Monday, 7 January 2013

City of Fallen Angels - Chapter 8

Clary had forgotten how much she hated the smell of hospitals until they walked through
the front doors of Beth Israel. Sterility, metal, old coffee, and not enough bleach to cover
up the stench of sickness and misery. The memory of her mother’s illness, of Jocelyn
lying unconscious and unresponsive in her nest of tubes and wires, hit her like a slap in
the face, and she sucked in a breath, trying not to taste the air.
“Are you all right?” Jocelyn pulled the hood of her coat down and looked at Clary, her
green eyes anxious.
Clary nodded, hunching her shoulders into her jacket, and looked around. The lobby was
all cold marble, metal, and plastic. There was a big information desk behind which
several women, probably nurses, were milling; signs pointed the way to the ICU,
Radiation, Surgical Oncology, Pediatrics, and so on. She could probably have found the
cafeteria in her sleep; she’d brought Luke enough tepid cups of coffee from there to fill
the Central Park reservoir.
“Excuse me.” A slender nurse pushing an old man in a wheelchair went past them, nearly
rolling the wheels over Clary’s toes. Clary looked after her—there had been something—
a shimmer—
“Don’t stare, Clary,” Jocelyn said under her breath. She put her arm around Clary’s
shoulders, turning them both so that they faced the doors that led to the waiting room for
the lab where people got their blood taken. Clary could see herself and her mother
reflected in the dark glass of the doors. Though she was still half a head shorter than her
mother, they really did look alike, didn’t they? In the past she’d always shrugged it off
when people said that.
Jocelyn was beautiful, and she wasn’t. But the shape of their eyes and mouths were the
same, as were their red hair and green eyes and slight hands. How had she gotten so little
of Valentine’s looks, Clary wondered, when her brother had gotten them all? He had had
their father’s fair hair and startling dark eyes. Though maybe, she thought, if she looked
closely, she could see a little of Valentine in the stubborn set of her jaw. . . .
“Jocelyn.” They both turned. The nurse who had been pushing the old man in the
wheelchair was standing in front of them. She was slim, young-looking, dark-skinned,
and dark-eyed—and then, as Clary looked at her, the glamour peeled away. She was still
a slight, youthful-looking woman, but now her skin was dark blue, and her hair, twisted
up into a knot at the back of her head, was snowy white. The blue of her skin contrasted
shockingly with her pale pink scrubs.
“Clary,” Jocelynsaid. “This is Catarina Loss. She took care ofme while Iwas here.She’s
also a friend of Magnus’s.”
“You’re a warlock.” The words came out of Clary’s mouth before she could stop them.
“Shhh.” The warlock woman looked horrified. She glared at Jocelyn. “I don’t remember
you saying you were going to bring your daughter along. She’s just a kid.”
“Clarissa can behave herself.” Jocelyn looked sternly at Clary. “Can’t you?”
Clary nodded. She’d seen warlocks before, other than Magnus, at the battle in Idris. All
warlocks had some feature that marked them out as not human, she’d learned, like
Magnus’s cat eyes. Some had wings or webbed toes or taloned fingers. But having
entirely blue skin was something it would be hard to hide with contacts or oversize
jackets. Catarina Loss must have had to glamour herself every day just to go outside—
especially working in a mundane hospital.
The warlock jerked her thumb toward the elevators. “Come on. Come with me. Let’s get
this done fast.”
Clary and Jocelyn hurried after her to the bank of elevators and into the first one whose
doors opened. As the doors slid shut behind them with a hiss, Catarina pressed a button
marked simply M. There was an indentation in the metal beside it that indicated that floor
M could be reached only with an access key, but as she touched the button, a blue spark
leaped from her finger and the button lit up. The elevator began to move downward.
Catarina was shaking her head. “If you weren’t a friend of Magnus Bane’s, Jocelyn
“Fray,” Jocelyn said. “I go by Jocelyn Fray now.”
“No more Shadowhunter names for you?” Catarina smirked; her lips were startlingly red
against her blue skin.
“What about you, little girl? You going to be a Shadowhunter like your dad?”
Clary tried to hide her annoyance. “No,” she said. “I’m going to be a Shadowhunter, but
I’m not going to be like my father.And myname’s Clarissa,but youcancall me Clary.”
The elevator came to a stop; the doors slid open. The warlock woman’s blue eyes rested
on Clary for a moment.
“Oh, I know your name,” she said. “Clarissa Morgenstern. Little girl who stopped a big
“I guess so.” Clary walked out of the elevator after Catarina, her mother close behind.
“Were you there? I don’t remember seeing you.”
“Catarina was here,” said Jocelyn, a little breathless from hurrying to keep up. They were
walking down an almost totally featureless hallway; there were no windows, and no
doors along the corridor. The walls were painted a sickly pale green. “She helped Magnus
use the Book of the White to wake me up. Then she stayed behind to watch over it while
he returned to Idris.”
“To watch over the book?”
“It’s a very important book,” said Catarina, her rubber-soled shoes slapping against the
floor as she hurried ahead.
“I thought it was a very important war,” Clary muttered under her breath.
They had finally reached a door. There was a square of frosted glass set in it, and the
word “morgue” was painted on it in large black letters. Catarina turned with her hand on
the knob, a look of amusement on her face, and gazed atClary. “Ilearned earlyoninmylife
thatIhad a healing gift,” she said. “It’s the kind ofmagic Ido. So Iwork here,
hospital,andIdowhatIcantohealmundaneswhowouldscreamiftheyknewwhatIreally looked
like. I could make a fortune selling my skills to Shadowhunters and dumb mundanes who
think they know what magic is, but I don’t. I work here. So don’t get all high-and-mighty
on me, little redheaded girl. You’re no better than me, just because you’re famous.”
Clary’s cheeks flamed. She had never thought of herself as famous before. “You’re
right,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
The warlock’s blue eyes flicked to Jocelyn, who looked white and tense. “You ready?”
Jocelyn nodded, and looked at Clary, who nodded as well. Catarina pushed the door
open, and they followed her into the morgue.
The first thing that struck Clary was the chill. It was freezing inside the room, and she
hastily zipped her jacket. The second was the smell, the harsh stench of cleaning products
overlaying the sweetish odor of decay. Yellowish light flooded down from the
fluorescent lights overhead. Two large, bare exam tables stood in the center of the room;
there was a sink as well, and a metal stand with a scale on it for weighing organs. Along
one wall was a bank of steel compartments, like safe-deposit boxes in a bank, but much
bigger. Catarina crossed the room to one, took hold of the handle, and pulled it; it slid out
on rollers. Inside, lying on a metal slab, was the body of an infant.
Jocelyn made a little noise in her throat. A moment later she had hurried to Catarina’s
side; Clary followed more slowly. She had seen dead bodies before—she had seen Max
Lightwood’s dead body, and she had known him.
He had been only nine years old. But a baby—
Jocelyn put her hand over her mouth. Her eyes were very large and dark, fixed on the
body of the child. Clary looked down. At first glance the baby—a boy—looked normal.
He had all ten fingers and all ten toes. But looking closer—looking the way she would
look if she wanted to see past a glamour—she saw that the child’s fingers were not
fingers at all, but claws, curving inward, sharply pointed. The child’s skin was gray, and
its eyes, wide open and staring, were absolutely black—not just the irises, but the whites
as well.
Jocelyn whispered, “That’s how Jonathan’s eyes were when he was born—like black
tunnels. They changed later, to look more human, but I remember. . . .”
And with a shudder she turned and hurried from the room, the morgue door swinging
shut behind her.
Clary glanced at Catarina, who looked impassive. “The doctors couldn’t tell?” she asked.
“I mean, his eyes—and those hands—”
Catarina shook her head. “They don’t see what they don’t want to see,” she said, and
shrugged. “There’s some kind of magic at work here I haven’t seen much of before.
Demon magic. Bad stuff.” She slipped something out of her pocket. It was a swatch of
fabric, tucked into a plastic Ziploc bag. “This is a piece of what he was wrapped in when
they brought him in. It stinks of demon magic too. Give it to your mother. Maybe she can
show it to the Silent Brothers, see if they can get something from it. Find out who did
Numbly, Clary took it. As her hands closed over the bag, a rune rose up behind her
eyes—a matrix of lines and swirls, the whisper of an image that was gone as soon as she
slid the Baggie into the pocket of her coat.
Her heart was pounding, though. This isn’t going to the Silent Brothers, she thought. Not
till I see what that rune does to it.
“You’ll talk to Magnus?” said Catarina. “Tell him I showed your mama what she wanted
to see.”
Clary nodded mechanically, like a doll. Suddenly all she wanted was to get out of there,
out of the yellow-lit room, away from the smell of death and the tiny defiled body lying
still on its slab. She thought of her mother, every year on Jonathan’s birthday taking out
that box and crying over the lock of his hair, crying over the son she should have had,
replaced by a thing like this one. I don’t think this was what she wanted to see, Clary
thought. I think this was what she was hoping was impossible. But “Sure,” was all she
said. “I’ll tell him.” what she was hoping was impossible. But “Sure,” was all she said.
“I’ll tell him.”
The Alto Bar was your typical hipster dive, located partially under the Brooklyn-Queens
Expressway overpass in Greenpoint. But it had an all-ages night every Saturday, and Eric
was friends with the owner, so they let Simon’s band play pretty much any Saturday they
wanted, despite the fact that they kept changing their name and couldn’t be counted on to
draw a crowd.
Kyle and the other band members were already onstage, setting up their equipment and
doing final checks. They were going to run through one of their old sets, with Kyle on
vocals; he learned lyrics fast, and they were feeling pretty confident. Simon had agreed to
stay backstage until the show started, which seemed to relieve some of Kyle’s stress.
Now Simon peered around the dusty velvet curtain at the back of the stage, trying to get a
glimpse of who might be out there.
The interior of the bar had once been stylishly decorated, with pressed-tin walls and
ceiling, reminiscent of an old speakeasy, and frosted art deco glass behind the bar. It was
a lot grungier now than it had been when it opened, with permanent smoke stains on the
walls. The floor was covered in sawdust that had formed into clumps as a result of beer
spills and worse.
On the plus side, the tables that lined the walls were mostly full. Simon saw Isabelle
sitting at a table by herself, dressed in a short silver mesh dress that looked like chain
mail, and her demon-stomping boots. Her hair was pulled up into a messy bun, stuck
through with silver chopsticks. Simon knew each of those chopsticks was razor sharp,
able to slice through metal or bone. Her lipstick was bright red, like fresh blood.
Get a grip, Simon told himself. Stop thinking about blood.
More tables were taken up by other friends of the band. Blythe and Kate, the respective
girlfriends of Kirk and Matt, were at a table together sharing a plate of pallid-looking
nachos. Eric had various girlfriends scattered at tables around the room, and most of his
friends from school were there too, making the place look a lot more full.
Sitting off in the corner, at a table all by herself, was Maureen, Simon’s one fan—a tiny
waifish blond girl who looked about twelve but claimed she was sixteen. He figured she
was probably actually about fourteen. Seeing him sticking his head around the curtain,
she waved and smiled vigorously.
Simon pulled his head back in like a turtle, yanking the curtains closed.
“Hey,” said Jace, who was sitting on an overturned speaker, looking at his cell phone,
“do you want to see a photo of Alec and Magnus in Berlin?”
“Not really,” said Simon.
“Magnus is wearing lederhosen.”
“And yet, still no.”
Jace shoved the phone into his pocket and looked at Simon quizzically. “Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Simon said, but he wasn’t. He felt light-headed and nauseated and tense, which he
put down to the strain of worrying about what was going to happen tonight. And it didn’t
help that he hadn’t fed; he was going to have to deal with that, and soon. He wished Clary
were here, but he knew she couldn’t come. She had some wedding responsibility to
attend to, and had told him a long time ago that she wasn’t going to be able to make it.
He’d passed that on to Jace before they’d gotten here. Jace had seemed both miserably
relieved and also disappointed, all at the same time, which was impressive.
“Hey, hey,” Kyle said, ducking through the curtain. “We’re just about ready to go.” He
looked at Simon closely. “You sure about this?”
Simon looked from Kyle to Jace. “Did you know you two match?”
They glanced down at themselves, and then at each other. Both were wearing jeans and
long-sleeved black Tshirts. Jace tugged on his shirt hem with slight self-consciousness. “I
borrowed this from Kyle. My other shirt was pretty filthy.”
“Wow, you’re wearing each other’s clothes now. That’s, like, best-friend stuff.”
“Feeling left out?” said Kyle. “I suppose you want to borrow a black T-shirt too.”
Simon did not state the obvious, which was that nothing that fit Kyle or Jace was likely to
fit his skinny frame. “As long as everyone’s wearing their own pants.”
“I see I have come in on a fascinating moment in the conversation.” Eric poked his head
through the curtain.
“Come on. It’s time to start.”
As Kyle and Simon headed for the stage, Jace got to his feet. Just below the hem of his
borrowed shirt, Simon could see the glittering edge of a dagger. “Break a leg up there,”
Jace said with a wicked grin. “And I’ll be down here, hopefully breaking someone
Raphael had been supposed to come at twilight, but he kept them waiting almost three
hours past the appointed time before his Projection appeared in the Institute library.
Vampire politics, thought Luke dryly. The head of the New York vampire clan would
come, if he must, when the Shadowhunters called; but he would not be summoned, and
he would not be punctual. Luke had spent the past few hours whiling away the time by
reading several of the library’s books; Maryse hadn’t been interested in talking and had
spent most of the time standing by the window, drinking red wine out of a cut-crystal
glass and staring at the traffic going by on York Avenue.
She turned as Raphael appeared, like a white chalk drawing on the darkness. First the
pallor of his face and hands became visible, and then the darkness of his clothes and hair.
Finally he stood, filled in, a solid-looking Projection. He looked at Maryse hurrying
toward him and said, “You called, Shadowhunter?” He turned then, his gaze sweeping
over Luke. “And the wolf-human is here too, I see. Have I been summoned to a sort of
“Not exactly.” Maryse set her glass down on the desktop. “You have heard about the
recent deaths, Raphael? The Shadowhunter bodies that have been found?”
Raphael raised expressive eyebrows. “I have. I did not think to make note of it. It has
nothing to do with my clan.”
“One bodyfound inwarlock territory, one inwolfterritory, one infaerie territory,” said
Luke. “Iimagine your folk will be next. It seems a clear attempt to foment discord among
Downworlders. I am here in good faith, to show you that I do not believe that you are
responsible, Raphael.”
“What a relief,” Raphael said, but his eyes were dark and watchful. “Why would there be
any suggestion that I was?”
“One of the dead was able to tell us who attacked him,” said Maryse carefully. “Before
he—died—he let us know that the person responsible was Camille.”
“Camille.” Raphael’s voice was careful, but his expression, before he schooled it into
blankness, showed fleeting shock. “But that is not possible.”
“Why is it not possible, Raphael?” Luke asked. “She is the head of your clan. She is very
powerful and famously quite ruthless. And she seems to have disappeared. She never
came to Idris to fight with you in the war. She never agreed to the new Accords. No
Shadowhunter has seen or heard tell of her in months—until now.”
Raphael said nothing.
“There is something going on,” Maryse said. “We wanted to give you the chance to
explain it to us before we told the Clave of Camille’s involvement. A show of good
“Yes,” said Raphael. “Yes, it is certainly a show.”
“Raphael,” said Luke, not unkindly. “You don’t have to protect her. If you care for her—

“Care for her?” Raphael turned aside and spat, though as he was a Projection, this was
more for show than result.
“I hate her. I despise her. Every evening when I rise, I wish her dead.”
“Oh,” said Maryse delicately. “Then, perhaps—”
“She led us for years,” said Raphael. “She was the clan head when I was made a vampire,
and that was fifty years ago. Before that, she came to us from London. She was a stranger
to the city but ruthless enough to rise to head the Manhattan clan in only a few short
months. Last year I became her second in command. Then, some months ago, I
discovered that she had been killing humans. Killing them for sport, and drinking their
blood. Breaking the Law. It happens sometimes. Vampires go rogue and there is nothing
that can be done to stop them. But for it to happen to the head of a clan—they are
supposed to be better than that.” He stood still, his dark eyes inwardlooking, lost in his
memories. “We are not like the wolves, those savages. We do not kill one leader to find
another. For a vampire to raise a hand against another vampire is the worst of crimes,
even if that vampire has broken the Law. And Camille has many allies, many followers. I
could not risk ending her. Instead I went to her and told her she had to leave us, to get
out, or Iwould go to the Clave. Ididn’t want to do that, of course, because I knew that if it
were discovered, it would bring wrath down on the entire clan. We would be distrusted,
We would be shamed and humiliated in front of other clans.”
Maryse made an impatient noise. “There are more important things than loss of face.”
“When you are a vampire, it can mean the difference between life and death.” Raphael’s
voice dropped. “I gambled that she would believe I would do it, and she did. She agreed
to go. I sent her away, but it left behind a conundrum. I could not take her place, for she
had not abdicated it. I could not explain her departure without revealing what she had
done. I had to pose it as a long absence, a need to travel. Wanderlust is not unheard of in
our kind; it comes upon us now and then. When you can live forever, staying in one place
can come to seem a dull prison after many, many years.”
“And how long did you think you could keep up the charade?” Luke inquired.
“As long as Icould,” said Raphael. “Until now, itseems.” He looked awayfrom them,
toward the windowand the sparkling night outside.
Luke leaned back against one of the bookshelves. He was vaguely amused to notice that
he seemed to be in the shape-shifter section, lined with volumes on the topics of
werewolves, naga, kitsunes, and selkies. “You might be interested to know she has been
telling much the same story about you,” he said, neglecting to mention whom she had
been telling it to.
“I thought she had left the city.”
“Perhaps she did, but she has returned,” said Maryse. “And she is no longer satisfied only
with human blood, it seems.”
“I do not know what I can tell you,” said Raphael. “I was trying to protect my clan. If the
Law must punish me, then I will accept punishment.”
“We aren’t interested in punishing you, Raphael,” said Luke. “Not unless you refuse to
Raphael turned back to them, his dark eyes burning. “Cooperate with what?”
“We would like to capture Camille. Alive,” said Maryse. “We want to question her. We
need to know why she has been killing Shadowhunters—and these Shadowhunters in
“If you sincerely hope to accomplish this, I hope you have a very clever plan.” There was
a mixture of amusement and scorn in Raphael’s voice. “Camille is cunning even for our
kind, and we are very cunning indeed.”
“I have a plan,” said Luke. “It involves the Daylighter. Simon Lewis.”
Raphael made a face. “I dislike him,” he said. “I would rather not be a part of a plan that
relies upon his involvement.”
“Well,” said Luke, “isn’t that too bad for you.”
Stupid, Clary thought. Stupid not to bring an umbrella. The faint drizzle that her mother
had told her was coming that morning had turned into nearly full-blown rain by the time
she reached the Alto Bar on Lorimer Street. She pushed past the knot of people smoking
out on the sidewalk and ducked gratefully into the dry warmth of the bar inside.
Millennium Lint was already onstage, the guys whaling away on their instruments, and
Kyle, at the front, growling sexily into a microphone. Clary felt a moment of satisfaction.
It was largely down to her influence that they’d hired Kyle at all, and he was clearly
doing them proud.
She glanced around the room, hoping to see either Maia or Isabelle. She knew it wouldn’t
be both of them, since Simon carefully invited them only to alternating gigs. Her gaze fell
on a slender figure with black hair, and she moved toward that table, only to stop
midway. It wasn’t Isabelle at all, but a much older woman, her face made up with dark
outlined eyes. She was wearing a power suit and reading a newspaper, apparently
oblivious to the music.
“Clary! Over here!” Clary turned and saw the actual Isabelle, seated at a table close to the
stage. She wore a dress that shone like a silver beacon; Clary navigated toward it and
flung herself down in the seat opposite Izzy.
“Got caught in the rain, I see,” Isabelle observed.
Clary pushed her damp hair back from her face with a rueful smile. “You bet against
Mother Nature, you lose.”
Isabelle raised her dark eyebrows. “I thought you weren’t coming tonight. Simon said
you had some wedding blahblah to deal with.” Isabelle was not impressed with weddings
or any of the trappings of romantic love, as far as Clary could tell.
“My mom wasn’t feeling well,” Clary said. “She decided to reschedule.”
This was true, up to a point. When they’d come home from the hospital, Jocelyn had
gone into her room and shut the door. Clary, feeling helpless and frustrated, had heard her
crying softly through the door, but her mom had refused to let her in or to talk about it.
Eventually Luke had come home, and Clary had gratefully left the care of her mother to
him and headed out to kick around the city before going to see Simon’s band. She always
tried to come to his gigs if she could, and besides, talking to him would make her feel
“Huh.” Isabelle didn’t inquire further. Sometimes her almost total lack of interest in other
people’s problems was something of a relief. “Well, I’m sure Simon will be glad you
Clary glanced toward the stage. “How’s the show been so far?”
“Fine.” Isabelle chewed thoughtfully on her straw. “That new lead singer they have is
hot. Is he single? I’d like to ride him around town like a bad, bad pony—”
“What?” Isabelle glanced over at her and shrugged. “Oh, whatever. Simon and I aren’t
exclusive. I told you that.”
Admittedly, Clary thought, Simon didn’t have a leg to stand on in this particular
situation. But he was still her friend.
She was about to say something in his defense when she glanced toward the stage
again—and something caught her eye. A familiar figure, emerging from the stage door.
She would have recognized him anywhere, at any time, no matter how dark the room or
how unexpected the sight of him.
Jace. He was dressed like a mundane: jeans, a tight black T-shirt that showed the
movement of the slim muscles in his shoulders and back. His hair gleamed under the
stage lights. Covert gazes watched him as he moved toward the wall and leaned against
it, looking intently toward the front of the room. Clary felt her heart begin to pound. It
felt like it had been forever since she’d last seen him, though she knew it had been only
about a day. And yet, already, watching him seemed like watching someone distant, a
stranger. What was he even doing here? He didn’t like Simon! He’d never come to a
single one of the band’s performances before.
“Clary!” Isabelle sounded accusing. Clary turned to see that she’d accidentally upset
Isabelle’s glass, and water was dripping off the other girl’s lovely silver dress.
Isabelle, grabbing a napkin, looked at her darkly. “Just talk to him,” she said. “I know
you want to.”
“I’m sorry,” Clary said.
Isabelle made a shooing gesture in her direction. “Go.”
Clary got up, smoothing down her dress. If she’d known Jace was going to be here, she
would have worn something other than red tights, boots, and a vintage hot-pink Betsey
Johnson dress of hers she’d found hanging in Luke’s spare closet. Once, she’d thought
the flower-shaped green buttons that ran all the way up the front were funky and cool, but
now she just felt less put-together and sophisticated than Isabelle.
She pushed her way across the floor, which was now crowded with people either dancing
or standing in place, drinking beer, and swaying a little to the music. She couldn’t help
but remember the first time she’d ever seen Jace. It had been in a club, and she’d watched
him across the floor, watched his bright hair and the arrogant set of his shoulders. She’d
thought he was beautiful, but not in any way that applied to her. He wasn’t the sort of boy
you could have dated, she’d thought. He existed apart from that world.
He didn’t notice her now until she was nearly standing in front of him. Up close, she
could see how tired he looked, as if he hadn’t slept in days. His face was tight with
exhaustion, the bones sharp-looking under the skin. He was leaning against the wall, his
fingers hooked in the loops of his belt, his pale gold eyes watchful.
“Jace,” she said.
He started, and turned to look at her. For a moment his eyes lit, the way they always did
when he saw her, and she felt a wild hope rise in her chest.
Almost instantly the light went out of them, and the remaining color drained out of his
face. “I thought—Simon said you weren’t coming.”
A wave of nausea passed over her, and she put her hand out to steady herself against the
wall. “So you only came because you thought I wouldn’t be here?”
He shook his head. “I—”
“Were you ever planning on talking to me again?” Clary felt her voice rise, and forced it
back down with a vicious effort. Her hands were now tight at her sides, her nails cutting
hard into her palms. “If you’re going to break it off, the least you could do is tell me, not
just stop talking to me and leave me to figure it out on my own.”
“Why,” Jace said, “does everyone keep goddamn asking me if I’m going to break up with
you? First Simon, and now—”
“You talked to Simon about us?” Clary shook her head. “Why? Why aren’t you talking to
“Because I can’t talk to you,” Jace said. “I can’t talk to you, I can’t be with you, I can’t
even look at you.”
Clary sucked her breath in; it felt like breathing battery acid. “What?”
He seemed to realize what he had said, and lapsed into an appalled silence. For a moment
they simply looked at each other. Then Clary turned and darted back through the crowd,
pushing her way past flailing elbows and knots of chatting people, blind to everything but
getting to the door as quickly as she could.
“And now,” Eric yelled into his microphone, “we’re going to sing a new song—one we
just wrote. This one’s for my girlfriend. We’ve been going out for three weeks, and,
damn, our love is true. We’re gonna be together forever, baby. This one’s called ‘Bang
You Like a Drum.’”
There was laughter and applause from the audience as the music started up, though
Simon wasn’t sure if Eric realized they thought he was joking, which he wasn’t. Eric was
always in love with whatever girl he’d just started dating, and he always wrote an
inappropriate song about it. Normally Simon wouldn’t have cared, but he’d really hoped
they were going to get off the stage after the previous song. He felt worse than ever—
dizzy, sticky and sick with sweat, his mouth tasting metallic, like old blood.
The music crashed around him, sounding like nails being pounded into his eardrums. His
fingers slipped and slid on the strings as he played, and he saw Kirk look over at him
quizzically. He tried to force himself to focus, to concentrate, but it was like trying to
start a car with a dead battery. There was an empty grinding noise in his head, but no
He stared out into the bar, looking—he wasn’t even quite sure why—for Isabelle, but he
could see only a sea of white faces turned toward him, and he remembered his first night
in the Dumont Hotel and the faces of the vampires turned toward him, like white paper
flowers unfolding against a dark emptiness.A surge ofgripping, painful nausea seized
him. He staggered back, his hands falling away from the guitar. The ground under his feet
felt as if it were moving. The other members of the band, caught up in the music, didn’t
seem to notice. Simon tore the strap of the guitar off his shoulder and pushed past Matt to
the curtain at the back of the stage, ducking through it just in time to fall to his knees and
Nothing came up. His stomach felt as hollow as a well. He stood up and leaned against
the wall, pressing his icy hands against his face. It had been weeks since he’d felt either
cold or hot, but now he felt feverish—and scared.
What was happening to him?
He remembered Jace saying, You’re a vampire. Blood isn’t like food for you. Blood is . .
. blood. Could all this be because he hadn’t eaten? But he didn’t feel hungry, or even
thirsty, really. He felt as sick as if he were dying.
Maybe he’d been poisoned. Maybe the Mark of Cain didn’t protect against something
like that?
He moved slowly toward the fire door that would take him out onto the street in back of
the club. Maybe the cold air outside would clear his head. Maybe all this was just
exhaustion and nerves.
“Simon?” A little voice, like a bird’s chirp. He looked down with dread, and saw that
Maureen was standing at his elbow. She looked even tinier close up—little birdlike bones
and a lot of very pale blond hair, which cascaded down her shoulders from beneath a
knitted pink cap. She wore rainbow-stripe arm warmers and a short-sleeved white T-shirt
with a screen print of Strawberry Shortcake on it. Simon groaned inwardly.
“This really isn’t a good time, Mo,” he said.
“I just want to take a picture of you on my camera phone,” she said, pushing her hair
back behind her ears nervously. “So I can show it to my friends, okay?”
“Fine.” His head was pounding. This was ridiculous. It wasn’t like he was overwhelmed
with fans. Maureen was literally the band’s only fan, that he knew about, and was Eric’s
little cousin’s friend, to boot. He supposed he couldn’t really afford to alienate her. “Go
ahead. Take it.”
She raised her phone and clicked, then frowned. “Now one with you and me?” She sidled
up to him quickly, pressing herself against his side. He could smell strawberry lip gloss
on her, and under that, the smell of salt sweat and saltier human blood. She looked up at
him, holding the phone up and out with her free hand, and grinned. She had a gap
between her two front teeth, and a blue vein in her throat. It pulsed as she drew a breath.
“Smile,” she said.
Twin jolts of pain went through Simon as his fangs slid free, digging into his lip. He
heard Maureen gasp, and then her phone went flying as he caught hold of her and spun
her toward him, and his canine teeth sank into her throat.
Blood exploded into his mouth, the taste of it like nothing else. It was as if he had been
starving for air and now was breathing, inhaling great gasps of cold, clean oxygen, and
Maureen struggled and pushed at him, but he barely noticed. He didn’t even notice when
she went limp, her dead weight dragging him to the floor so that he was lying on top of
her, his hands gripping her shoulders, clenching and unclenching as he drank. was
breathing, inhaling great gasps of cold, clean oxygen, and Maureen struggled and pushed
at him, but he barely noticed. He didn’t even notice when she went limp, her dead weight
dragging him to the floor so that he was lying on top of her, his hands gripping her
shoulders, clenching and unclenching as he drank.
You have never fed on someone purely human, have you? Camille had said. You will.
And when you do, you will never forget it.
Clary reached the door and burst out into the rain-drenched evening air. It was coming
down in sheets now, and she was instantly soaked. Choking on rainwater and tears, she
darted past Eric’s familiar-looking yellow van, rain sheeting off its roof into the gutter,
and was about to race across the street against the light when a hand caught her arm and
spun her around.
It was Jace. He was as soaked as she was, the rain sticking his fair hair to his head and
plastering his shirt to his body like black paint. “Clary, didn’t you hear me calling you?”
“Let go of me.” Her voice shook.
“No. Not until you talk to me.” He looked around, up and down the street, which was
deserted, the rain exploding off the black pavement like fast-blooming flowers. “Come
Still holding her by the arm, he half-dragged her around the van and into a narrow alley
that bordered the Alto Bar.
High windows above them let through the blurred sound of the music that was still being
played inside. The alley was brick-walled, clearly a dumping ground for old bits of no
longer usable musical equipment. Broken amps and old mikes littered the ground, along
with shattered beer glasses and cigarette butts.
Clary jerked her arm out of Jace’s grasp and turned to face him. “If you’re planning to
apologize, don’t bother.”
She pushed her wet, heavy hair back from her face. “I don’t want to hear it.”
“I was going to tell you that I was trying to help out Simon,” he said, rainwater running
off his eyelashes and down his cheeks like tears. “I’ve been at his place for the past—”
“And you couldn’t tell me? Couldn’t text me a single line letting me know where you
were? Oh, wait. You couldn’t, because you still have my goddamned phone. Give it to
Silently he reached into his jeans pocket and handed it to her. It looked undamaged. She
jammed it into her messenger bag before the rain could ruin it. Jace watched her as she
did it, looking as if she’d hit him in the face.
It only made her angrier. What right did he have to be hurt?
“I think,” he said slowly, “that I thought that the closest thing to being with you was
being with Simon. Watching out for him. I had some stupid idea that you’d realize I was
doing it for you and forgive me—”
All of Clary’s rage rose to the surface, a hot, unstoppable tide. “I don’t even know what
you think I’m supposed to forgive youfor,” she shouted.“Am Isupposed to forgive you
for not loving me anymore? Because ifthat’s what you want, Jace Lightwood, you can go
right ahead and—” She took a step back, blindly, and nearly tripped over an abandoned
speaker. Her bag slid to the ground as she put her hand out to right herself, but Jace was
already there. He moved forward to catch her, and kept moving, until her back hit the
alley wall, and his arms were around her, and he was kissing her frantically.
She knew she ought to push him away; her mind told her it was the sensible thing to do,
but no other part of her cared about what was sensible. Not when Jace was kissing her
like he thought he might go to hell for doing it, but it would be worth it.
She dug her fingers into his shoulders, into the damp fabric of his T-shirt, feeling the
resistance of the muscles underneath, and kissed him back with all the desperation of the
past few days, all the not knowing where he was or what he was thinking, all the feeling
like a part of her heart had been ripped out of her chest and she could never get enough
air. “Tell me,” she said between kisses, their wet faces sliding against each other. “Tell
me what’s wrong—Oh,” she gasped as he drew away from her, only far enough to reach
his hands down and put them around her waist. He lifted her up so she stood on top of a
broken speaker, making them almost the same height.
Then he put his hands on either side of her head and leaned forward, so their bodies
almost touched—but not quite. It was nerve-wracking. She could feel the feverish heat
that came off him; her hands were still on his shoulders, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted
him wrapped around her, holding her tight. “W-why,” she breathed, “can’t you talk to
me? Why can’t you look at me?” what’s wrong—Oh,” she gasped as he drew away from
her, only far enough to reach his hands down and put them around her waist. He lifted her
up so she stood on top of a broken speaker, making them almost the same height.
Then he put his hands on either side of her head and leaned forward, so their bodies
almost touched—but not quite. It was nerve-wracking. She could feel the feverish heat
that came off him; her hands were still on his shoulders, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted
him wrapped around her, holding her tight. “W-why,” she breathed, “can’t you talk to
me? Why can’t you look at me?”
He ducked his head down to look into her face. His eyes, surrounding by lashes darkened
with rainwater, were impossibly gold.
“Because I love you.”
She couldn’t stand it anymore. She took her hands off his shoulders, hooked her fingers
through his belt loops, and pulled him against her. He let her do it with no resistance, his
hands flattening against the wall, folding his body against hers until they were pressed
together everywhere—chests, hips, legs—like puzzle pieces. His hands slid down to her
waist and he kissed her, long and lingering, making her shudder.
She pulled away. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Neither does this,” he said, “but I don’t care. I’m sick of trying to pretend I can live
without you. Don’t you understand that? Can’t you see it’s killing me?”
She stared at him. She could see he meant what he said, could see it in the eyes she knew
as well as her own, in the bruised shadows under those eyes, the pulse pounding in his
throat. Her desire for answers battled the more primal part of her brain, and lost. “Kiss
me then,” she whispered, and he pressed his mouth against hers, their hearts slamming
together through the thin layers of wet fabric that divided them. And she was drowning in
it, in the sensation of him kissing her; of rain everywhere, running off her eyelashes; of
letting his hands slide freely over the wet, crumpled fabric of her dress, made thin and
clinging by the rain. It was almost like having his hands on her bare skin, her chest, her
hips, her stomach; when he reached the hem of her dress, he gripped her legs, pressing
her harder back against the wall while she wrapped them around his waist.
He made a noise of surprise, low in his throat, and dug his fingers into the thin fabric of
her tights. Not unexpectedly, they ripped, and his wet fingers were suddenly on the bare
skin of her legs. Not to be outdone, she slid her hands under the hem of his soaked shirt,
and let her fingers explore what was underneath: the tight, hot skin over his ribs, the
ridges of his abdomen, the scars on his back, the angle of his hipbones above the
waistband of his jeans. This was uncharted territory for her, but it seemed to be driving
him crazy: he was moaning softly against her mouth, kissing her harder and harder, as if
it would never be enough, not quite enough—
And a horrific clanging noise exploded in Clary’s ears, shattering her out of her dream of
kissing and rain. With a gasp she pushed Jace away, hard enough that he let go of her and
she tumbled off the speaker to land unsteadily on her feet, hastily straightening her dress.
Her heart was slamming against her rib cage like a battering ram, and she felt dizzy.
“Dammit.” Isabelle, standing in the mouth of the alley, her wet black hair like a cloak
around her shoulders, kicked a trash can out of her way and glowered. “Oh, for goodness’
sake,” she said. “I can’t believe you two. Why?
What’s wrong with bedrooms? And privacy?”
Clary looked at Jace. He was utterly drenched, water running off him in sheets, his fair
hair, plastered to his head, nearly silver in the faint glow of the distant streetlights. Just
looking at him made Clary want to touch him again, Isabelle or no Isabelle, with a
longing that was nearly painful. He was staring at Izzy with the look of someone who had
been slapped out of a dream—bewilderment, anger, dawning realization.
“I was just looking for Simon,” Isabelle said defensively, seeing Jace’s expression. “He
ran offstage, and I’ve no idea where he went.” The music had stopped, Clary realized, at
some point; she hadn’t noticed when. “Anyway, he’s obviously not here. Go back to what
you were doing. What’s the point in wasting a perfectly good brick wall when you have
someone to throw against it, that’s what I always say.” And she stalked off, back toward
the bar. when you have someone to throw against it, that’s what I always say.” And she
stalked off, back toward the bar.
Clary looked at Jace. At any other time they would have laughed together at Isabelle’s
moodiness, but there was no humor in his expression, and she knew immediately that
whatever they had had between them—whatever had blossomed out of his momentary
lack of control—it was gone now. She could taste blood in her mouth and wasn’t sure if
she had bitten her own lip or he had.
“Jace—” She took a step toward him.
“Don’t,” he said, his voice very rough. “I can’t.”
And then he was gone, running as fast as only he could run, a blur that vanished into the
distance before she could even take a breath to call him back.
The angry voice exploded in Simon’s ears. He would have released Maureen then—or so
he told himself—but he didn’t get the chance. Strong hands grabbed him by the arms,
hauling him off her. He was dragged to his feet by a white-faced Kyle, still tousled and
sweaty from the set they’d just finished. “What the hell, Simon. What the hell—”
“I didn’t mean to,” Simon gasped. His voice sounded blurry to his own ears; his fangs
were still out, and he hadn’t learned to talk around the goddamn things yet. Past Kyle, on
the floor, he could see Maureen lying in a crumpled heap, horribly still. “It just
“I told you. I told you.” Kyle’s voice rose, and he pushed Simon, hard. Simon stumbled
back, his forehead burning, as an invisible hand seemed to lift Kyle and fling him hard
against the wall behind him. He hit it and slid to the ground, landing in a wolflike crouch,
on his hands and knees. He staggered to his feet, staring. “Jesus Christ.
But Simon had dropped to his knees beside Maureen, his hands on her, frantically feeling
at her throat for a pulse.
When it fluttered under his fingertips, faint but steady, he nearly wept with relief.
“Get away from her.” Kyle, sounding strained, moved to stand over Simon. “Just get up
and move away.”
Simon got up reluctantly and faced Kyle over Maureen’s limp form. Light was lancing
through the gap in the curtains that led to the stage; he could hear the other band
members out there, chattering to one another, starting the teardown. Any minute they’d
be coming back here.
“What you just did,” Kyle said. “Did you—push me? Because I didn’t see you move.”
“I didn’t mean to,” Simon said again, wretchedly. It seemed to be all he said these days.
Kyle shook his head, his hair flying. “Get out of here. Go wait by the van. I’ll deal with
her.” He bent down and lifted Maureen in his arms. She looked tiny against the bulk of
him, like a doll. He fixed Simon with a glare. “Go. And I hope you feel really goddamn
Simon went. He moved to the fire door and shoved it open. No alarm went off; the alarm
had been busted for months. The door swung shut behind him, and he leaned up against
the back wall of the club as every part of his body began to tremble.
The club backed onto a narrow street lined with warehouses. Across the way was a
vacant lot blocked off with a sagging chain-link fence. Ugly scrub grass grew up through
the cracks in the pavement. Rain was sheeting down, soaking the garbage that littered the
street, floating old beer cans on the runoff-filled gutters.
Simon thought it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. The whole night seemed to
have exploded with prismatic light. The fence was a linked chain of brilliant silver wires,
each raindrop a platinum tear.
I hope you feel really goddamn terrible, Kyle had said. But this was much worse. He felt
fantastic, alive in a way he never had before. Human blood was clearly somehow the
perfect, the ideal food for vampires. Waves of energy were running through him like
electric current. The pain in his head, his stomach, was gone. He could have run ten
thousand miles. were running through him like electric current. The pain in his head, his
stomach, was gone. He could have run ten thousand miles.
It was awful.
“Hey, you. Are you all right?” The voice that spoke was cultured, amused; Simon turned
and saw a woman in a long black trench coat, a bright yellow umbrella open over her
head. With his brand-new prismatic vision, it looked like a glimmering sunflower. The
woman herself was beautiful—though everything looked beautiful to him right now —
with gleaming black hair and a red-lipsticked mouth. He dimly recalled seeing her sitting
at one of the tables during the band’s performance.
He nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He must have looked pretty shell-shocked, if
total strangers were coming up to inquire about his well-being.
“You look like maybe you got banged on the head there,” she said, indicating his
forehead. “That’s a nasty bruise.
Are you sure I can’t call anyone for you?”
He reached up hastily to move his hair across his forehead, hiding the Mark. “I’m fine.
It’s nothing.”
“Okay. If you say so.” She sounded a little doubtful. She reached into her pocket, pulled
out a card, and handed it to him. It had a name on it, Satrina Kendall. Underneath the
name was a title, BAND PROMOTER, in small capitals, and a phone number and
address. “That’s me,” she said. “I liked what you guys did in there. If you’re interested in
making it a little more big-time, give me a call.”
And with that, she turned and sashayed away, leaving Simon staring after her. Surely, he
thought, there was no way this night could get any more bizarre.
Shaking his head—a move that sent water drops flying in all directions—he squelched
around the corner to where the van was parked. The door of the bar was open, and people
were streaming out. Everything still looked unnaturally bright, Simon thought, but his
prismatic vision was beginning to fade slightly. The scene in front of him looked
ordinary—the bar emptying out, the side doors open, and the van with its back doors
open, already being loaded up with gear by Matt, Kirk, and a variety of their friends. As
Simon drew closer, he saw that Isabelle was leaning against the side of the van, one leg
drawn up, the heel of her boot braced against the van’s blistered side.
She could have been helping with the teardown, of course—Isabelle was stronger than
anyone else in the band, with the possible exception of Kyle—but she clearly couldn’t be
bothered. Simon would hardly have expected anything else.
She looked up as he came closer. The rain had slowed, but she had clearly been out in it
for some time; her hair was a heavy, wet curtain down her back. “Hey there,” she said,
pushing off from the side of the van and coming toward him. “Where have you been?
You just ran offstage—”
“Yeah,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling well. Sorry.”
“As long as you’re better now.” She wrapped her arms around him and smiled up into his
face. He felt a wave of relief that he didn’t feel any urge to bite her. Then another wave
of guilt as he remembered why.
“You haven’t seen Jace anywhere, have you?” he asked.
She rolled her eyes. “I ran across him and Clary making out,” she said. “Although they’re
gone now—home, I hope.
Those two epitomize ‘get a room.’”
“I didn’t think Clary was coming,” Simon said, though it wasn’t that odd; he supposed
the cake appointment had been canceled or something. He didn’t even have the energy to
be annoyed about what a terrible bodyguard Jace had turned out to be. It wasn’t as if he’d
ever thought Jace took his personal safety all that seriously. He just hoped Jace and Clary
had worked it out, whatever it was.
“Whatever.” Isabelle grinned. “Since it’s just us, do you want to go somewhere and—”
A voice—a very familiar voice—spoke out of the shadows just beyond the reach of the
nearest streetlight.
“Simon?” “Simon?”
Oh, no, not now. Not right now.
He turned slowly. Isabelle’s arm was still loosely clasped around his waist, though he
knew that wouldn’t last much longer. Not if the person speaking was who he thought it
It was.
Maia had moved into the light, and was standing looking at him, an expression of
disbelief on her face. Her normally curly hair was pasted to her head with rain, her amber
eyes very wide, her jeans and denim jacket soaked. She was clutching a rolled-up piece
of paper in her left hand.
Simon was vaguely aware that off to the side the band members had slowed down their
movements and were openly gawking. Isabelle’s arm slid off his waist. “Simon?” she
said. “What’s going on?”
“You told me you were going to be busy,” Maia said, looking at Simon. “Then someone
shoved this under the station door this morning.” She thrust the rolled-up paper forward;
it was instantly recognizable as one of the flyers for the band’s performance tonight.
Isabelle was looking from Simon to Maia, recognition slowly dawning on her face. “Wait
a second,” she said. “Are you two dating?”
Maia set her chin. “Are you?”
“Yes,” Isabelle said. “For quite a few weeks now.”
Maia’s eyes narrowed. “Us, too. We’ve been dating since September.”
“I can’t believe it,” Isabelle said. She genuinely looked as if she couldn’t. “Simon?” She
turned to him, her hands on her hips. “Do you have an explanation?”
The band, who had finally shoved all the equipment into the van—the drums packing out
the back bench seat and the guitars and basses in the cargo section—were hanging out the
back of the car, openly staring. Eric put his hands around his mouth to make a
megaphone. “Ladies, ladies,” he intoned. “There is no need to fight. There is enough
Simon to go around.”
Isabelle whipped around and shot a glare at Eric so terrifying that he fell instantly silent.
The back doors of the van slammed shut, and it took off down the road. Traitors, Simon
thought, though to be fair, they probably assumed he would catch a ride home in Kyle’s
car, which was parked around the corner. Assuming he lived long enough.
“I can’t believe you, Simon,” Maia said. She was standing with her hands on her hips as
well, in a pose identical to Isabelle’s. “What were you thinking? How could you lie like
“I didn’t lie,” Simon protested. “We never said we were exclusive!” He turned to
Isabelle. “Neither did we! And I know you were dating other people—”
“Notpeople youknow,” Isabelle said, blisteringly.“Not your friends. How would youfeel
if youfound out Iwas dating Eric?”
“Stunned, frankly,” said Simon. “He really isn’t your type.”
“That’s not the point, Simon.” Maia had moved closer to Isabelle, and the two of them
faced him down together, an immovable wall of female rage. The bar had finished
emptying out, and aside from the three of them, the street was deserted. He wondered
about his chances if he made a break for it, and decided they weren’t good.
Werewolves were fast, and Isabelle was a trained vampire hunter.
“I’m really sorry,” Simon said. The buzz from the blood he’d drunk was beginning to
wear off, thankfully. He felt less dizzy with overwhelming sensation, but more panicked.
To make things worse, his mind kept returning to Maureen, and what he’d done to her,
and whether she was all right. Please let her be all right. “I should have told you guys. It’s
just—I really like you both, and I didn’t want to hurt either of your feelings.”
The moment it was out of his mouth, he realized how stupid he sounded. Just another
jerkish guy making excuses for his jerk behavior. Simon had never thought of himself
like that. He was a nice guy, the kind of guy who got overlooked, passed up for the sexy
bad boy or the tortured artist type. For the self-involved kind of guy who would think
nothing of dating two girls at once while maybe not exactly lying about what he was
doing, but not telling the truth about it either.
“Wow,” he said, mostly to himself. “I am a huge asshole.”
“That’s probably the first true thing you’ve said since I got here,” said Maia.
“Amen,” said Isabelle. “Though if you ask me, it’s too little, too late—”
The side door of the bar opened, and someone came out. It was Kyle. Simon felt a wave
of relief. Kyle looked serious, but not as serious as Simon thought he would look if
something awful had happened to Maureen.
He started down the steps toward them. The rain was barely a drizzle now. Maia and
Isabelle had their backs to him; they were glaring at Simon with the laser focus of rage. “I
hope you don’t expect either of us to speak to you again,” Isabelle said. “And I’m going
to have a talk with Clary—a very, very serious talk about her choice of friends.”
“Kyle,” Simon said, unable to keep the relief out of his voice as Kyle came into earshot.
“Uh, Maureen—is she—”
He had no idea how to ask what he wanted to ask without letting Maia and Isabelle know
what had happened, but as it turned out, it didn’t matter, because he never managed to get
the rest of the words out. Maia and Isabelle turned; Isabelle looked annoyed and Maia
surprised, clearly wondering who Kyle was.
As soon as Maia really saw Kyle, her face changed; her eyes went wide, the blood
draining from her face. And Kyle, in his turn, was staring at her with the look of someone
who has woken up from a nightmare only to discover that it is real and continuing. His
mouth moved, shaping words, but no sound came out.
“Whoa,” Isabelle said, looking from one of them to the other. “Do you two—know each
Maia’s lips parted. She was still staring at Kyle. Simon had time only to think that she
had never looked at him with anything like that intensity, when she whispered
“Jordan”—and lunged for Kyle, her claws out and sharp, and sank them into his throat.
Part Two For Every Life Nothing is free. Everything has to be paid for.
For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing. For every life, a death. Even
your music, of which we have heard so much, that had to be paid for.Yourwife was the
payment for your music. Hellis nowsatisfied.
—Ted Hughes, “The Tiger’s Bones”
Simon sat in the armchair in Kyle’s living room and stared at the frozen image on the TV
screen in the corner of the room. It had been paused on the game Kyle had been playing
with Jace, and the image was one of a dank-looking underground tunnel with a heap of
collapsed bodies on the ground and some very realistic-looking pools of blood. It was
disturbing, but Simon didn’t have either the energy or the inclination to bother to turn it
The images that had been running through his head all night were worse.
The light streaming into the room through the windows had strengthened from watery
dawn light to the pale illumination of early morning, but Simon barely noticed. He kept
seeing Maureen’s limp body on the ground, her blond hair stained with blood. His own
staggering progress out into the night, her blood singing through his veins.
And then Maia lunging at Kyle, tearing into him with her claws. Kyle had lain there, not
lifting a hand to defend himself. He probably would have let her kill him if Isabelle
hadn’t interfered, pulling Maia bodily off him and rolling her onto the pavement, holding
her there until her rage dissolved into tears. Simon had tried to go to her, but Isabelle had
held him off with a furious glare, her arm around the other girl, her hand up to ward him
“Get out of here,” she’d said. “And take him with you. I don’t know what he did to her,
but it must have been pretty bad.”
And it was. Simon knew that name, Jordan. It had come up before, when he’d asked her
how she’d been turned into a werewolf. Her ex-boyfriend had done it, she’d said. He’d
done it with a savage and vicious attack, and he’d run off afterward, leaving her to deal
with the aftermath alone.
His name had been Jordan.
That was why Kyle had only one name next to his door buzzer. Because it was his last
name. His full name must have been Jordan Kyle, Simon realized. He’d been stupid,
unbelievably stupid, not to have figured it out before.
Not that he needed another reason to hate himself right now.
Kyle—or rather, Jordan—was a werewolf; he healed fast. By the time Simon had hauled
him, none too gently, to his feet and had led him back over to his car, the deep slashes in
his throat and under the torn rags of his shirt had healed to crusted-over scars. Simon had
taken his keys from him and driven them back to Manhattan mostly in silence, Jordan
sitting almost motionless in the passenger seat, staring down at his bloody hands.
“Maureen’s fine,” he’d said finally as they drove over the Williamsburg Bridge. “It
looked worse than it was. You’re not that good at feeding off humans yet, so she hadn’t
lost too much blood. I put her in a cab. She doesn’t remember anything. She thinks she
fainted in front of you, and she’s really embarrassed.”
Simon knew he ought to thank Jordan, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. “You’re
Jordan,” he said. “Maia’s old boyfriend. The one who turned her into a werewolf.”
They were on Kenmare now; Simon turned north, heading up the Bowery with its
flophouses and lighting stores.
“Yeah,” Jordan said at last. “Kyle’s my last name. I started to go by it when I joined the
“She would’ve killed you if Isabelle had let her.”
“She has a perfect right to kill me if she wants to,” said Jordan, and fell silent. He didn’t
say anything else as Simon found parking and they trudged up the stairs to the apartment.
He’d gone into his room without even taking off his bloody jacket, and slammed the
Simon had packed his things into his backpack and had been about to leave the apartment
when he’d hesitated.
He wasn’t sure why, even now, but instead of leaving he’d dropped his bag by the door
and come back to sit in this chair, where he’d stayed all night.
He wished he could call Clary, but it was too early in the morning, and besides, Isabelle
had said she and Jace had gone off together, and the thought of interrupting some special
moment of theirs wasn’t appealing. He wondered how his mother was. If she could have
seen him last night, with Maureen, she would have thought he was every bit the monster
she’d accused him of being.
Maybe he was.
He looked up as Jordan’s door cracked open and Jordan emerged. He was barefoot, still
in the same jeans and shirt he’d been wearing yesterday. The scars on his throat had
faded to red lines. He looked at Simon. His hazel eyes, normally so bright and cheerful,
were darkly shadowed. “I thought you would leave,” he said.
“I was going to,” Simon said. “But then I figured I ought to give you a chance to
“There’s nothing to explain.” Jordan shuffled into the kitchen and dug around in a drawer
until he produced a coffee filter. “Whatever Maia said about me, I’m sure it was true.”
“She said you hit her,” Simon said.
Jordan, in the kitchen, went very still. He looked down at the filter as if he were no longer
quite sure what it was for.
“She said you guys went out for months and everything was great,” Simon went on.
“Then you turned violent and jealous. When she called you on it, you hit her. She broke
up with you, and when she was walking home one night, something attacked her and
nearly killed her. And you—you took off out of town. No apology, no explanation.”
Jordan set the filter down on the counter. “How did she get here? How did she find Luke
Garroway’s pack?”
Simon shook his head. “She hopped a train to New York and tracked them down. She’s a
survivor, Maia. She didn’t let what you did to her wreck her. A lot of people would
“Is this why you stayed?” asked Jordan. “To tell me I’m a bastard? Because I already
know that.”
“I stayed,” Simon said, “because of what I did last night. If I’d found out about you
yesterday, I would have left. But after what I did to Maureen . . .” He chewed his lip. “I
thought I had control over what happened to me and I didn’t, and I hurt someone who
didn’t deserve it. So that’s why I’m staying.”
“Because if I’m not a monster, then you’re not a monster.”
“Because I want to know how to go on, now, and maybe you can tell me.” Simon leaned
forward. “Because you’ve been a good guy to me since I met you. I’ve never seen you be
mean or get angry. And then I thought about the Wolf Guard, and how you said you
joined it because you’d done bad things. And I thought Maia was maybe the bad thing
you’d done that you were trying to make up for.”
“I was,” said Jordan. “She is.”
Clary sat at her desk in Luke’s small spare room, the scrap of cloth she’d taken from the
Beth Israel morgue spread out in front of her. She’d weighted it down on either side with
pencils and was hovering over it, stele in hand, trying to remember the rune that had
come to her in the hospital.
It was hard to concentrate. She kept thinking about Jace, about last night. Where he might
have gone. Why he was so unhappy. She hadn’t realized until she had seen him that he
was as miserable as she was, and it tore at her heart. She wanted to call him, but had held
herself back from doing so several times since she’d gotten home. If he was going to tell
her what the problem was, he’d have to do it without being asked. She knew him well
enough to know that.
She closed her eyes, and tried to force herself to picture the rune. It wasn’t one she’d
invented, she was pretty sure. It was one that actually existed, though she wasn’t sure
she’d seen it in the Gray Book. Its shape spoke to her less of translation than of
revelation, of showing the shape of something hidden belowground, blowing the dust
away from it slowly to read the inscription beneath. . . .
The stele twitched in her fingers, and she opened her eyes to find, to her surprise, that
she’d managed to trace a small pattern on the edge of the fabric. It looked almost like a
blot, with odd bits going off every which way, and she frowned, wondering if she was
losing her skill. But the fabric began to shimmer, like heat rising off hot blacktop. She
stared as words unfolded across the cloth as if an invisible hand was writing them:
Property of the Church of Talto. 232 Riverside Drive.
A hum of excitement went through her. It was a clue, a real clue. And she’d found it
herself, without any help from anyone else.
232 Riverside Drive. That was on the Upper West Side, she thought, by Riverside Park,
just across the water from New Jersey. Not that long a trip at all. The Church of Talto.
Clary set the stele down with a worried frown. Whatever that was, it sounded like bad
news. She scooted her chair over to Luke’s old desktop computer and pulled up the
Internet. She couldn’t say she was surprised that typing in “Church of Talto” produced no
comprehensible results.
Whatever had been written there on the corner of the cloth had been in Purgatic, or
Cthonian, or some other demon language.
One thing she was sure of: Whatever the Church of Talto was, it was secret, and probably
bad. If it was mixed up with turning human babies into things with claws for hands, it
wasn’t any kind of a real religion. Clary wondered if the mother who’d dumped her baby
near the hospital was a member of the church, and if she knew what she’d gotten herself
into before her baby was born.
She felt cold all over as she reached for her phone—and paused with it in hand. She had
been about to call her mother, but she couldn’t call Jocelyn about this. Jocelyn had only
just stopped crying and agreed to go out, with Luke, to look at rings. And while Clary
thought her mother was strong enough to handle whatever the truth turned out to be,
she’d doubtless get in massive trouble with the Clave for having taken her investigation
this far without informing them.
Luke. But Luke was with her mother. She couldn’t call him.
Maryse, maybe. The mere idea of calling her seemed alien and intimidating. Plus, Clary
knew—without quite wanting to admit to herself that it was a factor—that if she let the
Clave take this over, she’d be benched. Pushed off to the sidelines of a mystery that
seemed intensely personal. Not to mention that it felt like betraying her mother to the
But to go running off on her own, not knowing what she’d find . . . Well, she had
training, but not that much training.
And she knew she had a tendency to act first, think later. Reluctantly she pulled the
phone toward her, hesitated a moment—and sent a quick text: 232 RIVERSIDE DRIVE.
IMPORTANT. She hit the send button and sat for a moment until the screen lit up with
an answering buzz: OK.
With a sigh Clary set down the phone, and went to get her weapons.
“I loved Maia,” Jordan said. He was sitting on the futon now, having finally managed to
make coffee, though he hadn’t drunk any of it. He was just holding the mug in his hands,
turning it around and around as he talked. “You have to know that, before I tell you
anything else. We both came from this dismal hellhole of a town in New Jersey, and she
got endless crap because her dad was black and her mom was white. She had a brother,
too, who was a total psychopath. I don’t know if she told you about him. Daniel.”
“Not much,” Simon said.
“With all that, her life was pretty hellish, but she didn’t let it get her down. I met her in a
music store, buying old records. Vinyl, right. We got to talking, and I realized she was
basically the coolest girl for miles around. Beautiful, too.And sweet.” Jordan’s eyes were
distant. “We went out,and itwas fantastic. We were totallyinlove.The way you are when
you’re sixteen. Then I got bit. I was in a fight one night, at a club. I used to get into fights
a lot. I was used to getting kicked and punched, but bitten? I thought the guy who’d done
it was crazy, but whatever. I went to the hospital, got stitched up, forgot about it.
“About three weeks later it started to hit. Waves of uncontrollable rage and anger. My
vision would just black out, and I wouldn’t know what was happening. I punched my
hand through my kitchen window because a drawer was stuck shut. I was crazy jealous
about Maia, convinced she was looking at other guys, convinced . . . I don’t even know
what I thought. I just know I snapped. I hit her. I want to say I don’t remember doing it,
but I do. And then she broke up with me. . . .” His voice trailed off. He took a swallow of
coffee; he looked sick, Simon thought. He must not have told this story much before. Or
ever. “A couple nights later I went to a party and she was there. Dancing with another
guy. Kissing him like she wanted to prove to me it was over. It was a bad night for her to
choose, not that she could have known that. It was the first full moon since I’d been
bitten.” His knuckles were white where he gripped the cup. “The first time I ever
Changed. The transformation ripped through my body and tore my bones and skin apart. I
was in agony, and not just because of that. I wanted her, wanted her to come back,
wanted to explain,but allIcould do was howl. Itook offrunning throughthe streets, and
thatwas whenIsawher, crossing the park near her house. She was going home. . . .”
“And you attacked her,” Simon said. “You bit her.”
“Yeah.” Jordan stared blindly into the past. “When I woke up the next morning, I knew
what I’d done. I tried to go to her house, to explain. I was halfway there when a big guy
stepped into my path and stared me down. He knew who I was, knew everything about
me. He explained he was a member of the Praetor Lupus and he’d been assigned to me.
He wasn’t too happy that he’d gotten there too late, that I’d already bitten someone. He
wouldn’t let me go anywhere near her. He said I’d just make it worse. He promised the
Wolf Guard would be watching over her. He told me that since I’d bitten a human
already, which was strictly forbidden, the only way I’d evade punishment was to join the
Guard and get trained to control myself.
“Iwouldn’thave done it. Iwould have spitonhim and takenwhatever punishment
theywanted to hand out. Ihated myself that much. But when he explained that I’d be able
to help other people like me, maybe stop what had happened to me and Maia from
happening again, it was like I saw a light in the darkness, way off in the future.
Like maybe it was a chance to fix what I’d done.”
“Okay,” Simon said slowly. “But isn’t it kind of a weird coincidence that you wound up
assigned to me? A guy who was dating the girl you once bit and turned into a werewolf?”
“No coincidence,” Jordan said. “Your file was one of a bunch I got handed. I picked you
because Maia was mentioned in the notes. A werewolf and a vampire dating. You know,
it’s kind of a big deal. It was the first time I realized she’d become a werewolf after I—
after what I did.”
“You never checked up to find out? That seems kind of—”
“Itried.The Praetor didn’twant me to, but Idid what Icould to find out what happened to
her.Iknew she ranaway from home, but she had a crappy home life anyway, so that didn’t
tell me anything. And it’s not like there’s some national registry of werewolves where I
could look her up. I just . . . hoped she hadn’t Turned.”
“So you took my assignment because of Maia?”
Jordan flushed. “I thought maybe if I met you, I could find out what happened to her. If
she was okay.”
“That’s why you told me off for two-timing her,” said Simon, thinking back. “You were
being protective.”
Jordan glared at him over the rim of the coffee cup. “Yeah, well, it was a jerk move.”
“And you’re the one who shoved the flyer for the band performance under her door.
Aren’t you?” Simon shook his head. “So, was messing with my love life part of the
assignment, or just your personal extra touch?”
“I screwed her over,” Jordan said. “I didn’t want to see her screwed over by someone
“And it didn’t occur to you that if she showed up at our performance she’d try to rip your
face off? If she hadn’t been late, maybe she even would have done it while you were
onstage. That would have been an exciting extra for the audience.”
“I didn’t know,” Jordan said. “I didn’t realize she hated me so much. I mean, I don’t hate
the guy who Turned me; I kind of understand that he might not have been in control of
“Yeah,” said Simon, “but you never loved that guy. You never had a relationship with
him. Maia loved you. She thinks you bit her and then you ditched and never thought
about her again. She’s going to hate you as much as she loved you once.”
Before Jordan could reply, the doorbell rang—not the buzzer that would have sounded if
someone had been downstairs, calling up, but the one that could be rung only if the
visitor was standing in the hallway outside their door. The boys exchanged baffled looks.
“Are you expecting someone?” Simon asked.
Jordan shook his head and put the coffee cup down. Together they went into the small
entryway. Jordan gestured for Simon to stand behind him before he swung the door open.
There was no one there. Instead there was a folded piece of paper on the welcome mat,
weighed down by a solid-looking hunk of rock. Jordan bent to free the paper and
straightened up with a frown.
“It’s for you,” he said, handing it to Simon.
Puzzled, Simon unfolded the paper. Printed across the center, in childish block letters,
was the message:
“It’s a joke,” Simon said, staring numbly at the paper. “It has to be.”
Without a word Jordan grabbed Simon’s arm and hauled him into the living room.
Letting go of him, he rooted around for the cordless phone until he found it. “Call her,”
he said, slapping the phone against Simon’s chest. “Call Maia and make sure she’s all
“But it might not be her.” Simon stared down at the phone as the full horror of the
situation buzzed around his brain like a ghoul buzzing around the outside of a house,
begging to be let in. Focus, he told himself. Don’t panic. “It might be Isabelle.”
“Oh, Jesus.” Jordan glowered at him. “Do you have any other girlfriends? Do we have to
make a list of names to call?”
Simon yanked the phone away from him and turned away, punching in the number.
Maia answered on the second ring. “Hello?”
“Maia—it’s Simon.”
The friendliness went out of her voice. “Oh. What do you want?”
“I just wanted to check that you were okay,” he said.
“I’m fine.” She spoke stiffly. “It’s not like what was going on with us was all that serious.
I’m not happy, but I’ll live.
You’re still an ass, though.”
“No,” Simon said. “I mean I wanted to check that you were okay.”
“Is this about Jordan?” He could hear the tense anger when she said his name. “Right.
You guys went off together, didn’t you? You’re friends or something, right? Well, you
can tell him to stay away from me. In fact, that goes for both of you.”
She hung up. The dial tone buzzed down the phone like an angry bee.
Simon looked at Jordan. “She’s fine. She hates us both, but it really didn’t sound like
anything else was wrong.”
“Fine,” Jordan said tightly. “Call Isabelle.”
It took two tries before Izzy picked up; Simon was nearly in a panic by the time her voice
came down the line, sounding distracted and annoyed. “Whoever this is, it had better be
Relief poured through his veins. “Isabelle. It’s Simon.”
“Oh, for God’s sake. What do you want?”
“I just wanted to make sure you were okay—”
“Oh, what, I’m supposed to be devastated because you’re a cheating, lying, two-timing
son of a—”
“No.” This was really starting to wear on Simon’s nerves. “I meant, are you all right?
You haven’t been kidnapped or anything?”
There was a long silence. “Simon,” Isabelle said finally. “This is really, seriously, the
stupidest excuse for a whiny makeup call that I have ever, ever heard. What’s wrong with
“I’m not sure,” Simon said, and hung up before she could hang up on him. He handed the
phone to Jordan. “She’s fine too.”
“I don’t get it.” Jordan looked bewildered. “Who makes a threat like that if it’s totally
empty? I mean, it’s so easy to check and find out it’s a lie.”
“They must think I’m stupid,” Simon began, and then paused, a horrible thought dawning
on him. He snatched the phone back from Jordan and started to dial with numb fingers.
“Who is it?” Jordan said. “Who are you calling?”
Clary’s phone rang just as she turned the corner of Ninety-sixth Street onto Riverside
Drive. The rain seemed to have washed away the city’s usual dirt; the sun shone down
from a brilliant sky onto the bright green strip of the park running alongside the river,
whose water looked nearly blue today.
She dug into her bag for her phone, found it, and flipped it open. “Hello?”
Simon’s voice came down the line. “Oh, thank—” He broke off. “Are you all right?
You’re not kidnapped or anything?”
“Kidnapped?” Clary peered up at the numbers of the buildings as she walked uptown.
220, 224. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was looking for. Would it look like a church?
Something else, glamoured to look like an abandoned lot? “Are you drunk or
“It’s a little early for that.” The relief in his voice was plain. “No, I just—I got a weird
note. Someone threatening to go after my girlfriend.”
“Which one?”
“Har de har.” Simon did not sound amused. “I called Maia and Isabelle already, and
they’re both fine. Then I thoughtof you—Imean, we spend a lot of time together.
Someone might get the wrong idea. ButnowIdon’t know what to think.”
“I dunno.” 232 Riverside Drive loomed up in front of Clary suddenly, a big square stone
building with a pointed roof. It could have been a church at one point, she thought,
though it didn’t look much like one now.
“Maia and Isabelle found out about each other last night, by the way. It wasn’t pretty,”
Simon added. “You were right about the playing-with-fire bit.”
Clary examined the facade of number 232. Most of the edifices lining the drive were
expensive apartment buildings, with doormen in livery waiting inside. This one, though,
had only a set of tall wooden doors with curved tops, and old-fashioned-looking metal
handles instead of doorknobs. “Ooh, ouch. Sorry, Simon. Are either of them speaking to
“Not really.”
She took hold of one of the handles, and pushed. The door slid open with a soft hissing
noise. Clary dropped her voice. “Maybe one of them left the note?”
“It doesn’t really seem like their style,” said Simon, sounding genuinely puzzled. “Do
you think Jace would have done it?”
The sound of his name was like a punch to the stomach. Clary caught her breath and said,
“I really don’t think he’d do that, even if he was angry.” She drew the phone away from
her ear. Peering around the half-open door, she could see what looked reassuringly like
the inside of a normal church—a long aisle, and flickering lights like candles. Surely it
couldn’t hurt just to take a peek inside. “I have to go, Simon,” she said. “I’ll call you
She flipped her phone closed and stepped inside.
“You really think it was a joke?” Jordan was prowling up and down the apartment like a
tiger pacing its cage at the zoo.“Idunno.It seems like a reallysick sortof joke to me.”
“I didn’t say it wasn’t sick.” Simon glanced at the note; it lay on the coffee table, the
block-printed letters clearly visible even at a distance. Just looking at it gave him a
lurching feeling in his stomach, even though he knew it was meaningless. “I’m just trying
to think who might have sent it. And why.”
“Maybe I should take the day off watching you and keep an eye on her,” said Jordan.
“You know, just in case.”
“I assume you’re talking about Maia,” said Simon. “I know you mean well, but I really
don’t think she wants you around. In any capacity.”
Jordan’s jaw tightened. “I’d stay out of the way so she wouldn’t see me.”
“Wow. You’re still really into her, aren’t you?”
“I have a personal responsibility.” Jordan sounded stiff. “Whatever else I feel doesn’t
“You can do what you want,” Simon said. “But I think—”
The door buzzer sounded again. The two boys exchanged a single look before both
bolting down the narrow hallway to the door. Jordan got there first. He grabbed for the
coatrack that stood by the door, ripped the coats off it, and flung the door wide, the rack
held above his head like a javelin.
On the other side of the door was Jace. He blinked. “Is that a coatrack?”
Jordan slammed the coatrack down on the ground and sighed. “If you’d been a vampire,
this would have been a lot more useful.”
“Yes,” said Jace. “Or, you know, just someone with a lot of coats.”
Simon stuck his head around Jordan and said, “Sorry. We’ve had a stressful morning.”
“Yeah, well,” said Jace. “It’s about to get more stressful. I came to bring you to the
Institute, Simon. The Conclave wants to see you, and they don’t like having to wait.”
The moment the door of the Church of Talto shut behind Clary, she felt that she was in
another world, the noise and bustle of New York City entirely shut out. The space inside
the building was big and lofty, with high ceilings soaring above. There was a narrow aisle
banked by rows of pews, and fat brown candles burned in sconces bolted along the walls.
The interior seemed dimly lit to Clary, but perhaps that was just because she was used to
the brightness of witchlight.
She moved along the aisle, the tread of her sneakers soft against the dusty stone. It was
odd, she thought, a church with no windows at all. At the end of the aisle she reached the
apse, where a set of stone steps led to a podium on which was displayed an altar. She
blinked up at it, realizing what else was strange: There were no crosses in this church.
Instead there was an upright stone tablet on the altar, crowned by the carved figure of an
owl. The words on the tablet read:
Clary blinked. She wasn’t too familiar with the Bible—she certainly didn’t have anything
like Jace’s near-perfect recall of large passages of it—but while that sounded religious, it
was also an odd bit of text to feature in a church.
She shivered, and drew closer to the altar, where a large closed book had been left out.
One of the pages seemed to be marked; when Clary reached to open the book, she
realized that what she’d thought was a bookmark was a black-handled dagger carved with
occult symbols. She’d seen pictures of these before in her textbooks. It was an athame,
often used in demonic summoning rituals.
Her stomach went cold, but she bent to scan the marked page anyway, determined to
learn something—only to discover that it was written in a cramped, stylized hand that
would have been hard to decipher had the book been in English. It wasn’t; it was in a
sharp, spiky-looking alphabet that she was sure she’d never seen before. The words were
below an illustration of what Clary recognized as a summoning circle—the kind of
pattern warlocks traced on the ground before they enacted spells. The circles were meant
to draw down and concentrate magical power. This one, splashed across the page in green
ink, looked like two concentric circles, with a square in the center of them. In the space
between the circles, runes were scrawled. Clary didn’t recognize them, but she could feel
the language of the runes in her bones, and it made her shiver. Death and blood.
She turned the page hastily, and came on a group of illustrations that made her suck in
her breath.
It was a progression of pictures that started with the image of a woman with a bird
perched on her left shoulder.
The bird, possibly a raven, looked sinister and cunning. In the second picture the bird was
gone, and the woman was obviously pregnant. In the third image the woman was lying on
an altar not unlike the one Clary was standing in front of now. A robed figure was
standing in front of her, a jarringly modern-looking syringe in its hand. The syringe was
full of dark red liquid. The woman clearly knew she was about to be injected with it,
because she was screaming.
In the last picture the woman was sitting with a baby on her lap. The baby looked almost
normal, except that its eyes were entirely black, without whites at all. The woman was
looking down at her child with a look of terror.
Clary felt the hairs on the back of her neck prickle. Her mother had been right. Someone
was trying to make more babies like Jonathan. In fact, they already had.
She stepped back from the altar. Every nerve in her body was screaming that there was
something very wrong with this place. She didn’t think she could spend another second
here; better to go outside and wait there for the cavalry to arrive. She might have
discovered this clue on her own, but the result was way more than she could handle on
her own.
It was then that she heard the sound.
A soft susurration, like a slow tide pulling back, that seemed to come from above her.
She looked up, the athame gripped firmly in her hand. And stared. All around the upstairs
gallery stood rows of silent figures. They wore what looked like gray tracksuits—
sneakers, dull gray sweats, and zip-up tops with hoods pulled down over their faces.
They were utterly motionless, their hands on the gallery railing, staring down at her. At
least, she assumed they were staring. Their faces were hidden entirely in shadow; she
couldn’t even tell if they were male or female.
“I. .. I’m sorry,” she said. Her voice echoed loudlyin the stone room.“Ididn’t meanto
intrude,or .. .”
There was no answer but silence. Silence like a weight. Clary’s heart began to beat faster.
“I’ll just go, then,” she said, swallowing hard. She stepped forward, laid the athame on
the altar, and turned to leave. She caught the scent on the air then, a split second before
she turned—the familiar stench of rotting garbage. Between her and the door, rising up
like a wall, was a nightmarish mishmash of scaled skin, bladelike teeth, and reaching
For the past seven weeks Clary had trained to face down a demon in battle, even a
massive one. But now that it was actually happening, all she could do was scream.


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