Monday, 7 January 2013

City of Fallen Angels - Chapter 7

The bottle slid out of Simon’s hand and crashed to the floor, where it shattered, sending
shards flying in all directions. “Kyle’s a werewolf?”
“Of course he’s a werewolf, you moron,” said Jace. He looked at Kyle. “Aren’t you?”
Kyle said nothing. The relaxed good humor had gone out of his expression. His hazel
eyes were as hard and flat as glass. “Who’s asking?”
Jace moved away from the window. There was nothing overtly hostile in his demeanor,
and yet everything about him implied a clear threat. His hands were loose at his sides, but
Simon remembered the way he had seen Jace, before, explode into action with almost
nothing, it seemed, between thought and response. “Jace Lightwood,” he said. “Of the
Lightwood Institute. What pack are you sworn to?”
“Jesus,” said Kyle. “You’re a Shadowhunter?” He looked at Simon. “The cute redheaded
girl who was with you in the garage—she’s a Shadowhunter too, isn’t she?”
Taken aback, Simon nodded.
“You know, some people think Shadowhunters are just myths. Like mummies and
genies.” Kyle grinned at Jace.
“Can you grant wishes?”
The fact that Kyle had just called Clary cute did not seem to have endeared him to Jace,
whose face had tightened alarmingly. “That depends,” he said. “Do you wish to be
punched in the face?”
“My, my,” said Kyle. “And I thought you all were so gung ho for the Accords these
“The Accords apply to vamps and lycanthropes with clear alliances,” interrupted Jace.
“Tell me what pack you’re sworn to, or I’ll have to assume you’re rogue.”
“All right, that’s enough,” Simon said. “Both of you, stop acting like you’re about to hit
each other.” He looked at Kyle. “You should have told me you were a werewolf.”
“I didn’t notice you telling me you’re a vampire. Maybe I thought it was none of your
Simon’s whole body jerked with surprise. “What?” He glanced down at the shattered
glass and blood on the floor.
“I didn’t—Idon’t—”
“Don’t bother,” Jace said quietly. “He can sense you’re a vampire. Just like you’ll be able
to sense werewolves and other Downworlders when you’ve had a bit more practice. He’s
known what you are since he met you. Isn’t that true?” He met Kyle’s icy hazel eyes with
his own. Kyle said nothing. “And that stuff he’s growing on the balcony, by the by?
That’s wolfsbane. Now you know.”
Simon crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Kyle. “So what they hell is this?
Some sort of setup? Why did you ask me to live with you? Werewolves hate vampires.”
“I don’t,” said Kyle. “I’m not too fond of their kind, though.” He jabbed a finger at Jace.
“They think they’re better than everyone else.”
“No,” said Jace. “I think I’m better than everyone else. An opinion that has been backed
up with ample evidence.”
Kyle looked at Simon. “Does he always talk like this?”
“Does anything shut him up? Other than getting the crap beaten out of him, of course.”
Jace moved away from the window. “I would love for you to try.”
Simon stepped between them. “I’m not going to let you fight with each other.”
“And what are you going to do about it if . . . Oh.” Jace’s gaze trailed up to Simon’s
forehead, and he grinned reluctantly. “So basically you’re threatening to turn me into
something you can sprinkle on popcorn if I don’t do what you say?”
Kyle looked baffled. “What are you—”
“I just think you two should talk,” Simon interrupted. “So Kyle’s a werewolf. I’m a
vampire. And you’re not exactly the boy next door either,” he added to Jace. “I say we
figure out what’s going on and proceed from there.”
“Your trusting idiocy knows no bounds,” Jace said, but he sat down on the windowsill,
crossing his arms. After a moment Kyle sat down too, on the futon couch. They both
glared at each other. Still, Simon thought. Progress.
“Fine,” Kyle said. “I’m a werewolf. I’m not part of a pack, but I do have an alliance.
Have you heard of the Praetor Lupus?”
“I’ve heard of lupus,” said Simon. “Isn’t it a kind of disease?”
Jace gave him a withering look. “‘Lupus’ means ‘wolf,’” he explained. “And the
praetorians were an elite Roman military force. So I guess the translation is ‘Wolf
Guardians.’” He shrugged. “I’ve run across mentions of them, but they’re a pretty
secretive organization.”
“And the Shadowhunters aren’t?” said Kyle.
“We have good reasons.”
“So do we.” Kyle leaned forward. The muscles in his arms flexed as he propped his
elbows on his knees. “There are two kinds of werewolves,” he explained. “The kind that
are born werewolves, with werewolf parents, and the kind that get infected with
lycanthropy through a bite.” Simon looked at him in surprise. He wouldn’t have thought
Kyle, slacker-stoner bike messenger, would have known the word “lycanthropy,” much
less how to pronounce it.
But this was a very different Kyle—focused, intent, and direct. “For those of us who are
turned by a bite, those first few years are key. The demon strain that causes lycanthropy
causes a whole raft of other changes—waves of uncontrollable aggression, inability to
control rage, suicidal anger and despair. The pack can help with that, but a lot of the
newly infected aren’t lucky enough to fall in with a pack. They’re on their own, trying to
deal with all this overwhelming stuff, and a lot of them turn violent—against others or
against themselves. There’s a high suicide rate and a high rate of domestic violence.” He
looked at Simon. “The same goes for vampires, except it can be even worse. An orphaned
fledgling has literally no idea what’s happened to it. With no guidance, it doesn’t know
how to feed safely, or even to stay out of sunlight. That’s where we come in.”
“And do what?” Simon asked.
“We track down ‘orphaned’ Downworlders—vampires and werewolves who’ve just been
Turned and don’t know what they are yet. Sometimes even warlocks—some of them
don’t realize what they are for years. We intervene, try to get them into a pack or a clan,
try to help them control their powers.”
“Good Samaritans, aren’t you.” Jace’s eyes glittered.
“We are, actually.” Kyle sounded like he was trying to keep his voice neutral. “We
intervene before the new Downworlder can get violent and hurt themselves or other
people. I know what would have happened to me if it hadn’t been for the Guard. I’ve
done bad things. Really bad.”
“How bad?” asked Jace. “Illegal bad?”
“Shut up, Jace,” said Simon. “You’re off duty, okay? Stop being a Shadowhunter for a
second.” He turned to Kyle.
“So how did you end up auditioning for my crappy band, then?”
“I didn’t realize you knew it was crappy.”
“Just answer the question.”
“We got a report of a new vampire—a Daylighter, living on his own, not with a clan.
Your secret’s not as secret as you think. Fledgling vampires without a clan to help them
can be very dangerous. I got dispatched to keep an eye on you.”
“So, what you’re saying,” said Simon, “is not just that you don’t want me to move out
now that I know you’re a werewolf, but that you won’t let me move out?”
“Right,” said Kyle. “I mean, you can move out, but I’ll come with you.”
“That’s not necessary,” said Jace. “I can keep a perfectly good eye on Simon, thank you.
He’s my neophyte Downworlder to mock and boss around, not yours.”
“Shut up!” Simon yelled. “Both of you. Neither of you were around when someone tried
to kill me earlier today—”
“I was,” said Jace. “You know, eventually.”
Kyle’s eyes shone, like a wolf’s eyes at night. “Someone tried to kill you? What
Simon’s gaze met Jace’s across the room. A silent agreement not to mention the Mark of
Cain passed between them. “Two days ago, and today, I was followed and attacked by
some guys in gray tracksuits.”
“We’re not sure.”
“And you have no idea what they want with you?”
“They definitely want me dead,” said Simon. “Beyond that, I don’t really know, no.”
“We have some leads,” said Jace. “We’ll be investigating.”
Kyle shook his head. “Fine. Whatever it is you’re not telling me, I’ll find out eventually.”
He got to his feet. “And now, I’m beat. I’m going to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning,”
he said to Simon. “You,” he said to Jace, “well, I guess I’ll see you around. You’re the
first Shadowhunter I’ve ever met.”
“That’s too bad,” said Jace, “since all the ones you meet from now on will be a terrible
Kyle rolled his eyes and left, banging his bedroom door shut behind him.
Simon looked at Jace. “You’re not going back to the Institute,” he said, “are you?”
Jace shook his head. “You need protecting. Who knows when someone might try to kill
you again?”
“This avoiding Clary thing of yours has truly taken an epic turn,” Simon said, standing
up. “Are you ever going home?”
Jace looked at him. “Are you?”
Simon stalked into the kitchen, retrieved a broom, and swept up the broken glass from the
smashed bottle. It had been his last. He dumped the shards into the trash and walked past
Jace into his own small bedroom, where he stripped off his jacket and shoes and flung
himself down onto the mattress.
A moment later Jace came into the room. He looked around, his light eyebrows raised,
his expression a mask of amusement. “Quite a space you’ve got here. Minimalist. I like
Simon rolled onto his side and stared at Jace in disbelief. “Please tell me you’re not
actually planning on staying in my room.”
Jace perched on the windowsill and looked down at him. “You really don’t get this
bodyguard thing, do you?”
“I didn’t even think you liked me all that much,” said Simon. “Is this one of those keepyour-
friends-close-and-your enemies-closer things?”
“I thought it was keep your friends close so you have someone to drive the car when you
sneak over to your enemy’s house at night and throw up in his mailbox.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s not it. And this protecting me thing is less touching than creepy,
just so you know. I’m fine.
You’ve seen what happens if someone tries to hurt me.”
tryingtokillyouisgoingtofigureoutabouttheMarkof Cain. And then they’re either going to
give up or find some other way to come at you.” He leaned against the window frame.
“And that’s why I’m here.”
Despite his exasperation Simon could find no holes in this argument, or at least not one
big enough to bother with.
He rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in his arms. Within minutes he was asleep.
He was walking through the desert, over burning sands, past bones whitening in the sun.
He had never been so thirsty. When he swallowed, his mouth felt as if it were coated with
sand, his throat lined with knives.
The sharp buzzing of his cell phone woke Simon. He rolled over and clawed tiredly at his
jacket. By the time he’d pried the cell phone loose from the pocket, it had stopped
He turned it over and looked to see who had called. It was Luke.
Crap. I bet my mom called Clary’s house looking for me, he thought, sitting up. His brain
was still fuzzy from sleep, and it took a moment for him to remember that when he had
fallen asleep in this room, he hadn’t been alone.
He looked quickly toward the window. Jace was still there, but he was clearly asleep—
sitting up, his head leaning against the window glass. Pale blue dawn light filtered past
him. He looked very young like that, Simon thought.
No mockery in his expression, no defensiveness or sarcasm. It was almost possible to
imagine what Clary saw in him.
It was pretty clear he wasn’t taking his bodyguard duties all that seriously, but that had
been obvious from the beginning. Simon wondered, not for the first time, what the hell
was going on between Clary and Jace.
The phone started buzzing again. Propelling himself to his feet, Simon padded out into
the living room, pressing the talk button just before the call went to voice mail again.
“Sorry to wake you up, Simon.” Luke was, as always, unfailingly polite.
“I was awake anyway,” Simon lied.
“I need you to meet me in Washington Square Park in half an hour,” said Luke. “At the
Now Simon was seriously alarmed. “Is everything okay? Is Clary all right?”
“She’s fine. This isn’t about her.” There was a rumbling sound in the background. Simon
guessed that Luke was starting up his truck. “Just meet me in the park. And don’t bring
anyone with you.”
He clicked off.
The sound of Luke’s truck pulling out of the driveway woke Clary out of uneasy dreams.
She sat up, and winced.
The chain around her neck had gotten caught in her hair while she slept, and she drew it
off over her head, carefully pulling it free of the tangles.
She dropped the ring into her palm, the chain pooling around it. The little silver circlet,
stamped with its pattern of stars, seemed to wink up at her mockingly. She remembered
when Jace had given it to her, wrapped in the note he’d left behind when he’d gone off to
hunt down Jonathan. Despite everything, I can’t bear the thought of this ring being lost
forever, any more than I can bear the thought of leaving you forever.
That had been almost two months ago. She had been sure that he loved her, so sure that
the Queen of the Seelie Court had not been able to tempt her. How could there be
anything else she wanted, when she had Jace?
But maybe you never really had someone, she thought now. Maybe, no matter how much
you loved them, they could slip through your fingers like water, and there was nothing
you could do about it. She understood why people talked about hearts “breaking”; she felt
as if hers were made of cracked glass, and the shards were like tiny knives inside her
chest when she breathed. Imagine your life without him, the Seelie Queen had said—
The phone rang, and for a moment Clary felt only relieved that something, anything, had
cut through her misery.
Her second thought was, Jace. Maybe he couldn’t reach her on her cell phone and was
calling her house. She dropped the ring on her bedside table and reached to lift the
receiver out of its cradle. She was about to voice a greeting when she realized that the
phone had already been picked up, by her mother.
“Hello?” Her mother sounded anxious, and surprisingly awake for so early in the
The voice that answered was unfamiliar, faintly accented. “This is Catarina from Beth
Israel hospital. I’m looking for Jocelyn.”
Clary froze. The hospital? Had something happened, maybe to Luke? He had pulled out
of the driveway awfully fast—
“This is Jocelyn.” Her mother didn’t sound frightened, but rather as if she’d expected the
call. “Thank you for calling me back so soon.”
“Of course. I was glad to hear from you. You don’t often see people recover from a curse
like the one you were suffering from.” Right, Clary thought. Her mother had been in Beth
Israel, comatose from the effects of the potion she’d taken to prevent Valentine from
interrogating her. “And any friend of Magnus Bane’s is a friend of mine.”
Jocelyn sounded strained. “Did my message make sense? You know what I was calling
“You wanted to know about the child,” said the woman on the other end of the line. Clary
knew she ought to hang up, but she couldn’t. What child? What was going on? “The one
who was abandoned.”
There was a catch in Jocelyn’s voice. “Y-yes. I thought—”
“I’m sorry to say this, but he’s dead. He died last night.”
For a moment Jocelyn was silent. Clary could feel her mother’s shock through the phone
line. “Died? How?”
“I’m not sure I understand it myself. The priest came last night to baptize the child, and—

“Oh, my God.” Jocelyn’s voice shook. “Can I—Could I please come down and look at
the body?”
There was a long silence. Finally the nurse said, “I’m not sure about that. The body’s in
the morgue now, awaiting transfer to the medical examiner’s office.”
“Catarina, I think I know what happened to the boy.” Jocelyn sounded breathless. “And if
I could confirm it, maybe I could prevent it from happening again.”
“I’m coming down,” Clary’s mother said, and hung up the phone. Clary gazed blankly at
the receiver for a moment before hanging up herself. She scrambled to her feet, ran a
brush through her hair, tossed on jeans and a sweater, and was out her bedroom door just
in time to catch her mother in the living room, scribbling a note on the pad of paper by
the telephone. She looked up as Clary came in, and gave a guilty start.
“I was just running out,” she said. “A few last-minute wedding things have come up,
“Don’tbother lying to me,” Clarysaid without preamble.“Iwas listening onthe phone, and
Iknow exactlywhere you’re going.”
Jocelyn paled. Slowly she set her pen down. “Clary—”
“You have to stop trying to protect me,” Clary said. “I bet you didn’t say anything to
Luke, either, about calling the hospital.”
Jocelyn pushed her hair back nervously. “It seems unfair on him. With the wedding
coming up and everything—”
“Right. The wedding. You’re having a wedding. And why is that? Because you’re getting
married. Don’t you think it’s time you started trusting Luke? And trusting me?”
“I do trust you,” Jocelyn said softly.
“In that case you won’t mind me coming with you to the hospital.”
“Clary, I don’t think—”
“Iknowwhatyouthink. Youthink this is justlike what happened to Sebastian—
ImeanJonathan. Youthink maybe someone’s out there doing to babies what Valentine did
to my brother.”
Jocelyn’s voice shook slightly. “Valentine’s dead. But there are others who were in the
Circle who have never been caught.”
And they never found Jonathan’s body. It wasn’t something Clary liked to think about.
Besides, Isabelle had been there and had always been adamant that Jace had severed
Jonathan’s spine with the blade of a dagger and that Jonathan had been quite, quite dead
as a result. She had gone down into the water and checked, she’d said.
There had been no pulse, no heartbeat.
“Mom,” Clary said. “He was my brother. I have a right to come with you.”
Very slowly Jocelyn nodded. “You’re right. I suppose you do.” She reached for her purse
where it hung on a peg by the door. “Well, come on, then, and get your coat. The weather
forecast says it might rain.”
Washington Square Park in the early morning was mostly deserted. The air was crisp and
morning-clean, the leaves already thickly covering the pavement in sheets of red, gold,
and dark green. Simon kicked them aside as he made his way under the stone archway at
the south end of the park.
There were few other people around—a couple of homeless men sleeping on benches,
wrapped in sleeping bags or threadbare blankets, and some guys in green sanitation
uniforms emptying the trash cans. There was a guy pushing a cart through the park,
selling doughnuts and coffee and pre-sliced bagels. And in the center of the park, by the
big circular stone fountain, was Luke. He was wearing a green zip-up Windbreaker and
waved when he saw Simon.
Simon waved back, a little tentatively. He still wasn’t sure he wasn’t in some kind of
trouble. Luke’s expression, as Simon drew closer, only intensified Simon’s foreboding.
Luke looked tired and more than a little stressed out. His gaze, as it fell on Simon, was
full of concern.
“Simon,” he said. “Thanks for coming.”
“Sure.” Simon wasn’t cold, but he stuck his hands into the pockets of his jacket anyway,
just to give them something to do. “What’s wrong?”
“I didn’t say anything was wrong.”
“You wouldn’t drag me out here at the crack of dawn if nothing was wrong,” Simon
pointed out. “If it isn’t about Clary, then . . . ?”
“Yesterday, in the bridal shop,” Luke said. “You asked me about someone. Camille.”
A flock of birds rose, cawing, from the nearby trees. Simon remembered a rhyme his
mother used to recite to him, about magpies. You were supposed to count them and say:
One for sorrow, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth; five for silver, six for
gold, seven for a secret that’s never been told.
“Right,” Simon said. He had already lost count of the number of birds there were. Seven,
he guessed. A secret that’s never been told. Whatever that was.
“You know about the Shadowhunters who have been found murdered around the city this
past week or so,” Luke said. “Don’t you?”
Simon nodded slowly. He had a bad feeling about where this was going.
“It seems Camille may be responsible,” said Luke. “I couldn’t help but remember you
had asked about her.
Hearing her name twice, in a single day, after years of never hearing it at all—it seemed
like quite a coincidence.”
“Coincidences happen.”
“On occasion,” said Luke, “but they are rarely the most likely answer. Tonight Maryse
will be summoning Raphael to interrogate him about Camille’s role in these murders. If it
comes out that you knew something about Camille— that you’ve had contact with her—I
don’t want you to be blindsided, Simon.”
“That makes two of us.” Simon’s head had started pounding again. Were vampires even
supposed to get headaches? He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had one, before the
events of these past few days.“Imet Camille,” he said. “About four days ago. I thought I
was being summoned by Raphael, but it turned out to be her.
She offered to make me a deal. If I came to work for her, she’d make me the second most
important vampire in the city.”
“Why did she want you to work for her?” Luke’s tone was neutral.
“She knows about my Mark,” Simon said. “She said Raphael betrayed her and she could
use me to get back control of the clan. I got the feeling she wasn’t enormously fond of
“That’s very curious,” said Luke. “The story as I’ve heard it is that Camille took an
indefinite leave of absence from heading up the clan about a year ago and made Raphael
her temporary successor. If she chose him to lead in her place, why would she move
against him?”
Simon shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just telling you what she said.”
“Why didn’t you tell us about her, Simon?” Luke said very quietly.
“She told me not to.” Simon realized how stupid this sounded. “I’ve never met a vampire
like her before,” he added. “Just Raphael, and the others at the Dumont. It’s hard to
explain what she was like. Everything she said, you wanted to believe. Everything she
asked you to do, you wanted to do. I wanted to please her even though I knew she was
just messing around with me.”
The man with the coffee and doughnut cart was passing by again. Luke bought coffee and
a bagel and sat down on the edge of the fountain. After a moment Simon joined him.
“The man who gave me Camille’s name called her ‘the ancient one,’” Luke said. “She is,
I think, one of the very, very old vampires of this world. I imagine she would make most
people feel fairly small.”
“She made me feel like a bug,” Simon said. “She did promise that if in five days I didn’t
want to work for her, she’d never bother me again. So I told her I’d think about it.”
“And have you? Thought about it?”
“If she’s killing Shadowhunters, I don’t want anything to do with her,” said Simon. “I can
tell you that much.”
“I’m sure Maryse will be relieved to hear it.”
“Now you’re just being sarcastic.”
“I am not,” said Luke, looking very serious. It was at moments like this that Simon could
put aside his memories of Luke—Clary’s sort-of stepfather, the guy who was always
around, who was always willing to give you a ride home from school or lend you ten
bucks for a book or a movie ticket—and remember that Luke led the biggest wolf pack in
the city, that he was someone to whom, at crucial times, the whole Clave had listened.
“You forget what you are, Simon. You forget the power you have.”
“I wish I could forget it,” Simon said bitterly. “I wish if I didn’t use it, it would just go
Luke shook his head. “Power is a magnet. It draws those who desire it. Camille is one of
them, but there will be others. We’ve been lucky, in a way, that it’s taken this long.” He
looked at Simon. “Do you think that if she summons you again, you could get word to
me, or to the Conclave, letting us know where to find her?”
“Yes,” Simon said slowly. “She gave me a way to contact her. But it’s not like she’s just
going to show up if I blow a magic whistle. Last time she wanted to talk to me, she had
her minions surprise me and then bring me to her. So just having people hang around
withme while Itryto contact her isn’t going to work.Otherwise you’ll get her subjugates,
but you won’t get her.”
“Hmm.” Luke looked considering. “We’ll have to think of something clever, then.”
“Better think fast. She said she’d give me five days, so that means by tomorrow she’s
going to expect some kind of signal from me.”
“I imagine she will,” said Luke. “In fact, I’m counting on it.”
Simon opened the front door of Kyle’s apartment cautiously. “Hey there,” he called,
coming into the entryway and hanging up his jacket. “Is anyone home?”
No one answered, but from the living room Simon could hear the familiar zap-bang-crash
sounds of a video game being played. He headed into the room, holding in front of him
like a peace offering the white bag of bagels he’d picked up from Bagel Zone on Avenue
A. “I brought breakfast. . . .”
His voice trailed off. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected would happen when his selfappointed
bodyguards realized he’d sneaked out of the apartment behind their backs. It
had definitely involved some form of the phrase “Try that again, and I’ll kill you.” What
it hadn’t involved was Kyle and Jace sitting on the futon couch side by side, looking for
all the world like newly minted best friends. Kyle had a video game controller in his
hands, and Jace was leaning forward, his elbows on his knees, watching intently. They
barely seemed to notice Simon’s entrance.
“That guy over there in the corner is totally looking the other way,” Jace observed,
pointing at the TV screen. “A spinning wheel kick would put him out of commission.”
“I can’t kick people in this game. I can only shoot them. See?” Kyle mashed some
“That’s stupid.” Jace looked over and seemed to see Simon for the first time. “Back from
your breakfast meeting, I see,” he said without much welcome in his tone. “I bet you
thought you were very clever, sneaking off like that.”
“Medium clever,” Simon acknowledged. “Like a cross between George Clooney in
Ocean’s Eleven and those MythBusters guys, but, you know, better-looking.”
“I’m always so glad I have no idea what you’re vacantly chattering about,” said Jace. “It
fills me with a sense of peace and well-being.”
Kyle set his controller down, leaving the screen frozen on a close-up of an enormous
needle-tipped gun. “I’ll take a bagel.”
Simon tossed him one, and Kyle headed into the kitchen, which was separated from the
living room by a long counter, to toast and butter his breakfast. Jace looked at the white
bag and waved a dismissive hand. “No, thanks.”
Simon sat down on the coffee table. “You ought to eat something.”
“Look who’s talking.”
“I’m out of blood right now,” Simon said. “Unless you’re offering.”
“No, thanks. We’ve been down that road before, and I think we’re better off as just
friends.” Jace’s tone was as lightly sarcastic as ever, but this close up, Simon could see
how pale he looked, and that his eyes were ringed with gray shadows. The bones of his
face seemed to be sticking out more prominently than they had before.
“Really,” Simon said, pushing the bag across the table toward Jace. “You should eat
something. I’m not kidding.”
Jace glanced down at the bag of food, and winced. The lids of his eyes were grayish blue
with exhaustion. “The thought makes me sick, to be honest.”
“You fell asleep last night,” Simon said. “When you were supposed to be guarding me. I
know this bodyguard thing is mostly a joke to you, but still. How long has it been since
you slept?”
“As in, through the night?” Jace considered. “Two weeks. Maybe three.”
Simon’s mouth opened. “Why? I mean, what’s going on?”
Jace offered the ghost of a smile. “‘I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a
king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.’”
“I actually know that one. Hamlet. So you’re saying you can’t sleep because you’re
having nightmares?”
“Vampire,” said Jace, with a tired certainty, “you have no idea.”
“Hey.” Kyle came back around the counter and flung himself down in the nubby
armchair. He took a bite out of his bagel. “What’s going on?”
“I went to meet Luke,” Simon said, and explained what had happened, seeing no reason
to hide it. He left out any mention of Camille wanting him not just because he was a
Daylighter, but also because of the Mark of Cain. Kyle nodded when he was done. “Luke
Garroway. He’s the head of the downtown pack. I’ve heard of him. He’s kind of a big
“His real name isn’t Garroway,” said Jace. “He used to be a Shadowhunter.”
“Right. I heard that, too. And now he’s been instrumental with all the new Accords
stuff.” Kyle glanced at Simon.
“You know some important people.”
“Important people are a lot of trouble,” Simon said. “Camille, for instance.”
“Once Luke tells Maryse what’s going on, the Clave will take care of her,” said Jace.
“There are protocols for dealing with rogue Downworlders.” At that, Kyle looked at him
sideways, but Jace didn’t seem to notice. “I already told you I don’t think she’s the one
trying to kill you. She knows—” Jace broke off. “She knows better than that.”
“And besides, she wants to use you,” Kyle said.
“Good point,” said Jace. “No one’s going to off a valuable resource.”
Simon looked from one of them to the other, and shook his head. “When did you two get
so buddy-buddy? Last night it was all, ‘I’m the most elite warrior!’ ‘No, I’m the most
elite warrior!’ And today you’re playing Halo and giving each other props for good
“We realized we have something in common,” said Jace. “You annoy us both.”
“In that vein, I had a thought,” Simon said. “I don’t think either of you are going to like
it, though.”
Kyle raised his eyebrows. “Let’s hear it.”
“The problem with you guys watching me all the time,” Simon said, “is that if you do, the
guys trying to kill me won’t try it again, and if they don’t try it again, then we won’t
know who they are, and plus, you’ll have to watch me all the time. And I assume you
have other things you’d rather be doing. Well,” he added in Jace’s direction, “possibly
you don’t.”
“So?” said Kyle. “What’s your suggestion?”
“We lure them out. Get them to attack again. Try to capture one of them and find out who
sent them.”
“If Irecall,” said Jace,“Ihad this idea the other day, and youdidn’t like it much.”
“Iwas tired,” Simonsaid. “But nowI’ve beenthinking.And so far,inmyexperience
withevildoers,theydon’tgo away just because you ignore them. They keep on coming in
different ways. So either I make these guys come to me, or I spend forever waiting for
them to attack again.”
“I’m in,” Jace said, though Kyle still looked dubious. “So do you just want to go out and
wander around until they show up again?”
“I thought I’d make it easy for them. Show up somewhere everyone knows I’m supposed
to be.”
“You mean . . . ?” said Kyle.
Simon pointed to the flyer taped to the fridge. MILLENNIUM LINT, OCTOBER 16,
9 P.M. “I mean the gig. Why not?” His headache was still there, full force; he pushed it
back, trying not to think about how exhausted he was, or how he’d push himself through
the gig. He had to get more blood somehow. Had to.
Jace’s eyes were shining. “You know, that’s actually a pretty good idea there, vampire.”
“You want them to attack you onstage?” Kyle asked.
“It’ll make for an exciting show,” said Simon, with more bravado than he really felt. The
idea of being attacked one more time was almost more than he could stand, even if he
didn’t fear for his personal safety. He wasn’t sure he could bear to watch the Mark of
Cain do its work again.
Jace shook his head.“Theydon’t attack inpublic. They’ll wait till after the show.And we’ll
be there to deal with them.”
Kyle shook his head. “I don’t know . . .”
They went a few more rounds, Jace and Simon on one side of the argument and Kyle on
the other. Simon felt a little guilty. If Kyle knew about the Mark, he’d be a lot easier to
persuade. Eventually he cracked under the pressure and reluctantly agreed to what he
continued to insist was “a stupid plan.”
“But,” he said finally, getting to his feet and brushing bagel crumbs off his shirt, “I’m
only doing this because I realize that you’ll both just do it whether I agree or not. So I
might as well be there.” He looked at Simon. “Who would have thought protecting you
from yourself would be so hard?”
“I could have told you that,” Jace said, as Kyle threw a jacket on and headed to the door.
He had to work, he’d explained to them. It appeared he really was a bike messenger; the
Praetor Lupus, despite having a badass name, didn’t pay that well. The door closed
behind him, and Jace turned back to Simon. “So, the gig’s at nine, right? What do we do
with the rest of the day?”
“We?” Simon looked at him in disbelief. “Are you ever going home?”
“What, bored with my company already?”
“Let me ask you something,” Simon said. “Do you find me fascinating to be around?”
“What was that?” Jace said. “Sorry, I think I fell asleep for a moment. Do, continue with
whatever mesmerizing thing you were saying.”
“Stop it,” Simon said. “Stop being sarcastic for a second. You’re not eating, you’re not
sleeping. You know who else isn’t? Clary. I don’t know what’s going on with you and
her, because frankly she hasn’t said anything about it. I assume she doesn’t want to talk
about it either. But it’s pretty obvious you’re having a fight. And if you’re going to break
up with her—”
“Break up with her?” Jace stared at him. “Are you insane?”
“If you keep avoiding her,” Simon said, “she’s going to break up with you.”
Jace got to his feet. His easy relaxation was gone; he was all tension now, like a prowling
cat. He went to the window and twitched the curtain back restlessly; the late-morning
light came through the gap, bleaching the color in his eyes. “I have reasons for the things
I do,” he said finally.
“Great,” Simon said. “Does Clary know them?”
Jace said nothing.
“All she does is love you and trust you,” said Simon. “You owe her—”
“There are more important things than honesty,”said Jace.“Youthink Ilike hurting her?
Youthink Ilike knowing that I’m making her angry, maybe making her hate me? Why do
you think I’m here?” He looked at Simon with a bleak sort of rage. “I can’t be with her,”
he said. “And if I can’t be with her, it doesn’t really matter to me where I am.
I might as well be with you, because at least if she knew I was trying to protect you, that
might make her happy.”
“So you’re trying to make her happy despite the fact that the reason she’s unhappy in the
first place is you,” said Simon, not very kindly. “That seems contradictory, doesn’t it?”
“Love is a contradiction,” said Jace, and turned back to the window.


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