something Isabelle would wear,” she exclaimed.
“Exactly. Now you’ll be dressed more like one of them,” Luke said. “When you’re in Idris.”
She looked up at him. “Do you want me to look like one of them?”
“Clary, you are one of them.” His smile was tinged with sadness. “Besides, you know how they treat outsiders. Anything you can do to fit in . . .”
A spasm of guilt seized her. “Luke, I wish you would come with me—”
“It's not safe for me in Idris. You know that. Besides, I can't leave Jocelyn.”
“But—” Clary broke off as her phone rang. She dived for it, scrabbling around among the tangled bedsheets and piles of discarded tissue paper. She came up gripping it triumphantly.
“Is it Simon?” Luke asked.
She glanced at the number on the screen and her smile faded into a look of perplexity. “It’s Jace.” She flipped the phone open. “Hello?”
“Clary?” His familiar voice sent a shiver up her spine. “Where are you?”
“I'm at Luke's. Where else would I be?”
“Good.” There was a note of relief in his voice that struck her as odd. “Stay there.”
“Of course I’m staying here. I’m waiting for you guys to come and pick me up.” She hesitated. “You are coming to pick me up, right?”
He was silent.
“Jace, what’s going on? Has something happened? Are we not going to Idris—?”
Jace sighed. “We're going,” he said. “But you're not.”
“What do you mean, I’m not going?” Her voice shot up several octaves. Luke winced. “Maryse said I could go! We went over this!”
“There's been a change of plans,” Jace said. “You're not coming after all.”
“But the Clave wanted to meet with me—”
“It turned out,” Jace said, “that there was someone they wanted to meet with more. And I made your not coming a condition of bringing him.”
Clary felt as if she’d stepped in a bucket of ice water.
“Of bringing who?” she whispered.
“Simon,” Jace said.
“What does the Clave want with Simon? He’s just a mundane—”
“He’s not a mundane, Clary. He’s a vampire. A vampire who can walk in the sunlight. The only vampire who can walk in the sunlight that anyone’s ever heard of in the entire history of the Clave. Of course they’re interested in him.”
“Are they going to hurt him?”
“No,” Jace said, impatiently. “Of course not. They gave their official word they wouldn't.”
“I don't believe you,” Clary said. She took a shuddering breath. “Jace, don't do this. I won't come, all right, I promise I'll stay here, but please don't take Simon with you.”
“The danger was all right for you, though, wasn't it?” Jace said angrily. “Clary, Simon won’t be safe here, either. He’s unique. A magical aberration. Already there are rumors shooting through Downworld about his existence. The vampires held a council last night about what to do with him—some were in favor of killing him outright as a dangerous mutation, and others wanted to experiment on him to see if what happened to him could be replicated. Not to mention that he’s the werewolves' public enemy number one—”
“But Luke controls the lycanthropes—”
“Not all the lycanthropes in the world, Clary! What happened to Simon—it’s huge, it’s unprecedented. Everyone’s going to want a part of him. The safest place for him is in Idris, with the Clave, especially when we won't be here to protect him.”
“And you said Maryse trusts the Clave too much. You should talk,” Clary said bitterly. “How could you do this, Jace? My mother—”
“I know what your mother needs to get well,” Jace said. “And I’ll get it for you, I give you my word on the Angel.”
“For whatever that’s worth. I don’t get it,Jace. Why are you doing this?”
He hesitated, just for a fraction of a second, between one breath and the next. His voice, when he spoke, was flat. “I can’t believe you don’t know.”
“Don’t do this,” she said. Some tiny part of her wondered if she was being unreasonable, but it was swamped by her overwhelming sense of abandonment and terror. “Please, Jace—”
“I’m sorry, Clary,” he said, and hung up.
Silence. Clary dialed his number again and got a static busy signal. She hit the button to redial and found the phone gently prised out of her hand. “Clary,” said Luke, his blue eyes full of compassion. “For all we know, he’s probably already gone through the Portal. There’s no point—”
“That’s not true!” she screamed at him. “They weren't even supposed to have left yet! They can’t be gone!”
But she was already pushing past him, her breath harsh in her ears as she raced out of the house and down Kent Street, heading for the subway.
* * *
It took Clary several moments to peel the glamour off the Institute today. It felt as if another layer of disguise had been added to the old cathedral, like a new coat of paint. Scraping it off with her mind felt hard, even painful. Finally it was gone and she could see the church as it was. The high wooden doors gleamed as if they’d just been polished.
She put her hand to the knob. I am Clary Morgenstern, one of the Nephilim, and I ask entrance to the Institute—
The door swung open. Clary stepped inside. She looked around, blinking, trying to identify what it was that felt somehow different about the cathedral’s interior.
She realized it as the door swung shut behind her, prisoning her in a blackness relieved only by the dim glow of the rose window far overhead. She had never been inside the entrance to the Institute when there had not been dozens of flames lit in the elaborate candelabras lining the aisle between the pews.
She took her witchlight stone out of her pocket and held it up. Light blazed from it, sending shining spikes of illumination flaring out from between her fingers. It lit the dusty corners of the cathedral’s interior as she made her way to the elevator set into the wall near the bare altar. She jabbed impatiently at the call button.
Nothing happened. After half a minute went by, she pressed the button again—and again. She laid her ear against the elevator door and listened. Not a sound. The Institute had gone dark and silent, like a mechanical doll whose clockwork heart had finally run down.
Clary took a step back and collapsed into one of the pews. The seat was hard, narrow, and uncomfortable, but she barely noticed. They were gone. Gone to Idris, where she couldn’t follow. Gone out of her life, taking Simon to where she couldn’t protect him. She remembered Magnus saying, “When your mother fled from the Shadow World, it was them she was hiding from. Not the demons. The Shadowhunters.” He had been right, and she had been wrong to trust the Nephilim. She had thought the Lightwoods cared about her, but all that mattered to any of them was their precious Clave. Even Jace—
At that thought, her throat contracted and she felt the tears come in a hot flood. She sat sobbing, clutching the witchlight stone to her chest, where it pulsed and glowed like a luminous heart.
“Clary.” The soft voice came unexpectedly out of the silence behind her, making her whirl around in her seat. A tall figure stood behind her, like an ungainly scarecrow. He wore a black velvet suit over a shimmering emerald green shirt, and a number of brightly jeweled rings glittered on his narrow fingers. There were fancy boots involved as well, and a good deal of glitter.
“Magnus?” Clary whispered.
“Clary, my darling.” His voice was as musical as ever. He sat down next to her in the pew, his cloak moving around him like smoke. “Are you all right?”
“No. They’re gone—and they took Simon—Jace called me and he said—he said—”
“I know,” Magnus said. “It was a dirty trick to play. He has a lot of his father in him, your brother Jonathan.”
A day before, an hour even, Clary would have told him not to say something like that. Now she just bit her lip. “Isn’t there anything I can do?” she burst out. “There must be some way to get to Idris—”
“The nearest airport is a country over. If you could get across the border—assuming you could even identify the border—there would be a long and dangerous overland journey after that, through all sorts of Downworlder territory. You’d never make it, not traveling on your own.”
She turned to him. “But you—”
“I’d have to disobey a direct order of the Clave to take you to Idris, Clary,” Magnus said. “I like you, but not that much.”
She gave a choked laugh. “What about a Portal? If I could get to a Portal?”
“You can’t. The Portals at Renwick’s and Madame Dorothea’s were destroyed, and I’ve no idea where any other Portals might be. That sort of information is closely guarded. And I have to tell you, Clary—”
“Let me guess. The Clave has instructed you not to help me in any way.” Clary spoke bitterly. “I know how they work by now. If Jace made some sort of deal with them, then they were probably pretty thorough in giving him what he asked for.”
“What did he ask for?” Magnus asked, his cat’s eyes sparking with curiosity.
“I think he told them that he’d bring them Simon if they could promise I’d be kept out of whatever’s going on in Idris,” Clary said, almost reluctantly.
Magnus’s mouth quirked up at the corner. “He must really love you.”
“No,” Clary said. “I think he just doesn’t want me around. I make him uncomfortable.”
Magnus muttered something. It sounded like an exasperated expletive followed by the word Shadowhunters, but Clary couldn't be sure. "Look,” he said. “I think Jace is probably right. Stay out of what’s going on in Idris—it's going to be a political disaster area.”
She looked up at him. The light of the witchlight stone caught the edges of his sharp cheekbones and the gold in his cat eyes. “But Simon,” she said. “Do you think he’ll be all right?”
“Didn’t Jace say he’d make sure nothing happened to him?”
“Yes,” said Clary. “He swore on the Angel.”
“Then I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Magnus said, but she had caught the slight hesitation in his voice before he spoke. She said nothing in reply, just turned the witchlight stone over in her fingers, watching the light flicker across the dark green material of her coat. Just an hour ago, she’d been so happy to put it on—
“Simon is something very special, Clary,” added Magnus. “A vampire who can withstand daylight. He’s not helpless. He may not need your protection. He would do well to learn to use the gifts he has.” He stood up, a spectacularly tall and thin figure, dark and spidery in the dim light. “As would you.”
Simon's alternate arrival in Alicante
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- CC's Note: In the original version of the story, Simon wound up in Idris as a result of Jace's trickery and not as an accident. I decided I didn't like that -- it made Jace too manipulative and Clary too forgiving of his bad behavior -- so I altered it; this is, however, the original first scene in which Simon wakes up in Alicante and meets Sebastian and Aline. Bonus: inclusion of Simon's mysterious last name. From Chapter 2, The Demon Towers of Alicante.
“Where are we?” Simon hissed through his teeth.
“Alicante,” said Jace. “The City of Glass.” And, when Simon only stared at him, he added with a touch of impatience: “We’re in Idris.” He leaned out the window a little. “See,” he said, indicating the towers, “those are the demon towers. They’re made of the same material our steles and seraph blades are made out of. It’s a demon-repellent —”
“Why have you taken me here?” Simon demanded, interrupting Jace’s lesson in local geography.
Jace’s eyes met his, and for a moment there was something in them — something almost beseeching — and then Jace said, “You agreed. This is for Clary.”
“I didn’t agree to anything!” Simon struck the window ledge with his fist. He'd expected it to hurt, but it didn't; he still wasn’t used to his new strength, and the blow left a dent in the stone. “Wait.” A thought occurred to him. “Clary — you mean she's here?” He whirled around as if half-expecting to see her, but there was only the same stone room. “Where is she?”
Jace pushed his hair back impatiently. “She’s not here — that's just it. I traded her for you.”
“You what? What are you talking about? Why would anyone want me instead of Clary?”
“Search me,” said Jace with a little of his old malice, “I certainly wouldn't, but the Clave is a little peculiar that way. They have their ways —”
“The Clave?” Simon stared at Jace. “You brought me here because the Clave wanted Clary, and you agreed to give them me instead?”
“I know — bit of a dirty trick, wasn't it?”remarked a light voice. Simon turned and saw Isabelle Lightwood standing in the open doorway. She wore dark trousers and a form-fitting white leather jacket against which her hair looked impossibly black. Beside her was her brother, Alec, in jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt with a black runic mark scrawled across the front. “Jace didn't tell us that you didn't know about it until we were already well through the Portal,” Isabelle went on, ignoring the dirty look Alec was giving her. “Mom and Dad were livid, but what can they do? The Clave is the Clave and Jace made a deal with them. We couldn't go back on it if we wanted to.”
“I didn’t make a deal,” Simon said. He looked from Jace's impassive face to Isabelle — smiling as if this were all a game — to Alec, who looked at him out of suspicious blue eyes and said nothing. “I didn’t agree to any of this.”
“You did,” Jace said, “when you said you’d do anything for Clary. This is anything.”
Jace was looking at him almost expectantly; Simon felt a spark of rage inside him flicker and then die. “Fine.” He turned away from the window. “I did say I’d do anything for Clary, and it’s true. But tell me one thing: why is it you want Clary out of Idris so badly?”
“Oh, I don’t care one way or the other,” Isabelle said airily, then saw Simon’s expression and threw her hands up. “Sorry, you were asking Jace, weren’t you?”
“Isabelle,” said Alec, in a voice like a groan.
Jace just looked at Simon, steadily. For a moment, Simon thought he wasn’t going to say anything at all. Finally, he sighed. “Look, Simon —”
“Is that the vampire?” came a soft voice from the doorway. A slender teenage girl stood there, a tall, dark-haired boy beside her. The girl was small-boned, with glossy black hair pulled back from her face, and a mischievous expression. Her delicate chin narrowed into a point like a cat’s. She wasn’t exactly pretty, but she was very striking.
The boy beside her was more than striking. He was probably Jace’s height, but seemed taller: he was broad-shouldered, with an elegant, restless face, all sharp cheekbones and black eyes. There was something strangely familiar about him, as if Simon had met him before, though he knew he never had. The black inky swirls of Marks rose up from the collar of the boy’s shirt, and there was a curving Mark on his face, just below his left eye, which surprised Simon — most Shadowhunters were careful to keep Marks off their faces.
“Can we see him?” the girl went on, moving into the room, the boy just behind her. “I’ve never really been this close to a vampire before — not one I wasn’t planning to kill. I can’t believe my parents let you bring him into the house.” She looked Simon up and down as if she were taking his measurements. “He’s cute, for a Downworlder.”
“You’ll have to forgive Aline; she has the face of an angel and the manners of a Moloch demon,” said the boy with a grin, coming forward. He held his hand out to Simon. “I’m Sebastian. Sebastian Verlac.”
It took Simon a moment to realize that the boy was offering his hand for Simon to shake. Bemused, he shook it, and the same strange sensation passed over him that he’d had before: the sense that this boy was someone he knew, someone familiar. “I’m Simon. Simon Lewis.”
Sebastian was still grinning. “And this is my cousin, Aline Penhallow. Aline —”
”I don’t shake hands with Downworlders,” Aline said quickly, and went to stand by Jace. “Really, Sebastian, you can be so bizarre sometimes.” She spoke with a faint accent, Simon noticed — not British or Australian, something else. “They don’t have souls, you know. Vampires.”
Sebastian’s smile disappeared. “Aline —”
“It’s true. That’s why they can’t see themselves in mirrors, or go in the sun —”
Very deliberately, Simon stepped backward, into the patch of sunlight in front of the window. He felt the sun hot on his back, his hair. His shadow was cast, long and dark, across the floor, almost reaching Jace’s feet.
Aline took a sharp breath, but said nothing. It was Sebastian who spoke, looking at Simon with curious black eyes: “So it’s true,” he said. “The Lightwoods, said, but I didn’t think —”
“That we were telling the truth?” Jace said. “It’s true. That’s why the Clave’s so curious about him. He’s unique.”
“I kissed him once,” Isabelle said, to no one in particular.
Aline’s eyebrows shot up. “They really do let you do whatever you want in New York, don’t they?” she said, sounding half horrified and half envious. “I remember the last time I saw you, Izzy, you wouldn’t even have considered—”
“The last time we all saw each other, Izzy was eight,” Alec said. “Things change. Now, are we all going to stand around in here for the rest of the day, or are we going to go downstairs and find something to eat — which is what we were discussing before Jace came up here to check on Simon, wasn’t it?”
“I could eat,” Simon said, and grinned at Aline, wide enough to show his pointed canines. She gave an appreciative shriek.
“Stop that, Lewis,” Jace said. “Look, you can come downstairs with us if you promise to behave.”
“Lewis? You’re calling me by my last name now?”
“I figured it was better than ‘vampire’,” Jace said as they all began to file out of the room, and Simon had to agree that on the whole, this was true.
Jace kisses Alec
- source: Tumblr
- CC's Note: So below is, in fact, the original version of the scene that begins on page 137 in City of Glass. In the original version, Jace actually does kiss Alec, more to make a point than anything else, but the resultant scene made me laugh, made all my critique partners laugh, and made my editor laugh, hysterically. It was, actually, too ridiculous to work.
Jace looked at Alec steadily. Then he said, “What’s between you and Magnus Bane?”
Alec’s head jerked to the side, as if Jace had slapped him or pushed him. “I don’t — there’s nothing —”
“I know better,” Jace said, forestalling him. “I’m not stupid. Tell me the truth.”
“There isn’t anything between us,” Alec said — and then, catching the look on Jace’s face, added with great reluctance, “any more. There’s nothing between us any more. Okay?”
“And why is that? Magnus really liked you.”
“Drop it, Jace,” Alec said in a warning tone.
Jace was having none of being warned. “Magnus says it’s because you’re hung up on me. Is that true?”
There was a moment of utter silence. Then Alec gave a despairing howl of horror and put his hands up to cover his face. “I am going to kill Magnus. Kill him dead.”
“Don’t. He cares about you. He really does. I believe that,” Jace said, managing to sound only a little bit awkward. “Look. I don’t want to push you into anything, but do you maybe want to—”
“Call Magnus? Look, that’s a dead end, I know you’re trying to be helpful, but—”
“—kiss me?” Jace finished.
Alec looked as if he were about to fall off his chair. “WHAT? What? What?”
“Once would do.” Jace did his best to look as if this were the sort of suggestion one made all the time. “I think it might help.”
Alec looked at him with something like horror. “You don’t mean that.”
“Why wouldn’t I mean it?”
“Because you’re the straightest person I know. Possibly the straightest person in the universe.”
“Exactly,” Jace said, and leaned forward, and kissed Alec on the mouth. The kiss lasted approximately four seconds before Alec pulled forcefully away, throwing his hands up as if to ward Jace off from coming at him again.
He looked as if he were about to throw up. “By the Angel,” he said. “Don’t ever do that again.”
“Oh yeah?” Jace grinned, and almost meant it. “That bad?”
“Like kissing my brother,” said Alec, with a look of horror in his eyes.
“I thought you might feel that way.” Jace crossed his arms over his chest.
“Also, I’m hoping we can just gloss over all the irony in what you just said.”
“We can gloss over whatever you want to,” Alec said fervently. “Just don’t kiss me again.”
“I’m not going to. I have other business to take care of.” Jace stood up, kicking his chair back. “If anyone asks where I am, tell them I went for a walk.”
“Where are you actually going?” Alec asked, watching him walk to the door. “To see Clary?”
“No.” Jace shook his head. “I’m going to the Gard. I’m going to break Simon out of jail.”
Ragnor Fell's cottage scene
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- CC's Note: This is the way the scene that begins on page 160 in City of Glass, where Clary and Sebastian visit Magnus at Ragnor Fell's cottage, originally read. There was a much more elaborate set-up, which I cut for pacing reasons. Still, the original scene does feature Magnus in harem pants. From Chapter 7.
“We’re here,” Sebastian said abruptly — so abruptly that Clary wondered if she really had offended him somehow — and slid down from the horse’s back. But his face, when he looked up at her, was all smiles. “We made good time,” he said, tying the reins to the lower branch of a nearby tree. “Better than I thought we would.”
He indicated with a gesture that she should dismount, and after a moment’s hesitation, Clary slid off the horse and into his arms. She clutched him as he caught her, her legs unsteady after the long ride. “Sorry,” she said sheepishly. “Sorry — I didn’t mean to grab you.”
“I wouldn’t apologize for that.” His breath was warm against her neck and she shivered. His hands lingered just a moment longer on her back before he reluctantly let her go. “I like that coat,” he said, his eyes lingering on her as his hands had done a moment ago. “Not only does it feel great, but the color makes your eyes look even more green.”
All this wasn’t helping Clary’s legs feel any less unsteady. “Thanks,” she said, knowing full well she was blushing and wishing heartily that her fair skin didn’t show color so readily. “So — this is it?” She looked around — they were standing in a sort of small valley between low hills. There were a number of gnarled-looking trees ranged around a clearing. Their twisted branches had a sort of sculptural beauty against the steel-blue sky. But otherwise... “There’s nothing here,” Clary said with a frown.
“Clary.” There was laughter in his voice. “Concentrate.”
“You mean — a glamour? But I don’t usually have to —”
“Glamours in Idris are often stronger than glamours elsewhere. You may have to try harder than you usually do.” He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her gently. “Look at the clearing.”
Clary looked. And silently performed the mental trick that allowed her to peel glamour from the thing it disguised. She imagined herself rubbing turpentine on a canvas, peeling away layers of paint to reveal the true image underneath — and there it was, a small stone house with a sharply gabled roof, smoke twisting from the chimney in an elegant curlicue. A winding path lined with stones led up to the front door. As she looked, the smoke puffing from the chimney stopped curling upward and began to take on the shape of a wavering black question mark.
Sebastian laughed. “I think that means who’s there?”
Clary pulled her jacket closer around her. She felt suddenly, unaccountably cold — the wind blowing across the level grass wasn’t that brisk, but there was ice in her bones nevertheless. “It looks like something out of a fairy tale.”
Sebastian didn’t disagree, just started up the front walk. Clary followed. When they reached the front steps, Sebastian took her hand. Immediately, the smoke curling from the chimney stopped forming itself into question marks and began puffing out in the shape of lopsided hearts. Clary snatched her hand back, felt immediately guilty, and reached for the door knocker to disguise her embarrassment. It was heavy and brass, shaped like a cat, and when she let it fall it hit the wooden door with a satisfying thwack.
The thwack was followed by a number of popping and clicking noises. The door shuddered and swung open. Beyond it, Clary could discern only darkness. She looked sideways at Sebastian, her mouth suddenly dry. Like a fairy tale cottage, she’d said. Except the things that lived in cottages in fairy tales weren’t always benevolent…
“At least it isn’t decorated with candy and gingerbread,” Sebastian said, as if reading her thoughts. “I’ll go in first, if you like.”
“No.” She shook her head. “We’ll go in together.”
They’d barely cleared the threshold when the door slammed shut behind them, shutting out all light. The blackness was relentless, impenetrable. Something brushed up against Clary in the darkness and she screamed.
“It’s just me,” Sebastian said irritably. “Here — take my hand.”
She felt his fingers grope for hers in the darkness and this time she seized onto his hand with a feeling of gratitude. Stupid, she thought, clutching Sebastian’s fingers tightly, stupid to come in here like this — Jace would be furious —
Light suddenly flickered in the darkness. Two bright eyes appeared, green as a cat’s, hanging against the blackness like jewels. Who is there? said a voice — soft as fur, sharp as ice shards.
“Sebastian Verlac and Clarissa Morgenstern. You saw us coming up the walk.” Sebastian’s voice rang out clear and strong. “I know you’re expecting us. My aunt Elodie told me where to find you. You’ve done work for her before —”
I know who you are. The eyes blinked, plunging them both momentarily back into darkness. Follow the torchlight.
“The what?” Clary turned, her hand still in Sebastian’s, in time to see a number of torches flare up in a line, one catching fire from the next, until a blazing path was lit before them. They followed it hand it hand like Hansel and Gretel following the breadcrumb trail in the dark forest, although Clary wondered if the children in the fairy tale had been holding hands quite so tightly…
The ground crunched softly underneath. Looking down Clary saw that the path was lined with shards of gleaming black, like the carapaces of enormous insects. “Dragon scales,” Sebastian said, following her gaze. “I’ve never seen so many…”
Dragons are real? Clary wanted to say, but stopped herself. Of course dragons were real. What was it Jace always said to her? All the stories are true. Before she could repeat that thought aloud, the path opened out and they found themselves standing in a wide-open garden bathed in sunlight.
At least, at first glance it looked like a garden. There were trees, whose leaves gleamed silver and gold, and paths laid out between banks of flowers, and in the center of the garden a sort of pavilion with bright silk walls. The torchlit path continued in front of them, leading up to the pavilion, but as they followed it Clary saw that the flowers on either side of the path were ingenious creations of paper and cloth. There were no insects buzzing, no birds chirping. And when she glanced up, she saw that there was no sky overhead, just a painted backdrop of blue and white, with a single blazing light shining down on them where the sun ought to have been.
They had reached the pavilion. Inside it, Clary could just glimpse the soft, moving gleam of candlelight. Her curiosity won out over her nerves and she let go of Sebastian’s hand and ducked through a gap in the heavy silk hangings.
Clary stared. The inside of the pavilion looked like something out of an illustrated copy of the Arabian Nights. The walls were gold silk, the floor covered in embroidered rugs. Floating golden balls spilled incense that smelled like roses and jasmine, the scent so thick and sweet it made her cough. There were beaded pillows scattered everywhere and a big low couch, scattered with tasseled cushions. But that wasn’t the reason she was staring. She had been prepared for something fantastical, even bizarre. She had not, however, been prepared for the sight of Magnus Bane — wearing a gold mesh vest and a pair of transparent silk harem pants — puffing gently on a fantastically large hookah with a dozen snaky pipe-arms curling out of it.
“Welcome to my humble abode.” The smoke that floated up around Magnus’ ears formed itself into little stars as he grinned. “Anything I can get you? Wine? Water? Ichor?”
Clary found her voice. “An explanation would be nice. What the hell are you doing here?”
“Clary.” She hadn’t even noticed Sebastian follow her into the pavilion, but there he was, staring at her in horror. “There’s no need for you to be rude.”
“You don’t understand!” She turned to Sebastian, dismayed by the look on his face. “Something’s not right —”
“It’s all right, Clary,” he said. He turned to Magnus, his jaw set firmly. “Ragnor Fell,” he began, “I am Sebastian Verlac —”
“How nice for you,” Magnus said kindly, and snapped his fingers once.
Sebastian froze in place, his mouth still open, his hand partially outstretched in greeting.
“Sebastian!” Clary reached out to touch him, but he was as rigid as a statue. Only the slight rise and fall of his chest showed that he was even still alive. “Sebastian?” she said, again, but it was hopeless: she knew somehow that he couldn’t see or hear her. She turned on Magnus. “I can’t believe you just did that. What on earth is wrong with you? Has whatever’s in that pipe melted your brain? Sebastian’s on our side.”
“I don’t have a side, Clary darling,” Magnus said with a wave of his hookah. “And really, it’s your own fault I had to freeze him outside Time for a short while. You see, you were awfully close to telling him I’m not actually Ragnor Fell.”
“That’s because you’re not actually Ragnor Fell.”
Magnus blew a stream of smoke out of his mouth and regarded her thoughtfully through the haze. “Actually,” he said, “for all intents and purposes, I am.”
Clary’s head had begun to ache, whether from the thick smoke in the room or the effort of restraining her overwhelming urge to punch Magnus in the eye, she wasn’t sure. “I don’t get it.”
Magnus patted the sofa beside him. “Come sit down next to me and I’ll explain,” he purred. “You trust me, don’t you?”
Not really, Clary thought. But then again, who did she trust? Jace? Simon? Luke? None of them were around. With an apologetic glance at the frozen Sebastian, she went to join Magnus on the couch.
Extended manor scene
- source: Tumblr
- CC's note: The original, longer version of the Clary and Jace "manor house" scene from City of Glass, chapter 9. I toned it down for the published version of the book, mostly for pacing reasons. No, it is not particularly racy -- but it's a bit more detailed than what made it into the book, so if you're wanting more Clary/Jace it might be up your alley.
The roar of the collapse faded slowly, like smoke dissipating into the air. It was replaced by the loud chirruping of startled birds; Clary could see them over Jace’s shoulder, circling curiously against the dark sky.
“Jace,” she said softly. “I think it’s over.”
He drew back slightly, propping himself on his elbows, and looked down at her. They were close enough that even in the darkness she could see herself reflected in his eyes; his face was streaked with soot and dirt, the collar of his shirt torn.
Without thinking, she reached up, her fingers brushing lightly through his hair. She felt him tense, his eyes darkening.
“There was grass — in your hair,” she said by way of explanation. Her mouth was dry; adrenalin sang through her veins, and not just because of the danger she’d just been in. Everything that had just happened: the angel, the shattering manor, seemed less real than what she saw in Jace’s eyes.
“You shouldn’t touch me,” he breathed.
Her hand froze where it was, her palm against his cheek. “Why not?”
“You know why,” he said, and then, ‘You saw what I saw, didn’t you? The past, the angel. Our parents.”
“You know what happened.”
“A lot of things happened, Jace —”
“Not for me.” The words breathed out on an anguished whisper. “I have demon blood, Clary. Demon blood. You understood that much, didn’t you?”
“It doesn’t mean anything. Valentine was insane. He was just ranting —”
“And Jocelyn? Was she insane?” His eyes bored into her like golden drills. “I know what Valentine was trying to do. He was trying to create hybrids — angel/human, and demon/human. You’re the former, Clary, and I’m the latter. I’m part monster. Part everything I’ve tried so hard to burn out, to destroy.”
“It’s not true. It can’t be. It doesn’t make sense—”
“But it does.” There was a sort of furious desperation in his expression as he looked down at her. She could see the gleam of the silver chain around his bare throat, lit to a white flare by the starlight. “It explains everything.”
She shook her head so hard that she felt grass tickle her cheek. “You mean it explains why you’re such an amazing Shadowhunter? Why you’re loyal and fearless and honest and everything demons aren’t —”
“It explains,” he said, evenly, “why I feel the way I do about you.”
Breath hissed between her teeth. “Jace — what do you mean?”
He was silent for a long moment, staring down at her — for so long, in fact, that she wondered if he ever planned to speak at all, or if just looking was enough; after all, she was staring at him just as helplessly. Their gazes were locked like gears; she could no more have looked away than she could have breathed with water in her lungs.
“You’re my sister,” he said, finally, “My sister, my blood, my family. I should want to protect you —” he laughed soundlessly and without any humor — “to protect you from the sort of boys who want to do to you exactly what I want to do to you.”
Clary’s breath caught. He was still looking down at her, but his expression had changed — there was a look on his face she’d never seen before, a sleepy, deadly, almost predatory light in his eyes. She was suddenly and acutely conscious of the hard pressure of his body on her body, the bones of his hips fitting themselves against hers, and she ached everywhere that she didn’t touch him, ached with a nearly physical pain.
What I want to do to you, he had said. Not thinking of anything else but how much she wanted him, she let her fingers trail down his cheek to his lips, outlining the shape of his mouth with the tip of her index finger.
She was rewarded by the catch in his breathing, the sudden darkening of his eyes. He didn’t move.
“What is it, exactly, that you want to do to me?” she whispered.
The light in his eyes was a blaze. Slowly he inclined his head until his lips were against her ear. When he spoke, she felt his breath tickle her skin, making her shiver: “I could show you.” She said nothing. Even if she could have gathered her scattered thoughts to compose the words, she didn’t want to tell him to stop. She was tired of saying no to Jace — of never letting herself feel what her body wanted her to feel.
Whatever the cost…
She felt him smile, his lips against her ear. “If you want me to stop, tell me now,” he whispered. When she still said nothing, he brushed his mouth against her hollow of her temple, making her shiver. “Or now.” His lips traced her cheekbones in the lightest of kisses, a butterfly kiss. “Or now.” His mouth traced the line of her jaw. “Or now.” His lips were against hers, his words spoken into her mouth. “Now,” he whispered, and kissed her.
At first the pressure of his lips was gentle, seeking; but when she responded instantly — sliding her arms around him, tangling her hands in his hair — she felt the cautious tension in his body change to something else. Suddenly he was kissing her with a bruising pressure, his lips crushing hers. She tasted blood in her mouth, but didn’t care. There were rocks digging into her back, and her shoulder ached where she’d fallen from the window, but she didn’t care about that either. All that existed was Jace; all she felt, hoped, breathed, wanted and saw was Jace. Nothing else mattered.
He broke off the kiss, drawing back, and she released him with a soft noise of reluctant protest. His mouth was swollen, his eyes huge and dark, nearly black with desire. He reached for the buttons of her coat, tried to slip the first one free, but his hands were shaking so badly he couldn’t manage it. Clary put her hand over his, marveling inwardly at her own calm — surely she should be shaking as badly as he was?
“Let me,” she said.
He went still. He watched her as she undid the buttons, her fingers working as fast as they could. The coat fell open. Beneath it she was wearing only a thin blouse of Amatis’ and the cold night air struck through the material, making her gasp. She raised her arms up. “Come back,” she whispered. “Kiss me again.”
He made a stifled noise and fell into her arms like someone coming up for air after nearly drowning. He kissed her eyelids, her cheeks, her throat, before returning to her lips: their kissing was frenzied now, almost clumsy in its fever — so unlike Jace, who never seemed to rush, or to hurry anything … Without the coat between them, she could feel the heat of him, burning through his shirt and hers; his hands slipped around her, under her the strap of her bra, tracing her spine, his touch scorching her bare skin. She wanted more of his touch, his hands on her, his skin on her skin — she wanted to be touching him everywhere, to hold him while he trembled like he was trembling now —and for there to be no more space between them.
She tugged his jacket off and then somehow his shirt was off, too. Their hands explored each other’s bodies: she ran her fingers down his back and felt soft skin layered over lean muscle, and something she had not expected, though she should have — scars, like thin wires laid across his skin. She supposed they were imperfections, these scars, but they didn’t feel that way to her; they were the marks of Jace’s history, cut into his skin: the raised, topographical map of a life of killing and fighting.
She stroked the star-shaped scar on his shoulder and raised herself up to brush her mouth across it. Something banged against her collarbone with a sharp cold shock. She drew back with an exclamation of surprise.
Jace raised himself up on his elbows to look down at her. “What is it?” His voice was slow, almost drugged. “Did I hurt you?”
“Not really. It was this.” She reached up and touched the silver chain around his neck. On its end hung a small silver circle of metal. It was ice cold to the touch.
That ring — the weather-beaten metal with its pattern of stars — she knew that ring.
The Morgenstern ring. It had been Valentine’s, and Valentine had passed it along to Jace, as it had always been passed along: father to son.
“I’m sorry,” Jace said. He was tracing the line of her cheek with his fingertip, a dreamlike intensity in his gaze. “I forgot I was wearing the damn thing.”
Sudden cold flooded Clary’s veins. “Jace,” she said, in a low voice. “Jace, don’t.”
Manor scene in Jace's POV
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- CC's note: Over the years, many people have asked for this — Jace’s point of view of the “hot and heavy” scene in THIS GUILTY BLOOD, Chapter Nine of City of Glass. (Page 206-211 in the American hardback CoG.) I’ve taken a few liberties here — the scene goes on a few moments past what happens in the printed version of CoG — but then so did the original draft!
- The bits below in italics are the bits from the original book, to help you mentally locate the placement of the scene.
Clary heard a sharp pattering noise all around her. For a bewildered moment she thought it had started to rain—then she realized it was rubble and dirt and broken glass: the detritus of the shattered manor being flung down around them like deadly hail.
Jace pressed her harder into the ground, his body flat against hers, his heartbeat nearly as loud in her ears as the sound of the manor’s subsiding ruins.
* * *
Later, Jace would remember little about the destruction of the Manor itself, the shattering apart of the only home he’d known until he was ten years old. He remembered only the fall from the library window, scrambling and rolling down over the grass, and catching hold of Clary, spinning her down and under him, covering her with his body while pieces of the Manor rained down around them like hail.
He could feel her breathing, feel the racing of her heart. He was reminded of his falcon, the way it had curled, blind and trusting, in his hand, the rapidity of its heartbeat. Clary was holding him by the front of the shirt, though he doubt she realized it, her face against his shoulder; he was desperately afraid that there wasn’t enough of him, that he couldn’t cover her completely, protect her entirely. He imagined boulders as big as elephants tumbling across the rocky ground, ready to crush them both, to crush her. The ground shuddered under them and he pressed harder against her, as if that might help somehow. It was magical thinking, he knew, like closing your eyes so you didn’t see the knife coming at you.
The roar had faded. He realized to his surprise that he could hear again: small things, the sound of birds, the air in the trees. Clary’s voice, breathless. “Jace — I think you dropped your stele somewhere.”
He drew back and stared down at her. She met his gaze steadily In the moonlight her green eyes could have been black. Her red hair was full of dust, her face streaked with soot. He could see the pulse in her throat. He said the first thing that he could think of, dazed, “I don’t care. As long as you’re not hurt.”
“I’m fine.” She reached up, her fingers brushing lightly through his hair; his body, super-sensitized by adrenalin, felt it like sparks against his skin. “There’s grass — in your hair,” she said.
There was worry in her eyes. Worry for him. He remembered the first time he’d kissed her, in the greenhouse, how he’d finally gotten it, finally understood the way someone’s mouth against yours could undo you, leave you spinning and breathless. That all the expertise in the world, any techniques you knew or had learned, went out the window when it was the right person you were kissing.
Or the wrong one.
“You shouldn’t touch me,” he said.
Her hand froze where it was, her palm against his cheek. “Why not?”
“You know why. You saw what I saw, didn’t you? The past, the angel. Our parents.”
Her eyes darkened. “I saw.”
“You know what happened.”
“A lot of things happened, Jace —”
“Not for me.” The words breathed out on an anguished whisper. “I have demon blood, Clary. Demon blood. You understood that much, didn’t you?”
She set her chin. He knew how much she disliked the suggestion that she hadn’t understood something, or didn’t know it, or didn’t need to know it. He loved that about her and it drove him out of his mind. “It doesn’t mean anything. Valentine was insane. He was just ranting —”
“And Jocelyn? Was she insane? I know what Valentine was trying to do. He was trying to create hybrids — angel/human, and demon/human. You’re the former, Clary, and I’m the latter. I’m part monster. Part everything I’ve tried so hard to burn out, to destroy.”
“It’s not true. It can’t be. It doesn’t make sense—”
“But it does.” How could she not understand? It seemed so obvious to him, so basic. “It explains everything.”
“You mean it explains why you’re such an amazing Shadowhunter? Why you’re loyal and fearless and honest and everything demons aren’t —”
“It explains,” he said, evenly, “why I feel the way I do about you.”
Breath hissed between her teeth. “W do you mean?”
“You’re my sister,” he said, “My sister, my blood, my family. I should want to protect you —” he choked on the words— “to protect you from the sort of boys who want to do to you exactly what I want to do to you.”
He heard her breath catch. She was still staring up at him, and though he had expected to see horror in her eyes, some sort of revulsion — for he didn’t think he’d ever stated so clearly or so tactlessly exactly how he felt — he saw nothing of the sort. He saw only searching curiosity, as if she were examining the map of some unknown country.
Almost absently, she let her fingers trail down his cheek to his lips, outlining the shape of his mouth with the tip of her index finger, as if she were charting a course. There was wonder in her eyes. He felt his heart turn over and his body, ever traitorous, respond to her touch.
“What is it, exactly, that you want to do to me?” she whispered.
He could not stop himself. He leaned down, his lips grazing her ear: “I could show you.”
He felt her tremble, but despite the shiver in her body, her eyes challenged him. The adrenaline in his blood, mixed with desire and the recklessness of despair, made his blood sing. I’ll show her, he thought. Half of him was convinced she would push him away. The other half was too full of Clary: her nearness, the feel of her against him — to think straight. “If you want me to stop, tell me now,” he whispered, and when she said nothing, he brushed his lips against her hollow of her temple. “Or now.” His mouth found her cheek, the line of her jaw: he tasted her skin, sweet-salty, dust and desire. “Or now.” His mouth traced the line of her jaw and she arched up into him, making his fingers dig into the ground. Her small, panting breaths were driving him crazy, and he put his mouth over hers to quiet her, whispering, telling, not asking: “Now.”
And he kissed her. Gently at first, testing, but suddenly her hands were fists in the back of his shirt, and her softness was pressed against his chest and he felt the solid earth give way under him as he fell. He was kissing her the way he’d always wanted to, with a wild and total abandon, his tongue sweeping inside her mouth to duel with hers, and she was just as bold as he was, tasting him, exploring his mouth. He reached for the buttons of her coat just as she bit lightly at his lower lip and his whole body jerked.
She put her hands over his, and for a moment he was afraid she was going to tell him to stop, that this was insane, they’d both hate themselves tomorrow. But: “Let me,” she said, and he went still as she calmly undid the buttons and the coat fell open. The shirt she was wearing underneath was nearly sheer, and he could see the shape of her body underneath: the curves of her breasts, the indentation of her waist, the flare of her hips. He felt dizzy. He’d seen this much of other girls before, of course he had, but it had never mattered.
And now nothing else mattered.
She lifted her arms up, her head thrown back, pleading in her eyes. “Come back,” she whispered. “Kiss me again.”
He made a noise he didn't think he’d ever made before and fell back against her, into her, kissing her eyelids, lips, throat, the pulse there — his hands slid under her flimsy shirt and onto the heat of her skin. He was pretty sure all the blood had left his brain as he fumbled at the clasp of her bra — which was ridiculous, what was the point of being a Shadowhunter and expert at everything if you couldn’t figure out the clasp on a bra? — and heard his own soft exhalation as it came free and his hands were on her bare back, the fragile shape of her shoulder blades under his palms. Somehow the little noise she made was more erotic than seeing anyone else naked had ever been.
Her hands, small and determined, were at the hem of his shirt, tugging it off. He pushed hers up, around her ribs, wanting more of their skin to be touching. So this was the difference, he thought. This was what being in love meant. He’d always prided himself on his technique, on having control, on the response he could elicit. But that required evaluation, and evaluation required distance, and there was no distance now. He wanted nothing between himself and Clary.
His hands found the waistband of her jeans, the shape of her hipbones. He felt her fingers on his bare back, her the tips finding his scars and tracing them lightly. He wasn’t sure she knew she was doing it, but she was rolling her hips against his, making him shaky, making him want to go too fast. He reached down and fitted her more firmly against him, aligning her hips with his, and felt her gasp into his mouth. He thought she might pull away, but she slung her leg over his hip instead, pulling him even closer. For a second, he thought he might pass out.
“Jace,” she whispered. She kissed his neck, his collarbone. His hands were on her waist, moving up over her ribcage. Her skin was amazingly soft. She raised herself up as he slipped his hands under her bra, and kissed the star-shaped mark on his shoulder. He was about to ask her if what he was doing was all right when she drew back from him sharply, with an exclamation of surprise. . .
* * *
“What is it?” Jace froze. “Did I hurt you?”
“No. It was this.” She touched the silver chain around his neck. On its end hung a small silver circle of metal. It had bumped against her when she’d leaned forward. She stared at it now.
That ring—the weather-beaten metal with its pattern of stars—she knew that ring.
The Morgenstern ring. It was the same ring that had gleamed on Valentine’s hand in the dream the angel had showed them. It had been his, and he had given it to Jace, as it had always been passed along, father to son.
“I’m sorry,” Jace said. He traced the line of her cheek with his fingertip, a dreamlike intensity in his gaze. “I forgot I was wearing the damn thing.”
Sudden cold flooded Clary’s veins. “Jace,” she said, in a low voice. “Jace, don’t.”
“Don’t what? Don’t wear the ring?” “No, don’t—don’t touch me. Stop for a second.”
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- CC's note: This is the story of Jocelyn’s early life, as told to Clary, so remember — “you” in this story is Clary, listening. Though this was originally written as part of City of Glass, it was too long, explained too much, and had to be shortened and altered. While it’s fun to believe that this is how things were for Jocelyn, this excerpt has to be considered non-canon or alternate universe, so don’t be surprised if things in future Shadowhunters books contradict this version of events, or if it contradicts things in City of Glass.
“I met your father in school, about the same time you met Simon. Everyone should have a friend like that in their lives. But he wasn’t that friend to me — Luke was. We were always together. In fact, at first, I hated Valentine, because he took Luke away from me.
“Valentine was the most popular student at school. He was everything you’d expect of a natural leader — handsome, brilliant, with the sort of charisma that led the younger students to worship him. He was kind enough, but there was something about him even then that I found frightening — he glittered, but with a sort of cold brilliance, like a diamond. And like a diamond, he had a sharp and cutting edge.
“When he was seventeen, his father was killed in a raid on a lycanthrope pack. It wasn't a standard raid — the pack had done nothing to break the Law, but I didn't find that out until years later. None of us did. What we did know was that Valentine returned to school utterly changed. You could see his sharp edges all the time now, the danger in him. And he began to recruit.
“He drew other students to him, like moths to light — and like moths, their yearning for him would prove the ruin of many of them in the end. He brought Hodge to him, and Maryse and Robert Lightwood — the Penhallows, the Waylands. They came and clustered around him and did his bidding. He approached me many times, but I stood apart from it all, watching, suspicious. And then he came for Luke . . .
“I know Luke often wondered why Valentine wanted him in the Circle. He wasn't much of a warrior at the time, not a born fighter. I never told him this, but I sometimes thought that Valentine saw him as a means to an end. A means to me . . .
“Valentine was someone who always knew what he wanted. And he wanted me. I never knew why. The first time I noticed him watching me across the practice yard, I knew. The look on his face — it wasn't wistful, or yearning, it was calculating and sure. The look of someone who runs their eyes over a menu and knows exactly what they want to order. His cold desire frightened me. But when he drew Luke to him, and Luke spoke so rapturously of his brilliance and his kindness, I knew I could no longer stand apart. I had to join the Circle, to see what it was that had drawn my friend into it.
“In some ways, Valentine — your father — was exactly as Luke had described him. The Circle would meet each night, often in the deserted practice yard or out in the forest, under the trees, and Valentine would hold forth on his pet topics: demons, Downworlders, and what he called the perverting of the laws of the Clave. As far as he was concerned, the Angel had never wanted us to live in peace with Downworlders, but to wipe them off the face of the planet along with demons. The Accords were a travesty; we had never been meant to live in harmony with “half-men.”
“His words were fiery, but his demeanor was — kind. He had a way of making you feel as if you were the only person on earth who mattered to him, the only one whose opinion he truly respected. His beliefs were absolute and so was his dedication to the Circle. I've come to see it as evil fanaticism since, but at the time his conviction fascinated me. He seemed to be full of passion. I could see what Luke saw in him. Soon enough, I was half in love with him myself.
“But so were all the girls in the Circle and probably some of the boys, too. You don’t belong to something like that — a cult of personality — without being a little in love with your leader. Valentine started asking me to stay after the meetings, just to talk with him. He said he valued my practical mind and dispassionate intelligence. I could tell the other girls were jealous. I’m sure they thought — well, you can imagine what they thought. But nothing was happening between us. Valentine really did just want to talk — about the future, about the Law, about the Circle and where it was going. In the end, I was the one who gave up and kissed him first.
“‘I knew it,’ was the first thing he said, and then he said, ‘I've always loved you, Jocelyn.’ And you know, he meant it. We stayed out all night in the woods then, talking. He told me how he envisioned we would lead the Circle together, forever. He told me he couldn't do it without me. He said, ‘I always knew you’d come to love me as well, I had no doubt.’
“I had no idea why it was me that he chose. It seemed to me that there was nothing special about me. But Valentine made his choice clear: from that moment on, we were together, and he never looked at another woman, not that way, not then and not in all the years we were married. The other girls stopped speaking to me, but it seemed a small price to pay. Luke — Luke was happy for me. I was a little surprised at that, I had wondered — but he was happy. I could tell.
“He was so devoted that it took me a long time to notice the changes in him. It was as if his father’s death had scraped away some softening layers of humanity from him, and now he was strangely, peculiarly cruel — but only in flashes, so brief that when they were over I could tell myself that they had never happened.
“There was a girl in our class who wanted to join the Circle. Her older brother had been bitten by a vampire, and now was one: he should have killed himself, or let his family kill him, but he hadn't and it was rumored that they still associated with him. Valentine gave her a sharpened metal spike and told her to go out and stake her brother to death and to bring back his ashes; only then could she be allowed in the Circle. The girl ran off crying. I confronted him later, told him he couldn't be so cruel or he’d be no better than Downworlders themselves. ‘But he’s a monster,’ he said. I told him that her brother might well be a monster, but she wasn't. She was Nephilim, and there was no excuse for torturing her. I thought I was being so broad-minded and tolerant — it sickens me to think about it now.
“I thought he would be angry at being reprimanded, but he wasn't. He subsided. ‘I’m afraid of losing myself in all this sometimes, Jocelyn,’ he said. ‘It’s why I need you. You keep me human.’ It was the truth. I could always turn him away from the most extreme plans, deflect his rage, calm him down. No one else could do that. I knew I had this power over him and it made me feel important, indispensable. I think I mistook that feeling for love . . .
“After we left school, we were married in the Hall of Accords, with all our friends there. Even then, I had misgivings. I looked up during the ceremony and saw through the glass roof, a flock of birds flying overhead. I felt a sudden panic, so strong that my heart fluttered in my chest like the wings of one of those birds. I knew my life would never be the same. I tried to catch Luke’s eye — he stood with his sister, in the first row of guests, and though Amatis smiled in my direction, Luke wouldn't look at me . . .
“We went to live in a manor in the countryside outside Alicante that my parents owned, though since they’d grown older they’d moved to a canal house inside the city. Valentine himself had grown up in a house just at the borders of Brocelind forest, but he claimed it had fallen into disrepair since his parents’ deaths, and I was happy enough to live in the manor house. We were only a quarter of a mile from the home of our friends the Waylands — convenient for Valentine, since Michael Wayland was one of the most enthusiastic members of the Circle, and visiting the Waylands kept us from being too much with each other at all times.
“They say men change after marriage. Whether Valentine changed or whether I simply began to more clearly see his true nature, I’m not sure. He became more and more obsessed with his cause and more and more vicious in its execution. He maintained the fiction that he never killed a Downworlder who hadn't broken the Accords, but I knew that wasn't true. One night he led the Circle to slaughter a family of werewolves in their home, claiming that they had been murdering human children and burning their bodies, and indeed in the fireplace we found many charred bones. Later I overheard Valentine chuckling to Hodge that it was easy enough to obtain human bones in the Bone City, if one cared to look for them.
“He began to disappear from our bed late at night, doing his best not to wake me; he would come back at dawn, stinking of blood and worse. I found bloody clothes in the laundry, strange wounds and scratches on his hands and arms. I would be awoken at night by cries and screams that seemed to be coming from inside the walls of the house.
“I confronted him with these things, demanded that he tell me what he was really doing every night. But he just laughed. ‘You’re imagining things, Jocelyn,’ he said. ‘It’s probably because of the baby.’ I stared at him. ‘Because of the baby? What baby?’
“He was right, of course. I was pregnant. He’d known it before I did. I tried to quash my fears, told myself that he was only trying to protect me. Circle meetings were no place for a pregnant woman, he said, so I remained at home. I was so lonely — I begged Luke to visit me, but he rarely had the time. The Circle and its dealings kept him busy. But how could I complain? Valentine was an extraordinarily attentive husband, never letting me lift a hand myself, bringing me strengthening drinks he’d mixed himself, and strong, sweet tea every night that put me right to sleep. And if sometimes I woke up with odd injuries or bruises, well, Valentine told me it was because I had been sleepwalking — a common ailment among pregnant women, he assured me.
“And then one night I was awoken by a terrific banging on the door. I raced downstairs and found Valentine standing on the front steps, holding — he was holding Luke, carrying him like a child, and blood was all over both of them. Valentine was swaying on his feet with exhaustion. ‘Werewolf attack,’ he said. ‘It might be too late —’
“But I wouldn't hear that it was too late. I helped him drag Luke upstairs to a spare room, and sent a message to Ragnor Fell, the warlock my parents often employed in the case of illness. Lycanthrope bites don’t respond to healing runes — there’s too much demonic about them. Luke was screaming and thrashing and soaking the sheets with blood; I kept sponging the blood off his shoulder, but more would come, and then more. Valentine stood beside him, looking down. ‘Maybe I should have left him to die,’ he said, his black eyes burning, ‘maybe that would be more merciful than what’s coming to him.’
“‘Don’t say that,’ I told him. ‘Don’t ever say that. Not all bites result in lycanthropy.’ And then Fell was there, and Valentine left aside his talk of abandoning Luke and stood aside while we treated him. I slept in Luke’s room that night, and in the morning he was awake and healthy and able to smile.
“Not that any of us did much smiling in the next three weeks. They’ll tell you there’s a one in two chance that a werewolf bite will pass on lycanthropy. I think it’s more like three in four. I’ve rarely seen anyone escape the disease, and however much I silently prayed in those horrible weeks, Luke was no exception. At the next full moon, he Changed.
“He was there on our doorstep in the morning, covered in blood, his clothes torn to rags. I put my arms out for him, but Valentine shouldered me aside. ‘Jocelyn,’ he said, ‘the baby.’ As if Luke were about to run at me and tear the baby out of my stomach, as if he meant me any harm at all. It was Luke, but Valentine pushed me away and dragged Luke down the steps and into the woods.
“When he came back much later, he was alone. I ran to him. ‘Where’s Lucian, where is he?’ I demanded.
“‘I gave him a knife and told him to do what he must. If he has honor, he’ll do as I said.’ I knew what he meant. He had told Luke to kill himself, and Luke would almost assuredly do it.
“I think I must have fainted. I remember a terrible icy darkness, and then waking up in my own bed, with Valentine beside me. He was stroking my hair. ‘Don’t mourn for him now,’ he said, ‘we should have mourned him weeks ago, when he truly died. What was on our doorstep this morning, that was not Lucian.’
“But I didn't believe him. I had seen Luke’s eyes as he looked at me that morning, even out of that mask of blood. I would have known those eyes anywhere, and they didn't belong to a monster. I knew then, with a terrible certainty, that in losing Luke I had lost the most important thing in my life.
“A terrible misery descended on me. If it hadn't been for the sake of the baby, I don’t think I would have eaten or slept again in those next, terrible months. My only hope was the chance that Luke hadn't taken his own life, but had simply fled. I went to Amatis in hopes that she would help me search for him, but she had her own torments to contend with. Valentine had taken Stephen on as his new lieutenant in Luke’s place, but could not tolerate Stephen’s marriage to Amatis. He claimed it was because she had objected to his treatment of her brother, but I felt it was because seeing Amatis awakened his guilt over Luke. In either case, he convinced Stephen to divorce her and remarry a beautiful young girl named Céline. Amatis was devastated, so much so that she refused to see me, blaming me along with Valentine for her unhappiness. And so I lost yet another friend.
“In despair, I went to Ragnor Fell and begged him to look out for news of Luke among Downworlders. He was silent a long time after I asked him. Finally he said, ‘There are those who would look very badly upon me for helping you.’
“‘But you've known my family for years!’ I protested. ‘You've known me since I was a girl.’
“‘That was when you were Jocelyn Fairchild. Now you are Jocelyn Morgenstern, Valentine’s wife.’ He said Valentine’s name as if it were poison.
“‘Valentine only slays those who break the Accords,’ I said weakly, thinking of the werewolf family and the bones he’d planted in their fireplace. But surely that could only have been the one time?
“‘That is not true,’ said Fell, ‘and he does worse things than kill. If I do this for you, if I look for Lucian Graymark, you must do something for me. One night, you must follow your husband and see where he goes.’
“And so I did. One night, I only pretended to drink the tea he brought me, and pretended to fall asleep by his side. When he rose and left the room, I followed him. I saw him go into the library and take a book from the wall, and when he removed it the wall slid away and left a dark hole behind . . .
“I never told you the story of Bluebeard’s wife, did I, when you were a little girl? I doubt I would have; the story still frightens me. The husband who told his wife never to look in the locked room, and she looked, and found the remains of all of the wives he had murdered before her, displayed like butterflies in a glass case. I was afraid — but I had promised Fell. I had to find out what Valentine was doing. One night I waited for him to leave the house, and I went to the library and withdrew the book from its place.
“I used my witchlight to guide me down into the darkness. The smell — oh, the smell down there, like blood and death and rotting. He had hollowed out a place under the ground, in what had once been the wine cellars. There were cells down there now, with things imprisoned in them. Demon-creatures, bound with electrum chains, writhed and flopped and gurgled in their cells, but there was more, much more — the bodies of Downworlders, in different stages of death and dying. There were werewolves, their bodies half-dissolved by silver powder. Vampires held head-down in holy water until their skin peeled off the bones. Faeries whose skin had been pierced with cold iron.
“Even now, I don’t think of him as a torturer. Not really. It wasn't that he enjoyed their pain. He seemed to be pursuing an almost scientific end. There were ledgers of notes by each cell door, meticulous recordings of his experiments, how long it had taken each creature to die. From his scribblings, it looked almost as if he were injecting the blood of demons into these creatures — but he couldn't be doing that. What sane person would do that?
“There was one vampire whose skin he had burned off over and over again to see if there was a point beyond which the poor creature could no longer regenerate. Across from the page recording that particular experiment he had written a series of notes with a heading I recognized. It was my name. Jocelyn.
“My heart began to slam inside my chest. With shaking fingers, I turned the pages, the words burning themselves into my brain. Jocelyn drank the mixture again tonight. No visible changes in her, but again it is the child which concerns me . . . With regular infusions of demonic ichor such as I have been giving her, the child may be capable of any feats. . . . Last night I heard the child’s heart beat, more strongly than any human heart, the sound like a mighty bell, tolling the beginning of a new generation of Shadowhunters, the blood of angels and demons mixed to produce powers beyond any previously imagined possible . . . no longer will the power of Downworlders be the greatest on this earth . . .
“There was more, much more. I clawed at the pages, my fingers trembling, my mind racing back, seeing the mixtures Valentine had given me to drink each night, the bruises on my body in the morning, the puncture wounds. I shook all over, so hard the book fell out of my hands and struck the floor.
“The sound woke me from my daze. I raced up the stairs, through the gap in the bookcase, and into the bedroom. In a frenzy, I began packing my things, throwing only that which was most important to me into a bag. I had some vague plan of running to my parents’ house, you see, and begging them to let me stay with them. But I never got that far. I closed the bag, turned toward the door — and there was Valentine, watching me silently from the doorway.
“My nerves, already on edge, snapped like broken strings. I screamed and dropped the bag to the ground, backing away from my husband. He didn't move, but I saw his eyes shine like a cat’s in the early dawn light. ‘What is the meaning of this Jocelyn?’
“I couldn't lie. ‘I discovered your door in the bookcase,’ I told him. ‘And I found what was under it. Your butcher’s theater.’
“‘Those things down there are monsters —’
“‘And what am I? Am I a monster?’ I screamed at him. ‘What have you done to me? What have you done to our baby?’
“‘Nothing that will harm him. I assure you he’s quite healthy.’ Valentine’s face was like a still white mask. How had I never before seen how monstrous he could look? And still his voice never rose, never changed as he told me of his experiments, of the ways he’d tried to teach himself to more effectively destroy Downworlders, to wipe them out in mass numbers. He’d even tried injecting them with demon blood — but to his surprise, it hadn't had the desired effect. Instead of proving fatal, it had made them stronger, faster, and more able to withstand the damage he tried to do to them. ‘If it has that effect on half-men,’ he said, his face shining, ‘think what it could do for Shadowhunters.’
“‘But those creatures are already part demon — we’re not! How could you think of experimenting on your own child?’
“‘I experimented on myself first,’ he said calmly, and told me how he had injected demon blood into his own veins. ‘It’s made me stronger, faster,’ he announced, ‘but I’m a grown man — think what it will do for an infant! The warrior who might develop from that —’
“‘You’re insane,’ I told him, trembling. ‘All this time I thought I was keeping you human, but you’re not human. You’re a monster — worse than any of those pathetic things down in the cellar.’
“He was a monster — I knew it — and yet, somehow, he managed to look deeply hurt at what I’d said. He reached for me. I tried to dash around him and out the door but he caught at my arm. I stumbled and fell, striking the ground hard. As I tried to rise, a searing pain shot through me. Feeling my clothes sticking to me, wet and heavy, I looked down at saw that I was lying in a spreading circle of my own blood. I began to scream even as consciousness slipped away from me.
“I awoke in my own bed, dazed and desperately thirsty. ‘Jocelyn, Jocelyn,’ said a voice in my ear. It was my mother. She stroked my hair back off my forehead and gave me water. ‘We were so worried,’ she said. ‘Valentine called for us —’
I glanced down then, and saw my flat stomach. ‘My baby,’ I whispered, tears burning the backs of my eyes. ‘He — died?’
“‘Oh, Jocelyn! No!’ My mother sprang to her feet and hurried over to something in the corner. A cradle — my cradle, the same one I’d lain in after I was born. She lifted a blanket-wrapped bundle from it and came carefully over to me, cradling her burden in her arms. ‘Here,’ she said, smiling. ‘Hold your son.’
“I took him from her in a daze. At first I knew only that he fit perfectly into my arms, that the blanket wrapping him was soft, and that he was so small and delicate, with just a wisp of fair hair on the top of his head. I began to breathe again — and then he opened his eyes.
“A wave of horror poured over me. It was like being bathed in acid — my skin seemed to burn off my bones and it was all I could do not to drop the child and begin howling.
“They say every mother knows her own child instinctively. I suppose the opposite is true as well. Every nerve in my body was screaming that this was not my baby, that something horrible and unnatural and inhuman lay in my arms like a parasite. How could my mother not see it? — and yet she was smiling at me as if nothing was wrong. ‘He’s such a good baby,’ she said. ‘He never cries.’
“‘His name is Jonathan,’ said a voice from the doorway. I looked up and saw Valentine regarding the tableau before him with a nearly impassive expression, though the faint smirk on his face told me he knew there was something dreadfully wrong with this child. ‘Jonathan Christopher.’
“The baby opened his eyes, as if recognizing the sound of his own name. His eyes were black, black as night, fathomless as tunnels dug into his skull. I could look right into them and see only a terrible emptiness.
“It was then that I fainted.
“When I woke much later, my mother was gone. Valentine had sent her home — I've no idea how he got her to leave — and he himself was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding the baby and watching me. Your father’s eyes were black, too, and I’d always found them striking, so at odds with his nearly-white hair, but now they only reminded me of the baby’s. I shrank back from both of them.
“‘Our child is hungry,’ Valentine said. ‘You must feed him, Jocelyn.’
“‘No.’ I turned my face away. ‘I can’t touch that — that thing.’
“‘He’s only a baby.’ Valentine’s voice was soft, coaxing. ‘He needs his mother.’
“‘You feed him. You’re the one who made him. He’s not even my child.’ My voice broke.
“‘He is your child. Your blood, your flesh. And if you don’t feed him, Jocelyn, he’ll die.’ He laid the child down on the blankets beside me and left the room.
“I stared at the small creature for a long time. He looked like a baby — his small fists and creased, tiny face, even the white fuzz on his head, were all babylike. His tunnel eyes were closed, his mouth open in a silent, mewling cry. I tried to imagine simply leaving him there, leaving him until he starved to death, and my heart seemed to turn to glass inside my chest. I couldn't do it.
“I lifted Jonathan in my arms. Even as I touched him, the same wave of revulsion and horror went through me that I had felt before, but this time I fought it down. I drew my nightdress aside and prepared to feed my son. Perhaps there was something in this child, some small part of me, of what was human, that could somehow be reached.
“Over the next months, I cared for Jonathan as best I could. My own body seemed to revolt against him. I produced no milk and had to feed him by bottle. I could only hold him for short periods of time before I began to feel faint and sick, as if I were standing too close to something radioactive. My mother came and cared for him sometimes, which was an immense relief. She seemed to notice nothing wrong with the child, though sometimes I would catch her staring toward his crib with a quizzical look, an unasked question in her eyes . . .
“But who could ask such things? Who could even bear to think them? Jonathan looked like a perfectly ordinary child; when I brought him to his first Circle meeting, carried in my arms, everyone told me how beautiful he was, with his extraordinary coloring, just like his father’s. Michael Wayland was there too, with his baby boy, just the same age as mine. They even shared a name: Jonathan. I watched Michael play with his son and felt sick with envy and hatred for Valentine. How could he have done what he had done? What kind of man did something like that to his own family?
“‘By the Angel, what he’ll be capable of when he’s older,’ he would breathe sometimes, leaning over Jonathan in his cradle, and the baby would gurgle. It was almost the only time Jonathan made any noise. He was a silent child, who never cried or laughed, but if he responded to anything, it was Valentine. Perhaps it was the demon in them both.
“It was around that time that I received a message in secret from Ragnor Fell. It asked me to meet him at his cottage. I rode there on a day when Valentine was at the home of Stephen Herondale, leaving Jonathan with my mother. Fell met me at the gate. ‘Lucian Graymark is alive,’ he said, without preamble, and I almost fell off my horse.
“I begged Fell to tell me what he knew. He only looked at me coldly. ‘And what of what you know, Jocelyn Morgenstern? Did you do as I asked you and follow your husband one night?’
“Walking in his garden, I told him everything: about what I had found in Valentine’s cellar, about the book, about the demon blood, about Valentine’s experiments, and even about Jonathan. He said little, but I could tell that even with all he had already known about Valentine, my words had shaken him badly.
“‘And now tell me about Lucian,’ I said. ‘Is he safe? Is he all right?’
“‘He’s alive,’ Fell said, ‘and the leader of a wolf pack at the eastern edge of Brocelynde.’ As I listened incredulously, he told me how Luke had defeated the old wolf who had bitten him, slain him in battle and become pack leader himself. ‘The tale is all over Downworld,’ he said. ‘The pack leader who used to be a Shadowhunter.’
“I had only one thought. ‘I have to see him.’
“Fell shook his head. ‘No. I've done enough for you, Jocelyn. You say you hate Valentine, but still you do nothing. I’ll help you — I’ll bring you to Lucian — but only if you’re willing to commit to the cause of destroying Valentine and the Circle. Otherwise, I suggest you get on your horse and ride home.’
“‘We can’t defeat Valentine. The Circle is too strong,’ I objected.
“‘Valentine’s weakness is his arrogance,’ said Fell. ‘And you are our best weapon because of it. You are as close to Valentine as anyone could be. You can infiltrate the Circle, gather information, find out his soft spots and weaknesses. Learn their plans. You can be the perfect spy.’
“And that was how I came to be a spy in my own house. I agreed to everything Fell asked — I would have agreed to anything just to be able to see Luke again. At the end of our meeting, I gave Fell my promise, and he gave me a map.
“When I rode into Luke’s werewolf encampment, I thought at first that I would certainly be killed. I was sure they recognized me as the wife of Valentine Morgenstern, their greatest enemy. ‘I must see your pack leader,’ I said, as they surrounded my horse. ‘Lucian Graymark. He’s an old friend of mine.’
“And then Luke came out of one of the tents and ran toward me. He looked — he was still Luke, but he had changed. He seemed older. There was gray in his hair, though he was only twenty-two. He took me in his arms and embraced me and there was nothing strange about it, about being embraced by a werewolf. It was just Luke.
I found that I was crying. ‘How could you?’ I demanded. ‘How could you let me think you were dead?’
“He admitted that he hadn't known how loyal I was to Valentine, or how much he could trust me. ‘But I know I can trust you now,’ he said, with his old smile. ‘You came all the way here to find me.’
“I told him as much as I could, of Valentine’s growing madness and violence, of my disenchantment with him. I couldn't tell him all of it, of the horrors in the cellars, of what Valentine had done to me and to our child. I knew it would just drive him mad, that he’d be unable to stop himself from trying to hunt down Valentine and kill him, and he’d only get himself killed in the process. And I couldn't let anyone know what had been done to Jonathan. Despite everything, he was still my child.
“Luke and I agreed to keep meeting and to trade information about what was going on within the Circle. I told him when they allied themselves with demons, and when the Mortal Cup was stolen, and I told him of their plans to disrupt the planned Accords. Those times with Luke were the only times I could be myself. The rest of the time I was acting — acting the wife with Valentine, and acting the content Circle member with our friends. Not letting Valentine know how much he sickened me was the worst part.
“Fortunately I saw him rarely. As the Accords approached, the Circle ramped up its plans to fall upon the unarmed Downworlders in the Hall of the Angel and slaughter them wholesale. I sat silent in the meetings, unable to participate in the eager planning, however much I knew it would behoove me to act the part of an dedicated member of the cabal. Céline Herondale, who was now extremely pregnant, often sat with me; she was frequently wistful, confused by the Circle’s enthusiasm. Though she never quite understood their passionate hatred of Downworlders, she worshipped Valentine. ‘Your husband is so kind,” she would tell me in her soft voice. “He is so concerned about Stephen and me. He gives me potions and mixtures for the health of the baby, they are wonderful.’
“What she said chilled me. I wanted to tell her not to trust Valentine or to accept anything he gave her, but I couldn't. Her husband was Valentine’s closest friend and she would surely have betrayed me to him. My terror of exposure grew daily — I was smuggling information to Luke as fast as I could, constantly panicked that a misstep would betray me to my husband. I saw him whenever I could. I kept with him a suitcase of my most precious belongings, in case we ever needed to flee Idris together — jewelry Valentine had given me, that I hoped one day to be able to sell if I needed money; letters from my parents and friends; a box my father had made for my son, with his initials carved on it, containing a lock of Jonathan’s hair — soft, silky white hair, the same color as his father’s. You’d never know from looking at it that there was anything wrong with my child at all . . .
“I became more and more frightened that Valentine would discover our secret conspiracy and would try to torture the truth out of me — who was in our secret alliance? How much had I betrayed of his plans? I wondered how I would withstand torture, whether I could hold up against it. I was terribly afraid that I could not.
“I resolved finally to take steps to make sure that this never happened. I went to Fell with my fears and he created a potion for me that would send me instantly into a sleep from which I could not be roused except by an antidote whose recipe was contained in The Book of the White, one of the oldest spellbooks of warlock-kind. He gave me a vial of the potion and another vial of the antidote and instructed me to hide them from Valentine, which I did. I was even worried that Valentine would find a copy of the Book, so one night I went through the tunnels between our house and the Waylands’, and hid it in their library.
“After that, I slept easier, save for one thing. I feared that I would take the potion, fall into the death-like sleep, and that there would be no one to wake me from it, no one who knew what had happened to me. I thought of the end of Romeo and Juliet and imagined being buried alive . . . but who was there who I could trust with this information? I couldn't tell Luke what I’d done, because he might also be compromised and tortured, and selfishly, I feared too much for him, for his safety. Telling my parents would necessitate sharing with them the full horror of my situation, and I couldn't do that. I trusted none of my old friends any more — not Maryse, not any of them. They were too much in Valentine’s thrall.
“Eventually, I realized there was only one person I could tell. I sent a letter to Madeleine explaining what I planned to do and the only way to revive me. I never heard a word back from her, though I knew my message had been delivered. I had to believe she had read it and understood. It was all I had to hold on to.
“It was around that time that Stephen Herondale was killed in a raid on a vampire nest. Valentine and the others who had been in the raiding party went to the Herondale’s home to break the news to Céline. She was eight months pregnant at the time. They said she took the news composedly, only saying she wanted to go upstairs and get her things before going to view the body.
“She never came back downstairs. Céline — soft, pretty, gentle Céline, who never did anything startling or seemed to have a single spark of independence — who had sat by me at the Circle meetings and fretted in her small voice about her husband’s safety — Céline cut her wrists and died silently on the bed she’d shared with her husband while his friends waited for her downstairs.
“It was a tragedy that shook the Circle. I heard that Stephen’s parents, after the death of their son and the suicide of their daughter-in-law, had nearly lost their minds; Stephen’s father died a month or two later, presumably of the shock. I pitied Céline, but in a way envied her. She had found a way out of her situation; I had none.
“A few nights later I was woken by the sound of a baby crying. I sat bolt upright and nearly flung myself out of bed. Jonathan, you see, never cried — never made a noise. His unnatural silence was one of the things that most distressed me about him. I must be the only mother in history to have hoped against hope that her baby would cry and wake her, would cry all night even, but he never did. And yet now the sound of an infant’s cries echoed off the manor walls.
“I hurried down the hall to the baby’s room, carrying my witchlight. It cast strange shadows on the walls as I bent over Jonathan. He was sleeping silently. Yet the crying continued, thin and reedy, the sound of a child in distress tearing at my heart. I raced down the steps and into the empty library. I could still hear the crying, coming from inside the walls. I reached for the book in its place on the shelf . . .
“Nothing happened. The bookcase no longer slid back from its place. And still the crying came, as if from beneath the house, or within the walls, maddening me. But this manor house had been mine longer than it had been Valentine’s; I had spent every summer here when I was a girl. If my husband didn't think I’d explored the place thoroughly in those years, he was wrong. I dragged back the Persian rug that covered the library floor. Beneath it was a trapdoor that opened so easily I knew it had been recently used.
“Tunnels under Shadowhunter houses are not uncommon; they are used in case of demon attacks, as a way of getting from one house to another in secret. This tunnel had once connected our manor house to the Waylands’, but my father had boarded the tunnel up. It had been opened out again now, doubtless by Valentine, and the narrow stone walls led away into darkness. I could still hear the sound of the baby crying in the distance . . .
“I followed the noise, barefoot on the cold stone, stopping occasionally with a gasp when a rat or mouse scuttled across my path. Eventually the tunnels opened out into a large stone room, what had probably once been a wine cellar. Huddled in the corner of the room was a man — but he was not a man, I saw, staring, for wings as white as snow rose from his back in two great ivory arches, and his skin glowed like liquid metal. His eyes were golden, and so sad . . .
“His ankles were manacled with electrum and electrum chains, driven into the stone floor, held him to the ground, but what truly imprisoned him was the circle of runes that surrounded him. I felt myself drift toward him, drawn by an impossibly strong force. As I approached I saw that stretched on a blanket at his feet was the baby I had heard crying. It was whimpering softly now — exhausted, probably — a tiny baby boy with golden hair and eyes shut fast. I sank to my knees, gathering the child in my arms, and as my arms went around him the strangest feeling passed through me — the opposite of what I had felt when I had first held Jonathan. A feeling of overwhelming peace . . .
“How long I held and rocked the child, I cannot say. At last I looked up and saw the angel — for I knew that was what he was — gazing down at us, his golden eyes impassive. As I met his gaze, I knew his name suddenly: Ithuriel.
“‘Help me,’ I said to him, and though no change came over his face, he bent his head and his wings came down, enveloping me in a white cloud of silence and softness. I felt more peace than I had since before I had married Valentine — and then a sudden piercing, sharp golden pain went through me, and that was the last thing I remembered when I woke in my own bed the next morning.
“I told myself it had been a dream. The sort of vivid, hallucinatory dream a woman has when she is pregnant — and I was pregnant. I had denied it to myself for at least a month, but that morning when I woke I knew, and a visit to a doctor confirmed it. I was going to have a child — again.
“I was horrified. I knew what Valentine had done to my last child — what would he do to this one? How long had he known I was pregnant? I said nothing to him, but he would turn knowing eyes on me sometimes, his gaze going through me like a knife through water. He knew — oh, he knew . . .
“The day of the Uprising came. That terrible day. I know you've heard about what happened from Luke: about the Accords, the ambush, the bloody and protracted battle that followed. I tried to mark out the Shadowhunters who weren't involved in the Circle so that the members of the Uprising wouldn't hurt them, but there was so much chaos — so much blood — many lives were lost, more than we had ever thought. And there at the end I faced Valentine with Luke at my side and saw the truth come clear in his eyes. I had wondered all along if he knew what I truly felt and what I’d really been doing for this last year of our marriage — but I saw it now on his face — he hadn't known. The pain in his eyes as he looked at me was real, and despite everything it struck at my heart. ‘And now the two of you have plotted my betrayal together,’ he snarled, his face flecked with blood. ‘You will regret what you have done all the rest of your lives.’
“Luke lunged at him, but Valentine snatched the silver locket from my throat and hurled it at Luke, burning him badly. He staggered back as Valentine seized hold of me and dragged me toward the door. He was snarling horrible things in my ear, things about what he would do to my parents, to Jonathan, how he would make my life a hell for what I’d done to him.
“I abandoned the battle, the wounded, all of it, and raced home. I was too late. Luke will have told you what we found — I remember it myself as if it were a dream. The high black sky overhead, the moon so bright I could see everything: the house turned to ashes by demon fire, hot enough to melt metal, which ran in among the ashes like rivers of molten silver across the bare face of the moon. I found the bones of my parents there, and the bones of my child, and then, at last, the bones of Valentine himself, the Circle pendant he always wore still looped around his fleshless throat . . .
“Luke took me out of the city that night. I was numb and silent, like the living dead. I kept seeing the faces of my parents over and over again — I should have warned them. I should have told them what Valentine was capable of. I should have told them of the plans for the Uprising. I never thought . . .
“And I dreamed sometimes of my baby. I saw his face even when awake, the empty tunnels of his gaze, and I felt again the revulsion and horror I’d felt the first time I touched him. And I knew I was a monster, for feeling that way. What mother, on learning of the death of her child, cannot help a feeling of — relief?
“In the flea market at Clignancourt, I sold Valentine’s Circle amulet, a revolting object which I hated looking at. It afforded me a great deal of money. With the money, I bought an airplane ticket to New York. I told Luke I was going to start my life over there — as a mundane. I wanted no shadow of Clave or Covenant ever to touch my life again, or the life of my child. I hated all things remotely associated with the Nephilim, I told him.
“This was only partly true. I was sick of the Clave, that was the truth, and I knew that as Valentine’s wife, now that he was a criminal, they would want me to come to them for questioning — that I would always be regarded with suspicion with the lawmakers of Idris. I did want to hide from them. But more than that, I wanted to hide from Valentine. I was sure he was still alive. I thought again and again of what he’d said to me as he dragged me from the Hall, of the way he’d promised to make the rest of my life a misery. They weren't the words of a man who planned to burn himself up with demon fire, no matter how despairing he was over the failure of his plans. Valentine was not the sort of man who ever gave in to despair. Even with everything he’d built destroyed, he would intend to rise again — the phoenix from the ashes.
“There was another thing I could not tell Luke. The night of the Uprising, before we had left for the city, I had taken the Mortal Cup from the hiding place where Valentine had put it, and hidden in among my belongings. I had thought of returning it to the Clave, but now — I couldn't trust them to keep it out of Valentine’s hands, not when they were so eager to believe he was truly dead. I would have to be the one who hid it from him, and inexorably, without doubt, he would come for it, and for me.
“Luke begged me not to leave him. He said he would come with me — even when I told him I was expecting another child of Valentine’s, he said it made no difference, that he’d raise the child as his own. But he’d never seen Jonathan — I’d never told him what Valentine had done to my son. How could I be sure that he hadn't done something equally dreadful to the baby I was carrying now? And how could I ask Luke to share that horror with me, or the danger of being pursued by Valentine, who hated him? It was impossible. I refused him, over and over, even though I could see the pain it caused him. Even though I knew it meant I’d likely never see him again, and the thought broke what was left of my heart.
“We parted at Orly Airport. I held on to him until the last call for the flight came and he gently pushed me toward the departure gate. It felt like I was tearing away some part of myself. At the last moment I turned and ran back to him and whispered in his ear — ‘Valentine is still alive.’ I had to tell him. I couldn't stop myself. I raced onto the plane without glancing back to see his reaction.
“I landed in New York in the early morning, the dawn sky like the inside of a pearl hanging over the city. As my taxi raced over the Williamsbug Bridge I glanced down and saw the water of the river below me, rippled here and there by the flicking tails of darting mermaids. Even here among these walls of glass and steel, this inhospitable city, the Invisible World was all around me . . .
“You know much of the rest. How I found a place to stay, found work doing the only thing I could do, here in the mundane world — paint. Not that there was much work for a painter. If it hadn't been for the jewelry I could sell, I would have starved. I found an apartment in a building owned by a kindly old couple who let me stay in return for painting a portrait of their son, who had died overseas in the army. I told them my husband, too, was dead, and they felt sorry for me, I think, a young pregnant girl who had nobody in the world . . .
Most other mothers in my situation would have been buying a cradle, buying baby toys and booties and blankets. I didn't. I was terrified. Terrified what happened with my first child would happen again with my second. I remember the night I went into labor and was taken to the hospital — it was so unlike giving birth in Alicante, with the sterile white walls and all the bleeping, terrifying machinery. I couldn't stop crying, through it all and when you were born, and right up until the moment the nurse came into my hospital room and handed you to me, and I looked down into your face.
“A great wave of love and relief washed over me. Your red hair, your green eyes — you were my child, mine, there was nothing of your father in you, nor anything monstrous or demonic. I thought you were the most perfect thing that had ever come into the world. I still think it.
“The first time I took you to the park, you saw the faeries there among the flowers and went to play with them. The other mothers there looked at us in consternation as I picked you up and hurried you home. I had gone cold all over with terror. I could see what you saw, but nobody else could. How could I raise you to live like that — to lie to everyone you knew? I had wanted to give you a normal life, but I hadn't thought this far. And I had other fears as well — there were Shadowhunters here, Downworlders too, just as there were everywhere in the world. If word of you got out, it might perhaps get back to Valentine, and then he would come to find us. And I couldn't let that happen.
“That’s why I hired Magnus Bane. I’m not proud of what I did. I did it because I was frightened. I did it because I couldn't imagine how else to protect you. I did it because I thought a life of oblivious happiness would be better than a life of danger and being hunted. And I did it, perhaps, because I wished I could forget, myself, everything in my past that still tortured me.
“It was Magnus who introduced me to Dorothea, and Dorothea who gave me the idea of hiding the Mortal Cup in a painting. I was holding you in my arms when I met her and you reached out and drew a tarot card from the stack she had on her table. I scolded you, but she only said, ‘Let’s see what card the child drew.’ It was the Ace of Cups — the Love card. ‘She’ll have a great love in her life,’ she predicted, but I was paying more attention to the image on the card. It looked just like the Mortal Cup . . .
“With the Cup safely hidden in the pack I’d painted for Dorothea, and Dorothea herself hidden away in her Sanctuary, I felt calmer. Calm enough that when Luke turned up suddenly on our doorstep, looking as if he’d been sleeping on the street for weeks, I didn't immediately send him away. He had come so far, and I had missed him so much. I let him sleep on the couch, and in the morning he was still there, and you were sitting at his feet while he showed you some simple game with cards — a Shadowhunter game, something I hadn't seen since I’d left Idris. It was as if he’d always been there with us, always belonged. I couldn't ask him to go . . . Luke disapproved when I told him what I’d had Magnus do to your memories, but it was the one issue on which I could never be budged. I reasoned that he didn't know the whole truth, and that if he did, he would have agreed with me. I know now that I was wrong. Luke was always someone who believed in the truth, no matter how cruel or unsparing, and he would have wanted you to have it.
“At least you have it now — and if you hate me now, at least it will be because of the truth and not because of lies. And at least you know now that I have always loved you and you have always been the most important thing in the world to me. That night, when Valentine and his demons broke into our apartment, looking for the Cup, I barely had time to take the potion Ragnor Fell had given me before it was too late — but I did wait, just long enough that I could call you and tell you I loved you. Everything that ever happened to me in Idris, everything Valentine ever did to me, was worth it because I had you.
“There is one more thing I have to tell you. Magnus told me about Jace, and what happened to you at Renwick’s, and what your father told you there. I need to tell you now that he was lying. That what you believe to be true about yourself and your brother isn't the truth.
“After I took the potion, Valentine tried everything to wake me, but nothing worked. When he brought me to Renwick’s I lay frozen, drifting in and out of consciousness. I couldn't move or speak, but I was aware sometimes of people coming in and out of the room. Pangborn and Blackwell came to taunt me, though they never touched me. And sometimes Valentine would come and sit by the side of my bed and talk to me. He spoke to me the way that the dead souls in Hell spoke to Dante, telling him the truth of their lives because they thought he would never return to the world to betray them. I think he was just relieved to have someone to talk to, just as I had once spilled everything in my heart to Ragnor Fell.
“He told me how he had thought when he married me that we would face the world together, united against the Clave and the Accords. He told me that when Jonathan was born, he realized he had lost me, that I would hate him forever for what he had done. But a true warrior is ready to sacrifice everything, even his wife. Even his family. So Valentine believed. He was a modern Crusader and everything he did was for the sake of his cause. Deus volt, he said. Because God wills it.
“After the birth of Jonathan, Valentine had suspected I would refuse to have any more children. And this was a pity, he felt, because he had envisioned our children as an army of superior Shadowhunters — made that way by him. He knew he couldn't force me to have a child I didn't want, though, so he turned his attentions to Céline Herondale. She was young, dedicated, impressionable. When she became pregnant, he gave her mixtures to drink, as he had done to me, claiming they were potions made up by a warlock which would foster the health of her baby. She took the drugs, the powders, the potions he gave her, even let him inject her as if he were a doctor. She was utterly trusting.
“And then something happened which Valentine did not expect. In a raid on a vampire nest, Stephen was killed. And Céline — impressionable, emotional, easily swayed Céline — drank a flask of poison and died. The Herondales swooped in, burned Stephen’s body and buried Céline in a mausoleum just outside the Bone City — no suicide can be buried inside its walls.
“You would think that would have been the end of that. But Valentine knew that what he had done had changed the child inside Céline and he had to know how. So Valentine took Hodge and went to the Bone City himself, in the dead of night. He went into the Herondale’s mausoleum and broke open Céline’s coffin. And then, using the sharp-edged blade of his kindjal, he cut her open and took the still-living baby from her dead body.
“Any other child would have died when its mother died. But Valentine had been giving Céline regular doses of Ithuriel’s blood. The blood of Heaven, pure and concentrated, and due to its effect, by some miracle, the infant was still alive.
“He brought the child back to our house that night, the night that a baby’s crying woke me from sleep and I went down to find the angel bound in the Wayland’s wine cellar with the infant at its feet. By morning, Valentine had given the boy to Hodge with instructions to take him to Valentine’s own family home outside Brocelind, and to keep him healthy. Hodge as nursemaid! — but he did it, and reported back to Valentine that the child seemed to thrive.
“The Uprising came only a few months later. I have told you already of that terrible night. After Valentine slaughtered Michael Wayland and his son and left their bodies to burn along with the bodies of my parents in the ruins of our house, he took our Jonathan and fled to the house outside Broceliand.
“For a year he hid himself away there, cloaked in layers of misdirecting glamours, and raised the two children together — his own son and his lieutenant’s, the part-demon child and the other which was part-angel. But while the part-angel child developed like an ordinary baby, his own son, the demon child, grew at an unnatural pace. By the time he was two years old he was the size of a six-year-old human child, and had the strength of an adult man. And he hated his adoptive small brother. Several times he tried to kill him and the infant was saved only by Valentine’s intervention. Eventually Valentine knew that something would have to be done.
“He was eager to return to a more active life, to a location closer to the Glass City. To a place where he could meet with his old followers, men like Pangborn and Blackwell — to a place where he was no longer quite so much in hiding. He took on Michael Wayland’s identity and returned with Stephen Herondale’s son to the Wayland family manor.
“Why didn't he bring his own son with him, you might ask? Because his son now looked like a six-year old, and Valentine knew there was no way the boy would be convincing, ever, as the Waylands’ child — and it was very important to him that later, the boy be able to convince those who had known Michael that this was his son. And so he took Stephen Herondale’s fair-haired small son to the Wayland manor, and lived also with his own in the run-down house outside Brocelind.
“The infant had a name now — Michael Wayland’s son’s name. Jonathan Wayland. As it was too confusing to be raising two children with the same first name, Valentine began to call the child by a nickname.
HE CALLED HIM JACE . . .
Valentine and Luke's farewell
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- CC's note: In the orginal first draft of Glass, after the Angel brings Jace back to life, Clary and Jace were met at the lakeside by Alec, Isabelle, Jocelyn and Luke, who have come from the battle to join them. This was changed because in the original draft there was no epilogue; so this was all the closure the characters had. I decided an epilogue was necessary to bring them more, and resolve some of what wasn't resolved -- Magnus and Alec, Jocelyn and Luke's relationships, for instance. The one thing I was a bit sad to lose was that in the first draft, Valentine had someone to be sorry that he died -- in the final version, besides Jace, there really isn't any mention of it.
There were figures racing down the beach toward them, their shadows made ungainly and long by the still-shining glow of the witchlight torches. Clary was glad for the torches now, glad if the glow made her and Jace easier to find. She recognized the running figures as they drew closer — her mother and Luke, and behind them Alec, and Isabelle. Her heart swelled hugely at the sight of them, as if it would crack her ribs apart. She felt as if she were bursting with relief.
It was Luke who reached them first, running along the sand as lightly as if he were still in wolf form. He saw Clary and Jace first and his face lit — and then his gaze went past them, and he saw Valentine, and his face changed.
Jocelyn was just behind him, and as she neared, Jace let go of Clary. She stood up, brushing sand from her clothes, just as her mother reached her and swept her into a hug. After her came Alec and Isabelle, full of exclamations and relief and — joy. They surrounded a shell-shocked-looking Jace, hugging him and shouting in his ears.
Only Luke was silent. Clary, her hand in her mother’s, turned to watch him. He had approached Valentine’s body and was looking down at it, his face a study in conflicting emotions — there was relief there, but also regret and even sorrow. In death, Valentine’s face had lost its hardness and for the first time Clary saw what her mother had once been drawn to about him, saw how he might have seemed gentle and even kind. As Luke knelt down beside his corpse, Clary couldn’t help but remember what he had said about having loved Valentine once, about having been his closest friend. Luke, she thought with a pang. Surely he couldn't be sad — or even grieved?
But then again, perhaps everyone should have someone to grieve for them, and there was no one else to grieve for Valentine.
Luke knelt where he was for a long moment. At last he reached out and with a gentle hand, closed Valentine's eyes.
"Ave atque vale, Shadowhunter," he said.
Director's Cut of last chapter
Jace's letter to Clary
- source: Cassandra Clare's site'
- The letter written to Clary by Jace in "City of Glass". The letter was included in special edition copies of "City of Fallen Angels".
Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do.
I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I don't want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that.
I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you cant have and wanting what you shouldn't want. and I shouldn't want you.
All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting it's shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I cant look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me.
The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's. I can track him to where my fathers hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go.
I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you.
- source: Cassandra Clare's site & Cassie's livejournal
- CC's note: So this is the short story told on the backs of postcards between Magnus, Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Clary and Simon that I brought on tour with me. Now that my USA tour is over I can share it online. It takes place between CoG and COFA while Magnus and Alec are in Europe and doesn't spoil anything.
- A story told in postcards – between City of Glass and Fallen Angels.
City of Fallen Angels
The Act of Falling
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- The alleyway kiss (DSAS) from Jace's perspective. This is available from Costco's special edition of City of Lost Souls.
"Because I can't talk to you," Jace said. "I can't talk to you, I can't be with you, I can't even look at you."
- —City of Fallen Angels
Jace will never forget the look on Clary’s face after he says it. Shock at first, blanching into pain.
He has hurt her before, never because he wanted to, though he had lashed out in his own blindness. The time she walked in on him kissing Aline and he said every awful thing he could think of as if the mere words themselves might have the power to make her disappear, to send her back where she was safe.
He has always cared more about whether she was safe than anything else. If he didn’t, none of this would be happening. Jace wonders if she can see it in his eyes, that terror, the shards of all those dozens of dreams in which he stabbed her or choked her or drowned her and looked down at his hands afterward, wet with her blood.
She backs up a step. There is something in her face, but it isn’t fear. It’s infinitely worse. She turns, almost tripping in her haste to get away, and rushes out of the club.
For a moment he stands and looks after her. This is exactly what he wanted, a part of his mind screams at him. To drive her away. To keep her safe, away from him.
But the rest of his mind is watching the door slam behind her and seeing the final ruin of all his dreams. It was one thing to push it to this point. It is another to let go forever. Because he knows Clary, and if she goes now, she will not ever come back.
Somehow he is outside the club and the rain is pelting down like gunfire. He sees everything in a single sweep, the way he always has, the way he was trained to do. The white van at the curb, the slant of the street as it curves back toward Greenpoint, the dark opening of an alley behind the bar, and Clary at the corner, about to cross the street and walk out of his life forever.
She yanks her arm out of his when he reaches for her, but when he puts his hand against her back she lets him guide her into the alley. His hand slides across her back to her arm as she whirls to face him — and he can see everything around them again: the wet brick wall behind them, the barred windows, the discarded musical equipment soaking in puddles of rainwater.
And Clary is lifting her face, small and pale, her mascara running in glittery streaks beneath her eyes. Her hair looks dark, pasted to her head. She feels both fragile and dangerous in his grasp, a glass explosive.
She jerks her arm away from his. “If you’re planning to apologize, don’t bother. I don’t want to hear it.” He tries to protest, to tell her he only wanted to help Simon, but she is shaking her head, her words like stinging missiles: “And you couldn’t tell me? Couldn’t text me a single line letting me know where you were? Oh, wait. You couldn’t, because you still have my goddamned phone. Give it to me.”
He reaches to hand the phone back to her, but he is barely aware of his movements. He wants to say: No, no, no, I couldn’t tell you. I can’t tell you. I can’t say I’m afraid of hurting you even though I don’t want to. I can’t say I’m afraid of becoming my father. Your faith in me is the best thing in my life and I can’t bear to destroy it. “—Forgive me —”
Her face goes white, her lipstick bright against her stark skin. “I don’t even know what you think I’m supposed to forgive you for. Not loving me any more?”
She moves away from him and stumbles, blindly, and he can’t stop himself: he reaches for her. She is delicate and shivering in his arms and they are both soaking wet and he can’t stop. Her mouth is part-open, and he brings his own lips down against hers, tasting lipstick and sweet ginger and Clary.
I love you. He can’t say it, so he tries to tell her with the pressure of his lips and his body and his hands. I love you, I love you. His hands are around her waist, lifting her, and he had forgotten: she isn't fragile; she is strong. Her fingers are digging into his shoulders, her mouth fierce against his, and his heart is pounding like it’s trying to get free of his body as he sets her down on a broken speaker.
Stop, his mind is telling him. Stop, stop, stop. He forces his hands away from her and places them on the wall, on either side of her head. Only that brings his body closer to hers, and that is a mistake. He can see the pulse slamming in her throat; her lipstick is gone and he can’t look away from the carnation-pink of her mouth, flushed from kissing, as she breathes: “Why can’t you talk to me? Why can’t you look at me?”
His heart is pounding as if it wants to leave his body and take up independent residence somewhere else. “Because I love you.”
It is the truth, and an inadequate truth at that, but he feels it punch through him with the force of a lie. Her face softens, her eyes widening. Her hands are against him, small and delicate and careful, and he leans into her, breathing the scent of her under the smell of rainwater. “I don’t care,” he hears himself say. “I’m sick of trying to pretend I can live without you. Don’t you understand that? Can’t you see it’s killing me?”
He is drowning, and it is too late. He reaches for her like an addict reaching hopelessly for the drug he has sworn not to touch again, having decided it is better to burn up in one final blaze than live forever without it.
And the gray world blazes up around him with color as they come together, bodies slamming hard against the wall behind them. The water soaking her dress has made it as slick as motor oil under his fingers. He catches and pulls at her, desire reshaping their bodies with every touch. Her breathing is ragged in his ears, her eyelids half-closed and fluttering. He is touching her skin everywhere he can: her throat, the back of her neck, her collarbones hard under his fingertips, her arms, smooth and slippery. Her hands are on him, too, no shyer than his own, and every touch seems to burn away the rain and the cold.
She is gripping his shoulders when she raises her legs and wraps them around his waist, and he makes a noise he didn’t even know he could make. It is too late to go back now. His hands clench involuntarily, and he feels the fabric of her tights rip under his fingers, and he is touching her bare skin. And their kisses taste like rain. And if he wasn’t falling before, he is falling now.
He thinks of the Fall, of angels tumbling forever in fire, and Icarus, who had flown too close to the sun. He had thought of the agony of the fall, the terror of it, but never that it might be joyful. Lucifer had not wanted to fall, but neither had he wanted to serve, and as Jace gathered Clary close against him, closer than he had ever thought they could be, he wondered if it was only in the act of falling that one could be truly free.
City of Lost Souls
Magnus & Alec
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
Warlock law was very clear on this point: if you loved a mortal, all well and good, but it was not your place to interfere with their mortality. It took a long time to become used to such a law . . . usually until you realized that being immortal was less a gift than a burden.
Magnus dropped the snuffbox back onto the desk and picked up the phone, hitting the speed-dial button for Alec’s number. When Alec picked up he sounded both harried and hopeful: “Magnus? Have you found anything?”
“Nothing. I’m sorry.”
“Oh.” Crushing disappointment made Alec’s voice sound small.
“But I was thinking about parabatai,” said Magnus. “When parabatai are especially close, they can sense if the other is dead, or Changed, or —”
“I know,” said Alec. “I know that. I felt it — for that moment that Jace died, back in Idris. But this isn’t like that.” Magnus could picture him, eyes blue in his pale face, tugging at a snarled lock of his hair. Alec usually looked like he’d fallen out of bed and into a random pile of clothes, rather than as if he’d actually picked out an outfit, and since Jace had gone missing, he’d started to look like he’d stopped brushing his hair, too. “I just feel nothing.”
“Like really nothing? As in . . . nothingness?”
“Right . . .?” Alec sounded confused.
“That actually does give me some ideas,” said Magnus. “I’ll do everything I can to help, you know that, right, Alexander? Not because it’s the Clave, but because it’s you.”
“I know.” Alec was silent for a moment. “It’s good to hear your voice, even if you can’t help,” Alec added, and hung up abruptly.
Magnus placed the phone next to him and sat for a moment, still enough to hear himself breathing. I’m losing him, he thought. I don’t know how or why, but I know that I am.
Clary & Simon at the Seelie Court
- source: mundiemoms' tumblr
- Deleted from Chapter 4.
This time, when Clary rang the bell, instead of finding themselves in the dark corridor before the Queen’s chamber, she and Simon landed in a dank, mildew-smelling cave, the walls trickling with cold water, the ground muddy and brown beneath their feet. Several passages led off what seemed to be the main chamber. As she turned, Clary’s boots slipped on the wet stone, and she caught Simon’s arm to steady herself.
He was glancing up, looking around at the walls of the cave, his dark eyes curious. He put a hand to the stone and took it away, showing her the way his palm was shining. “Look,” he said. “Phosphorescent moss.”`
“Faeries used to use it to make torches,” Clary said, remembering her Codex. “That, and trapped will-o-the-wisps in glass.”
“Come on.” Simon tugged her gently forward toward one of the darkened passages that tunneled into the wall.
“Do you know where you’re going?”
“When in doubt, head upward,” he said. “I learned that in Boy Scouts. Besides, I can see perfectly well in the dark.”
“So can I, if I make a night vision rune — oh!” Clary gasped, and they both came to a halt as Meliorn appeared before them, his white armor shining like witchlight in the dimness. There was an unpleasant expression in his pale eyes.
“So you have returned to our lands, human and liar,” he said to Clary. “You are either very brave or very stupid to desire to come before the Queen after the trick you attempted to play on her.”
“I wouldn’t say it was an attempt,” said Clary. “Last time I looked, it worked.”
“Yeah,” said Simon. Clary glanced sideways at him, and he shrugged. “Just backing you up.”
“What prevents me killing you here and taking the prize from you?” Meliorn inquired, emotionlessly.
“Two things,” Clary said, ticking them off on her fingers. “One, I don’t have it on me. He does.” She indicated Simon. “Good luck trying to kill him. Two, if you do, the Queen will never find out what I wanted, and you know she’s curious. If she wasn’t, she would have taken the whistle away from me, not let me keep it.”
Meliorn sighed. “You are the worst kind of stupid. The kind that thinks it is clever. Very well, little human Nephilim. Follow me. Perhaps, if you are lucky, the Queen will let you live.” He turned and stalked off down the passage.
“Remember when we thought faeries were little creatures who lived in toadstools and wore buttercup hats?” Clary looked over at Simon as they both began to follow the faerie knight. “Wasn’t that awesome?”
Simon grinned, a flash in the darkness, and squeezed her hand.
Clary & Simon at the Seelie Court 2.0
- source: Cut scene given to fuckyeahmortalinstruments' tumblr by Cassandra Clare
- Some words have been deleted from this deleted scene to avoid spoilers.
Clary shook her head. “There’s more to honesty than … than an arrangement of words. They say faeries can’t lie, but you lie in your intentions, your attitude, your demeanor —”
“And humans do not?” The Queen’s gaze slid across Clary and Simon. “This vampire, this Daylighter you bring everywhere with you — he is the one whose kiss you did not desire, here in my Court, is he not? Do you care for him at all, or is only the Mark of God on him that causes you to bring him with you, like a shield? And you,” she added, turning to Simon, “you who loved her, now you lend your not inconsiderable power to the project of finding the one she loves more? Where is the advantage to you?”
Simon cleared his throat. “Perhaps that is the difference between my kind and yours,” he said. “Sometimes we do things that aren’t to our advantage.”
“Ah,” said the Queen. “Stupidity, you mean.”
“I wouldn’t call it that.” Clary couldn’t help being impressed — the last time they had been here Simon had been too uncomfortable and out of his depth to say more than a few words; now he was holding his ground. “Now, do you want the ___ or not? We have business to attend to.”
“I could take it from you,” said the Queen. “The girl will not be difficult to dispose of, and as for you, Daylighter, those who serve me serve with their lives. A suicide rush could greatly inconvenience you, despite your curse.” She ran her eyes over him lingeringly.
“I am the adopted daughter of Council member Lucian Graymark,” said Clary. “I am close with the Lightwoods of the Insititute. Is it worth earning their wrath and ire just to revenge yourself upon me for tricking you? Besides — I’ve always heard that faeries appreciated cleverness. You wouldn’t want it said that you can’t appreciate a good trick, even at your own expense, would you?”
Clary saw by the narrowing of the Queen’s eyes that she had gambled hard — maybe too hard — on the faerie woman’s pride; but a moment later, the Queen was smiling, and the creatures in the walls shrieked appreciatively. “Tricky like your father,” she said, and Clary felt it like a kick in the stomach. “Very well. What would you like of me in return for the ___? I shall decide if your proposal merits a negotiation.”
Chapter 7 outtake
- source: Cassie's LiveJournal
Maia was waiting for them in MacCarren Park, on one of the narrow paths dusted with the skeletons of fallen leaves. She wore a gray leather jacket and a soft pink hat, pulled down over her ears, from which her wildly curling hair escaped in a golden-brown halo. She waved tentatively as they neared her; the first words out of her mouth were:
“Did you hear about Luke?”
They all nodded — Simon had told Isabelle and Jordan what he knew on the L-train ride over — and she fell into step beside Jordan as they went through the park, a moving foursome. Jordan had his hands in his pockets and was talking quietly to Maia, werewolf to werewolf. Simon glanced at Isabelle, walking silently beside him.
Weak November sunlight had come out from behind the clouds and picked out reddish highlights in her hair. She smelled like his own apple shampoo and Shadowhunter. “So,” he said. “Do you want me to ask why you were passed out in my bed last night when I came home, or not?”
“I didn’t pass out in your bed,” she said, as they swung left on Manhattan Avenue. The G train stop was there, and a guy was leaning against the railing, picking out a tuneless song on a guitar. Across the street was a Thrifty store where you could still get ice cream cones for 50 cents. “I passed out in your living room and Jordan put me in your bedroom.”
“Well, if it wasn’t Jordan, someone broke into your house and put me in your bed. Personally I prefer the Jordan theory. Less creepy.”
“It’s not that, it — what were you doing, drunk, with Jordan? He doesn’t drink much.”
“I’d imagine not. He has awful taste in tequila.”
“Iz.” Simon put his hand on her wrist. “I only want to know why you came over.”
She turned her head away from him, her shining black hair slipping across her back. There was a small Mark on the lower left side of her throat, just above her collarbone. It looked vulnerable, somehow. Simon wanted to brush it with his fingertips, but kept his hands in his pockets. “Everything sucks,” she said. “I saw Helen and Aline last night. We had dinner. They’re just so happy, and I keep thinking —” She bit her lip. “My parents are getting divorced, I think,” she said. “Alec is happy but I never see him. Jace is [redacted-sorry guys!]. Max is dead. Clary—”
“I get it,” he said, gently. “You needed someone to talk to and you couldn't think of anyone else.”
“No!” Isabelle said, frustration clear in her voice. "I wanted to talk to you. I always — I mean, I like to talk to you. Even if things weren't like this, I would..." She looked at him, sidelong. “I mean, we did date.”
“But it wasn't — it was never serious,” Simon said awkwardly. “I didn't think you wanted . . .”
“Did you? Want it to be serious?” Isabelle asked. There was a certain stiffness in her voice — pride, Simon guessed. Isabelle wasn't the sort of girl who made the first move with guys. She wasn't the sort of girl who had to.
Isabelle made an exasperated noise. “Look, I didn’t come by last night because you’re number six on some list and everyone else is unavailable. I came because — I like you. You make me feel better. Maybe it’s something about your face.”
“My face makes you feel better?” So she was saying he was reassuring, sweet, dependable, all of those things; things he knew Clary thought he was; things that hadn’t helped her look at him instead of Jace, not for five minutes. And Isabelle liked her guys dangerous, not . . . reassuring. Reassuring was for stuffed animals. How could you be a vampire and not be sexually threatening? He wasn’t sure, but somehow, he’d managed it.
He was saved more torturous conversation by their arrival at Magnus’ apartment, the lobby of which, as usual, smelled like a combination of cat pee and old pizza. Simon made his way up the stairs after Isabelle — remembering the first time he’d been here, crushed out on Izzy and secretly hoping to make Clary jealous, not that that had worked. Magnus’ apartment had been full of rainbow smoke and Downworlders; now, as they filed in, it was quiet and full of late morning sunlight.
Magnus, Jocelyn and Alec were seated around a long rectangular table. Magnus was clutching a cup of coffee, wearing a dark green jumpsuit with yellow racing stripes, his dark hair an unruly mass of bed-head. Alec looked like . . . Alec. He raised his eyebrows at his sister as she came into the room, but didn’t seem inclined to kill either her, or Simon.
But Jocelyn looked at Simon with eyes as piercing as nails. “Where’s Clary?” she said, tightly.
Clary & Jace
- source: Cassie on Tumblr
Jace set what he was holding down on the windowsill and reached out to her. She came to lean against him, and his hand slid up under her t-shirt and rested caressingly, possessively, on the small of her back. He bent to kiss her, gently at first, but the gentleness went quickly and soon she was pressed up against the glass of the window, his hands at the hem of her shirt — his shirt —
“Jace.” She moved a little bit away. “I’m pretty sure people down there in the street can see us.”
“We could …” He gestured toward the bed. “Move…over there.”
She grinned. “You said that like it took you a while to come up with the idea.”
When he spoke, his voice was muffled against her neck. “What can I say, you make my thought processes slow down. Now I know what it’s like to be a normal person.”
“How … is it?” The things he was doing with his hands under the t-shirt were distracting.
“Terrible. I’m already way behind on my quota of witty comments for the day. ”
Clary & Sebastian
- source: Cassie on Tumblr
Clary’s efforts almost went for nothing when she glanced up and saw Sebastian, leaning against the opposite wall of the corridor, his arms crossed, looking at her.
She felt immediately conscious of what she was wearing. The same slip dress she’d worn to the club, but without her boots, her jacket and most importantly, without the buzz she'd been riding last night, she felt unprotected, vulnerable. "Who took my shoes off?"
"That's what you want to know?" Sebastian looked incredulous. "You pass out at a club and wake up covered in blood and and you want to know where your shoes are?"
Simon, Jordan & Izzy
- source: Cassandra Clare's tumblr
Clary’s words rang in Simon’s head, clear as a bell, the moment he opened his eyes. He was lying in the bed in Magnus’ spare room, sheets thrown off, barefoot; Isabelle was gone. He sat up, rubbing his temples, and thought back at her:
Simon? Her voice was faint, fading, as if she were walking away from him. He sat up.
There was no response. He lurched to his feet, his mouth dry.
The word echoed inside his head like a bell rung in an empty room. Swearing, he pulled off his clothes, threw on new jeans and a sweater, and went out into the living room to look for his messenger bag. He felt a little sick, as if he might throw up. Clary had called out to him, but he couldn’t reach her back; what if he could never reach her back? What if she was dead or lost or the goddamn rings just didn’t work?
Jordan was lying on the futon in jeans and a green shirt, a mug of coffee balanced on his stomach. He turned his head, dark hair spilling into his eyes, as Simon came in. “Your phone’s been ringing all morning.”
Simon grabbed for his messenger bag, hanging on a peg on the wall. “Who was it?”
“I don’t know. Didn’t check. It’s your phone. You get a lot of calls, man.”
Simon forebore from pointing out that they didn’t have a land line, so everyone who knew him had to call his mobile. He fished the phone out and stared at the number. An unrecognizable 718 prefix; someone in Brooklyn. He looked at Jordan. “Did — have you seen Isabelle?”
A small smile played around Jordan’s mouth. “She’s taking a shower.” Simon glanced toward the bathroom door, which was closed. Isabelle —Clary — it was all way too much. The sort of thing that would make you want to take a deep, steadying breath, if you breathed. Instead he flipped his phone open and dialed; it picked up on the first ring. “Hello?”
Simon was floored. “Magnus?”
A chuckle. “Hey, Daylighter.”
“No offense, but I never really visualized you calling me before.”
“It’s hardly a social call.” There was a noise in the background; a murmur of voices. “Simon, have you —”
“No, I mean I didn’t really think of you as using the phone. More — appearing in a burst of glitter.”
“Have you seen Clary?” Magnus said, firmly. “I’ll address the glitter issue later. But Jocelyn is here with Brother Zachariah, and —” he lowered his voice — “Clary’s not in her room.”
Simon gave up and took a deep breath anyway, just out of reflex. “No,” he said. “No, she wouldn’t be.”
“But you do know where she is?”
Simon squeezed his eyes shut. “Yeah.”
There was a pause. “I think you better get over here.”
"Do you want me to bring Isabelle?"
"Isabelle’s there?" Magnus managed to sound dryly amused, despite everything.
"She — she, ah, spent the night."
"Alec will be delighted to hear that. Perhaps we can have a contest to see whether he or Jocelyn kills you first." Magnus chortled. “Have you told Jordan about Luke yet?”
“No.” Simon opened his eyes; Jordan was still lying on the futon, engrossed in a fat science fiction novel. “Should I?”
“He should know. He’s Praetor Lupus and this is a big deal for the Moon’s Children. In fact, bring him along. Bring all your little friends along. You’ll need them!” With which cheerful pronouncement, Magnus clicked off. Jordan sat up, setting his book aside. “What was that about telling me —”
He broke off, his eyes widening. The bathroom door had opened, and on a cloud of steam out came Isabelle, her hair like a wet black river down her back. She was wrapped in a red towel that just hit the tops of her thighs and her legs looked miles long. Both boys stared at her.
“I am so hungover,” she announced, flipped her hair over one shoulder, and stalked off toward Simon’s bedroom. Simon looked over at Jordan, whose eyebrows had risen up to his hairline.
Magnus & Jocelyn
- source: Cassandra Clare's twishort tweet
“He is a Shadowhunter,” said Jocelyn. “His loyalty will be to Clave and Covenant.”
“He’s my friend,” said Magnus coldly. “His loyalty is to me.”
A Question of Power
- source: Cassandra Clare's site
- Alec and Camille talk about Magnus and his father. A short story available from Target's special edition of City of Lost Souls.
“Tell me more,” Alec said, pacing up and down the concrete floor of the abandoned subway station at City Hall. “I need to know.”
Camille looked at the boy in front of her. She was lounging on the scarlet divan she had furnished the small space with; it had a soft velvet nap, though was worn in places. Not the finest furnishing she had ever known; and a transit station below Manhattan hardly matched up to her studio in Paris, her townhouse in Amsterdam, or the great manor house by the river near St Petersburg that she recalled now only as a dim memory. “Know more about what?” she demanded, though she knew perfectly well the answer.
“About Magnus,” said Alec. He held a witchlight stone in his hand, carelessly, as if he had forgotten it was there. So typical of the Nephilim, who took for granted their angel-granted powers and the magic that ran in their blood. The stone cast its light upward, showing clearly the planes and angles of Alec’s face. “He won’t speak to me about his past, and I can’t stand it. I can’t stand not knowing.”
She looked at the boy. He was pale as milk, his blue eyes startling against so much white skin and the darkness of his hair and eyelashes. He was long-legged, slender as a willow branch, but strong: a very pretty boy, even to her, who looked at human beings and saw mortality and rot.
“You may have to stand it,” she said, trying to keep the boredom out of her voice. “If Magnus has not shared his secrets with you yet, he may choose never to do so. So you have him and his secrets, or not have him at all.”
Alec whirled. “But he shared his secrets with you.”
She shrugged lightly. “We knew each other a long time. I had a long time to give.” She smiled, feeling the sharp kiss of her fang teeth against her lower lip. She was hungry. She thought about the boy, the pulse in his neck that beat more quickly as he spoke, the widening of his eyes. She wondered if he would cry. Human tears were salt, like their blood.
But he didn’t cry. His expression hardened, and she saw a flicker of his ancestors in the set of his jaw. “Who is his father?”
She let her head fall back against the divan. “And why should I tell you?”
“Because you want me to kill Raphael,” he said. “And because I could make life very unpleasant for you if I want to.” He raised the witchlight, and its cold white rays spread through the room. So he had remembered it after all.
She straightened up, pushing her hair back. “This is the last time, Alexander. After this I will not say another word until you come to me with Raphael’s blood on your hands and his heart strung on a chain for me to wear.”
Alec swallowed. “Tell me. Where he was born. Who his father is.”
“You would call it Indonesia,” said Camille, “but to us it was the Dutch East Indies. Magnus’ mother was of mixed blood — a white father and an Indonesian mother. His father was a Prince of Hell. You know the Princes of Hell, angel boy?”
Alec’s winter-pale skin went even paler. “Of course I do,” he said, stiffly. “I am a Shadowhunter. But they are . . . mythic. The greatest angels of Heaven became the greatest princes in Hell. And the greatest of them all is . . . Lucifer.” He sucked in a breath. “You aren’t saying . . .”
Camille pealed with laughter. “That Magnus’ father is the Light-Bringer? The Morning Star? Certainly not!”
“But he is a Prince of Hell.”
“You will have to ask Magnus that yourself,” said Camille, playing with a tassel on the end of the couch arm.
“Maybe he never told you,” Alec said. “Did he love you enough to tell you? Did you love him?”
“He loved me,” said Camille, thoughtfully. “I did not love him. I was fond of him. But I never loved him. Not like that.” She shifted irritably. “I grow tired of telling you things, little Shadowhunter, especially when you have been of so little use to me.”
Alec’s cheeks flushed the color of pale carnations. Camille could tell by the tension in his slender body that he was holding back both anger and shame: he needed her, she thought with satisfaction, needed her to satisfy the curiosity that consumed him, fed by fear. His need of her was like blood.
“One last thing,” he said, in a low voice. “One last thing, and I will leave you alone.”
She raised her eyebrows.
“Am I different?” Alec said. “Is there any way he loves me that is different than the ways he’s loved before?”
She let her lips curl into a slow smile. “The answer to that question, Alexander, will cost you.”
“Cost me what? What more?”
There was pain in his voice.
“Blood,” she said.
A long silence stretched between them. Finally, in an incredulous tone, he said: “You want to drink my blood?”
She chuckled. “Do you know how long it has been since I drank from a willing human? And Shadowhunter blood has a special quality. Not all of you are like your Jace, of course, carrying daylight in your veins. But still — a vintage of unusual quality.”
The flush in his cheeks deepened. He stared at her as she lay back against the velvet, half-closing her eyes. She knew her beauty could not warm or tempt him, but it did not matter. Beauty was power, but there were other kinds of power.
This close to Alec, she could smell his scent: sandalwood cologne, winter chill, the salt tang of human fear. And they were human, Shadowhunters. Underneath it all, still human, prey to human emotions, human weaknesses, and human fears, for all that they believed that they were special.
“Very well,” he said. “Just this once.”
She watched through half-lidded eyes that hid her triumph, the slight trembling in his fingers as he reached for the button that fastened the shirt cuff at his left wrist and flicked it open, then offered her his bare and unprotected skin.
Clary, Jace & Seb
- source: Cassie on Tumblr
- A present from Cassie for trending #weareshadowhunters.
Clary was in Jace's room when he and Sebastian returned to the house. She had found very little during her search. There was nothing in Sebastian's room that could be considered interesting except some books written in Latin, and her Latin wasn’t good enough to read them. There were pages that looked like they were torn from old guidebooks, illustrated with black and white pen sketches, pinned to the walls, but there seemed no connection between them. In the fireplaces were chunks of ash that looked like the remains of burned photographs, but they crumbled away when she tried to pick them up.
Jace's room was next, neat as a pin, containing almost nothing of his belongings. There were weapons, but she didn't recognize them, or the books on the shelves either. His closet was filled with clothes, but like the clothes in the master bedroom, they were largely new: he must have bought them in the past week or so, since price tags still hung from several of them. They were not what she thought of as Jace's style. He had always dressed simply — things that were plain, solid colors, clothes that fit well but didn't catch attention. He was gorgeous enough that it didn't matter, she had always thought; he looked amazing in just jeans and a t-shirt. And he had plenty of those in his closet now, but the shirts had designer labels, the coats and jackets were Burberry and Hugo Boss and Dolce & Gabbana.
Like the clothes in Sebastian’s closet.
Like the expensive clothing Valentine had always worn.
She closed the closet door and sat down on Jace's bed, telling herself she was being stupid. Designer clothes were nothing to get worked up about. There were other things in the room that spoke of the Jace she had always known — the neatness, the arranging his weapons on top of his dresser in order of size, the books on the nightstand. He always used a thin dagger as a bookmark; that hadn't changed. The photo of the two of them, stuck to the wall. Even the citrusy soap in his bathroom was the same soap he always used —
She heard steps on the staircase, voices. Sebastian’s rose: "Where is she?"
She barely had time to switch off the light, fling herself down on the bed and curl up with her head on the pillow when the door opened. Jace stood there framed in the hallway glow, Sebastian behind him. She raised herself up on her elbow, blinking sleepily at them despite the racing of her heart. “Did you guys just get back?”
Jace gave Sebastian a look — a look that said clearly: I told you she’d be here. “Didn’t you hear us come upstairs?”
She shook her head. “Sorry, I got tired. I think I’m still exhausted from staying up till dawn the other night.” She looked at Jace demurely. “I was feeling a little lonely, so I thought if I curled up in your bed …”
Do I sound like I mean it? His face had relaxed, but Sebastian was looking at her as if his gaze could piece through her like clear glass, and he was amused at what he saw.
She sat up, shaking her hair back, and reached for the lamp on the nightstand. “Don’t —” Jace began, but she had already flipped it on.
She stiffened. The two boys looked down at her, Jace with some concern and Sebastian with his usual quirky edge of half-amusement. His dark eyes met hers with the message they always held, the one she tried not to read: We know, you and I. We know the truth.
But none of that was what had made her stiffen. It was that both of them were was splattered with blood — there was a smear of it across Jace’s cheek, staining his sleeves, and a rent in his shirt, its edges dark and stiff with dried blood, though the skin underneath was unmarked. Sebastian, though — Sebastian had blood even in his white-silver hair, and on his clothes, and on his hands so thick it looked as if he were wearing red gloves. The silver bracelet he wore around the wrist where his hand had regenerated was spotted with red.
Clary heard her own voice as if from very far away. “What happened?”
“We ran into a little trouble,” Sebastian said. “Nothing we couldn’t handle.” He tilted his head to the side. “You look as pale as a ghost, little sis. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen worse. We’re Shadowhunters. This is what we do.”
“Of course.” Clary spoke mechanically. “I just wouldn’t want you to get hurt.”
“Then you’ve nothing to worry about. Most of this isn’t either of our blood.”
She swallowed against her dry throat. “So whose is it?”
- source: Cassie's LiveJournal - TMI site
- CC's note: Now keep in mind a version of this does still exist in the books, but it is much less... well. You'll see. I wrote this in Mexico, probably having had too much mezcal, and I was trying to capture a mood of really dark, tipping over the edge sensuality, doing things that are probably a bad idea, you get the picture.
“What’s going on?” It was Jace, having fought his way free of the pack of dancers. More of the shimmering stuff had gotten on him, silver drops clinging to the gold of his hair. “Clary?”
“Sorry,” she said, getting to her feet. “I got lost in the crowd.”
“I noticed,” he said. “One second I was dancing with you, and the next you were gone and a very persistent werewolf was trying to get the buttons on my jeans undone.” He took Clary’s hand, lightly ringing her wrist with his fingers. “Do you want to go home? Or dance some more?”
“Dance some more,” she said, breathlessly. “Is that all right?”
“Go ahead.” Sebastian leaned back, his hands braced behind him on the fountain’s edge, his smile like the edge of a straight razor. “I don’t mind watching.”
Something flashed across Clary’s vision: the memory of a bloody handprint. It was gone as soon as it had come and she frowned. The night was too beautiful to think of ugly things. She looked back at her brother only for a moment before she let Jace lead her back through the crowd to its edge, near the shadows, where the press of bodies was lighter. Another ball of colored light burst above their heads as they went, scattering silver, and she tipped her head up, catching the salt-sweet drops on her tongue.
Jace stopped and swung her toward him. She could feel the silver liquid trickling down her face like tears. He pulled her against him and kissed them, as if he were kissing tears away, and his lips were warm on her face and made her shiver. She reached for the zip on his army jacket, ripped it down, slid her hands inside and over the cotton of his shirt, then under the hem, her nails scratching lightly over his ribs. He stopped and cupped the back of her neck with his hand, leaning to whisper in her ear. Neither of them could be said to be dancing any more: the hypnotic music went on around them, but Clary barely noticed it. A couple dancing past laughed and made a derisive comment in Czech: she couldn't understand it, but suspected the gist was get a room.
Jace made an impatient noise and then he was pulling her after him again, through the last of the crowd and into one of the shadowy alcoves that lined the walls.
This alcove was conical, with a low stone pedestal in the center on which an angel statue, about three feet tall, stood. It was made of black basalt, but its eyes were glass, like doll eyes, and its wings were silver. The floor was slippery and damp. They skidded across it to fetch up against a wall, Jace with his back to it, and then he was kissing her, bruising hard and hungry kisses. He tasted salt-sweet, too, and moaned as she licked the taste off his lips. Her hands threaded through his hair. It was dark in the alcove, so dark Jace was just an outline of shadows and gold. She gripped the edges of his jacket, pushing it off his shoulders; it fell to the ground and he kicked it away. Her hands came up under his shirt, clawing at his back, fingers digging into the skin there, softness layered over hard muscle.
He kissed her harder and she clutched his shoulders as he sucked her bottom lip into his mouth and bit down on it, sending a shock of pleasure mixed with pain through her body. She squirmed to get closer to him and felt his breath quicken; she could taste blood in her mouth, salt and hot. It was as if they wanted to cut each other apart, she thought, to climb inside each other and breathe each other’s breath and share each other’s heartbeats, even if it killed them both. There was blood under her nails where she had clawed his back.
Jace pressed her forward, spinning them both around so she was pinned between his body and the wall. As they turned, he caught the edge of the angel statue, toppling it to the ground and shattering apart in a cloud of marble dust. He laughed and dropped to the ground in front of her on his knees among the remnants of broken statuary. She stared down at him in a daze as he ran his hands up her boots, to her bare legs, to the lace that edged the bottom of her slip dress. She sucked in her breath, as his hands slipped like water up and over the silk, to her waist, to grip her hips, leaving streaks of silver on the silk.
“What are you doing?” she whispered. “Jace?”
He looked up at her. The peculiar light in the club turned his eyes an array of fractured colors. His smile was wicked. “You can tell me to stop whenever you want,” he said. “But you won’t.”
“Jace…” His hands bunched in the silk of her dress, dragging the hem up, and he bent to kiss her legs, the bare skin where her boots ended, her knees (who knew knees could be so sensitive?) and farther up, where no one had ever kissed her before. The kisses were light, and even as her body tensed that she wanted to tell him she needed more, but didn’t know what, didn’t know what she needed exactly, but it didn’t matter because he seemed to know it. She let her head fall back against the wall, half-closing her eyes, hearing only her heartbeat like a drum in her ears, louder and louder still.
Stephen's letter to his son
- source: Radiant Shadows blog
- A letter from Stephen Herondale to his son, Jace, written before he died. This is available from the special edition of City of Lost Souls from Barnes & Noble.
To my son,
If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.
I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt.
I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate.
There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid.
At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Céline, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame.
I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this: Do not blame Céline for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her: she wanted only kindness, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you.
The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myself and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you.
For there is only one thing I want from you, my son – one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right.
I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy.
Chapter 7 Clace
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- A deleted/rewritten Clace scene from City of Lost Souls.
Clary didn’t know how long she’d been sitting on Luke’s front steps when the sun began to come up. It rose behind his house, the sky turning a dark pinkish-rose, the river a strip of steely blue. She was shivering — had been shivering so long that her whole body seemed to have contracted into a single hard shudder of cold. She had used two warming runes, but they hadn’t helped; she had a feeling the shivering was psychological as much as anything else. Would he come? If he was still as much Jace inside as she thought he was, he would; when he said he would come back for her, he would have meant as soon as possible. Jace was impatient. And he didn’t play games.
But there was only so long she could wait. Eventually Magnus would wake up, and look for her; her mother would return from the Iron Fortress with Brother Zachariah. She would have to give up on Jace, for at least another day, if not longer.
She shut her eyes against the brightness of the sunrise, resting her elbows on the step above her. For just a moment, she let herself float in the fantasy that everything was as it had been, that nothing had changed, that she would meet Jace this afternoon for practice, or that night for dinner, and he would hold her and make her laugh the way he always did. Warm tendrils of sunlight touched her face. Reluctantly, her eyes fluttered open.
And he was there, walking toward her up the steps, soundless as a cat as always. He wore boots, black pants, a dark blue sweater that made his hair look like sunlight. She sat up straight, her heart pounding. The brilliant sunshine seemed to outline him in light, and his eyes shone like polished shields. She thought of that night in Idris, watching the fireworks, how they had streaked across the sky and she had thought of angels, falling in fire.
He reached her and held his hands out; she took them, and let him pull her to her feet. His pale gold eyes searched her face. “I want you with me,” he said. “But I want it to be your choice. Once we go, there’s no coming back.”
“And if I say no?” she said, in a whisper.
“Then I’ll come back and ask you again later. And again after that. But it’ll always be your choice.”
“I love you,” she said. “There never has been, never will be anyone for me but you.”
He shook his head. “Love is too small a word,” he said. “You’re in my bones and my blood and my heart. I’d have to tear myself open to let you go, and even then …” He pulled her against him, against his heart. “Come with me, Clary. Come with me.”
“I hate the idea of living without you,” she said, and thought, and now the lying begins. “I want to come with you. I don’t care where we go, or what you’re doing, or about anything but being with you.”
He smiled, brilliant as the sun coming out from behind the clouds. “You’re sure?”
He leaned forward and kissed her. Reaching up to hold him, she tasted something bitter on his lips; then darkness came down like a curtain signaling the end of of the act of a play.
City of Heavenly Fire
- source: City of Heavenly Fire; shared online by Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- This comes with the paperback UK edition of City of Heavenly Fire. This was drawn by Cassandra Jean.
Portal to LA
- source: City of Heavenly Fire; shared online by Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- This is a deleted scene that was drawn into a mini-comic by Cassandra Jean and came with the special edition of City of Heavenly Fire from Target.
DSES director's cut
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
…For a moment Jace just looked at her in astonishment, his lips parted slightly; Clary felt her cheeks flush. He was looking at her like she was the first star that had ever come out in the sky, a miracle painted across the face of the world that he could barely believe in. He swallowed. "Let me —" he said, and broke off. "Can I kiss you? Please?"
Instead of nodding, she leaned down to press her lips to his. If their first kiss in the water had been an explosion, this was a sun going supernova. A hard, hot, driving kiss, a nip at her lower lip and the clash of tongues and teeth, both of them pressing as hard as they could to get closer. They were glued together, skin and fabric, a heady mix of the chill of the water, the heat of their bodies, and the frictionless slide of damp skin.
Jace lifted her, dragging her up his body, and she felt him suck in his breath at the contact. His hands slid under her, grasping her thighs as he walked them both out of the lake. The cold air hit her body and she shuddered; Jace went down on his knees on the powdery sand beach, laying her gently atop the pile of their heaped clothes.
Clary stretched her body out, trying to line herself up with him, and saw his eyes darken as he watched her. Her wet underclothes clung to her body as Jace's clung to his. She let her eyes roam over him, taking in what was familiar and what wasn't: the flare of his shoulders, the curve of his waist, the scars on his skin ... her gaze dipped lower...
He laughed, a low, dark rasp. "It's a little unfair," he said, breathlessly, "that you can tell how much I want this just by looking at me and I can’t tell the same thing about you." She shifted under him. Their bodies scraped together and his pulse jumped, his hands digging into the sand on either side of her. "Look at me," she said.
His eyes had been half-lidded; he opened them wide now, and stared at her. There was hunger in his, a hot devouring hunger that would have frightened her if it had been anyone else but Jace. But it was Jace, and she trusted him. "Look at me," she said, and his eyes raked her, adoring, devouring, swallowing, and her body felt as if burning liquid were surging through it everywhere his gaze touched. He dragged his eyes back up to her face: they fixed on her mouth. "I do want you," she said. "I always have." She kissed him, slow and hard. "I want to, if you do."
"If I want to?" There was a wild edge to his soft laugh. She could hear the soft rasp of sand between his fingers, saw the hesitation in his eyes, the concern for her, and she lifted herself up and wrapped her legs around his hips. He pressed his hot face into her throat, his breath ragged. "If you do that — I won’t be able to stop —"
"Don’t stop, I don’t want you to stop," she said, and tightened her grip on him, and with a growl he took her mouth again, hot and demanding, sucking her lower lip into his mouth, his tongue sliding against hers. She tasted him in her mouth, the salt of sweat and cave water. She had never been kissed like this before, even by Jace. His tongue explored her mouth before he moved down her throat: she felt wet heat at the hollow of her collarbone and almost screamed. She grabbed at him instead, running her hands all over his body, wildly free in the knowledge that she could touch him, as much as she liked, however she liked. She felt as if she were drawing him, her hands mapping his shape, the slope of his back, flat stomach, the indentations above his hips, the muscles in his arms. As if, like a painting, he were coming to life under her hands.
When his hands slid underneath her bra to cup her breasts, she gasped at the sensation, then nodded at him when he froze, his eyes questioning. Go on. He unsnapped the front and the bra fell open and for a moment he just froze, staring at her as if she shone like witchlight. Then he bent his head again and the feel of his mouth on her breasts did make her scream. She clapped a hand over her mouth, but he reached up and pried it away. "I want to hear you," he said, and it wasn't a demand, but a low, prayerful yearning. She nodded and buried her hands in his hair.
He kissed her shoulders and her breasts, her stomach, her hips; he kissed her everywhere while she gasped and moved against him in ways that made him moan and beg her to stop or it would all be over too soon. She laughed through her gasps, told him to go on, tried to hold herself still but it was impossible.
He stopped before removing each piece of clothing from either of them, asking her with eyes and words if he should keep going, and each time she nodded and said yes, go on, yes. And when finally there was nothing between them but skin, she stilled her hands, thinking that there was no way to ever be closer to another person than this, that to take another step would be like cracking open her chest and exposing her heart.
She felt Jace's muscles flex as he reached past her for something, and heard the crackle of foil. "Good thing I brought my wallet," he said, his voice unsteady.
Suddenly everything seemed very real; she felt a sudden flash of fear. "Wait," she whispered. He stilled. His free hand was cradling her head, his elbows dug deep into the sand on either side of her, keeping his weight off her body. All of him was tense and shaking, and the pupils of his eyes were wide, the iris just a rim of gold. "Is something wrong?"
Hearing Jace sound uncertain — she thought maybe her heart was cracking, shattering into pieces. "No," she whispered. "Just — kiss me," she pleaded, and he did, not moving to do anything else, just kissing her: hot languorous slow kisses that sped up as his heartbeat did, as the movement of their bodies quickened against each other. Each kiss was different, each rising higher and higher like a spark as a fire grew: quick soft kisses that told her he loved her, long slow worshipful kisses that said that he trusted her, playful light kisses that said that he still had hope, adoring kisses that said he had faith in her as he did in no one else. Clary abandoned herself to the kisses, the language of them, the wordless speech that passed between them. His hands were shaking, but they were quick and skilled on her body, light touches making her want more and more until she pushed and pulled at him, urging him against her with the mute appeal of fingers and lips and hands.
And even at the final moment, when she did flinch, she pressed him to go on, wrapping herself around him, not letting him go. "Jace," she whispered, and he bent his head to kiss her as he carefully, carefully started to move. She could see in the tension of his body, his grip on her shoulder, that he didn't want it to be over too quickly: he closed his eyes, his lips moving, silently shaping her name.
In the past days, weeks, her body had been torn by weapons, by shards of glass, flung through Portals, broken and bruised. Now she let all that fall away, let her body remind itself that it was also a thing that could give pleasure to her, and to the person she loved most in the world.
"I love you," she said, her hands in his hair. "I love you."
She saw his eyes widen and something behind his expression crack. The last wall around his heart, the last piece of self-protection he’d held in place. It crumbled away into blazing light as he came undone against her, like sunlight bursting into a room that had been walled up for a long, long time. He buried his face in her neck, saying her name over and over before he collapsed against her shoulder. And when finally Clary closed her eyes she thought she saw the cavern blaze up in gold and white, wrapping them both in heavenly fire, the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
- source: Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- I haven't got much in the way of substantive cut scenes from City of Heavenly Fire. Most things were rewritten rather than removed. But here's a bit of Sebastian's death scene that didn't make it in.
"We forgive you," Jocelyn said. She was still crying, in the same soundless terrible way, just as she had every year on Jonathan's birthday when she had held the box with his initials on it and wept.
"No," he said. "There's no forgiveness for what I did. I know where I will burn when I die."
"Heaven does not forgive, but mothers do," said Jocelyn. "When you were a baby inside me, I dreamed of everything for you. That you would be handsome and strong and good. That I would sing to you and love you and take care of you." She gripped his hand tightly. "Maybe not in this world, but in another, I believe that was the truth."
"Don't forgive me," he whispered. "Hate me. Rejoice that I'm dead. After all I have done, the last thing I would wish to bring to you was more grief."
"Jonathan," Clary whispered.
His eyes moved toward her. "And sisters," he said. "Do sisters forgive?"
A letter from faeries
- source: City of Heavenly Fire; shared online by Cassandra Clare on Tumblr
- This came in first editions of City of Heavenly Fire. This was meant as a sneak peak of The Dark Artifices series. It is the letter faeries sent to Arthur asking for his help in exchange for the return of Mark, later mentioned in Lady Midnight.
To Arthur Blackthorn, head of the Los Angeles Institute:
We beseech you once more on a matter of great import. As you know, in past months, the marked and mutilated bodies of both our people and yours have been found all around the city of Los Angeles. This is your domain and so once again we humble ourselves before you and ask for aid. After the events of the Dark War, the Fair Folk no long fall under your protection and the protection of the Accords, but still we hope. It is rare for Faerie to admit itself to be desperate, but we are desperate now. If you will not give us succor, then at least perhaps you will bargain with us. Investigate the deaths of our people and we will grant unto you the return of your nephew, the brother of the children now living in your house.
The Wild Hunt does not give back what belongs to it, but we will give Mark Blackthorn back to you.
We await your words.
Young Jonathan and Valentine comic
- source: Cassandra Jean on Tumblr
- A canon scene where Valentine tells a young Sebastian why his mother is gone, drawn by Cassandra Jean, with the dialogue written by Cassandra Clare.