Monday, 21 January 2013

City of Fallen Angels - Chapter 19

The unimaginable brilliance printed on the back of Clary’s eyelids faded into darkness. A
surprisingly long darkness that gave way slowly to an intermittent grayish light, blotched
with shadows. There was something hard and cold pressing into her back, and her whole
body hurt. She heard murmured voices above her, which sent a stab of pain through her
head. Someone touched her gently on the throat, and the hand was withdrawn. She took a
deep breath.
Her whole body was throbbing. She opened her eyes to slits, and looked around her,
trying not to move very much. She was lying on the hard tiles of the rooftop garden, one
of the paving stones digging into her back. She had fallen to the ground when Lilith
vanished, and was covered in cuts and bruises, her shoes were gone, her knees were
bleeding, and her dress was slashed where Lilith had cut her with the magical whip,
blood welling through the rents in her silk dress.
Simon was kneeling over her, his face anxious. The Mark of Cain still gleamed whitely
on his forehead. “Her pulse is steady,” he was saying, “but come on. You’re supposed to
have all those healing runes. There must be something you can do for her—”
“Not without a stele. Lilith made me throw Clary’s away so she couldn’t grab it from me
when she woke up.” The voice was Jace’s, low and tense with suppressed anguish. He
knelt across from Simon, on her other side, his face in shadow. “Can you carry her
downstairs? If we can get her to the Institute—”
“You want me to carry her?” Simon sounded surprised; Clary didn’t blame him.
“I doubt she’d want me touching her.” Jace stood up, as if he couldn’t bear to remain in
one place. “If you could—”
His voice cracked, and he turned away, staring at the place where Lilith had stood until a
moment ago, a bare patch of stone now silvered with scattered molecules of salt. Clary
heard Simon sigh—a deliberate sound—and he bent over her, his hands on her arms.
She opened her eyes the rest of the way, and their gazes met. Though she knew he
realized she was conscious, neither of them said anything. It was hard for her to look at
him, at that familiar face with the mark she had given him blazing like a white star above
his eyes.
She had known, giving him the Mark of Cain, that she was doing something enormous,
something terrifying and colossal whose outcome was almost totally unpredictable. She
would have done it again, to save his life. But still, while he’d been standing there, the
Mark burning like white lightning as Lilith—a Greater Demon as old as mankind itself—
charred away to salt, she had thought, What have I done?
“I’m all right,” she said. She lifted herself up onto her elbows; they hurt horribly. At
some point she’d landed on them and scraped off all the skin. “I can walk just fine.”
At the sound of her voice, Jace turned. The sight of him tore at her. He was shockingly
bruised and bloody, a long scratch running the length of his cheek, his lower lip swollen,
and a dozen bleeding rents in his clothes. She wasn’t used to seeing him so damaged—
but of course, if he didn’t have a stele to heal her, he didn’t have one to heal himself,
His expression was absolutely blank. Even Clary, used to reading his face as if she were
reading the pages of a book, could read nothing in it. His gaze dropped to her throat,
where she could still feel the stinging pain, the blood crusting there where his knife had
cut her. The nothingness of his expression cracked, and he looked away before she could
see his face change.
Waving away Simon’s offer of a helping hand, she tried to rise to her feet. A searing pain
shot through her ankle, and she cried out, then bit her lip. Shadowhunters didn’t scream
in pain. They bore it stoically, she reminded herself. No whimpering.
“It’s my ankle,” she said. “I think it might be sprained, or broken.”
Jace looked at Simon. “Carry her,” he said. “Like I told you.”
This time Simon didn’t wait for Clary’s response; he slid one arm under her knees and
the other under her shoulders and lifted her; she looped her arms around his neck and
held on tight. Jace headed toward the cupola and the doors that led inside. Simon
followed, carrying Clary as carefully as if she were breakable porcelain. Clary had almost
forgotten how strong he was, now that he was a vampire. He no longer smelled like
himself, she thought, a little wistfully—that Simon-smell of soap and cheap aftershave
(that he really didn’t need) and his favorite cinnamon gum. His hair still smelled like his
shampoo, but otherwise he seemed to have no smell at all, and his skin where she touched
it was cold. She tightened her arms around his neck, wishing he had some body heat. The
tips of her fingers looked bluish, and her body felt numb.
Jace, ahead of them, shouldered the glass double doors open. Then they were inside,
where it was mercifully slightly warmer. It was strange, Clary thought, being held by
someone whose chest didn’t rise and fall as they breathed. A strange electricity still
seemed to cling to Simon, a remnant of the brutally shining light that had enveloped the
roof when Lilith was destroyed. She wanted to ask him how he was feeling, but Jace’s
silence was so devastatingly total that she felt afraid to break it.
He reached for the elevator call button, but before his finger touched it, the doors slid
open of their own accord, and Isabelle seemed to almost explode through them, her
silvery-gold whip trailing behind her like the tail of a comet. Alec followed, hard on her
heels; seeing Jace, Clary, and Simon there, Isabelle skidded to a stop, Alec nearly
crashing into her from behind. Under other circumstances it would almost have been
“But—,” Isabelle gasped. She was cut and bloodied, her beautiful red dress torn raggedly
around the knees, her black hair having come down out of its updo, strands of it matted
with blood. Alec looked as if he had fared only a little better; one sleeve of his jacket was
sliced open down the side, though it didn’t look as if the skin beneath had been injured.
“What are you doing here?”
Jace, Clary, and Simon all stared at her blankly, too shell-shocked to respond. Finally
Jace said dryly, “We could ask you the same question.”
“I didn’t—We thought you and Clary were at the party,” Isabelle said. Clary had rarely
seen Isabelle so not selfpossessed. “We were looking for Simon.”
Clary felt Simon’s chest lift, a sort of reflexive human gasp of surprise. “You were?”
Isabelle flushed. “I . . .”
“Jace?” It was Alec, his tone commanding. He had given Clary and Simon an astonished
look, but then his attention went, as it always did, to Jace. He might not be in love with
Jace anymore, if he ever really had been, but they were still parabatai, and Jace was
always first on his mind in any battle. “What are you doing here? And for the Angel’s
sake, what happened to you?”
Jace stared at Alec, almost as if he didn’t know him. He looked like someone in a
nightmare, examining a new landscape not because it was surprising or dramatic but to
prepare himself for whatever horrors it might reveal.
“Stele,” he said finally, in a cracking voice. “Do you have your stele?”
Alec reached for his belt, looking baffled. “Of course.” He held the stele out to Jace. “If
you need an iratze—”
“Not for me,” Jace said, still in the same odd, cracked voice. “Her.” He pointed at Clary.
“She needs it more than I do.”His eyes metAlec’s, gold and blue.“Please,Alec,” he said,
the harshness gone from his voice as suddenly as it had come. “Help her for me.”
He turned and walked away, toward the far side of the room, where the glass doors were.
He stood, staring through them—at the garden outside or his own reflection, Clary
couldn’t tell.
Alec looked after Jace for a moment, then came toward Clary and Simon, stele in hand.
He indicated that Simon should lower Clary to the floor, which he did gently, letting her
brace her back against the wall. He stepped back asAlec kneltdownover her. She could
see the confusioninAlec’s face, and his look of surprise as he sawhow bad the cuts across
her arm and abdomen were. “Who did this to you?”
“I—” Clary looked helplessly toward Jace, who still had his back to them. She could see
his reflection in the glass doors, his face a white smudge, darkened here and there with
bruises. The front of his shirt was dark with blood.
“It’s hard to explain.”
“Why didn’t you summon us?” Isabelle demanded, her voice thin with betrayal. “Why
didn’t you tell us you were coming here? Why didn’t you send a fire-message, or
anything? You know we would have come if you needed us.”
“There wasn’t time,” Simon said. “And I didn’t know Clary and Jace were going to be
here. I thought I was the only one. It didn’t seem right to drag you into my problems.”
“D-drag me into your problems?” Isabelle sputtered. “You—,” she began—and then to
everyone’s surprise, clearly including her own, she flung herself at Simon, wrapping her
arms around his neck. He staggered backward, unprepared for the assault, but he
recovered quickly enough. His arms went around her, nearly snagging on the dangling
whip, and he held her tightly, her dark head just under his chin. Clary couldn’t quite
tell—Isabelle was speaking too softly—but it sounded like she was swearing at Simon
under her breath.
Alec’s eyebrows went up, but he made no comment as he bent over Clary, blocking her
view of Isabelle and Simon. He touched the stele to her skin, and she jumped atthe
stinging pain.“Iknow it hurts,” he said ina low voice.“Ithink youhit your head. Magnus
oughtto look atyou. Whatabout Jace? Howbadlyis he hurt?”
“I don’t know.” Clary shook her head. “He won’t let me near him.”
Alec put his hand under her chin, turning her face from side to side, and sketched a
second light iratze on the side of her throat, just under her jawline. “What did he do that
he thinks was so terrible?”
She flicked her eyes up toward him. “What makes you think he did anything?”
Alec let go of her chin. “Because I know him. And the way he punishes himself. Not
letting you near him is punishing himself, not punishing you.”
“He doesn’t want me near him,” Clary said, hearing the rebelliousness in her own voice
and hating herself for being petty.
“You’re all he ever wants,” said Alec in a surprisingly gentle tone, and he sat back on his
heels, pushing his long dark hair out of his eyes. There was something different about
him these days, Clary thought, a surety about himself he hadn’t had when she had first
met him, something that allowed him to be generous with others as he had never been
generous with himself before. “How did you two wind up here, anyway? We didn’t even
notice you leave the party with Simon—”
“They didn’t,” said Simon. He and Isabelle had detached themselves, but still stood close
to each other, side by side. “I came here alone. Well, not exactly alone. I was—
Clary nodded. “It’s true. We didn’t leave the party with him. When Jace brought me here,
I had no idea Simon was going to be here too.”
“Jace brought you here?” Isabelle said, amazed. “Jace, if you knew about Lilith and the
Church of Talto, you should have said something.”
Jace was still staring through the doors. “I guess it slipped my mind,” he said tonelessly.
Clary shook her head as Alec and Isabelle looked from their adoptive brother to her, as if
for an explanation of his behavior. “It wasn’t really Jace,” she said finally. “He was . . .
being controlled. By Lilith.”
“Possession?” Isabelle’s eyes rounded into surprised Os. Her hand tightened on her whip
handle reflexively.
Jace turned away from the doors. Slowly he reached up and drew open his mangled shirt
so that they could see the ugly possession rune, and the bloody slash that ran through it.
“That,” he said, still in the same toneless voice, “is Lilith’s mark. It’s how she controlled
Alec shook his head; he looked deeply disturbed. “Jace, usually the only way to sever a
demonic connection like that is to kill the demon who’s doing the controlling. Lilith is
one of the most powerful demons who ever—”
“She’s dead,” said Clary abruptly. “Simon killed her. Or I guess you could say the Mark
of Cain killed her.”
They all stared at Simon. “And what about you two? How did you end up here?” he
asked, his tone defensive.
“Looking for you,” Isabelle said. “We found that card Lilith must have given you. In your
apartment. Jordan let us in.
He’s with Maia, downstairs.” She shuddered. “The things Lilith’s been doing—you
wouldn’t believe—so horrible —”
Alec held his hands up. “Slow down, everyone. We’ll explain what happened with us,
and then Simon, Clary, you explain what happened on your end.”
The explanation took less time than Clary thought it would, with Isabelle doing much of
the talking with wide, sweeping hand gestures that threatened, on occasion, to sever one
of her friends’ unprotected limbs with her whip. Alec took the opportunity to go out onto
the roof deck to send a fire-message to the Clave telling them where they were and asking
for backup. Jace stepped aside wordlessly to let him by as he left, and again when he
came back in. He didn’t speak during Simon and Clary’s explanation of what had
happened on the rooftop either, even when they got to the part about Raziel having raised
Jace from the dead back in Idris. It was Izzy who finally interrupted, when Clary began to
explain about Lilith being Sebastian’s “mother” and keeping his body encased in glass.
“Sebastian?” Isabelle slammed her whip against the ground with enough force to open up
a crack in the marble.
“Sebastian is out there? And he’s not dead?” She turned to look at Jace, who was leaning
against the glass doors, arms crossed, expressionless. “I saw him die. I saw Jace cut his
spine in half, and I saw him fall into the river. And now you’re telling me he’s alive out
“No,” Simon hastened to reassure her. “His body’s there, but he’s not alive. Lilith didn’t
get to complete the ceremony.” Simon put a hand on her shoulder, but she shook it off.
She had gone a deadly white color.
“‘Not really alive’ isn’t dead enough for me,” she said. “I’m going out there and I’m
going to cut him into a thousand pieces.” She turned toward the doors.
“Iz!” Simon put his hand on her shoulder. “Izzy. No.”
“No?” She looked at him incredulously. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t chop
him into worthlessbastardthemed confetti.”
Simon’s eyes darted around the room, resting for a moment on Jace, as if he expected
him to chime in or add a comment. He didn’t; he didn’t even move. Finally Simon said,
“Look, you understand about the ritual, right?
Because Jace was brought back from the dead, that gave Lilith the power to raise
Sebastian. And to do that, she needed Jace there and alive, as—what did she call it—”
“A counterweight,” put in Clary.
“That mark that Jace has on his chest. Lilith’s mark.” In a seemingly unconscious
gesture, Simon touched his own chest, just over the heart. “Sebastian has it too. I saw
them both flash at the same time when Jace stepped into the circle.”
Isabelle, her whip twitching at her side, her teeth biting into her red bottom lip, said
impatiently, “And?”
“I think she was making a tie between them,” said Simon. “If Jace died, Sebastian
couldn’t live. So if you cut Sebastian into pieces—”
“It could hurt Jace,” Clary said, the words spilling out of her as she realized. “Oh, my
God. Oh, Izzy, you can’t.”
“So we’re just going to let him live?” Isabelle sounded incredulous.
“Cut him to pieces if you like,” Jace said. “You have my permission.”
“Shut up,” said Alec. “Stop acting like your life doesn’t matter. Iz, weren’t you listening?
Sebastian’s not alive.”
“He’s not dead, either. Not dead enough.”
“We need the Clave,” said Alec. “We need to give him over to the Silent Brothers. They
can sever his connection to Jace, and then you’ll get all the blood you want, Iz. He’s
Valentine’s son. And he’s a murderer. Everyone lost someone in the battle inAlicante,
orknows someone who did. Youthink they’ll be kind to him? They’ll take him apart
slowly while he’s still living.”
Isabelle stared up at her brother. Very slowly tears welled in her eyes, spilling down her
cheeks, streaking the dirt and blood on her skin. “I hate it,” she said. “I hate it when
you’re right.”
Alec pulled his sister closer and kissed the top of her head. “I know you do.”
She squeezed her brother’s hand briefly, then drew back. “Fine,” she said. “I won’t touch
Sebastian. But I can’t stand to be this close to him.” She glanced toward the glass doors,
where Jace still stood. “Let’s go downstairs.
We can wait for the Clave in the lobby. And we need to get Maia and Jordan; they’re
probably wondering where we went.”
Simon cleared his throat. “Someone should stay up here just to keep an eye on—on
things. I’ll do it.”
“No.” It was Jace. “You go downstairs. I’ll stay. All of this is my fault. I should have
made sure Sebastian was dead when I had the chance. And as for the rest of it . . .”
His voice trailed off. But Clary remembered him touching her face in a dark hallway in
the Institute, remembered him whispering, Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
My fault, my fault, my own most grievous fault.
She turned to look at the others; Isabelle had pushed the call button, which was lit. Clary
could hear the distant hum of the rising elevator. Isabelle’s brow creased. “Alec, maybe
you should stay up here with Jace.”
“I don’t need help,” Jace said. “There’s nothing to handle. I’ll be fine.”
Isabelle threw her hands up as the elevator arrived with a ping. “Fine. You win. Sulk up
here alone if you want.” She stalked into the elevator, Simon and Alec crowding in after
her. Clary was the last to follow, turning back to look at Jace as she went. He had gone
back to staring at the doors, but she could see his reflection in them. His mouth was
compressed into a bloodless line, his eyes dark.
Jace, she thought as the elevator doors began to close. She willed him to turn, to look at
her. He didn’t, but she felt strong hands suddenly on her shoulders, shoving her forward.
She heard Isabelle say, “Alec, what on earth are you —” as she stumbled through the
elevator doors and righted herself, turning to stare. The doors were closing behind her,
but through them she could see Alec. He gave her a rueful little half smile and a shrug, as
if to say, What else was I supposed to do? Clary stepped forward, but it was too late; the
elevator doors had clanged shut.
She was alone in the room with Jace.
The room was littered with dead bodies—crumpled figures all in gray hooded tracksuits,
flung or crumpled or slumped against the wall. Maia stood by the window, breathing
hard, looking out across the scene in front of her with disbelief. She had taken part in the
battle at Brocelind in Idris, and had thought that was the worst thing she would ever see.
But somehow this was worse. The blood that ran from dead cult members wasn’t demon
ichor; it was human blood. And the babies—silent and dead in their cribs, their small
taloned hands folded one over the other, like dolls . . .
She looked down at her own hands. Her claws were still out, stained with blood from tip
to root; she retracted them, and the blood ran down her palms, staining her wrists. Her
feet were bare and bloodstained, and there was a long scratch along one bare shoulder
still oozing red, though it had already begun to heal. Despite the swift healing
lycanthropy provided, she knew she’d wake up tomorrow covered in bruises. When you
were a werewolf, bruises rarely lasted more than a day. She remembered when she had
been human, and her brother, Daniel, had made himself an expert in pinching her hard in
places where the bruises wouldn’t show.
“Maia.” Jordan came in through one of the unfinished doors, ducking a bundle of
dangling wires. He straightened up and moved toward her, picking his way among the
bodies. “Are you all right?”
The look of concern on his face knotted her stomach.
“Where are Isabelle and Alec?”
He shook his head. He had sustained much less visible damage than she had. His thick
leather jacket had protected him, as had his jeans and boots. There was a long scrape
along his cheek, dried blood in his light brown hair and staining the blade of the knife he
held. “I’ve searched the whole floor. Haven’t seen them. Couple more bodies in the other
rooms. They might have—”
The night lit up like a seraph blade. The windows went white, and bright light seared
through the room. For a moment Maia thought the world had caught on fire, and Jordan,
moving toward her through the light, seemed almost to disappear, white on white, into a
shimmering field of silver. She heard herself scream, and she moved blindly backward,
banging her head on the plate glass window. She put her hands up to cover her eyes—
And the light was gone. Maia lowered her hands, the world swinging around her. She
reached out blindly, and Jordan was there. She put her arms around him—threw them
around him, the way she used to when he came to pick her up from her house, and he
would swing her into his arms, winding the curls of her hair through his fingers.
He had been slighter then, narrow-shouldered. Now muscle corded his bones, and
holding him was like holding on to something absolutely solid, a pillar of granite in the
midst of a blowing desert sandstorm. She clung on to him, and heard the beat of his heart
under her ear as his hands smoothed her hair, one rough, soothing stroke at a time,
comforting and . . . familiar. “Maia . . . it’s all right . . .”
She raised her head and pressed her mouth to his. He had changed in so many ways, but
the feel of kissing him was the same, his mouth as soft as ever. He went rigid for a
second with surprise, and then gathered her up against him, his hands stroking slow
circles on her bare back. She remembered the first time they had ever kissed. She had
handed him her earrings to put in the glove compartment of his car, and his hand had
shaken so badly he’d dropped them and then apologized and apologized until she kissed
him to shut him up. She’d thought he was the sweetest boy she’d ever known.
And then he was bitten, and everything changed.
She drew away, dizzy and breathing hard. He let her go instantly; he was staring at her,
his mouth open, his eyes dazed. Behind him, through the window, she could see the
city—she had half expected it to be flattened, a blasted white desert outside the
window—but everything was exactly the same. Nothing had changed. Lights blinked on
and off in the buildings across the street; she could hear the faint rush of traffic below.
“We should go,” she said.
“We should look for the others.”
“Maia,” he said. “Why did you just kiss me?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “Do you think we should try the elevators?”
“Idon’tknow,Jordan,” she said. “Idon’tknow whyIkissed you, and Idon’tknowif I’m
going to do it again, but Ido know I’m freaked out and worried about my friends and I
want to get out of here. Okay?”
He nodded. He looked like there were a million things he wanted to say but had
determined not to say them, for which she was grateful. He ran a hand through his tousled
hair, rimed white with plaster dust, and nodded. “Okay.”
Silence. Jace was still leaning against the door, only now he had his forehead pressed
against it, his eyes closed.
Clary wondered if he even knew she was in the room with him. She took a step forward,
but before she could say anything, he pushed the doors open and walked back out into the
She stood still for a moment, staring after him. She could call for the elevator, of course,
ride it down, wait for the Clave in the lobby with everyone else. If Jace didn’t want to
talk, he didn’t want to talk. She couldn’t force him to. If Alec was right, and he was
punishing himself, she’d just have to wait until he got over it.
She turned toward the elevator—and stopped. A little flame of anger licked its way
through her, making her eyes burn. No, she thought. She didn’t have to let him behave
like this. Maybe he could be this way to everyone else, but not to her. He owed her better
than that. They owed each other better than that.
She whirled and made her way to the doors. Her ankle still ached, but the iratzes Alec
had put on her were working. Most of the pain in her body had subsided to a dull,
throbbing ache. She reached the doors and pushed them open, stepping onto the roof
terrace with a wince as her bare feet came into contact with the freezing tiles.
She saw Jace immediately; he was kneeling near the steps, on tiles stained with blood and
ichor and glittering with salt. He rose as she approached, and he turned, something shiny
dangling from his hand.
The Morgenstern ring, on its chain.
The wind had come up; it blew his dark gold hair across his face. He pushed it away
impatiently and said, “I just remembered that we left this here.”
His voice sounded surprisingly normal.
“Is that why you wanted to stay up here?” said Clary. “To get it back?”
He turned his hand, so the chain swung upward, his fingers closing over the ring. “I’m
attached to it. It’s stupid, I know.”
“You could have said, or Alec could have stayed—”
“I don’t belong with the rest of you,” he said abruptly. “After what I did, I don’t deserve
iratzes and healing and hugs and being consoled and whatever else it is my friends are
going to think I need. I’d rather stay up here with him.”
He jerked his chin toward the place where Sebastian’s motionless body lay in the open
coffin, on its stone pedestal. “And I sure as hell don’t deserve you.”
Clary crossed her arms over her chest. “Have you ever thought about what I deserve?
That maybe I deserve to get a chance to talk to you about what happened?”
He stared at her. They were only a few feet apart, but it felt as if an inexpressible gulf lay
between them. “I don’t know why you would even want to look at me, much less talk to
“Jace,” she said. “Those things you did—that wasn’t you.”
He hesitated. The sky was so black, the lit windows of the nearby skyscrapers so bright, it
was as if they stood in the center of a net of shining jewels. “If it wasn’t me,” he said,
“then why can I remember everything I did? When people are possessed, and they come
back from it, they don’t remember what they did when the demon inhabited them. But I
remember everything.” He turned abruptly and walked away, toward the roof garden
wall. She followed him, glad for the distance it put between them and Sebastian’s body,
now hidden from view by a row of hedges.
“Jace!” she called out, and he turned, his back to the wall, slumping against it. Behind
him a city’s worth of electricity lit up the night like the demon towers of Alicante. “You
remember because she wanted you to remember,” Clary said, catching up with him, a
little breathless. “She did this to torture you as much as she did it to get Simon to do what
she wanted. She wanted you to have to watch yourself hurt the people you love.”
“I was watching,” he said in a low voice. “It was as if some part of me was off at a
distance, watching and screaming at myself to stop. But the rest of me felt completely
peaceful and like what I was doing was right. Like it was the only thing I could do. I
wonder if that’s how Valentine felt about everything he did. Like it was so easy to be
right.” He looked away from her. “I can’t stand it,” he said. “You shouldn’t be here with
me. You should just go.” was the only thing I could do. I wonder if that’s how Valentine
felt about everything he did. Like it was so easy to be right.” He looked away from her. “I
can’t stand it,” he said. “You shouldn’t be here with me. You should just go.”
Instead of leaving, Clary moved to stand beside him against the wall. Her arms were
already wrapped around herself; she was shivering. Finally, reluctantly, he turned his
head to look at her again. “Clary . . .”
“You don’t get to decide,” she said, “where I go, or when.”
“I know.” His voice was ragged. “I’ve always known that about you. I don’t know why I
had to fall in love with someone who’s more stubborn than I am.”
Clary was silent a moment. Her heart had contracted at those two words—“in love.” “All
those things you said to me,” she said in a half whisper, “on the terrace at the
Ironworks—did you mean them?”
His golden eyes dulled. “Which things?”
That you loved me, she almost said, but thinking back—he hadn’t said that, had he? Not
the words themselves.
The implication had been there. And the truth of the fact, that they loved each other, was
something she knew as clearly as she knew her own name.
“You kept asking me if I would love you if you were like Sebastian, like Valentine.”
“And you said then I wouldn’t be me. Look how wrong that turned out to be,” he said,
bitterness coloring his voice.
“What I did tonight—”
Clary moved toward him; he tensed, but didn’t move away. She took hold of the front of
his shirt, leaned in closely, and said, enunciating each word clearly, “That wasn’t you.”
“Tell that to your mother,” he said. “Tell it to Luke, when they ask where this came
from.” He touched her collarbone gently; the wound was healed now, but her skin, and
the fabric of her dress, were still stained darkly with blood.
“I’ll tell them,” she said. “I’ll tell them it was my fault.”
He looked at her, gold eyes incredulous. “You can’t lie to them.”
“I’m not. I brought you back,” she said. “You were dead, and I brought you back. I upset
the balance, not you. I opened the door for Lilith and her stupid ritual. I could have asked
for anything, and I asked for you.” She tightened her grip on his shirt, her fingers white
with cold and pressure. “And I would do it again. I love you, Jace Wayland—
Herondale—Lightwood—whatever you want to call yourself. I don’t care. I love you and
I will always love you, and pretending it could be any other way is just a waste of time.”
A look of such pain crossed his face that Clary felt her heart tighten. Then he reached out
and took her face between his hands. His palms were warm against her cheeks.
“Remember when I told you,” he said, his voice as soft as she had ever heard it, “that I
didn’t know if there was a God or not, but either way, we were completely on our own? I
still don’t know the answer; I only knew that there was sucha thing as faith,and that
Ididn’t deserve to have it.And thenthere was you. You changed everything I believed in.
Youknow thatline from Dante that Iquoted to you inthe park? ‘L’amor che move ilsole e
l’altre stelle’?”
Her lips curled a little at the sides as she looked up at him. “I still don’t speak Italian.”
“It’s a bit of the very last verse from Paradiso—Dante’s Paradise. ‘My will and my desire
were turned by love, the love that moves the sun and the other stars.’ Dante was trying to
explain faith, I think, as an overpowering love, and maybe it’s blasphemous, but that’s
how I think of the way that I love you. You came into my life and suddenly I had one
truth to hold on to—that I loved you, and you loved me.”
Though he seemed to be looking at her, his gaze was distant, as if fixed on something far
“Then I started to have the dreams,” he went on. “And I thought maybe I’d been wrong.
That I didn’t deserve you.
That I didn’t deserve to be perfectly happy—I mean, God, who deserves that? And after
“Stop.” She had been clutching his shirt; she loosened her grip now, flattening her hands
against his chest. His heart was racing under her fingertips; his cheeks flushed, and not
just from the cold. “Jace. Through everything that happened tonight, I knew one thing.
That it wasn’t you hurting me. It wasn’t you doing these things. I have an absolute
incontrovertible belief that you are good. And that will never change.”
Jace took a deep, shuddering breath. “I don’t even know how to try to deserve that.”
“You don’t have to. I have enough faith in you,” she said, “for both of us.”
His hands slid into her hair. The mist of their exhaled breath rose between them, a white
cloud. “I missed you so much,” he said, and kissed her, his mouth gentle on hers, not
desperate and hungry the way it had been the last few times he had kissed her, but
familiar and tender and soft.
She closed her eyes as the world seemed to spin around her like a pinwheel. Sliding her
hands up his chest, she stretched upward as far as she could, wrapping her arms around
his neck, rising up on her toes to meet his mouth with hers. His fingers skimmed down
her body, over skin and satin, and she shivered, leaning into him, and she was sure they
both tasted like blood and ashes and salt, but it didn’t matter; the world, the city, and all
its lights and life seemed to have narrowed down to this, just her and Jace, the burning
heart of a frozen world.
He drew away first, reluctantly. She realized why a moment later. The sound of honking
cars and screeching tires from the street below was audible, even up here. “The Clave,”
he said resignedly—though he had to clear his throat to get the words out, Clary was
pleased to hear. His face was flushed, as she imagined hers was. “They’re here.”
With her hand in his Clary looked over the edge of the roof wall and saw that a number
of long black cars had drawn up in front of the scaffolding. People were piling out. It was
hard to recognize them from this height, but Clary thought she saw Maryse, and several
other people dressed in gear. A moment later Luke’s truck roared up to the curb and
Jocelyn leaped out. Clary would have known it was her, just from the way she moved, at
a greater distance than this one.
Clary turned to Jace. “My mom,” she said. “I’d better get downstairs. I don’t want her
coming up here and seeing— and seeing him.” She jerked her chin toward Sebastian’s
He stroked her hair back from her face. “I don’t want to let you out of my sight.”
“Then, come with me.”
“No. Someone should stay up here.” He took her hand, turned it over, and dropped the
Morgenstern ring into it, the chain pooling like liquid metal. The clasp had bent when
she’d torn it off, but he’d managed to push it back into shape. “Please take it.”
Her eyes flicked down, and then, uncertainly, back up to his face. “I wish I understood
what it meant to you.”
He shrugged slightly. “I wore it for a decade,” he said. “Some part of me is in it. It means
I trust you with my past and all the secrets that past carries. And besides”—lightly he
touched one of the stars engraved around the rim —“‘the love that moves the sun and all
the other stars.’ Pretend that that’s what the stars stand for, not Morgenstern.”
In answer she dropped the chain back over her head, feeling the ring settle in its
accustomed place, below her collarbone. It felt like a puzzle piece clicking back into
place. For a moment their eyes locked in wordless communication, more intense in some
ways than their physical contact had been; she held the image of him in her mind in that
moment as if she were memorizing it—the tangled golden hair, the shadows cast by his
lashes, the rings of darker gold inside the light amber of his eyes. “I’ll be right back,” she
said. She squeezed his hand. “Five minutes.”
“Go on,” he said roughly, releasing her hand, and she turned and went back down the
path. The moment she stepped away from him, she was cold again, and by the time she
reached the doors to the building, she was freezing. She paused as she opened the door,
and looked back at him, but he was only a shadow, backlit by the glow of the New York
skyline. The love that moves the sun and all the other stars, she thought, and then, as if in
answering echo, she heard Lilith’s words. The kind of love that can burn down the world
or raise it up in glory. A shiver ran through her, and not just from the cold. She looked for
Jace, but he had vanished into the shadows; she turned and headed back inside, the door
sliding shut behind her.
Alec had gone upstairs to look for Jordan and Maia, and Simon and Isabelle were alone
together, sitting side by side on the green chaise longue in the lobby. Isabelle held Alec’s
witchlight in her hand, illuminating the room with a nearly spectral glow, sparking
dancing motes of fire from the pendant chandelier.
She had said very little since her brother had left them together. Her head was bent, her
dark hair falling forward, her gaze on her hands. They were delicate hands, long-fingered,
but calloused as her brothers’ were. Simon had never noticed before, but she wore a
silver ring on her right hand, with a pattern of flames around the band of it, and a carved
L in the center. It reminded him of the ring Clary wore around her neck, with its design of
“It’s the Lightwood family ring,” she said, noticing where his gaze was fixed. “Every
family has an emblem. Ours is fire.”
It suits you, he thought. Izzy was like fire, in her flaming scarlet dress, with her moods as
changeable as sparks. On the roof he’d half-thought she’d strangle him, her arms around
his neck as she called him every name under the sun while clutching him like she’d never
let him go. Now she was staring off into the distance, as untouchable as a star. It was all
very disconcerting.
You love them so, Camille had said, your Shadowhunter friends. As the falcon loves the
master who binds and blinds it.
“What you told us,” he said, a little halting, watching Isabelle wind a strand of her hair
around her forefinger, “up there on the roof—that you hadn’t known that Clary and Jace
were missing, that you’d come here for me—was that true?”
Isabelle looked up, tucking the strand of hair behind her ear. “Of course it’s true,” she
said indignantly. “When we saw you were gone from the party—and you’ve been in
danger for days, Simon, and what with Camille escaping —” She caught herself up short.
“And Jordan’s responsible for you. He was freaking out.”
“So it was his idea to come looking for me?”
Isabelle turned to look at him for a long moment. Her eyes were fathomless and dark. “I
was the one who noticed you were gone,” she said. “I was the one who wanted to find
Simoncleared his throat. He felt oddlylight-headed.“But why? Ithought youhated me
It had been the wrong thing to say. Isabelle shook her head, her dark hair flying, and
moved a little away from him on the settee. “Oh, Simon. Don’t be dense.”
“Iz.” He reached out and touched her wrist, hesitantly. She didn’t move away, just
watched him. “Camille said something to me in the Sanctuary. She said that
Shadowhunters didn’t care about Downworlders, just used them.
She said the Nephilim would never do for me what I did for them. But you did. You came
for me. You came for me.”
“Of course I did,” she said, in a muffled little voice. “When I thought something had
happened to you—”
He leaned toward her. Their faces were inches from each other. He could see the
reflected sparks of the chandelier in her black eyes. Her lips were parted, and Simon
could feel the warmth of her breath. For the first time since he had become a vampire, he
could feel heat, like an electrical charge passing between them.
“Isabelle,” he said. Not Iz, not Izzy. Isabelle. “Can I—”
The elevator pinged; the doors opened, and Alec, Maia, and Jordan spilled out. Alec
looked suspiciously at Simon and Isabelle as they sprang apart, but before he could say
anything, the double doors of the lobby flew wide, and Shadowhunters poured into the
room. Simon recognized Kadir and Maryse, who immediately flew across the room to
Isabelle and caught her by the shoulders, demanding to know what had happened. across
the room to Isabelle and caught her by the shoulders, demanding to know what had
Simon got to his feet and edged away, feeling uncomfortable—and was nearly knocked
down by Magnus, racing across the room to get to Alec. He didn’t seem to see Simon at
all. After all, in a hundred, two hundred, years, it’ll be just you and me. We’ll be all that’s
left, Magnus had said to him in the Sanctuary. Feeling unutterably lonely among the
milling crowd of Shadowhunters, Simon pressed himself back against the wall in the vain
hope that he wouldn’t be noticed.
Alec looked up just as Magnus reached him, caught him, and pulled him close. His
fingers traced over Alec’s face as if checking for bruises or damage; under his breath, he
was muttering, “How could you—go off like this and not even tell me—I could have
helped you—”
“Stop it.” Alec pulled away, feeling mutinous.
Magnus checked himself, his voice sobering. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have left
the party. I should have stayed with you. Camille’s gone anyway. No one’s got the
slightest idea where she went, and since you can’t track vampires . . .” He shrugged.
Alec pushed away the image of Camille in his mind, chained to the pipe, looking at him
with those fierce green eyes. “Never mind,” he said. “She doesn’t matter. I know you
were just trying to help. I’m not angry with you for leaving the party, anyway.”
“But you were angry,” said Magnus. “I knew you were. That’s why I was so worried.
Running off and putting yourself in danger just because you’re angry with me—”
“I’m a Shadowhunter,” Alec said. “Magnus, this is what I do. It’s not about you. Next
time fall in love with an insurance adjuster or—”
“Alexander,” said Magnus. “There isn’t going to be a next time.” He leaned his forehead
against Alec’s, goldgreen eyes staring into blue.
Alec’s heartbeat sped up. “Why not?” he said. “You live forever. Not everyone does.”
“I know I said that,” said Magnus. “But, Alexander—”
“Stop calling me that,” said Alec. “Alexander is what my parents call me. And I suppose
it’s very advanced of you to have accepted my mortality so fatalistically—everything
dies, blah, blah—but how do you think that makes me feel? Ordinary couples can hope—
hope to grow old together, hope to live long lives and die at the same time, but we can’t
hope for that. I don’t even know what it is you want.”
Alec wasn’t sure what he’d expected in response—anger or defensiveness or even
humor—but Magnus’s voice onlydropped,cracking slightlywhenhe said, “Alex—Alec. If
Igave youthe impressionIhad accepted the idea of your death I can only apologize. I tried
to, I thought I had—and yet still I pictured having you for fifty, sixty more years. I
thought I might be ready then to let you go. But it’s you, and I realize now that I won’t be
any more ready to lose you then than I am right now.” He put his hands gently to either
side of Alec’s face. “Which is not at all.”
“So what do we do?” Alec whispered.
Magnus shrugged, and smiled suddenly; with his messy black hair and the gleam in his
gold-green eyes, he looked like a mischievous teenager. “What everyone does,” he
replied. “Like you said. Hope.”
Alec and Magnus had begun kissing in the corner of the room, and Simon wasn’t quite
sure where to look. He didn’t want them to think he was staring at them during what was
clearly a private moment, but wherever else he looked, he met the glaring eyes of
Shadowhunters. Despite the fact that he’d fought with them in the bank against Camille,
none of them looked at him with particular friendliness. It was one thing for Isabelle to
accept him and to care about him, but Shadowhunters en masse were another thing
entirely. He could tell what they were thinking.
“Vampire, Downworlder, enemy” was written all over their faces. It came as a relief
when the doors burst open again and Jocelyn came flying in, still wearing her blue dress
from the party. Luke was only a few steps behind her.
“Simon!” she cried as soon as she caught sight of him. She ran over to him, and to his
surprise she hugged him fiercely before letting him go. “Simon, where’s Clary? Is she—”
Simon opened his mouth, but no sound came out. How could he explain to Jocelyn, of all
people, what had happened that night? Jocelyn, who would be horrified to know that so
much of Lilith’s evil, the children she had murdered, the blood she had spilled, had all
been in the service of making more creatures like Jocelyn’s own dead son, whose body
even now lay entombed on the rooftop where Clary was with Jace?
I can’t tell her any of this, he thought. I can’t. He looked past her at Luke, whose blue
eyes rested on him expectantly. Behind Clary’s family he could see the Shadowhunters
crowding around Isabelle as she presumably recounted the events of the evening.
“I—,” he began helplessly, and then the elevator doors opened again, and Clary stepped
out. Her shoes were gone, her lovely satin dress in bloody rags, bruises already fading on
her bare arms and legs. But she was smiling —radiant even, happier than Simon had seen
her look in weeks.
“Mom!” she exclaimed, and then Jocelyn had flown at her and was hugging her. Clary
smiled at Simon over her mother’s shoulder. Simon glanced around the room. Alec and
Magnus were still wrapped up in each other, and Maia and Jordan had vanished. Isabelle
was still surrounded by Shadowhunters, and Simon could hear gasps of horror and
amazement rise from the group surrounding her as she recounted her story. He suspected
some part of her was enjoying it. Isabelle did love being the center of attention, no matter
what the cause.
He felt a hand come down on his shoulder. It was Luke. “Are you all right, Simon?”
Simon looked up at him. Luke looked as he always did: solid, professorial, utterly
reliable. Not even the least bit put out that his engagement party had been disrupted by a
sudden dramatic emergency.
Simon’s father had died so long ago that he barely remembered him. Rebecca recalled
bits about him—that he had a beard, and would help her build elaborate towers out of
blocks—but Simon didn’t. It was one of the things he’d thought he always had in
common with Clary, that had bonded them: both with dead fathers, both brought up by
strong single women.
Well, at least one of those things had turned out to be true, Simon thought. Though his
mother had dated, he’d never had a consistent fatherly presence in his life, other than
Luke. He supposed that in a way, he and Clary had shared Luke. And the wolf pack
looked up to Luke for guidance, as well. For a bachelor who’d never had children, Simon
thought, Luke had an awful lot of kids to look after.
“I don’t know,” Simon said, giving Luke the honest answer he’d like to think he’d have
given his own father. “I don’t think so.”
Luke turned Simon to face him. “You’re covered in blood,” he said. “And I’m guessing
it’s not yours, because . . .”
He gestured toward the Mark on Simon’s forehead. “But hey.” His voice was gentle.
“Even covered in blood and with the Mark of Cain on you, you’re still Simon. Can you
tell me what happened?”
“It’s not my blood, you’re right,” Simon said hoarsely. “But it’s also kind of a long
story.” He tilted his head back to look up at Luke; he’d always wondered if maybe he’d
have another growth spurt some day, grow a few more inches than the five-ten he was
now, be able to look Luke—not to mention Jace—straight in the eye. But that would
never happen now. “Luke,” he said. “Do you think it’s possible to do something so bad,
even if you didn’t mean to do it, that you can never come back from it? That no one can
forgive you?”
Luke looked at him for a long, silent moment. Then he said, “Think of someone you love,
Simon. Really love. Is there anything they could ever do that would mean you would stop
loving them?”
Images flashed through Simon’s mind, like the pages of a flip-book: Clary, turning to
smile at him over her shoulder; his sister, tickling him when he was just a little kid; his
mother, asleep on the sofa with the coverlet pulled up to her shoulders; Izzy—
He shut the thoughts off hastily. Clary hadn’t done anything so terrible that he needed to
dredge up forgiveness for her; none of the people he was picturing had. He thought of
Clary, forgiving her mother for having stolen her memories. He thought of Jace, what he
had done on the roof, how he had looked afterward. He had done what he had done
withoutvolitionof his own, but Simondoubted Jace would be able to forgive himself,
regardless.And then he thought of Jordan—not forgiving himself for what he had done to
Maia, but forging ahead anyway, joining the Praetor Lupus, making a life out of helping
“I bit someone,” he said. The words came out of his mouth, and he wished he could
swallow them back. He braced himself for Luke’s look of horror, but it didn’t come.
“Did they live?” Luke said. “This person that you bit. Did they survive?”
“I—” How to explain about Maureen? Lilith had ordered her away, but Simon was sure
they hadn’t seen the last of her. “I didn’t kill her.”
Luke nodded once. “You know how werewolves become pack leaders,” he said. “They
have to kill the old pack leader. I’ve done that twice. I have the scars to prove it.” He
drew the collar of his shirt aside slightly, and Simon saw the edge of a thick white scar
that looked ragged, as if his chest had been clawed. “The second time it was a calculated
move. Cold-blooded killing. I wanted to become the leader, and that was how I did it.”
He shrugged.
“You’re a vampire. It’s in your nature to want to drink blood. You’ve held out a long
time without doing it. I know you can walk in the sun, Simon, and so you pride yourself
on being a normal human boy, but you’re still what you are.
Just like I am. The more you try to crush your true nature, the more it will control you. Be
what you are. No one who really loves you will stop.”
Simon said hoarsely, “My mom—”
“Clary told me what happened with your mother, and that you’ve been crashing with
Jordan Kyle,” said Luke.
“Look, your mother will come around, Simon. Like Amatis did, with me. You’re still her
son. I’ll talk to her, if you want me to.”
Simon shook his head silently. His mother had always liked Luke. Dealing with the fact
that Luke was a werewolf would probably make things worse, not better.
Luke nodded as if he understood. “If you don’t want to go back to Jordan’s, you’re more
than welcome to stay on my sofa tonight. I’m sure Clary would be glad to have you
around, and we can talk about what to do about your mother tomorrow.”
Simon squared his shoulders. He looked at Isabelle across the room, the gleam of her
whip, the shine of the pendant at her throat, the flutter of her hands as she talked. Isabelle,
who wasn’t afraid of anything. He thought of his mother, the way she had backed away
from him, the fear in her eyes. He’d been hiding from the memory, running from it,ever
since.Butit was time to stop running. “No,” he said. “Thanks, but Ithink Idon’t need a
place to crash tonight. I think . . . that I’m going to go home.”
Jace stood alone on the roof, looking out over the city, the East River a silvery-black
snake twining between Brooklyn and Manhattan. His hands, his lips, still felt warm from
Clary’s touch, but the wind off the river was icy, and the warmth was fading fast.
Without a jacket the air cut through the thin material of his shirt like the blade of a knife.
He took a deep breath, sucking the cold air into his lungs, and let it out slowly. His whole
body felt tense. He was waiting for the sound of the elevator, the doors opening, the
Shadowhunters flooding out into the garden. They would be sympathetic at first, he
thought, worried about him. Then, as they understood what had happened—then would
come the shrinking away, the meaningful looks exchanged when they thought he wasn’t
watching. He had been possessed—not just by a demon, but by a Greater Demon—had
acted against the Clave, had threatened and hurt another Shadowhunter.
He thought about how Jocelyn would look at him when she heard what he’d done to
Clary. Luke might understand, forgive. But Jocelyn. He had never been able to bring
himself to speak to her honestly, to say the words he thought might reassure her. I love
your daughter, more than I ever thought it was possible to love anything. I would never
hurt her.
She would just look at him, he thought, with those green eyes that were so like Clary’s.
She would want more than that. She would want to hear him say what he wasn’t sure was
I am nothing like Valentine.
Aren’t you? The words seemed carried on the cold air, a whisper meant only for his ears.
You never knew your mother. You never knew your father. You gave your heart to
Valentine when you were a child, as children do, and made yourselfa
partofhim.Youcannot cut that awayfrom yourselfnow withone cleanslice of a blade.
His left hand was cold. He looked down and saw, to his shock, that somehow he had
picked up the dagger—his real father’s etched silver dagger—and was holding it in his
hand. The blade, though eaten away by Lilith’s blood, was whole again, and shining like
a promise. A cold that had nothing to do with the weather began to spread through his
chest. How many times had he woken up like this, gasping and sweating, the dagger in
his hand? And Clary, always Clary, dead at his feet.
But Lilith was dead. It was over. He tried to slide the dagger into his belt, but his hand
didn’t seem to want to obey the command his mind was giving it. He felt a sense of
stinging heat across his chest, a searing pain. Looking down, he saw that the bloody line
that had split Lilith’s mark in half, where Clary had slashed him with the dagger, had
healed. The mark gleamed redly against his chest.
Jace stopped trying to shove the dagger into his belt. His knuckles turned white as his
grip tightened on the hilt, his wrist twisting, desperately trying to turn the blade on
himself. His heart was pounding. He had accepted no iratzes. How had the mark healed
so fast? If he could gash it again, disfigure it, even temporarily—
But his hand wouldn’t obey him. His arm stayed stiffly at his side as his body turned,
against his own will, toward the pedestal where Sebastian’s body lay.
The coffin had begun to glow, with a cloudy greenish light—almost a witchlight glow,
but there was something painful about this light, something that seemed to pierce the eye.
Jace tried to take a step back, but his legs wouldn’t move. Icy sweat trickled down his
back. A voice whispered at the back of his mind.
Come here.
It was Sebastian’s voice.
Did you think you were free because Lilith is gone? The vampire’s bite woke me; now
her blood in my veins compels you.
Come here.
Jace tried to dig in his heels, but his body betrayed him, carrying him forward, though his
conscious mind strained against it. Even as he tried to hang back, his feet moved him
down the path, toward the coffin. The painted circle flashed green as he moved across it,
and the coffin seemed to answer with a second flash of emerald light. And then he was
standing over it, looking down.
Jace bit down hard on his lip, hoping the pain might shock him out of the dream state he
was in. It didn’t work. He tasted his own blood as he stared down at Sebastian, who
floated like a drowned corpse in the water. Those are pearls that were his eyes. His hair
was colorless seaweed, his closed eyelids blue. His mouth had the cold, hard set of his
father’s mouth. It was like looking at a young Valentine.
Without his volition, absolutely against his will, Jace’s hands began to rise. His left hand
laid the edge of the dagger against the inside of his right palm, where life and love lines
crisscrossed each other.
Words spilled from his own lips. He heard them as if from an immense distance. They
were in no language he knew or understood, but he knew what they were—ritual
chanting. His mind was screaming at his body to stop, but it appeared to make no
difference. He left hand came down, the knife clenched in it. The blade sliced a clean,
sure, shallow cut across his right palm. Almost instantly it began to bleed. He tried to
draw back, tried to pull his arm away, but it was as if he were encased in cement. As he
watched in horror, the first blood drops splashed onto Sebastian’s face.
Sebastian’s eyes flew open. They were black, blacker than Valentine’s, as black as the
demon’s who had called herself his mother. They fixed on Jace, like great dark mirrors,
giving him back his own face, twisted and unrecognizable, his mouth shaping the words
of the ritual, spilling forth in a meaningless babble like a river of black water.
The blood was flowing more freely now, turning the cloudy liquid inside the coffin a
darker red. Sebastian moved.
The bloody water shifted and spilled as he sat up, his black eyes fixed on Jace.
The second part of the ritual. His voice spoke inside Jace’s head. It is almost complete.
Water ran off him like tears. His pale hair, pasted to his forehead, seemed to have no
color at all. He raised one hand and held it out, and Jace, against the cry inside his own
mind, held out the dagger, blade forward. Sebastian slid his hand along the length of the
cold, sharp blade. Blood sprang up in a line across his palm. He knocked the dagger aside
and took Jace’s hand, gripping it with his own.
It was the last thing Jace had expected. He couldn’t move to pull away. He felt each of
Sebastian’s cold fingers as they wrapped his hand, pressing their bleeding cuts together.
It was like being gripped by cold metal. Ice began to spread up his veins from his hand. A
shudder passed over him, and then another, powerful physical tremors so painful it felt as
if his body were being turned inside out. He tried to scream—
And the cry died in his throat. He looked down at his and Sebastian’s hands, clenched
together. Blood ran through their fingers and down their wrists, as elegant as red
lacework. It glittered in the cold electric light of the city. It moved not like liquid, but like
moving red wires. It wrapped their hands together in a scarlet binding.
A peculiar sense of peace stole over Jace. The world seemed to fall away, and he was
standing on the peak of a mountain, the world spread out before him, everything in it his
for the taking. The lights of the city around him were no longer electric, but were the
light of a thousand diamond-like stars. They seemed to shine down on him with a
benevolent glow that said, This is good. This is right. This is what your father would have
He saw Clary in his mind’s eye, her pale face, the fall of her red hair, her mouth as it
moved, shaping the words I’ll be right back. Five minutes.
And then her voice faded as another spoke over it, drowning it out. The image of her in
his mind receded, vanishing imploringly into the darkness, as Eurydice had vanished
when Orpheus had turned to look at her one last time. Her saw her, her white arms held
out to him, and then the shadows closed over her and she was gone.
A new voice spoke in Jace’s head now, a familiar voice, once hated, now oddly welcome.
Sebastian’s voice. It seemed to run through his blood, through the blood that passed
through Sebastian’s hand into his, like a fiery chain.
We are one now, little brother, you and I, Sebastian said.
We are one.


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