Alec looked at her and shook his head. “How do you manage never to get mud on your clothes?”
Isabelle shrugged philosophically. “I’m pure at heart. It repels the dirt.
If you’re texting Magnus to say ‘I think u r kewl,’ I’m going to kill you.”
“Who’s Magnus?” Max inquired.
“He’s a warlock,” said Alec.
“A sexy, sexy warlock,” Isabelle told Max, ignoring Alec’s look of total fury.
“But warlocks are bad,” protested Max, looking baffled.
“Exactly,” said Isabelle.
Trains are great dirty smoky things,” said Will. “You won’t like it.”
Tessa was unmoved. “I won’t know if I like it until I try it, will I?”
“I’ve never swum naked in the Thames before, but I know I wouldn’t like it.”
“But think how entertaining for sightseers,” said Tessa, and she saw Jem duck his head to hide the quick flash of his grin.
Have you tried talking to her?”
“No. We’ve been punching her in the face repeatedly. What? You don’t think that will work?
Sometimes, when I have to do something I don’t want to do, I pretend I’m a character from a book. It’s easier to know what they would do.
Well, she’s not responding to my advances,” he observed more brightly than he felt, “so she must be dead.”
“Or she’s a woman of good taste and sense.
Will rolled up his sleeves. “We’ll probably have to knock down the door–“
“Or,” said Jem, reaching out and giving the knob a twist, “not.”
The door swung open onto a rectangle of darkness.
“Now, that’s simply laziness,” said Will.
Demon pox, oh demon pox
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh demon pox, I had it all alongâ
Not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very songâ
For I was right, and you were wrong!”
“Will!” Charlotte shouted over the noise, “Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET! Jemâ”
Jem, rising to his feet, clapped his hands over Will’s mouth. “Do you promise to be quiet?” he hissed into his friend’s ear.
Will nodded, blue eyes blazing. Tessa was staring at him in amazement; they all were. She had seen Will many thingsâamused, bitter, condescending, angry, pityingâbut never giddy before.
Jem let him go. “All right, then.”
Will slid to the floor, his back against the armchair, and threw up his arms. “A demon pox on all your houses!” he announced, and yawned.
“Oh, God, weeks of pox jokes,” said Jem. “We’re in for it now.
We need to talk. All of us About what we’re going to do now.”
“I was going to watch Project Runway.
I figured all your classes were stuff like Slaughter 101 and Beheading for Beginners.”
Jace flipped a page. “Very funny, Fray.
Clary felt suddenly annoyed. “When the self-congratulatory part of the evening is over, maybe we could get back to saving my best friend from being exsanguinated to death?”
“Exsanguinated,” said Jace, impressed. “That’s a big word.”
“And you’re a big-“
“Tsk tsk,” he interupted. “No swearing in church.
Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.
“How did you know I had Shadowhunter blood? Was there some way you could tell?”
The elevator arrived with a final groan. Jace unlatched the gate and slid it open. The inside reminded Clary of a birdcage, all black metal and decorative bits of gilt. “I guessed,” he said, latching the door behind them. “It seemed like the most likely explanation.”
“You guessed? You must have been pretty sure, considering you could have killed me.”
He pressed a button in the wall, and the elevator lurched into action with a vibrating groan that she felt all through the bones in her feet. “I was ninety percent sure.”
“I see,” Clary said.
There must have been something in her voice, because he turned to look at her. Her hand cracked across his face, a slap that rocked him back on his heels. He put a hand to his cheek, more in surprise than pain. “What the hell was that for?”
The other ten percent,” she said, and they rode the rest of the way down to the street in silence.
But-” Maia, still looking at Alec and Magnus, broke off and rasied her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at – and stared.
Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people – Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike – were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes widen, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth.
Maia looked perplexed. “Wait a second,” she said. “Do we all have to do that, too?
Sebastian just smiled. âI could hear your heart beating,â he said softly. âWhen you were watching me with Valentine. Did it bother you?â
âThat you seem to be dating my dad?â Jace shrugged. “Youâre a little young for him, to be honest.â
âWhat?â For the first time since Jace had met him, Sebastian seemed flabbergasted.
They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite
If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?
It’s the mortal cup Jace, not the mortal toilet bowl.
You know, some people think Shadowhunters are just myths. Like mummies and genies.” Kyle grinned at Jace. “Can you grant wishes?”
“That depends,” he said. “Do you wish to be punched in the face?
There’s no need to clarify my finger snap,” said Magnus. “The implication was clear in the snap itself.
That was enterprising,” Will sounded nearly impressed.
Nate smiled. Tess shot him a furious look. “Don’t look pleased with yourself. When Will says ‘enterprising’ he means ‘morally deficient.'”
“No, I mean enterprising,” said Will. “When I mean morally deficient, I say, ‘Now, that’s something I would have done’.
I am a badass, and I recognize that you, too, are a badass.
Don’t order any of the faerie food,” said Jace, looking at her over the top of his menu. “It tends to make humans a little crazy. One minute you’re munching a faerie plum, the next minute you’re running naked down Madison Avenue with antlers on your head. Not,” he added hastily, “that this has ever happened to me.
Will looked horrified. “What kind of monster could possibly hate chocolate?
One of the Silent Brothers is here to see you. Hodge sent me to wake you up. Actually he offered to wake you himself, but since it’s 5 a.m., I figured you’d be less cranky if you had something nice to look at.”
I’ve got a stele we can use. Who wants to do me?”
“A regrettable choice of words,” muttered Magnus.
Can I help you with something?”
Clary turned instant traitor against her gender. “Those girls on the other side of the car are staring at you.”
Jace assumed an air of mellow gratification. “Of course they are,” he said, “I am stunningly attractive.
You guessed? You must have been pretty sure, considering you could have killed me.”
“I was ninety percent sure.”
“I see,” Clary said. There must have been something in her voice, because he turned to look at her. Her hand cracked across his face, a slap that rocked him back on his heels. He put his hands on his cheek, more in surprise than pain.
“What the hell was that for?”
“The other ten percent.
Investigation?” Isabelle laughed. “Now we’re detectives? Maybe we should all have code names.”
“Good idea,” said Jace. “I shall be Baron Hotschaft Von Hugenstein.
Declarations of love amuse me. Especially when unrequited.
What’s this?” he demanded, looking from Clary to his companions, as if they might know what she was doing there.
“It’s a girl,” Jace said,recovering his composure. “Surely you’ve seen girls before, Alec. Your sister Isabelle is one.
People aren’t born good or bad. Maybe they’re born with tendencies either way, but its the way you live your life that matters.
It’s all right to love someone who doesn’t love you back, as long as they’re worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.
You know,” Gabriel said, “there was a time I thought we could be friends, Will.”
“There was a time I thought I was a ferret,” Will said, “but that turned out to be the opium haze. Did you know it had that effect? Because I didn’t.
Don’t.” Clary raised a warning hand. “I’m not really in the mood right now.”
“That’s got to be the first time a girl’s ever said that to me,” Jace mused.
Mom. I have something to tell you. Iâm undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But Iâm here to tell you that undead are just like you and me â¦ well, okay. Possibly more like me than you.
Just because you call an electric eel a rubber duck doesn’t make it a rubber duck, does it? And God help the poor bastard who decides they want to take a bath with the duckie. (Jace Wayland)
You see, cuckoos are parasites. They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. When the egg hatches, the baby cuckoo pushes the other baby birds out of the nest. The poor parent birds work themselves to death trying to find enough food to feed the enormous cuckoo child who has murdered their babies and taken their places.”
“Enormous?” said Jace. “Did you just call me fat?”
“It was an analogy.”
“I am not fat.
Out of the corner of her eye she thought she saw Jace shoot her a look of white rage – but when she glanced at him, he looked as he always did: easy, confident, slightly bored.
“In future, Clarissa,” he said, “it might be wise to mention that you already have a man in your bed, to avoid such tedious situations.”
“You invited him into bed?” Simon demanded, looking shaken.
“Ridiculous, isn’t it?” said Jace. “We would never have all fit.”
“I didn’t invite him into bed,” Clary snapped. “We were just kissing.”
“Just kissing?” Jace’s tone mocked her with its false hurt. “How swiftly you dismiss our love.
Usually I’m remarkably good natured. Try me on a day that doesn’t end in y.
No, I’m just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nuns.
There’s plenty of sense in nonsense sometimes, if you wish to look for it.
Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?” asked Simon.
“No,” Jace said. “Sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.
I was thinking about the first time I ever saw you,” he said, “and how after that I couldn’t forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn’t stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institue. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you sitting on that couch with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me– I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn’t get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it–it had never been like that for me before. I’d always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick’s and I knew.
Ah,â said a voice from the doorway, âhaving your annual âeveryone thinks Will is a lunaticâ meeting, are you?
âItâs biannual,â said Jem. âAnd no, this is not that meeting.
Don’t stop there. I suppose there are also, what, vampires and werewolves and zombies?”
“Of course there are. Although you mostly find zombies farther south, where the voudun priests are.”
“What about mummies? Do they only hang around Egypt?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. No one believes in mummies.
If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?
Isabelle drifted over, Jace a pace behind her. She was wearing a long black dress with boots and an even longer cutaway coat of soft green velvet, the color of moss. “I can’t believe you did it!” she exclaimed. “How did you get Magnus to let Jace leave?”
“Traded him for Alec,” Clary said.
Isabelle looked mildly alarmed. “Not permanently?”
“No,” said Jace. “Just for a few hours. Unless I don’t come back,” he added thoughtfully. “In which case, maybe he does get to keep Alec. Think of it as a lease with an option to buy.”
Isabelle looked dubious. “Mom and Dad won’t be pleased if they find out.”
“That you freed a possible criminal by trading away your brother to a warlock who looks like a gay Sonic the Hedgehog and dresses like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?” Simon inquired. “No, probably not.
The meek may inherit the earth, but at the moment it belongs to the conceited. Like me.
It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.
Don’t tell me,” Jace said, “Simon’s turned himself into an ocelot and you want me to do something about it before Isabelle makes him into a stole. Well, you’ll have have to wait till tomorrow. I’m out of commission.” He pointed at himself – he was wearing blue pajamas with a hole in the sleeve. “Look. Jammies.”
“Jace,” Clary said, “this is important.”
“Don’t tell me,” he said. “You’ve got a drawing emergency. You need a nude model. Well, I’m not in the mood. You could always ask Hodge,” he said as an afterthought. “I hear he’ll do anything for a -“
“JACE!” she interrupted him, her voice rising to a scream. “JUST SHUT UP FOR A SECOND AND LISTEN, WILL YOU?
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 dont 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 can’t 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 its 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 can’t 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 father’s 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.
Theyâre not hideous,â said Tessa.
Will blinked at her. âWhat?â
âGideon and Gabriel,â said Tessa. âTheyâre really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.â
âI spoke,â said Will, in sepulchral tones, âof the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.â
Tessa snorted. âAnd what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?â
âMauve,â said Will.
What are all these?” Clary asked.
“Vials of holy water, blessed knives, steel and silver blades,” Jace said, piling the weapons on the floor beside him, “electrum wire – not much use at the moment but it’s always good to have spares – silver bullets, charms of protetion, crucifixes, stars of David-“
“Jesus,” said Clary
“I doubt he’d fit.”
“Jace.” Clary was appalled.
So when the moon’s only partly full, you only feel a little wolfy?”
“You could say that.”
“Well, you can go ahead and hang your head out the car window if you feel like it.”
“I’m a werewolf, not a golden retriever.