Monday, 21 January 2013

City of Fallen Angels - Chapter 14

Jace tossed uneasily on the narrow bed in the Silent City. He didn’t know where the
Brothers slept, and they didn’t seem inclined to reveal it. The only place there seemed to
be for him to lie down was in one of the cells below the City where they usually kept
prisoners. They’d left the door open for him so he didn’t feel too much like he was in jail,
but the place couldn’t by any stretch of the imagination be called pleasant.
The air was close and thick; he’d taken off his shirt and lay atop the covers in just his
jeans, but he was still too hot.
The walls were dull gray. Someone had carved the letters JG into the stone just above the
bedstead, leaving him to wonder what that was about—and there was nothing else in the
room but the bed, a cracked mirror that gave him back his own reflection in twisted
pieces, and the sink. Not to mention the more than unpleasant memories the room stirred
The Brothers had been in and out of his mind all night, till he felt like a wrung-out rag.
Since they were so secretive about everything, he had no idea if they were making any
progress. They didn’t seem pleased, but then, they never did.
Tosleep:perchancetodream.Heflippedover, burying his face in his arms. He didn’t think
he could stand even one more dream about hurting Clary. He thought he might actually
lose his mind, and the idea frightened him. The prospect of dying had never frightened
him much, but the thought of going insane was nearly the worst thing he could imagine.
But going to sleep was the only way to know. He closed his eyes and willed himself to
He slept, and he dreamed.
He was back in the valley—the valley in Idris where he had fought Sebastian and nearly
died. It was autumn in the valley, not high summer as it had been the last time he had
been there. The leaves were exploding in gold and russet and orange and red. He was
standing by the bank of the small river—a stream, really—that cut the valley in half. In
the distance, coming toward him, was someone, someone he couldn’t see very clearly
yet, but the person’s stride was direct and purposeful.
He was so sure it was Sebastian that it was not until the figure had come close enough to
see clearly that he realized it couldn’t possibly be. Sebastian had been tall, taller than
Jace, but this person was small—the face in shadow, but a head or two shorter than
Jace—and skinny, with the thin shoulders of childhood, and bony wrists sticking out of
the too-short sleeves of his shirt.
The sight of his little brother hit Jace like a blow, and he went down on his knees on the
green grass. The fall didn’t hurt. Everything had the padded edges of the dream that it
was. Max looked as he always had. A knobby-kneed boy just on the verge of growing up
and out of that little-kid stage. Now he never would.
“Max,” Jace said. “Max, I’m so sorry.”
“Jace.” Max stood where he was. A little wind had come up and lifted his brown hair off
his face. His eyes, behind their glasses, were serious. “I’m not here because of me,” he
said. “I’m not here to haunt you or make you feel guilty.”
Of course he isn’t, said a voice in Jace’s head. Max has only ever loved you, looked up to
you, thought you were wonderful.
“The dreams you’ve been having,” Max said. “They’re messages.”
“The dreams are a demon’s influence, Max. The Silent Brothers said—”
“They’re wrong,” Max said quickly. “There are only a few of them now, and their powers
are weaker than they used to be. These dreams are meant to tell you something. You’ve
been misunderstanding them. They’re not telling you to hurt Clary. They’re warning you
that you already are.”
Jace shook his head slowly. “I don’t understand.”
“The angels sentme to talk to youbecause Iknowyou,” Maxsaid,inhis clear child’s
voice.“Iknow howyouare with the people you love, and you’d never hurt them willingly.
But you haven’t destroyed all of Valentine’s influence inside you yet. His voice still
whispers to you, and you don’t think you hear it, but you do. The dreams are telling you
that until you kill that part of yourself, you can’t be with Clary.”
“Then I’ll kill it,” Jace said. “I’ll do whatever I have to do. Just tell me how.”
Max smiled a clear bright smile and held out something in his hand. It was a silverhandled
dagger—Stephen Herondale’s silver-handled dagger, the one from the box. Jace
recognized it at once. “Take this,” Max said. “And turn it against yourself. The part of
you that is here in the dream with me must die. What will rise up afterward will be
Jace took the knife.
Max smiled. “Good. There are many of us here on the other side who are worried about
you. Your father is here.”
“Not Valentine—”
“Your real father. He told me to tell you to use this. It will cut away everything rotten in
your soul.”
Max smiled like an angel as Jace turned the knife toward himself, blade inward. Then at
the last moment Jace hesitated. It was too close to what Valentine had done to him,
piercing him through the heart. He took the blade and cut a long incision into his right
forearm, from elbow to wrist. There was no pain. He switched the knife to the right hand
and did the same to his other arm. Blood exploded from the long cuts on his arms,
brighter red than blood in real life, blood the color of rubies. It spilled down his skin and
pattered onto the grass.
He heard Max breathe out softly. The boy bent down and touched the fingers of his right
hand to the blood. When he raised them, they were glittering scarlet. He took a step
toward Jace, and then another. This close up, Jace could see Max’s face clearly—his
poreless child’s skin, the translucence of his eyelids, his eyes—Jace didn’t remember him
having such dark eyes. Max put his hand to the skin of Jace’s chest, just over his heart,
and with the blood he began to trace a design there, a rune. Not one Jace had ever seen
before, with overlapping corners and strange angles to its shape.
Done, Max dropped his hand and stepped back, head cocked to the side, an artist
examining his latest work. A sudden spear of agony went through Jace. It felt as if the
skin on his chest were burning. Max stood watching him, smiling, flexing his bloody
hand. “Does it hurt you, Jace Lightwood?” he said, and his voice was no longer Max’s
voice, but something else, high and husky and familiar.
“Max—,” Jace whispered.
“As you have dealt pain, so shall you be dealt pain,” said Max, whose face had begun to
shimmer and change.
“As you have caused grief, so shall you feel grief. You are mine now, Jace Lightwood.
You are mine.”
The agony was blinding. Jace crumpled forward, hands clawing at his chest, and he
tumbled into darkness.
Simonsatonthe couch, his face inhis hands. His mind was buzzing. “This is myfault,” he
said.“Imight as well have killed Maureen when I drank her blood. She’s dead because of
Jordan sprawled in the armchair opposite him. He was wearing jeans and a green tee over
a long-sleeved thermal shirt with holes in the cuffs; he had his thumbs stuck through
them, and was worrying at the material. The gold Praetor Lupus medal around his neck
glinted. “Come on,” he said. “There’s no way you could have known.
She was fine when I put her in the cab. These guys must have grabbed her and killed her
Simon felt light-headed. “But I bit her. She’s not going to come back, right? She’s not
going to be a vampire?”
“No. Come on, you know this stuff as well as I do. You’d have to have given her some of
your blood for her to become a vampire. If she’d drunk your blood and then died, yeah,
we’d be out in the graveyard on stake watch.
But she didn’t. I mean, I assume you’d remember something like that.”
Simon tasted sour blood in the back of his throat. “They thought she was my girlfriend,”
he said. “They warned me they’d kill her if I didn’t show up, and when I didn’t come,
they cut her throat. She must have waited there all day, wondering if I’d come. Hoping
I’d show up . . .” His stomach revolted, and he bent over, breathing hard, trying to keep
from gagging.
“Yeah,” said Jordan, “but the question is, who is they?” He gave Simon a hard look. “I
think it might be time for you to call the Institute. I don’t love the Shadowhunters, but
I’ve always heard their archives are incredibly thorough.
Maybe they’ve got something on that address from the note.”
Simon hesitated.
“Come on,” Jordan said. “You do enough crap for them. Let them do something for you.”
With a shrug Simon went to get his phone. Heading back to the living room, he dialed
Jace’s number. Isabelle picked up on the second ring. “You again?”
“Sorry,” Simon said awkwardly. Apparently their little interlude in the Sanctuary hadn’t
softened her toward him as much as he had hoped. “I was looking for Jace, but I guess I
can talk to you—”
“Charming as always,” said Isabelle. “I thought Jace was with you.”
“No.” Simon felt a stirring of unease. “Who told you that?”
“Clary,” Isabelle said. “Maybe they’re sneaking some time together or something.” She
sounded unworried, which made sense; the last person who’d lie about Jace’s
whereabouts if he was in any sort of trouble was Clary.
“Anyway, Jace left his phone in his room. If you do see him, remind him he’s supposed
to be at the party at the Ironworks tonight. If he doesn’t show, Clary will kill him.”
Simon had nearly forgotten that he was supposed to be at the party that night.
“Right,” he said. “Look, Isabelle. I’ve got a problem here.”
“Spill. I love problems.”
“I don’t know if you’re going to love this one,” he said dubiously, and filled her in
quickly on the situation. She gave a little gasp when he got to the part where he’d bitten
Maureen, and he felt his throat tighten.
“Simon,” she whispered.
“I know, I know,” he said wretchedly. “You think I’m not sorry? I’m beyond sorry.”
“If you’d killed her, you’d have broken the Law. You’d be an outlaw. I’d have to kill
“But I didn’t,” he said, his voice shaking a little. “I didn’t do this. Jordan swears that she
was fine when he put her intothecab.Andthenewspapersaysherthroatwascut.
Ididn’tdothat.Someonedidittogettome.Ijustdon’t know why.”
“We’re not done with this issue.” Her voice was stern. “But first go get the note they left.
Read it out to me.”
Simon did as asked, and was rewarded by a sharp intake of breath on Isabelle’s part.
“I thought that address sounded familiar,” she said. “That’s where Clary told me to meet
her yesterday. It’s a church, uptown. The headquarters of some sort of demonworshipping
“What would a demon-worshipping cult want with me?” Simon said, and received a
curious look from Jordan, who was only hearing half the conversation.
“I don’t know. You’re a Daylighter. You’ve got crazy powers. You’re going to be a
target for lunatics and black magicians. That’s just how it is.” Isabelle, Simon felt, could
have sounded a bit more sympathetic. “Look, you’re going to the Ironworks party, right?
We canmeet there and talk nextsteps.And I’ll tellmymom aboutwhat’s been going on
with you. They’re already investigating the Church of Talto, so they can add that to the
info pile.”
“I guess,” Simon said. The last thing in the world he felt like was going to a party.
“And bring Jordan with you,” Isabelle said. “You can use a bodyguard.”
“I can’t do that. Maia’s going to be there.”
“I’ll talk to her,” Isabelle said. She sounded a lot more confident than Simon would have
felt in her place. “See you there.”
She clicked off. Simon turned to Jordan, who was lying down across the futon, his head
propped against one of the woven throw pillows. “How much of that did you hear?”
“Enough to gather that we’re going to a party tonight,” said Jordan. “I heard about the
Ironworks event. I’m not in the Garroway pack, so I wasn’t invited.”
“I guess you’re coming as my date now.” Simon shoved the phone back into his pocket.
“I’m secure enough in my masculinity to accept that,” said Jordan. “We’d better get you
something nice to wear, though,” he called as Simon headed back into his room. “I want
you to look pretty.”
Years previously, when Long Island City had been a center of industry instead of a trendy
neighborhood full of art galleries and coffee shops, the Ironworks was a textile factory.
Now it was an enormous brick shell whose inside had been transformed into a spare but
beautiful space. The floor was made up of overlapping squares of brushed steel; slender
steel beams arced overhead, wrapped with ropes of tiny white lights. Ornate wrought iron
staircases spiraled up to catwalks decorated with hanging plants. A massive cantilevered
glass ceiling opened onto a view of the night sky. There was even a terrace outside, built
out over the East River, with a spectacular view of the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge, which
loomed overhead, stretching from Queens to Manhattan like a spear of tinseled ice.
Luke’s pack had outdone themselves making the place look nice. There were artfully
placed huge pewter vases holding long-stemmed ivory flowers, and tables covered in
white linen arranged in a circle around a raised stage on which a werewolf string quartet
provided classical music. Clary couldn’t help wishing Simon were there; she was pretty
sure he’d think Werewolf String Quartet was a good name for a band.
Clary wandered from table to table, arranging things that didn’t need arranging, fiddling
with flowers and straightening silverware that wasn’t actually crooked. Only a few of the
guests had arrived so far, and none of them were people she knew. Her mother and Luke
stood near the door, greeting people and smiling, Luke looking uncomfortable ina suit,
and Jocelynradiant in a tailored blue dress.After the events of the pastfewdays, itwas
good to see her mother looking happy, though Clary wondered how much of it was real
and how much was for show. There was a certain tightness about Jocelyn’s mouth that
made Clary worry—was she actually happy, or just smiling through the pain?
Not that Clary didn’t know how she felt. Whatever else was going on, she couldn’t put
Jace out of her mind. What were the Silent Brothers doing to him? Was he all right?
Were they going to be able to fix what was wrong with him, to block out the demon
influence? She had spent a sleepless night the evening before staring into the darkness of
her bedroom and worrying until she felt literally sick.
More than anything else, she wished he was here. She had picked out the dress she was
wearing tonight—pale gold and more fitted to her body than anything she usually wore—
with the express hope that Jace would like it; now he wasn’t going to see her in it. That
was a shallow thing to worry about, she knew; she’d go around dressed in a barrel for the
rest of her life if it meant Jace would get better. Besides, he was always telling her she
was beautiful, and he never complained about the fact that she mostly wore jeans and
sneakers, but she had thought he would like this.
Standing in front of her mirror tonight, she had almost felt beautiful. Her mother had
always said that she herself had been a late bloomer, and Clary, looking at her own
reflection, had wondered if the same thing might happen to her. She wasn’t flat as a board
anymore—she’d had to go up a bra size this past year—and if she squinted, she thought
she could see—yes, those were definitely hips. She had curves. Small ones, but you had
to start somewhere.
She’d kept her jewelry simple—very simple.
She put her hand up and touched the Morgenstern ring on its chain around her throat. She
had put it on again, for the first time in days, that morning. She felt as if it were a silent
gesture of confidence in Jace, a way of signaling her loyalty, whether he knew about it or
not. She had decided she would wear it until she saw him again.
“Clarissa Morgenstern?” said a soft voice at her shoulder.
Clary turned in surprise. The voice wasn’t familiar. Standing there was a slim tall girl
who looked about twenty. Her skin was milk-pale, threaded with veins the clear green of
sap, and her blond hair had the same greenish tint. Her eyes were solid blue, like marbles,
and she wore a slip of a blue dress, so thin that Clary thought she had to be freezing.
Memory swam up slowly from the depths.
“Kaelie,” Clary said slowly, recognizing the faerie waitress from Taki’s who had served
her and the Lightwoods more than once. A flicker reminded her that there had been some
intimation that Kaelie and Jace had once had a fling, but the fact seemed so minor in the
face of everything else that she couldn’t bring herself to mind it. “I didn’t realize—do
you know Luke?”
“Do not mistake me for a guest at this occasion,” said Kaelie, her thin hand tracing a
casually indifferent gesture on the air. “My lady sent me here to find you—not to attend
the festivities.” She glanced curiously over her shoulder, her all-blue eyes shining.
“Though I had not realized that your mother was marrying a werewolf.”
Clary raised her eyebrows. “And?”
Kaelie looked her up and down with some amusement. “My lady said you were quite
flinty, despite your small size.
In the Court you would be looked down on for having such short stature.”
“We’re not in the Court,” said Clary. “And we’re not in Taki’s, which means you came to
me, which means you have five seconds to tell me what the Seelie Queenwants. Idon’t
like her much, and I’m not inthemood for her games.”
Kaelie pointed a thin green-nailed finger at Clary’s throat. “My lady said to ask you,” she
said, “why you wear the Morgenstern ring. Is it to acknowledge your father?”
Clary’s hand stole to her throat. “It’s for Jace—because Jace gave it to me,” she said
before she could help herself, and then cursed herself quietly. It wasn’t smart to tell the
Seelie Queen more than you had to.
“But he is not a Morgenstern,” said Kaelie, “but a Herondale, and they have their own
ring. A pattern of herons, rather than morning stars. And does that not suit him better, a
soul that soars like a bird in flight, rather than falling like Lucifer?”
“Kaelie,” Clary ground out between her teeth. “What does the Seelie Queen want?”
The faerie girl laughed. “Why,” she said, “only to give you this.” She held out something
in her hand, a tiny silver bell pendant, with a loop at the end of the handle so that it could
be strung on a chain. As Kaelie moved her hand forward, the bell chimed, light and as
sweet as rain.
Clary shrank back. “I do not want the gifts of your lady,” she said, “for they come
freighted with lies and expectations. I will not owe the Queen anything.”
“It is not a gift,” Kaelie said impatiently. “It is a means of summoning. The Queen
forgives you for your earlier stubbornness. She expects there is a time soon in which you
will want her help. She is willing to offer it to you, should you choose to ask. Simply ring
that bell, and a servant of the Court will come and bring you to her.”
Clary shook her head. “I will not ring it.”
Kaelie shrugged. “Then it should cost you nothing to take it.”
As if in a dream Clary saw her own hand reach out, her fingers hover over the bell.
“You would do anything to save him,” said Kaelie, her voice thin and as sweet as the
bell’s ring, “whatever it cost you, whatever you might owe to Hell or Heaven, would you
Remembered voices chimed in Clary’s head. Did you ever stop to wonder what untruths
might have been in the tale your mother told you, that served her purpose in telling it? Do
you truly think you know each and every secret of your past?
Madame Dorothea told Jace he would fall in love with the wrong person.
He is not beyond saving. But it will be difficult.
The bell clanged as Clary took it, folding it into her palm. Kaelie smiled, her blue eyes
shining like glass beads. “A wise choice.”
Clary hesitated. But before she could thrust the bell back at the faerie girl, she heard
someone call her name, and turned to see her mother making her way through the crowd
toward her. She turned back hastily, but was not surprised to see that Kaelie was gone,
having melted away into the crowd like mist burning away in the morning sun.
“Clary,” Jocelyn said, reaching her, “I was looking for you, and then Luke pointed you
out, just standing over here by yourself. Is everything okay?”
Just standing over here by yourself. Clary wondered what kind of glamour Kaelie had
been using; her mother ought to be able to see through most. “I’m fine, Mom.”
“Where’s Simon? I thought he was coming.”
Of course she would think of Simon first, Clary thought, not Jace. Even though Jace had
been supposed to come, and as Clary’s boyfriend, he probably ought to even have been
there early. “Mom,” she said, and then paused.
“Do you think you’ll ever like Jace?”
Jocelyn’s green eyes softened. “I did notice he wasn’t here, Clary. I just didn’t know if
you’d want to talk about it.”
“I mean,” Clary went on doggedly, “do you think there’s something he could do to make
you like him?”
“Yes,” Jocelyn said. “He could make you happy.” She touched Clary’s face lightly, and
Clary clenched her own hand, feeling the bell press into her skin.
“He does make me happy,” Clary said. “But he can’t control everything in the world,
Mom. Other things happen—”
She fumbled for words. How could she explain that it wasn’t Jace making her unhappy,
but what was happening to him, without revealing what that was?
“You love him so much,” Jocelyn said gently. “It scares me. I’ve always wanted to keep
you protected.”
“And look how that worked out,” Clary began, and then softened her voice. This wasn’t
the time to blame her mother or fight with her, not now. Not with Luke looking over at
them from the doorway, his face alight with love and anxiety. “If you just knew him,” she
said, a little hopelessly. “But I guess everyone says that about their boyfriend.”
“You’re right,” Jocelyn said, surprising her. “I don’t know him, not really. I see him, and
he reminds me a little of his mothersomehow. Idon’t knowwhy—he doesn’t look like her,
except thatshe was also beautiful,and she had that terrible vulnerability that he has—”
“Vulnerability?” Clary was astonished. She had never thought anyone but herself thought
of Jace as vulnerable.
“Oh, yes,” said Jocelyn. “I wanted to hate her for taking Stephen away from Amatis, but
you just couldn’t help wanting to protect Céline. Jace has a little of that.” She sounded
lost in thought. “Or maybe it’s just that beautiful things are so easily broken by the
world.” She lowered her hand. “It doesn’t matter. I have my memories to contend with,
but they’re my memories. Jace shouldn’t bear the weight of them. I will tell you one
thing, though. If he didn’t love you like he does—and it’s written all over his face
whenever he looks at you—I wouldn’t tolerate him for even a moment. So keep that in
mind when you’re being angry with me.”
She waved off Clary’s protestation that she wasn’t angry with a smile and a pat on the
cheek, and headed back toward Luke with a last appeal for Clary to get out among the
crowd and mingle. Clary nodded and said nothing, looking after her mother as she went,
and feeling the bell sear against the inside of her hand where she clutched it, like the tip
of a burning match.
The area around the Ironworks was mostly warehouses and art galleries, the kind of
neighborhood that emptied out at night, so it didn’t take too long for Jordan and Simon to
find a parking space. Simon jumped down out of the truck, only to find Jordan already on
the sidewalk, looking at him critically.
Simon hadn’t packed any nice clothes when he’d left his house—he didn’t have anything
on him fancier than a bomber jacket that had once belonged to his dad—so he and Jordan
had spent the afternoon prowling the East Village for a decent outfit for him to wear.
They’d finally found an old Zegna suit in a consignment shop called Love Saves the Day
that mostly sold glitter platform boots and sixties Pucci scarves. Simon suspected it was
where Magnus got most of his clothes.
“What?” he said now, self-consciously pulling down the sleeves of his suit jacket. It was
a little too small for him, though Jordan had opined that if he never buttoned it, no one
would notice. “How bad do I look?”
Jordan shrugged. “You won’t crack any mirrors,” he said. “I was just wondering if you
were armed. You want anything? Dagger, maybe?” He opened his own suit jacket just a
bit, and Simon saw something long and metallic glinting against the inside lining.
“No wonder you and Jace like each other so much. You’re both crazy walking arsenals.”
Simon shook his head in weariness and turned to head toward the Ironworks entrance. It
was across the street, a wide gold awning shadowing a rectangle of sidewalk that had
been decorated with a dark red carpet with the gold image of a wolf stamped into it.
Simon couldn’t help being slightly amused.
Leaning against one of the poles holding up the awning was Isabelle. She had her hair up
and was wearing a long red dress, slit up the side to show most of her leg. Loops of gold
laddered her right arm. They looked like bracelets, but Simon knew they were really her
electrum whip. She was covered in Marks. They twined her arms, threaded their way up
her thigh, necklaced her throat, and decorated her chest, a great deal of which was visible,
thanks to the plunging neckline of her dress. Simon tried not to stare.
“Hey, Isabelle,” he said.
Beside him Jordan was also trying not to stare. “Um,” he said. “Hi. I’m Jordan.”
“We met,” Isabelle said coldly, ignoring his proffered hand. “Maia was trying to rip your
face off. Quite rightly, too.”
Jordan looked worried. “Is she here? Is she okay?”
“She’s here,” said Isabelle. “Not that how she feels is any of your business . . .”
“I feel a sense of responsibility,” said Jordan.
“And where is this feeling located? In your pants, perhaps?”
Jordan looked indignant.
Isabelle waved a slim decorated hand. “Look, whatever you did in the past, it’s past. I
know you’re Praetor Lupus now, and I told Maia what that means. She’s willing to accept
that you’re here and ignore you. But that’s all you get.
Don’t bother her, don’t try to talk to her, don’t even look at her, or I’ll fold you in half so
many times you’ll look like a tiny little origami werewolf.”
Simon snorted.
“Laugh away.” Isabelle pointed at him. “She doesn’t want to talk to you, either. So
despite the fact that she looks totally babelicious tonight—and if I were into chicks I
would completely go for her—neither of you are allowed to talk to her. Got it?”
They nodded, looking at their shoes like middle schoolers who’d just been handed
detention slips.
Isabelle unpeeled herself from the pole. “Great. Let’s go on in.”


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