Monday, 7 January 2013

City of Fallen Angels - Chapter 6

Jace’s room was as neat as ever—bed made perfectly, the books that lined the shelves
arranged in alphabetical order, notes and textbooks stacked carefully on the desk. Even
his weapons were lined up along the wall in order of size, from a massive broadsword to
a set of small daggers.
Clary, standing in the doorway, held back a sigh. The neatness was all very well. She was
used to it. It was, she had always thought, Jace’s way of exerting control over the
elements of a life that otherwise might seem overwhelmed with chaos. He had lived so
long not knowing who—or even what—he really was, she could hardly begrudge him the
careful alphabetization of his poetry collection.
She could, however—and did—begrudge the fact that he wasn’t there. If he hadn’t gone
back home after leaving the bridal shop, where had he gone? As she looked around the
room, a feeling of unreality came over her. It wasn’t possible that any of this was
happening, was it? She knew how breakups went from hearing other girls complain about
them. First the pulling away, the gradual refusal to return notes or phone calls. The vague
messages saying nothing was wrong, that the other person just wanted a little space. Then
the speech about how “It’s not you, it’s me.” Then the crying part.
She’d never thought any of that would ever apply to her and Jace. What they had wasn’t
ordinary, or subject to the ordinary rules of relationships and breakups. They belonged to
each other totally, and always would, and that was that.
But maybe everyone felt that way? Until the moment they realized they were just like
everyone else, and everything they’d thought was real shattered apart.
Something that glittered silver across the room caught her eye. It was the boxAmatis had
given Jace, withits delicate design of birds around the sides. She knew he had been
working his way through it, reading the letters slowly, going through the notes and
photos. He hadn’t said much about it to her, and she hadn’t wanted to pry. His feelings
about his biological father were something he was going to have to come to terms with on
his own.
She found herself drawn to the box now, though. She remembered him sitting on the
front steps of the Accords Hall in Idris, holding the box in his lap. As if I could stop
loving you, he’d said. She touched the lid of the box, and her fingers found the clasp,
which sprung open easily. Inside were scattered papers, old photographs. She drew one
out, and stared at it, fascinated. There were two people in the photograph, a young
woman and a young man.
She recognized the woman immediately as Luke’s sister, Amatis. She was gazing up at
the young man with all the radiance of first love. He was handsome, tall and blond,
though his eyes were blue, not gold, and his features less angular than Jace’s . . . and yet
still, knowing who he was—Jace’s father—was enough to make her stomach tighten.
She set the photo of Stephen Herondale down hastily, and nearly cut her finger on the
blade of a slim hunting dagger that lay crosswise in the box. Birds were carved along the
handle. The blade of it was stained with rust, or what looked like rust. It must not have
been cleaned properly. She shut the box quickly, and turned away, guilt like a weight on
her shoulders.
She had thought about leaving a note, but, deciding it would be better to wait until she
could talk to Jace in person, she left and went down the hall to the elevator. She had
knocked on Isabelle’s door earlier, but it didn’t look like she was home either. Even the
witchlight torches in the hallways seemed to be burning at a lower level than usual.
Feeling utterly depressed, Clary reached for the elevator call button—only to realize it
was already lit. Someone was heading up from the ground floor to the Institute.
Jace, she thought immediately, her pulse jumping. But of course it might not be him, she
told herself. It could be Izzy, or Maryse, or—
“Luke?” she said in surprise as the elevator door opened. “What are you doing here?’
“I might ask you the same thing.” He stepped out of the elevator, pulling the gate shut
behind him. He was wearing a fleece-lined zip-up flannel jacket that Jocelyn had been
trying to get him to throw away since they’d first started dating. It was rather nice, Clary
thought, that just about nothing seemed to change Luke, no matter what happened in his
life. He liked what he liked, and that was that. Even if it was a ratty-looking old coat.
“Except I think I can guess. So, is he here?”
“Jace? No.” Clary shrugged, trying to look unconcerned. “It’s fine. I’ll see him
Luke hesitated. “Clary—”
“Lucian.” The cool voice that came from behind them was Maryse’s. “Thank you for
coming on such short notice.”
He turned to nod at her. “Maryse.”
Maryse Lightwood stood in the doorway, her hand lightly on the frame. She was wearing
gloves, pale gray gloves that matched her tailored gray suit. Clary wondered if Maryse
ever wore jeans. She had never seen Isabelle and Alec’s mother in anything but power
suits or gear. “Clary,” she said. “I didn’t realize you were here.”
Clary felt herself flush. Maryse didn’t seem to mind her coming and going, but then,
Maryse had never really acknowledged Clary’s relationship with Jace at all. It was hard
to blame her. Maryse was still coping with Max’s death, which had been only six weeks
ago, and she was doing it alone, with Robert Lightwood still in Idris. She had bigger
things on her mind than Jace’s love life.
“I was just leaving,” Clary said.
“I’ll give you a ride back home when I’m done here,” Luke said, putting a hand on her
shoulder. “Maryse, is it a problem if Clary remains while we talk? Because I’d prefer to
have her stay.”
Maryse shook her head. “No problem, I suppose.” She sighed, raking her hands through
her hair. “Believe me, I wish I didn’t need to bother you at all. I know you’re getting
married in a week—congratulations, by the way. I don’t know if I told you that before.”
“You didn’t,” said Luke, “but it’s appreciated. Thank you.”
“Only six weeks.” Maryse smiled faintly. “Quite a whirlwind courtship.”
Luke’s hand tightened on Clary’s shoulder, the only sign of his annoyance. “I don’t
suppose you called me over here to congratulate me on my engagement, did you?”
Maryse shook her head. She looked very tired, Clary thought, and there were strands of
gray in her upswept dark hair that hadn’t been there before. “No. I assume you’ve heard
about the bodies we’ve been finding for the past week or so?”
“The dead Shadowhunters, yes.”
“We found another one tonight. Stuffed in a Dumpster near Columbus Park. Your pack’s
Luke’s eyebrows went up. “Yes, but the others—”
“The first body was found in Greenpoint. Warlock territory. The second floating in a
pond in Central Park. The domain of the fey. Now we have werewolf territory.” She fixed
her gaze on Luke. “What does that make you think?”
“That someone who isn’t very pleased about the new Accords is trying to set
Downworlder against Downworlder,”
Luke said. “I can assure you my pack didn’t have anything to do with this. I don’t know
who’s behind it, but it’s a veryclumsyattempt, if youask me. Ihope the Clave cansee
“There’s more,” Maryse said. “We’ve identified the first two bodies. It took some time,
since the first was burned nearly beyond recognition and the second was badly
decomposed. Can you guess who they might have been?”
“Anson Pangborn,” she said, “and Charles Freeman. Neither of whom, I might note, had
been heard from since Valentine’s death—”
“But that’s notpossible,” Claryinterrupted. “Luke killed Pangborn, back inAugust—at
“He killed Emil Pangborn,” said Maryse. “Anson was Emil’s younger brother. They were
both in the Circle together.”
“As was Freeman,” said Luke. “So someone is killing not just Shadowhunters but former
Circle members? And leaving their bodies in Downworlder territory?” He shook his
head. “It sounds like someone’s trying to shake up some of the more . . . recalcitrant
members of the Clave. Get them to rethink the new Accords, perhaps. We should have
expected this.”
“I suppose,” Maryse said. “I’ve met with the Seelie Queen already, and I have a message
out to Magnus.
Wherever he is.” She rolled her eyes; Maryse and Robert seemed to have accepted Alec’s
relationship with Magnus with surprisingly good grace, but Clary could tell that Maryse,
at least, didn’t take it seriously. “I just thought, perhaps—” She sighed. “I’ve been so
exhausted lately. I feel like I can hardly think straight. I hoped you might have some idea
about who might be doing this, some idea that hadn’t occurred to me.”
Luke shook his head. “Someone with a grudge against the new system. But that could be
anyone. I suppose there’s no evidence on the bodies?”
Maryse sighed. “Nothing conclusive. If only the dead could talk, eh, Lucian?”
It was as if Maryse had lifted a hand and yanked a curtain across Clary’s vision;
everything went dark, except for a single symbol, hanging like a glowing sign against a
blank night sky.
It seemed her power had not vanished, after all.
“What if . . . ,” she said slowly, raising her eyes to look at Maryse. “What if they could?”
Staring at himself in the bathroom mirror in Kyle’s small apartment, Simon couldn’t help
but wonder where that whole business about vampires not being able to see themselves in
mirrors had come from. He was able to see himself perfectly well in the dinged surface—
tousled brown hair, wide brown eyes, white, unmarked skin. He had sponged off the
blood from his cut lip, though his skin had already healed over.
He knew, objectively speaking, that becoming a vampire had made him more attractive.
Isabelle had explained to him that his movements had become graceful and that, whereas
before he had seemed disheveled, somehow now he looked attractively rumpled, as if he
had just gotten out of bed. “Someone else’s bed,” she had noted, which, he’d told her, he
had already figured out was what she meant, thank you.
When he looked at himself, though, he didn’t see any of that. The poreless whiteness of
his skin, as it always did, disturbed him, as did the dark, spidering veins that showed at
his temples, evidence of the fact that he had not fed today. He looked alien and not like
himself. Perhaps the whole business about not being able to see yourself in a mirror once
you had become a vampire was wishful thinking. Maybe it was just that you no longer
recognized the reflection looking back at you.
Cleaned up, he headed back into the living room, where Jace was sprawled out on the
futon couch, reading Kyle’s beaten-up copy of The Lord of the Rings. He dropped it onto
the coffee table as Simon came in. His hair looked newly wet, as if he’d splashed water
on his face from the kitchen sink.
“I can see why you like it here,” he said, making a sweeping gesture that encompassed
Kyle’s collection of movie posters and science fiction books. “There’s a thin layer of
nerd all over everything.”
“Thanks. I appreciate that.” Simon gave Jace a hard look. Up close, under the bright light
of the unshaded overhead bulb, Jace looked—ill. The shadows Simon had noticed under
his eyes before were more pronounced than ever, and his skin seemed tight over the
bones of his face. His hand shook a little as he pushed his hair away from his forehead in
a characteristic gesture.
Simon shook his head as if to clear it. Since when did he know Jace well enough to be
able to identify which gestures of his were characteristic? It wasn’t as if they were
friends. “You look lousy,” he said.
Jace blinked. “Seems an odd time to start an insult contest, but if you insist, I could
probably think up something good.”
“No, I mean it. You don’t look good.”
“This from a guy who has all the sex appeal of a penguin. Look, I realize you may be
jealous that the good Lord didn’t deal you the same chiseled hand he dealt me, but that’s
no reason to—”
“I am not trying to insult you,” Simon snapped. “I mean you look sick. When was the last
time you ate anything?”
Jace looked thoughtful. “Yesterday?”
“You ate something yesterday. You’re sure?”
Jace shrugged.“Well, Iwouldn’t swear ona stack ofBibles.Ithink itwas yesterday, though.”
Simon had investigated the contents of Kyle’s fridge earlier when he’d been searching
the place, and there hadn’t been much to find. A withered-up old lime, some soda cans, a
pound of ground beef, and, inexplicably, a single Pop-Tart in the freezer. He grabbed his
keys off the kitchen counter. “Come on,” he said. “There’s a supermarket on the corner.
Let’s get you some food.”
Jace looked as if he were in the mood to object, then shrugged. “Fine,” he said, in the
tone of someone who didn’t much care where they went or what they did there. “Let’s
Outside on the front steps Simon locked the door behind them with the keys he was still
getting used to, while Jace examined the list of names next to the apartment doorbell
buzzers. “That one’s yours, huh?” he asked, pointing to 3A. “How come it just says
‘Kyle’? Doesn’t he have a last name?”
“Kyle wants to be a rock star,” Simon said, heading down the stairs. “I think he’s
working the one-name thing. Like Rihanna.”
Jace followed him, hunching his shoulders slightly against the wind, though he made no
move to zip up the suede jacket he’d retrieved from Clary earlier that day. “I have no idea
what you’re talking about.”
“I’m sure you don’t.”
As they rounded the corner onto Avenue B, Simon looked at Jace sideways. “So,” he
said. “Were you following me? Or is it just an amazing coincidence that you happened to
be on the roof of a building I was walking by when I got attacked?”
Jace stopped at the corner, waiting for the light to turn. Apparently even Shadowhunters
had to obey traffic laws. “I was following you.”
“Is this the part where you tell me you’re secretly in love with me? Vampire mojo strikes
“There’s no such thing as vampire mojo,” said Jace, rather eerily echoing Clary’s earlier
comment. “And I was following Clary, but then she got into a cab, and I can’t follow a
cab. So I doubled back and followed you instead.
Mostly for something to do.”
“You were following Clary?” Simon echoed. “Here’s a hot tip: Most girls don’t like
being stalked.”
“She left her phone in the pocket of my jacket,” Jace said, patting his right side, where,
presumably, the phone was stashed. “I thought if I could figure out where she was going,
I could leave it where she’d find it.”
“Or,” Simon said, “you could call her at home and tell her you had her phone, and she
could come and get it from you.”
Jace said nothing. The light changed, and they headed across the street toward the CTown
supermarket. It was still open. Markets in Manhattan never closed, Simon thought,
which was a nice change from Brooklyn. Manhattan was a good place to be a vampire.
You could do all your shopping at midnight and no one would think it was weird.
“You’re avoiding Clary,” Simon observed. “I don’t suppose you want to tell me why?”
“No, I don’t,” Jace said. “Just count yourself lucky I was following you, or—”
“Or what? Another mugger would be dead?” Simon could hear the bitterness in his own
voice. “You saw what happened.”
“Yes. And I saw the look on your face when it did.” Jace’s tone was neutral. “That wasn’t
the first time you’ve seen that happen, was it?”
Simon found himself telling Jace about the tracksuited figure who had attacked him in
Williamsburg, and how he had assumed it was just a mugger. “After he died, he turned
into salt,” he finished. “Just like the second guy. I guess it’s a biblical thing. Pillars of
salt. Like Lot’s wife.”
They had reached the supermarket; Jace shoved the door open, and Simon followed him
in, grabbing a miniature wheeled silver cart from the line near the front door. He started
to push it down one of the aisles, and Jace followed him, clearly lost in thought. “So I
guess the question is,” Jace said, “do you have any idea who might want to kill you?”
Simon shrugged. The sight of all the food around him was making his stomach twist,
reminding him how hungry he was, though not for anything they sold here. “Maybe
Raphael. He seems to hate me. And he wanted me dead before—”
“It’s not Raphael,” said Jace.
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because Raphael knows about your Mark and wouldn’t be stupid enough to strike at you
directly like that. He’d know exactly what would happen. Whoever’s after you, it’s
someone who knows enough about you to know where you’re likely to be, but they don’t
know about the Mark.”
“But that could be anyone.”
“Exactly,” said Jace, and grinned. For a moment he almost looked like himself again.
Simon shook his head. “Look, do you know what you want to eat, or do you just want me
to keep pushing this cart up and down aisles because it amuses you?”
“That,” said Jace, “and I’m not really familiar with what they sell in mundane grocery
stores. Maryse usually cooks or we order in food.” He shrugged, and picked up a piece of
fruit at random. “What’s this?”
“That’s a mango.” Simon stared at Jace. Sometimes it really was like Shadowhunters
were from an alien planet.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those that wasn’t already cut up,” Jace mused. “I like
Simon grabbed the mango and tossed it into the cart. “Great. What else do you like?”
Jace pondered for a moment. “Tomato soup,” he said finally.
“Tomato soup? You want tomato soup and a mango for dinner?”
Jace shrugged. “I don’t really care about food.”
“Fine. Whatever. Stay here. I’ll be right back.” Shadowhunters. Simon seethed quietly to
himself as he rounded the corner of an aisle lined with soup cans. They were a sort of
bizarre amalgam of millionaires—people who never had to consider the petty parts of
life, like how to shop for food, or use MetroCard machines in the subway—and soldiers,
with their rigid self-discipline and constant training. Maybe it was easier for them, going
through life with blinders on, he thought as he grabbed a soup can off the shelf. Maybe it
helped you keep your focus on the big picture—which, when your job was basically
keeping the world safe from evil, was a pretty big picture indeed.
He was feeling nearly sympathetic toward Jace as he neared the aisle where he’d left
him—then paused. Jace was leaning against the cart, turning something over in his hands.
From this distance Simon couldn’t see what it was, and he couldn’t get closer, either,
because two teenage girls were blocking his way, standing in the middle of the aisle
giggling and crowding up against each other to whisper the way girls did. They were
obviously dressed to pass for twenty-one, in high heels and short skirts, push-up bras and
no jackets to keep the chill away.
They smelled like lip gloss. Lip gloss and baby powder and blood.
He could hear them, of course, despite the whispering. They were talking about Jace, how
hot he was, each daring the other to go up and talk to him. There was a great deal of
discussion of his hair and also his abs, although how they could really see his abs though
his T-shirt, Simon wasn’t sure. Blech, he thought. This is ridiculous. He was about to say
“Excuse me” when one of them, the taller and darker-haired of the two, broke away and
sauntered over to Jace, wobbling a little on her platform heels. Jace looked up as she
approached him, his eyes wary, and Simon had the sudden panicked thought that maybe
Jace would mistake her for a vampire or some kind of succubus and whip out one of his
seraph blades on the spot, and then they’d both be arrested.
He needn’t have worried. Jace just arched an eyebrow. The girl said something to him
breathlessly; he shrugged; she pressed something into his hand, and then dashed back to
her friend. They wobbled out of the store, giggling together.
Simon went over to Jace and dropped the soup can into the cart. “So what was all that
“I think,” Jace said, “that she asked if she could touch my mango.”
“She said that?”
Jace shrugged. “Yeah, then she gave me her number.” He showed Simon the piece of
paper with an expression of bland indifference, then tossed it into the cart. “Can we go
“You’re not going to call her, are you?”
Jace looked at him as if he were insane.
“Forget I said that,” said Simon. “This sort of thing happens to you all the time, doesn’t
it? Girls just coming up to you?”
“Only when I’m not glamoured.”
“Yes, because when you are, girls can’t see you, because you’re invisible.” Simon shook
his head. “You’re a public menace. You shouldn’t be allowed out on your own.”
“Jealousy is such an ugly emotion, Lewis.” Jace grinned a crooked grin that normally
would have made Simon want to hit him. Not this time, though. He had just realized what
it was that Jace had been playing with, turning over and over in his fingers as if it were
something precious or dangerous or both. It was Clary’s phone.
“I’m still not sure that this is a good idea,” said Luke.
Clary, her arms crossed over her chest to ward off the chill of the Silent City, looked
sideways at him. “Maybe you should have said that before we got here.”
“I’m fairly sure I did. Several times.” Luke’s voice echoed off the stone pillars that rose
overhead, striped with bands of semiprecious stone—black onyx, green jade, rose
carnelian, and blue lapis. Silvery witchlight burned in torches attached to the pillars,
lighting the mausoleums that lined each wall to a bright white that was almost painful to
look at.
Little had changed in the Silent City since the last time Clary had been here. It still felt
alien and strange, though now the sweeping runes that stretched across the floors in
carved whorls and etched patterns teased her mind with the edges of their meanings,
instead of being totally incomprehensible. Maryse had left her and Luke here in this entry
chamber the moment they had arrived, preferring to go and confer with the Silent
Brothers herself. There was no guarantee they’d let the three of them in to see the bodies,
she’d warned Clary. Nephilim dead were the province of the Bone City’s guardians, and
no one else had jurisdiction over them.
Not that there were many such guardians left. Valentine had killed nearly all of them
while searching for the Mortal Sword, leaving alive only the few who had not been in the
Silent City at the time. New members had been added to their order since then, but Clary
doubted there were more than ten or fifteen Silent Brothers left in the world.
The harsh clack of Maryse’s heels on the stone floor alerted them to her return before she
actually appeared, a robed Silent Brother trailing in her wake. “Here you are,” she said,
as if Clary and Luke weren’t exactly where she’d left them. “This is Brother Zachariah.
Brother Zachariah, this is the girl I was telling you about.”
The Silent Brother pushed his hood back very slightly from his face. Clary held back a
start of surprise. He didn’t look like Brother Jeremiah had, with his hollowed eyes and
stitched mouth. Brother Zachariah’s eyes were closed, his high cheekbones each marked
with the scar of a single black rune. But his mouth wasn’t stitched shut, and she didn’t
think his head was shaved, either. It was hard to tell, with the hood up, whether she was
seeing shadows or dark hair.
She felt his voice touch her mind. You truly believe you can do this thing, Valentine’s
She felt her cheeks flush. She hated being reminded of whose daughter she was.
“Surely you’ve heard of the other things she’s done,” said Luke. “Her rune of binding
helped us end the Mortal War.”
Brother Zachariah raised his hood to hide his face. Come with me to the Ossuarium.
Clary looked at Luke, hoping for a supportive nod, but he was staring straight ahead and
fiddling with his glasses the way he did when he was anxious. With a sigh she set off
after Maryse and Brother Zachariah. He moved as silently as fog, while Maryse’s heels
sounded like gunshots on the marble floors. Clary wondered if Isabelle’s propensity for
unsuitable footwear was genetic.
They followed a winding path through the pillars, passing the great square of the
Speaking Stars, where the Silent Brothers had first told Clary about Magnus Bane.
Beyond the square was an arched doorway, set with a pair of enormous iron doors. Into
their surfaces had been burned runes that Clary recognized as runes of death and peace.
Over the doors was written an inscription in Latin that made her wish she had her notes
with her. She was woefully behind in Latin for a Shadowhunter; most of them spoke it
like a second language.
TaceantColloquia.Effugiatrisus.Hiclocusestubi morsgaudetsuccurrerevitae.
“Let conversation stop. Let laughter cease,” Luke read aloud. “Here is the place where
the dead delight to teach the living.”
Brother Zachariah laid a hand on the door. The most recent of the murdered dead has
been made ready for you.
Are you prepared?
Clary swallowed hard, wondering exactly what it was she had gotten herself into. “I’m
The doors swung wide, and they filed through. Inside was a large, windowless room with
walls of smooth white marble. They were featureless save for hooks on which hung
silvery instruments of dissection: shining scalpels, things that looked like hammers, bone
saws, and rib spreaders. And beside them on shelves were even more peculiar
instruments: massive corkscrew-like tools, sheets of sandpapery material, and jars of
multicolored liquid, including a greenish one labeled “Acid” that actually seemed to be
The center of the room featured a row of high marble tables. Most were bare. Three were
occupied, and on two of those three, all Clary could see was a human shape concealed by
a white sheet. On the third table lay a body, the sheet pulled down to just below the rib
cage. Naked from the waist up, the body was clearly male, and just as clearly a
Shadowhunter. The corpse-pale skin was inked all over with Marks. The dead man’s eyes
had been bound with white silk, as per Shadowhunter custom.
Clary swallowed back her rising nausea and moved to stand beside the corpse. Luke
came with her, his hand protectively on her shoulder; Maryse stood opposite them,
watching everything with her curious blue eyes, the same color as Alec’s.
Clary drew her stele from her pocket. She could feel the chill of the marble through her
shirt as she leaned over the dead man. This close, she could see details—that his hair had
been reddish brown, and that his throat had been torn clean through in strips, as if by a
massive claw.
Brother Zachariah reached out and removed the silk binding from the dead man’s eyes.
Beneath it, they were closed. You may begin.
Clary took a deep breath and set the tip of the stele to the skin of the dead
Shadowhunter’s arm. The rune she had visualized before, in the entryway of the Institute,
came back to her as clearly as the letters of her own name. She began to draw.
The black Mark lines spiraled out from the tip of her stele, much as they always did—but
her hand felt heavy, the stele itself dragging slightly, as if she were writing in mud rather
than on skin. It was as if the implement were confused, skittering over the surface of the
dead skin, seeking the living spirit of the Shadowhunter that was no longer there. Clary’s
stomach churned as she drew, and by the time she was done and had retracted her stele,
she was sweating and nauseated.
For a long moment nothing happened. Then, with a terrible suddenness, the dead
Shadowhunter’s eyes flicked open. They were blue, the whites flecked red with blood.
Maryse let out a long gasp. It was clear she hadn’t really believed the rune would work.
“By the Angel.”
A rattling breath came from the dead man, the sound of someone trying to breathe
through a cut throat. The ragged skin of his neck fluttered like a fish’s gills. His chest
rose, and words came from his mouth.
“It hurts.”
Luke swore, and glanced toward Zachariah, but the Silent Brother was impassive.
Maryse moved closer to the table, her eyes suddenly sharp, almost predatory.
“Shadowhunter,” she said. “Who are you? I demand your name.”
The man’s head thrashed from side to side. His hands rose and fell convulsively. “The
pain . . . Make the pain stop.”
Clary’s stele nearly dropped from her hand. This was much more awful than she had
imagined. She looked toward Luke, who was backing away from the table, his eyes wide
with horror.
“Shadowhunter.” Maryse’s tone was imperious. “Who did this to you?”
“Please . . .”
Luke whirled around, his back to Clary. He seemed to be rummaging among the Silent
Brother’s tools. Clary stood frozen as Maryse’s gray-gloved hand shot out, and closed on
the corpse’s shoulder, her fingers digging in.
“In the name of the Angel, I command you to answer me!”
The Shadowhunter made a choking sound. “Downworlder . . . vampire . . .”
“Which vampire?” Maryse demanded.
“Camille. The ancient one—” The words choked off as a gout of black clotted blood
poured from the dead mouth.
Maryse gasped and jerked her hand back. As she did so, Luke reappeared, carrying the jar
of green acid liquid that Clary had noticed earlier. With a single gesture he yanked the lid
off and sloshed the acid over the Mark on the corpse’s arm, eradicating it. The corpse
gave a single scream as the flesh sizzled—and then it collapsed back against the table,
eyes blank and staring, whatever had animated it for that brief period clearly gone.
Luke set the empty jar of acid down on the table. “Maryse.” His voice was reproachful.
“This is not how we treat our dead.”
“I will decide how we treat our dead, Downworlder.” Maryse was pale, her cheeks
spotted with red. “We have a name now. Camille. Perhaps we can prevent more deaths.”
“There are worse things than death.” Luke reached a hand out for Clary, not looking at
her. “Come on, Clary. I think it’s time for us to go.”
“So you really can’t think of anyone else who might want to kill you?” Jace asked, not
for the first time. They’d gone over the list several times, and Simon was getting tired of
being asked the same questions over and over. Not to mention that he suspected Jace was
only partly paying attention. Having already eaten the soup Simon had bought—cold, out
of the can, with a spoon, which Simon couldn’t help thinking was disgusting—he was
leaning against the window, the curtain pulled aside slightly so that he could see the
traffic going by on Avenue B, and the brightly lit windows of the apartments across the
street. Through them Simon could see people eating dinner, watching television, and
sitting around a table talking. Ordinary things that ordinary people did. It made him feel
oddly hollow.
“Unlike in your case,” said Simon, “there aren’t actually all that many people who dislike
Jace ignored this. “There’s something you’re not telling me.”
Simon sighed. He hadn’t wanted to say anything about Camille’s offer, but in the face of
someone trying to kill him, however ineffectually, maybe secrecy wasn’t such a priority.
He explained what had happened at his meeting with the vampire woman, while Jace
watched him with an intent expression.
When he was done, Jace said, “Interesting, but she’s not likely to be the one trying to kill
you either. She knows about your Mark, for one thing. And I’m not sure she’d be keen to
get caught breaking the Accords like that. When Downworlders are that old, they usually
know how to stay out of trouble.” He set his soup can down. “We could go out again,” he
suggested. “See if they try to attack a third time. If we could just capture one of them,
maybe we—”
“No,” Simon said. “Why are you always trying to get yourself killed?”
“It’s my job.”
“It’s a hazard of your job. At least for most Shadowhunters. For you it seems to be the
Jace shrugged. “My father always said—” He broke off, his face hardening. “Sorry. I
meant Valentine. By the Angel. Every time I call him that, it feels like I’m betraying my
real father.”
Simon felt sympathetic toward Jace despite himself. “Look, you thought he was your
father for what, sixteen years? That doesn’t just go away in a day. And you never met the
guy who was really your father. And he’s dead.
So you can’t really betray him. Just think of yourself as someone who has two fathers for
a while.”
“You can’t have two fathers.”
“Sure you can,” Simon said. “Who says you can’t? We can buy you one of those books
they have for little kids.
TimmyHas Two Dads.Except Idon’tthink theyhave one called TimmyHas Two Dads and
One of Them Was Evil. That part you’re just going to have to work through on your
Jace rolled his eyes. “It’s fascinating,” he said. “You know all these words, and they’re
all English, but when you string them together into sentences, they just don’t make any
sense.” He tugged lightly on the window curtain. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”
“My father’s dead,” said Simon.
Jace turned to look at him. “What?”
“I figured you didn’t know,” said Simon. “I mean, it’s not like you were going to ask, or
are particularly interested in anything about me. So, yeah. My father’s dead. So we do
have that in common.” Suddenly exhausted, he leaned back against the futon. He felt sick
and dizzy and tired—a deep tiredness that seemed to have sunk into his bones. Jace, on
the other hand, seemed possessed of a restless energy that Simon found a little disturbing.
It hadn’t been easy watching him eat that tomato soup, either. It had looked too much like
blood for his comfort.
Jace eyed him. “How long has it been since you. . . ate? You look pretty bad.”
Simon sighed. He supposed he couldn’t say anything, after pestering Jace to eat
something. “Hang on,” he said.
“I’ll be right back.”
Peeling himself off the futon, he went into his bedroom and retrieved his last bottle of
blood from under the bed.
He tried not to look at it—separated blood was a sickening sight. He shook the bottle
hard as he headed into the living room, where Jace was still staring out the window.
Leaning against the kitchen counter, Simon unscrewed the bottle of blood and took a
swig. Normally he didn’t like drinking the stuff in front of other people, but this was
Jace, and he didn’t care what Jace thought. Besides, it wasn’t as if Jace hadn’t seen him
drink blood before. At least Kyle wasn’t home. That would be a hard one to explain to his
new roommate. Nobody liked a guy who kept blood in the fridge.
Two Jaces eyed him—one the real Jace, the other his reflection in the windowpane. “You
can’t just skip feeding, you know.”
Simon shrugged. “I’m eating now.”
“Yeah,” Jace said, “but you’re a vampire. Blood isn’t like food for you. Blood is . . .
“That’s very illuminating.” Simon flung himself into the armchair across from the TV; it
had probably once been a pale gold velvet but was now worn to the grayish pile. “Do you
have a lot of other profound thoughts like that?
Blood is blood? A toaster is a toaster? A Gelatinous Cube is a Gelatinous Cube?”
Jace shrugged. “Fine. Ignore my advice. You’ll be sorry later.”
Before Simon could answer, he heard the sound of the front door opening. He looked
daggers at Jace. “That’s my roommate. Kyle. Be nice.”
Jace smiled charmingly. “I’m always nice.”
Simon had no chance to respond to this the way he would have liked, for a moment later
Kyle bounded into the room, looking bright-eyed and energetic. “Man, I was all over
town today,” he said. “I almost got lost, but you know what they say. Bronx up, Battery
down—” He looked at Jace, registering belatedly that there was someone else in the
room. “Oh, hey. I didn’t know you had a friend over.” He held out a hand. “I’m Kyle.”
Jace did not respond in kind. To Simon’s surprise, Jace had gone rigid all over, his pale
yellow eyes narrowing, his whole body displaying that Shadowhunter watchfulness that
seemed to transform him from an ordinary teenage boy into something very much other
than that.
“Interesting,” he said. “You know, Simon never mentioned that his new roommate was a
Clary and Luke drove most of the way back to Brooklyn in silence. Clary stared out the
window as they went, watching Chinatown slide past, and then the Williamsburg Bridge,
lit up like a chain of diamonds against the night sky. In the distance, out over the black
water of the river, she could see Renwick’s, illuminated as it always was. It looked like a
ruin again, empty black windows gaping like the eye holes in a skull. The voice of the
dead Shadowhunter whispered in her mind:
The pain . . . Make the pain stop.
She shuddered and drew her jacket more tightly around her shoulders. Luke glanced at
her briefly but said nothing. It wasn’t until he had pulled up in front of his house and
killed the engine of the truck that he turned to her and spoke.
“Clary,” he said. “What you just did—”
“It was wrong,” she said. “I know it was wrong. I was there too.” She swiped at her face
with the edge of her sleeve.
“Go ahead and yell at me.”
Luke stared through the windshield. “I’m not going to yell at you. You didn’t know what
was going to happen. Hell, I thought it might work too. I wouldn’t have gone with you if
I hadn’t.”
Clary knew this ought to have made her feel better, but it didn’t. “If you hadn’t thrown
acid on the rune—”
“But I did.”
“I didn’t even know you could do that. Destroy a rune like that.”
“If you disfigure it enough, you can minimize or destroy its power. Sometimes in battle
the enemy will try to burn or slice off a Shadowhunter’s skin, just to deprive them of the
power of their runes.” Luke sounded distracted.
Clary felt her lips tremble, and pressed them together, hard, to stop the shaking.
Sometimes she forgot the more nightmarish aspects of being a Shadowhunter—This life
of scars and killing, as Hodge had said to her once.
“Well,” she said, “I won’t do it again.”
“Won’t do what again? Make that particular rune? I have no doubt you won’t, but I’m not
sure that addresses the problem.” Luke drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “You
have an ability, Clary. A great ability. But you have absolutely no idea what it means.
You’re totally untrained. You know almost nothing about the history of runes, or what
they have meant to Nephilim through the centuries. You can’t tell a rune designed to do
good from one designed to do harm.”
“You were happy enough to let me use my power when it was the binding rune,” she said
angrily. “You didn’t tell me not to create runes then.”
“I’m not telling you not to use your power now. In fact, I think the problem is that you so
rarely do use it. It’s not as if you’re using your power to change your nail polish color or
make the subway come when you want it. You use it only in these occasional life-anddeath
“The runes only come to me in those moments.”
“Maybe that’s because you haven’t yet been trained in how your power works. Think of
Magnus; his power is a part of him. You seem to think of yours as separate from you.
Something that happens to you. It’s not. It’s a tool you need to learn to use.”
“Jace said Maryse wants to hire a rune expert to work with me, but it hasn’t happened
“Yes,” said Luke, “I imagine Maryse has other things on her mind.” He took the key out
of the ignition and sat for a moment in silence. “Losing a child the way she lost Max,” he
said. “I can’t imagine it. I should be more forgiving of her behavior. If something
happened to you, I . . .”
His voice trailed off.
“I wish Robert would come back from Idris,” said Clary. “I don’t see why she has to deal
with all this alone. It must be horrible.”
“Many marriages break up when a child dies. The married couple can’t stop blaming
themselves, or each other. I imagine Robert is gone precisely because he needs space, or
Maryse does.”
“But they love each other,” Clary said, appalled. “Isn’t that what love means? That
you’re supposed to be there for the other person to turn to, no matter what?”
Luke looked toward the river, at the dark water moving slowly under the light of the
autumn moon. “Sometimes, Clary,” he said, “love just isn’t enough.”


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